April Ross, left, of the United States, and Alix Klineman celebrate winning a women’s beach volleyball semifinal against Switzerland on Thursday at Tokyo. Petros Giannakouris/Associated Press

TOKYO — The American “A-Team” advanced to the gold medal match of the Olympic beach volleyball tournament on Thursday.

April Ross and Alix Klineman beat Switzerland 21-12, 21-11 at Shiokaze Park to clinch at least a silver medal. It will be the third medal for Ross, who won silver in London and bronze in Rio de Janeiro. Klineman is a first-time Olympian.

The U.S. will play Australia for the gold as Mariafe Artacho and Taliqua Clancy beat Latvia 23-21, 21-13 to clinch at least a silver. Latvia’s Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka will play for the bronze against Switzerland.

The Americans never trailed in the first set. They lost the first point of the second before rolling off three straight points to take a lead they never relinquished.

The victory also assures the United States of a beach volleyball medal for the seventh straight Summer Games. That’s every one of them since the sport was added to the program in Atlanta in 1996.

Only Brazil had achieved the same success – until now. It has been shut out in Tokyo for the first time, with none of its teams reaching the semifinals.

MARATHON SWIMMING: Germany’s Florian Wellbrock added a gold medal in marathon swimming to his bronze medal at the pool, romping to a dominant win in the men’s 10-kilometer race at Tokyo Bay.

Wellbrock sprinted out to an early lead and was up front most of the way on another sweltering morning.

Even with the race starting at 6:30 a.m. local time, the temperature was already 81 degrees with 80 percent humidity, making it feel like close to 90 degrees. Unlike the women’s race the previous day, there were no clouds to mitigate the heat.

The stifling conditions apparently got to France’s David Aubry, who dropped out of the race with about 3 kilometers remaining and was carried off the deck on a stretcher. There was no immediate word on his condition.

Britain’s Hector Pardoe also failed to finish.

The 23-year-old Wellbrock pulled away on the final lap to win by a dominating 25.3 seconds, finishing in 1 hour, 48 minutes, 33.7 seconds. It was by far the largest margin of victory in the history of Olympic marathon swimming, which was added to the program at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Wellbrock also won a bronze in the 1,500-meter freestyle on the last day of swimming at the pool.

The silver went to Hungary’s Kristof Rasovsky in 1:48.59.0, and Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri picked up the bronze in 1:49.01.1. The Italian was silver medalist in the 800 freestyle at the pool.

Defending Olympic marathon champion Ferry Weertman of the Netherlands finished seventh, and American Jordan Wilimovsky was 10th.

KAYAK: Hungary’s Sandor Totka won the gold medal in the men’s kayak 200-meter, becoming the first non-British paddler to win the event since it started in 2012.

Rizza Manfredi of Italy took silver and defending Olympic champion Liam Heath of Britain won bronze.

Totka beat Heath for the European championship earlier this year and bolted off the start line before claiming victory in a photo finish that saw 0.045 seconds separate gold from silver.`

TRACK & FIELD: The U.S. men failed to advance to the final of the 4×100 relay, extending a long string of failure in an event they used to own.

The team of Trayvon Bromell, Fred Kerley, Ronnie Baker and Cravon Gillespie finished sixth in the second heat of qualifying, done in by a series of bad exchanges that resulted in a time of 38.10 seconds.

This marks the 10th time since 1995 that the men have botched a relay at a world championships or Olympics. They were disqualified for a faulty exchange five years ago in Rio de Janeiro.

The U.S. women made it through with a second-place finish in their heat. They’ll race for the gold medal Friday.

WEDNESDAY’S EVENTS

SAILING: Mat Belcher and Will Ryan of Australia won the two-man dinghy event.

Belcher won gold at the London Olympics in 2012 in the 470 class and combined with Ryan to win the silver medal at Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Belcher and Ryan only had to finish the last race without penalty to clinch the gold medal.

Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergstrom of Sweden won the silver medal and Spain’s Nicolas Rodriguez Garcia-Paz and Jordi Xammar took bronze.

The U.S. team of David Hughes and Stuart McNay finished ninth. Hughes is a former Yarmouth resident and University of Southern Maine grad who now lives in Miami. They finished fourth in the same race at the 2016 Olympics.

WEIGHTLIFTING: Lasha Talakhadze pumped everyone up with three world records on the final day of Olympic competition. The defending champion from Georgia lifted 223 kilograms in the snatch and 265kg in the clean and jerk for a total 488kg on Wednesday. All three figures broke his own world records in the over-109kg men’s superheavyweight category.

Ali Davoudi of Iran was left in second place by the vast margin of 47kg. Even Talakhadze’s starting lifts were more than anyone else attempted, which meant he had to lift three times back-to-back in each half of the competition.

Talakhadze immediately pledged to return for a third Olympic gold in 2024, and his feat in Tokyo raised the question of whether he could become the first man to lift the once undreamed-of total of 500kg.

“At this stage it would be risky, this 500, but I will try my utmost and I will do everything in order to set the nearest margin at least to that limit,” Talakhadze said through an interpreter.

Man Asaad of Syria took the bronze with a total 424kg for his country’s first medal since its civil war began a decade ago. Syria’s last Olympic medal in any sport was a boxing bronze in 2004.

WOMEN’S GOLF: Madelene Sagstrom hit a tough pitch to 4 feet for par on the final hole, kept bogeys off her card on a day of searing heat for a 5-under 66 and took a one-shot lead over top-ranked Nelly Korda of the United States and Aditi Ashok of India.

The heat index topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and at that point caddies were allowed to remove their bibs.

“It’s hot, I’m not going to lie. It’s very hot,” Sagstrom said. “But it’s manageable. Most of us have been in Asia, played a lot of golf over here, so we know what to do. You drink a lot of water, you have cooling towels, umbrella, just maintaining the energy and not go crazy. I think at this point it’s harder for the caddies than it is for the players.”

No need to explain that to Lexi Thompson. She was walking up the 15th fairway when she said her caddie, Jack Fulghum, turned to her and said, “Do I look white to you?” “I didn’t really notice. But he just didn’t look good,” Thompson said. “I just want him to be healthy, that’s all.”

She had him sit down off the green and brought in Donna Wilkins, who works in player services for the LPGA Tour and is on the staff for Team USA at the Olympics. Thompson birdied three straight holes, closed with a bogey and shot 72.

Sagstrom managed just fine, opening with a 4-foot birdie, using her power to set up a two-putt birdie on the par-5 fifth and navigating a Kasumigaseki course that was drier and faster than it was for the men last week. Of her five birdies putts, the only one outside 10 feet was a 15-footer on the par-3 10th.

Korda, who reached No. 1 in the world by winning her first major six weeks ago at the Women’s PGA Championship, overcame a pair of early bogeys with enough birdies to not fall behind, and she eventually worked her way up the leaderboard with a 67.

SPRINTER LANDS IN POLAND

Belarusian Olympic sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who feared for her safety at home after criticizing her coaches on social media, flew into Warsaw on Wednesday night on a humanitarian visa after leaving the Tokyo Olympics, a Polish diplomat confirmed.

Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz said the 24-year-old athlete had arrived in the Polish capital after flying from Tokyo via Vienna, a route apparently chosen to confuse those who would endanger her safety. In a statement, the diplomat said he “wanted to thank all the Polish consular & diplomatic staff involved, who flawlessly planned and secured her safe journey.”

In a dramatic weekend standoff at the Tokyo Games, Tsimanouskaya said Belarus team officials tried to force her to fly home early after she criticized them, and some European countries stepped in to offer assistance.

It’s not clear what’s next for the runner – either in her sporting life or her personal one. Before she left Japan, she said she hoped to continue her running career but that safety was her immediate priority. Her husband fled Belarus shortly after his wife said she would not be returning, and Poland has also offered him a visa.


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