Tokyo Olympics Digest: USA men’s basketball loses opener to France

By DW

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The US men’s basketball team lost its first game at the Olympics since 2004. Japan’s Yuto Horigome claimed the first ever Olympic skateboarding gold, while Germany won it’s first Olympic medal-Tokyo Olympics Digest 

The United States men’s basketball team lost its first game of Tokyo 2020, losing 83-76 to France.

The US, normally packed with NBA stars, have won gold in men’s basketball at the last three Olympics, having not lost a game since their disappointing showing at the 2004 Athens Games. But this iteration, which boasts the likes of Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard and NBA champion Jrue Holiday, let an eight-point halftime lead slip to France.

Durant, an 11-time NBA All-Star, was held to just 10 points by a French defense that featured NBA veterans Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier.

The US defeat comes off the back of losses to Nigeria and Australia in the buildup to the Olympic Games. The Americans now need to beat the Czech Republic and Iran to reach the quarterfinals of them men’s tournament.

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Here’s a roundup of the latest news from the Tokyo Olympics:

Germany update
Divers Lena Hentschel and Tina Punzel secured Germany’s first medal in Tokyo, winning bronze in the synchronized 3-meter springboard. Punzel, a four-time European champion, said the result was “what we have trained five years for.” The gold medal went to Han Wang and Tingmao Shi China, which normally dominates diving events.

Germany also picked up a bronze in archery, finishing third in the women’s team event. Michelle Kroppen, Charline Schwarz and Lisa Unruh had lost to the Russian team in the semifinals, but beat Belarus in the bronze medal match. South Korea won their ninth straight gold in the event.

Tokyo Olympics
Alba Berlin’s Maodo Lo led both teams in scoring with 24 points in the defeat to Italy

Germany’s men’s basketball team fell to Italy 92-82 despite having led for long stretches. It was the side’s first appearance at an Olympics in 13 years. Henrik Rödl’s men failed to score in the final four minutes, as NBA stars Nicolo Melli and Danilo Gallinari stepped up in the closing stages.

In women’s field hockey, Germany delivered a much more impressive showing. They beat defending champions Great Britain 2-1 in their first match, despite losing defender Viktoria Huse, who scored the decisive goal, for five minutes due to a yellow card in the closing stages. Captain Nike Lorenz had already made headlines before the match, after successfully campaigning to wear a rainbow flag on her sock.

Tokyo Olympics
Germany’s Felix Uduohkhai celebrates his game-deciding goal against Saudi Arabia

The men’s football team was also triumphant, winning their second pool game against Saudi Arabia 3-2. Germany took the lead twice through Nadiem Amiri and Ragnar Ache, but Sami Khalil Al-Najei equalized twice to keep Saudi Arabia in it. Despite going down to 10-men after Amos Pieper’s red card, Germany ended up the victors thanks to a 75th-minute winner from Felix Uduokhai.

In badminton, the mixed doubles pair of Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Herttrich won their second match of pool play, defeating Mongolia’s Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying two sets to none. A victory on Monday against Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong would see the German pair reach the quarterfinals. Hettrich spoke to DW News after the win:

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