Rio Olympics Daily Preview: August 14

Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images for IAAF
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Day 9 has everything an Olympic fan could possibly want.  In the morning on centre court, catch the men’s singles gold medal match of tennis.  Later, the quarterfinals in women’s beach volleyball get underway, and the final round in men’s golf comes to a close with the first Olympic medalists being crowned in 112 years.

In gymnastics, the men’s and women’s event finals begin where Team USA’s Simone Biles on vault is a must-see.

MORE: FULL Day 9 streaming schedule

If that wasn’t enough, under the lights at the Olympic Stadium in Rio, expect to see Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and Team USA’s Justin Gatlin face off in the 100m in hopes of winning the title “Fastest Man in the World.”

What to Watch: Day 9, Aug 14

6 a.m. EDT – WATCH LIVE – Men’s Golf: Final Round

The first Olympic medals will be awarded in golf in over 100 years in Rio. Great Britain’s Justin Rose has a slim lead on Sweden’s Henrik Stenson and two-day leader Marcus Fraser of Australia, but a trio of Americans played smart golf Saturday to move into contention for medals.


8:30 a.m. EDT – WATCH LIVE – Track and Field: Women’s Marathon

The U.S. has not won an Olympic gold medal in the women’s marathon since 1984, when the event made its Olympic debut. The U.S. sends Desiree Linden to Rio, along with best friends Amy Cragg and Shalane Flanagan. Cragg had the best time at U.S. Olympic Trials after competing at the 2012 Olympics in the 10,000m.


11 a.m. EDT – WATCH LIVE – Tennis

Must see:

Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match

Women’s Doubles Gold Medal Match

Mixed Doubles Gold Medal Match


11:15 a.m. EDT – WATCH LIVE – Live Women’s Basketball: China vs. United States

Led by Diana Taurasi’s 22 points in London, the U.S. women put up 114 points to China’s 66 in group play on their way to an unblemished gold medal-winning Olympic Games. Taurasi and Co. are back for Rio, which could be bad news for the Chinese squad.


1 p.m. EDT – WATCH LIVE – Gymnastics: Event finals

Must see:

Men’s floor final

Women’s vault final

Men’s pommel horse final

Women’s uneven bars final

Four event finals in men’s and women’s gymnastics will be contested on Day 9.  Japan’s “Twist Prince” Kenzo Shirai is a favorite for floor gold after claiming the world title in 2015, while U.S. star Simone Biles could win the vault final with her combination of two high-difficulty vaults.  The women’s uneven bar final may be the closest of the day—at the 2015 World Championships, four different gymnasts tied for gold. In the pommel horse final two Brits, Max Whitlock and Louis Smith, will likely battle it out for pommel horse supremacy.


1:15 p.m. EDT – WATCH LIVE – Men’s Basketball: United States vs. France

The United States and France meet in the final game of group play. France touts one of the most talented rosters in the tournament with NBA-ers Tony Parker, Nic Batum, Boris Diaw and Rudy Gobert leading the way. Talent aside, France features some of the best nicknames in the entire Games in Diaw (the Borista, Tea Time) and Gobert (French Rejection, Stifle Tower).


Beach Volleyball Women’s Quarterfinals WATCH LIVE

3 p.m. EDT  – Game 1 – Teams TBD

4 p.m. EDT – Game 2 – Teams TBD

10 p.m. EDT – Game 3 – Teams TBD

11 p.m. EDT – Game 4 – Teams TBD


3 p.m. EDT – WATCH LIVE – Women’s Diving: 3m springboard final

China’s Shi Tingmao and He Zi, the 2015 World Championships gold and silver medalists, respectively, will battle for the 3m springboard Olympic crown against Team USA’s Kassidy Cook and Abby Johnston as well as a slew of other competitors including Italy’s Tania Cagnotto (fourth in London). He owns one Olympic medal, a synchro springboard gold from the 2012 Games, while Shi is making her Olympic debut.


4 p.m. EDT – WATCH LIVE – Women’s Volleyball: United States vs. China

After coming home with silver in 2008 and 2012, second both times to Brazil, the U.S. women are determined to finish on top in Rio. In the last day of group play, the U.S. women must play five-time Olympic medalists China.


