Saturday at the Olympic Games: Enjoy today. Not much to see Sunday. This afternoon, the medals will be flying.
WHAT HAPPENED FRIDAY
Two outstanding U.S. performances. The women’s 4×100 relay (Tianna Madison, Bianca Knight, Allyson Felix, Carmelita Jeter) set a world record of 40.82 seconds. And wrestler Jordan Burroughs had a thrilling, occasionally flashy run to the gold medal.
Aside from that and the requisite U.S. men’s hoops explosion against Argentina, it was a slow day for the USA. The men’s 4×400 relay was run down on the last leg by the surprising team from Bahamas. Paige McPherson beat world champion Sarah Stevenson and wound up with bronze in taekwondo.
Spain rallied past Russia to face the USA in the men’s hoops final. South Korea won the men’s soccer bronze. France and Sweden advanced to the men’s handball final. It’ll be Brazil-Russia in men’s volleyball, Italy-Croatia in men’s water polo.
MEDAL PROJECTION UPDATE
I nailed some diverse events — men’s pole vault, women’s field hockey and team synchronized swimming. The bad news: I was one-for-eight in taekwondo. The women’s 5,000 was amusing: projection KEN-ETH-KEN, actual ETH-KEN-ETH-KEN-ETH-KEN.
The USA’s so-so day leaves them trailing my projections. They’re safely ahead of China. They’re not going to reach the 113 I projected, and they probably won’t reach the 108 in the next-highest (Wall Street Journal) of the compared projections. The three medals they have in the bag (women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball) will bring them to 97. They’ll get two more in relays unless they drop the batons, getting up to 99 (SI’s projection and Johnson’s projection). Get one more, and it’s 100.
China has 81 and should get the three more to match my projected 84. Maybe not much more.
I picked Russia to finish ahead of China overall. It’s still possible. Russia is only one medal off my projection and should have a very big day Saturday.
Britain’s doing quite well. I just gave them a few too many home-field advantages in my projections.
Huge day for Turkey, which has plummeted in my overprojected category. And thanks to BMX, of all sports, we have a new leader in the underprojected.
Overprojected: Britain 9, Australia 8, Germany 7, USA 7, Greece 4. Tied at 3: Slovakia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kenya.
Underprojected: Colombia 7, South Korea 5, North Korea 5. Tied at 4: Netherlands, Ukraine, Spain, Cuba, South Africa. Tied at 3: Canada, Mexico, Georgia, Argentina, Tunisia.
SATURDAY’S VIEWING RECOMMENDATIONS
- 3:30: Men’s hockey, 11th-place game, South Africa-India.
- 3:45: Modern pentathlon, men’s fencing stage.
- 4:00, NBC Sports Network: Track and field, men’s 50k race walk. Don’t worry — it’ll still be going when you wake up. Picks: RUS-AUS-JPN
- 4:00: Taekwondo, women’s 67kg/men’s 80kg preliminaries. No Americans in these classes. Four hours of competition.
- 4:30: Canoe/kayak, men’s K1 200m final. Picks: GBR-POL-GER
- 4:47: Canoe/kayak, men’s C1 200m final. Picks: AZE-ESP-RUS
- 5:00: Diving, men’s platform semifinals.
- 5:14: Canoe/kayak, women’s K1 200m final. Picks: POL-NZL-AUS
- 5:41: Canoe/kayak, men’s K2 200m final. Picks: GBR-FRA-RUS
- 6:30: Men’s hockey, fifth-place game, Spain-Belgium.
- 6:30: Women’s volleyball, bronze medal game, Japan-South Korea.
- 7:00: Sailing, women’s match racing, petite final.
- 7:30: Cycling, women’s mountain bike. Picks: CAN-POL-ITA
8 a.m.: NBC Sports Network lists two hours of taekwondo.
- 8:00: Wrestling, 60kg/84kg/120kg freestyle qualification round.
- 8:05: Sailing, women’s match racing, final. USA didn’t make it. Picks: USA-GBR-FIN
- 8:18: Wrestling, 120kg round of 16. Tervel Dlagnev vs. Egypt’s Eldesoky Shaban.
- 8:20: Modern pentathlon, men’s swimming stage.
- 8:27: Wrestling, 60kg round of 16. Coleman Scott vs. South Korea’s Seungchul Lee.
- 8:30: Rhythmic gymnastics, individual all-around final. Picks: RUS-RUS-BLR
- 9:03: Wrestling, 84kg round of 16. Jake Herbert vs. Cuba’s Humberto Arencibia Martinez.
