Tokyo Today: Kevin Durant Leads Team USA To Olympic Final


Kevin Durant

Photo: Getty Images

Thirteen is typically viewed as an unlucky number, but Team USA is in the business of proving a few things wrong. From the basketball court to the soccer field, many of the nation's most successful athletes came up big in moments of pressure on day 13 of the Tokyo Olympics. Unfortunately, most of those exciting moments took place while many were sleeping. Thankfully, "Tokyo Today" is your one-stop-shop for everything that is going on in the Japanese megacity for the next few days.

Highlights

Kevin Durant

Photo: Getty Images

For the majority of the 2021 Summer Olympics Games, Team USA has trailed China in the race for the most gold medals, but America is gaining ground. Within the last 72 hours, America has set itself up with a chance to win gold medals in the women's 4x100m relay, men's 5x5 basketball, women's 5x5 basketball and two men's boxing weight classes. Will they come through with gold? Only time will tell.

  • The "Slim Reaper" strikes again! Brooklyn Nets Forward Kevin Durant led Team USA in points and rebounds during its semifinal matchup against Australia. Ultimately, America did beat Australia by 19 points, but the final score can be a bit misleading. Team USA trailed by double digits for the majority of the first half, but a 32-10 run in the third quarter allowed Durant and his teammates to power through to the gold medal final on Friday evening.
  • Inside the ring, is never bad for a boxer to have something in common with Shakur Stevenson, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Roy Jones Jr. Early Thursday morning, Ohio native Duke Ragan won a silver medal in the men's featherweight division. His top-tier performance sets up an opportunity for Team USA to fly home with three medals in three men's boxing divisions. It is the best finish for Team USA in men's boxing since Andre Ward helped the nation win its most recent gold in men's boxing seventeen years ago. "Duke, I’m proud of you bro! You did your family and your city proud," Ward tweeted.
  • The job is nearly complete. In 2016, Team USA put together a viral performance as en route to a gold medal in the women's 4x100m relay. Five years later, Team USA is hoping to do the same. Javianne Oliver, Teahna Daniels, English Gardner and Aleia Hobbs finished second in their preliminary heat with a time of 41.90 seconds.

Lowlights

Cravon Gillespie

Photo: Getty Images

It was not all smiles and laughter for Team USA on Wednesday. While there were a few moments of celebration, there were also a few moments of sadness and disappointment, primarily on the track.

  • There were few people more upset than Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis on Wednesday evening. The former Olympic star took to Twitter to raise his frustrations with Team USA after Trayvon Bromell, Fred Kerley, Ronnie Baker and Cravon Gillespie failed to qualify for the men's 4x100m final. "It was a total embarrassment, and completely unacceptable for a USA team to look worse than the AAU kids I saw," Lewis tweeted. Given that America was the only nation to have six sprinters compete in the men's 100m and 200m finals, there were certain higher expectations heading into the Tokyo Olympics.

Beyond Team USA

Patty Mills

Photo: Getty Images

The 2021 Summer Olympic Games are not an American competition. They are a stage for some of the world's greatest athletes. From Solvenia's basketball phenom, Luka Doncic, to Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce of Jamaica, there are a number of athletes outside of the United States to keep your eyes on.

  • Australia has participated in the Olympic men's basketball tournament fifteen times. This time around, they may travel home with a medal for the first time in Olympic history. While Australia did fall short of beating Team USA in the semifinals, Patty Mills and Dante Exum did position themselves well as a betting favorite when it takes on Luka Doncic and Slovenia in the bronze medal games.
  • It is never too late to chase your dreams. At 39 years old, Sandra Sanchez of Spain won her first gold medal in the inaugural Olympic karate tournament. "It's very special because it's the first time, and maybe the last time," Sanchez said.
  • Kenya is no stranger to the men's 1500m Olympic final, but Timothy Cheruiyot is. At 23 years old, he captured his first 1500m title at the World Championships in Doha. Two years have passed and he's looking to take home Olympic gold in Tokyo. He finished 0.47 seconds behind Jake Wightman in the semifinals, but he is confident that he can capture the success he found in Doha.

What To Watch

Brittney Griner

Photo: Getty Images

The first few days of the Olympics have been jammed pack with exciting and unpredictable events. Thursday will be no different. From basketball to boxing, there is a lot to keep your eyes on, but we'll all try our best to watch what we can despite the 13 hour time difference.

  • Women's Basketball - Team USA v. Serbia: Coming off of a 24-point win against Australia, Team USA will take on Serbia in the semifinal round. If Brittney Griner, Sylvia Fowles and Tina Charles can pull through, they will have an opportunity to win their sixth straight gold medal in women's basketball. Tip-off is set for 12:40 a.m. ET
  • Men's Boxing - Keyshawn Davis v. Hovhannes Bachkov: Keyshawn Davis is only two wins away from becoming the first men's boxer to win a gold medal for Team USA since 2004. First, he must take down Hovhannes Bachkov of Armenia in a semifinal bout. The two young men will step into the ring at 1:32 a.m. ET on Friday.
  • Women's Track & Field: Team USA v. The World: Five years ago, Team USA set a world record in this event as they won gold. This time around, they are slight underdogs against a stacked Jamaica team. Still, Team USA is confident they can take home gold on Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. ET
Tokyo Olympics BMX

Photo: Getty Images

Q: How many gold medals has Team USA won?

A: Team USA has won 29 gold medals.

Q: Which country has won the most gold medals?

A: China has won 34 gold medals.

Q: Which athlete has won the most gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics?

A: Caleb Dressel of Team USA has won five gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics.

Q: When does the men's basketball team play again?

A: Team USA will play France in the Olympic final on August 6 at 10:30 p.m. ET

Q: When will Allyson Felix compete again?

A: Allyson Felix will run in the women's 400m final at 7:35 a.m. ET on Friday. If she wins a medal, she will become the most decorated woman in Olympic track and field history. In the event that she does not win a medal in the women's 400m final, she will have an opportunity to win a medal in the women's 400m final, she will also compete in the women's 4x400m final on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. ET.

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