tokyo olympics

6 to Watch: Track Star Allyson Felix, Battle for Beach Volleyball Gold and More

Here are our 6 things to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

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Thursday marks day 14 of the Tokyo Olympics - and the stakes are rising for Team USA in the medal hunt. Here's a look at some of the top picks of what and how to watch.

One of the best to ever run for Team USA in track and field, Allyson Felix, will look to add to her impressive resume of medals while the USA women's basketball team aims to continue their winning streak dating back to before some members of this year's squad were even born.

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

1. Allyson Felix leads stacked track and field action

Allyson Felix is the most decorated woman in Olympic track and field history.

The stars will be under the bright lights of Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium on Friday. 

The session, which begins at 6:50 a.m. ET, features six intriguing finals: women’s javelin throw, men’s 5000m, women’s 400m, women’s 1500m, women’s 4x100m relay and the men’s 4x100m relay.

Allyson Felix is making her fifth Olympic appearance in Tokyo and is hoping to add to her historic medal totals. She won silver in the women’s 400m in Rio and among the medal contenders in the event once again.

Team USA was represented on the men’s 100m podium with Fred Kerley winning silver, while Ronnie Baker placed fifth in the final. Trayvon Brommell, Micah Williams and Cravon Gillepsie will also look to help Team USA reclaim a podium finish.

The Jamaican women went a level above the American men in the 100m, sweeping the podium. Still, the American women come into the 4x100m final as the two-time defending Olympic champions and set the record at the 2012 London Games

Maggie Malone is the United States’ lone competitor in the women’s javelin final after she posted the second-best overall result in qualifying, trailing only Poland’s Maria Andrejczyk. Malone is making her second Olympic appearance and attempting to become the first American woman to medal in the event since 1976.

Paul Chelimo, who posted the second-fastest overall time in the men’s 5000m heats, will be joined by fellow American William Kincaid in the final, while there are no American racers in the women’s 1500m final.

Allyson Felix, of United States races in a women's 400-meter heat at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
AP Photo/Martin Meissner
Allyson Felix, of United States races in a women's 400-meter heat at the 2020 Olympics, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.

2. US Women's Basketball Beats Serbia, Will Play for Gold

U.S. women’s basketball advanced to the gold medal game after defeating Serbia 79-59.

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.

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Marianna Tolo of Team Australia drives to the basket against A'Ja Wilson of Team USA during a Women's Basketball Quarterfinals game.

3. April Ross, Alix Klineman win beach volleyball gold

April Ross and Alix Klineman won the gold medal in women’s beach volleyball at the Tokyo Olympics. It’s the third Olympic medal for Ross and first for Klineman.

The United States’ top women’s beach volleyball pair took down Australia’s Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy in straight sets in Thursday night's gold medal match. Ross and Klineman took the first set, 21-15, before sealing gold in the second set, 21-16.

The victory completes a perfect 7-0 run to the top of the podium for Ross and Klineman, as they became the second American pair to ever go undefeated at the Olympics. Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings accomplished the feat three times (2004, 2008, 2016).

Ross and Klineman rolled through the preliminary round, dropping just one set total across three matches. That dominance carried over to the knockout rounds, where they won all four of their matches in straight sets.

Ross, who won silver in 2012 and bronze in 2016, completed her Olympic collection with the elusive gold. In doing so, the 39-year-old topped former teammate Kerri Walsh Jennings’ record as the oldest woman to ever medal in Olympic beach volleyball. Klineman, 31, was making her Olympic debut.

Alix Klineman #2 of Team United States celebrates with April Ross #1 after defeating Team Switzerland during the Women's Semifinal beach volleyball on day thirteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Shiokaze Park on Aug. 5, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
Alix Klineman #2 of Team United States celebrates with April Ross #1 after defeating Team Switzerland during the Women's Semifinal beach volleyball on day thirteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Shiokaze Park on Aug. 5, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.

4. Brooke Raboutou looks to climb Olympic podium

Sport climbing will make its Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Games. To get familiar with the sport, Team USA climber Brooke Raboutou grabbed a bowl of Legos to explain what you will see when competition beings.

Brooke Raboutou has a chance to make history during the first ever Olympic women’s sport climbing final, which begins at 4:30 a.m. ET on Friday.

The 20-year-old climber placed fifth overall in Wednesday’s qualification at Tokyo’s Aomi Urban Sports Park. She finished 12th in speed, second in bouldering and eight in lead, totaling 192 points along the way.

Raboutou has some catching up to do if she wants to win an inaugural Olympic women’s sport climbing medal. Slovenia’s Janja Garnbret, South Korea’s Seo Chae-Hyun, Japan’s Miho Nonaka and Japan’s Akiyo Noguchi finished above her in qualifying. Nonaka, who placed third overall in qualifying, had half the points of Raboutou with 96, while Garnbret held the lead with 56.

The action begins with the speed final at 4:30 a.m. ET, transitions to the bouldering final at 5:30 a.m. ET and ends with the lead final at 8:10 a.m. ET. While the climbers take on three different disciplines, the medals will be awarded to the three highest finishers on the overall leaderboard.

Brooke Raboutou
Brooke Raboutou of the US competes in the women's Boulder competition semi-final of the IFSC Climbing World Cup in Innsbruck, Austria, on June 26, 2021.

5. Team USA Volleyball US Women's Volleyball Beats Serbia to Advance to Gold Medal Match

Team USA women’s volleyball gets revenge over Serbia in the semifinals and advances to the gold medal game.

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 Sunday at 12:30 a.m. ET.

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USA's Michelle Bartsch-Hackley (R) spikes the ball in the women's quarter-final volleyball match between USA and Dominican Republic during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on August 4, 2021. (Photo by YURI CORTEZ / AFP) (Photo by YURI CORTEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

6. Wrestling continues with USA men, women in action

American David Taylor beat Iran’s Hassan Yazdani on Thursday to win gold in the men’s freestyle 86kg event.

The United States was in action on the wrestling mat on both the men's and women's side Thursday.

For the women, Sarah Ann Hildebrandt defeated Turkey's Evin Demirhan and Bulgaria's Miglena Selishka to advance to the semifinals of the women's freestyle 50kg Friday morning. On the men's side, Kyle Snyder advanced to the semifinals of the men's freestyle 97kg where he will take on Turkey's Suleyman Karadeniz.

Earlier in the day, 2018 world champion David Taylor saved the biggest trick of his life for the last seconds of his gold medal bout at the Tokyo Olympics. Trailing 3-2 to defending champion and top seed Hassan Yazdanicharati of Iran, the first-time Olympian suddenly swept through his opponent for a big two points and the win.

Kyle Snyder
Getty Images
USA's Kyle Snyder celebrates after winning the men's freestyle wrestling -97kg category final at the FILA World Wrestling Championships in Paris on August 26, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / BENJAMIN CREMEL (Photo credit should read BENJAMIN CREMEL/AFP via Getty Images)
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