5 to Watch

5 to Watch: UConn Gold! Bird, Taurasi & Team USA Beat Japan

The Olympic Games-Tokyo 2020
Tim Clayton - Corbis

Here we are! After more than two weeks of thrilling finishes and emotional moments, the final day of competition in Tokyo has arrived. It was highlighted by UConn's five greats winning gold in women's basketball tonight.

Team USA secures seventh consecutive gold medal in women’s basketball

The U.S. women’s basketball team won its seventh straight gold medal on Saturday night, matching a record set by the U.S. men between 1936 and 1968. The final score over Japan was 90-75.

Brittney Griner took over the game much the way Kevin Durant did for the U.S. men on Friday night. She had 30 points on 14-of-18 shooting. A’ja Wilson, winning a gold medal on her 25th birthday, added 19 points, while Breanna Stewart had a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds.

Even on a team with many Olympic veterans, six of the players were not alive the last time the U.S. didn’t win gold, when they took home bronze from Barcelona in 1992. Meanwhile, Team USA’s most experienced players, UConn legends Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, made history by becoming the first Olympic basketball players – male or female – to win five gold medals.

“It’s 20 years of sacrifice, putting everything aside and just wanting to win,” said Taurasi after the game. “This group found a way to win.”

“It’s not just about us,” Bird said, referencing all of the players who contributed to the U.S. streak.

Watch a replay of the game here.

U.S. women’s volleyball team takes first gold with win over Brazil

USA's players celebrate their victory in the women's gold medal volleyball match between Brazil and USA during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan on Aug. 8, 2021.
JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images
USA's players celebrate their victory in the women's gold medal volleyball match between Brazil and USA during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan on Aug. 8, 2021.

The U.S. women's volleyball team dominated Brazil Sunday in Tokyo, taking all three sets and claiming its first-ever Olympic gold medal.

Team USA had previously won silver medals in 1984, 2008, and 2012.

It's also the third time in the past four Olympics that Team USA took on Brazil for the title.

An emotional Haleigh Washington praised her teammates after the win.

"The hard work that we put in, the sweat, the tears, the blood, it's been worth it," she said. "I am so proud to have done it with this group of women."

Watch a replay of the match here.

Kenyan marathoner Eliud Kipchoge wins back-to-back gold medals

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge crosses the finish line to win the Men's Marathon final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Sapporo, Japan on Aug. 8, 2021.
CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images
Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge crosses the finish line to win the Men's Marathon final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Sapporo, Japan on Aug. 8, 2021.

All eyes were on world-record holder Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya in the men’s marathon on Saturday. Kipchoge became only the third man to win back-to-back gold medals in the marathon. The feat was last accomplished in 1976 and 1980 by East German Waldemar Cierpinski.

Kipchoge took gold with a time of 2:08:38. The Netherlands' Abdi Nageeye came in second with a time of 2:09:58 and Bashir Abdi of Belgium took bronze, finishing with a time of 2:10:00.

Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya won the men’s marathon at the Tokyo Olympics, becoming just the third man to win back-to-back Olympic marathon gold medals.

Americans Galen Rupp, Jake Riley and Abdi Abdirahman ran for Team USA. Temperatures were hot and humid in Sapporo, where the marathon was relocated to in futile hopes of cooler temperatures. Rupp finished in eighth with a time of 2:11:41, Riley came in 29th place with a time of 2:16:26 and Abdirahman finished in 41st with a time of 2:18:27.

You can watch highlights of the men's marathon here.

Davis, Torrez Jr. take home silver

Keyshawn Davis of Team United States (red) exchanges punches with Hovhannes Bachkov of Team Armenia during the Men's Light (57-63kg) Semifinal 1 on day fourteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Kokugikan Arena on Aug. 6, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
Buda Mendes/Getty Images
Keyshawn Davis of Team United States (red) exchanges punches with Hovhannes Bachkov of Team Armenia during the Men's Light (57-63kg) Semifinal 1 on day fourteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Kokugikan Arena on Aug. 6, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

No American man has won Olympic gold in boxing since Andre Ward in 2004 and it will have to stay that way until at least 2024.

Keyshawn Davis, fighting in the lightweight division, fell to Cuban boxer, Andy Cruz 4-1. Davis took home silver.

It was silver for Richard Torrez Jr. as well.

Torrez Jr. lost to Uzbekistan’s Bakhodir Jalolov in the super heavyweight division.

You can watch replays of the fights here.

Tokyo Olympics conclude with Closing Ceremony

All things must end and the Tokyo Olympics is no different. The two-week global competition, which was played under unprecedented circumstances and limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will come to its natural conclusion on Sunday evening in Japan.

The Tokyo Olympics saw American swimmers Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel dominate in the water, as well as gymnasts Suni Lee and Mykayla Skinner step up to the mat for Simone Biles. And that was just the first week.

During the second week in Tokyo, the United States was equally busy -- collecting gold medals in men’s basketball, water polo, golf and the women’s 800m race. As of Saturday morning, Team USA was over the 100-medal threshold for Tokyo -- the most medals of any nation competing at this year’s Summer Games -- and sat just four gold medals behind China.

You can watch the Closing Ceremony on NBC Connecticut beginning at 8 p.m. ET Sunday.

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