Tokyo Olympics live updates: US women's 3x3 team wins gold, Simone Biles out of all-around finals

·23 min read

Wednesday once again was another big day in the pool for Team USA, highlighted by Katie Ledecky winning the first ever Olympic women's 1,500-meter freestyle, with fellow American Erica Sullivan taking silver in the race. Ledecky entered the race as the world record-holder with a time of 15:20.48.

Alex Walsh and Kate Douglass also added onto Team USA's success in swimming, as they became the fourth and fifth American teenagers in four days to medal, winning silver and bronze, respectively, in the 200-meter individual medley

Later in the day, the US women's 3x3 basketball team won the sport's first gold medal in Olympic debut with 18-15 victory against Russia.

In men's basketball, the U.S. team of NBA stars regrouped from their disappointing opening-game loss to France with a rout of Iran.

Katie Ledecky celebrates after winning the women's 1500m freestyle final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games..
Katie Ledecky celebrates after winning the women's 1500m freestyle final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games..

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US women's 3x3 basketball team wins the sport's first gold

The U.S. women’s 3-on-3 basketball team has officially made history.

Allisha Gray, Kelsey Plum, Stefanie Dolson and Jacquelyn Young won gold in the inaugural 3-on-3 basketball competition.

The U.S. team defeated the Russians 18-15 Wednesday evening at Tokyo’s Aomi Urban Sports Park to win gold.

The Americans stormed out to a 7-2 lead and never looked back during Wednesday's final against the Russians. Dolson scored a team-high seven points for the United States.

-- Tyler Dragon

The 'LeBron James' of weightlifting comes up short

TOKYO -- C.J. Cummings came up short Wednesday in his pursuit of a rare U.S. weightlifting medal, placing ninth in the men's 73-kilogram division.

Cummings, 21, has been lauded as a future star in American weightlifting; The Wall Street Journal once dubbed him "the LeBron James of weightlifting." But he struggled out of the gate, needing two attempts to snatch his starting weight (320 pounds) and then failing to complete his third and final attempt.

The Beaufort, South Carolina native fared better in the clean-and-jerk portion, but then started chasing a medal spot with weights that would have neared or surpassed his personal best, which he failed to lift.

China's Shi Zhiyong won the event handily, setting a new Olympic record and lifting 40 pounds more than anyone else in the field. Julio Ruben Mayora Pernia of Venezuela and Rahmat Erwin Abdullah of Indonesia took silver and bronze, respectively.

The U.S. has not won a men's weightlifting medal since 1984.

-- Tom Schad

Simone Biles cheering on men

TOKYO – Simone Biles isn’t competing, but she came to support her U.S. teammates.

Biles arrived early in the first rotation of the Tokyo Olympics men’s all-around final here on Wednesday night, joining the U.S. men to cheer on Sam Mikulak and Brody Malone.

Clad in red, white and blue hoodie and black leggings, Biles sat with men’s gymnasts Shane Wiskus, Alec Yoder and Yul Moldauer. MyKayla Skinner joined her a short time later.

USA Gymnastics confirmed earlier Wednesday that Biles would not compete in the women’s all around on Thursday. Citing mental health issues, she pulled out of the team final on Tuesday after one event.

-Rachel Axon

Simone Biles watches the men's individual all-around final.
Simone Biles watches the men's individual all-around final.

What we know about Simone Biles' status

TOKYO — Simone Biles withdrew from the all-around competition at the Tokyo Games.

The defending Olympic gold medalist had qualified first for the final on Thursday, but she pulled out to focus on her mental health. Biles had already withdrawn from the team final on Tuesday after the United States’ first event. Without her on the final three, the American women claimed a silver medal as Russia won gold.

Biles, a five-time gold medalist at the Rio Games, was projected to get five more medals here, all of them possibly gold, but that won’t happen. In a statement, USA Gymnastics said Biles would continue to be evaluated to determine whether she will compete in event finals next week.

Whether she will is certain to become the biggest focus of the Games, so here is what we know about what’s next.

-Rachel Axon

Boxing medal aspirations of Naomi Graham come to a halt

TOKYO — U.S. middleweight boxer Naomi Graham was defeated by Russian Olympic Committee’s Zenfira Magomedalieva in the round of 16 by split decision, ending her medal aspirations in Tokyo.

