6 to Watch: USA Women Gymnasts in Individual Final, Florida’s Dressel Swims, Golf and More

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Wednesday marks day six of the Tokyo Olympics – and with it comes some interesting storylines for athletes on Team USA.

USA Gymnastics will be competing in one of the major team events without arguably the best gymnast of all time while Florida native Caeleb Dressel will be back in the pool for the first time in Tokyo going for an individual medal.

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

1. Suni Lee, Jade Carey compete in women’s gymnastics individual all-around final

The American gymnast will continue to be evaluated daily to determine whether or not she will compete in next week’s individual event finals.

Simone Biles only completed one vault before exiting Tuesday’s team gymnastics final, where the team earned silver. USA Gymnastics later announced that Biles will miss the individual all-around final, scheduled for Thursday at 6:50 a.m. ET, to focus on her mental health. Biles is the defending gold medalist in the event and compiled the highest all-around score in qualifying.

Team USA’s Jade Carey, who recorded the ninth-highest all-around score in qualifying, will replace Biles in the event.

American Suni Lee, who finished with the third-best all-around score in qualifying, will be in the medal mix. Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade and a pair of gold medal winners from the Russian Olympic Committee in Angelina Melnikova and Vladislava Urazova will be in contention, as well.

Jade Carey competes on the floor in the women's gymnastics qualifications during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Getty Images

Jade Carey competes on the floor in the women’s gymnastics qualifications during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (Getty Images)

2. Florida’ s Caeleb Dressel sets sights on first individual Olympic medal

Team USA swimmers Caeleb Dressel, Nic Fink, Hali Flickinger and Regan Smith finished strong during their swim heats early Tuesday. All four will advance to the semifinals, which air on the USA Network Tuesday night.

Caeleb Dressel already has three Olympic gold medals to his name from swimming relays, including one at the Tokyo Games. On Wednesday, he will have a chance to earn one on his own.

Dressel leads a packed field in the final for one of swimming’s quickest and most intense events, the men’s 100m freestyle. The 24-year-old Jacksonville native and former University of Florida star has won the event at the last two world championships and is the third-fastest 100m freestyler of all time.

The men’s 100m freestyle is one of five finals included in Wednesday’s primetime slate, which begins at 9:30 p.m. ET. Medals are also on the line in the men’s 800m freestyle, men’s 200m breaststroke, women’s 200m butterfly and women’s 4x200m relay. Katie Ledecky, Regan Smith, Hali Flickinger and Nic Fink will be among the Americans trying to represent Team USA on the podium.

Wednesday’s action also includes semifinals for the women’s 100m freestyle, men’s 200m backstroke, women’s 200m breaststroke and men’s 200m individual medley.

Caeleb Dressel of the United States starts in his men's 100-meter freestyle semifinal at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.

AP Photo/Martin Meissner

Caeleb Dressel of the United States starts in his men’s 100-meter freestyle semifinal at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, July 28, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP)

3. US men’s water polo team takes on Italy

Team USA is looking to build off a 2-0 start in Group A preliminary play when it takes on Italy at 1:10 a.m. ET on Thursday. The U.S. beat Japan 15-13 in the opener and dominated South Africa by a score of 20-3 in the second game.

Ben Hallock leads the team with seven goals through two contests. Alex Bowen and Alex Wolf have also put forward standout performances. Bowen scored a game-high five goals against Japan, while Wolf put on a goalie clinic against South Africa.

Italy is 1-0-1 in group play so far, thrashing South Africa 21-2 and then drawing Greece 6-6.

Getty Images

NEWPORT, CALIFORNIA – JULY 08: Alex Bowen of the United States Men’s Waterpolo Olympic Team practices during a media availability on July 08, 2021 in Newport, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

4. Olympic men’s golf tournament tees off

For the second consecutive Olympic Games, golf will be one of the events taking place. It will be featured for the fourth time in Olympic history after making a comeback at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Here is everything you need to know about the golf events in Tokyo at this year’s Summer Olympic Games.

After a 112-year layoff, golf returned to the Olympics for the 2016 Rio Games. With no returning men’s medalists participating at the 2020 Games, there will be a new champion in Tokyo.

The U.S. fields a stacked roster of Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Reed. Morikawa (No. 3), Thomas (No. 4) and Schauffele (No. 5) are the highest-ranked players participating in the tournament. Reed is the only returning player of the four, finishing tied for 11th in Rio. Team USA has won five of the 10 Olympic medals ever given out in men’s golf.

The world’s top-ranked golfer, Spain’s Jon Rahm, was forced to withdraw from the Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.

Round 1 at the East Course at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kawagoe, Saitama, begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Justin Thomas

Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Justin Thomas of the United States reacts on the 18th green during the third round of the Sentry Tournament Of Champions at the Kapalua Plantation Course on January 09, 2021 in Kapalua, Hawaii.

5. Team USA faces Turkey in women’s volleyball

Team USA women’s volleyball defeated China 2-0 on Monday, and now looks to their match against Turkey on Thursday.

The U.S. women’s volleyball team will look to keep rolling in Pool B play when it takes on Turkey at 8:45 a.m. ET on Thursday.

The Americans have yet to concede a set so far in Tokyo, winning their opening match against Argentina and second match against China in straight sets. The second victory was particularly impressive with China entering the tournament as the defending Olympic gold medalists.

The squad has been led by two players who share a first name. Jordan Thompson has been unstoppable so far, scoring 54 points across the two wins. Jordyn Poulter has taken control as a distributor, collecting 88 assists.

Team USA has some South Florida flavor with middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo Gunderson, a Fort Lauderdale native and graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School.

The U.S. is aiming to make its fourth straight Olympic podium and claim its first ever Olympic gold in the event.

United States teammates celebrate during the women's volleyball preliminary round pool B match between China and United States at the 2020 Olympics on July 27, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.

AP Photo/Frank Augstein

United States teammates celebrate during the women’s volleyball preliminary round pool B match between China and United States at the 2020 Olympics on July 27, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP)

6. South Florida’s Nick Lucena and teammate Phil Dalhausser take on Argentina in beach volleyball

Team USA men’s volleyball duo Philip Dalhausser and Nicholas Lucena got their first win in the Tokyo Olympics after defeating Brazil.

South Florida will be on display late Wednesday night when Broward County resident Lucena and his teammate face off against Julian Amado Azaad and Nicolas Capogrosso.

The 41-year-old Florida State alum, who has been teammates with Dalhausser since 2015, and is helping the 2008 gold medalist chase an elusive second medal.

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