Auburn Caps Tokyo 2020 Olympics With Six Medals, Three Gold

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Lee brought home three medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She earned bronze in uneven bars, silver in the team competition and gold in the all-around PHOTO BY USA GYMNASTICS/JOHN CHENG.

Contributed
by AU Athletics

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics wrapped up Sunday with the Closing Ceremony. Auburn, represented with a contingent of 15 athletes and three coaches, took home a total of six Olympic medals, including three gold medals.

Now it’s on to Paris, the site of the 2024 Summer Olympic Games, but first here’s a look back at the highlights from Auburn’s representatives in Tokyo. 

GYMNASTICS

Incoming freshman Sunisa Lee competed for Team USA in the women’s artistic gymnastics competition and put together huge performances throughout the week to come away with three medals.

The St. Paul, Minnesota, product started with a silver in the team competition. After superstar Simone Biles was pulled following the first rotation, Lee guided the young U.S. squad on uneven bars and beam with huge scores and capped it with a great routine on floor to secure the silver medal for the Americans. 

Highlighting her week was her win in the individual all-around. She continued the line of U.S. Olympic champions and became the fifth-straight American to take gold in the all-around. Lee won the all-around with a 57.433, topping Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade (57.298) and Russia’s Angelina Melnikova (57.199).

Lee added another medal as she took home bronze in the uneven bars final with a 14.500. With her three medals in Tokyo, she became one of four Auburn Olympians all-time to earn three or more medals in the same Olympic Games.

SWIMMING

Competing in their first Olympics for Team USA, Zach Apple and Annie Lazor each earned Olympic medals in Tokyo. Apple won gold in both the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay, anchoring both teams, while Lazor took bronze in the women’s 200m breaststroke, her only event of the Summer Games. 

There was a total of eight current or former Auburn swimmers at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Marcelo Chierighini made his third Olympic appearance and swam on Brazil’s 4x100m freestyle and 4×100 medley relays. For Santiago Grassi (Argentina), Peter Holoda (Hungary), Luis Martinez (Guatemala) and Julie Meynen (Luxembourg), it was their second Olympics.

Martinez reached the final of the men’s 100m butterfly and set a new personal best (51.09) to finish seventh in the world. He became the first swimmer in Guatemala history to make a final at the Olympic Games.

Adriel Sanes, a graduate transfer who will swim for Auburn in the upcoming season, made his Olympic debut swimming the 100m and 200m breaststroke for the U.S. Virgin Islands. He also served as one of the flag bearers for his country at the Opening Ceremony. 

TRACK & FIELD

High jumper Donald Thomas competed in his fourth Olympic Games and was the flagbearer for his home country of the Bahamas, becoming the first Auburn track and field athlete to ever serve as flag bearer at the Summer Olympics. Thomas cleared 2.21 meters to finish 13th in Group A.

Discus thrower Rachel Dincoff became the first American woman to represent Auburn track and field at the Summer Olympics. Dincoff was 12th in Group A with a mark of 56.22 meters.

On the track, Nathon Allen – making his second Olympics appearance – ran the anchor leg of the men’s 4x400m relay for Jamaica as it finished sixth overall. Running in her fourth Olympic Games for Trinidad & Tobago, Kai Selvon ran the third leg of the women’s 4x100m relay that placed 15th.

SOFTBALL

A former three-time All-American as a Tiger and current Auburn softball assistant coach, Emily Carosone made program history as the first Olympian in Auburn softball history as she competed with Team Italy during the Tokyo Olympics.

Carosone started all five contests for Team Italy at designated player and held a .231 on-base percentage during her Olympic debut. Carosone and Australia’s Taylah Tsitsikronis led the entire Olympic field with three hit-by-pitches a piece. Following the conclusion of her Olympic run, Team Italy announced Carosone’s retirement from its national team.

TENNIS

Tennis alumnus Tim Puetz made his Olympic debut paired with Kevin Krawietz to represent Germany in the men’s doubles competition held at Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo.

The Germans won their opening round match with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman and Facundo Bagnis on the first day of Olympic competition. In the Round of 16 match, delayed twice by rain, Puetz and Krawietz fell to Andy Murray and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain by a 6-2, 7-6 (2) score.

From Usingen, Germany, Puetz – Auburn’s first Olympian in men’s tennis – was a four-year letterman at Auburn (2008-11) and a two-year All-American. Puetz is currently ranked No. 33 worldwide in doubles and has won four career ATP event titles, including victories this season at Lyon, Estoril and Hamburg.

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