6 to Watch

6 to Watch: Team USA Women's Basketball, Volleyball and Olympics Closing Ceremony

Here are our 6 things to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

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Saturday was day 16 of the Tokyo Olympics - and as the games come to an end, the stakes were high for many athletes still hoping to bring home the gold. Here's a look at some of the top picks of the day.

Team USA aimed for its seventh consecutive gold medal in women's basketball as women's volleyball won its first ever gold medal against Brazil.

Here are the 6 things to watch at the Tokyo Olympics.

1. Team USA Women's Basketball Secures 7th Straight Gold Medal, Defeating Japan

The U.S. women’s basketball team won its seventh straight gold medal on Saturday night, matching a record set by the U.S. men between 1936 and 1968. The final score over Japan was 90-75.

Brittney Griner took over the game much the way Kevin Durant did for the U.S. men on Friday night. She had 30 points on 14-of-18 shooting. A’ja Wilson, winning a gold medal on her 25th birthday, added 19 points, while Breanna Stewart had a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds.

Even on a team with many Olympic veterans, six of the players were not alive the last time the U.S. didn’t win gold, when they took home bronze from Barcelona in 1992. Meanwhile, Team USA’s most experienced players, Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, made history by becoming the first Olympic basketball players – male or female – to win five gold medals.

“It’s 20 years of sacrifice, putting everything aside and just wanting to win,” said Taurasi after the game. “This group found a way to win.” “It’s not just about us,” Bird said, referencing all of the players who contributed to the U.S. streak.

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Diana Taurasi of USA during the Women's Semifinal Basketball game between United States and Serbia on day fourteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Saitama Super Arena on August 6, 2021 in Saitama, Japan (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

2. U.S. Women's Volleyball Team Wins First Olympic Gold Medal

A spike by Jordan Larson gave the U.S. women's volleyball team its first ever gold medal.

Team USA defeated Brazil in straight sets, winning 25-21, 25-20, 25-14 to take gold.

Andrea Drews had a team-high 15 points, Michelle Bartsch-Hackley added 14 and Larson finished with 12.

The win also put the United States in front of China in the gold medal count at the Tokyo Olympics, giving the U.S. 39 to China's 38. 

The Women's Indoor Volleyball team celebrates after defeating Bosnia in the semifinals this week.

3. Eliud Kipchoge Wins Back-to-Back Golds in Men's Marathon, Team USA's Galen Rupp Finishes Eighth

Eliud Kipchoge made marathon history by winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics, cruising to a time of 2:08:38. He is one of just three men to win back-to-back gold medals in the men's Olympic marathon.

The Kenyan holds the current world record (2:01:39) and became the first runner to ever record a sub-two hour marathon in a non-competition race. Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands claimed silver with a time of 2:09:58 and Belgium's Bashir Abdi won bronze.

Team USA's Galen Rupp finished eighth with a time of 2:11:41, despite being an American favorite to medal at Tokyo. Rupp returned for his fourth Olympic Games but only his second as a marathoner.

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrates after winning the Men's Marathon Final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Sapporo on Aug. 8, 2021.
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Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrates after winning the Men's Marathon Final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Sapporo, Japan on Aug. 8, 2021.

4. USA's Torrez Jr. Gets Silver in Super Heavyweight Boxing

United States boxer Richard Torrez Jr. earned silver after falling to Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov 5-0 in the super heavyweight gold medal bout.

Torrez had a chance to win the first U.S. gold medal for Team USA since Andre Ward won silver in Athens in 2004 and be Team USA's first super heavyweight champ since 1984.

The United States has now completed its competitive events at the Tokyo Olympics.

U.S. Boxer Davis Takes Silver in Men's Lightweight

American boxer Keyshawn Davis took silver after falling to Cuban boxer Andy Cruz 4-1 in the men's lightweight gold medal match on Saturday.

Davis' run to the match included a knockout of No. 1 seed Sofaine Oumiha of France in the preliminary round and a win over Hovhannes Bachkov of Armenia in the semifinal match.

USA's Richard Torrez Jr (red) and Kazakhstan's Kamshybek Kunkabayev compete during their men's super heavy (over 91kg) semi-final boxing match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
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TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 5: USA's Richard Torrez Jr (red) and Kazakhstan's Kamshybek Kunkabayev compete during their men's super heavy (over 91kg) semi-final boxing match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo on August 4, 2021. (Photo by Elif Ozturk Ozgoncu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

5. Bulgaria Upsets ROC in Group Rhythmic Gymnastics Final

Bulgaria, the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, upset the gold medal favorite Russian Olympic Committee to win the group all-around rhythmic gymnastics title at the Tokyo Olympics. 

Bulgaria led the field with its five balls performance in the first rotation, scoring a 47.550. The nation followed that up with a 44.550 in its hoops and clubs routine for a 92.100 overall.

ROC, competing last, needed higher than a 45.900 in its hoops and clubs routine to overtake Bulgaria for the win, but only needed above a 41.500 for silver. After scoring a 46.200 in Rotation 1, ROC ended up with a 44.200 in Rotation 2 to move into the No. 2 spot with a 90.700 overall.

The ROC initially scored a 44.200 in Rotation 2 and submitted and inquiry to have its scored reviewed, but it wasn't enough to change the podium standings.

6. Tokyo Olympics conclude with 2021 Closing Ceremony 

Ralph Lauren, the fashion brand that has been the official outfitter for Team USA since 2008, has released images of the closing ceremony uniform to be worn by the United State Olympic and Paralympic teams at the Tokyo Olympics.

All things must end and the Tokyo Olympics is no different. The two-week global competition, which was played under unprecedented circumstances and limitations due the COVID-19 pandemic, will come to its natural conclusion on Sunday evening in Japan. 

The Tokyo Olympics saw American swimmers Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel dominate in the water, as well as gymnasts Suni Lee and Mykayla Skinner step up to the mat for Simone Biles. And that was just the first week.

During the second week in Tokyo, the United States was equally busy -- collecting gold medals in men’s basketball, water polo, golf and the women’s 800m race. As of Saturday morning, Team USA was over the 100-medal threshold for Tokyo -- the most medals of any nation competing at this year’s Summer Games -- and sat just four gold medals behind China. 

Naomi Osaka of Team Japan carries the Olympic torch to the Olympic cauldron during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on July 23, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
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Naomi Osaka of Team Japan carries the Olympic torch to the Olympic cauldron during the Opening Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on July 23, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
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