Great Britain’s Lizzie Bird ’17 competes Aug. 1 in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase heats on the ninth day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan.
Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Julia Ratcliffe ’16 and Lizzie Bird ’17 are headed to their respective finals in Tokyo

As the Tokyo Games entered their final week, a pair of women’s track and field alums headlined Princeton’s Olympic contingent by reaching the finals in their respective events. Julia Ratcliffe ’16, a hammer thrower for New Zealand, placed fourth in her qualification group with a toss of 73.20 meters — 0.35 meters shy of her personal best. The hammer throw final will begin Aug. 3 at 7:35 a.m. Eastern. Great Britain’s Lizzie Bird ’17 ran the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:24.34, placing fifth in her heat and earning one of 16 spots in the final, which will be run Aug. 4 at 7 a.m. Eastern. 

United States women’s water polo goalie Ashleigh Johnson ’17 is chasing her second Olympic gold after leading the American defense at the Rio Games five years ago. This year, the U.S. endured a rare defeat, 10-9 vs. Hungary in the preliminaries, but still won its group with a 3-1 record. Johnson has averaged 11.75 saves and allowed 6.5 goals per game. The United States faces Canada in the quarterfinals Aug. 3 at 1 a.m. Eastern.

Check out PAW’s list of Tiger Olympians

Last week, Princeton rowers earned the University’s first medals of this year’s Olympics. Denmark’s Fred Vystavel ’16 and partner Joachim Sutton captured bronze in the coxless men’s pair on June 28. Tom George ’18 of Great Britain also won bronze, in the men’s eight July 29. Fellow alumni Nick Mead ’17 of the United States and Tim Masters ’15 of Australia raced in the men’s eight final as well, finishing fourth and sixth, respectively.

Three-time U.S. Olympian Gevvie Stone ’07, a silver medalist in Rio, and partner Kristi Wagner placed fifth in the women’s double sculls July 27.  Two other rowing alumnae — Hannah Scott ’21 of Great Britain’s quadruple sculls and Claire Collins ’19 of the U.S. four — won the B finals of their events, placing seventh overall.

In fencing, undergraduate Mohamed Hamza ’23 of Egypt had Princeton’s best individual result, reaching the quarterfinals of the men’s foil competition. Kat Holmes ’17 and Anna Van Brummen ’17 helped the United States place fifth in the women’s epee team event, while Eliza Stone ’13 and the U.S. women’s team finished sixth in the saber.