Saturday at the Olympic Games: Barring a change of heart in a couple of years, this will be the last appearance of Michael Phelps in an Olympic pool.
WHAT HAPPENED FRIDAY
Great day for the USA in the pool Missy Franklin got a world record. Katie Ledecky won one for 15-year-olds everywhere. Cullen Jones made it to the podium. And then this Michael Phelps guy won — anyone heard of him?
In the first day on the track, Reese Hoffa got bronze in the shot put.
Some Americans were surprisingly eliminated well short of the medals: Phil Dalhausser/Todd Rogers in beach volleyball, Aretha Thurmond in discus, Raushee Warren in boxing. With Errol Spence losing later in the day, the U.S. boxers were wiped out of the Games. The only question left is which factor you blame more — the USA’s decline in the sport or the farcical judging.
U.S. teams, though, did just fine — a 2-0 women’s soccer win in which New Zealand never really threatened, a women’s volleyball sweep over Serbia and a narrow 7-6 women’s water polo win over China. (Two exceptions: table tennis and men’s saber.)
Britain had some disappointments — they don’t seem content with Rebecca Adlington only taking bronze in the 800 free (Ledecky’s race), and the women’s soccer team is out. But then Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic to set up a Wimbledon rematch with Roger Federer. The women’s final has the biggest marquee value of just any final you could name — Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova.
And South Korea is relieved to have gold in men’s archery.
MEDAL PROJECTION UPDATE
One set of British athletes that is living up to expectations — track cyclists. As always, Britain does well in the events that require sitting. Pretty good day for them in rowing, too.
So Australia, which is having a horrible Olympics so far, has replaced Britain as the Games’ underachiever.
And I underprojected Hong Kong by one. I, of course, projected “none.” Somewhere in Hong Kong, they have room for a velodrome, I suppose.
Underprojected: China (5), North Korea (4), South Africa (4), 3 each for South Korea, Canada, Cuba, Mexico, Colombia
Overprojected: Australia (9), Britain (6), Turkey (4), Switzerland (3), Brazil (3)
(USA is overprojected by one.)
SATURDAY’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.
Because it’s a weekend and I love you all, I went overboard and added a lot of TV listings for delayed broadcasts. Enjoy.
4:00, NBC SN: Triathlon, women’s. In Hyde Park. One of the coolest things ever, and an event in which I might be underestimating the USA. Picks: GBR-AUS-NZL
5:00: Track and field, qualifying in men’s 100, women’s pole vault, men’s 400 (Oscar “Blade Runner” Pistorius) and women’s steeple, plus two events of heptathlon.
5:30: Fencing, women’s team epee quarterfinals, USA vs. Italy. Semifinals at 7.
5:30: Equestrian, jumping qualification.
6:15: NBC SN has Russia-Spain men’s basketball
6:30: Rowing, finals. B, C and D finals start at 4:30, with Americans in two B finals. The medals are at stake in:
- 6:30: Men’s four. USA has qualified. GBR-AUS-GRE
- 6:50: Women’s lightweight double sculls. GRE-GBR-CAN
- 7:10: Men’s lightweight double sculls. GBR-NZL-ITA
- 7:30: Women’s single sculls. CZE-BLR-NZL
7:00: MSNBC has Japan-Egypt men’s soccer
7:00: Sailing, seven classes in action until 11.
7:00: Tennis, bronze medal matches (women’s singles, men’s doubles), mixed doubles quarterfinals.
7:45: Shooting, women’s 50m rifle 3 positions final. GER-GER-CHN
8:00: NBC SN has beach volleyball – Spain-Italy women
8:45: MSNBC has Montenegro-Romania men’s water polo
9:00 (app.), NBC: Tennis, women’s final. Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova. Picks: USA-RUS-CZE
9:00: MSNBC has 30 minutes on morning track cycling session
9:15: Badminton, gold medal matches
- 9:15: Women’s singles. Picks: CHN-CHN-GER
- 10:45: Women’s doubles. Picks: CHN-CHN-JPN
9:30, MSNBC: Basketball, U.S. men vs. Lithuania. Say hi to former Dukie Martynas Pocius.
