U.S. women’s basketball team aims for historic gold medal in Tokyo (100 ways, 100 days)

#70: In Tokyo, the U.S. women's basketball team will be aiming for a seventh straight Olympic gold medal, a streak that began in 1996.
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As part of the countdown to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, On Her Turf is compiling a list of 100 ways women can make history at this summer’s Games. This is the fourth post in the series. If you missed the first three, you can find them here: No.71-80 | No. 81-90 | No. 91-100 

#70: In Tokyo, the U.S. women’s basketball team will be aiming for a seventh straight Olympic gold medal, a streak that began in 1996. In addition to the gold medal streak, the U.S. women also haven’t lost an Olympic game since 1992.

#69: Tokyo will welcome the Olympic debut of 3×3 basketball, which features 10-minute games and a 12-minute shot clock. To compete in Tokyo, the U.S. women will need to emerge from the “Group of Death” at the last-chance Olympic qualifying tournament later this month.

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#68: Kendall Gretsch is already a two-time Paralympic gold medalist in Nordic skiing, but she will be aiming to make her summer debut in paratriathlon. Gretsch is a three-time world champion in the sport, but her classification wasn’t included when triathlon made its Paralympic debut in 2016.

#67: The U.S. women’s wheelchair basketball team has won gold at three of the last four Paralympic Games. In Tokyo, the squad will attempt to defend its Paralympic title from 2016.

#66: At age 40, Sue Bird could become the oldest basketball player to ever win an Olympic medal. (Also in Tokyo, Bird and Diana Taurasi could become the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals.)

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#65: After a blistering start to the 2021 season, Sha’Carri Richardson could become the first American woman to win 100m gold in 25 years. Last month, Richardson clocked 10.72 seconds to become the sixth fastest woman to ever run the event.

#64: South Korea’s women’s archery team owns one of the most impressive streaks in any team event. Since archery introduced a women’s team competition in 1988, South Korea has won gold each and every time (eight straight gold medals).

#63: Boxing – the most recent Olympic sport to include women – has added two additional women’s weight classes for Tokyo, bringing the total number of women’s events to five.

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#62: After spending nearly 10 months hospitalized with leukemia in 2019, Japanese swimmer Ikee Rikako qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in April. The 2016 Olympian is expected to be one of the host nation’s biggest stars.

#61: The U.S. diving team hasn’t won an individual Olympic medal in women’s springboard since 1988. After claiming silver in the event at the World Cup earlier this month, Sarah Bacon appears on track to end that drought.

The NBC Olympics research team contributed to this report. 

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