Today sees the final of the women’s beach volleyball in Rio 2016, probably the most anticipated events for locals used to watching players dive in a puff of sand on Copacabana Beach.
Brazil pairing Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas are the current world champions; they got the bronze medal in 2012, will they reach for gold on their own soil?
Meanwhile there’s the table tennis finals for the men’s teams, equestrian team showjumping, Mo Farah aiming to qualify for the 5,000m final – and Brit sprint sensation Dina Asher-Smith racing in the 200m.
See the bottom of the page for a guide to every single gold up for grabs today. And take a look at the rest of our Olympics coverage here.
Equestrian: Team Showjumping
The expert’s choice: Ian Stark
Showjumping is a great spectator sport. The towering fences make it technically very challenging, and a clear round is thrilling to witness. We’ve got a seriously talented team. The Whitaker brothers, Michael and John, are old hands, as is Nick Skelton..
Athletics: Men’s 5,000m Qualifying
The expert’s choice: Darren Campbell
Mo Farah has the opportunity to do something out of this world, just four days after running the 10,000m. The 5,000m is not going to be easy; his rivals know how he runs, how he can glide past them when they’re not looking. The good news is, they still haven’t found a way to beat him.
Table Tennis: Men’s Team Finals
The most popular racquet sport in the world (take that, tennis) is always a firm favourite come Olympics time — although probably only for people able to watch on HD TV. Weighing just 2.7g and measuring 40mm, the plastic ball travels at over 100kph. But it’s the spin that really sets Olympic competition apart from your run-of-the-mill whiff-whaffer, with top players able to get the ball revolving at over 150 revs per second. Chinese athletes dominate the sport, having won 24 out
of the 28 gold medals since it was introduced in 1988. Their latest star is reigning Olympic champion Zhang Jike — named, appropriately for Rio 2016, after the great Brazilian footballer Zico. Only one non-Asian player has won Olympic gold. Sweden’s Jan-Ove Waldner, we salute you.
Athletics: Women’s 200m Final
The expert’s choice: Darren Campbell
It’s the 200m where Team GB’s sprinters have a chance of causing an upset. Dina Asher-Smith arrives at the Games as European champion, although her main rival, the Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers, showed again this year what a class act she is. She’s aiming to run in the 100m and 200m, but this is the title she could take. She’s the world champion from 2015, where she ran the third fastest time in history.
Beach Volleyball: Women’s Final
It’s no surprise that we Brits find it hard to take beach volleyball seriously. It’s the type of thing you only try when you’re on holiday — and usually ends with a mouthful of sand. In Brazil, it’s another matter entirely. Brazil could only manage bronze at London 2012, but something will have gone badly wrong if the hosts aren’t contesting today’s final. Locals Agatha Bednarczuk and Barbara Seixas are the current world champions, with their closest rivals likely to be the USA pairing of 2012 Olympic gold medallist Kerri Walsh Jennings and silver medallist April Ross.
If the decathlon is the ultimate all-round test for male athletes, then the USA are the undisputed masters of track and field. When Ashton Eaton triumphed at London 2012, he became the 13th American athlete to win gold in the ten-discipline event. No other country has more than two. Daley Thompson (above) of course once had this event on lockdown, but sadly, unlike Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson in the heptathlon, Britain’s source of male all-rounders has run dry. There will be no British decathlete in Rio 2016. Whatever happened to multitasking?
Athletics Men’s 3,000m Steeplechase 3:50pm, Women’s Long Jump 1:15am, Women’s 200m 2:30am, Women’s 100m Hurdles 2:55am Badminton Mixed Doubles 5pm Beach Volleyball Women’s 4am Boxing Men’s Welterweight 8:30pm Equestrian Team Showjumping 2pm Table Tennis Men’s Team 11:30pm Taekwondo Women’s -49kg 2am, Men’s -58kg 2am Sailing Men’s 470 5pm, Women’s 470 6pm Wrestling Women’s Freestyle -48kg 9:05pm, Women’s Freestyle -58kg 9:50pm, Women’s Freestyle -69kg 10:35pm
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