While you were sleeping: Pool thrillers and a skeet sweep

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Exhausted Norwegian triathlete Kristian Blummenfelt celebrates with the finish-line banner after winning Monday in Tokyo. Credit: Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sport

The first and probably closest duel between Katie Ledecky and Australia’s Ariarne Titmus lived up to the hype Monday in Tokyo.

Ledecky is more likely to win the longer races, especially in the new Olympic discipline of the 1500m freestyle. Titmus should have the edge at 200 meters. The 400m race is where the stars’ strengths overlap, and no swimmer in history has been close to the times the two rivals have posted.

The American held a narrow lead until the last turn, when Titmus nosed ahead and dethroned the Olympic champion. Her time: 3:56.69, a result bested only by, of course, Katie Ledecky in Rio.

In another close one, first-time Olympian Torri Huske missed a medal by 0.01 seconds in the 100m butterfly. The 18-year-old finished 0.14 seconds behind the winner, Canada’s Margaret MacNeil

The U.S. rebounded with an emphatic win in the men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay. Caeleb Dressel took his first of what could be a Phelpsian, Ledeckyian or Spitzian medal haul, but it was Zach Apple who stamped his authority on the race with a 46.69-second anchor leg.

In other sports, the theme from the film Top Secret, called Skeet Surfing, summed up the day for U.S. athletes quite well, with U.S. shooters winning gold in the men’s and women’s skeet events while surfers continued to impress in the new Olympic sport. 

Another big talking point in Tokyo today is an approaching tropical storm that has prompted some rescheduling in rowing and archery, but organizers say they don’t expect to make any more changes to the schedule.

Still to come on Monday: the men’s gymnastics team final.

SURFING

Speaking of action on the water, U.S. athletes have seemed right at home in the waves as surfing makes its Olympic debut.

U.S. teen Caroline Marks posted a stellar score of 15.33 (8.00 and 7.33), the best score of the day in both men’s and women’s competion, to defeat Japan’s Mahina Maeda and advance to the quarterfinals against Costa Rica’s Brisa Hennessy. Fellow American Carissa Moore managed a 5.77 late in her heat against Peru’s Sofia Mulanovich to take a close 10.34-9.90 win.

The shocker in the women’s event was the loss by Australia’s Stephanie Gilmore, like Moore one of the dominant surfers of the past decade, to South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag.

Kolohe Andino advanced in the men’s competition at the expense of fellow U.S. representative John John Florence. Andino had the best score (14.83) in the men’s event until Australian Owen Wright won the day’s last pairing with a 15.00.

SEE MORE: Caroline Marks puts up highest score in Round 3

SHOOTING

U.S. shooters Vincent Hancock and Amber English took twin gold medals in the men’s and women’s skeet competitions. For Hancock, it was his third gold medal in four Olympic appearances. English won in her Olympic debut.

The sentimental favorite of the day was 57-year-old Kuwaiti Abdullah Al-Rashidi, a seven-time Olympian who took his second straight Olympic bronze in the men’s event. But Hancock missed just one of his 60 shots, leaving little room for anyone to keep him from gold.

English missed four times and hung in long enough for defending champion Diana Bacosi of Italy to have a few costly misses. World record-holder Wei Meng of China, who hit 124 of 125 targets in qualifying, took bronze.

SEE MORE: María Belén Pérez Maurice gets surprise marriage proposal

AROUND THE GAMES

Fencing: Mariel Zagunis, the 2004 and 2008 gold medalist, reached the quarterfinals before finishing out of the medals. Dagmara Wozniak, competing in her fourth Olympics, lost her first bout, as did Anne-Elizabeth Stone, who has finished third and fifth in the last two world championships but was making her Olympic debut. The U.S. men’s foil fencers were upset, with first seed Gerek Meinhardt and third seed Alex Massialas ousted in the Round of 32, leaving Nick Itkin as the only American to get to the Round of 16. But the big winners were Argentina’s María Belén Pérez Maurice and her coach, Lucas Guillermo Saucedo, as Saucedo proposed during her interview after she lost her opening bout in sabre.

Taekwondo: 2012 bronze medalist Paige McPherson won her first two bouts before losing in the semifinals and will fight for bronze later Monday.

Softball: Another day, another walk-off for the U.S. women, this time to cap a rally from 1-0 down to beat Japan 2-1. The game was statistically meaningless because both teams have advanced to the gold medal game, but will the win mean anything from a psychological point of view?

Tennis: In a peculiar quirk of the draw, no U.S. players were in action. Top men’s seed Novak Djokovic took another easy win, as did Naomi Osaka.

Table tennis: It’s not a sudden rush to the podium, but the U.S. women are on a roll, with two players in the Round of 32. Liu Juan beat 31st-seeded Slovakian Barbora Balazova in straight sets and has only dropped two of 14 sets in her three matches. Three-time Olympian Lily Zhang, who had a bye to the Round of 64, defeated Nigeria’s Offiong Edem.