Graham, the ninth-ranked boxer in the IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) middleweight rankings, snaps a six-match win streak dating back to February 23. Magomedalieva, ranked fifth by the IOC BTF, provided a substantial challenge – she’s a two-time world champion with her 2019 light heavyweight title and 2014 heavyweight title wins.

Graham, a staff sergeant and ammunition specialist in the U.S. Army, picked up boxing with the World Class Athlete Program. She is the first female active-duty service member to fight for the U.S. at an Olympics. She won middleweight gold at the 2019 Pan American Games and bronze at the 2019 World Championships.

-- Olivia Reiner

U.S. women advance to gold-medal game in 3-on-3 basketball

The U.S. women advanced to the 3-on-3 basketball gold-medal game with an 18-16 win over France in the semifinals at Aomi Urban Sports Park.

Allisha Gray and Kelsey Plum led the U.S. in scoring with six points apiece.

The U.S. will face ROC in the inaugural Olympic 3-on-3 basketball gold-medal game Wednesday at 8:55 a.m. ET (on USA Network).

Quarantined Olympic athlete says lack of fresh air 'inhuman'

TOKYO — An Olympic skateboarder who was put in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 called the conditions at the hotel “inhuman” on Wednesday.

Candy Jacobs has been in isolation for eight days and missed the street event in skateboarding’s debut as an Olympic sport. She said she had to force officials to allow her a supervised short break for some fresh air away from her room, where the window doesn’t open.

“Not having any outside air is so inhuman,” the 31-year-old Jacobs said in a video message posted on Instagram. “It’s mentally super draining ... definitely more than a lot of humans can handle.”

Jacobs was removed from the Olympic Village and put in a quarantine facility for people at the Tokyo Games infected with the virus. On her seventh day of isolation, she said she refused to move.

After more than seven hours, she said, officials agreed she could stand at an open window under supervision for 15 minutes.

“Having that first breath of outside air was the saddest and best moment in my life,” Jacobs said.

Although Jacobs didn’t get a chance to compete on Monday, she praised 13-year-old gold medalist Momiji Nishiya of Japan, and said watching the event on TV was “a super-cool distraction” from quarantine.

“This ride has been the wildest I have ever been on and hopefully never have to go through something like this again,” said Jacobs, who added she is still testing positive for COVID-19.

The International Olympic Committee and Tokyo organizers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

-- Associated Press

U.S. men's basketball comes to life in rout of Iran

TOKYO — If redemption is in the cards for this U.S. men’s basketball team at these Olympics, it was never going to happen via Iran. But every comeback has an origin story, and after all the difficulties Team USA encountered since gathering in Las Vegas a few weeks back, no easy win should be taken for granted.

Even if the worst ends up being remembered about this team’s foray into international basketball, the Americans will always have Wednesday’s 120-66 win over Iran as a moment when the possibilities of what they could be came to life.

-- Dan Wolken

Zach Lavine (5) drives to the hoop against Iran at Saitama Super Arena.
Zach Lavine (5) drives to the hoop against Iran at Saitama Super Arena.

U.S. wins second synchronized diving medal in two days

TOKYO — Another day, another medal for the U.S. in synchronized diving.

Andrew Capobianco and Michael Hixon placed second in the men's synchronized 3-meter springboard Wednesday, winning the second silver medal in as many days for the U.S. diving program. Delaney Schnell and Jessica Parratto also won silver in the synchronized 10-meter platform on Tuesday.

While the women's medal was a first for the U.S., the men's achievement marked the continuation of a trend. The Americans also won silver in the synchronized 3-meter at the 2016 Games in Rio, where Hixon partnered with Sam Dorman. The U.S. also took bronze in the event in 2012.

China took gold in Wednesday's competition, and Germany claimed bronze.

-- Tom Schad

Simone Biles will not compete in gymnastics all-around final

TOKYO — Simone Biles will not compete in the Olympic all-around.

Jade Carey will replace Biles in the competition on Thursday, USA Gymnastics said in a statement. Biles' withdrawal from the all-around, where she is the defending Olympic gold medalist, comes a day after she pulled out of the team final after one event on Tuesday.

