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Tokyo Rewind, July 25: Ledecky gets silver in key showdown, US women behind ROC in gymnastics

The U.S. men's basketball team saw its 25-game winning streak come to an end and the U.S. won its very first women's taekwondo gold.

WASHINGTON — The second full day of competition for the postponed Tokyo Olympics took place on Sunday. The Olympics are taking place under heavy restrictions after a year’s delay because of the coronavirus pandemic

Here's a breakdown of some of the top events you might have missed:

Ledecky denied gold in 400m freestyle showdown

Australia’s Ariarne Titmus beat American Katie Ledecky in the 400-meter freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics. Titmus won one of the most anticipated races of the games, capturing the gold medal with the second-fastest time in history.

Titmus, who trailed by nearly a full body-length at the halfway mark of the eight-lap race, turned on the speed to touch the wall first in 3 minutes, 56.69 seconds.

Defending Olympic champion and world-record holder Ledecky settled for the silver this time in 3:57.36 -- still the fourth-fastest time ever recorded.

No one else was even close. The bronze went to China’s Li Bingjie in 4:01.08.

RELATED: Ledecky wins silver behind Australia's Titmus in women's 400m freestyle

Credit: AP
Ariarne Titmus, left, of Australia wins the final of the women's 400-meters freestyle ahead of Katie Ledecky, of the United States, at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Monday, July 26, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

US behind ROC following women's gymnastics qualifying 

The U.S. women's gymnastics team's bid for a third straight Olympic title is off to a rocky start.

The four-woman group led by reigning champion Simone Biles finished second to ROC, as the Russian team is known, during qualifying. That's the first time the Americans have failed to lead at the end of any major event in more than a decade. Biles topped the all-round with a total of 57.731 points but lacked her usual precision.

The women's team final is Tuesday. 

RELATED: Russians top Biles, Americans in gymnastics qualifying

Credit: AP
Simone Biles, of the United States, reacts after performing on the uneven bars during the women's artistic gymnastic qualifications at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

First US gold in women's taekwondo

Anastasija Zolotic won the United States’ first gold medal in women’s taekwondo by beating Russian athlete Tatiana Minina, 25-17, to claim the featherweight division title.

The 18-year-old Zolotic let out a primal scream as she put on her helmet before each round. The Largo, Florida, native has been telling friends and family since early childhood that she would be an Olympic champion, and she needed only one trip to the Games to make it happen.

US basketball loses Olympic win streak

A 25-game Olympic winning streak for the U.S. men's basketball team is over, ending Sunday when France closed the game on a 16-2 run to beat the Americans 83-76 in the Tokyo Games.

The Americans lost for only the sixth time in 144 games at the Olympics all-time, and fell to 53-4 in the Olympics with NBA players on the roster. The 2004 team at the Athens Games lost the other three, and won bronze. Every other U.S. team in the era that started with the “Dream Team" in 1992 won the gold and this one still can — but it's far from a certainty.

RELATED: US loses to France 83-76, 25-game Olympic win streak ends

Beach Volleyball Olympic debut for "Team Slaes" 

Kelly Claes, 25, and Sarah Sponcil, 24, are the youngest team to ever represent the U.S. in beach volleyball, and they won their debut game on Day 3. The pair, a.k.a. "Team Slaes," won their first and third sets against Latvia.

The first set was 21-13, the second set Latvia's team won 21-16 but Claes and Sponcil pulled ahead in the third set 15-11.

Three of the four players in the U.S. victory over Latvia came up through an NCAA beach volleyball program that has only been around since 2012. Claes and Latvia’s Tina Graudina both went to Southern California, and Sponcil played at rival UCLA.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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