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Tokyo Preview, July 30: Mixed swimming relay debuts, US soccer quarterfinals

Two mixed relays will award their first Olympic medals, and U.S. women's soccer enters the knockout stage in Tokyo.

Friday in Tokyo brings a pair of exciting new mixed-gender events that are making their debuts in the Olympic Games. And the first track and field medal will be awarded. And it's win-or-go-home for the U.S. women's soccer team as they begin the knockout stage.

Swimming

Katie Ledecky will be in the pool one more time for her signature event, the 800-meter freestyle. She's easily the gold medal favorite. Caeleb Dressel will also try to add another individual gold in the 100-meter butterfly. And gold will be on the line in the women's 200-meter backstroke.

But the highlight of the night will be first-ever Olympic mixed 4x100-meter medley relay. Each team has two men and two women. Each swimmer does one of the four swimming styles -- backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle. But there are no rules on which gender does which stroke. So, any leg could feature men against women.

Credit: AP
Allison Schmidt of the United States swims the first leg of the women's 4x200-meter freestyle relay team at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

U.S. vs. Netherlands in women's soccer

It's win or go home as the U.S. faces the Dutch in the quarterfinals. Offense has been at a premium for the Americans, who failed to score in two of their three group stage matches. The Netherlands, on the other hand, scored 21 goals in their three matches.

Track and field

Friday morning will feature several qualifying rounds and the first medal event -- the men's 10,000-meter final. More preliminaries will be held during primetime including women's 100- and 400-meter hurdles and men's 100- and 800-meters.

Triathlon

Just as with swimming, there is a new mixed-gender event making its debut. In triathlon mixed relay, two men and two women per team take turns on a course swimming, biking and running. The course is shorter than the one used for the individual events.

Plus, the U.S. women's basketball team faces host nation Japan.

Medals will also be awarded in tennis, shooting, sailing, boxing, fencing, judo, badminton, trampoline and more.