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Olympics 2021 live updates: Katie Ledecky takes gold in 1,500 free, U.S. men’s hoops looks to bounce back, plus more from Tokyo

Are you not entertained? The Tokyo Olympics roll on Tuesday night with opportunities for redemption and, of course, more gold medals. After a jam-packed morning that saw a Simone Biles-less Team USA earn a hard-fought second-place finish behind the Russian Olympic Committee in the women’s gymnastics team final and USA softball claim silver after a loss to Japan in the championship game, it’s time to turn our attention to the evening slate.

Luckily for us, that includes swimmer Katie Ledecky winning her first gold of the Games and a chance for U.S. men’s basketball to bounce back after its loss to France.

If you don’t mind staying up late, you’ll be able to witness Kevin Durant — who enters tonight’s game 15 points shy of tying Carmelo Anthony‘s record for points scored in Team USA Olympic history — & Co. as they take on Iran (12:40 a.m. ET, Wednesday). The stakes are high, as the Americans could need wins against Iran and the Czech Republic if they hope to make it to the quarterfinals and keep their dreams of a fourth consecutive gold alive.

From Ledecky achieving her sixth career gold (GOAT things) to KD’s run at the record books, we got you covered with updates from all of tonight’s action:

Olympics medal tracker | Schedule

American Katie Ledecky won the first gold medal of her 2020 Olympic campaign on Wednesday in the debut of the women’s 1,500-meter freestyle.

Approximately 70 minutes after competing in the women’s 200-meter freestyle race, in which she finished in fifth place, Ledecky showed no signs of fatigue and took control of the 1,500-meter race from the start. She cruised to victory with a time of 15:37.34, more than four seconds ahead of silver medalist Erica Sullivan, also of the United States.

Germany’s Sarah Kohler took home the bronze.

Ledecky’s American teammates chanted, “U-S-A, U-S-A,” from the stands at the Tokyo Aquatic Center as she approached the wall to clinch the victory.

Ledecky had been touted as one of the faces of the 2020 Olympic Games, and expectations were high for the 24-year-old to add to her previous collection of five gold medals. She won the silver medal in the 400-meter freestyle earlier in the week. — D’Arcy Maine


USA men’s volleyball bests Tunisia

The US men’s volleyball team defeated Tunisia in four sets, moving the Americans to 2-1 in pool B. The US dropped the second set before holding off Tunisia. The United States will resume pool play Thursday with a match against Brazil.


Virginia duo medals in 200 IM

Having one Olympian is a big deal for a university. Two is even bigger. Two in the same event, both who ended up on the same medal podium? Welcome to the University of Virginia’s world.

Cavaliers swimmers Alex Walsh and Kate Douglass earned silver and bronze in the 200-meter individual medley on Tuesday, finishing just behind Japan’s Yui Ohashi.

UVa was understandably pumped.

This race caps a big year for Walsh and Douglass, who helped lead Virginia to the NCAA championship earlier this year.


Australia’s Titmus sets Olympic record

In the first of her two swimming events on Wednesday at the Tokyo Aquatics Center, Katie Ledecky finished in fifth place during the women’s 200 meter freestyle. She was the reigning Olympic champion in the event.

Ariarne Titmus of Australia won the gold medal with a time of 1:53.50, a new Olympic record. Siobhan Bernadette Haughey of Hong Kong and Penny Oleksiak of Canada took home the silver and bronze, respectively. Ledecky’s time of 1:55.21 was more than a second-and-a-half behind the winning mark.

Ledecky got her sixth career gold in the inaugural Olympic running of the women’s 1500 meter freestyle later on Wednesday. She won the silver medal in the 400 meter freestyle earlier in the week — also losing to Titmus. — D’Arcy Maine

Titmus’ coach, Dean Boxall, was slightly excited for his swimmer.


Options aplenty for USA men’s basketball despite opening loss

Team USA is 0-1 in pool play at the Olympics after losing to France on Sunday. The format from previous games has changed, so the pathway to the advancing to the medal round is different, something the Americans now have to play closer attention to.

Unlike in the past, three are three groups of four teams and not two groups of six, creating some nuance to how teams can advance.

The top two teams in each group will advance to the quarterfinals. That means despite the defeat, the Americans still control their destiny. If they beat Iran on Wednesday and then the Czech Republic on Saturday, they will clinch no worse than a second-place finish in their group and will advance.

However, there is a scenario in which the U.S. could lose another game and still advance. Two third-place teams from group play will get through based on their point differential. This means the final score is relevant and running up the score if there is a blowout-win opportunity could end up being valuable.

For the eight teams that advance to the quarterfinals, there is a redraw to set the bracket for the medal round. By placing second or third in a pool, which is a scenario Team USA is facing, they will likely face a harder road to the gold medal. — Brian Windhorst


Chiles getting after it

Jordan Chiles was put on the spot on Tuesday when Simone Biles withdrew from the women’s team all-around gymnastics competition. While the Americans weren’t able to catch the Russian Olympic Committee for the gold, Chiles performed well and showed some killer dance moves, to boot.

The dancing continued on the podium.


Learning about Lydia

Lydia Jacoby’s gold medal in the 100-meter breaststroke was a surprise, so it’s time to get to know the young Alaskan swimmer. She provides some notes below.



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