tokyo olympics

6 to Watch: USA Women Volleyball in Action, Lee Wins Gold in Gymnastics All-Around and More

Here are our 6 things to watch at the Tokyo Olympics

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It's day six of the Tokyo Olympics - and with it comes some interesting storylines for athletes on Team USA.

USA Gymnastics will be competing in one of the major team events without arguably the best gymnast of all time and Florida native Caeleb Dressel will be celebrating another gold.

Here are our 6 things to watch at the Tokyo Olympics:

1. Suni Lee Golden in Women's Gymnastics All-Around

Political correspondent Steve Kornacki and his team are using numbers to contextualize certain events and predict future outcomes. According to Kornacki, “if you look at some of the history, [Suni Lee] has a real chance at the gold medal.”

Lee delivered a dominant floor routine, scoring 13.700 and winning gold in the women's all-around.

For the fifth straight Olympic Games, an American woman is crowned queen of the all-around.

Brazil's Rebeca Andrade came in second after stepping out of bounds twice in her floor routine. ROC's Melnikova rounds out the podium in third.

Suni Lee competes on the uneven bars
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
Suni Lee competes on the uneven bars during the women's U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials Friday, June 25, 2021, in St. Louis.

2. Caeleb Dressel Sets Olympic Record to Win Gold in Men's 100m Freestyle Final

Caeleb Dressel won his first solo Olympic medal after finishing first in the men's 100m freestyle final on Wednesday, setting an Olympic record to do so.

An emotional Dressel cried during the post-race interview: “I don’t know if it’s set in yet. Right now, I’m just kind of hurting. It’s a really tough year, it’s really hard, so to have the results show up, it really came together, so I’m happy.”

American swimmer Bobby Finke took home a gold medal with an amazing late surge in the first-ever Olympic men's 800m freestyle final.

Finke, competing in his first Olympics, was fourth at 750 meters and passed Italy's Gregorio Paltrinieri, who had held the lead through most of the race. "I just really wanted to get my hand on the wall," Finke said. "I’m just so happy I was able to switch into another gear."

In the women’s 200m butterfly, American Regan Smith won silver, and her teammate, Hali Flickinger, took bronze. The United States had not won a medal in the 200m butterfly since 2000. That ended with Smith and Flickinger.

Zhang Yufei captured gold for China. Zhang set an Olympic record to win with a time of 2:03.86. She also brought home China's first swimming gold medal at the Tokyo Games. Named the “new butterfly queen” by Chinese media, she finished second in the 100m butterfly on Sunday.

The United States women’s 4x200m relay team won the silver medal late Wednesday night. China came in first for the gold, and Australia finished behind the Team USA for the bronze.

Anchor Katie Ledekcy swam the fastest leg for Team USA, but it simply was not enough to overtake China. All three teams that reached the podium beat the previous world record.

Caeleb Dressel of the United States starts in his men's 100-meter freestyle semifinal at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
AP Photo/Martin Meissner
Caeleb Dressel of the United States starts in his men's 100-meter freestyle semifinal at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP)

3. US men's water polo team narrowly defeated by Italy

Italian player Francesco Di Fulvio scored five goals for the three-time Olympic champions.

Team USA was looking to build off a 2-0 start in Group A preliminary play when it took on Italy on Thursday, but suffered a 12-11 setback.

The U.S. beat Japan 15-13 in the opener and dominated South Africa by a score of 20-3 in the second game. Ben Hallock leads the team with seven goals through two contests. Alex Bowen and Alex Wolf have also put forward standout performances. Bowen scored a game-high five goals against Japan, while Wolf put on a goalie clinic against South Africa.

Italy is 2-0-1 in group play so far, thrashing South Africa 21-2 and then drawing Greece 6-6.

Getty Images
NEWPORT, CALIFORNIA - JULY 08: Alex Bowen of the United States Men's Waterpolo Olympic Team practices during a media availability on July 08, 2021 in Newport, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

4. Austria's Sepp Straka Leads Men's Golf Tournament after Round 1

For the second consecutive Olympic Games, golf will be one of the events taking place. It will be featured for the fourth time in Olympic history after making a comeback at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Here is everything you need to know about the golf events in Tokyo at this year’s Summer Olympic Games.

Round 1 of the men's golf tournament is in the books.

After being delayed earlier Thursday morning due to lightning, the round ended out with none of the four Americans competing inside the top 10. The four Americans were the top four ranked golfers in the tournament entering Olympic play.

The U.S. fields a stacked roster of Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Reed. Morikawa (No. 3), Thomas (No. 4) and Schauffele (No. 5) are the highest-ranked players participating in the tournament. Reed is the only returning player of the four, finishing tied for 11th in Rio. Team USA has won five of the 10 Olympic medals ever given out in men’s golf.

The world’s top-ranked golfer, Spain’s Jon Rahm, was forced to withdraw from the Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.

Justin Thomas
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images
Justin Thomas of the United States reacts on the 18th green during the third round of the Sentry Tournament Of Champions at the Kapalua Plantation Course on January 09, 2021 in Kapalua, Hawaii.

5. Team USA faces Turkey in women’s volleyball

Team USA women's volleyball defeated China 2-0 on Monday, and now looks to their match against Turkey on Thursday.

The U.S. women’s volleyball team will look to keep rolling in Pool B play when it takes on Turkey at 8:45 a.m. ET on Thursday.

The Americans have yet to concede a set so far in Tokyo, winning their opening match against Argentina and second match against China in straight sets. The second victory was particularly impressive with China entering the tournament as the defending Olympic gold medalists.

The squad has been led by two players who share a first name. Jordan Thompson has been unstoppable so far, scoring 54 points across the two wins. Jordyn Poulter has taken control as a distributor, collecting 88 assists.

Team USA has some South Florida flavor with middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo Gunderson, a Fort Lauderdale native and graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School.

The U.S. is aiming to make its fourth straight Olympic podium and claim its first ever Olympic gold in the event.

United States teammates celebrate during the women's volleyball preliminary round pool B match between China and United States at the 2020 Olympics on July 27, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
AP Photo/Frank Augstein
United States teammates celebrate during the women's volleyball preliminary round pool B match between China and United States at the 2020 Olympics on July 27, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP)

6. South Florida's Nick Lucena and teammate Phil Dalhausser defeat Argentina in beach volleyball

Team USA men’s volleyball duo Philip Dalhausser and Nicholas Lucena got their first win in the Tokyo Olympics after defeating Brazil.

South Florida was on display late Wednesday night when Broward County resident Lucena and his teammate narrowly defeated Julian Amado Azaad and Nicolas Capogrosso.

The 41-year-old Florida State alum, who has been teammates with Dalhausser since 2015, and is helping the 2008 gold medalist chase an elusive second medal.

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