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.
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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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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
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.
The first medals of the Tokyo Olympics have been awarded. Yang Qian, Anastasiia Galashina and 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.
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
After going 2-0 to start the Olympics, the U.S. softball team will look for another win early Saturday morning. Team USA has two shutout wins under its belt, against Italy on Tuesday night and then against Canada on Wednesday evening.
Cat Osterman, who started against Italy, and Monica Abbott, who went the distance against Canada, have given up just two hits combined through two games. At the plate, Michelle Moultrie, Janie Reed and Amanda Chidester have driven in one run apiece for Team USA.
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.
Get updates on all softball events at the Tokyo Olympics here.