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USA's Richard Torrez Jr celebrates after winning against Kazakhstan's Kamshybek Kunkabayev after their men's super heavy (over 91kg) semi-final boxing match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo on August 4, 2021. Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images.
USA's Richard Torrez Jr celebrates after winning against Kazakhstan's Kamshybek Kunkabayev after their men's super heavy (over 91kg) semi-final boxing match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo on August 4, 2021. Photo:…

U.S. boxer Richard Torrez Jr. wins and now goes for gold in super heavyweight at Tokyo 2020

Torrez Jr. will be the first U.S. super heavyweight to medal since 1984, as Team USA also picked up medals on the track during Day 12.

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After his triumph in the semifinals over Kazakhstan’s Kamshybek Kunkabayev  U.S. amateur boxer Richard Torrez Jr. is on the cusp of winning a gold medal in super heavyweight boxing at Tokyo 2020.

His journey there is one that is three generations in the making. The 22-year-old Mexican-American is still early in his boxing career, but it was something both his dad and grandfather did out of California’s Central Valley.

In 1984, the last time the U.S. took home a medal in super heavyweight boxing via Tyrell Biggs, his father, Richard Torrez Sr., was on the Olympic boxing team that took home 11 total medals at the Los Angeles Games, including nine golds.

Should Torrez Jr. triumph in his gold medal bout against Uzbekistan’s Bakhodir Jalalov, he will be the first U.S. boxer to take gold since Andre Ward did it at light heavyweight in 2004’s Athens Games.

Elsewhere in the boxing ring for Team USA, Oshae Jones is taking home bronze in women’s welterweight after dropping her bout in the semifinals against China’s Gu Hong.

In 83kg freestyle wrestling, the U.S. and Penn State University’s own David Taylor will compete for gold after triumphing in his semifinal match against India’s Deepak Punia.

Outside of fight sports, Team USA women’s basketball marched on in its 52-game undefeated Olympic run (they last lost in 1992) by seeing off Australia in the quarterfinals of Tokyo 2020’s women’s basketball tournament, 79-55. 

The men’s team, which lost in its first game at Tokyo to France, also advanced to the semifinals of the men’s tournament after beating Spain on Aug. 3.

USA women’s volleyball also advanced to the semifinals of its own tournament after beating the Dominican Republic three sets to zero. It will now go on to face a familiar foe in Serbia in the semifinals. At the 2016 Rio games, the team fell to Serbia in the semifinals before beating the Netherlands in the Bronze medal match. 

On the track, Team USA took home two medals in the men’s 200m final, as current world champion, Noah Lyles, won bronze and Kenny Bednarek took home silver. In women’s 3000m steeplechase, Team USA’s Courtney Frerichs won the silver medal between Uganda’s Peruth Chemutai with gold and Kenya’s Hyvin Kiyeng.

Cuba boxing gold, Brazilian wins women's marathon swimming

For Latin America, Cuba’s Arlen López continued his dominance in boxing, taking home his second Olympic boxing gold medal after defeating Great Britain’s Benjamin Whittaker in the men’s light heavyweight final. 

At the 2016 Rio Games, López took home gold at men’s middleweight.

In women’s marathon swimming, Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha won gold in her third try at the Olympic event, edging out defending champion Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands by nine-tenths of a second.

Brazil’s women’s volleyball team also progressed through to the semifinals of the competition after beating the team representing the Russian Olympic Committee three sets to one.

In women’s field hockey, Argentina will go for its first-ever Olympic gold medal in the sport after it beat India in the semifinals of the competition by the tight scoreline of 2-1. They now face the Netherlands in the final. 

Previously, the team has taken home two bronze and two silver medals in the competition, with the most recent being a silver from the 2012 London Games.

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