The U.S. women's soccer team got off to a fast start thanks to a pair of players who had been there before. Two goals each from Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd made sure the USWNT didn't leave the Tokyo Olympics without a medal. Instead, it took home bronze with a 4-3 win over Australia on Thursday.
The U.S. men's basketball team trailed by 15 midway through the second quarter of the semifinals. But with a gold-medal game appearance on the line, Kevin Durant led the charge. Durant had 23 points and eight rebounds, while Devin Booker scored 20 points as the U.S. used a 48-14 run to beat Australia 97-78 to advance to the gold-medal game, where France awaits.
On the track, the U.S. women advanced to the final of the 4x100-meter relay for a chance at their third straight Olympic gold. Also, American Ryan Crouser broke the Olympic record twice in two attempts, sitting pretty on top of the list by taking home back-to-back gold medals in shot put. Meanwhile, the U.S. men shocked the world by failing to qualify for the final of the 4x100-meter relay, finishing sixth in their heat.
Then, U.S. baseball earned a convincing 7-2 win over South Korea to secure a rematch with Japan in the gold-medal game.
From the plethora of track events to what went down on the baseball diamond, we've got you covered with all the action you might have missed:
Take us to out to the gold-medal game
With its 7-2 victory over South Korea, Team USA baseball is one win away from its first gold medal since the 2000 Olympics (and second ever). The Americans will face Japan in the championship game, whom they lost to earlier in the week.
Here's how the U.S. capitalized on an early lead to beat South Korea in a rematch from group play, a game the United States won 4-2.
A quick interruption of the onslaught of runs to turn your attention to the most important aspect of Olympic baseball, the bullpen car:
Now, back to the whole "Team USA was building a nice lead" thing.
Gardiner is golden
In Day 7 at Olympic Stadium, Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas earned the gold in the men's 400 meters.
The reigning world champion and favorite entering the race, Gardiner recorded a season-best time of 43.85 - and held off silver medalist Anthony Jose Zambrano of Colombia by 0.23 of a second.
Grenada's James Kirani, who was the Olympic champion in 2012, took home the bronze.
Michael Cherry and Michael Norman, the two Americans in the race, finished in fourth and fifth, respectively. Cherry recorded a personal best with a time of 44.21 seconds.
The U.S. won seven straight gold medals in the event from 1984 through 2008 but has yet to win one since. LaShawn Merritt earned a bronze in 2016. -- D'Arcy Maine
Nageotte flies high
Count it. Cleveland, Ohio native Katie Nageotte secured another gold medal for Team USA -- the third Olympic gold in U.S. women's pole vault history -- as the only competitor to clear 4.9 meters in the final.
Afterward, Nageotte channeled LeBron James in 2016 with a heartfelt, "Cleveland, this is for you!"
Cole vs. world
No experience? No problem. Twenty-year-old University of Oregon star Cole Hocker finished second in the men's 1,500m semifinal with a personal best of 3:33.87 to advance to the final.
You can rel(a)y on USA
It's not easy, but you wouldn't know it watching the American women's 4x400m relay team, who won the heat and advanced to the final like this:
USA men's hoops storms back to gold-medal game
The U.S. men's basketball team trailed 41-26 midway through the second quarter. By the end of the third, the Americans were up 74-55. How? Kevin Durant.
Durant scored a game-high 23 points on 10-of-19 shooting, while Devin Booker added 20 points as Team USA rallied to beat Australia 97-78 in the semifinals.
USWNT hangs on to win bronze
Two veterans were not going to allow USWNT to leave Tokyo empty-handed. Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd each scored twice as the U.S. knocked off Australia 4-3 to earn a bronze medal.
How did it happen? Rapinoe, in her third Games, went first.
Then Lloyd, in her fourth Olympics, got involved, capping off a big first half for the U.S. as it took a 3-1 lead into the break.
Lloyd added one more after half to give USWNT a little breathing room, which it needed as Australia closed the gap to just one.
Suffice it to say, USWNT legend Mia Hamm was impressed.
These goals are sick!— Mia Hamm (@MiaHamm) August 5, 2021
Crouser breaking his own records
In a commanding performance worthy of a defending champion, American Ryan Crouser won back-to-back Olympic gold in the men's short put, setting an Olympic record in his first throw ...
