What to watch at the Rio Games on Friday
RIO DE JANEIRO – Day 14 of the Rio Games features medal action in track and field, soccer, wresting, boxing, platform diving and more. Here are some things to watch (all times local):
TRACK AND FIELD
A day after winning another gold in the 200 meters, Usain Bolt is expected to try to add to his titles with a spot on the Jamaican team in the 4×100 relay finals at10:35 p.m. Bolt and Jamaica won the event in Beijing and in London, where the team set the world and Olympic records.
The American women’s 4×100 relay team received a reprieve following a collision on a handoff and will try to make the most of it when the gun goes off at 10:15 p.m. The Jamaicans, with the second-fastest time in qualifiers, are always formidable.
One of the feel-good moments in Rio occurred in the 5,000 when American Abbey D’Agostino’s was involved in a chain-reaction tumble Tuesday with New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin and, instead of running off, D’Agostino helped her up. Hamblin advanced to the final, which starts at 9:40 p.m., but D’Agostino tore ligaments in her knee and is done for the season.
American pole vaulter Jenn Suhr tries to defend her title starting at 8:30 p.m.while contending with a bad cold. Her main rival, two-time Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva , is one of 67 Russian track and field athletes who were barred from the Rio Games by the IAAF following allegations of state-sponsored doping in Russia. She appealed but failed to overturn the ruling.
Medals are also to be awarded in the men’s 50km race walk (it starts at 8 a.m.) and the women’s 20km race walk (2:30 p.m.), and the men’s hammer throw (9:05 p.m.).
Germany and Sweden meet at 4:30 p.m. in the first all-European Olympic women’s final .
Most figured the World Cup champion U.S. national team would be cruising to its fourth straight gold medal. But the Americans were ousted by Sweden in the quarterfinals.
Sweden and Germany’s coaches were both in the first women’s Olympic tournament in 1996.
With the U.S. out, many figured host Brazil and national star Marta would be playing for gold. But Sweden knocked off the Brazilians in the semifinals.
Germany, meanwhile, avenged a loss to Canada earlier in the games, sending the Canadians to the bronze medal match for the second straight Olympics, where they’ll face Brazil at 1 p.m.
The U.S. men’s basketball team expected to see Spain again, whether it was for the gold medal, as in the last two Olympics, or just for the chance to play for gold.
Well, here they are. The world’s top teams meet at 3:30 p.m. in the semifinals, with Spain getting another chance to finish the job against the U.S. after being oh-so-close in the last two gold-medal games in 2012 and 2008.
In the other game, Australia plays Serbia at 7 p.m. Both teams came close in their games against the U.S.
American Jordan Burroughs, considered by many the best pound-for-pound wrestler in the world, goes for his second straight Olympic title in men’s freestyle. Burroughs is seeking his fifth world title in just his sixth year of international competition.
The finals, coming after a day of competition, start at 4 p.m.
Inbee Park of South Korea birdied her last two holes for another 5-under 66 and the lead going into the third round.
But Stacy Lewis made 11 birdies to match the low score at Olympic Golf Course with an 8-under 63, putting her one shot back. (Marcus Fraser of Australia also shot a 63 in the opening round of the men’s competition last week on a course set up about 900 yards longer.)
The surprise was Aditi Ashok , the 18-year-old from India who had another 68 and was four shots out of the lead.
The U.S. plays in the men’s semifinals at 1 p.m. against Italy, which beat Olympic first-timer Iran in straight sets. The Italians beat the U.S. in four sets during pool play – and the Americans haven’t lost since.
The fifth-ranked Americans topped second-ranked Poland on Wednesday, building momentum after dropping their initial two matches before stunning Brazil and finishing off France.
Russia plays Brazil in the other match at 10:15 p.m.
A new Olympic women’s lightweight champion will be chosen when France’s Estelle Mossely takes on China’s Yin Junhua at 4 p.m.
The card also includes the always-entertaining super heavyweight semifinals featuring Mossely’s boyfriend, Tony Yoka at 3 p.m.
And U.S. middleweight Claressa Shields is a huge favorite to advance to her second gold-medal Olympic bout when she takes on Kazakhstan’s Dariga Shakimova in the semifinals at 3:30 p.m.
The U.S. tries to become the first country to win two straight gold medals in women’s water polo when it takes on Italy in the Rio final at 3:30 p.m.
Maggie Steffens and the U.S. are coming off a 14-10 victory over Hungary in the semifinals. Steffens leads the team with 16 goals in the Olympics, and the Americans have won 21 in a row dating to a 5-4 loss to Australia on May 31.
Italy is a perfect 5-0 in Rio, including a 12-9 victory against Russia on Wednesday, and last won gold in Athens in 2004.
The bronze is being contested between Hungary and Russia at 11:20 a.m.
The Netherlands, the biggest force in women’s hockey, will play for an unprecedented third straight gold against first-time finalist Britain at 7 p.m.Germany and New Zealand play for bronze at 12 p.m.
If the Chinese men can win the final event a day after the women took silver and gold, it would match their best Olympic performance ever.
Mariana Pajon of Colombia tries to defend her gold medal in BMX cycling when the women return to the track.
The semifinal heats start at 1:30 p.m., with the medal race later in the afternoon.
Medals will be awarded in the men’s draw, too. The gold is up for grabs starting at 3:10 p.m. after two-time winner Maris Strombergs of Latvia was knocked out in a wreck-filled quarterfinal round. All five American riders – three men and two women – remain in the field with the United States hoping to return to the podium after getting shut out in London in 2012.