Merrit Kennedy

Merrit Kennedy is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers a broad range of issues, from the latest developments out of the Middle East to science research news.

Kennedy joined NPR in Washington, D.C., in December 2015, after seven years living and working in Egypt. She started her journalism career at the beginning of the Egyptian uprising in 2011 and chronicled the ousting of two presidents, eight rounds of elections, and numerous major outbreaks of violence for NPR and other news outlets. She has also worked as a reporter and television producer in Cairo for The Associated Press, covering Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and Sudan.

She grew up in Los Angeles, the Middle East, and places in between, and holds a bachelor's degree in international relations from Stanford University and a master's degree in international human rights law from The American University in Cairo.

When U.S. shot putter Raven Saunders is competing, she calls herself the "Hulk." It's the alter ego that bursts onto the field to fight for championships.

Saunders — with the help of her "Hulk" persona — took silver in the women's shot put final at the Tokyo Summer Olympics. She hurled the heavy ball 19.79 meters, or nearly 65 feet. It's the third medal ever for the U.S. in the women's event and it's Saunders' first.

U.S. superstar gymnast Simone Biles has pulled out of the individual final in the floor exercise, leaving one event in which she might still compete at the Tokyo Olympics.

"Simone has withdrawn from the event final for floor and will make a decision on beam later this week," USA Gymnastics said. "Either way, we're all behind you, Simone."

TOKYO — U.S. star sprinter Caeleb Dressel is on a hot streak. He added two gold medals to his haul from the Tokyo Olympics, departing the Games with five golds.

Dressel and his teammates Ryan Murphy, Michael Andrew and Zach Apple set a world record in the 4x100 meter medley relay.

Earlier today, Dressel touched the wall first in the 50 meter freestyle, setting an Olympic record in the shortest and fastest swimming distance with a time of 21.07.

Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica is officially the fastest woman in the world — again — after winning the 100 meters at the Tokyo Games in Olympic record time. She was the defending gold medalist in this event.

"I knew I had it in me, but obviously, I've had my ups and downs with injuries," she said Saturday, referring to a persistent ailment in 2018 and 2019. "I've been keeping faith all this time. It is amazing."

U.S. star swimmer Caeleb Dressel has beaten his own world record in the 100- meter butterfly at the Tokyo Olympics.

The 24-year-old led for the entire two-lap sprint and clocked it in 49.45 seconds. After winning, he celebrated with his closest competitor, Kristof Milak from Hungary.

"It was faster than I thought it was going to be," Dressel said. "I'm sure it was really fun to watch for everybody, it was certainly fun to take part in."

Dressel also took gold in the 100 meter freestyle earlier this week.

Pages