Chicago

Big Day on the Track, US Continues Pool Domination: What You Might Have Missed in Tokyo

Chicago

Some of the final swimming events saw big U.S. stars going for the their last shot at medals and it was a big day for track and field athletes in the Tokyo Olympics.

Here are five things you might have missed Friday night and Saturday morning.

Women’s 100m Highlights Big Day on the Track

The U.S. mixed 4x400m relay team of Trevor Stewart, Kendall Ellis, Kaylin Whitney and Vernon Norwood won bronze Sunday morning with a time of 3:10.22.

After an official’s error led to an exchange zone foul on the first handoff from Elijah Godwin to Lynna Irby led to a disqualification in the semifinal, the U.S. team appealed the result, won and were reinstated in time for Saturday’s final.

Allyson Felix, who competed on the U.S. world record 4×400 mixed relay team in 2019, did not participate in the relay in Tokyo.

Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson Herah cemented her legacy as one of the greatest sprinters of all-time Saturday morning.

Thompson Herah, crossed the finish line in 10.61 seconds, breaking Florence Griffith Joyner’s 33-year-old Olympic record in the process. Thompson Herah now holds the second-fastest time ever.

In the first track and field event of the evening, the American trio of Anna Cockrell, Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad advanced to the semifinals in the women’s 400m hurdles. Defending champion Muhammad closed out Heat 5 in first place, posting a time of 53.97, which is the fastest time of the evening.

Team USA’s Clayton Murphy and Bryce Hoppel advanced to the semifinals in the men’s 800m. Murphy finished first place in Heat 3 posting a time of 1:45.53 where he took a commanding lead in the final seconds. Hoppel closed out Heat 6 posting a qualifying time of 1:45.64.

 

In the women’s 100m hurdles, Team USA’s Keni Harrison, Gabriele Cunningham and Christina Clemons all advanced to the semifinals. Cunningham qualified first posting a time of 12.83 in Heat 1. Harrison finished in first place in Heat 2 with a time of 12.74, and Clemons was the last member of Team USA to qualify posting a time of 12.91 in Heat 4.

American Valarie Allman is the only member of Team USA to advance to the women’s discus throw final. Allman advanced to the final posting a distance of 66.42 on her first attempt in Group B. She not only beat the qualifying distance of 64 meters, but beat everyone who threw before her. The final will take place on Monday at 7 a.m. ET.

Team USA’s Chris Nilsen and KC Lightfoot have advanced to the men’s pole vault final. Both Lightfoot and Nilsen cleared clearing distances of 5.75 meters to qualify for the top 12. Matthew Ludwig – who arrived in Tokyo nearly 20 hours before his heat to replace Sam Kendricks due to Kendricks testing positive for COVID-19 – cleared 5.5m in Group B but was unable to make the final 12.

Caeleb Dressel, Katie Ledecky Each Win Another Gold on Swimming Day 8

In the first of Caeleb Dressel’s three Olympic swims on Friday, he won gold in the 100m butterfly, improving on his own world record time. Meanwhile, Kristof Milak of Hungary took silver and Noe Ponti of Switzerland took bronze. Dressel later finished first in his semifinal of the 50m freestyle to advance to tomorrow night’s final.

Katie Ledecky of the United States won gold in the 800m freestyle, while Ariarne Titmus of Australia took silver and Simona Quadarella of Italy took bronze.

Ledecky won her second gold medal of these Games and sixth individual gold overall, the most of any female swimmer. She had been tied with Hungarian great Krisztina Egerszegi.

“That was not my last swim,” she said after the race, in regard to further Olympics. “I’m at least going to ’24, maybe to ’28, we’ll see. I just knew it was my last swim here.”

Kevin Durant Becomes U.S. Men’s Basketball Team’s All-Time Leading Scorer

Kevin Durant has now scored more points than any other U.S. men’s basketball player.

Durant entered Saturday’s game against Czech Republic needing six points to surpass Carmelo Anthony and his record of 336 points. He hit an early pull-up 3 and soon followed with a midrange jumper to tie Anthony.

Durant broke the record when he drained a 3 with 6:19 remaining in the half to give him 339 career points — and counting — over three Olympic games.

HOW TO WATCH: Watch on Peacock or stream live here.

Team USA Women’s Volleyball No Longer Undefeated in Tokyo After Loss to ROC

Team USA was unable to remain perfect in pool play, losing to the Russian Olympic Committee in three sets. The loss is disappointing, but with three wins in pool play, the United States is already assured a sport in the quarterfinals.

 

The defeat wasn’t the only loss for Team USA — superstar Jordan Thompson left with an apparent injury. Thompson landed hard on her ankle from a block early in the second frame and was immediately removed from the game. She was evaluated on the sidelines through the remainder of the second set, but left the court when it concluded.

The U.S. is on a quest to win Olympic gold in Tokyo, something the program hasn’t done in the 57 years that volleyball has been featured at the Games. In fact, no other country has won more women’s volleyball Olympic medals — three silver and two bronze — without taking home a gold.

Hannah Roberts Ends First Round of BMX Freestyle With Top Score

Hannah Roberts started off with a bang as she made her Olympic debut in the first-ever BMX freestyle event and now heads into the finals as the top scorer.

The 19-year-old South Bend, Indiana native competed in the women’s seeding for the new Olympic sport, where she had the highest score.

Roberts finished her first run with a score of 89.80, the highest of any run Friday night. She then completed her second round with a score of 85.60, leaving her with an average of 87.70 – the highest of the night.

Freestyle BMX riders are scored on execution and difficulty of their tricks. The top-scoring rider will compete last in the final for the event.

Roberts began competing when she was 12 years old. In 2017, she became the first-ever BMX Freestyle World Champion at the inaugural World Championships in China. 

This year, Roberts earned her third world title in the women’s BMX park World Championship in France.

Illinois and Wisconsin Sailing Duo Rounds Out Final Races Before Medal Rounds

Wilmette’s Maggie Shea and East Troy, Wisconsin’s Stephanie Roble looked to up their standings in the women’s 49er fx sailing event before the medal race.

The pair have now completed 12 races in the lead-up to the medal event.

In their most recent rounds, they finished 14th and fifth but were disqualified from their 12th and final race.

The medal race is set to take place Sunday evening.

How 2 Olympic Sailors Went From Competitors to Teammates in the Same Boat