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Rio Olympics Daily Preview: August 13

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The first round of elimination matches continues on Day 8 in beach volleyball and it’s moving day in golf as the men play their third Olympic round.

In rowing, what has become a U.S. dynasty in the women’s eight could continue with an 11th-straight world title if coxswain Katelin Snyder has the women in her boat working in unison.

The women’s singles tennis gold and bronze medal matches will be played, but it’s not the No. 1 seeded American competing on the final day. Look for Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, who will run his first race in Rio in the first round of the men’s 100m in track and field.

MORE: FULL Day 8 streaming schedule

In the must-see moment of the day, Michael Phelps will have one last chance to grab another medal in Rio on Day 8 in the 4×100 medley relay. Gold or not, expect an emotional night by the pool for the most-decorated Olympian of all time after he swims his final Olympic race.

What to Watch: Day 8, Aug 13

6:30 a.m. ET – WATCH LIVE – Men’s Golf: Round 3


9:20 a.m. ET – WATCH LIVE –

Women’s Rowing: Single sculls final A

U.S. rower Gevvie Stone hopes to row for her first Olympic medal in the single sculls final in Rio.

Women’s Rowing: Eight final A

Team USA led by coxswain Katelin Snyder looks to extend the U.S. Olympic domination in the women’s eight.  The U.S. has won every world championship and Olympic gold medal since 2006. Boats from New Zealand and Great Britain pose the biggest threat to a U.S. Rowing three-peat in Rio.


10 a.m. ET – WATCH LIVE – Beach Volleyball: Men’s and Women’s Round of 16


Men’s soccer — The knockout rounds start with the powerful Germans facing Portugal, and finishes with Neymar riding point for Brazil’s match against Colombia.

Portugal vs. Germany — Noon EDT

Nigeria vs. Denmark — 3 p.m. EDT

South Korea vs. Honduras — 6 p.m. EDT

Brazil vs. Colombia — 9 p.m. EDT


2 p.m. ET – WATCH LIVE – Men’s Shooting: Skeet final

U.S. shooter Vincent Hancock could win his third-straight Olympic gold in skeet.


9 p.m. ET – WATCH LIVE – Swimming: Day 8 Evening Session

Must see:

Women’s 50m freestyle final

Women’s 4×100 medley relay final

Men’s 4×100 medley relay final

Michael Phelps hopes to swim one last 100 meters of butterfly in an Olympic Games, bringing his unparalleled swimming career to a close in Rio.


11 a.m. ET – WATCH LIVE – Tennis

Women’s singles gold medal match

Men’s singles bronze medal match

Women’s singles bronze medal match

Women’s doubles bronze medal match

Mixed doubles bronze medal match


10 a.m. ET – WATCH LIVE – Track and Field: Day 8 Morning Session

7:30 p.m. ET – WATCH LIVE – Track and Field: Day 8 Evening Session

Must see:

AM

Women’s 400m Round 1

Men’s 100m Round 1

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and the USA’s Justin Gatlin begin their 2016 campaign to determine who walks out of Rio with the title “Fastest Man Alive.”

PM

Men’s 400m semifinals

Women’s 100m final

Men’s 10,000m final

One of the shortest and one the longest races run on the 400m track will be decided on Day 8. The women’s 100m final could be Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s third trip in a row to the top of the Olympic podium, and in the men’s 10,000m final there is an expected battle between two friends: USA’s Galen Rupp and Great Britain’s defending Olympic champion Mo Farah.

French Open: Karolina Pliskova, top player sans Slam, again exits early

Karolina Pliskova
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No. 2 seed Karolina Pliskova exited yet another Grand Slam in the early stages, falling to 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia in the second round at Roland Garros on Thursday.

Ostapenko, whose only match wins at the French Open before this week came in her title run three years ago, bounced the big-serving Czech 6-4, 6-2.

Pliskova put fewer than half of her first serves in play, while Ostapenko fired 27 winners to 19 unforced errors. Pliskova was on the ropes in her first round, too, needing three sets to get past an Egyptian qualifier.

