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Messi claims first international trophy as Argentina wins Copa America final –



RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Lionel Messi’s Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in Saturday’s Copa America final to secure the national team’s first title in 28 years and the superstar’s first major international trophy.

When the match ended, a tearful Messi was thrown into the air by some of his joyous teammates.

Argentina’s winning goal at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro came in the 22nd minute after Rodrigo de Paul made a long pass to Angel di Maria. The 33-year-old veteran striker counted on some sloppy defending from left-back Renan Lodi to take control and lob it past goalkeeper Ederson.

It was only the third goal Brazil conceded in the tournament. Neymar tried hard with dribbles and passes, but the Selecao barely threatened Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez. The team of coach Tite had won its previous five matches in the Copa America and scored goals in all of them.

Messi’s performance in the final was not as impressive as in previous matches of the tournament, during which he scored four goals and had five assists. He had a clear opportunity in the 88th minute, tried to dribble Ederson, but the Brazilian goalkeeper stopped him.

The title, however, provides the superstar some relief after all the questions throughout his career on his effectiveness playing for the national team.

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From harassment to mental health, female athletes at the Tokyo Olympics bring important issues to the forefront – The Globe and Mail



Canada’s Charity Williams powers through Grace Adhiambo Okulu and Judith Okumu of Kenya during rugby sevens match at the Tokyo Olympics.


With no fans at the Tokyo Olympics, the stadiums don’t roar. They echo. For those few in attendance, the disinfection stations at every juncture are a physical manifestation of what organizers want these Games to be: sterile.

But in stripping away the pageantry, the pandemic has laid bare some of what lies below the surface of sport. Without spectators to drown them out, the noise has come from the athletes themselves.

What has resulted has been an Olympics that has become consequential in ways far beyond the field of competition.

“Oftentimes we talk about sport and say it’s neutral — that we should try and make it neutral,” said Charity Williams, a veteran of a Canadian women’s rugby sevens team that, for months before the Olympics and now again in Tokyo, has spoken out against abuse and bullying.

“Sport is political. You’re representing a country. That’s as political as it gets.”

On Saturday, the Canadian women won against Kenya in their final match after failing to make the finals, a disappointing ninth-place finish for a group seen as a medal contender.

But there was little discussion of what happened on the field. Hours before the match, Rugby Canada fired coach Jamie Cudmore over a series of Twitter messages exulting in the women’s Friday loss against France. “Karma is a bitch! #Survivorsmyass,” he wrote, while cheering on the Chinese team.

The posts, which Rugby Canada called “unacceptable,” came after 37 past and present women’s team members signed a complaint describing what they called psychological abuse, harassment and bullying. In April, an independent review ordered by Rugby Canada found no violations of policies on harassment or bullying but said “it would not be viable for John Tait to resume his duties as head coach of the national senior women’s sevens.” Tait, who coached the sevens team to bronze in Rio de Janeiro, resigned, but said he did “nothing to warrant my behaviour being described as abusive in any way.”

Cudmore, who is close to Tait, deleted his tweets and apologized on Twitter, saying it “was an emotional event for a good friend and I let that get the better of me.” Hours later, he was pulled from his position. Rugby Canada promised a review with “a goal of positioning teams for success in supportive, inclusive environments.”

Captain Ghislaine Landry of Team Canada during the rugby sevens at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Dan Mullan/AFP/Getty Images

“I’m glad that people have seen what’s been going on,” Canadian women’s captain Ghislaine Landry said after the match Saturday. “It’s not ok in sport. It’s not ok in society. It’s not ok anywhere. And that’s the stuff that people have been talking about for years and years and years.”

But in Tokyo, a much larger audience is listening.

Cudmore’s tweets came as a particularly bare-faced example of the strains on athletes — women, in particular — that have risen to the fore at the Tokyo Olympics.

On Saturday, U.S. gymnast Simone Biles withdrew from another two events, the vault or uneven bars, after withdrawing from individual and team all-around events earlier in the week. She has described “fighting all of those demons,” saying she needed to prioritize her own mental, and physical health after suddenly losing the ability to push her body into the gravity-defying performances that have made her the world’s best.

On Instagram, she described what has happened. “Sometimes I can’t even fathom twisting,” she wrote. “I seriously cannot comprehend how to twist…. It’s the craziest feeling ever. Not having an inch of control over your body.”

Tennis star Naomi Osaka has similarly decried the toll that pressure has taken after she lost in an early match. Others athletes have protested the different expectations for how female Olympians should dress. Sporting bodies around the world have publicly expressed support. Olympic Broadcasting Services, which provides most of the televised images of the Games, said it would steer cameras away from sexualized images of athletes, particularly those in revealing attire at events like beach volleyball.

But if those conversations suggested change, the tweets from Cudmore illustrated something very different.

