Jul 24, 2021 - Sports

Team USA closes out Day 1 of Summer Olympics with no medals

 Eli Dershwitz of Team United States reacts in his men’s sabre individual bout against Junghwan Kim of Korea of the fencing on day one of the Tokyo 202
Eli Dershwitz of Team United States reacts in his men’s sabre individual bout against Junghwan Kim of Korea of the fencing on day one of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Photo: Elsa / Getty Images

Team USA concluded the first official day of competition at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday without winning a single medal despite several close contests.

Why it matters: Olympic historian Bill Mallon noted that this was the first time the United States did not receive any medals on Day 1 of the Summer Olympics since Munich in 1972.

  • Flashback: Team USA didn't make it to the podium on the first day of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Yes, but: It's still early — the Games started less than 24 hours ago.

  • Our thought bubble: The first few sports aren't typically America's strongest. "It’s a marathon not a sprint. Well, technically there are both, but you know what I mean,” Axios Ina Fried says from Tokyo.
  • The U.S. 3x3 basketball team beat France, 17–10, and softball finished yet another sweep to improve to 3–0 after topping Mexico, 2–0.
  • Women's water polo edged out Japan with a 25-4 victory.

Driving the news: China's Yang Qian won the first gold of the Tokyo Olympics, narrowly beating Anastasiia Galashina of the Russian Olympic Committee in the women's 10-meter air rifle final. USA's Mary Tucker was the favorite for the event, but the 20-year-old finished sixth.

23-year-old Jourdan Delacruz, a weightlifter from north Texas, could not convert her final three lifts in the women’s 49-kg division, the Washington Post writes.

Cyclist Brandon McNulty pulled away from the pack in the men's road race with 24km to go but ended up finishing sixth to Richard Carapaz who won Ecuador's second-ever gold, per Sports Illustrated.

American Eli Dershwitz, the world’s second-highest ranked fencer in men’s sabre, lost to Kim Jung-hwan of South Korea, who ultimately earned the bronze. Archers Mackenzie Brown and Brady Ellison were upset in the first round in the mixed team. 

What they're saying: "I’m a little shocked, to be honest," Ellison, a three-time Olympic medalist in archery, ranked No. 1 in the world, said after he and Brown lost 5-4 to Indonesia in the first round of the mixed event, per USA Today. "I completely expected us to win a medal today."

What to watch: There are still 15 days of the Summer Olympics.

  • The Americans will have more chances to bring home medals on Sunday in archery, fencing, shooting and weightlifting, as well as skateboarding and judo. 
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