Tokyo Countdown 13-12: 25 days, 25 amazing Olympic memories

Posted at 2:03 PM, Jul 12, 2021

The Tokyo Games are almost here. We individually revisit an amazing Olympic memory, per diem, over the 25-day leadup.

This countdown began on Monday, June 28. Here are parts one and two.

NBC will have comprehensive coverage of the Tokyo Olympics' Opening Ceremony on Friday, July 23, beginning live at 6:55 a.m. ET. The ceremony will be re-aired at 7:30 p.m. ET for U.S. viewers who tune in for primetime, then replayed again overnight.

For more thrilling Olympic memories, stream the Great Moments channel on Peacock.

13 | Sydney McLaughlin, U.S. Track & Field Trials in 2021

1st - 400m Hurdles Final

SEE MORE: U.S. Trials: McLaughlin breaks Muhammad's 400mH world record

Sydney McLaughlin was twice runner-up to separate world record-breaking performances in 2019 – U.S. and world championship title wins – by reigning Olympic 400m hurdles champion Dalilah Muhammad. But the tables would turn two years later at U.S. trials.

After posting the fastest overall times in both the first (54.07) and semifinal (53.03) rounds, McLaughlin entered the final as the slight favorite despite lining up against the best to ever run the event. It was finally her time to shine, and she capitalized triumphantly.

From lane six she shadowed in stagger Muhammad – in lane seven, who had a fast start – through 80% of the race until taking off with one set of hurdles to go, finishing in 51.90 to become the first women's 400m hurdler to ever break 52 seconds.

McLaughlin's win and world record further electrifies the upcoming, to-be-determined Tokyo showdown between the two Americans in what was already expected to be an incredible matchup. The pair owns each of the top four times run in history.

SEE MORE: Track & Field 101: Olympic history

13 | Katie Ledecky, U.S. Track & Field Trials in 2021

1st - 1500m Freestyle Final

SEE MORE: Trials: Katie Ledecky wins 1500m free, completes double

Less than an hour and a half after winning the 200m final at U.S. trials, Katie Ledecky returned to the pool and smashed the competition in the 1500m freestyle, lowering a meet record she'd set during the prelims down from 15:43.10 to 15:40.50.

Her 1500m win qualified her for a third individual event in Tokyo — earlier she secured berths in the 400m and 200m freestyles, two events in which she won gold at the 2016 Rio Games. Later, she won the 800m freestyle, making it four individual events.

The victory was also a first for the U.S. trials, as the women's 1500m free makes its Olympic debut in Tokyo. But it surely isn't new for Ledecky, who's a three-time world champion in the event, having won the title in 2017, 2015 and 2013.

SEE MORE: Swimming 101: Olympic History