Friday at the Olympic Games: Track and field starts!
WHAT HAPPENED THURSDAY
Huge day at the pool. Michael Phelps won his 16th gold and got the last word in his rivalry with Ryan Lochte. Surprising gold medalist: Tyler Clary. Not surprising, but dominating, with a world record: Rebecca Soni.
In gymnastics, Gabby Douglas won the all-around, and I still think Aly Raisman should’ve had bronze.
Then a breakthrough for U.S. Olympians: Kayla Harrison won the nation’s first gold medal in judo.
The U.S. beach volleyball teams kept rolling. U.S. men’s volleyball won a big one against Brazil. The men’s water polo team seemed to get bored but held on to rout Great Britain. U.S. tennis players went 3-2. The U.S. boxers kept losing dubious decisions.
The U.S. men’s basketball team struggled, giving up 73 points to Nigeria. Then they scored … wait … 156? Wow. They’re almost as good as U.S. rowing’s women’s eight, which took its fully expected and fully deserved gold.
MEDAL PROJECTION UPDATE
I picked Britain to have a huge day, and they almost delivered. But they’re not quite doing it in the water. They got one of the projected three rowing medals today. In the pool? Just not there. The good news: The hosts delivered in one of two track cycling races, canoe slalom and shooting, and they came up with a surprise in shooting. Still, they’re eight medals behind projections. Need more surprises like today’s judo silver medalist.
Yet today’s picks were pretty good in general. Women’s team foil? Reversed silver and bronze. Same for women’s 200 breaststroke. Women’s all-around gymnastics? Just missed the bronze pick. Same for women’s eight rowing. Then I nailed three events — men’s 200 backstroke, men’s 200 individual medley and men’s table tennis.
Underprojected: The new leader, at 4, is North Korea. At 3: China, South Korea, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, South Africa. At 2: USA, Ukraine, Cuba, Indonesia, Denmark
Overprojected: Britain’s up to 8 now. Australia’s close behind at 6. Then it’s Turkey (4), Switzerland (3) and Brazil (3). At 2: Japan, Slovakia, Armenia.
FRIDAY’S VIEWING RECOMMENDATIONS
Times ET. Everything’s available online. NBC, MSNBC and NBC Sports Network may occasionally hop around to other events — after today, I’m not sure I trust the TV listings at all. Names are U.S. athletes unless otherwise mentioned.
And my life has changed since finding NBC’s online Gold Zone, which hops around from event to event.
4:00 a.m.: Badminton, women’s singles semis and mixed doubles bronze medal match
4;00: NBC Sports Network signs on with beach volleyball, round of 16
4:30: Rowing, four finals on the penultimate day of competition from one of the best Olympic venues. All of my medal picks are in the six-boat finals except Greece in men’s pair. Margot Shumway and Sarah Trowbridge (women’s double sculls) are the only Americans in the A finals.
- Men’s single sculls: NZL-CZE-GBR
- Men’s quadruple sculls: AUS-CRO-GER
- Men’s pair: NZL-GRE-ITA
- Women’s double sculls: GBR-AUS-NZL
5:00: Track and field, morning session. Includes men’s shot put qualification, the first three events of the heptathlon and the first round in women’s triple jump, women’s 100, men’s 400 hurdles, men’s hammer throw, women’s 400 and men’s steeplechase.
5:00: Table tennis, women’s team first round. USA vs. Japan
6:30: Fencing, men’s team saber quarterfinals and semis. USA vs. Russia
7:00, Bravo: Tennis, semifinals in four groups, quarterfinals in mixed doubles. Check the full order of play; I’m going to guess a few times for the rest of the day. They’re running three courts, and the first matches are:
- Roger Federer vs. Juan Martin del Potro
- Huber/Raymond vs. Hlavackova/Hradecka
- Bryan/Bryan vs. Benneteau/Gasquet
7:00, NBC SN: Soccer, women’s quarterfinals. Sweden vs. France. Tightest matchup in the quarters.
