Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi win their fifth gold as Team USA beats Japan to finish Tokyo Olympics unbeaten

American basketball

Team USA won their seventh straight gold in women’s basketball!

On Sunday at the Saitama Super Arena, Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi became the first Olympic basketball players, male or female, to win five gold medals in the sport. The 12-man US team beat Japan 90-75 to finish first in the tournament while Japan made their first appearance in an Olympic final and won silver.

Bird’s fiancée Megan Rapinoe, who won bronze with the USWNT, was in the stands proudly cheering on the team.

Since the 1992 Barcelona Games, the US women’s basketball team has suffered no defeats and now matches the US men’s basketball team’s record for most consecutive Olympic gold medals in a team sport with seven (Men won the first seven gold medals from 1936 to 1968 after Olympic basketball debut).

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American basketball

American basketball

Bird, 40, and Taurasi, 39, who are both national champions at UConn and decorated WNBA stars, aren’t the only ones adding to their gold collection. Coach Dawn Staley previously won Olympic gold with the US women’s basketball team in 1996, 2000, and 2004. (Bird and Staley both have distinguished honors of being standard bearers of the Games of summer.)

“Sue and D, what they’ve done for American basketball is extremely special. The fact that they’re aiming for five straight golds is insane and I think for the rest of us as players. , we want to make sure we put them in the best position possible to get that gold, ”said Breanna Stewart, Bird’s Seattle Storm teammate and now two-time Olympic gold medalist, before the game.

“I think everyone here wants to win gold for [Bird and Taurasi], for us, for everyone who started this streak and brought us here, “said Brittany Griner, also now two-time Olympic gold medalist.” I mean, there are a lot of different reasons why we want to win this gold medal. So I think you’re going to see some really good basketball in this gold medal game. “

A’ja Wilson, who celebrated her 25th birthday on Saturday, was 8 when Bird and Taurasi won their first gold medal. Wilson is now an Olympic gold medalist alongside the dominant duo.

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American basketball

American basketball

A few days before the gold medal game, Bird explained how the Tokyo pool game was different from its previous Olympics (Athens 2004 Games, Beijing Games 2008, London Games 2012 and Rio Games in 2016).

“These Olympics I’m sure will be the toughest. Right now, in a few days you are already in the round of 16 and that’s probably from the American perspective to be honest, because a lot of these teams train, ”the WNBA icon explained. “We used to use billiards as a practice because we didn’t really have any practice time. So from one game to the next we were just hoping to improve in the quarter-finals. suddenly I feel like we blinked and we were in the quarterfinals, so it’s a good sign that we’re playing better now, but yeah, it makes it harder for us. “

In Japan, the United States team beat Nigeria, Japan and France in a group match. Then, in the quarter-final, they beat their Australian rival before winning against Serbia in the semi-final.

To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics now on NBC.

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