WATCH LIVE: U.S. men’s hoops look to reach gold medal game vs. Spain

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After getting past Argentina, Mike Krzyzewski and the U.S. men’s basketball team play Spain Friday afternoon with a spot in the gold medal game on the line.

The two nations met for gold in both 2008 and 2012 with the Americans winning both, and only Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant are back from the team that took gold in London four years ago. Spain’s a veteran group led by center Pau Gasol, and after struggling early in pool play they’ve seemingly hit their stride. Part of the adjustment for the Spaniards was getting used to not having Marc Gasol available, as health issues from his season with the Memphis Grizzlies resulted in his having to sit out the Olympics.

WATCH LIVE: Men’s basketball semifinals, U.S. vs. Spain — 2:15 p.m. Eastern

The interesting matchup for the U.S. will be at the point, where in Ricky Rubio Spain has a point guard who can’t hurt them as much offensively as the likes of Argentina’s Facundo Campazzo can. Rubio can break defenses down off the dribble and is a good passer as well, but with his lack of a perimeter shot that could play into the hands of the Americans. That being said Spain has the size inside that the U.S. hasn’t had to deal with thus far in Rio, so big men DeAndre Jordan and DeMarcus Cousins will need to perform well.

WATCH LIVE: Men’s basketball semifinals, Serbia vs. Australia — 6 p.m. Eastern

That’s the first of two semifinals, with Serbia vs. Australia following in the night cap. With Milos Teodosic, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Nikola Jokic all playing well for Serbia, they’ve got a shot against a team in Australia that has played very well in Rio. And given how much trouble both teams gave the U.S. in pool play, the chance to get another shot at the Americans (should the U.S. advance) will only be additional motivation for both.

Ironman Kona World Championships return for first time in three years, live on Peacock

Ironman Kona World Championship
Ironman
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The Ironman Kona World Championships return after a three-year hiatus with a new format, live on Peacock on Thursday and Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.

The Ironman, held annually in Hawaii since 1978, and in Kailua-Kona since 1981, was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world championships made a one-time-only stop in St. George, Utah, on May 7 to make up for the 2021 cancellation. The winners were Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, the Tokyo Olympic triathlon champion, and Swiss Daniela Ryf, who bagged her fifth Ironman world title.

Both are entered in Kailua-Kona, where the races are now split between two days — Thursday for the women and Saturday for the men.

An Ironman includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon — totaling 140.6 miles of racing. It takes top triathletes eight hours to complete. Very arguably, it crowns the world’s fittest man and woman.

WATCH LIVE: Ironman Kona, Thursday, 12 p.m. ET — STREAM LINK

Ryf, 35 and a 2008 and 2012 Olympian, can tie retired countrywoman Natascha Badmann for second place on the women’s list at six Ironman world titles. Only Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser has more with eight.

The field also includes German Anne Haug, the 2019 Kona champ and only woman other than Ryf to win since 2015. Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay, the Kona runner-up in 2017, 2018 and 2019, returns after missing the St. George event due to a stress fracture in her hip.

Blummenfelt, 28 and in his Kona debut, will try to become the youngest male champion in Kona since German Normann Stadler in 2005. His top challengers include countryman Gustav Iden, the two-time reigning Half Ironman world champion, and German Patrick Lange, the 2017 and 2018 Ironman Kona winner.

Also racing Saturday is Dallas Clark, a retired All-Pro NFL tight end with the Indianapolis Colts, and Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 champion who completed the 2011 Kona Ironman in 12 hours, 52 minutes, 40 seconds.

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Joan Benoit Samuelson, Olympic marathon champ in 1984, runs London Marathon at 65

Joan Benoit Samuelson
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Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first Olympic women’s marathon champion in 1984, ran her first 26.2-mile race in three years at Sunday’s London Marathon and won her age group.

Benoit Samuelson, 65, clocked 3 hours, 20 minutes, 20 seconds to top the women’s 65-69 age group by 7 minutes, 52 seconds. She took pleasure in being joined in the race by daughter Abby, who crossed in 2:58:19.

“She may have beaten me with my replacement knee, but everybody said I wouldn’t do it! I will never say never,” Benoit Samuelson said, according to race organizers. “I am a grandmother now to Charlotte, and it’s my goal to run 5K with her.”

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Benoit Samuelson raced the 1987 Boston Marathon while three months pregnant with Abby. Before that, she won the first Olympic women’s marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, plus the Boston Marathon in 1979 and 1983 and the Chicago Marathon in 1985.

Her personal best — 2:21:21 — still holds up. She ranks sixth in U.S. women’s history.

Benoit Samuelson plans to race the Tokyo Marathon to complete her set of doing all six annual World Marathon Majors. The others are Berlin, Boston, Chicago and New York City.

“I’m happy to finish this race and make it to Tokyo, but I did it today on a wing and a prayer,” she said, according to organizers. “I’m blessed to have longevity in this sport. It doesn’t owe me anything, but I feel I owe my sport.”

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