4 to watch

NJ, NYC Track Stars Have Strong Tokyo Debuts, Durant Makes History, New Fastest Woman in World

Brooklyn Net Kevin Durant set a new Olympic basketball record, while local superstars Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad saw their first action in the 400m hurdles

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There is no shortage of must-see action on Day 8 of the Tokyo Olympics. Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky continued Team USA's pool domination on the second-to-last day of Tokyo's swimming competition, picking up a gold medal each.

Brooklyn Net Kevin Durant surpassed Carmelo Anthony as the all-time scorer in United States men’s Olympic basketball history. Meanwhile, Elaine Thompson-Herah broke Florence Griffith Joyner's 33-year-old Olympic record in the women's 100 meters, crossing the line in 10.61 seconds Saturday to defend her title and lead a Jamaican sweep of the medals (scroll down for more on that story below).

Without further ado, here are our 4 to Watch on Day 8:

DON'T MISS THE ACTION: For a complete rundown of all the day's events in Tokyo, visit the streaming schedule page for NBCOlympics.com. Watch every event live there, on the NBC Sports App and connected set-top boxes and catch the highlights in primetime on NBC.

1. Another Golden Night for Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky, as Team USA's Pool Dominance Continues

U.S. swimmer Caeleb Dressel won gold and broke a world record in the men's 100m butterfly on Friday at the Tokyo Olympics.

Swimming events are winding down, with Day 8 having been the penultimate day for those competitions in Tokyo. Four medals were up for grabs: men’s 100m butterfly, women’s 200m backstroke, women’s 800m freestyle and the mixed 4x100m medley relay.

Caeleb Dressel had a busy night for himself, and started off on quite the high note. In the first of his three Olympic swims on Friday, he won gold in the men's 100m butterfly, improving on his own world record time. Dressel later finished first in his semifinal of the men's 50m freestyle to advance to tomorrow night's final.

Meanwhile Katie Ledecky made history with her night. She walked away with another gold medal, winning the women's 800m freestyle to defend her title from the Rio Olympics. It was her second gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics, and her sixth of her career — giving her the most of any female swimmer. She had been tied with Hungarian great Krisztina Egerszegi.

She also became the first American woman to win the same Olympic swimming event three times.

U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky won gold in the 800m freestyle, becoming the first American woman to win the same Olympic swimming event three times

Back to Dressel, his third and final swim of the night came in the first-ever mixed-gender swimming race in Olympic history. The Americans failed to medal in the inaugural mixed 4x100m medley relay, which saw Dressel swim the anchor freestyle leg. Great Britain won gold, while China took silver and Australia took bronze.

MORE: Ledecky has no plans on retiring soon: "I'm at least going to '24, maybe '28"


2. US Women's Volleyball Loses First Match of Olympics — and Possibly Lost a Star to Injury

The U.S. women’s volleyball team beat Turkey in a fifth-set tiebreaker on Thursday.

The U.S. women’s volleyball team was looking to continue its undefeated streak on Friday night, but staying perfect in pool play came to an end against the Russian Olympic Committee.

Team USA fell in three sets after losing 25-20 in the first, 25-12 in the second and 25-19 in the third.

The defeat wasn't the only major loss for Team USA — superstar Jordan Thompson left with an apparent injury after landing hard on her ankle from a block early in the second frame. She was immediately removed from the game and was being evaluated on the sidelines through the remainder of the second set, but left the court when it concluded.

Thompson has been on fire at the Olympics for Team USA. She is the United States' leading point-scorer in Tokyo, and recently wowed the world with a 34-point game against China this week.

MORE: Team USA Women's Volleyball Loses Match to ROC, Jordan Thompson to Injury


3. Thompson-Herah Breaks Flo Jo's Olympic Record in Women's 100m

Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad headline a gourd of x women who advanced to the women’s 400m hurdles semifinals.

Elaine Thompson-Herah broke Florence Griffith Joyner's 33-year-old Olympic record in the women's 100 meters, crossing the line in 10.61 seconds Saturday to defend her title and lead a Jamaican sweep of the medals.

Griffith Joyner set the old record of 10.62 at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Thompson-Herah beat her top rival, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, by .13 seconds. Shericka Jackson, who moved to the shorter sprints for the Tokyo Olympics, won bronze.

This had been shaping up as a fast race for days, if not months. In June, Fraser-Pryce ran the fourth-fastest time in history at 10.63 seconds.

And when the sprinters arrived in Japan, they discovered a fast track at Olympic Stadium.

In the semifinals earlier, the Jamaicans all cracked 10.8 to get on the list of the 10 best times in Olympic history.

The first track and field session of Day 8 in Tokyo began with heats in six events: women’s 400m hurdles, women’s discus throw, men’s pole vault, men’s 800m, women’s 100m hurdles, and the men’s 100m.

New Jersey's own Sydney McLaughlin, who set a new 400m hurdle world record at trials, will be a big name to watch as the competition continues, as will New York City's Dalilah Muhammad. The two women both handily won their heats Friday night but could very well see each other later in the 400m hurdle semifinals or possibly finals.

American pole vaulter and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Sam Kendricks is no longer competing after testing positive for COVID-19. Team USA’s medal hopes in the men’s 100m rest on the shoulder of Trayvon Bromwell, who won the 100m final at U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials.

MORE: Meet the fastest woman in the world, Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce


4. US Men's Basketball Routs Czech Republic as Kevin Durant Makes History

Kevin Durant is currently 6 points behind Carmelo Anthony for the record in Olympics career points. He will likely reach the top spot in his next game on Saturday.

Kevin Durant broke one of Carmelo Anthony's Team USA records on Saturday. But there's another record Anthony holds that Durant might want even more.

Three gold medals.

Anthony, the only four-time Olympian in men's basketball, holds the most Olympic gold medals in the sport with three. Sorry Melo, but Durant soon might be coming for that record also.

Durant, a two-time gold medal winner, scored 23 points to lead the United States to a 119-84 win over the Czech Republic to close out pool play at the Tokyo Olympics.

Durant entered Saturday's game needing six points to surpass Carmelo Anthony and his record of 336 points as the U.S. Men's Basketball all-time leading scorer. After a slow start for the U.S., during which the team fell behind by 10 points in the first quarter, Durant hit a shot that not only gave Team USA its first lead of the game at 34-33 but also made him the team’s top scorer of all-time.

Durant's record-breaking bucket came on a pull-up 3 with 6:19 remaining in the half that gave the U.S. a 34-33 lead. Durant followed with another 3 on the following possession as he began to put some distance between himself and Melo.

MORE: Spain shuts down Argentina to stay undefeated in Tokyo

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