7:15 p.m. EDT – WATCH LIVE – Track and Field: Day 9 Evening Session

Must see:

Women’s 400m semifinals

Men’s 100m semifinals

Men’s 400m final

Men’s 100m final

Appropriately, the most exciting 9 seconds in track and field will be run on Day 9.  The men’s 100m features an anticipated showdown between Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and his U.S. rival Justin Gatlin. Since London, Bolt has been beaten just once in the 100m sprint, by the legs of Gatlin in 2014. However, after pulling out of the Jamaican Olympic Trials with an injury, no one is certain how healthy Bolt will be in his fourth Olympics.


In a tie, Wendy Holdener puts to rest a remarkable stat in Alpine skiing

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Swiss Wendy Holdener ended one of the most remarkable victory droughts in sports by tying for the win with Swede Anna Swenn Larsson in a World Cup slalom in Killington, Vermont, on Sunday.

Holdener, after 15 second-place finishes and 15 third-place finishes in her career, stood on the top step of a World Cup slalom podium for the first time. She shared it with Swenn Larsson, who had six World Cup slalom podiums before Sunday and also earned her first win.

They beat Austrian Katharina Truppe by .22 of a second combining times from two runs.

ALPINE SKIING: Full Results | Broadcast Schedule

Holdener, 29, previously won three World Cups in other disciplines, plus two world championships in the combined and Olympic and world titles in the team event.

“To be tied first when I came into the finish was such a relief,” Holdener said while shoulder to shoulder with Swenn Larsson. “On the end, it’s perfect, because now we can share our first win together.”

Mikaela Shiffrin had the best first-run time but lost her lead midway through the second run and finished fifth. Shiffrin, who won the first two slaloms this season last weekend, was bidding for a 50th World Cup slalom victory and a sixth win in six slaloms in Killington.

“I fought. I think some spots I got a little bit off my timing, but I was pushing, and that’s slalom,” she said before turning her attention to Holdener and Swenn Larsson. “It’s a pretty special day, actually.”

The women’s Alpine skiing World Cup moves next weekend to Lake Louise, Alberta, with two downhills and a super-G.

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Injured Ilia Malinin wins Grand Prix Finland, qualifies for Grand Prix Final

Ilia Malinin
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Ilia Malinin, competing “a little bit injured” this week, still won Grand Prix Finland and goes into the Grand Prix Final in two weeks as the world’s top-ranked male singles skater.

Malinin, who was second after Friday’s short program, landed four clean quadruple jumps in Saturday’s free skate to overtake Frenchman Kevin Aymoz.

Malinin, who landed a quad flip in competition for the first time, according to SkatingScores.com, also attempted a quad Axel to open his program, but spun out of the landing and put his hand down on the ice.

Malinin also won his previous two starts this season in come-from-behind fashion. The 17-year-old world junior champion became the first skater to land a clean, fully rotated quad Axel in September, then did it again in October at Skate America, where he posted the world’s top overall score this season.

Next, Malinin can become the second-youngest man to win the Grand Prix Final after Russian Yevgeny Plushenko. His biggest competition is likely to be world champion Shoma Uno of Japan, who like Malinin won both of his Grand Prix starts this fall. Malinin and Uno have not gone head-to-head this season.

Grand Prix Finland highlights air on NBC, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.

FIGURE SKATING: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Earlier, Japan’s Mai Mihara overtook world silver medalist Loena Hendrickx of Belgium to become the only woman to win both of her Grand Prix starts this season. Mihara prevailed by .23 of a point. The top three women this season by best total score are Japanese, led by a junior skater, 14-year-old Mao Shimada, who isn’t Olympic age-eligible until 2030.

Mihara and Hendrickx qualified for the Grand Prix Final, joining world champion Kaori Sakamoto and Rinka Watanabe, both of Japan, South Korean Yelim Kim and American Isabeau Levito, the world junior champion.

Italians Rebecca Ghilardi and Filippo Ambrosini won both pairs’ programs and qualified for their first Grand Prix Final.

Japan’s Riku Miura and Ryuichi Kihara and Americans Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier headline the Final. Both pairs won each of their Grand Prix starts earlier this fall. The Japanese have the world’s two best scores this season. The Americans are reigning world champions.

At least one Russian or Chinese pair made every Grand Prix Final podium — usually pairs from both countries — but neither nation competed in pairs this Grand Prix season. All Russian skaters are banned due to the war in Ukraine. China’s lone entry on the Grand Prix across all disciplines was an ice dance couple.

Canadians Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier improved on their world-leading score for this season in winning the ice dance by 17.03 points over Americans Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker. Both couples qualified for the Grand Prix Final in the absence of all three Olympic medalists this fall.

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