9:30, NBC SN: Soccer (men’s), quarterfinals. Mexico vs. Senegal.
9:30: Diving, women’s springboard semifinals. USA’s Christina Loukas and Cassidy Krug have made it this far.
10:00: Shooting, women’s trap final. Might see Kim Rhode again. Picks: SVK-ESP-USA
10:26 (NBC picks up at 11): Trampoline, women’s final. Picks: CHN-CAN-CHN
11:00 (app.), NBC Sports Network at 11:30: Tennis, men’s doubles final. Bryan/Bryan (USA) vs. Llodra/Tsonga (FRA).
- Time tba: Raymond/Bryan in mixed doubles semis
- Time tba: Williams/Williams in women’s doubles semis
11:00: Cycling, some early rounds of men’s sprint (USA: Jimmy Watkins) and events in men’s omnium (USA: Bobby Lea), plus women’s team pursuit final, in which USA qualified second behind Britain. Picks: GBR-NZL-AUS
11:15: NBC has 30 minutes on track and field morning session, worth it just to hear the great Ato Boldon.
11:15: MSNBC has one of the badminton finals.
11:45, NBC: Volleyball, U.S. men vs. Russia
12:00 p.m.: Track and field, men’s 20k race walk. Watch U.S. prodigy Trevor Barron. Picks: ITA-CHN-RUS
12:00, MSNBC: Soccer (men’s), quarterfinals. Brazil vs. Honduras
1:00: Fencing, women’s team epee. Bronze medal at 1, gold medal at 2:15. Picks: ROU-CHN-ITA
1:30: NBC has 30 minutes on track and field morning session, worth it just to hear the great Ato Boldon.
1:45: MSNBC has the other badminton final.
2:00 (NBC AND MSNBC at 4:15): Track and field, semifinals in men’s 400 hurdles and women’s 400, plus these finals:
- 2:30: Women’s discus. Defending champ Stephanie Brown Trafton is lone American. Picks: CRO-GER-CHN
- 2:55: Men’s long jump. Two Americans in; defending champ Irving Paladino (Panama) out. Picks: AUS-GBR-RUS
- 3:35: Women’s heptathlon, final event (800). Britain’s Jessica Ennis leads; USA’s Hyleas Fountain fourth. Picks: GBR-RUS-GER
- 4:15: Men’s 10,000. Galen Rupp has decent shot for USA. Picks: ETH-KEN-GBR
- 4:55: Women’s 100. Jeter, Felix, Madison for USA. Picks: USA-JAM-JAM
2:00: NBC has morning’s cycling.
2:00, NBC SN: Field hockey, U.S. women vs. New Zealand. Only the top two advance to the semis, and the Americans have already lost twice. So they need this one.
2:00: Weightlifting, men’s 94kg.
2:30: Swimming, final day
- 2:30: Women’s 50 free. NED-GER-GBR
- 2:36: Men’s 1,500 free. CHN-CAN-DEN
- 3:07: Women’s 4×100 medley. USA-CHN-AUS
- 3:27: Men’s 4×100 medley. Michael Phelps’ final race. USA-JPN-AUS
2:30: Handball, Iceland men vs. France. Big matchup for my undefeated guys against the defending champion.
2:30, MSNBC: Soccer (men’s), quarterfinals: Britain vs. Korea
2:40, NBC: Water polo, U.S. men vs. Serbia
3:30: NBC SN has morning’s equestrian jumping
3:45: NBC has morning’s rowing
4:00: Beach volleyball,women’s round of 16: May-Treanor/Walsh Jennings vs. Netherlands.
4:30: NBC SN has morning’s shooting
5:00, NBC: Beach volleyball, men’s round of 16: Gibb/Rosenthal vs. Russia
5:30: MSNBC has morning’s weightlifting
Also non-U.S. games in basketball, beach volleyball, handball and field hockey. And “boxing” on CNBC from 8:30-11:30 and 3:30-6:30. Oddly, Bravo is showing nothing.
Check the full schedule for time updates and results throughout the day: London2012.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.