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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.

David Boudia adjusts diving event, goal for world championships

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David Boudia earned diving medals at his last three world championships and the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, but that was on the platform. He competes on the global stage on the springboard for the first time at worlds this week.

“I don’t have a lot of high hopes,” Boudia, who is still learning the springboard after switching to it in the last year, said in a phone interview from South Korea, where he begins competition Wednesday (TV schedule here). “But I think my biggest goal is to walk away with an Olympic spot.”

An Olympic spot not necessarily for himself, but for the U.S.

Boudia, a 30-year-old father of three, and any other American will clinch 2020 Olympic quota spots by placing in the top 12 in their respective individual events this week. Those spots, and any others earned at later competitions in the next year, will be filled at trials in June in Indianapolis.

NBC Sports analyst Cynthia Potter believes Boudia, who left the sport to sell homes in 2017 and came back and suffered a concussion off the platform in 2018, can meet his goal of making Friday’s 12-man final in Gwangju.

“He would have to dive well, but not better than he’s been diving,” she said. “His springboard is really well-timed, rhythmic, and he’s for a long time known how to go into the water without making a splash.”

But challenging Rio Olympic gold and silver medalists Cao Yuan of China and Jack Laugher of Great Britain, plus defending world champion Xie Siyi of China would be very tough.

Boudia lacks their degrees of difficulty, for now. He hopes to switch out two of his six dives before his first competition of 2020, though he could insert one of them should he make the world final.

“I need a good six months, so from August to December is when we’re kind of really drilling the fundamentals of learning those new dives and getting them perfected,” he said.

Boudia rallied to beat Rio Olympic springboard diver Michael Hixon for the title in May at nationals, where the top two per event earned world berths. But Boudia competed there with about a month of competition dive practice, about half as long as he would prefer.

“Hix and I are going to have a lot of training to do if we want to be even close to cracking that top five,” at worlds, Boudia said in May, according to TeamUSA.org.

Boudia is the lone U.S. diver to earn an individual world medal in an Olympic diving event since 2009.

The U.S. produced breakthroughs at worlds so far. Sarah Bacon became the first American woman to earn a world title since 2005, taking the non-Olympic 1m springboard event. Murphy Bromberg and Katrina Young bagged bronze in synchronized platform, ending a decade-long medal drought in any synchro event.

But Boudia’s goal must be shared among the whole team — as many top-12 finishes individually and top three in synchro events to gobble up Tokyo 2020 quota spots. The U.S. failed to qualify full teams for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

“Getting in the top 12 in the four individual Olympic events is the big deal right now,” Potter said. “Whether you are on the awards stand or not, that would be icing on the cake for a lot of these divers.”

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Anita Wlodarczyk, one of track and field’s most dominant, sidelined

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Poland hammer thrower Anita Wlodarczyk, the only woman to win the last five combined Olympic and world titles in a track and field event, will not go for a fourth straight world championship this fall.

Wlodarczyk had season-ending, arthroscopic left knee surgery on Monday, according to Polish media citing her coach.

Wlodarczyk, 33, has the top 15 throws on the IAAF’s all-time list, and 27 of the top 29. Her world record of 82.98 meters (scribbled on her leg pre-op) is 11 and a half feet farther the second-best woman in history. She originally took silver at the 2012 Olympics and 2013 Worlds but was upgraded to gold after Russian Tatyana Lysenko was stripped for doping.

Wlodarczyk won a reported 42 straight finals between 2014 and 2017, then suffered three losses in 2018 and two so far this year in three lower-level meets before the operation.

Americans DeAnna Price and Brooke Anderson rank Nos. 1 and 2 in the world this year. A U.S. woman has never finished in the top five of an Olympic or world championships hammer throw, which debuted at worlds in 1999 and the Olympics in 2000.

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