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Day 11 Olympic roundup: Race for the ages, Biles' return, hard-partying Aussies

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There's a whole lot going on every day at the Tokyo Olympics. Here, we'll keep you up-to-date with everything you need to know.

Olympic story of the day: A race for the ages

Imagine running a race faster than any human on Earth, anyone that's ever existed in all of human history ... except for the competitor in the lane next to you. Team USA's Rai Benjamin posted a world-record 46.17 in the 400-meter hurdles, obliterating the previous best of 46.70 ... but Norway's Karsten Warholm ran even faster, finishing in 45.94 seconds. The third-place finisher, Alison dos Santos of Brazil, clocked in at 46.72 seconds. It was one of the greatest races in Olympic history, and Shalise Manza Young has all the details.

"In a sport where improvement is so often measured in such small increments — tenths of a second, hundredths of a second, centimeters — seeing a world record at the 400m distance lowered by three-quarters of a second is gobsmacking," Young writes. "Consider: In the men's flat 400m opening round on Sunday, 17 of the 47 competitors ran slower than Warholm did, and he had 10 barriers in his path."

Read the full story.

Karsten Warholm of Norway and Alison dos Santos of Brazil. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Karsten Warholm of Norway and Alison dos Santos of Brazil. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Simone Biles

She was on — or above — the four-inch-wide beam for all of 68 seconds. But in that time, Simone Biles rewrote her Olympic legacy and, perhaps, her own personal story. After withdrawing from the all-around team event and three of four individual gymnastics events for mental health reasons, Biles decided to push through and compete on the balance beam. She won a bronze medal, but more importantly, she fought back against her own internal doubts and waves of critics, and in so doing, she got to finish out the Olympics on her own terms. 

The long-jump GOAT calls it a career

Team USA long jumper Brittney Reese is bringing down the curtain on her decorated career at this Olympic Games. She hasn't drawn the acclaim she's deserved as a gold medal winner, but that's largely because there's more of a focus on "track" than "field" in coverage of athletics. Still, as Shalise Manza Young writes, Reese's résumé stands up to the greatest American athletes in history.

"Eleven world medals, all from one individual event," Young writes. "The only person that comes close in terms of sheer volume is the great Carl Lewis, who won four Olympic and three World Championship golds in long jump."

Read the full story

Kevin Durant's time has come

Team USA's men's basketball team is struggling. But it doesn't have to be that way. Kevin Durant has the opportunity now to put this team on his shoulders and lead it to a redemptive gold. Can he do it? Of course he can. As Dan Wetzel writes, he was made for this.

"Durant is a basketball mercenary in all the best ways. He’s spent his life looking for the next chance, the next place where he could improve himself," Wetzel writes. "He’s adaptable. Give him a team, give him a gym, give him a ball and he makes it work. Here at an Olympics where USA Basketball has been relegated to an AAU squad cobbled together for the Peach Jam, there could be no better lead."

Read the full story.

IOC investigating whether pins count as politics

Bao Shanju and Zhong Tianshi won cycling gold on Monday. At their medal ceremony, they were photographed with red pins depicting former Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong attached to their warmup jackets. The International Olympic Committee is “looking into” whether the pins are a violation of bans on political demonstration at the Games. The IOC has loosened its rule somewhat in recent weeks, permitting forms of non-disruptive demonstration, but held firm that the medal podium was no place for political statements. 

Hard-partying Aussies

Look, the Olympics can be a stressful experience, so no one can blame the athletes for wanting to blow off some steam. But some Australian rugby players and rowers took things a little far, crushing cardboard beds, putting holes in walls and puking all over the place ... oh, and losing their mascots too. 

"It is a book as old as time," Australian Olympics chief Ian Chesterman said. "A good young person makes a mistake. Chapter 2 is a good, young person is full of remorse. Chapter 3 is a good young person learns from the mistake and becomes a better person." Minus their security deposit, of course. 

Photo of the day

(Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images)
(Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images)

Like a parent trying to keep their kids from eating all the cookies, Iran's Mohammadreza Geraei (right) has a hold on Colombia's Julian Stiven Horta Acevedo in their men's greco-roman 67kg wrestling match. 

GIF of the day

(TeamUSA / Twitter)
(TeamUSA / Twitter)

Karsten Warholm of Norway is overcome by the gravity of the moment, but watch bronze medalist Alison dos Santos of Brazil in the background. Wait for it ...

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com.

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