Rio Olympics Daily Preview: August 20

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Day 15 in Rio is a day of finals, with 39 events awarding medals on the next to last day of the Games in Rio.

Watch the gold medal games in women’s basketball, men’s soccer, women’s volleyball and women’s handball. In golf, the women’s competition concludes with the final 18 holes of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

MORE: FULL Day 15 streaming schedule

A night of track and field is also packed with finals which includes the women’s high jump, men’s 1500m and the men’s and women’s 4x400m relays.

One highlight for Team USA on Day 15 will be to see if two-time triathlon world champion Gwen Jorgensen can make it onto the podium in Rio after a disappointing race at the 2012 London Olympics where she caught a bad break when her bike got a flat.

What to Watch: Day 15, Aug 20

6:30 a.m. EDT – WATCH LIVE – Women’s Golf: Final round


10 a.m. EDT – WATCH LIVE – Women’s Triathlon

Must see:

Gwen Jorgensen

Sarah True

Katie Zaferes

The Olympic history for triathlon is comparatively short when compared to other disciplines.  After its introduction to the Olympic program in 2000 the United States has come away with just one medal in the event, silver in 2004.  Heading into Rio, an American is the favorite.  Gwen Jorgensen, who finished 38th in London after her bike got a flat, could be the first athlete to win Olympic gold in the event for the States.


Women’s Basketball

10:30 a.m. EDT – WATCH LIVE – Bronze Medal Game – France vs. Serbia

2:30 p.m. EDT – WATCH LIVE – Gold Medal Game – USA vs. Spain


Men’s Soccer

Noon EDT – WATCH LIVE – Bronze Medal Match – Nigeria vs. Honduras

4:30 p.m. EDT – WATCH LIVE – Gold Medal Match – Brazil vs. Germany


1:15 p.m. EDT – WATCH LIVE – Men’s Boxing: Bantam 56kg final

Must see:

Shakur Stevenson (USA) vs. Robeisy Ramírez (Cuba)


10 a.m. & 3:30 p.m. EDT – WATCH LIVE

Men’s Diving: 10m platform semi & final

Must see:

David Boudia

Steele Johnson


Men’s Water Polo

4:50 p.m. EDT – WATCH LIVE – Gold Medal Match – Croatia vs. Serbia


7:10 p.m. EDT – WATCH LIVE – Track and Field: Day 15 Evening Session

Must see:

Women’s high jump final – Vashti Cunningham

Men’s 1500m final – Matt Centrowitz

Women’s 800m final

Men’s 5000m final – Mo Farah

Women’s 4x400m relay final – Allyson Felix

Men’s 4x400m relay final

A night of finals in track and field could include some of Team USA’s most notable track and field athletes. Look for the daughter of a former NFL quarterback (Vashti Cunningham, women’s high jump), the oldest American to ever run a race at an Olympic games, (41-year-old Bernard Lagat, men’s 5000m) and the final race of the Games for the girl nicknamed “Chicken Legs” (Allyson Felix, women’s 4x400m relay). Also, see if the USA’s 1500m specialist, Matt Centrowitz, can get on the podium in Rio after finishing fourth in London.


Women’s Volleyball

Noon EDT – WATCH LIVE – Bronze Medal Match – USA vs. Netherlands

9:15 p.m. EDT – WATCH LIVE – Gold Medal Match – China vs. Serbia


 

Noah Lyles runs personal best and is coming for Usain Bolt’s world record

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Noah Lyles ran a personal-best time in the 60m on Saturday, then reaffirmed record-breaking intentions for the 100m and, especially, the 200m, where Usain Bolt holds the fastest times in history.

Lyles, the world 200m champion, won the 60m sprint in 6.51 seconds at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston, clipping Trayvon Bromell by two thousandths in his first top-level meet of the year. Bromell, the world 100m bronze medalist, is a past world indoor 60m champion and has a better start than Lyles, which is crucial in a six-second race.

But on Saturday, Lyles ran down Bromell and shaved four hundredths off his personal best. It bodes well for Lyles’ prospects come the spring and summer outdoor season in his better distances — the 100m and 200m.

“This is the moment I’ve been working, like, seven years for,” he said. “We’re not just coming for the 200m world record. We’re coming for all the world records.”

