Tokyo Today: Team USA Bounces Back Against Iran, Women's 3x3 Wins Gold


Bam Adebayo

Photo: Getty Images

It may be hard to believe, but eight days have passed since the Olympic softball and women's soccer tournaments kicked off in Tokyo, Japan. Since then, there have been surprising schedule changes, stunning upsets, typhoon warnings and record-setting performances. Simply put, everything that experts didn't expect to happen during the 2021 Summer Olympic Games. As a result, fans are only more intrigued about what is going to happen as the weekend nears, track & field begins and 5x5 basketball heats up. Not to mention, Team USA is hoping to keep its undefeated streak going in men's boxing. Without further adieu, here's everything that went down on Tuesday and what fans can expect on Wednesday.

Highlights

Kevin Durant

Photo: Getty Images

Heavy is the head that wears the crown. After eight days of Olympic competition, Team USA has earned 31 medals, the most of any competing country. With that said, the red, white and blue is trailing in the race to earn the most gold medal. Japan has earned 13 gold medals, China has won 12 gold medals and Russia has brought home seven gold medals while the U.S. sits at third with 11 gold medals. In the coming days, America hopes to inch ahead in the gold medal race as well. Performances from Duke Ragan, Kevin Durant and Katie Ledecky on Tuesday definitely pushed the nation closer to gaining the lead in that particular race.

  • The taste of victory is sweet! After falling to France earlier this week, Team USA bounced back with a dominating 54-point win against Iran. Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and company will look to keep this momentum going as they square off against Czech Republic in 72 hours.
  • Can you say 5-0? Yes, Team USA remained undefeated in men's boxing after Duke Ragan of Ohio earned a unanimous decision victory against Serik Temirzhanov on Tuesday evening. Ragan is now three wins away from earning a gold medal, something no men's boxer from America has done in 17 years.
  • Simone Biles stands tall. After stepping away from team competition on Tuesday, Biles made the tough decision to withdraw from individual competition on Wednesday. No, the mental, emotional and physical pain that Biles has endured over the last few years is nothing to be excited about or celebrate. However, the strength that it takes to stand up, speak out and do what is best for her mental health on the world's biggest stage is nothing short of extraordinary. Above all else, it gives others the strength to do what is best for themselves and their health moving forward.
  • Gold, gold, gold! In the inaugural women's 3x3 basketball tournament, Team USA has brought home the gold after taking down Russia by three points in the championship game.

Lowlights

Naomi Graham

Photo: Getty Images

There's a lot to celebrate in Tokyo, Japan. From Hidilyn Diaz making Filipino history to Simone Biles cheering on her teammates like a proud Mom, there has been a lot to make us smile and laugh. Unfortunately, things don't always go to plan and sometimes heartbreak sets in. However, it is always important to remember that every athlete participating in the 2021 Summer Olympic Games fought through incredible challenges and setbacks to get to this point. In itself, the feat of simply qualifying for the Olympics should always be celebrated.

  • Naomi Graham's Olympic run comes to an end. Team USA has shot out to a record of 5-0 in men's boxing, but women's boxing was not far behind. With an overall record of 4-1, Team USA hopes to bring home a gold medal in women's boxing as well. Unfortunately, Graham will not be the one to do it. She fell to Zenfira Magomedalieva of Russia in the Round of 16. Medal or not, this U.S. Army Sergeant should walk away with her head held high.
  • Another winning streak bites the dust. During the 2021 Summer Olympic Games, a number of winning streaks have come to an end. Most notably, Team USA lost its first men's basketball game since 2004. In addition, the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team lost its first match since 2019 to start the Tokyo Olympics. Now, Team USA has lost its first women's water polo match in 15 tries. Fortunately, Ashleigh Johnson and company have already qualified for the quarterfinals and still have a shot to win gold.
  • No medal for Team USA in the men's 4x200 freestyle relay. For the first time since 2000, Team USA has failed to win gold in this event after finishing a full four seconds behind Team Great Britain.

Beyond Team USA

Tokyo Olympics

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Team USA wasn't the only team making headlines on Tuesday.

  • Why would you even say that? German Cycling Federation Director Patrick Moster was forced to apologize after he referred to cyclists from Algeria and Ethiopia as "camel drivers" during competition. "I am appalled by what happened in today's Olympic road time trial," Olympian Nicolas Arndt said about his coach.
  • Not so fast! Jamaican-born sprinter Alex Wilson was set to represent Switzerland in the 2021 Summer Olympic Games, but his dreams were cut down just days before the start of the 100-meter trials. Wilson has been removed from the Olympic field after testing positive for the banned steroid trenbolone in an out-of-competition test in March.
  • Nigeria falls again. After getting of to a great start in exhibition play earlier this month, Nigeria has dropped its first two games in Olympic play and will not compete for a medal this summer.

Everything Happening Around The Olympics

Basketball

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Every four years, the Olympics do a great job taking our minds off of the world's ills and everything going on around us. However, this Olympics feels a bit different than those of years past. From an uprising in Cuba to a global pandemic, there is so much going on in the world that makes it impossible for anyone to just "stick to sports" over the next two weeks.

  • Another day, another record. For the second straight day, Tokyo has recorded more new COVID-19 cases than it has ever done before. On Wednesday, the megacity reported that 3,177 more people have tested positive for COVID-19. As outbreaks continue to occur in Japan and the rest of the world, it is important to remember that the pandemic is not over.
  • Olympic skateboard says the lack of fresh air provided to athletes is "inhuman." Dutch skateboarder Candy Jacobs was forced to remain in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19. While under health and safety protocols, Jacobs said she was not able to open her window or access fresh air. “Not having any outside air is so inhuman,” Jacobs said.
  • Alen Hadzic's Olympic run comes to a close. Yesterday, Team USA was knocked out of the men's team saber competition, but the majority of media attention was paid to an athlete that did not even compete. Two months prior to the start of Olympic competition, Hadzic was accused of sexual misconduct by six different women. Instead of preventing Hadzic from traveling to Tokyo, USA Fencing put together a "safety plan" that required Hadzic to take separate flights, stay in different hotels and barred him from practicing with women.

What To Watch Today

Troy Isley

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If you've been staying up late to watch some key Team USA events, tonight may be the night to get some rest. Wednesday will be a bit calmer than previous days, but things will pick up as the weekend gets going.

  • Boxing - Troy Isley, Ginny Fuchs, Richard Torrez: Team USA will look to extend its unbeaten streak in men's boxing to 7-0 on Wednesday with wins from Tory Isley and Rochard Torrez Jr. Ginny Fuchs will look to advance to the quarterfinals of the women's flyweight division. The action begins at 4 a.m. ET on July 29.
  • Women's Gymnastics - All-Around: Simone Biles will be up and cheering, so should you. Suni Lee and Jade Carey will push through as they hope to bring home gold in the women's all-around gymnastics final. The competition begins at 6:50 a.m. ET

FAQs

Tokyo Olympics

Photo: Getty Images

Q: Where can I find a schedule of events?

A: Here is a running schedule of events

Q: How can I watch Olympic events?

A: NBC is broadcasting the 2021 Summer Olympic Games. Visit their website for more information.

Q: When will track and field events begin?

A: Olympic track and field events will begin on July 29.

Q: When does the men's basketball team play again?

A: Team USA will play Iran on July 28 at 12:40 a.m. ET.

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