Live updates from Summer Olympics 2021: US wins swimming gold in men's 400 freestyle relay

·11 min read

The third day of official competition at the Tokyo Olympics featured more action in the pool as U.S. swimmers added two more medals -- a gold in the men's 4x100 freestyle relay and a silver from Katie Ledecky in the women's 400 free -- to their record-breaking opening day performance on Sunday.

After being shut out of any medals on Day 1, Team USA bounced back in a big way with 10 medals on Sunday, including four golds.

Highlighting Monday's action are the men's team competitions in gymnastics and archery, as well as medal events in men's and women's fencing. Meanwhile, Olympic organizers are keeping a close watch on the weather as a tropical storm by the name of Nepartak is heading Japan's way and could impact several events.

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U.S. women's water polo team moves to 2-0

The U.S. women's water polo team - the two-time reigning Olympic gold-medal winners - moved to 2-0 in preliminary round play with a 12-7 win over China on Monday.

Tied at 6-6 at halftime, the U.S. pulled away in the second half by out-scoring China 6-1.

Makenzie Fischer led all scorers with three goals. Rachel Fattal scored twice, and Aria Fischer, Kaleigh Gilchrist, Stephanie Haralabidis, Paige Hauschild, Melissa Seidemann, Margaret Steffens and Alys Williams each had a goal apiece.

The U.S, which opened the Olympics with a 25-4 win over Japan, next plays against Hungary on Wednesday at 1 a.m. ET.

13-year-old Momiji Nishiya wins skateboarding gold

At just 13 years old, Momiji Nishiya of Japan can call herself a gold medalist.

Nishiya won the gold medal in the inaugural women's street skateboarding competition with a score of 15.26, beating out fellow 13-year-old Rayssa Leal of Brazil, who won silver with a 14.64. Japan's Funa Nakayama, 16, won bronze with a 14.49.

Nishiya's win makes her one of the youngest gold medal winners in the history of the modern games. U.S. diver Marjorie Gestring is the youngest gold medal winner in Summer Games history as she won in 1936 at the age of 13 years, 268 days. Nishiya is 13 years, 330 days old.

Had Leal won, she would have broken Gestring's record at 13 years, 203 days old.

Momiji Nishiya (JPN) celebrates winning the gold medal in the women's street skateboard during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Ariake Urban Sports Park.
Momiji Nishiya (JPN) celebrates winning the gold medal in the women's street skateboard during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Ariake Urban Sports Park.

Disappointing day for U.S. men's fencing team

CHIBA, Japan – The U.S. fencing team arrived in Tokyo with three of the top nine entries in men's foil, a juggernaut capable of vying for multiple medals. And coincidentally, the three men – No. 2 Gerek Meinhardt, No. 5 Alexander Massialas and No. 9 Nick Itkin –- found themselves fencing simultaneously in the Round of 32.

But in a surprising twist, only Itkin advanced.

Massialas, who won silver in the event at the 2016 Rio Games, lost to German Peter Joppich. And Meinhardt, whose wife, Lee Keifer, won gold in the women's foil Sunday night, came up short against the ROC's Vladislav Mylinikov. The longtime friends consoled one another in the mixed zone between interviews with reporters.

Itkin, a 21-year-old first-time Olympian, beat Anton Borodachev of the ROC and was due to face another ROC athlete in the Round of 16 later Monday.

Massialas and Meinhardt will now shift their focus to the men's team foil competition, which is Sunday.

"I'll be more motivated, with Alexander, with Nikita – who will hopefully continue on in this tournament and win the medals for us," Meinhardt said. "We're just looking ahead to team now and getting really pumped to come out strong."

-- Tom Schad

Caeleb Dressel leads US men to relay gold

TOKYO – U.S. men’s swimming won their first Olympic relay medal Monday, taking gold in the 4x100-meter freestyle.

The Americans won the 4x100 free title for the 10th time in Olympic history and second straight Games. They were second twice (most recently 2012) and third once (2004).