“Maybe same level as the match before, but of course [Ostapenko] is much better player,” Pliskova said. “Not much to say about this match.”

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women | TV Schedule

Later Thursday, top-ranked Novak Djokovic had a second straight win ceding just five games, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 over Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis. Djokovic undefeated in 2020 save his U.S. Open default for smacking a ball that inadvertently struck a linesperson, next gets Colombian lucky loser Daniel Elahi Galán.

Nobody else in Djokovic’s half of the draw at the start of the tournament made a French Open semifinal before.

Pliskova is the highest-ranked player of either gender (No. 4) without a Grand Slam title, yet hasn’t made it past the fourth round at a major since the 2019 Australian Open.

She’s played six Slams as a No. 1 or No. 2 seed, one shy of Caroline Wozniacki‘s total before she broke through at the 2018 Australian Open and two shy of Simona Halep‘s total before she won the 2018 French Open.

Ostapenko, meanwhile, is having a very different career.

She won the 2017 Roland Garros title, two days after turning 20, while ranked 47th. She hasn’t gotten past the third round of a major since 2018 Wimbledon, including first-round French Open exits the last two years, and is back down to No. 43 in the WTA rankings.

“It’s hard to compare with 2017. As I said, it was like three years ago, and I was much younger, and also I was fearless. Nobody knew me,” Ostapenko said. “The world doesn’t stop with winning only one Grand Slam. Of course I want to achieve more, and I want to be back in top five, top 10.”

She dropped just nine games in four sets this week.

Ostapenko gets 87th-ranked Spaniard Paula Badosa in third round. Badosa dispatched 2018 French Open runner-up Sloane Stephens 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

MORE: Serena Williams ‘struggling to walk’

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Figure skating’s Grand Prix fields look very different this season

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Before Nathan Chen is expected to go for a historic fifth straight U.S. figure skating title in January, he will, in a first, compete against most of his top countrymen later this month.

Fields for the Grand Prix Series, figure skating’s autumn international circuit, were published Thursday. As expected, every top skater entered will compete in his or her home country, or nearest to where he or she trains, and in one of the six events.

Traditionally, skaters compete in two of the six events and are scattered among competitions in the U.S., Canada, France, Russia, China and Japan based on world rankings.

But the International Skating Union restricted travel this season due to the coronavirus pandemic. Skaters are limited to compete locally. And the Grand Prix Final at the conclusion of the Grand Prix Series has been postponed from its scheduled December setting in Beijing.

That means that Chen vies for a record-tying fourth straight Skate America crown in Las Vegas in three weeks against a field mostly made up of countrymen, including Olympic teammate Vincent Zhou and U.S. bronze medalist Tomoki Hiwatashi.

In all, there are eight U.S. men entered in Skate America, 11 women (including past national champions Bradie Tennell and Gracie Gold), six pairs and nine ice dance couples (including U.S. champions Madison Chock and Evan Bates and Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue), plus some skaters from other nations who train in the U.S.

Traditionally, a country has no more than three entries per discipline at a Grand Prix event.

GRAND PRIX FIELDS: Men | Women | Pairs | Ice Dance

Sochi Olympian Jason Brown, who trains in Toronto, is entered in Skate Canada the week after Skate America.

Two-time U.S. women’s champion Alysa Liu will not be old enough for the Grand Prix Series until the 2021-22 Olympic season.

All of the reigning Olympic champions are absent from the series.

Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan previously announced he wouldn’t compete due to virus-related travel risks. Russian Alina Zagitova extended her indefinite break from competition dating to last autumn, rather choosing to participate in a skating-themed TV series.

Ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada retired. The German pairs’ team of Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot last competed in the 2018 Olympic season.

Instead, the headliners include Chen, the two-time world champion undefeated since placing fifth in PyeongChang. And a deep crop of Russian teenage women, all of course entered in the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow in November.

MORE: Brian Orser reacts to Yevgenia Medvedeva’s coaching switch

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