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5 to Watch at the Tokyo Olympics on Day 1: Swimming, Basketball, Volleyball

NBC 7's list of five highlights to watch at the Tokyo Olympics on July 24, 2021

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From swimming and the addition of 3x3 basketball to volleyball, softball and the first gold medals of the Tokyo Olympics, here are 5 things to watch on July 24, 2021.

1) Swimming: Encinitas Standout Michael Andrews

It’s been a while since San Diego has had a swimmer in the Olympics with gold medal potential but Michael Andrew – a 22-year-old Encinitas resident – is about to break that streak at the Tokyo Olympics. This is the first time Andrew has gone to the Olympics but judging by his talent, it won’t be his last. His first event – Men’s 100m Breaststroke (Heat 6) – is set for 4:37 a.m. PT.

Swimmer Michael Andrew grew up in Lawrence, Kansas, before his family relocated to California. This first-time Olympian talks about how his family and upbringing shaped him into the athlete he is today.

Standing nearly 6-foot-6, Andrew is one of the tallest swimmers on Team USA, so he’s bound to stand out. Some compare his build to that of legend Michael Phelps – a very long torso, and long, powerful arms.

The men’s swimming heats begin at 3 a.m. PT on July 24, 2021. Andrew is competing in Heat 6. He will go on to compete in two more events at the Tokyo Olympics: 50 Freestyle and 200 Individual Medley.

In the meantime, for a glimpse at what Andrew is like in the pool, watch this video of Andrew setting an American record in the 100m breaststroke in his first swim of the U.S. Trials.

What are the swimming styles a swimmer must cover in a relay race? Simone Manuel breaks down swim relays with Legos.

Saturday’s swimming competition at the Tokyo Olympics includes six events: men’s 400m IM; women’s 100m butterfly; men’s 400m freestyle; women’s 400m IM; men’s 100m breaststroke; women’s 4x100m freestyle relay.

The finals for the men’s 400m IM, men’s 400m freestyle, women’s 400m IM and women’s 4x100m relay will take place Saturday night beginning at 6:30 p.m. PT.

Chase Kalisz (men’s 400m IM); Torri Huske and Claire Curzan (women’s 100m butterfly); Kieran Smith (men’s 400m freestyle); Emma Weyant and Hali Flickinger (women’s 400 IM); Michael Andrew (men’s 100m breaststroke); and Abbey Weitzeil and Erika Brown (women’s 4x100m relay) will be among the top Americans to watch on the first day of the swimming competitions.

Kelsey Plum #25 of the USA Women's National 3x3 Team, left, and Michael Andrew of the United States, right.Getty Images
Kelsey Plum #25 of the USA Women's National 3x3 Team, left, and Michael Andrew of the United States, right.

2) 3X3 Basketball Makes Olympic Debut in Tokyo (Look for Poway powerhouse Kelsey Plum This Weekend)

There are several sports making their Olympic debuts in Tokyo.

The women’s 3x3 basketball tournament will tip off at 6:15 p.m. PT Friday at the Saitama Super Arena. The U.S. women’s team will take the floor for the first time against France on Saturday at 1:55 a.m. PT, followed by a game against Mongolia at 5 a.m. PT. You can watch both live with the links below.

The members of Team USA’s Women’s Basketball Team discuss their journey to a possible seventh straight gold medal in Tokyo.
While most of the game is the same, there are some key differences that distinguish NBA basketball from Olympic basketball.

Chicago Sky center Stefanie Dolson, Dallas Wings guard Allisha Gray, Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum and Las Vegas Aces guard Jackie Young will make up the inaugural Team USA 3x3 roster. Young was named a replacement for Seattle Storm guard Katie Lou Samuelson, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.

Plum, 26, is from Poway in San Diego County. She graduated from La Jolla Country Day School in 2013. Her Team USA profile says she helped lead her high school to the 2012 CIF Division IV state title, four straight San Diego Section Division IV titles. She was also San Diego Player of the Year. She also played volleyball in high school. Plum’s dad has San Diego ties, too: He played football and baseball at San Diego State University.

Again, watch Team USA battle France live online here. The 3x3 basketball competition will be featured in TV coverage on NBC (7:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. PT).

Skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing, karate will make their debut at the Tokyo Olympics with baseball and softball making a one-time return.

3) Men's Volleyball, Pool B: USA vs. France

Oceanside native Garrett Muagututia, 33, -- a graduate of Frances Parker High School in San Diego -- is part of Team USA Men's Volleyball. This is the 33-year-old’s first time at the Olympics.

The men's tournament Pool B match starts at 5:45 a.m. PT on July 24, 2021. Team USA will take on France at Ariake Arena.

Watch below.

Team USA Men's Volleyball Pool B plays again on:

  • July 25 at 7:05 p.m. PT against Russian Olympic Committee (ROC)
  • July 27 at 7:05 p.m. PT against Tunisia
  • July 29 at 7:05 p.m. PT against Brazil
  • Aug. 1 at 5:45 a.m. PT against Argentina
As the 2020 Tokyo Olympics kicked off on Friday, Japan unveiled an opening ceremony unlike any games before. From a moment of silence for the victims of the coronavirus pandemic to unique callouts to Japanese culture, here are the top 10 moments from the Olympics opening ceremony.

4) Who Will Win the First Gold Medal of the Tokyo Olympics?

Less than 24 hours after the Tokyo Opening Ceremony, the first gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics was awarded.

Yang Qian, Russian Olympic Committee’s Anastasiia Galashina and Switzerland’s Christen Nina were awarded gold, silver and bronze medals respectively in women’s 10m air rifle.

The next medal event to commence will be the men’s road race in cycling, which begins at 7 p.m. PT. After that, medals will be awarded in weightlifting, archery, judo, fencing and taekwondo.

And remember, we’ve got amazing archer Brady Ellison – who has trained in Chula Vista in San Diego County – in the Team USA archery bunch, and he wants that gold badly.

Brady Ellison it the top-ranked archer in the world. NBC 7's Steven Luke caught up with Ellison to talk about his training -- and his target, a gold medal -- at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

Watch live online here or below, or during TV coverage on NBC (7:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. PT).

5) Team USA Looks to Continue Winning Streak in Softball Tournament

The U.S Olympic softball team kept rolling Saturday, defeating Mexico 2-0 for their third-straight victory.

Cat Osterman delivered once again for Team USA, pitching a one-hit shutout for her second win of the Tokyo Games. The U.S Olympic softball team will look to stay undefeated against Australia at 9:00 p.m. ET at the Yokohama Baseball Stadium.

For Team USA pitcher Monica Abbott, softball’s return to the Olympics in Tokyo will be a thrill. But there will be no returning to Japan for Abbott, since she has already been playing professionally there for the last 12 years.

Team USA plays Mexico at 10:30 p.m. PT on Friday, then Australia at 6 p.m. PT Saturday (which will be Sunday morning in Tokyo time). Watch that Saturday match below or here.

The Team USA Softball team defeated Canada in their second game of the Tokyo Olympics. U.S. starting pitching remained dominant as starting pitcher Monica Abbott pitched through the 6th inning

Get updates on all softball events at the Tokyo Olympics here.

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