American Sunisa Lee is the women's all-around gymnastics champion at the Tokyo Olympics. With Simone Biles out of the competition, Lee held off Brazil's Rebeca Andrade. The United States holds the medal lead with 38, 14 of which are gold. China is right behind with 31 medals but the most golds at 15.
Elsewhere, the late-night crowd was treated to the first round of the men's golf tournament, which, after some delays, has a tight leaderboard that is topped by Austrian Sepp Straka.
In the pool, Team USA resumed its quest for all the hardware, with Caeleb Dressel winning the 100-meter freestyle, his second gold medal of the Olympics, and Bobby Finke delivering one of the finest finishing kicks in American swimming history to triumph in the 800-meter free. Not to mention, the U.S. women's 4x200-meter free relay team earned silver in the fastest women's 4x200 race in the history of the sport. Dressel, along Katie Ledecky and Katie Grimes, were back in the pool Thursday morning.
Miss anything? We've got it covered.
Olympics medal tracker | Schedule
Speed in the pool
Another morning and more swimming heats. The men raced the 100-meter butterfly and 4x100-meter medley. The women raced the 800-meter freestyle and 200-meter backstroke.
In the women's 800 meters, it was the Katies -- Ledecky and Grimes -- finishing 1-2 in their heat.
It's a Katie-Katie finish as they go 1️⃣ - 2️⃣ in their 800m free heat!@USASwimming x @TeamUSA x #TokyoOlympics— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 29, 2021
📱 NBC Sports App pic.twitter.com/hswvGs1MiI
In his heat of the 100-meter butterfly, Dressel powered to an Olympic record. Rhyan White and Phoebe Bacon finished on top in the 200-meter backstroke heat.
Butterfly PERFECTION as Caeleb Dressel ties the Olympic record of 50.39 in heats 😱@USASwimming x @TeamUSA x #TokyoOlympics— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 29, 2021
📱 NBC Sports App pic.twitter.com/tGOWiNHiH0
Another @TeamUSA sweep with Rhyan White and Phoebe Bacon winning their heat 🔥@USASwimming x #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/HboaVqr8jV— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 29, 2021
Unlikely early golf leader
Austria's Sepp Straka was in the very first group out in the men's golf competition, on the tee bright and early at 7:30 a.m. local time. Let's just say tournament organizers don't often put the big names out first, so it's safe to say nobody saw what was coming. Straka, ranked 161st in the world, posted a bogey-free 8-under 63 to take the first round lead, one ahead of Thailand's Jazz Janewattananond.
But there must have been something about being first off. Thomas Pieters was in that same first group with Straka, and the 116th-ranked player shot 6-under 65 to settle into third place through the opening round.
Looking for some more recognizable names? Last-minute Team USA add Patrick Reed opened with 68, as did Xander Schauffele. Right behind them, at 2 under, are Open champion Collin Morikawa, Masters champion and home-country favorite Hideki Matsuyama and Rory McIlroy. Clearly, the golf was there to be had -- only 13 players in the 60-person field shot a score over par. -- Nick Pietruszkiewicz
👀 There's a lot of talent at the #TokyoOlympics!— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) July 29, 2021
Opening round leaderboard ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/5G0JZUraWL
Read more: No prep time not bothering Patrick Reed
Dressel wins gold in the 100 free
American swimmer Caeleb Dressel earned his first individual Olympic gold medal after a close finish in the 100-meter freestyle at 47.02 seconds, an Olympic record. He beat 2016 Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers by six-hundredths of a second.
