In an Olympics where many of the favorites have faltered, Caeleb Dressel lived up to the hype in the 100-meter freestyle.
Dressel claimed the first individual Olympic gold medal of his career with two furious laps of the pool Thursday morning (Wednesday night, U.S. time), winning the 100-meter freestyle over defending champion Kyle Chalmers. Dressel led from start to finish to win in Olympic record time.
The U.S. also got a surprise victory from Bobby Finke in the Olympic debut of the men’s 800-meter freestyle. Finke was in fourth place with 25 meters to go, then put on a burst of speed to take the lead.
Wrapping up the session, American Katie Ledecky put on a furious anchor leg to close a huge gap and help the U.S. win silver in the fastest women's 4x200-meter freestyle ever. China took gold and Australia took bronze in a race where all three medalists beat the previous world record.
Americans Regan Smith and Hali Flickinger also took silver and bronze in the 200-meter butterfly. China's Zhang Yufei turned in a dominating performance to win.
Historic gold for US in 3-on-3
The U.S. team of Stefanie Dolson, Allisha Gray, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young won the first women’s gold medal in the new Olympic sport of 3-on-3 basketball.
Plum scored all five of her points early to help the Americans take the lead and they held on for an 18-15 win over the team representing the Russian Olympic Committee.
Latvia won the men's gold.
US repeats as men's 3-meter synchro silver medalists
Andrew Capobianco and Michael Hixon of the U.S. earned silver in the final of the men's 3-meter synchronized springboard diving event. It’s the same color medal that Hixon won five years ago in Rio with a different partner. China won gold and Germany took bronze.
Americans go 2-for-2 on beach
Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena are moving on in the Olympic beach volleyball tournament, beating Argentina to improve to 2-1 in the round-robin. That’s good for at least one more match in Tokyo.
A couple hours earlier, Americans Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil dispatched Kenya in just 25 minutes, the fastest women’s match since the Olympics adopted their current format.
In all, the American teams are 8-1 in the preliminary stage. Three of the four teams still have one match to play.
U.S. men's basketball rebound
The U.S. basketball team got back to winning — and winning easily. Damian Lillard scored 21 points and the Americans rebounded from an opening loss with their first victory of these Olympics, romping past Iran 120-66 on Wednesday.
In other action, Japanese teenager Daiki Hashimoto won a gold medal in men’s all-around gymnastics final. Americans Brody Malone and Sam Mikulak finished 10th and 12th, respectively.
The bigger news for U.S. gymnastics Wednesday was that Simone Biles will not compete in Thursday's women's all-around. She will be replaced by Jade Carey who will join American teammate Suni Lee.