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Refugee Olympic Team's Kimia Alizadeh celebrates after winning her Women's -57KG Round of 16 match against Great Britain's Jade Jones at Makuhari Messe Hall at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan Sunday. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images

Kimia Alizadeh narrowly missed winning the Refugee Olympic Team's first Games medal, in the bronze match — hours after defeating a two-time Olympic gold medalist and also the favorite to win the 57-kilogram taekwondo division Sunday.

The big picture: Alizadeh, Iran's Rio Games bronze medalist who defected to Germany last year, defeated Iranian friend Nahid Kiyani 18-9, then Great Britain's Jade Jones 16-12 and then contest favorite Zhou Lijun, of China, 9-8.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • Alizadeh was seen hugging Kiani's coach after their match.
  • Her 10-3 semi-final loss to Russian Tatiana Minina set her up for a bronze medal match later in the evening. But she lost 6-8 to Turkey's Hatice Kubra Ilgun.

Flashback: Alizadeh criticized Iran's government in a 2020 Instagram post announcing her defection.

  • "They took me wherever they wanted. I wore whatever they said," she wrote in Farsi, per a translation by the New York Times.
  • "Every sentence they ordered me to say, I repeated. Whenever they saw fit, they exploited me."

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of Alizadeh's loss to Minina and to include her comment announcing her decision to leave Iran. The article has been corrected to note that Alizadeh's Instagram post was written in Farsi.

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American Jennifer Valente wins final women's cycling gold of Tokyo Games

Team USA's Jennifer Valente with a U.S. flag after winning the women's track cycling omnium points race during the Tokyo Olympic Games at Izu Velodrome in Izu, Japan, on Sunday. It was cycling's final gold medal available. Photo: Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

Team USA's Jennifer Valente won the Olympic gold medal in the women's cycling omnium event on Sunday.

The big picture: Japan's Yumi Kajihara won silver and the Netherlands' Kirsten Wild took bronze. It was Valente's second Tokyo Games medal, after winning bronze Tuesday in the team pursuit.

Go deeper: Full Axios Olympics coverage

Biden's big bet backfires

Two key dealmakers — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) — leave a luncheon in the Capitol yesterday. Photo: Kent Nishimura/L.A. Times via Getty Images

President Biden bit off too much, too fast in trying to ram through what would be the largest social expansion in American history, top Democrats privately say.

Why it matters: At the time Biden proposed it, he had his mind set on a transformational accomplishment that would put him in the pantheon of FDR and JFK.

Biden sinks in swing districts

Photo: Biden speaks about wild fires and climate change in Sacramento on September 13, 2021. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/ AFP via Getty Images

Sudden doubts about President Biden's competence — on Afghanistan, immigration and COVID — are driving double-digit drops in his approval in private polling in swing House seats, The Cook Political Report's Amy Walter writes.

Why it matters: "[T]hese early mistakes go directly to the very rationale of his presidency; that it would be low drama and high competence."