USA Gymnastics said Biles will not compete so she can focus on her mental health and would continue to be evaluated to determine whether or not she would compete in event finals next week.

“We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being,” USA Gymnastics said in a statement. “Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”

-- Nancy Armour and Rachel Axon

Simone Biles looks on after pulling out of the women's gymnastic team final.
Simone Biles looks on after pulling out of the women's gymnastic team final.

U.S. falls to Hungary in women's water polo

Hungary dealt the two-time reigning Olympic gold-medal winning U.S. women's water polo team a 10-9 setback Wednesday. That ended a 14-game unbeaten streak for Team USA.

The U.S. already has qualified for the quarterfinals of the competition after preliminary round wins over Japan (25-4) and China (12-7), and finishes pool play on Friday against the ROC.

Hungary has placed fourth in the previous three Olympics.

US fencing falls in team sabre, mull questions on Hadzic assault allegations

CHIBA, Japan — The U.S. men’s sabre team, ranked seventh in the tournament draw, dropped its table of 16 match to No. 2 Hungary, 45-36, on Wednesday.

Daryl Homer kept the Americans in it by winning all three of his matchups with a combined 21 touches.

“I think we both know each other very well, the two teams,” said Homer, who placed first at the 2019 Pan American Championships in Lima, Peru. “I think they just executed their strategy a bit sharper. We have a lot of young guys on the team, first Olympic Games, first Olympic team event, so I think that showed.”

“I think Daryl had the match of his life in the first round,” Eli Dershwitz, ranked No. 2 in men’s sabre, told USA TODAY. “That might be the best fencing I’ve ever seen him do.”

Homer recalled the U.S. team being ranked No. 1 in the world just six years ago.

“My experience definitely helped,” he said. “I tried to share a bit before the match with the other guys, but I think maybe I should have done a better job.”

Homer fell in the round of 32 during the individual men’s competition earlier these Games, a 15-11 loss to Mohamed Amer of Egypt. The U.S. sabre team dropped their first classification match against Iran, 45-36. They will face the Russia Olympic Committee later Wednesday to determine seventh and eighth place.

“I think it was one of the worst performances of my life, to be perfectly honest,” said Dershwitz, who was out-touched 15-9 against Hungary and 15-10 against Iran. “I haven’t figured out why yet.

“It hurts, especially in a small-name sport, when you have the Olympic Games every four or five years. You want to show up and feel like … you did everything in your power to help your team succeed. Me personally, I definitely feel like I let the people around me down.”

USA Fencing has been clouded by assault allegations by men’s epée fencer Alen Hadzic. According to a USA TODAY Sports report, the organization sequestered Hadzic in a separate hotel, away from the team’s accommodations in the Olympic Village. Hadzic, 29, said through his lawyers the treatment was unfair. USA Fencing athletes, including Dershwitz, signed a letter signaling support in keeping Hadzic at a distance.

“I don’t have any new information or anything that’s widely available in all the papers coming out,” Dershwitz said. “So at least for right now, I’ll stick to focusing on my next match and letting U.S. Fencing and SafeSport handle it the correct way.”

When asked by USA TODAY Sports about the allegations against Hadzic and USA Fencing’s handling of the situation, Homer said he did not want to comment.

In light of the recent Simone Biles news, Homer said he is happy the conversation around mental health and Olympic athletes is taking the forefront.

“We’re all kind of thinking about this,” he said. “I’m happy there’s a reckoning.”

-- Chris Bumbaca

US featherweight Ragan advances to quarterfinals

TOKYO — U.S. featherweight boxer Duke Ragan defeated Kazakhstan's Serik Temirzhanov in the round of 16 by unanimous decision, advancing to the quarterfinal round.

The Cincinnati native, who turned pro in summer 2020, earned Team USA’s ninth win of the Tokyo Olympics. In the quarterfinal on Sunday, Ragan will face off against Ireland’s Kurt Walker. The Irish featherweight defeated Uzbekistan’s Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov, the 2019 world champion, in the round of 16.

