Wednesday marked the fifth day of the 2016 Rio Olympics, and with medal rounds in several high-profile sports, it proved to be an eventful one.
Led by Olympic veteran Michael Phelps and rising star Katie Ledecky, Team USA continued its dominance in swim events Wednesday with Ledecky winning another gold medal and Phelps securing the top spot in the 200 meter individual medley heading into Thursday’s final.
Ledecky anchored the women’s team in the 4×200 meter freestyle relay final — an event Team USA won during the 2012 London Olympics – and helped the team to win the gold medal.
Trailing Australian swimmer Emma McKeon when she entered the water for the last leg of the race, Ledecky quickly closed the gap and blew away the rest of the field, turning in a split time almost two and a half seconds faster than her next-fastest teammate.
The win gave Ledecky her third gold medal of the Olympic Games.
Nathan Adrian took home a bronze medal for Team USA in the men’s 100 meter freestyle event, finishing less than a tenth of a second behind silver medal winner Pieter Timmers of Belgium. Australia’s Kyle Chalmers won the gold.
Phelps — fresh off wins for his 20th and 21st gold medals — and teammate Ryan Lochte took the first and second spots, respectively, in the men’s 200 meter individual medley qualifier, with their sights set on winning medals in the final on Thursday. Lochte and Phelps were half of the team that won the 4×200 meter freestyle relay Tuesday.
Dmitriy Balandin of Kazakhstan pulled off a stunning upset in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke on Wednesday night, putting his central Asian country on the swimming medal stand for the first time ever.
Mireia Belmonte Garcia gave Spain its first gold medal of the Olympics after she won the women’s 200 meter butterfly. Garcia also gave Spain its only other medal during the Rio Olympics earlier this week when she took bronze in the 400 meter individual medley.
Brazil avoided embarrassment in front of its home fans Wednesday night as it was finally able to score in the Olympic tournament, beating Denmark 4-0 to advance to the quarterfinals. Brazil previously went through two disappointing scoreless draws to Iraq and South Africa — two teams largely seen as inferior to the Brazilian powerhouse.
Defending champion Kohei Uchimura of Japan took home another gold medal after he barely edged out Ukraine’s Oleg Verniaiev by less than a point, 92.365 to 92.266. Max Whitlock of Great Britain won the bronze medal.
Both men and women competed in medal events Wednesday despite rain and wind. In the women’s individual time trials, defending champion Kristin Armstrong of Team USA took the gold. Swiss cyclist Fabian Cancellara won gold in the men’s time trials. Both riders are set to retire after the Rio games.
Team USA leader Carmelo Anthony became the highest scoring player in U.S. Olympics basketball history after the team survived a game against a feisty Australia squad. Anthony scored a game-high 31 points on 11 of 21 shooting to give the Americans a 93-86 win over Australia in a game that was close until the very end.
China’s Ding Ning avenged her loss in the London Olympics to countrywoman Li Xiaoxia, taking gold over Li in the women’s table tennis finals and extending China’s supremacy in the sport.
Third-ranked Aron Szilagyi of Hungary beat upstart American fencer Daryl Homer to win gold in men’s sabre. Despite the loss, Homer earned the second silver medal for the U.S. men’s fencing team in Rio.