Wednesday, July 28, 2021 8:49 PM EST
By The Associated Press, AP
Biles pulls out of all-around competition
TOKYO (AP) — Simone Biles will not defend her Olympic title. The American gymnastics superstar withdrew from Thursday’s all-around competition to focus on her mental well-being.
USA Gymnastics said in a statement that the 24-year-old is opting to not compete. The decision comes a day after Biles removed herself from the team final following one rotation because she felt she wasn’t mentally ready.
Jade Carey, who finished ninth in qualifying, will take Biles’ place in the all-around.
In some of Wednesday's Olympic action:
— Katie Ledecky has finally collected her first gold medal of the Tokyo Games. Ledecky won the 1,500-meter freestyle, which made its Olympic debut for women this year. That helped the American star make up for what has so far been the worst showing of her Olympic career. About an hour after finishing fifth in the 200-meter freestyle, Ledecky held off teammate Erica Sullivan to win the metric mile in 15 minutes, 37.34 seconds.
— The U.S. team of Stefanie Dolson, Allisha Gray, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young has won the first women’s gold medal in the new Olympic sport of 3-on-3 basketball. Plum scored all five of her points early to help the Americans take the lead, and they held on for an 18-15 win over the team representing the Russian Olympic Committee. Plum, the all-time leading scorer in NCAA history, led all scorers in this tournament, as well.
— Damian Lillard scored 21 points and the U.S. men’s basketball team rebounded from an opening loss with their first victory of these Olympics, romping past Iran 120-66.
— The U.S. women’s water polo team lost at the Olympics for the first time since 2008, falling 10-9 to Rebecca Parkes and Hungary in group play. The U.S. was a big favorite to win its third straight gold medal coming into Tokyo. Even with the loss, it still should be able to advance to the knockout round.
— Tennis player Novak Djokovic’s Golden Slam bid is alive and well. The top-ranked Serb beat training partner Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain 6-3, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals at the Tokyo Games. Djokovic is attempting to become the first man to achieve a Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slam tournaments and Olympic gold in the same calendar year.
Coming up on Thursday in Tokyo:
— Katie Ledecky seeks her second gold medal of the Tokyo Games in the women’s 4X200 meter freestyle relay. A five-time gold medalist entering these Olympics, Ledecky had hoped to break the all-time record of eight gold medals won by a U.S. woman.
— Caeleb Dressel, who already has one gold in Tokyo, goes for a second in the men’s 100-meter freestyle. Medals will also be awarded in the men’s 800-meter freestyle, men’s 200-meter breaststroke and women’s 200-meter butterfly.
— Russia, Japan and China will square off in the men's all-around gymnastics final.
Djokovic says pressure is part of being a professional
TOKYO (AP) — Novak Djokovic says “pressure is a privilege” with the topic of athletes’ mental health and pressure being discussed at the Olympics.
The top-ranked Serb was asked how he deals with the pressure of attempting to become the first man in tennis to achieve a Golden Slam. He says that “without pressure there is no professional sport” and adds that “if you are aiming to be at the top of the game you better start learning how to deal with pressure and how to cope with those moments.”
Reyes 2 HRs, drive almost hits bicyclist, Indians top Cards
CLEVELAND (AP) — Franmil Reyes homered twice, including a second-inning blast that bounced out of Progressive Field and almost dinged a bicyclist pedaling past on the street, and the Cleveland Indians beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-2.
Reyes’ leadoff homer in the glanced off the pedestrian bridge in left field and landed on the plaza area between the ballpark and Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. The ball traveled an estimated 446 feet.
Reyes wasn’t done. He finished off Cleveland’s three-homer inning in the third with his 19th of the season, a 421-foot drive to center. César Hernández and José Ramírez also homered in the inning for Cleveland, which avoided dropping under .500 for the first time since May 1.
Starling Marte traded by Marlins to A’s for LHP Luzardo
MIAMI (AP) — Outfielder Starling Marte has been traded by the Miami Marlins to the Oakland Athletics for left-hander Jesús Luzardo.
Marte is batting .306 with an .859 OPS and 22 stolen bases in 25 attempts. The Marlins will cover nearly all of his remaining contract for 2021, and he becomes a free agent after this season.
Luzardo is 2-4 with a 6.87 ERA in 13 games, including six starts. He was sidelined for four weeks in May after he broke the pinkie on his pitching hand when he thumped a table while playing a video game.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— The Cincinnati Reds added some more help for their struggling bullpen by acquiring right-hander Mychal Givens from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for two pitching prospects. The Rockies got right-hander Case Williams and right-hander Noah Davis, the Reds’ 26th-rated prospect. The 31-year-old Givens is due to be a free agent after the season. The Reds traded for Yankees relievers Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson on Tuesday.
— Second overall draft pick Jack Leiter has signed a deal with the Texas Rangers that includes a $7.9 million signing bonus. It is the largest signing bonus for a drafted pitcher in 10 years. Leiter is a right-hander out of Vanderbilt and the son of former big league lefty Al Leiter. The 21-year-old Leiter will return to Vanderbilt to continue his education this fall while preparing there for his professional debut in the Rangers organization next year.