Caeleb Dressel, the only returner from the Rio 2016 gold medal-winning team, led off followed by Blake Pieroni, Bowen Becker and Zach Apple at Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

Other than at 150 meters, the U.S. led throughout, pulling away to a safe margin over the final 200 to win in 3:08.97, its fastest time since Beijing 2008 (world record 3:08.24).

Italy was second (3:10.11) with Australia coming on late for third (3:10.22).

In Rio, Dressel was part of a winning team (3:09.92) with Michael Phelps, Ryan Held and Nathan Adrian.

-- Jeff Metcalfe

Zach Apple is congratulated by teammates after anchoring the USA to a gold medal in the men's 4x100m freestyle relay final at Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
Zach Apple is congratulated by teammates after anchoring the USA to a gold medal in the men's 4x100m freestyle relay final at Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

Naomi Osaka cruises in second round of women's tennis

TOKYO – After gliding through her first-round match on Sunday, No. 2-seed Naomi Osaka returned one day later and easily took care of Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic, 6-3, 6-2.

Though they exchanged holds of serve for the first seven games of the match, Osaka finally took command with a break at 4-3, punishing a series of Golubic first serves that topped out around 82 miles per hour. Able to do pretty much whatever she wanted with those softballs, Osaka kept Golubic pinned behind the baseline and teed off on her forehand, producing winner after winner.

The Olympic tournament is suddenly setting up well for Osaka, playing in her home country as the face of these games. With No. 1 Ash Barty out of the event, Osaka is looking very much the part of gold medal favorite.

-- Dan Wolken

USA Softball walks it off against Japan ahead of gold medal rematch

After going perfect in their first four games, the U.S. and Japan set themselves up to meet in the softball gold medal match before their final opening-round game against each other.

Saki Yamazaki scored the first run of the game for Japan in the first inning off an Ally Carda wild pitch. The U.S., which hasn't scored much in these games, got on the board in the sixth inning off a Valerie Arioto RBI. In the bottom of the seventh, Kelsey Stewart hit a walk-off home run to right field to secure Team USA's perfect opening-round record and the home team designation in the gold medal game.

Japan and the U.S. will play for gold on Tuesday at 7 a.m. ET. The two powerhouses met in the last softball gold medal game in 2008, when Japan won 3-1.

Katie Ledecky takes silver in women's 400 free

TOKYO — In one of the most anticipated events of the Tokyo Olympics, American swimming standout Katie Ledecky lost to her Australian rival Ariarne Titmus by .67 of a second in the women’s 400-meter freestyle.

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The loss for the 24-year-old Ledecky was not entirely unexpected, as Titmus, 20, has been gaining on her the past few years. With five Olympic gold medals and 15 world championship titles, Ledecky remains the most decorated female swimmer of all time.

Ledecky still has the 200, 800 and 1,500 freestyle events remaining, and the U.S. women’s 4x200 relay. She is heavily favored to win gold in the 800 and 1,500.

-- Christine Brennan

Katie Ledecky reaches for the wall in the women's 400m freestyle final at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. She finished second to Australia's Ariarne Titmus by .67 of a second.
Katie Ledecky reaches for the wall in the women's 400m freestyle final at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. She finished second to Australia's Ariarne Titmus by .67 of a second.

US nets 'nerve-wracking' beach volleyball win

The U.S. women’s beach volleyball duo of Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil defeated Latvia in their first match of the pool round 2-1 on Monday.

The match between the two nations ended in dramatic fashion. After trading leads back and forth in the third set, Claes and Sponcil went on a 6-0 run to beat Latvia 15-11. Claes put up a couple of key block points to help secure the victory for the U.S.

“It was exciting, a little bit nerve-wracking, going into that first set,” Sponcil said. “But I think it was really back and forth. We have similar play styles. They were beating us on defense and I really think it came down to that third set. I think we did a good job of just sticking one point at a time, being really present and it came down to some really good blocks by Kel. Couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Claes, 25, and Sponcil, 24, made U.S. history as the youngest beach volleyball pair to compete at the Olympics. Two other U.S. beach volleyball teams are currently undefeated – the duos of Alix Klineman/April Ross and Tri Bourne/Jake Gibb both won their first matches. Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena lost their opener.

