After failing to win a medal on Day 1 of the Olympics for the first time since 1972, Team USA made up for it with a huge night in the pool on Saturday night.
Chase Kalisz and Jay Litherland kicked things off by finishing first and second in the men’s 400m individual medley. The women also collected two medals in their 400 IM when Emma Weyant captured the silver to Hali Flickinger’s bronze. In between, Kieran Smith came from behind to secure the bronze medal in the men’s 400m freestyle.
Capping off the night was the women’s 4x100 freestyle relay. Anchored by Simone Manuel, the U.S. women finished with the bronze behind Australia and the Netherlands.
Not only did Team USA wipe out their goose egg in the medal count, they vaulted to the top of the standings. The six medals in the pool topped China’s current total of four. Japan is third with three medals.
The U.S. swimmers entered Tokyo with high expectations despite a roster laden with first-time Olympians and teenagers -- and without Michael Phelps for the first time since 1996. After such a strong first night, the sky may be the limit for the Americans in the pool.