7:00: Shooting, men’s 50-meter prone. Picks: BLR-USA-FRA
7:00: Sailing, getting close to the end of the Finn and Star classes, where the USA is all but mathematically eliminated.
8:30: Badminton, men’s singles semis and mixed doubles gold medal match. Mixed doubles picks: CHN-DEN-CHN
9:00: Archery, men’s individual quarterfinals, semifinals and medal matches. Well, we know I got one wrong already. Picks: USA-KOR-UKR
9:00, MSNBC: Gymnastics, men’s trampoline. Final at 10:26. Picks: CHN-CHN-JPN
9:00, Bravo: Tennis, semifinals, approximate time for:
- Serena Williams vs. Victoria Azarenka
- Maria Sharapova vs. Maria Kirilenko
9:28: Judo, women’s 78 kg and men’s heavyweight repechage and medal rounds. Watch for French giant Teddy Riner.
- Women’s 78: CHN-JPN-RUS-CUB
- Men’s heavy: FRA-GER-EGY-BRA
9:30, NBC SN: Soccer, quarterfinals. U.S. women vs. New Zealand
9:30: Shooting, men’s 25-meter rapid-fire pistol. Picks: RUS-GER-CHN
10:00, NBC signs on with a delayed showing of the morning track and field
10:30: Weightlifting, women’s 75kg. Picks: KAZ-RUS-BLR
11:00, Bravo: Tennis, approximate time for:
- Andy Murray vs. Novak Djokovic
- Raymond/Bryan vs. Dulko/Del Potro (mixed doubles quarterfinal)
11:00: Cycling, men’s team pursuit finals, women’s keirin (all rounds), women’s team pursuit qualifying.
- Men’s team pursuit: GBR-AUS-NZL
- Women’s keirin: AUS-RUS-LTU
12:00 p.m., NBC SN: Soccer, women’s quarterfinals. Brazil vs. Japan. Will karma KO the World Cup champs?
12:00, NBC: Beach volleyball, round of 16. Kessy/Ross. Two American duos will be in action Saturday. One hasn’t been scheduled yet, so check the London site.
1:00, Bravo: Tennis, approximate time for Williams/Williams vs. Kirilenko/Petrova
1:00: Fencing, men’s team saber medal rounds. Picks: RUS-ITA-KOR, but don’t rule out the USA.
2:00: Track and field, finals in men’s shot put and women’s 10,000. Also more heptathlon, women’s 100, women’s discus, men’s long jump, men’s 1,500. NBC will pick up at 4:15, in time for women’s 10,000.
- Men’s shot put: USA-POL-USA
- Women’s 10,000: ETH-KEN-ETH
2:30: Swimming, four finals plus women’s 50-meter freestyle semis.
- 2:30: Women’s 200 back: USA-AUS-RUS
- 2:38: Men’s 100 fly: USA-POL-USA
- 2:45: Women’s 800 free: GBR-DEN-USA
- 3:09: Men’s 50 free: BRA-USA-AUS
2:30, NBC SN: Soccer, women’s quarterfinals. Britain vs. Canada
2:40, NBC: Water polo, pool play. U.S. women vs. China
3:00: Volleyball, pool play. U.S. women vs. Serbia
3:30: Boxing, men’s flyweight round of 16. Raushee Warren. This dude has skills.
4:30: Boxing, men’s welterweight round of 16. Errol Spence.
5:15, NBC SN: Basketball, U.S. women vs. Czech Republic.
Plus early rounds in diving (women’s 3m springboard), equestrian (dressage), plus more women’s handball and men’s hockey.
Check the full schedule for time updates and results throughout the day: London2012.com
Full TV listings: NBCOlympics.com
Full online listings: Also NBCOlympics.com
You know who actually has the best glance of how Americans are faring? Wikipedia.
I’ll be doing this daily during the Games. As a reminder, you’ll also find my work at Bleacher Report, and I’ll be helping Trapit capture the best Olympic news sources. Follow @TrapitSports or all Olympic-related Trapit feeds on Twitter for more.