WATCH LIVE: United States/France highlights Saturday’s women’s soccer schedule

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Saturday marks the second day of competition in women’s soccer, and the showcase match includes the United States.

The reigning gold medalists (and World Cup champions) play their second group stage match Saturday afternoon, as they take on France in a Group G showdown in Belo Horizonte. The match kicks off at 4:00 p.m. Eastern, and it will be streamed on NBCOlympics.com and on the NBC Sports app. This will be the second consecutive Olympics in which the two teams have met in the group stage, with the United States winning 4-2 in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. France grabbed a 2-0 lead in that match inside of 14 minutes before the Americans replied with four unanswered goals to grab the win.

WATCH: United States vs. France on NBCOlympics.com

While both teams had little trouble winning their opening matches Wednesday, France tallied four goals in their 4-0 thrashing of Colombia that was even more lopsided than the final margin would indicate. Mads Toppel’s own goal inside of two minutes got France going, and they were unrelenting in their pressing of a Colombian side that was ill-equipped to deal with them. The United States beat New Zealand 2-0, and while their final scoreline wasn’t as impressive as the one posted by France Jill Ellis’ team was in control for much of their match.

Alex Morgan, who scored twice in the win over France in the 2012 Summer Olympics, scored in the 46th minute with captain Carli Lloyd’s header in the ninth minute opening the American account Wednesday night. With both teams opening in Belo Horizonte travel won’t be an issue for either, as the teams did not make the trek to Rio for Friday’s Opening Ceremony.

That’s the second of six matches to be played in women’s soccer Saturday, with Canada taking on Zimbabwe in a Group F match in Sao Paulo. Canada beat Australia 2-0 in their opener, and they’ll be expected to grab all three points against a Zimbabwe side that fell 6-1 to Germany in their Olympic debut. With their loss to Canada, Australia enters Saturday’s matchup with Germany in Sao Paulo in need of a result as they look to advance into the knockout stage.

Playing in Rio Saturday will be hosts Brazil, who face Sweden in the second game of a doubleheader at the Olympic Stadium. Both teams are coming off of wins in their opening matches, with Brazil taking care of China and the Swedes beating South Africa. China and South Africa will meet in the first match at the Olympic Stadium.

All six matches will be available at NBCOlympics.com and on the NBC Sports app.

Saturday’s Olympic Women’s Soccer Schedule (all times Eastern):

2:00 p.m.: Canada vs. Zimbabwe – WATCH LIVE
4:00 p.m.: United States vs. France – WATCH HERE
5:00 p.m.: Germany vs. Australia – WATCH HERE
6:00 p.m.: South Africa vs. China – WATCH HERE
7:00 p.m.: Colombia vs. New Zealand – WATCH HERE
9:00 p.m.: Brazil vs. Sweden – WATCH HERE

Asher Hong leads U.S. men’s gymnastics world team selection camp after first day

Asher Hong
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Asher Hong, 18, posted the highest all-around score on the first of two days of competition at the U.S. men’s gymnastics selection camp to determine the last three spots on the team for the world championships that start in three weeks.

Hong, bidding to become the youngest U.S. man to compete at worlds since Danell Leyva in 2009, totaled 84.6 points in Colorado Springs. He edged Colt Walker by one tenth. Tokyo Olympians Shane Wiskus (84.15) and Yul Moldauer (83.95) were next. Full apparatus-by-apparatus scores are here.

Brody Malone, who repeated as U.S. all-around champion at August’s national championships, and runner-up Donnell Whittenburg already clinched spots on the five-man team for worlds in Liverpool, Great Britain. They did not compete Monday, though their results from the first day of nationals are shown in the official scores.

The three remaining team spots will not necessarily go to the top three all-arounders at this week’s camp, which is supposed to be weighed equally with results from August’s nationals. Hong was third at nationals, but if excluding difficulty bonus points from that meet that will not be considered by the committee, would have finished behind Walker and Moldauer in August.

A selection committee is expected to announce the team soon after the second and final day of selection camp competition on Wednesday evening. The committee will look at overall scoring potential for the world team final, where three men go per apparatus, and medal potential in individual events.

Stephen Nedoroscik, who last year became the first American to win a world title on the pommel horse, is trying to make the team solely on that apparatus. He wasn’t at his best at nationals and struggled again on Monday, hurting his chances of displacing an all-arounder for one of the last three spots.

The U.S. has reason to emphasize the team event over individual medals at this year’s worlds. It will clinch an Olympic berth by finishing in the top three, and its medal hopes are boosted by the absence of the Russians who won the Olympic team title. All gymnasts from Belarus and Russia are banned indefinitely from international competition due to the war in Ukraine.

In recent years, the U.S. has been among the nations in the second tier behind China, Japan and Russia, including in Tokyo, where the Americans were fifth.

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Ironman Kona World Championships return for first time in three years, live on Peacock

Ironman Kona World Championship
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The Ironman Kona World Championships return after a three-year hiatus with a new format, live on Peacock on Thursday and Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.

The Ironman, held annually in Hawaii since 1978, and in Kailua-Kona since 1981, was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world championships made a one-time-only stop in St. George, Utah, on May 7 to make up for the 2021 cancellation. The winners were Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, the Tokyo Olympic triathlon champion, and Swiss Daniela Ryf, who bagged her fifth Ironman world title.

Both are entered in Kailua-Kona, where the races are now split between two days — Thursday for the women and Saturday for the men.

An Ironman includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon — totaling 140.6 miles of racing. It takes top triathletes eight hours to complete. Very arguably, it crowns the world’s fittest man and woman.

WATCH LIVE: Ironman Kona, Thursday, 12 p.m. ET — STREAM LINK

Ryf, 35 and a 2008 and 2012 Olympian, can tie retired countrywoman Natascha Badmann for second place on the women’s list at six Ironman world titles. Only Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser has more with eight.

The field also includes German Anne Haug, the 2019 Kona champ and only woman other than Ryf to win since 2015. Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay, the Kona runner-up in 2017, 2018 and 2019, returns after missing the St. George event due to a stress fracture in her hip.

Blummenfelt, 28 and in his Kona debut, will try to become the youngest male champion in Kona since German Normann Stadler in 2005. His top challengers include countryman Gustav Iden, the two-time reigning Half Ironman world champion, and German Patrick Lange, the 2017 and 2018 Ironman Kona winner.

Also racing Saturday is Dallas Clark, a retired All-Pro NFL tight end with the Indianapolis Colts, and Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 champion who completed the 2011 Kona Ironman in 12 hours, 52 minutes, 40 seconds.

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