“Through our stories being shared, we’re getting messages of so many similar stories — and that’s what breaks my heart,” Landry said. “And it’s a big reason why we’re still speaking to it. Because there’s a lot of people that haven’t been able to speak up,” or been driven out of athletics entirely.

It’s happening “all over the place in sport,” she said. “It’s way too commonplace. And if we can be a tiny little part of that change or help an athlete in the future, we’re proud to do it.”

Britt Benn, who is leaving the Canadian team after these Olympics, said she was “very happy that Rugby Canada took the steps forward to show that there is consequences for people that don’t support this program in a very disrespectful way.”

But the episode with Cudmore pointed to a need for more radical change, Williams said, including of “those faces in the meeting rooms.”

“You can’t have the same people — that look the same, that act the same, that think the same — creating decisions.”

Canada’s Britt Benn, left, is tackled by Fiji’s Ana Maria Naimasi in their women’s rugby sevens match at the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

Shuji Kajiyama/The Associated Press

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Tokyo Olympics Day 8 Review: Kylie Masse continues Canada's success in the pool – Yahoo Canada Sports



The majority of action during the Tokyo Olympics happens when most Canadians are fast asleep. While you were cozy in your bed, however, members of Team Canada were making their push for the podium.

Here’s what you missed from Day 8 of the Summer Games:

Women’s 200m Backstroke Swimming: Kylie Masse takes home second silver of Olympics

Swimming in the women’s 200m backstroke, Masse earned a time of 2:05.42 to bring home silver, and a new national record for Canada.

Also finishing on the podium were Australia’s Kaylee McKeown and Emily Seebohm. McKeown raced to a time of 2:04.68 while Seebohm finished with a time of 2:06.17.

This medal marks the second Masse has won at the Tokyo Games, as the Canadian also earned silver in the women’s 100m backstroke.

“I know I have high expectations of myself, but I’m really happy to have gotten on the podium a second time at an Olympic Games,” Masse said.

She now has three all-time medals at the Olympics as she also earned bronze in the women’s 100m Backstroke at Rio 2016.

Impressively, Canada has now earned six medals in the pool at these Olympics, and all are from women.

Women’s 400m Hurdles: Sage Watson claims spot in semifinal

Racing to a time of 55.54 seconds, Watson tied Italy’s Linda Olivieri to finish 17th in Round 1. She’ll now race in Semifinal 1. Fellow Canadian Noel Montcalm finished 24th but did not qualify for the semi.

Women’s Rugby Sevens: Canada defeats Kenya to finish ninth

The Canadian women defeated Kenya 24-10 to finish ninth in the tournament.

Men’s 800m: Marco Arop advances to semifinal

Arop finished with a time of 1:45.26 to finish eighth in Round 1 which qualified him for the semi. Fellow Canadian Brandon McBride earned a time of 1:46.32 but did not earn a lane in the next round.

Men’s Individual Golf: Mackenzie Hughes puts forward solid Round 3

Hughes shot six-under-par to finish fourth during Round 3 at the Kasumigaseki Country Club. He and his fellow Canadian Corey Conners are tied for 17th in the tournament after three rounds. United States golfer Xander Schauffele currently owns the lead with a score of -14.

Women’s 3m Springboard Diving: Jennifer Abel qualifies for final

With a total of 341.40, Abel finished third in the semifinal to secure a spot in the final. She only trailed Chinese divers Wang Han and Shi Tingmao during the round. Canadian Pamela Ware finished 18th and did not advance to the final.

Men’s 100m: Andre De Grasse surges to semifinal

Finishing with a blazing time of 9.91 seconds, the fastest in Round 1, De Grasse earned himself a spot in the semi. Fellow Canadians Gavin Smellie and Bismark Boateng finished 51st and 52nd respectively which wasn’t good enough to qualify for the next round. De Grasse will next compete on Day 9 of the Olympics.

Kylie Masse and Andre De Grasse put forward sellar performances on Day 8 of the Tokyo Olympics. (Getty)

Kylie Masse and Andre De Grasse put forward sellar performances on Day 8 of the Tokyo Olympics. (Getty)

Men’s 96kg Weightlifting: Boady Santavy narrowly misses podium

Lifting a combined weight of 386kg, Santavy finished fourth in the men’s 96kg final. Georgia’s Anton Plyesnoy and Venezuela’s Keydomar Vallenilla tied by lifting a total weight of 387kg, a result which awarded Plyesnoy silver and Vallenilla bronze. Qatar’s Fares Ibrahim Elbakh earned gold by lifting an Olympic record of 402kg.

Santavy lifted the most of any competitor during the snatch lift, clearing 178kg.

Way Beyond Gold: Tony Hawk has to explain Margielyn Didal’s joke to reporter

22-year-old Marigelyn Didal of the Philippines competed in the first-ever skateboarding event at the Olympics after winning gold at the Asian Games in 2018. During the Tokyo Games, Didal got to take a photo with one of the legends of the sport, Tony Hawk.

