Update on the latest sports
MILWAUKEE BUCKS PARADE
Milwaukee celebrates NBA championship with parade
MILWAUKEE (AP) – Thousands of fans lined downtown Milwaukee streets on Thursday to catch a glimpse of their beloved Bucks in a parade to celebrate the city’s first NBA championship in half a century.
Six police officers on horseback clopped past cheering fans at the head of a procession that included a hook-and-ladder fire truck, occasionally blaring its horn. Open-air buses and flatbed trucks carried Bucks stars including Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) and Jrue (jroo) Holiday, as well as the trophy they captured Tuesday night with a Game 6 victory over Phoenix.
Fans could be heard chanting, “Bucks in 6!,” an odd but beloved rallying cry with roots in a former Bucks player’s fruitless prediction in 2013 that the team would take down the playoffs’ top seed at the time.
Osaka makes her return against Zheng at Tokyo Olympics
TOKYO (AP) – Naomi Osaka’s first match in nearly two months will come against 52nd-ranked Zheng Saisai of China in the opening round of the Olympic tennis tournament.
The second-seeded Osaka, who represents host Japan and is one of the top names at the Games, is returning to competition after she withdrew from the French Open following the first round to take a mental health break.
Osaka holds a 2-1 career edge over Zheng. Their match will be the very first contest of the Games on center court Saturday.
The first seeded opponent that Osaka could face is No. 16 Kiki Bertens, who is playing the final tournament of her career.
In the men’s draw, top-ranked Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) will open against No. 139 Hugo Dellien of Bolivia.
Djokovic is attempting to become the first man to complete a Golden Slam by winning all four major tennis tournaments and an Olympic singles gold medal in the same year. He recently won Wimbledon for his 20th career Grand Slam title, after opening the year by winning the Australian and French Opens.
Two-time defending Olympic champion Andy Murray received a tough opener against 15th-ranked Felix Auger Aliassime of Canada, who is seeded ninth.
Draws were held Thursday – two days before play opens on the hard courts at Ariake Tennis Park.
In other Olympics news:
– American beach volleyball player Taylor Crabb is out of the Olympics after four positive COVID-19 tests, and Tri Bourne will take his place as the partner of four-time Olympian Jake Gibb when the competition begins this weekend. Crabb confirmed his withdrawal Thursday in a statement to The Associated Press, noting that he was vaccinated and tested negative before he left the United States but tested positive when he arrived in Japan.
– U.S. gymnast Kara Eaker is in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, while teammate Leanne Wong is in quarantine. Both are alternates for the U.S. team. Wong continues to test negative but was put in quarantine due to contact tracing. The U.S. delegation of Simone Biles, Sunisa Lee, Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum, Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner worked out on each event during podium training on Thursday. They’re staying in a hotel near the venue rather than the Olympic village, a decision made before they arrived.
– Russian swimmer Ilya Borodin (BOH’-roh-deen), the European champion in the 400-meter individual medley, will miss the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for the coronavirus.
– A third athlete from the Czech Republic has tested positive for COVID-19 at the Tokyo Games. The Czech team says beach volleyball player Marketa Slukova has entered a quarantine hotel, where two other athletes and two other coaches in its national delegation are staying. Another Czech beach volleyball player, Ondrej Perusic, tested positive this week. Table tennis player Pavel Sirucek also tested positive.
– A second Dutch athlete and a staff member have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Tokyo Games. Team NL says taekwondo athlete Reshmie Oogink and a rowing team staff member have tested positive and will quarantine for 10 days.
– One of the social media sensations of the Rio Olympics won’t be competing in Tokyo. Namibia’s Dan Craven tested positive for COVID-19 in Spain, where the former professional cyclist lives with his family.
– The African country of Guinea has pulled out of this year’s Olympics. The decision will keep five athletes from competing at the Tokyo Games.
– Tokyo has hit another six-month high in new COVID-19 cases, one day before the Olympics begin, as worries grow of a worsening of infections during the Games. Thursday’s 1,979 new cases are the highest since 2,044 were recorded on Jan. 15. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who is determined to hold the Olympics, placed Tokyo under a state of emergency on July 12, but daily cases have sharply increased since then.
– Jill Biden is in Tokyo on her first solo international trip as first lady, leading the U.S. delegation to the Olympic Games. Her schedule includes dinner with the prime minister, meeting the emperor and attending Friday’s Olympics opening ceremony. The first lady leaves Tokyo on Saturday and is slated to visit a vaccination clinic in Hawaii on the trip back to Washington. The first lady departed Washington on Wednesday and arrived in Alaska, where she promoted COVID-19 vaccinations.
– Tommie Smith, John Carlos and Gwen Berry are among more than 150 educators, activists and athletes who signed a letter Thursday urging the IOC not to punish participants who demonstrate at the Tokyo Games. The five-page letter, published on the eve of the Olympics, asks the IOC not to sanction athletes for kneeling or raising a fist, the way Smith and Carlos did at the 1968 Mexico City Games. That move that got them kicked out of the Olympics. Berry, the American hammer thrower who triggered much of this debate, has said she intends to use her Olympic platform to promote her message. She turned away from the flag when the national anthem played while she was on the medals stand at the Olympic trials last month.
– The Tokyo Olympic organizing committee has fired the director of the opening ceremony because of a Holocaust joke he made during a comedy show in 1998. His dismissal comes the day before Friday’s opening ceremony of the pandemic-delayed Games. Earlier this week, a composer whose music is expected to be used at the opening ceremony was forced to resign because of past bullying of his classmates.
– The IOC says it will now include images of Olympic athletes taking a knee in its official highlights reels and social media channels. Players from five women’s soccer teams kneeled in support of racial justice before their games Wednesday. That was the first day it was allowed at the Olympic Games after a decades-long total ban on athlete protest gestures on the field. But the images were excluded from highlights package provided by the IOC to media that could not broadcast the games live.
Abbott 1-hitter leads US over Canada 1-0, 2-0 softball start
TOKYO (AP) – The U.S. is 2-0 in Olympic women’s softball following a 1-0 victory over Canada.
Monica Abbott pitched a one-hitter, center fielder Haylie McCleney and second baseman Ali Aguilar combined with catcher Aubree Munro to throw out the potential tying run at the plate in the sixth inning. Amanda Chidester hit an RBI single in the fifth off loser Jenna Caira that scored McCleney. McCleney went 3 for 3 with a walk and has reached base seven times in the two games.
The Americans are trying to regain the gold medal they lost to Japan in 2008.
In other Olympic action:
– Australia evened its record to 1-1 in Olympic softball with a 1-0 victory over Italy in Olympic softball. Jade Wall hit a run-scoring single in the second inning and Kaia Parnaby took a three-hitter into the seventh. Australia is fourth among the six teams after an opening loss to Japan, and Italy fell to 0-2.
– Host Japan beat Mexico 3-2 in softball to improve to 2-0 at the Tokyo Games. Mana Atsumi’s squeeze bunt single with one out in the eighth inning scored automatic runner Eri Yamada.
– Two-time Olympic men’s soccer champion Argentina has been stunned 2-0 by Australia in their opening game at the Tokyo Games. The Argentines won Olympic gold in 2004 and 2008.