Two other U.S. boxers have advanced to the quarterfinal round: Welterweights Delante Johnson and Oshae Jones.

Olivia Reiner

Ledecky adds another historic win to decorated career, Sullivan wins silver

TOKYO — America’s Katie Ledecky has done it again. The most versatile swimmer at these Olympic Games won a gold medal in the first-ever women's 1,500-meter freestyle, a little more than an hour after finishing fifth in the 200.

Ledecky finished first in 15:37.34, followed by U.S. teammate Erica Sullivan, 4.07 seconds back.

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Ledecky, already the most decorated female swimmer in history, won the silver medal in the 400 freestyle Monday with her second-best time ever, beaten only by the swim of a lifetime by Titmus.

It is the first time women have been allowed to swim the 1,500 at the Olympic Games. Ledecky was the strong favorite for the gold medal in that event.

Christine Brennan

Katie Ledecky (USA) and Erica Sullivan (USA) celebrate after placing first and second in the women's 1500m freestyle final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games.
Katie Ledecky (USA) and Erica Sullivan (USA) celebrate after placing first and second in the women's 1500m freestyle final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games.

USA just misses medal in men's free relay

The U.S. men finished fourth in the 4x200 freestyle relay, almost 4 seconds behind the gold medalists from Great Britain. It’s the first time since the 2000 Sydney Olympics that the Americans failed to win gold in the event.

Drew Kibler (USA) in the men's 4x200m freestyle relay heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
Drew Kibler (USA) in the men's 4x200m freestyle relay heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

Kieran Smith got the U.S. team off to a strong start in the first leg, taking a lead that Drew Kibler couldn’t hold. Zach Apple fell even further behind in the third leg. The Americans finished in 7:02.43, .59 of a second out of the medals behind Australia, which won bronze.

Russia took silver in 7:01.81.

US teens claim silver, bronze in women's 200m medley

TOKYO — The teens are on a tear.

Alex Walsh and Kate Douglass became the fourth and fifth American teenagers in four day to make it on the podium at the Tokyo Olympics, winning silver and bronze, respectively, in the 200-meter individual medley. Walsh finished in 2:08.65, with Douglass following close behind in 2:09.04.

Yui Ohashi of Japan won the event in 2:08.52, narrowly edging the two Americans.

The teenage quintet for Team USA – all of them women – has now accounted for more than one-third of the nation's medal haul in the pool.

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Emma Weyant, 19, got it started with silver in the 400-meter individual medley Sunday, followed by Regan Smith, also 19, and Lydia Jacoby, 17, on Tuesday. Jacoby took gold in the 100 breaststroke, and Smith won bronze in the 100 backstroke.

Douglass and Walsh, who are both 19, finished first and second at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials late last month, with Walsh winning it by a razor-thin margin of .02 of a second. Both swim collegiately at the University of Virginia, where Douglass is a rising junior and Walsh a rising sophomore.

Tom Schad

Alex Walsh (USA) and Kate Douglass (USA) celebrate after placing second and third in the women's 200m individual medley final.
Alex Walsh (USA) and Kate Douglass (USA) celebrate after placing second and third in the women's 200m individual medley final.

Italian rowers overcome COVID-19 positive to win bronze

TOKYO — The Italian men’s four took bronze in their race at the Olympic regatta after making a last-minute change when one of its members tested positive for COVID-19.

Bruno Rosetti, the boat’s two-seat, tested positive from a sample taken on Tuesday, July 27, which was confirmed the morning of the competition, World Rowing announced. The other three rowers, Matteo Castaldo, Matteo Lodo and Giuseppe Vicino tested negative on Tuesday and again before the race.

None of the other Italian rowers tested positive. World Rowing said additional precautions are being taken with the team.

Rosetti was replaced by Marco Di Costanzo from the Italian men’s pair. Together, the four crossed the finish line with a time of 5:43.60, .84 seconds behind first-place Australia and .47 behind second-place Romania.

Di Costanzo’s seat in the pair will be filled by spare Vincenzo Abbagnale when they compete in the semifinal on Wednesday afternoon.

Olivia Reiner

US women looking strong heading into 200 butterfly final

TOKYO — The U.S. failed to medal in the men's 200-meter butterfly Wednesday for the first time since 1988.

