6 to Watch: Dressel Dominates, Women’s Gymnastics, plus the Thrilling Finals of BMX Freestyle

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Saturday marks day nine of the Tokyo Olympics – MyKayla Skinner takes over Simone Biles’ spot in the vault final, Florida’s Caeleb Dressel won two more golds and the thrills of the BMX freestyle finals.

Here are our 6 things to watch at the Tokyo Olympics:

1. Caeleb Dressel leaving Tokyo with five Olympic gold medals

World champion Caeleb Dressel set a new Olympic record to win the gold medal in the men’s 50m freestyle final on Saturday.

The Florida swimming star Dressel also helped power the U.S. men’s team as it broke the world record to win gold in the 4x100m medley relay, a race the U.S. has won 15 straight times.

On the last night of swimming at the Tokyo Olympics, the Americans won four more medals — setting records in two events — to finish with 30 medals overall: 11 gold, 10 silver and nine bronze.

Bobby Finke picked up his second gold in the 1500m while the U.S. women picked up silver in their medley relay.

Gold medalist Caeleb Dressel of Team United States poses with the gold medal for the Men's 100m Butterfly Final at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 31, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

Clive Rose/Getty Images

Gold medalist Caeleb Dressel of Team United States poses with the gold medal for the Men’s 100m Butterfly Final at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 31, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

2. MyKayla Skinner taps in for Simone Biles in women’s gymnastics vault final 

Here are five things to know about champion gymnast MyKayla Skinner.

The United States will compete for a number of medals over the course of the next two nights in individual event finals. On Saturday, men will compete on the floor exercise and pommel horse, while the women will compete on vault and uneven bars.

After Simone Biles exited the team final and individual all-around final at the Olympics earlier this week, USA Gymnastics has announced she will withdraw from the event finals for the vault and uneven bars at Tokyo.

MyKayla Skinner, an American who was competing as an individual, will get Biles’ spot in the vault final. She had the fourth-best score in qualifying but did not advance to the eight-woman final because only two athletes from any country are allowed in the final.

All-around gold medalist Suni Lee will compete on bars for the U.S. She faces off against Belgian bars specialist Nina Derwael, who Lee bested by just .033 points in the uneven bars rotation of the all-around competition. Jade Carey will also compete for the U.S. on vault. Carey will look to win her first medal at the Tokyo Olympics in this event. 

On the men’s side, Yul Moldauer will compete on floor exercise, and Alec Yoder will compete on pommel horse. The events begin at 4 a.m. ET streaming on Peacock. 

MyKayla Skinner performs a Cheng on vault during the qualification round of the women's artistic gymnastics competition in Tokyo

Getty Images

MyKayla Skinner performs a Cheng on vault during the qualification round of the women’s artistic gymnastics competition in Tokyo

3. USA’s Trayvon Bromell sprints to become world’s fastest man

Trayvon Bromell tore his Achilles in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Five years later, he is fully recovered and is competing at the Tokyo Olympics.

Track and Field competition continues on Day 9 of the Tokyo Olympics. Coverage will begin at 8 p.m. ET on USA Network with five events: women’s hammer throw qualifying round, women’s 3000m steeplechase Round 1, women’s long jump qualifying round, women’s shot put final and men’s 400m Round 1.

There are a few Americans to keep your eye on around the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo Saturday. Raven Saunders and Jessica Ramsey will have the chance to medal in women’s shot put.

Saunders topped the competition in qualifying on Friday. Michael Norman, Michael Cherry and Randolph Ross will compete for a spot in the 400m final. Emma Coburn, Courtney Frerichs and Valerie Constien will race in the 3000m steeplechase.

The next track and field events will take place at 4 a.m. ET on Sunday morning. Then, the men’s high jump final, men’s 100m semifinals, women’s 100m hurdles semifinals, women’s triple jump final, men’s 800m semifinals, men’s 400m hurdles semifinals will take place.

The session will end with the crowning of the fastest man in the world in the men’s 100m final. American Trayvon Bromell will look to bring home gold in the event for the United States for the first time since Justin Gaitlin in 2004.

Trayvon Bromell competes in the Men's 100m Round 1 heats on day eight of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on July 31, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Trayvon Bromell competes in the Men’s 100m Round 1 heats on day eight of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on July 31, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

4. American Xander Schauffele looks to hang onto lead in final round of men’s golf tournament

Team USA’s Xander Schauffele remained atop the leaderboard following the third round of the men’s golf tournament, though Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama is only one stroke off his lead.

American Xander Schauffele enters the men’s golf tournament’s final round with a one-stroke lead over Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama. The two golfers went toe-to-toe at the 2021 Masters before Matsuyama ultimately earned the green jacket.

Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood are among the other golfers within striking distance of Schauffele’s 14-under score heading into the final 18 holes. While Schauffelehe is the leader, the rest of Team USA is just about out of contention. Collin Morikawa is tied for 17th place with a 7-under score, while Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed are tied for 38th with 4-under scores.

Schauffele and Matsuyama will be grouped with Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz, who is tied for third place. The group will tee off at the first hole at 10:18 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Xander Schauffele of Team United States lines up a putt on the 13th green during the second round of the Men's Individual Stroke Play on day seven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Mike Ehrrman/Getty Images

Xander Schauffele of Team United States lines up a putt on the 13th green during the second round of the Men’s Individual Stroke Play on day seven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

5. Americans soar in BMX freestyle finals

Seeing BMX riders bust out their biggest tricks on the world’s largest stage for the first time at the Olympics will be thrilling. Watching BMX rider Hannah Roberts show us how the sport works with Legos is hillarious.

Team USA soared at the inaugural Olympic BMX freestyle finals.

Team USA’s Hannah Roberts won the silver medal in the first-ever Olympic BMX freestyle park final with a score of 96.10.

Roberts, the reigning world champion, was a heavy favorite for gold.

Great Britain’s Charlotte Worthington wowed with a score of 97.50 in her second run to take the top spot. Switzerland’s Nikita Ducarroz won the bronze.

Two Americans will compete in the men’s final. Justin Dowell and Nick Bruce finished with the two lowest scores in seeding. Bruce pedaled through an injury during the seeding rounds so that he could reach the final. Dowell will also try to jump up the standings and beat the favorite in Australian Logan Martin. 

TOKYO, JAPAN – JULY 28: Hannah Roberts of Team USA rides during a training session for the Cycling BMX Freestyle at Ariake Urban Sports Park ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games on July 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

6. USA’s Krysta Palmer, Hailey Hernandez dive into women’s springboard final

Two Americans will be competing in the final for women’s springboard, a diving event where the U.S. has not medaled since 1988.

Krysta Palmer and Hailey Hernandez placed fifth and 10th, respectively, in the semifinals. Palmer blew away the field at the U.S. Olympic Trials, beating second-place Hernandez by nearly 100 points. Palmer has work to do to reach the podium in Tokyo, though, as she trailed third-place Jennifer Abel from Canada by 25 points.

China is looking to snag the top two spots on the podium. Shi Tingmao and Wang Han, who won gold together earlier in Tokyo in the women’s synchronized springboard, went 1-2 in the semifinals. The finals begin at 2 a.m. ET on Sunday.

Hailey Hernandez dives

U.S. diver Hailey Hernandez sails through the air in Friday’s Olympic springboard preliminaries

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