Fortis pugilator, requiescat in pace. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
(Saddened by the seeming demise of what was once one of America's greatest international sporting events, Jon still soldiers on against all rational sense. Come open thread and try and talk some sense into him. Or egg him on, driving him further into insanity. Whichever works.)
Today's Olympic WTF?: "WTF is up with those cyclists just standing there wobbling on their bikes instead of racing?" Nobody's actually asked me this yet, as this is something which occurs in the individual sprint track events, and they haven't started. But someone's going to ask, so I may as well get to it. The reason is simple: they're trying to trick the other rider into taking the lead so that they can draft. The individual sprint is very much a game of cat and mouse, and when racing in a velodrome the last thing you want is some wretch lazing around behind you letting you aerodynamically pull him along.
Thing You Probably Did Not Know, Because I Didn't: Team USA's Khatuna Lorig, who wrapped up her competition in the women's archery final today, was Jennifer Lawrence's archery instructor for The Hunger Games. They even shot some pictures of her yesterday dressed as Katniss, just for giggles.
Having wrapped up that business, let's move on to the recap of Day 6, and your guide to day 7:
Archery: American Khatuna Lorig blew through the women's field before getting cut down 6-2 by South Korean Bo Bae Ki in the semifinals. Ki went on to win the gold medal with a 6-5 win over Mexican Aida Roman; Roman's teammate Mariana Avitia defeated Lorig 6-2 for the bronze.
Badminton: We've gotten through the quarterfinals of men's doubles and both men's and women's singles, so there will be actual results and whatnot in this section tomorrow. The mixed doubles semifinals saw China's Xu Chen and Ma Jin win in three sets over Tontowi Ahmad and Liliana Natsir of Indonesia; the other Chinese team of Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei knocked off Denmark's Joachim Fischer and Christinna Pederson, also in three sets. The winners play for gold tomorrow, losers for bronze. Same is true of the women's doubles, where China's Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei dispatched Russians Valeria Sorokina and Nina Vislova while Japan's Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa defeated Canadians Alex Bruce and Michele Li in three sets.
Basketball: In group A, France took care of Lithuania 82-74 behind 27 from Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli scored 24 as Argentina rolled Tunisia 92-69, and Mike Krzyzewski's job may be on the line after Team USA suffered a complete defensive collapse, barely managing to escape Nigeria with a 156-73 win. Carmelo Anthony threw down 37 and Russell Westbrook 21 before Coach K finally saw fit to call off the dogs in the fourth quarter. In group B Australia strangled China 81-61, Vitaly Fridzon hit a three with four seconds left to lift Russia over Brazil 75-74, and Spain nipped Great Britain 79-78 despite 26 from Luol Deng (including a three with eight seconds to go to bring the hosts within a point).
Beach Volleyball: Jennifer Kessy and April Ross eliminated Liliana Fernandez Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo McMillan of Spain in three sets to advance to knockout play, while Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser defeated the Czech Republic's Petr Benes and Premysl Kubala in two sets.
Boxing: The slow death of USA Boxing continues. Lightweight Jose Ramirez was eliminated 15-11 by Fazliddin Gaibnazarov of Uzbekistan; middleweight Terrell Gausha lost to India's Vijender Singh 16-15.
Canoe/Kayak: The British duo of Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott claimed the fold in the men's C2 slalom, the silver going to their teammates David Florence and Richard Hounslow and the bronze to Pavol and Peter, the Hochschorner brothers of Slovakia. Emile Fer of France win the gold in the women's K1 slalom; Australian Jessica Fox took silver, Maialen Chourraut of Spain the bronze.
Cycling: Germany earned the gold medal in the women's team sprint, followed by China and Australia. In the men's event, Great Britain won the gold; France took silver and Germany bronze. The men's team pursuit qualifications also took place, with Great Britain setting a new world record.
Diving: off day.
Equestrian: Jan Ebeling and Rafalca are currently in 13th place after day one of the individual dressage event. Great Britain holds the top two slots, with Carl Hester aboard Uthopia and Laura Bechtolsheimer on Mistral Hojris.
Fencing: Team USA got blasted by South Korea in women's team foil, only taking two of the nine individual contests on the way to a 45-31 quarterfinal match loss. They rebounded with a 44-22 drubbing of Japan, and claimed sixth place after losing 45-39 to Poland. South Korea ended up with the bronze, beating France 45-32; Italy claimed gold with a 45-31 win over Russia.
