Rio Olympics Daily Preview: August 7

Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images
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Two U.S. beach volleyball teams are in action on Day 2. On the women’s side, there will be Olympic rookies Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat digging and spiking for the first time in Rio. For the men, Phil Dalhausser returns to Olympic sand with his partner Nick Lucena.

MORE: FULL Day 2 streaming schedule

In rugby, the U.S. women get matched up against top-ranked Australia, while defending gold medalist USA Basketball women play a Senegal team appearing in just its second Olympics.

The premiere event for Day 2 will be the U.S. women’s gymnastics team competing on all apparatuses in Rio. They look to qualify for team, all-around and event finals. With the world watching, it will be time for Simone Biles to deliver on her first Olympic stage.

What to Watch: Day 2, Aug 7

8:45 a.m. ET – WATCH LIVE — Women’s Gymnastics: Team final qualifying

Watch as Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian begin their quest for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team second consecutive team gold. Today they will compete to qualify for the team, all-around and event finals, with the top eight nations advancing to the team final on Day 4, August 9.

9:45 a.m. ET – WATCH LIVE — Tennis: Men’s and women’s singles, Men’s and women’s doubles

Andy Murray’s inspired Olympic win over Switzerland’s Roger Federer in front of his home country crowd was one of the enduring images of the 2012 London Olympic Games. Murray is coming off a 2016 Wimbledon win back in June, but don’t count out world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

The Serbian had quite the shock, losing in the third round this year in London, but don’t forget he took down Murray in the finals of the both the Australian and French Opens.

10 a.m. ET – WATCH LIVE — Women’s Beach Volleyball: Poland vs. United States

Must see: Team USA’s Olympic rookies, Lauren Fendrick and Brooke Sweat, start their Olympic careers looking for a win against Poland’s Kinga Kolosinska and Monika Brzosteak on Copacabana.

11 a.m. ET – WATCH LIVE — Women’s Basketball: United States vs. Senegal

Appearing in only their second Olympic Games, Senegal’s women’s basketball team opens their Rio tournament against the five-time defending Olympic champion U.S. women led by Diana Taurasi.

12:30 p.m. ET –WATCH LIVE —  Women’s Rugby: Australia vs. United States

The U.S. women’s rugby team takes on the No. 1 seed, Australia, and Ellia Green, who is considered the fastest woman in rugby.

3:30 p.m. ET –WATCH LIVE —  Men’s Beach Volleyball: United States vs. Tunisia

Team USA’s Phil Dalhausser comes into Rio after reuniting with his old playing partner Nick Lucena as they look to get over the hump which kept Dalhausser out of the quarterfinals in London.

4:00 pm ET –WATCH LIVE —  Women’s Diving: Synchronized 3m springboard final

China’s Wu Minxia could become the first diver to win five Olympic gold medals when she competes in Rio in synchronized 3m springboard.

1:34 pm ET – WATCH LIVE — Swimming: Day 2 Heats

Don’t miss: Women’s 400m freestyle heats, men’s 4x100m freestyle relay heats

Some of USA Swimming’s aces are in the water on Day 2. In the women’s 400m freestyle look for Katie Ledecky, the 19-year-old with the tenacious stroke, to make a statement in Rio as she tries to become the second swimmer ever to win three individual freestyle titles at a single Games. Keep in mind, Ledecky is also the current world record holder in the 400m freestyle.

9:00 pm ET – WATCH LIVE —  Swimming: Day 2 Evening Session

Don’t miss: Women’s 400m freestyle final, men’s 4x100m freestyle relay final

The U.S. men have owned the 4x100m freestyle relay finishing in the top spot in every Olympics they’ve entered, except one… London 2012. It comes down to U.S. swim team head coaches Bob Bowman and David March to decide who swims in the final, but expect to see recent ESPN the Magazine Body Issue subject Nathan Adrian along with Olympic rookie, Caeleb Dressel to be on the blocks. The last two spots could feature the 35-year-old Anthony Ervin, who first swam the event in Sydney and won silver, and possibly Michael Phelps, a constant in the event the past three Games.

Mikaela Shiffrin heads to world championships with medal records in sight

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Before Mikaela Shiffrin can hold the World Cup wins record, she can become the most decorated Alpine skier in modern world championships history.

Shiffrin takes a respite from World Cup pursuits for the biennial world championships in France. She is expected to race at least four times, beginning with Monday’s combined.

Shiffrin has a tour-leading 11 World Cup victories in 23 starts this season, her best since her record 17-win 2018-19 campaign, but world championships do not count toward the World Cup.

Shiffrin remains one career victory behind Swede Ingemar Stenmark‘s record 86 World Cup wins until at least her next World Cup start in March.

Shiffrin has been more successful at worlds than at the Olympics and even on the World Cup. She has 11 medals in 13 world championships races dating to her 2013 debut, including making the podium in each of her last 10 events.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

She enters worlds one shy of the modern, post-World War II individual records for total medals (Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt won 12) and gold medals (Austrian Toni Sailer, Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel and Swede Anja Pärson won seven).

Worlds take place exactly one year after Shiffrin missed the medals in all of her Olympic races, but that’s not motivating her.

“If I learned anything last year, it’s that these big events, they can go amazing, and they can go terrible, and you’re going to survive no matter what,” she said after her most recent World Cup last Sunday. “So I kind of don’t care.”

Shiffrin ranks No. 1 in the world this season in the giant slalom (Feb. 16 at worlds) and slalom (Feb. 18).

This year’s combined is one run of super-G coupled with one run of slalom (rather than one downhill and one slalom), which also plays to her strengths. She won that event, with that format, at the last worlds in 2021. The combined isn’t contested on the World Cup, so it’s harder to project favorites.

Shiffrin is also a medal contender in the super-G (Feb. 8), despite starting just two of five World Cup super-Gs this season (winning one of them).

She is not planning to race the downhill (Feb. 11), which she often skips on the World Cup and has never contested at a worlds. Nor is she expected for the individual parallel (Feb. 15), a discipline she hasn’t raced in three years in part due to the strain it puts on her back with the format being several runs for the medalists.

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Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen
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Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

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