Spoiler alert: We’re sharing some overnight results for events that might be rebroadcast during the day / evening. Those are parked down at the bottom of the thread; if you want to hold outcomes in suspense, stop reading when you hit the “On the Board” heading.
TODAY’S COMPETITION: BIG TRIATHLON RACES, KEY MATCHES IN RUGBY AND HOOPS
Some big names in triathlon will be on the course this evening US time (tomorrow morning Tokyo time). In the women’s PTS2 classification, Melissa Stockwell, Hailey Danz, and Alyssa Seely will attempt to repeat their podium sweep of the 2016 Games. This is Stockwell’s final Paralympic event and her last chance to win a gold medal. She’s an underdog to win but a strong contender to win a medal of some sort. Whatever the result, she’s a class act and an amazing ambassador for parasports. The race starts at 5:30 pm Eastern time, and you can stream it live on NBC Olympics.
For all you insomniacs and early birds: The women’s sitting volleyball team kicks off its gold-medal defense at 1 am Eastern against Rwanda; the men’s wheelchair basketball team has an important match against reigning world champs Great Britain at 4 am Eastern; and the wheelchair rugby team goes up against their arch-nemesis Australia tomorrow morning at 4:30 Eastern.
THE EYES OF THE WORLD
The International Paralympic committee released some impressive preliminary figures on global engagement with the Tokyo Paralympics. IPC spokesman Craig Spence says traffic on the Paralympics.org website has already surpassed the volume from the 2016 Rio Games, after just 60 hours of competition. He also shared that Australia’s television partner for the Paralympics, Channel 7, reported a record-shattering audience for the Opening Ceremonies. More info at Around the Rings.
OFF THE MARK
Perhaps it was a case of rookie jitters, but Emma Rose Ravish turned in a subpar performance in the open ranking round of the women’s recurve archery yesterday. She placed 22nd out of 24 competitors. That leaves her with an extremely difficult road ahead in the elimination rounds, which take place on September 2. Her first match is against Brazilian veteran Fabiola Dergovics; if she survives that encounter, her next opponent will likely be one of the Rio medal winners (either China’s Chunyan Wu or Iran’s Zahra Nemati).
OUT OF BOUNDS
Julia Gaffney, the world champion in the 200m individual medley (SM7), won her heat handily yesterday but was slapped with a disqualification after the fact. The broadcasters didn’t offer any explanation, and we’ve searched in vain for one on the internet today. No word from the IPC, Team USA, Gaffney’s own social feeds, or any other source. The start appeared to be clean, and she didn’t commit any lane violations . . . . . lots of confusion about this. If we eventually find out why she got the boot, we’ll report back. Whatever the reason, this is a big disappointment for Gaffney, who had a solid shot at a gold medal in this event. And it seems unkind to fans (to say the least) when the reigning world titlist gets bounced from an event with absolutely no explanation. C’mon, IPC.
ON THE BOARD
Jessica Long won her first medal of these Games last night in Tokyo (overnight in the US), a bronze in the 100m backstroke (S8). This has never been a signature event for her; she always medals (this is the fourth consecutive Paralympics in which she’s made the podium), but she never wins. It’s Long’s 24th career medal and her fifth career bronze.
In cycling, Joe Berenyi came up short in his bid for a fifth Paralympic medal. He placed 11th in the 1000m time trial (class C1-3), an event in which he medalled at the London Games back in 2012.