That’s more like it. After getting shut out from the podium on Day 1, the medals started rolling in for Team USA during Sunday’s early action in the Tokyo Olympics. The catalyst was a historic performance in the pool, which saw the Americans pull in six medals in less than two hours. Chase Kalisz, a Michael Phelps protégé, secured the United States’ first gold of these Games by winning the men’s 400 individual medley. American Jay Litherland took the silver medal just behind Kalisz. Emma Weyant and Hali Flickinger claimed silver and bronze, respectively, in the women’s 400 IM. Kieran Smith secured bronze in the men’s 400-meter freestyle. The women’s 4×100 freestyle relay team added the sixth medal for the swimmers on the day. NEVER MISS A MEDAL: Sign up for our Olympic newsletter now WANT BEHIND-THE-SCENES ACCESS IN TOKYO? Sign up for Olympic texts to get exclusive access to the Games Here are some of the other notable things you missed Sunday in Tokyo while you were sleeping:
U.S. gymnastics team gets off to surprising start (not the good kind)The good news? The U.S. women’s gymnastics team still qualified second Sunday, behind only the Russians. The bad news? This was the first time since the 2010 world championships that the Americans have failed to finish first in either qualifying or team finals at worlds or the Olympics. Scoring starts over in Tuesday’s team finals, but another performance like this and the women will be looking at one of the most epic upsets in Olympic history, Nancy Armour writes.
America adds another medal in skateboarding’s Olympic debutBack to the high points of Sunday’s early action: Skateboarding made its Olympic debut with competition in the men’s street discipline. And the United States picked up another medal, its seventh of the day, as 20-year-old Jagger Eaton took bronze. “To take home the first skateboarding medal for Team USA,” Eaton said with a smile, “I’m just very stoked right now.” In a bit of a surprise, fellow American Nyjah Huston, a six-time world champion and a favorite in the event, finished seventh. He reached the final but wiped out on four of his five trick attempts, effectively eliminating him from medal contention. “I’ve never felt so much pressure, from like representing your country, too,” Huston said. “So all the people back home, all the homies, everyone in the USA that was rooting for me – I’m sorry. I know I definitely let some people down. And I have no problem admitting that. But I’m human, you know?”
Team USA picks up second goldWilliam Shaner won the men’s 10-meter air rifle competition, setting an Olympic record with a final-round score of 251.6.
Shaner’s victory was the first for the United States in the event, and the second gold medal overall at these Games. Team USA now has eight medals so far in Tokyo.
“Still trying to believe it,” Shaner said afterward. “It’s been a long time, though, growing up in the sport, progressing. To finally have (the gold medal), it’s amazing.”
Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm out of Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19
American golf star Bryson DeChambeau will miss the Olympic golf competition after testing positive for COVID-19 before traveling to Tokyo.
“I am deeply disappointed not to be able to compete in the Olympics for Team USA,” DeChambeau said in a statement through USA Golf. “Representing my country means the world to me and it is was a tremendous honor to make this team. I wish Team USA the best of luck next week in Tokyo.”
DeChambeau will be replaced by Patrick Reed, another former major winner who went to the Olympics in 2016.
Later Sunday, it was revealed that 2021 U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm would also miss the Olympics after he too tested positive for COVID-19.
Rahm had to take four PCR tests in the United Kingdom before coming to Tokyo. He failed three consecutive tests, the Spanish Olympic Committee confirmed to USA TODAY Sports.
‘Happy again,’ Naomi Osaka dominates in return to court
Naomi Osaka returned to the court Sunday and submitted a dominant 6-1, 6-4 win over China’s Zheng Saisai in the first round of the Olympic tennis tournament.
Playing in her home country – she lit the torch at the opening ceremony – the pressure on Osaka is high. But she says she’s “just focused on playing tennis.”
“Playing the Olympics has been a dream of mine since I was a kid so I feel like the break I took was very needed but I feel definitely a little bit refreshed and happy again,” she said.