On social media, Didal jokingly captioned the photo “this guy asked me to take a photo with him and I let him because he looks like Tony Hawk.”

The joke seemed pretty apparent, but apparently, one reporter didn’t quite catch on.

“I was asked during an interview today,” Hawk started. “How does it feel to go to the Olympics and not be recognized by competing skaters, like Margielyn Didal?” So I had to explain that she was joking with her caption. My life is weird.”

Hawk, one of the most famous names in the game, definitely knows how to take things lightly.

How many medals has Canada won in the Summer Olympics?

Canada is now up to 12 medals in Tokyo heading into Day 9.

Gold: Margaret Mac Neil (women’s 100m butterfly), Maude Charron (weightlifting, women’s 64kg), Women’s Eight Rowing

Silver: Women’s 4x100m freestyle relay, Jennifer Abel and Melissa Citrini-Beaulieu (women’s 3m synchronized springboard), Kylie Masse (women’s 100m backstroke), Kylie Masse (women’s 200m backstroke)

Bronze: Jessica Klimkait (judo, women’s under-57 kg), Softball, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard (judo, women’s 63kg), Penny Oleksiak (women’s 200m freestyle), Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens (women’s pair rowing)

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Blue Jays pay huge price to acquire Jose Berrios from Minnesota Twins – Jays Journal



The Toronto Blue Jays made major headlines earlier today, acquiring starting pitcher Jose Berrios in exchange for top prospects SS/OF Austin Martin and RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson.

Berrios has been on the Blue Jays radar for quite some time, with the organization linked to the Twins starting pitcher for most of the season. This season, the Puerto Rico product has amassed a 3.48 ERA through 20 starts while striking out 126 batters to 32 walks. He also boasts a 1.04 WHIP on the season and is under team control until the end of next year.

He is a legit top-of-rotation arm who will slide in nicely beside current ace Hyun Jin Ryu, standout left-hander Robbie Ray, and rookie Alek Manoah as the Blue Jays attempt to make up ground in the AL East and shoot for a spot in the postseason.

The Toronto Blue Jays have traded two top prospects in Austin Martin and Simeon Woods-Richardson in exchange for starting pitcher Jose Berrios from the Minnesota Twins, a high price to pay for a top of the rotation arm.

As per MLB Pipeline, Martin was ranked #2 and SWR was ranked at #4 within the Blue Jays organization, with both players also ranking within the top 100 prospects in baseball at #16 and #68 respectively.

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Martin was the Blue Jays top pick in last year’s COVID shortened draft and has been cruising in AA this year after a rocky start. He currently owns a .281/.424/.383 through 196 at-bats with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats while also contributing two home runs and 16 RBI through the same time span. He was the team’s lone representative at the Future’s Game earlier this month and did miss some time on the injured list earlier this season.

Woods-Richardson was the Blue Jays’ second top-ranked prospect behind Nate Pearson and was also in AA with the Fisher Cats. After a strong start to the campaign, the right-hander has fallen on hard times and now sports a 5.76 ERA through 45.1 innings and 11 starts with 67 strikeouts and 26 walks. He is currently with the United States national team as they compete at the Tokyo Olympics.

I have been pretty open about how I think the Blue Jays should acquire Jose Berrios to bolster this club’s starting rotation but can honestly say I am shocked that the organization was willing to give up two top prospects like Martin and SWR to get the deal done.

Looking at other deadline deals over the past few days, it does appear at first glance that the Blue Jays may have overpaid for Berrios and quite a few people will agree/disagree with the trade when the dust finally settles later this afternoon. Berrios does have the pedigree to be a top arm in the rotation and is under contract for another season, which is why the Blue Jays had to sacrifice a few top prospects to get the deal done.

For those of you who follow prospects and the Jays farm system, this deal hurts in that Martin and SWR could potentially be key contributors at the major league level in the near distant future. With this trade, it appears that the front office appears confident in Pearson and fellow infield prospect Jordan Groshans has the potential to be major league starters, making both Martin and SWR expendable for trades.

Does this seem like an overpay? Sure it does, as both players heading to the Twins are most likely going to be major league contributors within the next few years but for veteran arms who can impact the rotation, it makes sense why the club was forced to send Martin and SWR.

What this trade does is solidifies the notion that the Blue Jays are ready to compete over the next two seasons with the current core to try and run for a World Series Championship. Berrios helps with that goal in the now and the Jays still do have some top prospects coming up through the pipeline like Gabriel Moreno and Orelvis Martinez, both of whom could easily be major league contributors in their own right within the next few years alongside Pearson and Groshans.

Some will agree, some will disagree but this trade does help the current roster and does give the Blue Jays a better shot at securing a spot in the postseason, whether you believe it is an overpay or not.

What are your thoughts Blue Jays fans?

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