Beach volleyball: Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil, the youngest duo to compete for the U.S. in the sandy sport, simply crushed it on the last several points to rally past Latvia for a win.

SEE MORE: Claes/Sponcil defeat Latvia in Olympic debut

SCOREBOARD

MEDALISTS

Archery (men’s team):Gold – South Korea, Silver – Chinese Taipei, Bronze – Japan

Canoe/kayak (men’s canoe slalom):Gold – Benjamin Savsek (SLO), Silver – Lukas Rohan (CZE), Bronze – Sideris Tasiadis (GER)

Cycling (men’s mountain bike): Gold – Thomas Pidcock (GBR), Silver – Mathias Flueckinger (SUI), Bronze – David Valero (ESP)

Diving (men’s synchronized platform):Gold – Daley/Lee (GBR), Cao/Chen (CHN), Bondar/Minibayev (ROC)

SEE MORE: Tom Daley and Matty Lee nail final dive to beat China in 10m

Fencing (women’s sabre): tbd

Fencing (men’s foil):tbd

Judo (women’s 57kg):tbd

Judo (men’s 73kg):tbd

Shooting (women’s skeet):Gold – Amber English (USA), Silver – Diana Bacosi (ITA), Bronze – Wei Meng (CHN)

Shooting (men’s skeet):Gold – Vincent Hancock (USA), Silver – Jesper Hansen (DEN), Bronze – Abdullah Al-Rashidi (KUW) 

Skateboarding (women’s street):Gold – Nishiya Momiji (JPN), Silver – Rayssa Leal (BRA), Bronze – Nakayama Funa (JPN)

Swimming (women’s 100m butterfly):Gold – Margaret Macneil (CAN), Silver – Zhang Yufei (CHN), Bronze – Emma McKeon (AUS)

Swimming (men’s 100m breaststroke):Gold – Adam Peaty (GBR), Silver – Arno Kamminga (NED), Bronze – Nicolo Martinenghi (ITA) 

Swimming (women’s 100m freestyle):Gold – Ariarne Titmus (AUS), Silver – Katie Ledecky (USA), Bronze – Li Bingjie (CHN)

Swimming (men’s 4x100m freestyle):Gold – United States, Silver – Italy, Bronze – Australia

Table tennis (mixed doubles):tbd

Taekwondo (women’s 67kg): tbd

Taekwondo (men’s 80kg): tbd

Triathlon (men’s race): Gold – Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR), Silver – Alex Yee (GBR), Bronze – Hayden Wilde (NZL)

Weightlifting (women’s 55kg):tbd

TEAM EVENTS

3×3 basketball (women): China def. Japan 15-12, Romania def. Mongolia 22-14, ROC def. Romania 21-12, Japan def. Italy 22-10, France vs. Mongolia, Italy vs. United States, United States vs. China, France vs. ROC 

3×3 basketball (men): China def. Belgium 21-20, Serbia def. Japan 21-11, ROC def. Japan 19-16, Serbia def. Latvia 22-16, Netherlands vs. Belgium, Poland vs. China, ROC vs. Latvia, Netherlands vs. Poland 

Basketball (women): Spain def. South Korea 73-69, Serbia vs. Canada

Basketball (men): Slovenia def. Argentina 118-100, Japan vs. Spain

Handball (men): France def. Brazil 34-29, Germany def. Argentina 33-25, Denmark def. Egypt 32-27, Spain vs. Norway, Bahrain vs. Portugal, Japan vs. Sweden

Field hockey (men): Belgium def. Germany 3-1, Great Britain def. Canada 3-1

Field hockey (women): Netherlands def. Ireland 4-0, Australia def. China 6-0, South Africa vs. Great Britain, Japan vs. New Zealand, Argentina vs. Spain, Germany vs. India

SEE MORE: Australia, Netherlands grab wins in pool play

Rugby (men): Fiji def. Japan 24-19, Great Britain def. Canada 24-0, New Zealand def. South Korea 50-5, Argentina def. Australia 29-19, South Africa def. Ireland 33-14, United States def. Kenya 19-14, Great Britain def. Japan 34-0, Fiji def. Canada 28-14, New Zealand vs. Argentina, Australia vs. South Korea, United States vs. Ireland, South Africa vs. Kenya

Softball: United States def. Japan 2-1, Canada def. Italy 8-1, Mexico vs. Australia

Volleyball (men): Iran def. Venezuela 3-0, United States vs. ROC, Poland vs. Italy, France vs. Tunisia, Japan vs. Canada, Brazil def. Argentina

Water polo (women): United States vs. China, ROC vs. Hungary, Australia vs. Netherlands, Spain vs. Canada

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