"Right now, I am just kind of hurt. It's a really tough year," an emotional Dressel said in poolside interview afterward. "It's really hard. To have the results show up -- I am happy." -- Aishwarya Kumar
Read more: Caeleb Dressel's time is now
OLYMPIC CHAMPION 🙌 @TeamUSA x #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/i6kLIDT01N— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 29, 2021
The emotions of gold for @TeamUSA's Caeleb Dressel.— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 29, 2021
He reached the dream. #TokyoOlympics
📱: NBC Sports App pic.twitter.com/DsFw6LPu1a
GOOSEBUMPS.— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 29, 2021
Caeleb Dressel sets the 100M Free Olympic Record and his family's reaction is EVERYTHING. #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/vwiYZMJ85J
How it started vs. How it's going— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) July 29, 2021
Caeleb Dressel x #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/Idtk0E3Fy7
Finke's finishing kick gets gold
The first-ever Olympic men's 800-meter freestyle event will be remembered for a long time, as the United States' Bobby Finke, who was not in the top three in the final turn, sprinted the last 25 meters to take the gold at 7:41.87. He became the first American man to win a distance freestyle gold since 1984. -- Aishwarya Kumar
I FINKE. I CAN. @Robert_Finke takes GOLD in the first ever Olympic men's 800M freestyle in a THRILLER!— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 29, 2021
#TokyoOlympics x @TeamUSA
📱: NBC Sports App pic.twitter.com/OulFLF9tfY
HE DID THE UN-FINKEABLE!— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 29, 2021
Bobby Finke, you are an OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST. #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/mHtfqDsEnr
Just one @FloridaGators swimmer supporting another!— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 29, 2021
Caeleb Dressel's reaction to Bobby Finke's victory was awesome! #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/n2BEHLuyIS
China sets world record, USA second in fastest women's 4x200 relay ever
Katie Ledecky anchored Team USA to a silver in a stunning women's 4x200-meter freestyle relay race in which all three medalists broke the previous world record. China won the gold medal by four-tenths of a second over the United States with a time of 7:40.33 to the Americans' 7:40.73. Australia, the favorite going into the race, took bronze. -- Aishwarya Kumar
WORLD RECORD!— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 29, 2021
China takes gold in the women's 4x200m relay, as @TeamUSA beats Australia for silver! #TokyoOlympics
📱: NBC Sports App pic.twitter.com/m3hSgc9dWo
"Resilience."— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 29, 2021
Hear from @TeamUSA on what it took to win silver and beat the heavily favored Australian team, and celebrate as they hear their splits. #TokyoOlympics
📱: NBC Sports App pic.twitter.com/3zYMDzRPs4
when all three 4x200m relay medalists break the world record pic.twitter.com/5qUCU2JikE— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 29, 2021
The United States men's synchronized springboard diving duo of Andrew Capobianco and Michael Hixon were in sync in a way that would make Justin Timberlake, Lance Bass & Co. proud, as they showed out to grab silver.
Capobianco/Hixon 🤝 @jtimberlake— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 29, 2021
@NSYNC #TokyoOlympics x @TeamUSA
📱: NBC Sports App pic.twitter.com/bIcmTWD0ap
We're head over heels for these @ajcapo_99 and @MichaelHixon11 dives. #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/fo8KvhLCBm— Team USA (@TeamUSA) July 29, 2021
Claes, Sponcil roll to victory
The United States beach volleyball duo of Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil didn't waste much time taking out Kenya's Brackcides Khadambi and Gaudencia Makokha, cruising to a 21-8, 21-6 victory to move to 2-0 in Pool D play.
.@kellyclaes3 & @SSponcil take the win against Kenya 🙌#SeeHerShine | #OlympicHERstory pic.twitter.com/Lu4Kf47dcq— On Her Turf (@OnHerTurf) July 29, 2021
Matsuyama announces his presence
The first round of Olympic men's golf has teed off in Tokyo, and Japan's favorite son, reigning Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama, is going for gold in his home country. And it seems like he's ready to roll.
From @TheMasters to Tokyo!— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 28, 2021
Hideki Matsuyama has arrived at the #TokyoOlympics.
💻 https://t.co/FmEtvutDRA pic.twitter.com/8KJmdvChjM
Meanwhile, the Team USA contingent has a superfan, one who has won a gold or two in the past.
Michael Phelps is ready for Olympic golf ⛳ #TokyoOlympics— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) July 29, 2021
(via IG/@MichaelPhelps) pic.twitter.com/gatMg5I9mz
Sing it loud, sing it proud
The Fiji men's rugby team is pretty darn good at what it does, as it proved by beating New Zealand 27-12 in the rugby sevens gold-medal match. But the Flying Fijians have versatility, as they busted out in song to celebrate their gold. Seriously, they could book a gig at the next Catalina Wine Mixer.
Sing it loud and proud, Fiji rugby! What great voices! #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/QdG3lT6MsW— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 29, 2021
Meanwhile, cool, technological things are going on in the world of Olympic women's rugby. Don't ask, just enjoy.
Am I the only one who thinks this rugby ball delivery device is so adorable?#OlympicHERstory | #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/kNiHVXxi8G— On Her Turf (@OnHerTurf) July 29, 2021
Do you even lift, bro?
China's Shi Zhiyong certainly does. Zhiyong, who competed in the 73-kilogram class, broke his own world record with a lift of 364 kilograms (802.48 pounds) en route to winning the gold. Not only that, Shi added some flair to his lift.
THIS is the face of a man who's setting a weightlifting world record. #TokyoOlympics 😤 pic.twitter.com/UxqGOFb4uN— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) July 28, 2021
Thrill of victory
Who says there's no emotion in badminton? Not us, and certainly not Guatemala's Kevin Cordon, who gave us a perfect display of what the Olympics means with this reaction to upsetting Hong Kong's Angus Ng Ka-long.
Pure. Emotion.— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) July 28, 2021
This reaction from Guatemala's Kevin Cordon after winning his badminton match is everything that we love about the #TokyoOlympics. pic.twitter.com/N1yNLWweHf