Monday provided a bit of drama both on and off the field of Olympic competition. There were major upsets in the women's singles tennis tournaments, men's swimming, women's 3x3 basketball and cycling. Not to mention, there's a tropical storm nearing Japan that could affect Olympic play. As the week pushes forward, there will surely be a lot more news to emerge from Tokyo, Japan, but this is a quick recap of everything that went down on Monday and what may happen on Tuesday.
There were a few twists and turns on July 26, but there were a few highlights in Tokyo as well.
- Team USA picks up its first win in Tokyo, Japan. Propelled by A'ja Wilson's 19-point and 13-rebound performance, Team USA extended its Olympic women's basketball streak to 50 games on Tuesday. While it was not in their usual dominant fashion, it set up for an exciting main event on Friday against Japan on Friday.
- Team USA moves to 4-0 at the 2021 Summer Olympic Games. Gold medal favorite Oshae Jones won defeated Brianda Cruz of Mexico in the Round of 16 of the women's welterweight tournament. While it wasn't the dominant performance that many had hoped for, Jones did what she needed to do to move three wins away from a gold medal.
- Team USA picks up another silver medal. Heading into the 2021 Summer Olympics, many experts hoped that the women's gymnastics team would bring home its third consecutive gold medal in the all-around artistic competition. However, a rough start, COVID-19 issues and more resulted in a second-place finish. However, a silver medal is nothing to sneeze at. Team USA now has more total medals than any other country with 25.
Everything that is unexpected in the world of sports is seemingly happening in Tokyo, Japan. From basketball upsets to typhoons, there has been no telling what could happen this week. Unfortunately, it looks like there are more twists and turns to come as the week progresses.
- Team USA loses its greatest gymnast. Fans woke up to a bit of unexpected news on Tuesday morning. Simone Biles was forced to withdraw from Tuesday's team final due to a "medical issue." She will continue to be "assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions." At this time, it is unclear if she will compete again in the Tokyo Olympics.
- Japan shuts down Team USA. After Michelle Moultrie and company stopped Japan in pool play on Monday, many expected the softball powerhouse to finish out their Olympic tournament undefeated and take home their first gold medal since 2004. However, Japan was able to shut out Team USA and win its second consecutive gold medal in softball. Moreover, these two teams have a bit of history. In 2008, Japan upset Team USA to win a gold medal in softball. Then, softball was eliminated from the Olympics in 2012 and 2016. Therefore, stars like Monica Abbott and Cat Osterman have worked for more than a decade to get back to this moment.
- Team USA loses its first game. After jetting out to a perfect record of 6-0, Team USA dropped its first 3x3 women's basketball game. Jumping out to an early 14-9 lead, Allisha Gray and Kelsey Plum struggled to hit shots late and close the deal. In the end, Japan closed the game with a 12-4 run and earned a spot in the semifinal play-in games. Fortunately, Team USA will hold on to the top seed and have a spot in the semifinals.
Beyond Team USA
Team USA wasn't the only team making headlines on Monday. Russia took home its first gold medal in team gymnastics since 2008, Argentina picked up a major upset in men's rugby and the Philippines earned its first gold medal ever.
- Pandemonium in tennis. After demolishing her first opponent on Sunday, Naomi Osaka struggled throughout her performance on Tuesday. Falling in straight sets to Marketa Vondrousova of Team Czech Republic, Osaka looked nothing like her usual self. With that said, it is Osaka's first major tournament in approximately six months. In due time, Osaka will bounce back on the professional tour.
- Italy takes down Turkey. Remember Paola Egonu? Well, she's still here and she's still killing it! On Tuesday, she helped beat Turkey in four sets and set up a matchup with Argentina on Wednesday.
- The Philippines has won its first gold medal. After nearly 100 years of Olympic competition, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz propelled her home country to its first Olympic gold medal ever. In utter excitement, she celebrated with her coach and nearly burst into tears. Proud of her accomplishments, the Philippines has pledged to gift Diaz $600,000 and a condo upon her return.
Everything Happening Around The Olympics
Every four years, the Olympics do a great job taking our minds off of the world's ills and everything going on around us. However, this Olympics feels a bit different than those of years past. From an uprising in Cuba to a global pandemic, there is so much going on in the world that makes it impossible for anyone to just "stick to sports" over the next two weeks.
- The COVID-19 pandemic is not over. Typically, people cheer when a record is broken at the 2021 Summer Olympic Games. However, a record has been broken that many hoped to never break. This morning, public officials in the Japanese megacity announced that Tokyo recorded more COVID-19 cases, 2,848, than it ever has in a 24-hour period. Previously, Tokyo had never recorded more than 2,600 new COVID-19 cases in one day.
- Temperatures continue to rise in Tokyo, Japan. Yesterday, temperatures at the 2021 Summer Olympic Games crept into the mid-90s. Tennis star, Novak Djokovic, called the humidity and heat "very tough" to deal with. As track and field competitions near, humidity and high temperatures could become a bigger issue.
- Team USA has found its coach! One year away from the start of the 2022 Winter Olympics, it appears that Pittsburgh Penguins' Head Coach Mike Sullivan has been tapped to lead the United States' men's national hockey team in Beijing, China.
What To Watch Today
Monday and Tuesday were eventful, but the pressure will continue to build as the week progresses.
- Team USA looks to bounce back on the hardwood. After falling to France over the weekend, Team USA hopes to find success against Iran in a matchup that could make or break their hopes to win a gold medal. Damian Lillard, Kevin Durant and Jayson Tatum will step onto the court at approximately 12:40 a.m. ET on July 28.
- Two wins separate Team USA from a gold medal. After falling to Japan on Monday, the women's 3x3 basketball team will look to secure a spot in the gold medal game. However, they must get past France in order to do so. Previously, Team USA toppled France by a score of 17-10 on July 24. This time around, the two teams will take the court at 4 a.m. ET.
Q: Where can I find a schedule of events?
Q: How can I watch Olympic events?
A: NBC is broadcasting the 2021 Summer Olympic Games. Visit their website for more information.
Q: When will track and field events begin?
A: Olympic track and field events will begin on July 29.
Q: When does the men's basketball team play again?
A: Team USA will play Iran on July 28 at 12:40 a.m. ET.
Q: Will Simone Biles compete again?
A: It is unclear. Biles withdrew from the team final due to mental health issues. USA Gymnastics issued the following statement: "Simone Biles has withdrawn from the team final competition due to a medical issue. She will be assessed daily to determine medical clearance for future competitions."