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Day 2 of the track and field competitions featured one of the most exciting events of the Olympics.
In other action, U.S. swimmers Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky set their sights on more medals, the U.S. men return to the basketball court, and Team USA faced the Russian Olympic Committee in women's volleyball.
Women’s 100m Highlights a Big Day on the Track
Elaine Thompson-Herah broke Florence Joyner-Griffith's 1988 Olympic record Saturday in Japan to successfully defend her 100m title from the Rio Games, extending her nation's gold-medal streak to four straight in a Jamaican podium sweep.
Her time, 10.61, dethrones fellow countrywoman Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce for the designation of world's fastest woman alive. Fraser-Pryce, winner of the two Olympic golds prior to her compatriot's title defense, took silver for her seventh Games medal.
Shericka Jackson, the 2016 Olympic 400m bronze medalist, earned another to complete the country's first sweep of the event since 2008.
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.
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.
Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky Win Gold and Continue Team USA Dominance
Swimming events are drawing to a close soon, with Day 8 being the penultimate day for swimming competition in Tokyo. There was four more medals up for grabs: men’s 100m butterfly, women’s 200m backstroke, women’s 800m freestyle and the mixed 4x100m medley relay.
Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky highlighted another strong night for Team USA in swimming. In the first of Dressel's three Olympic swims on Friday, he won gold in the 100m butterfly with a time of 49.45 seconds, improving on his own world record. Meanwhile, Kristof Milak of Hungary took silver and Noe Ponti of Switzerland took bronze.
Caeleb Dressel had a busy night. The four-time gold medalist competed in three different races Friday night: men’s 100m butterfly final, men’s 50m freestyle semis, and the 4x100m mixed medley relay.
The mixed medley relay was the first ever mixed-gender swimming race in Olympic history. Dressel swam the butterfly leg in the finals of the 2019 Worlds and will also participate in the Olympic final as well. Regan Smith, Andrew Wilson, Tom Shields and Abbey Weitzeil swam for Team USA during the prelims.
Katie Ledecky added to her impressive collection of Olympic medals in the women’s 800m freestyle final. Ledecky is the defending Olympic champion in the race, winning gold in Rio and setting a new world record.
Kaite Ledecky won the 800m for the third straight time, giving her six individual gold medals in her career, the most of any female swimmer. Ledecky has 10 medals total but could add to her collection in the future.
“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.”
In the women's 200 backstroke, Australia's Kaylee McKeown won the gold medal to sweep the women's backstroke events in Tokyo. The United States' Rhyan White and Phoebe Bacon placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
In the inaugural mixed 4x100m medley relay, the Americans went with a lineup of Ryan Murphy (backstroke), Lydia Jacoby (breaststroke), Torri Huske (butterfly) and Dressel (freestyle). Although Murphy gave the U.S. a big lead in the first leg, the Americans fell behind as the race went on. Jacoby swam admirably despite her now-famous pink goggles falling off her face.
Great Britain won gold, while China took silver and Australia took bronze. Team USA finished fifth.
Kevin Durant Sets U.S. All-Time Scoring Record in Men's Basketball
Kevin Durant, a two-time gold medal winner, scored 23 points to lead the United States to a 119-84 win over the Czech Republic to close out pool play at the Tokyo Olympics.
Durant, participating in his third Olympic Games, entered Saturday's game needing six points to surpass Carmelo Anthony and his record of 336 points as the U.S. Men's Basketball all-time leading scorer. After a slow start for the U.S., during which the team fell behind by 10 points in the first quarter, Durant hit a shot that not only gave Team USA its first lead of the game at 34-33 but also made him the team’s top scorer of all-time.
The U.S. men’s basketball team came to Tokyo struggling to find a rhythm in exhibition play. Those struggles continued as they lost their opening matchup to France 83-76, snapping a 25-game Olympic win streak.
Team USA seemed to get back on track Wednesday night against Iran, winning by a score of 120-66 and earning their first win of the Tokyo Olympics.
Undefeated U.S. Women’s Volleyball Faces the 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.