Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman
Getty Images

NBCSN’s Olympic Games Week: What to watch on Saturday

Leave a comment

Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman headline NBCSN Olympic Games Week on Saturday, part of seven hours of gymnastics programming.

From 8-11:30 p.m. ET, the London 2012 Games are featured. It starts with the team final, where the Fierce Five became the second U.S. women’s gymnastics team to earn an Olympic title.

Douglas, Raisman, Jordyn WieberMcKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross crushed Russia by 5.066 points to take gold, making good on the pre-Games attention that included a Sports Illustrated cover.

Two nights later, Douglas became the third straight American to win the all-around, the most prestigious title in gymnastics. Douglas, a Virginia native, lived with an Iowa host family to train under Liang Chow, who had coached Shawn Johnson to all-around silver in 2008.

Douglas’ year was magical. She went from seventh at the 2011 U.S. Championships to sneak onto the 2011 World team, then broke out as an unofficial competitor at the 2012 American Cup, posting a score that would have beaten Raisman and Wieber.

Raisman had an agonizing Olympic all-around, one that spurred her to come back for the Rio Games. She tied for bronze but was relegated to fourth on a tiebreaker with Russian Aliya Mustafina.

LIVE STREAM: NBCSN Olympic Games Week — Saturday, 8 p.m.-3 a.m. ET

Later Saturday, Raisman returns for the Rio Olympic all-around (11:30 p.m.). Simone Biles ran away with the title, while Raisman distanced Mustafina for silver, a satisfying completion to her four-year journey that included two and a half years away from competition.

Raisman is not going for the Tokyo Games. Biles returned in 2018 and extended an undefeated streak that dates to 2013, winning the last two world all-around titles to become the most decorated male or female gymnast in worlds history. Biles is expected to retire after Tokyo.

Finally, at 1:30 a.m., is the 2004 Olympic women’s team final. The U.S. had high hopes after winning the 2003 World title in Los Angeles. But Romania had the best day. The U.S. took silver, at the time its best finish at an Olympics that it did not host.

That U.S. team was led by Carly Patterson, who two nights later won the all-around over Russian Svetlana Khorkina.

MORE: Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin wear 2008 leotards for Olympic watch party

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

NBCSN Olympic Games Week — Saturday, April 25

Time (ET) Program Events Live Stream
8 p.m. Olympic Classics Women’s Gymnastics 2012 Team Final Stream Link
10 p.m. Olympic Classics Women’s Gymnastics 2012 All-Around Final Stream Link
11:30 p.m. Olympic Classics Women’s Gymnastics 2016 All-Around Final Stream Link
1:30 a.m. Olympic Classics Women’s Gymnastics 2004 Team Final Stream Link

 

Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis eyeing Grand Slam record

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Serena Williams travels with “like 50 masks” and has been a little bit of a recluse since early March and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t have full lung capacity, so I’m not sure what would happen to me,” Williams said Saturday, two days before the start of the WTA’s Top Seed Open in Lexington, Ky., her first tournament since playing Fed Cup in early February. “I’m sure I’ll be OK, but I don’t want to find out.”

Williams, 38, has a history of blood clots and pulmonary embolisms. She faced life-threatening complications following her Sept. 1, 2017, childbirth that confined her to a bed for six weeks. She said her daily routine was surgery and that she lost count after the first four.

More recently, Williams enjoyed “every part” of the last six months at home in Florida, her longest time grounded since her teens.

“I’ve been a little neurotic, to an extent,” on health and safety, she said. “Everyone in the Serena bubble is really protected.”

Williams is entered to play next week in Lexington and at consecutive tournaments in New York City later this month — the Western & Southern Open and U.S. Open, the latter starting Aug. 31.

Williams is the highest-ranked player in the Lexington field at No. 9. Others include 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, older sister Venus Williams and 16-year-old Coco Gauff.

She has been bidding ever since having daughter Olympia to tie Margaret Court‘s record 24 Grand Slam singles titles, albeit many of Court’s crowns came before the Open Era and, notably at the Australian Open, against small fields lacking the world’s best players. Williams reached the last two Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals, losing all of them.

She showed her seriousness in committing early to this year’s U.S. Open by installing a court at home with the same surface. Three of the top 10 female singles players already said they will skip the U.S. Open due to travel and/or virus concerns, including No. 1 Ash Barty.

“Tennis is naturally a socially distanced sport, so it was kind of easy to go back and just walk on my side of the court and have my hitter walk on his side of the court,” Williams said.

The French Open starts two weeks after the U.S. Open ends. Williams was asked if she will fly to Europe for tournaments this autumn.

“I see myself doing it all, if it happens,” she said.

The Tokyo Olympics are too far away to make plans.

“We’ll have to kind of wait to see what happens in the fall,” she said. “One thing I have learned with this pandemic is don’t plan.”

MORE: Past U.S. Open champions get wild cards

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Conseslus Kipruto tests positive for coronavirus, canceling world-record bid

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Conseslus Kipruto, the Olympic and world 3000m steeplechase champion, tested positive for the coronavirus without symptoms, which will keep him from a world-record chase on Friday, according to his social media.

The Kenyan was to race in the first in-person Diamond League meet of the year in Monaco on Friday.

“Our World is going through a challenging period and we all have to take our responsibilities,” was posted. “Unfortunately my covid-19 test, as part of the Monaco-protocol, came back positive and therefore I can’t be part of the Monaco Diamond League.

“I don’t have any symptoms and I was actually in great shape. I was planning to go for the WR: it has stayed too long outside Kenya. As the World & Olympic Champion I feel strongly its something I should go for as well.”

Kipruto, 25, is the 14th-fastest steepler in history with a personal best of 8:00.12. The world record is 7:53.63, set by Kenyan-born Qatari Saif Saaeed Shaheen in 2004.

Last year, Kipruto won the world title by .01, extending a streak of a Kenyan or Kenyan-born man winning every Olympic or world title in the event since the 1988 Seoul Games. He was sidelined by a stress fracture in his left foot until opening his season extremely late on Aug. 24.

MORE: Trayvon Bromell’s road back through destruction, death

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

View this post on Instagram

Our World is going through a challenging period and we all have to take our responsibilities. Unfortunately my covid-19 test, as part of the Monaco-protocol, came back positive and therefore I can’t be part of the Monaco Diamond League on August 14th. I don’t have any symptoms and I was actually in great shape. I was planning to go for the WR: it has stayed too long outside Kenya. As the World & Olympic Champion I feel strongly its something I should go for as well. Wish to thank Monaco for all the work they have done and I wish them and my colleagues a wonderful competition. Athletics is back and I will be back as well. Anyone willing to organise a steeple once I can be cleared? @diamondleaguemonaco #nike #quarantine #WR #Kenya

A post shared by conseslus kipruto Athlete🥇🥇🥈🥈 (@consesluskip) on