Last July, Lyles broke Michael Johnson‘s 26-year-old American record in the 200m, winning the world title in 19.31 seconds. Only Bolt (19.19) and fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake (19.26) have run faster.

Lyles has since spoken openly about targeting Bolt’s world record from 2009.

How does an indoor 60m time play into that? Well, Lyles said that his success last year sprung from a strong indoor season, when he lowered his personal best in the 60m from 6.57 to 6.56 and then 6.55. He followed that by lowering his personal best in the 200m from 19.50 to 19.31.

He believes that slicing an even greater chunk off his 60m best on Saturday means special things are on the horizon come the major summer meets — the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in July (on the same Oregon track where he ran the American 200m record) and the world championships in Budapest in August.

After focusing on the 200m last year, Lyles plans to race both the 100m and the 200m this year. He has a bye into the 200m at world championships, so expect him to race the 100m at USATF Outdoors, where the top three are in line to join world champ Fred Kerley on the world team.

Lyles’ personal best in the 100m is 9.86, a tenth off the best times from Kerley, Bromell and 2019 World 100m champ Christian Coleman. Bolt is in another tier at 9.58.

Also Saturday, Grant Holloway extended a near-nine-year, 50-plus-race win streak in the 60m hurdles, clocking 7.38 seconds, nine hundredths off his world record. Olympic teammate Daniel Roberts was second in 7.46. Trey Cunningham, who took silver behind Holloway in the 110m hurdles at last July’s world outdoor championships, was fifth in 7.67.

Aleia Hobbs won the women’s 60m in 7.02 seconds, one week after clocking a personal-best 6.98 to become the third-fastest American in history after Gail Devers and Marion Jones (both 6.95). Hobbs, 26, placed sixth in the 100m at last July’s world championships.

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, the Olympic and world 400m hurdles champion competing for the first time since August, and Jamaican Shericka Jackson, the world 200m champion, were ninth and 10th in the 60m heats, just missing the eight-woman final.

In the women’s pole vault, Bridget Williams, seventh at last year’s USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships, upset the last two Olympic champions — American Katie Moon and Greek Katerina Stefanidi. Williams won with a 4.63-meter clearance (and then cleared 4.71 and a personal-best 4.77). Stefanidi missed three attempts at 4.63, while Moon went out at 4.55.

The indoor track and field season continues with the Millrose Games in New York City next Saturday at 4 p.m. ET on NBC, NBCSports.com/live, the NBC Sports app and Peacock.

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Birk Irving, last man on Olympic team, extends breakout season with Mammoth win

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One year ago, Birk Irving was the last man to make the four-man U.S. Olympic ski halfpipe team. Since, he continued to climb the ranks in arguably the nation’s strongest discipline across skiing and snowboarding.

Irving earned his second World Cup win this season, taking the U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain, California, on Friday.

Irving posted a 94-point final run, edging Canadian Brendan Mackay by one point. David Wise, the two-time Olympic champion who won his fifth X Games Aspen title last Sunday, was third.

A tribute was held to 2015 World champion Kyle Smaine, a U.S. halfpipe skier who died in an avalanche in Japan last Sunday.

“We’re all skiing the best we have because we’re all skiing with Kyle in our hearts,” Irving said, according to U.S. Ski and Snowboard. “We’re skiing for him, and we know he’s looking down on us. We miss you Kyle. We love you. Thank you for keeping us safe in the pipe today.”

Irving also won the U.S. Grand Prix at Copper Mountain, Colorado, on Dec. 17. Plus, the 23-year-old from Colorado had his best career X Games Aspen finish last Sunday, taking second.

The next major event is the world championships in Georgia (the country, not the state) in early March. Irving was third at the last worlds in 2021, then fifth at the Olympics last February.

The U.S. has been the strongest nation in men’s ski halfpipe since it debuted at the Olympics in 2014. Wise won the first two gold medals. Alex Ferreira won silver and bronze at the last two Olympics. Aaron Blunck is a world champion and X Games champion.

Irving is younger than all of them and has beaten all of them at multiple competitions this season.

New Zealand’s Nico Porteous, the reigning Olympic gold medalist, hasn’t competed since the Games after undergoing offseason knee surgery.

In snowboarding events at Mammoth, Americans Julia Marino and Lyon Farrell earned slopestyle wins by posting the top qualification scores. The finals were canceled due to wind.

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