Team USA experienced the widest range of emotions during Thursday’s early track and field action at the Tokyo Olympics.
The thrill of victory was personified by Ryan Crouser, who added to the United States’ medal haul by shattering his own Olympic record on the way to repeating as the shot put champion.
The agony of defeat was experienced by the men’s 4×100-meter relay team, which shockingly did not even qualify for the final, a result one U.S. track and field legend had plenty to say about.
“This was a football coach taking a team to the Super Bowl and losing 99-0 because they were completely ill-prepared,” Carl Lewis, who also referred to the relay debacle as a “clown show,” said in a phone interview with USA TODAY Sports.
Ronnie Baker reacts after Team USA’s 4×100-meter relay heat.
Between those extremes was Grant Holloway, the world champion who captured a silver medal in the men’s 110-meter hurdles despite being upset by Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment.
Here are some of the other notable moments you missed Thursday in Tokyo while you were sleeping:
USWNT wins bronze medal
The U.S. women’s national soccer team overcame the disappointment of the loss to Canada to capture the bronze medal with a 4-3 victory over Australia.
Longtime stars Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd led the way, each scoring two goals apiece.
With her two goals, Lloyd passed former USWNT star Abby Wambach for the most goals scored at the Olympics by an American player.
Megan Rapinoe celebrates with Lindsey Horan after scoring a goal in the USWNT’s 4-3 victory over Australia.
U.S. men’s basketball team reaches gold medal game
The U.S. men’s basketball team looked like it might be in trouble Thursday.
The Americans trailed the Australians by 15 in the first half of their Olympic quarterfinal game. But similar to their quarterfinal contest against Spain, Team USA locked things down on defense and finally started hitting shots to eventually win going away.
With Kevin Durant once again leading the way in the 97-78 victory, Team USA advanced to the gold medal game, where it will look to win its fourth straight Olympic championship against the winner of the game between France and Slovenia.
Kevin Durant celebrates on the bench during Team USA’s game against Australia.
American close to breaking men’s boxing gold medal drought
Duke Ragan had the chance to become the first U.S. men’s boxer to win a gold medal since 2004, but he fell just short Thursday, dropping a split decision to Russian Albert Batyrgaziev.
“It’s not a happy ending for me,’’ said the 23-year-old Ragan. “But I’ll take a silver medal before I don’t get on the medal podium at all.’
Australian Kieran Woolley collided with a cameraman during a run in the park skateboarding competition.
Thankfully, both parties appeared to be OK, and Woolley still qualified for the finals after the incident in the preliminaries.
Woolley’s fellow Australian, Keegan Palmer, won the gold medal. American Cory Juneau secured bronze.
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