BlackBox Nigeria brings you top ten highlights not to miss at the Olympics today, Friday August 19th. Enjoy…
Bolt Set to Bow out in Sensational Style
Highlights of Friday’s athletics programme include both 4x100m relay finals and the women’s 5,000m, which will feature Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana, who set a world record in winning the Rio 2016 10,000m.
The teams to watch in the women’s 4x100m are the USA and Jamaica, both of which are bursting with talent. The Americans will be hoping for a more straightforward run than in Thursday’s heat, which saw the team finish out of the qualifying times further to an obstruction incident. They subsequently qualified through a solo re-run.
The men’s race, of course, will be Usain Bolt’s Olympic swansong following his victory in the 200m, and if ever a race was unmissable viewing, this is it.
Burroughs Hoping to see Double Gold
Jordan Burroughs is one of the biggest personalities in sport and something of a legend in his native USA. The world and Olympic wrestling champion (Twitter handle ‘alliseeisgold’) has only once been defeated in either competition, and will be looking to claim a second gold in the 74kg freestyle event.
The 57kg freestyle final will also take place on Friday, with world champion Vladimer Khinchegashvili of Georgia hoping to improve on his silver medal in the men’s freestyle 55kg event at London 2012.
Rhythmic Gymnastics looks Ripe for Russia
The popular, visually dazzling event featuring hand-held apparatus begins with the individual all-around qualifying round. Russia’s Yana Kudryavtseva and Margarita Mamun are favourites for the gold, with the latter finishing as runner up to three-time world champion Kudryavtseva on two occasions.
Eastern European competitors are also expected to dominate lower down the rankings, with Melitina Staniouta of Belarus, Georgia’s Salome Pazhava and Ukrainian Ganna Rizatdinova also vying for a podium finish.
Will it be third time lucky for Spain against the US?
The much-anticipated USA-Spain rematch of the last two Olympic men’s basketball finals will indeed take place at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, just one round earlier than expected.
Silver medallists at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, this is the last chance for a golden generation of Spanish basketball to defeat their bogey team and earn a third shot at gold.
Pajon looks to make it a double in men’s BMX
Three of the favourites in the men’s competition have been eliminated further to crashes in the quarter-finals, French world champion Joris Daudet, former world champion Liam Phillips of Great Britain, and Beijing 2008 and London 2012 gold medallist Maris Strombergs of Latvia all miss out, potentially opening the door for Australia’s London 2012 silver medallist Sam Willoughby. London 2012 champion Mariana Pajon of Colombia started the competition brightly, and is the one to watch in the women’s competition.
Germany hope to unlock Swedish Defence
Sweden will be full of confidence going into the football final, having knocked out both dominant world power the USA as well as hosts Brazil on penalties after assured defensive displays. Germany, meanwhile, beat the previously undefeated Canadians on their way to the final, and will hope to be part of an Olympic double with their compatriots in the men’s team, who take on Brazil on Saturday
Dutch barring Team GB quest for Gold
Great Britain’s women will be targeting a first Olympic gold medal in hockey against the Netherlands; an upgrade on their London 2012 bronze. Despite winning all their matches at Rio 2016 so far, including a 3-0 defeat of New Zealand in the semi-final, they will enter the final as underdogs against the reigning Olympic and world champions, who are eyeing their third straight title.
First medal in modern Pentathlon
Lithuania’s Laura Asadauskaite is looking for back-to-back gold; amongst her challengers, Briton Samantha Murray is hoping to build on her country’s strong pedigree in the sport by going one better on the silver medal she won at London 2012, while compatriot Kate French will look to make her mark. Thursday’s fencing was not easy on Asadauskaite or her British rivals, however. Going into the final day, Poland’s Oktawia Nowaska was in the lead, followed by Germany’s Lena Schoneborn.
Russia’s Synchro team look to make it Five
Eight teams will compete in the free teams routine on the last day of synchronised swimming. Russia lie first following Thursday’s technical routine, and look to be in a strong position to claim their fifth consecutive Olympic title in the event.
Marin could make it a European first in Badminton
China’s badminton squad has struggled to reach the stratospheric heights they achieved with a clean sweep of five golds at London 2012 and will not feature in the women’s singles final on Friday. Instead, Spain’s world no.1 Carolina Marin will looking to become the first European to take the individual gold against India’s Pusarla V. Sindhu, ending a Chinese winning streak dating back to Sydney 2000.
Some redemption may be achieved in the men’s doubles, however, as Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan of China take on Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong of Malaysia.