Workforce USA off to gradual begin at Tokyo Olympics however loads of medal alternatives await

After the primary weekend of competitors on the Tokyo Olympics, China leads the general medal depend with 18, adopted by the U.S. with 14. Thus far, Workforce USA is being led by American swimmers, who’ve gained eight medals.

There’s additionally rising issues that Workforce USA’s basketball staff is likely to be shedding its manner. The star-studded males’s basketball staff suffered a shocking seven-point defeat to France — its first loss since 2004.

“It is just a little bit unfathomable. It is so much alarming. And I believe actually for the gamers and for followers of this staff, it is irritating as a result of they need to be higher than this,” mentioned Dan Wolken, who covers basketball for USA In the present day.

USA Males’s Basketball got here into the Video games on shaky floor, having misplaced two out of 4 exhibition matches previous to the beginning of the Olympics. The belief, or hope, that they’d simply flip a change as soon as the actual match started turned out to be false. 

The staff, led by superstars like Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard, have been outscored by France 16-2 to shut out their first sport. Workforce USA is an undersized squad in comparison with a few of their worldwide opponents — France’s Rudy Gobert stands over 7 ft tall — they usually wanted high quality perimeter capturing to make up for his or her incapacity to get to the rim and free throw line or win on the offensive glass. However they shot simply 36% from the sector and 31% from behind the arc, in keeping with CBS Sports activities.

JPN: United States v France Men's Basketball - Olympics: Day 2
Zach Lavine, Jrue Vacation, Bam Adebayo, Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard and Head Coach Gregg Popovich of Workforce United States of America on July 25, 2021.

Gregory Shamus/Getty

The American males have winnable matchups towards Iran and the Czech Republic arising, however it appears clear the remainder of the world is closing the hole between the once-dominant squad.

Katie Ledecky, who gained 4 gold medals in 2016, needed to accept silver within the 400-meter freestyle — shedding to Australia’s Ariarne “The Terminator” Titmus. “It is by no means a straightforward journey to the rostrum, and so it isn’t one thing I take as a right being up there,” Ledecky mentioned.

Even USA Gymnastics is feeling the stress, ending second to the Russians within the qualifying spherical for the primary time in additional than a decade. Simone Biles wrote on Instagram, “I actually do really feel like I’ve the load of the world on my shoulders.”

Biles did end first in vault and within the all-around throughout qualifiers, however solely managed second for her ground train, third within the stability beam, and eighth within the uneven bars. Nonetheless, she has an opportunity to win a document 5 gold medals.  

“Actually there have been some early disappointments and we’ll simply should see as we go alongside,” Wolken instructed CBS Information. “It is nonetheless very, very early on this course of.”

However there have been vibrant spots. Amongst them: gold for the lads’s relay, retaining Caleb Dressel’s dream of successful seven gold medals at his first Olympics alive.

A typhoon-turned-tropical storm monitoring north of Tokyo postponed a number of occasions. And COVID circumstances proceed to mount, with no less than 153 constructive exams linked to the video games, together with Spain’s golf celebrity Jon Rahm.

Because the gymnastics staff appears towards a rebound in competitors within the subsequent spherical, they’re down one in every of their very own. Mykayla Skinner, the squad’s oldest member at 24, is headed dwelling after failing to qualify for an occasion finals. It was her first Olympics.

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