Tokyo Olympics

5 to Watch: Texans Compete in Track; Swimming Medals; Finals Ahead for Hailey

Texans are beginning their hunt for Olympic glory as track and field hits its stride in Tokyo. In fact, three Texans compete in the 100m, including Fort Worth's Ronnie Baker.

Back at the pool, Sugar Land's Simone Manuel looks to add to her medal count; Coppell's Chiaka Ogbogu and Team USA volleyball take on the Russian Olympic Committee's team; and overnight Southlake's Hailey Hernandez looks to advance toward a medal in 50m springboard.

Women’s 100m highlights big day on the track 

In the first track and field event of the evening, the American trio of Anna Cockrell, Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad advanced to the semifinals in the women's 400m hurdles. Defending champion Muhammad closed out Heat 5 in first place, posting a time of 53.97, which is the fastest time of the evening.

Team USA's Clayton Murphy and Bryce Hoppel advanced to the semifinals in the men's 800m. Murphy finished first place in Heat 3 posting a time of 1:45.53 where he took a commanding lead in the final seconds. Hoppel, from Midland, closed out Heat 6 posting a qualifying time of 1:45.64.

In the women's 100m hurdles, Team USA's Keni Harrison, Gabriele Cunningham and Christina Clemons all advanced to the semifinals. Cunningham qualified first posting a time of 12.83 in Heat 1. Harrison, who trains in Austin, finished in first place in Heat 2 with a time of 12.74, and Clemons was the last member of Team USA to qualify posting a time of 12.91 in Heat 4.

American Valarie Allman is the only member of Team USA to advance to the women's discus throw final. Allman advanced to the final posting a distance of 66.42 on her first attempt in Group B. She not only beat the qualifying distance of 64 meters, but beat everyone who threw before her. The final will take place on Monday at 6 a.m. ET.

Team USA's Chris Nilsen and KC Lightfoot have advanced to the men's pole vault final. Both Lightfoot and Nilsen cleared clearing distances of 5.75 meters to qualify for the top 12. Matthew Ludwig - who arrived in Tokyo nearly 20 hours before his heat to replace Sam Kendricks due to Kendricks testing positive for COVID-19 - cleared 5.5m in Group B but was unable to make the final 12.

The second session begins at 5 a.m. CT Saturday and will include the marquee race of the day: the women’s 100m. American Sha’carri Richardson was supposed to go to Tokyo a medal favorite in the event, but will no longer compete after being suspended one month for failing a drug test at the U.S. Olympic Track and field trials. 

University of Texas alum Teahna Daniels, Javianne Oliver and Jenna Prandini all qualified to race in the women’s 100m. They will carry the burden of trying to win the United States' first legal gold since Gail Devers triumphed in 1996. Marion Jones was stripped of the 2000 title for doping offenses.

Meanwhile, Team USA’s medal hopes in the men’s 100m rest on the shoulder of Trayvon Bromwell, who won the 100m final at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials, but also look for Fort Worth's Ronnie Baker and Texas A&M alum Fred Kerley.

Stream the second session live.

Caeleb Dressel, Katie Ledecky each win another gold medal

Caeleb Dressel of Team United States reacts after winning the gold medal
Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
Caeleb Dressel of Team United States reacts after winning the gold medal in the Men's 100m Freestyle Final on day six of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 29, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky highlighted another strong night for Team USA in swimming, despite their mixed 4x100m medley relay team finishing off the podium in the last race of the session.

In the first of Dressel's three Olympic swims on Friday, he won gold in the 100m butterfly with a time of 49.45 seconds, improving on his own world record. Meanwhile, Kristof Milak of Hungary took silver and Noe Ponti of Switzerland took bronze.

Ledecky won the 800m for the third straight time, giving her six individual gold medals in her career, the most of any female swimmer. She had been tied with Hungarian great Krisztina Egerszegi.

Sugar Land's Simone Manuel did not medal in the 50m freestyle, but already has a bronze from the 4x100m freestyle relay.

In the women's 200 backstroke, Australia's Kaylee McKeown won the gold medal to sweep the women's backstroke events in Tokyo. Canada's Kylie Masse took the silver, while Emily Seebohm, another Australian, took the bronze.

U.S. women’s volleyball unable to stay undefeated

USA's Jordan Thompson reacts after getting injured in the women's preliminary round pool B volleyball match between USA and Russia during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on July 31, 2021.
JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images
USA's Jordan Thompson reacts after getting injured in the women's preliminary round pool B volleyball match between USA and Russia during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on July 31, 2021.

Team USA was unable to remain perfect in pool play, losing to the Russian Olympic Committee in three sets. The loss is disappointing, but with three wins in pool play, the United States is already assured a spot in the quarterfinals.

The defeat wasn't the only loss for Team USA -- superstar Jordan Thompson left with an apparent injury. Thompson landed hard on her ankle from a block early in the second frame and was immediately removed from the game. She was evaluated on the sidelines through the remainder of the second set, but left the court when it concluded.

The U.S. is on a quest to win Olympic gold in Tokyo, something the program hasn't done in the 57 years that volleyball has been featured at the Games. In fact, no other country has won more women's volleyball Olympic medals -- three silver and two bronze -- without taking home a gold.

Keep an eye out for middle blocker Chiaka Ogbogu from Coppell.

Hernandez and Palmer advance to the final in women’s springboard

Americans Hailey Hernandez and Krysta Palmer are moving on to the final of the women's 3m springboard diving event.

Southlake's Hernandez, who will go to the University of Texas this fall, finished tenth at Tokyo Aquatics Center.

Palmer improved positions climbing the leaderboard from 15th in preliminaries to fifth in the semis.

The top 12 women advance to Sunday's final, where the scores will be wiped clean and the final standings settled with five more dives. The medal round is slated for 1 a.m. CT Sunday.

Kevin Durant Passes Carmelo Anthony on Scoring List As Team USA Cruises Past Czech Republic

Jul 28, 2021; Saitama, Japan; USA player Kevin Durant (7) and USA player Draymond Green (14) high five as they play Iran during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Saitama Super Arena.
Kevin Durant and Team USA bounced back against Iran after a tough loss to France.

Jayson Tatum scored 18 of his game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter as the United States men’s basketball team cruised to its second straight win in Tokyo, routing the Czech Republic 119-84.

The story of the game was Kevin Durant, who passed Carmelo Anthony as the all-time scoring leader in the U.S. men’s basketball history.

Durant entered Saturday's game needing six points to surpass Carmelo Anthony and his record of 336 points as the U.S. Men's Basketball all-time leading scorer. After a slow start for the U.S., during which the team fell behind by 10 points in the first quarter, Durant hit a shot that not only gave Team USA its first lead of the game at 34-33 but also made him the team’s top scorer of all-time.

Team USA extended its lead after halftime and finished the quarter on a 16-2 and never looked back.

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