Tuesday was a great day for former Syracuse Orange athletes at the Tokyo Olympics. Two former Syracuse athletes brought home bronze medals becoming the 16th and 17th Orange athletes to medal at the Olympics.
Former Syracuse cross-country/track standout Katie Zaferes got the morning started in the women’s individual triathlon. Zaferes was among a group of six athletes who emerged out of the water after the swim. She then displayed skill navigating a rain-soaked bike course with the leaders including time at the front of the pack. When it came to the 10k run, Bermuda’s Flora Duffy pulled away early and took the gold. Zaferes tried to hold off Great Britain’s Georgia Taylor-Brown for second but in the final lap Taylor-Brown moved ahead and took home the silver with Zaferes finishing comfortably in 3rd to secure her first ever Olympic medal.
It was an emotional Zaferes after the race as she reflected on the memory of her father who recently passed away
“He’s so proud,” Zaferes said on the USA Network after the race. “I saw the rainbow before we started or, maybe, it was sometime on the bike. I just gave a little, ‘Hi, Dad.’ I just felt like that was him. I felt him. I feel like he’d be so happy.”
Later in the day former Syracuse softball star Jenna Caira and her Canada softball teammates took the bronze medal by defeating Mexico 3-2. Jenna pitched 1 2⁄3 innings in the bronze medal game allowing one run on three hits. Caira appeared in all five games during the Olympics pitching 11 1⁄3 innings with a record of 1-1.
In basketball, both Kayla Alexander and Jerami Grant’s teams lost their opening game. Alexander was scoreless in five minutes of action as Canada lost to Serbia 72-68 while Grant did not play in USA’s 83-76 loss against France. Grant will be back in action tomorrow while Alexander’s next game is Thursday.
Former Orange rower Harriet Taylor’s Great Britain four squad was fourth in their opening heat over the weekend. Taylor’s team rebounded in the Repechage taking first in that race and advancing on to the A Final race. She will back in action competing for a medal on Thursday.