But the women's event is shaping up to be a completely different story.

Hali Flickinger and Regan Smith cruised to the top two spots in their semifinal heat Wednesday, each besting the rest of the field by roughly 2 seconds. Flickinger clocked the second-fastest time in the semifinals at 2:06.23, behind China's Yufei Zhang, who won the other semifinal heat in 2:04.89.

Flickinger and Smith will return to the pool for Thursday's final with hopes of adding to the individual medals they've already won in Tokyo. Flickinger won bronze in the 400-meter individual medley Sunday, while Smith followed with a bronze of her own in the 100-meter backstroke Tuesday.

Tom Schad

No medals in rowing for US crews

TOKYO — On the first day of finals at the Olympic regatta, the American crews failed to place on the podium.

The U.S. women’s double sculls duo of Gevvie Stone and Kristi Wagner took fifth in the Olympic regatta at Sea Forest Waterway. Stone, 36, and Wagner, 28, crossed the finish with a time of 6:52.98, 11.95 seconds behind the winner Romania. A U.S. boat has never won a medal in the women’s event at the Olympics.

A three-time Olympian, Stone won the silver medal in the women’s single at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The Newton, Massachusetts, native also raced the single at the 2012 London Olympics, placing first in the B final and seventh overall. Her father, Gregg Stone, coaches the women’s double. Wagner is competing on her first Olympic and senior national team.

The U.S. men’s four of Clark Dean, Michael Grady, Anders Weiss and Andrew Reed took fifth in in their race. With a time of 5:48.85, the four crossed the finish line 6.09 seconds behind first-place Australia.

Just one member of the boat had previous Olympic experience – Weiss raced the men’s pair at the 2016 Rio Olympics and placed fifth in the B final. Dean and Reed were members of the men’s four that qualified the boat for Tokyo by finishing fifth at the 2019 World Rowing Championships.

Despite a lack of American medals, there were a plethora of exciting races on Wednesday. In the first four A finals, the first-place boats set Olympic bests – Romania in the women’s double sculls, France in the men’s double sculls and Australia in the women’s and men’s four. In the men’s quadruple sculls, the Netherlands set a world record. And in the women’s quad, China also set a world record.

Four more U.S. boats remain in the hunt for a medal – the women’s single, pair, eight and the men’s eight.

Olivia Reiner

Ledecky misses out on medal in women's 200 freestyle

TOKYO — Katie Ledecky, the most versatile swimmer at these Olympic Games, disappointingly did not win a medal, finishing fifth, Wednesday morning in the women’s 200-meter freestyle.

Ledecky swam the 200 in 1:55.21, finishing 1.71 seconds behind Australian Ariarne Titmus, who won in an Olympic record 1:53.50, and claimed her second gold medal of these Games.

Siobhan Haughey took silver followed by Penny Oleksiak of Canada.

Katie Ledecky finished the women's 200m freestyle final in fifth place, then had to regroup for the 1500 free final later in the day.
Katie Ledecky finished the women's 200m freestyle final in fifth place, then had to regroup for the 1500 free final later in the day.

Ledecky had a little more than an hour before her 1,500 final later Wednesday.

Ledecky, already the most decorated female swimmer in history, won the silver medal in the 400 freestyle Monday with her second-best time ever, beaten only by the swim of a lifetime by Titmus.

This was just the beginning of an extraordinary morning for the 24-year-old from Bethesda, Maryland. It is the first time women have been allowed to swim the 1,500 at the Olympic Games. Ledecky was the strong favorite for the gold medal in that event.

Christine Brennan

US 3x3 basketball guided by veteran coach

TOKYO — Kara Lawson has spent five years in coaching, a profession that has taken to her to an NBA bench and presently the helm of the Duke Blue Devils’ women’s basketball program. Her name has also been floated in the NBA head-coaching rumor mill.

But the former WNBA All-Star actually started her coaching career in the 3-on-3 format.

“As my 3-on-3 responsibilities grew,” Lawson told USA TODAY Sports via video call. “I also became a 5-on-5 coach at the same time.”