- 9:30: Wrestling, 60kg/84kg/120kg freestyle quarterfinals.
10 a.m.: NBC signs on with the morning canoe/kayak, then the women’s volleyball bronze medal game. MSNBC sums up previous modern pentathlon stages.
- 10:00, NBC Sports Network: Men’s soccer, gold medal game, Brazil-Mexico. Well, I got one medalist right. Picks: BRA-ESP-GBR
- 10:00: Taekwondo, women’s 67kg/men’s 80kg quarterfinals.
- 10:30: Wrestling, 60kg/84kg/120kg freestyle semifinals.
- 10:20: Modern pentathlon, men’s riding stage.
- 10:30, MSNBC: Men’s hockey, bronze medal game, Australia-Britain.
- Ummm …. keep watching the soccer game?
Noon: We’ll get a peek at the women’s mountain bike at 12:45 on NBC.
- 12:00, NBC Sports Network: Track and field, women’s 20k race walk. Picks: RUS-RUS-CHN
- 12:00, MSNBC: Women’s basketball, bronze medal game, Australia-Russia.
- 12:00: Women’s handball, bronze medal game, South Korea-Spain.
- 12:00: Taekwondo, women’s 67kg/men’s 80kg semifinals.
- 12:45: Wrestling, 60kg/84kg/120kg freestyle repechage/bronze.
1 p.m.: NBC shows rhythmic gymnastics.
- 1:30: Women’s volleyball, gold medal game, USA-Brazil. Picks: USA-BRA-CHN
- 1:45, MSNBC: Modern pentathlon, men’s shooting/running stage (final). Picks: RUS-RUS-HUN
- 1:46: Wrestling, 60kg final. Picks: RUS-JPN-AZE-PUR
2 p.m.: NBC peeks at the women’s mountain bike before picking up wrestling. Then it goes back to the mountain bike. NBC Sports Network has delay on women’s handball bronze game. MSNBC lists taekwondo at 2:15.
- 2:00: Track and field, women’s high jump final. Picks: RUS-USA-RUS
- 2:20: Track and field, men’s javelin final. Picks: CZE-NOR-GER
- 2:21: Wrestling, 84kg final. Picks: AZE-UKR-USA-UZB
- 2:30: Track and field, men’s 5,000 final. Picks: GBR-ETH-USA
- 2:56: Wrestling, 120kg final. Picks: RUS-GEO-UZB-USA
3 p.m.: NBC leaves it vague: “Olympic programming.”
- 3:00, MSNBC: Men’s hockey, gold medal game, Germany-Netherlands. Picks: AUS-NED-GBR
- 3:00: Track and field, women’s 800 final. Picks: RUS-KEN-RSA
- 3:00: Taekwondo, women’s 67kg/men’s 80kg repechage/bronze.
- 3:25: Track and field, women’s 4×400 relay. Picks: USA-RUS-JAM
- 3:30, CNBC: Boxing, men’s light fly final. China’s Zou Shiming vs. Thailand. Picks: CHN-MGL-RUS-KOR
- 3:30: Diving, men’s platform final. Picks: CHN-USA-GBR
- 3:30, NBC Sports Network: Women’s handball, gold medal game, Norway-Montenegro. Yes, Montenegro. Picks: NOR-FRA-RUS
- 3:45, CNBC: Boxing, men’s bantam final. Ireland’s John Joe Nevin vs. Britain’s Luke Campbell. Picks: CUB-GBR-TJK-IRL
- 4:00: Track and field, men’s 4×100 relay. Picks: JAM-USA-GBR
- 4:00, NBC: Women’s basketball, gold medal game, USA-France. Picks: USA-AUS-RUS
- 4:15, CNBC: Boxing, men’s light welter final. Cuba-Ukraine. Picks: GBR-CUB-ITA-MGL
- 4:45, CNBC: Boxing, men’s middle final. Brazil-Japan. Picks: UKR-JPN-UZB-IRL
- 5:15, CNBC: Boxing, men’s heavy final. Italy-Ukraine. Picks: ITA-UKR-AZE-CHN
- 5:15, NBC Sports Network: Taekwondo, women’s 67kg final. Picks: FRA-MEX-MAR-RUS
- 5:30, NBC Sports Network: Taekwondo, men’s 80kg final. Picks: KOR-CAN-UZB-ITA
Also: nothing. I’ve listed absolutely everything. 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.