Day 15 Roundup: U.S. closes in on China in gold medal count

Source: Xinhua| 2021-08-07 23:35:20|Editor: huaxia

Cao Yuan (L) and Yang Jian of China pose after the awarding ceremony for men's 10m platform final of diving at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 7, 2021. (Xinhua/Chen Jianli)

TOKYO, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- With Tokyo 2020 heading to its final day, the battle for the top position of the medals table turned even more intense on Saturday.

China still leads the medals count with 38 golds, 31 silvers and 18 bronzes, but the USA closed the deficit by three as they moved onto 36 golds thanks to strong showing on the penultimate day of the Games. Japan sits third with 27 golds and 56 medals.

There were two more gold medals for China on Saturday, as the world champion pair of Xu Shixiao and Sun Mengya claimed the women's canoe double 500m gold before Cao Yuan and Yang Jian made a 1-2 Chinese finish in the men's 10m platform event.

Xu and Sun, who set Olympic best time on Friday, refreshed their own mark in one minute and 55.495 seconds for their maiden Olympic title. It's also China's first Olympic medal in women's canoe sprint.

Cao became the first diver to win Olympic gold medals in three different events after his triumph in the men's 10m platform.

"I tried not to think too much about the scores. Instead I tried stay calm. I just made sure that I didn't make errors in each dive," said Cao, who won the Olympic gold in men's synchronized 10m platform in 2012 and 3m springboard in 2016.

With the win, China made it seven gold medals out of eight events in diving at Tokyo 2020.

The United States edged off France 87-82 to win the Olympic men's basketball title for the fourth straight time.

Thanks to Kevin Durant's 29 points, the U.S. fended off attacks of France when they led as many as 14 points, but let France close in to three points a couple of times. France got close at 85-82 with 10.2 seconds left, before Durant made both free-throws to kill the game.

"Each one of us put in that work every single day. From the coaches, to the trainers, to the players, we all came in with the goal of let's finish this thing off, let's build a family, let's build a team, let's finish this thing off," commented Durant.

Malcom scored an extra-time goal as defending champions Brazil edged Spain 2-1 in the men's football final.

France edged Denmark 25-23 in the men's handball final for a record third Olympic title and became the first team to win five medals in this event.

There was also success for India on Saturday, when Neeraj Chopra won the men's javelin throw final. He made a best throw of 87.58 meters in his second attempt. It's also India's first-ever Olympic gold in athletics.

"It feels unbelievable. It is the first time India has won a gold in athletics, so I feel very good," said Chopra. "It's a proud moment for me and my country."

Britain have won both men's and women's individual modern pentathlon titles after Joseph Choong's victory in the men's competition.

France were crowned the men's volleyball champions after outclassing ROC 25-23, 25-17, 21-25, 21-25, 15-12 in the final.

Star sprinter Su Bingtian will carry the flag for China at Sunday's closing ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games, the Chinese sports delegation announced.

"It's a great honor for Chinese athletics," Su responded.

The 31-year-old made history on Aug. 1 as he became the first Chinese to qualify for an Olympic men's 100m final, setting a new Asian record of 9.83 seconds in the semifinals. He finished the sixth place in the final. Enditem

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KEY WORDS: Sports,Olympics,Tokyo 2020