It was in her first year coaching 3-on-3, 2017, Lawson helped lead the U-18 3-on-3 team to gold at the World Cup in China. USA Basketball then asked her to coach the U-18 men's side. More success followed, and she began working with G League and WNBA players in her first exposure to the senior squads.

Eventually, Lawson became the official "adviser" – 3-on-3 teams don't have official coaches like 5-on-5 teams do – for the women's 3-on-3 Olympic team.

At the Tokyo Olympics, the team has been a bright spot for Team USA. The roster of four won their first six games before losing to host Japan. By then, they'd secured the best record in group play and a bye into the semifinals against France, which will take place Wednesday at 4 a.m. EDT. The gold- or bronze-medal contest will take place later that day.

"I feel like we’ve gotten better throughout the tournament and we’ve put ourselves in position to win, just like three other teams," Lawson said.

The mentality heading into medal day?

Win two, win gold.

Chris Bumbaca

56-year-old U.S. equestrian wins medal, best finish in over 70 years

Steffen Peters, a 56-year-old equestrian rider, becomes the oldest U.S. Olympic medalist since 1952. U.S. gets silver behind Germany in team dressage. Peters has participated in four Olympic, winning a team bronze medal on two occasions (in 1996 and 2016).

For the U.S., it was the best finish in team dressage since the 1948 London Games, when the country also won silver.

Silver medalists Adrienne Lyle, Steffen Peters and Sabine Schut-Kery of the United States ride together after the medal ceremony of the Equestrian Dressage team final.
Silver medalists Adrienne Lyle, Steffen Peters and Sabine Schut-Kery of the United States ride together after the medal ceremony of the Equestrian Dressage team final.

Biles discusses decision to pull out of gymnastics team final

TOKYO — A distraught Simone Biles pulled out of the Olympic team final on Tuesday, leaving in the middle of the competition after struggling to land a vault.

"After the performance that I did, I didn’t want to go into any of the other events second guessing myself, so I thought it was better if I took a step back and let these girls go out there and do the job and they did just that," Biles said.

She said she has been trying to cope with the stress of competing at the Tokyo Olympics.

"I was still struggling with some things," Biles said of competing Tuesday night.

"Therapy has helped a lot as well as medicine. That’s all been going really well. Whenever you get in high-stress situations, you kind of freak out and don’t know really know how to handle all of those emotions especially at the Olympic Games."

Biles left the competition floor moments after she struggled to land a vault that is second nature for her. On the team’s first event, she shockingly bailed on an Amanar – one of her more difficult vaults – and just barely landed a one-and-a-half.

A visibly upset Biles talked with one of her personal coaches, Cecile Landi, and the team doctor, Marcia Faustin. Though she put on her grips to prepare for uneven bars next, she left the competition floor.

When she returned, she took off her grips and put on her warm-ups.

"This Olympic Games I wanted it to be for myself," Biles said fighting back tears. "I came in and felt like I was still doing it for other people. That just hurts my heart that doing what I love has been kind of taken away from me to please other people."

Rachel Axon

Four hours to forget for US Olympic women mainstays

TOKYO — USA women’s gymnastics loses Simone Biles, then loses to Russia.

USA softball loses the gold medal to Japan, just as it did the last time softball was in the Olympics 13 years ago.

USA women’s soccer plays Australia to an unimpressive scoreless tie, moving on in the Olympics but not looking very good in the process.

All of that bad news happened within less than four hours Tuesday evening at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Three of the mainstays of the American Olympic effort, three of the most reliable U.S. success stories, all struggled at the same time.

This wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. Women’s sports are the backbone of the U.S. Olympic team, particularly women’s team sports. Women make up a majority of the U.S. Olympic team for the third consecutive time. Women usually are the biggest stars of Team USA, thanks to Title IX, the 49-year-old law that opened the floodgates for women and girls to play sports just like their brothers had for generations. It’s not a surprise then that the Olympics are the Super Bowl for female athletes.

Since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, American women’s team sports have mostly thrived at the Olympic Games. But in Tokyo, it turns out that for some of the nation’s best women athletes, it was just that kind of a day.

Christine Brennan

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tokyo Olympics live updates: US women's 3x3 team wins gold, Biles out

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