The U.S. women have dominated the 4×400 meter relay, as they’ve won each of the last five Olympic gold medals. The last time they didn’t win: 1992, when the Unified Team took gold with the Americans finishing second. Courtney Okolo, Taylor Ellis-Watson, Francena McCrory and Phyllis Francis ran their qualifying heat in 3:21.42, the best time of any quartet. And given the recent history in the event, the U.S. will be expected to once again take gold regardless of who runs in the final.
For the final, the order for the U.S. will be Okolo, Natasha Hastings, Francis and Allyson Felix.
As for the men’s 4×400, while the U.S. has won four of the last six Olympic gold medals it was the Bahamas who came out on top in London in 2012. Only Jamaica posted a better qualifying time than the American team, and those two nations are viewed as the favorites going into the final. The lineup for the U.S. in the final will be Arman Hall, Tony McQuay, Gil Roberts and LaShawn Merritt.
WATCH LIVE: Track and field finals (Women’s high jump, men’s javelin, men’s 1500, women’s 800, men’s 5000, women’s 4×400, men’s 4×400) — 7:10 p.m. Eastern
In the women’s high jump final, Americans Vashti Cunningham, Chaunte Lowe and Inika McPherson are all looking to get onto the medal stand. Cunningham is the daughter of former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham, and at just 18 years old a big night in Rio could be a harbinger of things to come in the sport. In the men’s javelin the U.S. streak of not having a medalist in the event since 1972 will continue as no American qualified for the final, but reigning gold medalist Julius Yego of Kenya advanced to the final so there’s the chance of a repeat.
In the men’s 5000 Great Britain’s Mo Farah is looking to win a second gold medal in Rio as he took the 10,000, and a win would mean a second consecutive Olympic 5000/10,000 double for Farah. Americans Paul Chelimo, Bernard Lagat and Hassan Mead are among those looking to keep Farah from winning yet another Olympic gold medal. In the men’s 1500 Ben Blankenship and Matthew Centrowitz are part of the field, but so is reigning Olympic champion Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria.
The women’s 800 final is also on the schedule, with Kate Grace being the lone American in the field. South Africa’s Caster Semenya, who took silver in the 800 in London, will run in the final as will Kenya’s Margaret Wambui.