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Rhythmic Gymnastics, Big Semifinal Matchups and More: What You May Have Missed in Tokyo

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Team USA women's volleyball
Team USA women's volleyball

It was a night of medals and semifinal contests for Team USA.

The U.S. women’s basketball and volleyball teams both earned their spot in a gold medal game.

And Midwest wrestling star Gable Steveson won his first Olympic medal while suburban rhythmic gymnasts fell just short in their quests for gold.

Here are five things you may have missed Thursday night and Friday morning

US Women’s Basketball Beats Serbia, Will Play for Gold

The U.S. women’s basketball team is one win away from a seventh straight gold medal.

After a 79-59 win over Serbia in the semifinals, Team USA advances to face the winner of Japan and China in the final on Saturday at 10:30 p.m. ET. The team will look to tie the U.S. men’s basketball team’s record for most consecutive gold medals in a team sport.

The U.S., which won its 54th straight game, held Serbia to 30 percent shooting in a strong defensive performance.

Brittney Griner finished with 15 points and nine rebounds and Chelsea Gray added 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting to lead the United States.

Allyson Felix Becomes Most Decorated Track and Field Athlete

Allyson Felix earned the title of most decorated female Olympian in track and field history Friday morning, winning her 10th Olympic medal in the Women’s 400m final.

Felix crossed the finish line in 49.46 seconds. Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas won gold (48.36 seconds), while Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic won the silver medal (49.20 seconds).

The 35-year-old mother passed Jamaica’s Merlene Ottey, who won nine Olympic medals (six golds and three silvers) and tied Carl Lewis for most track and field medals by an American.

 

Felix’s bronze highlighted a three-medal day for the Americans on the track. Paul Chelimo started the day with a bronze medal in the men’s 5000m, finishing behind Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei and Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed. The Americans added a silver in the 4x100m relay, when the team of Javianne Oliver, Teahna Daniels, Jenna Prandini and Gabrielle Thomas finished second to Jamaica.

US Women’s Volleyball Beats Serbia to Advance to Gold Medal Match

The United States women’s indoor volleyball team will play in the gold medal match after a semifinal win over Serbia early Friday morning.

Team USA beat Serbia in straight sets, winning the first frame 25-19, the second 25-15 and the third 25-23.

The U.S. will face the winner of Brazil-Korea’s semifinal game in the gold medal match on Saturday at 11:40 p.m. CT.

USA’s Gable Steveson Comes From Behind in Final Seconds to Win Wrestling Gold

American wrestler Gable Steveson was seconds away form losing to Georgia’s Geno Petriashvili. But a literal last-second push saw Steveson secure a two-point takedown as the clock ticked down to zero to come from behind and win the gold.

Steveson won his semifinal match against Lkhagvagerel Munkhtur of Mongolia 5-0 to advance to the final of the men’s freestyle 125kg wrestling event.

Olympic Wrestler Gable Steveson Will Only Do His Signature Move in Tokyo If 1 Thing Happens

2 suburban Chicago gymnasts fall short of qualifying for final in rhythmic gymnastics

Orland Parks’ Evita Griskenas and Libertyville’s Laura Zeng fell just short of advancing in their quest for an Olympic medal in individual rhythmic gymnastics.

Part of a large contingent of suburban Chicago rhythmic gymnasts in Tokyo, the pair were the only two from the area competing in the individual event.

Griskenas scored 91.700 to earn 12th place while Zeng scored 91.400 to land in 13th.

The top 10 finishers in prelims advance to the final while the next four are reserves, meaning Griskenas and Zeng could potentially make it in if multiple finalists were to withdraw.

Evita Griskenas Hopes to Bring Childhood Drawings to Life in Tokyo

“It feels thrilling, but also in a way, full of responsibility because now I’m not only responsible to myself and my family and, you know, my coaches and stuff, but also to my country and to represent rhythmic gymnastics like from USA is a really big deal to me and I want to do the best that I can do when I perform,” Griskenas said.

Griskenas described rhythmic gymnastics as a combination of “gracefulness and elegance” mixed with “lots of strength.”

“There’s lots of cross training that’s involved that incorporates ballet technique and dance, as well as, again, lots of like strength training and conditioning,” she said.