5 to Watch: Track & Field Begins; More Swimming Medals; Plus Rowing, Soccer, Basketball

If you've been waiting for the starting gun in track and field, wait no more. Competition began Thursday night and continues Friday morning. Big names in swimming return to the pool in a quest for more medals and rowing finals get underway, plus women's basketball and soccer.

U.S. Women's Soccer Advances Past Netherlands in Tense Penalty Shootout

Megan Rapinoe converted the deciding penalty in a shootout and the United States advanced to the semifinals of the women's Olympic soccer tournament 4-2 following a 2-2 draw with the Netherlands.

United States goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher stopped Vivianne Miedema's opening attempt in the shootout and then saved a shot from Aniek Nouwen before Rapinoe put her penalty away. Rapinoe turned to her teammates, folded her arms and grinned in triumph after scoring in the shootout.

The United States will next face Canada in the semifinals in Kashima on Monday.

Megan Rapinoe scored the final goal, keeping the USWNT on course as they aim to become the first team to take home gold directly after winning the World Cup.

Watch the game on NBCSN or Telemundo. Or, stream online.

Women’s 100m Heats Highlight Track and Field’s Tokyo Debut

The women’s 100m heats were the marquee event of the night in track and field, and they did not disappoint. Marie Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast had the fastest qualifying time at 10.78, followed by Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah at 10.82 and Olympic legend Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce at 10.84.

All three Americans -- Teahna Daniels, Javianne Oliver and Jenna Prandini, who replaced Sha’Carri Richardson in the event – also advanced to the semifinals on Saturday at 5:15 a.m. ET. The finals will follow at 7:50 a.m.

In the 3000m steeplechase, Hillary Bor surprisingly did not advance to the final after having finished seventh overall at the 2016 Rio Games. He was in the third heat, where the runners ran at a much slower pace than their counterparts in the first two heats. Among the other Americans, Benard Keter advanced after finishing in 8:17.31, good enough for sixth in the second heat, and Mason Ferlic finished eighth in the first heat.

All three Americans in the men’s 400m hurdles advanced to the semis after their performances in the heats. Rai Benjamin and Kenneth Selmon had the fourth (48.60 seconds) and fifth (48.61) fastest times overall. Dave Kendziera was toward the back of the pack with a time of 49.23.

Two American men moved forward in the high jump. Juvaughn Harrison and Shelby McEwen each jumped 2.28m. Darryl Sullivan did not make it to the final on Sunday, Aug. 1 at 5:10 a.m. CT.

Sam Mattis was the only American to advance in the discus throw, with his best throw at 63.74m, good enough for eighth out of the 12 athletes moving forward. The final will be Saturday at 6:15 a.m. CT.

Texas Ties: Raevyn Rogers from Houston (800m) and University of Texas alum Teahna Daniels (100m).

Watch the first session in NBC’s primetime coverage, or stream online.

Watch the second session on NBCSN, or stream online.

Ryan Murphy, Lilly King, Annie Lazor Medal, but No Swimming Golds for Team USA

U.S. swimmers Lilly King and Annie Lazor took silver and bronze in the women’s 200m breaststroke Thursday at the Tokyo Olympics.

The U.S. swim team had a three-medal performance as four events were decided on Thursday night, however none of them were gold.

Reigning Olympic champion Ryan Murphy won silver in the men's 200m backstroke. Evgeny Rylov of the Russian Olympic Committee got the best of Murphy again in a backstroke final. Rylov defeated Murphy in the 100m backstroke on Monday night. Wednesday night Rylov was once again victorious, this time in the 200m. Rylov prevented Murphy from repeating as Olympic champion with a time of 1:53.27, just ahead of Murphy (1:54.15).

Watch on USA Network at 10:40 p.m. CT on Friday.

In the women's 200m breaststroke, Lilly King and Annie Lazor claimed silver and bronze respectively. South African Tatjana Schoenmaker set a new world record to win the gold medal; the first individual swimming world record of the Tokyo Olympic Games. Two Americans grabbed the other two medals, with Lilly King winning the silver medal and Annie Lazor taking home the bronze. Lazor and King, training partners and friends outside of Olympic swimming, held their arms around each other after winning their medals.

Team USA failed to reach the podium in the two other finals -- the women's 100m freestyle and the men's 200m individual medley. Emma McKeon of Australia captured the gold medal in the women’s 100m freestyle, followed by Siobhan Haughey of Hong Kong for the silver medal and Cate Campbell of Australia for the bronze medal.

American Abbey Weitzeil finished eighth.

In the men’s 200-meter medley, Wang Shun of China won the gold medal with a time of 1:55.0. British swimmer Duncan Scott captured second place while Jérémy Desplanches of Switzerland brought home the bronze medal. The race marks the first time a different swimmer than Michael Phelps has won the event since the 2000 Sydney Games.

A’ja Wilson Helps U.S. Women’s Basketball Team Defeat Japan

The U.S. Women’s Basketball Team improved to 2-0 in group play with a 86-69 win over Japan.

After a slow start defensively in the opening quarter, the strong defense the U.S. displayed in the second continued after halftime. Nursing a five-point lead with 4:27 remaining in the third, Team USA didn’t allow a field goal for the remainder of the quarter while increasing its lead to 65-53.

The lead continued to grow in the fourth quarter, with a putback by Breanna Stewart capping a 10-0 run that gave the U.S. its largest lead at 84-64.

The U.S. had five players finish in double figures, led by A’Ja Wilson, who had 20 points and 10 rebounds for her second-straight double-double. Breanna Stewart added 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Texas Ties: Duncanville's Ariel Atkins and Baylor University alum Brittney Griner.

Team USA Narrowly Misses the Podium in Rowing Eight Finals

Rowing - Olympics: Day 1
Getty Images
Julian Venonsky, Liam Corrigan, John Harrity, Nicholas Mead, Alexander Richards, Austin Hack, Daniel Miklasevich, Justin Best and Benjamin Davison of Team United States compete during the Men's Eight Heat 1 on day one of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Sea Forest Waterway on July 24, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Both the men and women for Team USA just missed the podium in rowing eights, finishing fourth in their respective races.

Canada came in first for the gold medal, New Zealand came in second for the silver and China came in third for the bronze in Women’s eight.

Team USA's boat was made up of Jessica Thoennes, Charlotte Buck, Gia Doonan, Brooke Mooney, Olivia Coffey, Regina Salmons, Meghan Musnicki, Kristine O'Brien and Katelin Guregian.

For the men, New Zealand took home gold, Germany won silver, and Great Britain finished third to claim bronze.

The American boat included Benjamin Davison, Justin Best, Daniel Miklasevich, Austin Hack, Alexander Richards, Nicholas Mead, John Harrity, Liam Corrigan and Julian Venonsky.

With both the women and men failing to medal, The United States will not earn a medal in Olympic rowing for the third time ever. The other two instances were at the 1908 and 1980 Games -- in both instances, the U.S. had no rowers entered.

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