What to watch at the Rio Games on Friday
Thu., Aug. 11, 2016
RIO DE JANEIRO – Day 7 of the Rio Games features medal action in swimming, track and field, track cycling, fencing, judo and more. Here are some things to watch (all times local):
Will Michael Phelps add even more gold to his Olympic career? We’ll see when the men’s 100 meter butterfly finals are held. Phelps has the world and Olympic (Beijing) records in the event and qualified for the semifinals Thursday night just 33 minutes after the 200 individual medley final.
Speaking of golds, fellow American Katie Ledecky will be back in the pool for the 800 freestyle, in which she set an Olympic record on Thursday in qualifying. She swam the 16-lap event in 8 minutes, 12.86 seconds, bettering the mark of 8:14.10 set by Rebecca Adlington of Britain in 2008. Ledecky’s time was nearly 7 seconds faster than anyone else. She’s seeking to complete a sweep of the 200, 400 and 800 freestyles for the first time since the 1968 Mexico City Games.
The superstar lineup Friday includes Katinka Hosszu of Hungary going in the 200 backstroke. She qualified fastest Thursday and has won the 100 backstroke, along with the 200 and 400 individual medleys. Hilary Caldwell of Canada had the second-quickest time of 2:07.40. Maya DiRado of the United States, who has won gold, silver and bronze at her first Olympics, was third fastest in 2:08.60.
American Missy Franklin , who holds the world and Olympic records (London) advanced to the semifinals with the 11th-fastest time of 2:09.36. She earned a gold medal as part of the 4x200 freestyle relay after swimming in the preliminaries, but the games have been disappointing for her.
Men will swim for the gold in the 50 free.
Track and field
Track and field starts Friday and includes preliminaries for the women in the 100 meters.
There are five sprinters to watch: Elaine Thompson of Jamaica; Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast; and Americans English Gardner, Tianna Bartoletta and Tori Bowie. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the two-time defending Olympic champion, is also in the field.
On the men’s side, preliminaries start in the 800 and 400. In the longer of the two, the man to beat is David Rudisha, though he did struggle in the Kenyan trials. He holds the world and Olympic records, both set at the London Games. He was the first athlete to run the event in less than 1 minute, 41 seconds.
In the 400, we’ll get a first look at favorites American LaShawn Merritt, South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk and Grenada’s Kirani James.
Two women will seek a third consecutive gold. Tirunesh Dibaba seeks another medal in the 10,000. She is already considered the greatest female distance runner in history with her five Olympic medals (three gold) and five world championship golds. The 31-year-old has fought back from major injuries several times in her career and just finished a yearlong break after the birth of her son.
New Zealand shot putter Valerie Adams seeks a comeback from elbow and shoulder surgery. She was basically untouchable at major championships from 2007 to 2014, with four world and two Olympic gold medals to show for it. Adams is the second-best performer of the season, behind China’s Gong Lijiao. Christina Schwanitz of Germany, who took over Adams’ world title last year, could well be her toughest opponent on Friday
The dominating U.S. teams are back on the court.
The men play Serbia. While the U.S. is still the team to beat, the Americans were tested in their last contest against Australia. Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points on the night he became the U.S. men’s Olympic career scoring leader.
The women take on Canada. The three Olympic rookies on the American team have had an impressive start: Elena Delle Donne, Breanna Stewart and Brittney Griner have all had stretches when they have taken over games as the U.S. has won its first two contests in dominating fashion.
Canada clinched its second straight berth in the women’s basketball quarterfinals Wednesday, beating Senegal 68-58.
In other action, China’s men face Australia.
The U.S. women, coming off a rare draw against Colombia, continue into the quarterfinals against Sweden. The match reunites the United States with former coach Pia Sundhage, who led the Americans to gold at the Beijing and London Olympics. Sweden, ranked sixth, struggled in the group stage with a 5-1 loss to host Brazil and finished 1-1-1.
Brazil, featuring standout Marta, faces Australia. The Aussies and Brazilians met at the Women’s World Cup last year, and it was Australia that advanced.
The other games will see China take on Germany and Canada against France.
The men head into the second round with Australia’s Marcus Fraser atop the leaderboard with an 8-under 63 at Olympic Golf Course, where wildlife has been abundant. Fraser has a three-shot lead over British Open champion Henrik Stenson of Sweden and Graham DeLaet of Canada. It’s the first time golf has been in the Olympics since 1904.
The tournament continues, including Rafael Nadal of Spain against hometown favorite Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil. Britain’s Andy Murray plays American Steve Johnson.
Soon after, Nadal is back on the court to team with Marc Lopez in a gold medal doubles match against Romania’s Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau.
The bronze match is between the U.S. team of Johnson and Jack Sock and Canada’s Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil.
In mixed doubles, Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram of the U.S. face Italy’s Roberta Vinci and Fabio Fognini. After being knocked out in singles and doubles, this is Williams’ remaining event and one she entered because of the other eliminations.
American Nico Hernandez fights for gold against Uzbekistan’s Hasanboy Dusmatov in a light flyweight semifinal. Hernandez pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the Olympics’ first three days on Monday night with a unanimous decision over Russia’s Vasilii Egorov, the European champion and runner-up at last year’s world championships.
Cuba’s Joahnys Argilagos fights Colombia’s Yurberjen Herney Maetinez in a light flyweight semifinal
The men’s team pursuit finals will be held a day after the British continued their domination in the team sprints, winning a third consecutive gold.
The men’s team foil gold medal match is set. Italy, Brazil, China, France, Russia, Britain, Egypt and the U.S. have made the team quarterfinals.
Italian Daniele Garozzo stunned top-ranked American Alexander Massialas to win the individual gold Sunday.
The men and women’s heavyweights go for the gold a day after American Kayla Harrison earned her second straight gold medal in judo, winning the 78-kilogram division. In the men’s 100-kilogram division, Lukas Krpalek of the Czech Republic won the country’s first judo gold after defeating Elmar Gasimov of Azerbaijan.
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