Claes and Sponcil will play their next match of the pool round against Argentina at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 28.

-- Olivia Reiner

USA's Torri Huske falls agonizingly short of medal in 100 butterfly

TOKYO — Torri Huske, the 18-year-old American record holder, finished fourth, just .01 of a second out of the medals, in a packed final in the women’s 100-meter butterfly Monday morning at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

Canada's Margaret Macneil won gold in 55.59 seconds followed by China's Zhang Yufei (55.64) and Australia's Emma McKeon (55.72).

Torri Huske (USA) and Emma McKeon (AUS) look up at the results in the women's 100m butterfly final.
Torri Huske (USA) and Emma McKeon (AUS) look up at the results in the women's 100m butterfly final.

Huske was second at the turn but finished in 55.73 seconds, .14 of a second behind Macneil.

Huske, who graduated last month from Yorktown High in Arlington, Virginia, and is headed to Stanford in the fall, is the only child of a Chinese-American immigrant mother and an American father. As a little girl, she disliked swimming in cold water so much that she wore a wetsuit until she was told she couldn’t swim in it in one of her earliest swim meets.

-- Christine Brennan

Kevin McDowell, a cancer survivor, sets American triathlon record

TOKYO — Ten years ago, Kevin McDowell beat cancer.

On Monday at Odaiba Marine Park, he competed against 43 fellow triathletes and finish sixth (1:45:54) — the best ever result for an American man in an Olympic triathlon.

McDowell overcame a slow start in the 1,500-meter swim to start the race, and was in 47th place after the swim. He made up the lost ground in the biking portion (40 kilometers), when he stuck with the group and executed smooth transition to enter the final leg, a 10-kilometer run, in fourth.

By the third running lap, the 28-year-old had moved into second – and also displayed quality sportsmanship, sharing a water bottle with a Belgian competitor while in stride. He dropped to fifth place over the next 2.5-kilometer lap, and ultimately finished sixth in the event won by Norway's Kristian Blummenfelt. Great Britain's Alex Yee took silver and New Zealand's Hayden Wilde bronze. Fellow American Morgan Pearson finished 42nd (1:52:05).

--Chris Bumbaca

American Kevin McDowell, left, runs in the men's individual triathlon.
American Kevin McDowell, left, runs in the men's individual triathlon.

Broadcast boat delays start of triathlon

The men’s individual triathlon got off to a chaotic start when half the field entered the water before the other half was able to as a broadcast boat blocked their entry into Tokyo Bay (water temperature around 29 degrees Celsius Monday morning).

The triathletes already in the water for the 1,500-meter swim believed the race of their lives had been underway. They swam with vigor until organizers in speedboats and kayaks caught up to them and impeded their paths. Upon their return to the starting pontoon, the race began without a hitch. No athletes were injured by the boat.

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Some athletes dive into the water while others are blocked by a broadcast boat in the men's individual triathlon competition during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Some athletes dive into the water while others are blocked by a broadcast boat in the men's individual triathlon competition during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

--Chris Bumbaca

Patrick Reed has busy testing, travel schedule before competing in Tokyo

BLAINE, Minn. – Patrick Reed had finished Saturday’s third round of the 3M Open when he learned he would represent the U.S. in the men’s golf competition at the Summer Games in Tokyo after Bryson DeChambeau tested positive for COVID-19 and was forced to withdraw.

Per COVID protocols, Reed began testing Saturday night and needs to pass tests on Sunday and then at least 24 hours later on Monday to be able to play. Reed said he was flying home to Texas and will test there on Sunday and Monday.

If the two tests come up negative, he will fly from Houston to San Francisco on Tuesday morning and then fly from the Golden City to Tokyo, arriving Wednesday afternoon. Reed, who tied for 11th in the 2016 Rio Summer Games, would join Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele on the U.S. team.

-- Steve DiMeglio, Golfweek

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Olympics 2021 live updates: Ledecky wins silver; men's 4x100 gets gold

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