— Catie Griggs is taking over as president of business operations for the Seattle Mariners. Griggs was formally introduced in her new role before the Mariners closed out a homestand against Houston.
Suter signs with Stars; expansion Kraken land Grubauer
UNDATED (AP) — The Dallas Stars opened free agency by signing three-time All-Star defenseman Ryan Suter and former Stanley Cup champion goaltender Braden Holtby. Both veterans were recently bought out by their previous teams. Suter signed a four-year deal worth $14.6 million.
The expansion Seattle Kraken made a splash by signing goalie Philipp Grubauer. Grubauer was among the top players on the market, and was signed to a six-year, $35.4 million contract.
Two-time Stanley Cup champion Blake Coleman was among the others to get a deal done early. Coleman signed a six-year deal with Calgary worth just under $30 million.
In other NHL moves:
— Phillip Danault has signed a six-year, $33 million contract with the Los Angeles Kings. Danault helped the Canadiens reach the Stanley Cup Final this year.
— The New Jersey Devils have signed unrestricted free-agent goaltender Jonathan Bernier to a two-year, $8.25 million contract.
— The Carolina Hurricanes have acquired defenseman Ethan Bear from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for forward Warren Foegele.
— The Ottawa Senators have signed head coach D.J. Smith to a two-year extension. The deal will keep the 44-year-old Smith behind the bench through the 2023-24 season
Mike Sullivan would coach US hockey team for Winter Olympics
UNDATED (AP) — Mike Sullivan of the Pittsburgh Penguins has been named U.S. men’s hockey coach for the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.
Sullivan will be behind the bench if the NHL participates. There is not a deal currently in place to send NHL players to the Olympics. Negotiations are ongoing.
Rodgers works out with Packers
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers has returned from a tumultuous offseason of uncertainty eager to get the Green Bay Packers to the Super Bowl after falling a step short each of the last two years. But nobody’s making any promises regarding his future beyond 2021.
The reigning MVP participated in the Packers’ first training-camp workout Wednesday and made it clear in a news conference afterward that some of the issues that caused him to skip the team’s organized team activities and mandatory minicamp remain unresolved. Rodgers says he doesn’t know whether he’ll still be playing for the Packers next season.
Jackson sidelined after testing positive
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Lamar Jackson has tested positive for COVID-19 and missed Baltimore’s first practice of training camp. Coach John Harbaugh announced Jackson’s positive test after practice Wednesday and said running back Gus Edwards also tested positive. He would not go into much more detail about either case.
Jackson, who won league MVP honors in 2019, is entering his fourth season with Baltimore.
In other developments from NFL training camps:
— Deshaun Watson was on the field for the start of training camp with the Houston Texans. The future of the quarterback is uncertain after he asked for a trade in January before 22 women filed lawsuits alleging that he sexually assaulted or harassed them in March. Houston police and the NFL are investigating the allegations, but no charges have been filed.
— Indianapolis Colts right tackle Braden Smith has signed a four-year contract extension that will make him one of the league’s highest-paid offensive linemen. A person with knowledge of the deal says Smith will make $72.4 million with $42 million guaranteed.
— Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores says he hopes to resolve a contract dispute with All-Pro cornerback Xavien Howard, who has requested a trade. Flores says it’s still possible to keep Howard in Miami and happy about his situation, and says the Dolphins will continue to have discussions with the veteran’s agent.
— The New York Jets held their first practice of training camp without their hoped-for franchise quarterback. Zach Wilson remained unsigned Wednesday and is the only first-round draft pick to not have a deal done after San Francisco signed quarterback Trey Lance earlier in the day. Mike White took the first snap at practice for the Jets.
— Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold has had two coronavirus vaccination shots and will be considered fully vaccinated on July 30. That’s according to a person familiar with the situation. The person says Darnold had his second shot on July 16 and will be considered fully vaccinated 14 days later.
Cannabis company files suit against Julio Jones, others
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Court records show that Tennessee Titans wide receiver Julio Jones faces allegations of illegally harvesting and selling millions of dollars of cannabis in California.
California-based cannabis company Genetixs filed the suit earlier this month against a handful of defendants including Jones, former Atlanta Falcons player Roddy White and White’s company, SLW Holdings. The complaint claims that the defendants have failed to report cannabis sales since March, estimating that the defendants have harvested and sold $3 million in cannabis per month.
US to play World Cup qualifier against Mexico in Cincinnati
CHICAGO (AP) — The United States will play its home World Cup qualifier against Mexico in Cincinnati, ending a streak of five straight in Columbus, Ohio.
The U.S. Soccer Federation says the Nov. 12 match will be at TQL Stadium, the 26,000-capacity venue that opened in May as home of the city’s Major League Soccer team.
The U.S. beat Mexico in World Cup qualifiers at Columbus Crew Stadium in 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013, all by 2-0 scores, and lost 2-1 in 2016.