... second throw ...
... and final throw, at 76 feet, 5 1/2 inches, the second-best in the history of the sport.
America's Joe Kovacs won silver while New Zealand's Thomas Walsh won bronze. If that looks familiar, it should.
#Tokyo2020 men's shot put podium:#Gold - #USA - Ryan Crouser#Silver - #USA - Joe Kovacs#Bronze - #NZL - Tomas Walsh— Olympics (@Olympics) August 5, 2021
Rio 2016 men's shot put podium:#Gold - #USA - Ryan Crouser#Silver - #USA - Joe Kovacs#Bronze - #NZL - Tomas Walsh
In a shocking turn of events, USA's Grant Holloway, the current world champion in the 110-meter hurdles, was denied an Olympic gold medal by Jamaica's Hansle Parchment, who ran a 13:04 race. It's also a 1-3 finish for Jamaica, with Ronald Levy picking up the bronze. This is Parchment's first Olympic gold medal; he won a bronze in the same event in 2012.
WHAT A FINISH!— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) August 5, 2021
9 years after winning bronze in the men's 110m hurdles, Jamaica's Hansle Parchment wins gold in the same event and @TeamUSA's Grant Holloway wins the silver. #TokyoOlympics
📱 NBC Sports App pic.twitter.com/6foXgZdZe5
U.S. men fails to qualify in relay
The U.S. men's 4x100-meter relay team failed to qualify for the finals, coming in sixth in the semifinals.
Team USA's performance caught the attention of the legendary Carl Lewis, a nine-time Olympic gold medalist, who called the performance "a total embarrassment."
The USA team did everything wrong in the men's relay. The passing system is wrong, athletes running the wrong legs, and it was clear that there was no leadership. It was a total embarrassment, and completely unacceptable for a USA team to look worse than the AAU kids I saw .— Carl Lewis (@Carl_Lewis) August 5, 2021
Nelly Korda nearly makes history
There is a reason the United States' Nelly Korda is the No. 1-ranked player in the world. After finishing the first round of the women's golf event 1 shot behind leader Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden, Korda nearly made history in the second round. She stepped to the 18th tee needing a birdie to shoot 59, which is one of golf's magic numbers. Instead, she double-bogeyed the last to "settle" for a 9-under 62 and a 4-shot lead over three players.
A-Team moves to finals
The USA's A-Team beach volleyball duo of April Ross and Alix Klineman will play for the gold medal after they cruised to victory against Switzerland 21-12, 21-11 in the semifinals over Switzerland. They will face Australia in the final (Thursday, 10:30 p.m. ET).
Whether they win gold or silver remains to be determined. What is certain: They have the support of Mr. T.
American Cory Juneau, who squeaked into the final in the eighth spot out of qualifying, took bronze in the Olympic debut of men's park skateboarding. He joined Jagger Eaton, who took bronze in men's street, as the only American medalists in the sport's Olympic debut. The first skater to drop in the finals, Juneau, 22, put together his cleanest and most technical run of the contest, and his 82.15 set the bar for the remainder of the competition.
But 18-year-old Australian Keegan Palmer took gold with a 95.83. Palmer, who was born in San Diego and lives in Encinitas, California, earned the first medal in skateboarding for Australia. Brazilian Pedro Barros, 26, the most successful park skater in history, took silver with a second-run score of 86.14.
USA relay team vying for three-peat
In the women's 4x100-meter relay, Team USA advanced to the finals after finishing second in the heats at 41.90, just behind Great Britain's 41.55. USA has won gold in the past two Olympics. Great Britain and Jamaica, which finished third, all finished on the podium at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Game recognize game
Shaun White won three Olympic gold medals in snowboarding, but the 34-year-old legend had a chance to see what a Summer Games medal is like when he posed for a photo with skateboarding gold medalist Sakura Yosozumi and silver medalist Kokona Hiraki.
These girls are so inspiring !!Congratulations Sakura Yosozumi 🥇 Kokona Hiraki🥈and Sky Brown🥉 pic.twitter.com/qOnZTfJrAN— Shaun White (@shaunwhite) August 4, 2021
Same pose, just many years later. Caeleb Dressel observed Throwback Thursday as only he could: with the four gold medals he won in Tokyo.