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Rio Olympics Daily Preview: August 17

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The world’s best women’s golfers tee off in round one competition to open Day 12 at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Meanwhile, Brazilian soccer fans hope to see their football hero Neymar pick up the slack for their eliminated women’s team. Also, quarterfinal action starts in men’s basketball.

In track and field, the decathlon begins. Defending gold medalist, USA’s Ashton Eaton, will begin to tackle all 10 events on his way to a second-consecutive Olympic title.

Also on the track, the women’s 200m final will be run in prime time. A race which will take on a new look for the U.S. team after London gold medalist Allyson Felix was unable to qualify for the event at U.S. Trials. Look for Mississippi speedster Tori Bowie to hold her own against the world in Rio.

What to Watch: Day 12, Aug 17

Men’s Basketball quarterfinals

10 a.m. EDT– STREAM LIVE – Australia vs. Lithuania

1:30 p.m. EDT– STREAM LIVE – Spain vs. France

5:45 p.m. EDT– STREAM LIVE – USA vs. Argentina

9:15 p.m. EDT– STREAM LIVE – Croatia vs. Serbia


Women’s Beach Volleyball – STREAM LIVE

11:00 p.m. EDT – Gold Medal Match


6:30 a.m. EDT– STREAM LIVE –Women’s Golf: Round 1

The United States swept gold, silver and bronze the last time women’s golf was contended at the Olympics back in 1900 in Paris.  One hundred and sixteen years later, New Zealand’s Lydia Ko tops the women’s Olympic golf rankings, followed by Canada’s Brooke M. Henderson and South Korea’s Inbee Park.  Fourth on the list is Team USA’s Lexi Thompson who has won nine tournaments, including one major, since turning pro in 2010.  The U.S. team will also be represented by Stacy Lewis, ranked ninth, and Gerina Piller, ranked 13th.


Track and Field: Decathlon

8:30 a.m. EDT– STREAM LIVE –– 100m, Long jump, Shot put

4:45 p.m. EDT– STREAM LIVE –High jump

Ashton Eaton will run, jump, vault and throw for the U.S. in the decathlon in Rio. He is attempting to become the first person to successfully defend an Olympic decathlon title since Great Britain’s Daley Thompson in 1984.


Women’s Water Polo semifinals – STREAM LIVE

11:20 a.m. EDT – Italy vs. Russia

3:30 p.m. EDT– Hungary vs. United States


Men’s Soccer semifinals

Noon p.m. EDT – STREAM LIVE – Brazil vs. Honduras

3 p.m. EDT– STREAM LIVE – Nigeria vs. Germany


Women’s Boxing 75kg Quarterfinal bouts

2:30 p.m. EDT– STREAM LIVE – Claresa Shields (USA) vs. Yaroslava Yakushina (RUS)

2:45 p.m. EDT– STREAM LIVE – Khadija Mardi (MOR) vs. Dariga Shakimova (KAZ)

3 p.m. EDT– STREAM LIVE – Li Quan (CHN) vs. Andreia Bandeira (BRA)

3:15 p.m. EDT– STREAM LIVE – Nouchka Fontijn (NED) vs. Savannah Marshall (GBR)

Look for defending Olympic gold medalist Claresa Shields to take her Flint, Michigan-made boxing style into the ring in Rio. A win in the quarterfinals will guarantee Shields a medal.


7:20 p.m. EDT WATCH LIVE — Track and Field: Day 12 Evening Session

Must see:

Decathlon – 400m

Men’s 200m semifinals

Women’s 200m final

Women’s 100m hurdles final

Look out for first place finisher at the U.S. Olympic Trials, Tori Bowie in the women’s 200m final. Also, Usain Bolt, LaShawn Merritt, Yohan Blake and Justin Gatlin are all back on the track in the men’s 200m semifinals.

World Cup Alpine season opener gets green light

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After checking the snow on the Rettenbach glacier in Soelden, Austria, FIS officials announced Thursday that the traditional World Cup season opener is set to go ahead as planned Oct. 26-27 with men’s and women’s giant slalom races.

Current conditions at Soelden show a solid 30 inches of snow at the summit. The race finishes at an altitude of 2,670 meters (8,760 feet), far above the currently snowless village.

The first races of the season are never guaranteed to have enough snow, though last year’s men’s race at Soelden had the opposite problem, being canceled when a storm blew through with heavy snowfall and high winds. 

France’s Tessa Worley won the women’s race last year ahead of Italy’s Frederica Brignone and U.S. skier Mikaela Shiffrin, who would go on to dominate the rest of the World Cup season.

The Soelden weekend is followed by three dormant weeks until the season resumes Nov. 23-24 in Levi, Finland. The World Cup circuits then switch to North America. The men will run speed events Nov. 30-Dec. 1 in Lake Louise, Alberta, then head to Beaver Creek, Colo., for more speed events and a giant slalom Dec. 6-8. The women run slalom and giant slalom Nov. 30-Dec. 1 in Killington, Vt., and head to Lake Louise the next weekend.

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Olympic marathon and race walk move from Tokyo to Sapporo draws some pushback

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In the wake of a dropout-plagued set of world championship endurance races in Qatar, moving the 2020 Olympic marathons and race walks from Tokyo to the cooler venue of Sapporo is a quick fix for one problem, pending the potential for untimely heat waves.

But the move has drawn some opposition for a variety of reasons.

First, many organizers and politicians appear to have been caught by surprise. Tokyo’s governor, Yuriko Koike, was “taken aback” and Sapporo’s mayor, Katsuhiro Akimoto, learned about the move from the media, Kyodo News reported. Koike even sarcastically suggested that the races could move all the way northward to islands disputed by Russia and Japan.

South African sports scientist Ross Tucker suggested that running in heat and humidity poses an interesting challenge for athletes, some of whom may be able to catch up with faster runners by preparing for the conditions.

British marathoner Mara Yamauchi made a similar point, saying the move was unfair to those who already were preparing for the heat, humidity and other conditions.

Belgian marathoner Koen Naert said he will make the best of the change but complained that some of his preparation and every runner’s logistical planning would no longer apply.

The angriest athlete may be Canadian walker Evan Dunfee, who placed fourth in the 2016 Olympic 50km race and nearly claimed bronze as a Canadian appeal was upheld but then rejected. He says runners and walkers can beat the conditions if they prepare, which many athletes did not do for the world championships in Qatar.

“So why do we cater to the ill prepared?” Dunfee asked on Twitter.

The move also takes athletes out of the main Olympic city and takes away the traditional, tough less frequent in modern years, finish in the Olympic stadium.

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