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SPORTS

Russia's women triumph over U.S. after Biles exit

Simone Biles came to Tokyo as the star of the U.S. Olympic movement and perhaps the Games themselves. She convinced herself she was prepared for the pressure. That she was ready for the spotlight. Only, as the women's gymnastics team final approached on Tuesday night, something felt off for the American star. So rather than push through the doubts that crept into her head as she's done so many times before, she decided enough was enough. Biles withdrew from the competition following one rotation, a stunning decision that opened the door for the team Russian Olympic Committee to surge to gold. Her American teammates held on for silver after the 24-year-old realized following a shaky vault she wasn't in the right headspace to compete. “I didn’t want to go into any of the other events second-guessing myself,” Biles said. “So, I thought it would be better if I took a step back and let these girls go out there and do their job.” Biles spent the final three rotations serving as head cheerleader while Grace McCallum, Sunisa Lee and Jordan Chiles carried on without her. The U.S. drew within eight-tenths of a point through three rotations. ROC, however, never wavered on floor. And they erupted when 21-year-old Angelina Melnikova's score assured them of the top spot on the podium. The victory came a day after ROC men’s team edged Japan for the top spot in the men’s final. Great Britain edged Italy for bronze. The U.S. entered the finals hoping to bounce back from a shaky performance in qualifying, when the Americans came in second to the ROC. It marked the first time in 11 years the U.S. found itself looking up at the scoreboard at someone else. Biles posted on social media Monday that she felt the weight of the world on her shoulders. It affected her practice. It affected her confidence. And when she stepped onto the vault runway, it finally found its way to her performance, too. “To see her kind of go out like that is very sad because this Olympic Games, I feel like, is kind of hers," Lee said. Biles was scheduled to do an “Amanar” vault that requires a roundoff back handspring onto the table followed by 2 1/2 twists. Biles instead did just 1 1/2 twists with a big leap forward after landing. She sat down and talked to U.S. team doctor Marcia Faustin, then headed to the back while her teammates moved on to uneven bars without her. When Biles returned several minutes later, she hugged her teammates and took off her bar grips. And just like that, her night was over. “It’s very uncharacteristic of me,” Biles said. “So it just sucks that it happens here at the Olympic Games than have it happen at any other time. But, you know, with the year that it’s been, I’m really not surprised.” Biles is scheduled to defend her Olympic title in the all-around final on Thursday. She also qualified for all four event finals later in the Games. She said she will regroup on Wednesday before deciding whether to continue. Biles’ abrupt absence forced the Americans to scramble a bit. The finals are a three-up/three-count format, meaning each country puts three of their four athletes up on an apparatus, with all three scores counting

world news

Covid: Vaccine complications dwarfed by virus risks

A major review of vaccines suggests the AstraZeneca jab does raise the risk of blood clots and another serious condition that can cause bleeding. But the study found the risk of such problems following a coronavirus infection was still much higher. The University of Oxford-led team also found an increased risk of stroke after the Pfizer jab - but again at a much lower rate than after infection. The team said it once again showed the "substantial" benefit of vaccination. It comes after a coroner ruled on Thursday that BBC Radio Newcastle presenter Lisa Shaw died because of complications from the AstraZeneca jab. The 44-year-old died in May after developing headaches a week after getting her first dose. She suffered blood clots in the brain. Child jabs halted in trial as adult clot link probed AstraZeneca: Is there a blood clot risk? The research team looked at records from more than 29 million people who received a first dose of a Covid vaccine between December and April, who were mostly over 40, as well as nearly 1.8 million who were infected with the virus. The study, published in the British Medical Journal, looked for complications up to 28 days after being jabbed or infected. It found that for every 10 million people vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine: an extra 107 would be hospitalised or die from thrombocytopenia, which can cause internal bleeding and haemorrhages, but that was nearly nine times lower than the risk of the same condition following an infection an extra 66 would be hospitalised or die from blood clots in the veins, but that was nearly 200 times lower than the risk following an infection For every 10 million people vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, it found: 143 extra strokes would be seen, but that was nearly 12 times lower than the risk following an infection media captionLead author Prof Julia Hippisley-Cox: "These are really reassuring results" Lead author Prof Julia Hippisley-Cox said it was important people were aware of the risks,
but that they were kept in context given the higher risk from being infected. Fellow author Prof Aziz Sheikh added the findings "clearly underscore" the importance of getting vaccinated to reduce the risk of these clotting and bleeding outcomes. Vaccinations, he said, offer a "substantial public health benefit". None of the university researchers involved in this study were part of the Oxford team that helped develop the AstraZeneca vaccine er risk from being infected. Fellow author Prof Aziz Sheikh added the findings "clearly underscore" the importance of getting vaccinated to reduce the risk of these clotting and bleeding outcomes. Vaccinations, he said, offer a "substantial public health benefit". None of the university researchers involved in this study were part of the Oxford team that helped develop the AstraZeneca vaccin

BUSINESS

Соvid: The hоlidаy mаkers hаving tо self-isоlаte аbrоаd

In eаrly July, university student Аimee flew оut tо Zаkynthоs, Greeсe. Mоre thаn а week intо her triр, the tоur орerаtоr she wаs trаvelling with sаid thаt there hаd been а few саses оf соrоnаvirus аnd аsked everyоne tо tаke а test. Аimee's саme bасk роsitive. "I wаs shаring with а rооmmаte, but the орerаtоr mоved them оut sо I соuld isоlаte," She tells the REUTER. Аimee is nоw оn the fifth dаy оf her self-isоlаtiоn аt the resоrt in Zаkynthоs. READ MORE...