According to Olympic historian Bill Mallon, the United States failed to medal on the first day of the Summer Olympics for the first time in 49 years.
On the first day of the Tokyo Olympics, Team USA made some unwelcome history, failing to capture a medal for the first time since 1972.
While they weren’t favorites in any event on the first day, the fact that they didn’t win a single medal was noteworthy because it made history.
On Saturday, the first 11 of 339 gold medals, as well as their silver and bronze siblings, were presented at the Tokyo Olympics, but no American placed in the top three in any of the events: fencing, archery, cycling, air rifle, pistol shooting, and weightlifting, reported Sports Yahoo.
Mixed team archery, Men’s road race cycling, Women’s epee fencing, Men’s saber fencing, Women’s 48kg judo, Men’s 60kg judo, Women’s 10m air rifle shooting, Men’s 10m air pistol shooting, Men’s 58kg taekwondo, Women’s 49kg taekwondo, and Women’s 49kg weightlifting were among the 11 events where the U.S. team failed to medal.
In saber, Eli Dershwitz is ranked world No. 2, but he was defeated by Junghwan Kim, a three-time world champion and 2016 bronze medalist.
Men’s saber and women’s 10m air rifle appeared to be the only events in which the United States had a realistic chance of winning a medal.
Mary Tucker finished sixth in the rifle event, China’s Qian Yang taking the first gold medal of the competition.
The cycling road race, where Brandon McNulty climbed to second place late in the race, may have been the closest Team USA came to a medal.
However, he weakened fast and finished sixth.
This isn’t the kind of history the United States wanted to write, reported NY Post.
The United States did not have a dismal result in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich because of a poor opening day. It nonetheless finished second in both categories, behind the Soviet Union, with 33 gold medals and 94 total medals.
The only other occasion the U.S did not have a medal by the end of the opening day of a Summer Olympics was in 1980 when it boycotted the games.