Tokyo Olympics: The U.S. women’s Olympic team moved into uncharted territory after losing two consecutive exhibition games for the first time in a decade.
The Americans rebounded with a strong attempt to beat Nigeria 93:62 in the final pre-Olympic line-up for both teams on Sunday.
“It feels good,” said the US trainer Dawn Staley. “To come out and play like we did on both sides of basketball. We shared it, our grown-ups got the ball. We worked together to achieve this. “I think everyone in the locker room feels good because they can influence the game in so many different ways.”
A’ja Wilson scored 16 points and Breanna Stewart added 14 to lead the US, which lost consecutive exhibition games with losses to the WNBA All-Stars and Australia this week for the first time since 2011.
“Nobody wants to be on the team that is losing,” said Wilson. “I was a bit like oh-oh. People talk and jump with guns, say anything and everything. The vets said it’s okay, it’s part of the game, we’ll be back. The coach came up today and said we were going back to our dominance and that helped me feel a little more comfortable. The people we have in the locker room are so talented that we know what we’re doing. “
The Americans got off to a strong start and took the lead 20: 4. After the US shot behind the 3-point arc in the 2-for-18 loss to Australia, the US hit the ball early and often against Nigeria. The first 10 points came from Wilson and Brittney Griner.
Afroeden gathered that the US-led 29-15 after a quarter as Stewart had 10 points. Griner took over in the second quarter to help the Americans extend the lead halfway to 55:34. Nigeria didn’t make a run in the second half against USA, which Diana Taurasi missed for the third year in a row as she recovered from a hip injury.
She said on Saturday she was ready for the Olympics.
Nigeria’s roster for the Olympics, which starts next week, has not yet been determined. The African nation tried to get Nneka Ogwumike and Elizabeth Williams to play for them. The two have appealed to the Sports Arbitration Court in a final attempt, said two people familiar with the situation.
The couple was informed by FIBA earlier this week that their petition to play for the African nation had been rejected because they had played for the US national program for too long. People spoke to germanic on Friday on the condition of anonymity as no official announcement had been made.
The two WNBA players would have to overturn FIBA’s decision by the registration deadline for the Olympic Games on Sunday evening or grant temporary compensation from the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) and have them added to the list until a hearing can take place.
Nigeria’s coach Otis Hughley Jr. was unsure when and how the CAS would decide.
“I wish I could answer these questions. I don’t know the answers to those questions, ”he said. “I’m locked up in the girls we have, who are eligible. I hope and pray that this changes. … it would be a welcome expense. “
Hughley was disappointed that FIBA wouldn’t let Nneka Ogwumike and Williams play.
“It is unfortunate that it is coming out as it is,” he said. “The parents and grandparents were both born there. Why shouldn’t you certify them? … In every country on earth, there is an African. Why don’t you let these children go back to their own roots?
Williams played for Nigeria in the exhibition game while Ogwumike and her sister Chiney, who was naturalized for Nigeria, sat on the bench but were not dressed.
Nneka Ogwumike failed to make it to the US Olympics, which started the chain of events that resulted in her trying to play for Nigeria, where her parents are from and she and her sisters have dual citizenship.
Erica Ogwumike, the youngest of the four Ogwumike sisters, scored five points for Nigeria. Atonye Nyingifa scored nine points to lead the team.
Nigeria is a team on the rise, reaching the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 2018 before losing to the US
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USA women beat Nigeria in the final pre-Tokyo Olympics exhibition originally posted on NBCSports.
Nigerian official becomes first visitor to be Hospitalized of COVID-19 ahead of the Tokyo Olympics
A member of the Nigerian Olympic delegation in Tokyo is the first Olympic visitor to be hospitalized with COVID-19, Japan TV Asahi reported on Friday as Japan fights with the Games a week before the Games to contain the rising local infections.
- The person over 60 has mild symptoms but was hospitalized because of their age and potential risk
- IOC President Thomas Bach said there was “zero” risk of athletes infecting the general public in Tokyo
- Tokyo remains in a state of emergency as athletes and officials from around the world enter the city for the tokyo olympics
The person, a non-athlete in their 60s, tested positive at the airport Thursday evening and had only mild symptoms, but was hospitalized due to their age and previous illnesses, a local TV station said without further details.
Earlier in the day, it was confirmed that Australian tennis player Alex de Minaur tested positive for COVID-19 before leaving for the Tokyo Olympics.
U.S. basketball star Bradley Beal’s Olympic dream was also abruptly interrupted when U.S. Basketball announced that the Washington Wizards guard will miss the Tokyo Games after entering coronavirus logs at the Las Vegas training camp.
Multiple COVID-19 cases have emerged with athletes and others involved in the Games, which begin July 23, although infections are spreading in Tokyo and experts warn worse things are ahead.
Tokyo is in a state of emergency over the pandemic, but most steps to contain the spread are voluntary and many people say they are tired of sticking to them.
Organizers have promised that the games, postponed last year due to the pandemic, will be “safe and secure” and have imposed rigorous testing regimes and restrictions on delegates’ activities in an attempt to allay public concerns many of which wanted the games to be canceled or postponed.
Latest news on the Tokyo Olympics
The start of the Tokyo Olympics is only a few days away. With all the anticipation and preparation for the games, stay tuned.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said there was “zero” risk that participants in the Games would infect the Japanese with COVID-19 as cases hit a six-month high in the host city.
However, the Japanese Olympic gold medalist, who became the head of Japan’s sports agency Koji Murofushi, said Olympic Games organizers need flexibility and quick decisions to respond to the spread of COVID-19 infections.
“It is possible that even after the Olympics have started, there will be situations where we need to take action to prevent the spread of infection – and if so, we need to be flexible enough to act quickly,” Murofushi said, a gold and bronze medalist in hammer throw, said.
The Tokyo Games are being played without spectators at most venues, and officials are urging the public to stay home and watch on television, a situation the has killed Japan’s hopes for games with pomp and public spectacle.
Bach had proposed to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga that if the coronavirus situation improved, spectators would be allowed into the stadiums to watch the games, media reported.
When asked about the report, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike told reporters that many children could at least see the games in person, but that would depend on how the infections developed.