Saugus High School graduate Abbey Weitzeil will swim for her second medal of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday after advancing through her heat race and the semifinal of the 100-meter freestyle, earning one of eight spots in the final.
Weitzeil made the semifinal on the strength of a heat performance Wednesday that was just 0.03 seconds off her personal best. Weitzeil’s time in the event’s fifth heat race was 53.21 seconds, 0.3 seconds behind heat winner Sarah Sjoestroem, of Sweden, the world and Olympic record holder coming into the Tokyo Olympics. Emma McKeon, of Australia, broke Sjoestrom’s Olympic record in the very next heat with a 52.13.
In the Thursday morning semifinal, seen on the West Coast on Wednesday evening, Weitzel put up a new personal-best time of 52.99, trailing only McKeon and Sjoestrom in her heat.
The women’s 100-meter freestyle final is scheduled 10:59 a.m. Friday in Tokyo — or 6:59 p.m. tonight (Thursday) on the West Coast. The times for the eight women who advanced to the final were all within a one-second window.
Weitzeil, who won a silver medal for Team USA with the 4×100 freestyle relay team last weekend, is also scheduled Friday to compete in her third and final competition of the Tokyo Olympics, the 50-meter freestyle. Weitzeil is scheduled to swim in heat 11 at 7:45 p.m. Friday in Tokyo — so, 3:45 a.m. Friday, Pacific time.
A day after pulling out of the women’s team gymnastics competition to address mental health concerns, it was announced that Team USA gymnast Simone Biles, widely considered the greatest female gymnast of all time, also would not compete in the individual all-around competition scheduled today (Thursday).
USA Gymnastics released a statement saying, “After further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition. We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”
Biles, 24, is still qualified to compete in all four individual gymnastics events next week — floor, balance beam, uneven bars and vault — and USAG said Biles will be evaluated again before it is decided whether she will compete in those events.
Team USA’s Jade Carey, who placed 9th in the qualifying round, was scheduled to take Biles’ place in the individual all-around.
The U.S. men’s volleyball team — which includes Saugus graduate and three-time Olympian David Smith, and first-time Olympian Kyle Ensing, a Valencia High School graduate — elevated their pool play record to 2-1 with a 3-1 win over Tunisia on Wednesday. They play Brazil (7:05 p.m. Thursday, Pacific time) and Argentina (5:45 a.m. Sunday, Pacific time) over the next couple of days to round out pool play with an eye toward earning a spot in the quarterfinals, which start Monday.