Football: off day.
Gymnastics: Gabby Douglas earned USA GOLD in the women's all-around, with teammate Alex Raisman tied for third, but was denied the bronze medal on a tiebreaker which drops the lowest apparatus score; her worst score was better than Aliya Mustafina of Russia's worst, so Mustafina won the bronze. Russian Victoria Komova took the silver.
Handball: Men's group A saw France struggle to top scrappy Tunisia 25-19, Argentina beat Great Britain 32-21, and Iceland nipped Sweden 33-32, aided by a controversial call at the end. In group B, Spain beat Korea 33-29, Croatia topped Hungary 26-19, and Denmark barely survived contact with Serbia, winning 26-25.
Hockey, Field: In women's group A, Korea blanked Japan 1-0, the Netherlands did the same to China, and Great Britain stoned Belgium 3-0. In group B, Germany shut out South Africa 2-0, Argentina beat New Zealand 2-1, and Team USA is now in deep trouble after losing 1-0 to Australia.
Judo: Kyle Vashkulat was eliminated by Uzbeki Ramziddin Savidov in the 1/32 match of the men's -100kg event. The gold went to Tagir Khaibulaev of Russia, who defeated Tuvshinbayar Naidan of Mongolia in the final; the bronze medals went to Dimitri Peters of Germany and Henk Grol of the Netherlands. In the women's -78kg, history was made as Kayla Harrison claimed the very first USA GOLD in women's judo, beating Britain's Gemma Gibbons in the final. France's Audrey Tcheumeo and Brazilian Mayra Aguiar shared the bronze.
Rowing: Kristin Hedstrom and Julie Nichols finished fourth in the semifinals of the women's light double sculls, and are thus consigned to Final B tomorrow. Genevra Stone suffered the exact same fate in the semifinals of the women's single sculls. Team USA finished second in the B final of the men's light four, thus finishing in eighth place; the gold went to South Africa, silver to Great Britain, and bronze to Denmark. The Americans won their semifinal in the men's four, and will race for gold tomorrow. In men's double sculls, Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan of New Zealand captured the gold, ahead of Italy's Alessio Sartori and Romano Battisti and Iztok Cop and Luka Spik of Slovena. Also held were the semifinals of the men's lightweight double sculls, with no Americans in the field. The big news for Team USA, however, was the USA GOLD captured by the women's eight crew, beating out Canada and the Netherlands in the final.
Sailing: In races 7-8 of men's Finn, Zach Railey went 12th/8th, sliding back to 12th overall. The American team of Stuart McNay and Graham Biehl opened the men's 470 competition with 15th and 22nd place finishes, and are in 21st place. Erik Storck and Trevor Moore had a nightmare run in race 7 of men's 49er, finishing dead last in 20th; they finished 18th in race 8, and despite having won race 4 on Tuesday are now mired in 13th place. Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih went 5/10 in races 7-8 of men's Star, slipping a notch to 6th. Races 5-6 of the RS-X classes saw Farrah Hall finish 20th and 22nd to slip to 20th and Robert Willis was black-flagged in race 5 before finishing 28th in race 6, tumbling to 18th. Team USA beat the Netherlands in women's Elliot (their only race today) to move to 6-3 and remain in 4th place; they're a point behind Russia and Spain, and have a race in hand against the Spanish. Unfortunately, having lost to both the Russians and Spaniards head-to-head, the ladies must win both races Saturday to medal. Australia has already clinched the gold, having gone 10-0 so far.
Shooting: Neither American qualified for the final in men's double trap; Josh Richmond finished 16th and Walton Eller 22nd. Britain's Peter Robert Russell Wilson took the gold, while silver went to Hakan Dahlby of Sweden; Vasily Mosin of Russia won a shoot-off with Fehaid Aldeehani of Kuwait for the bronze. Emil Melev and Keith Sanderson took part in the first day of qualifications for the men's 25m rapid fire pistol competition; neither had a particularly good day, and will need some luck and good shooting to advance tomorrow. (tape delay highlights: NBCSN 3:45-4:15pm)
Swimming: Anthony Ervin and Cullen Jones qualified for the final in the men's 50 free, Elizabeth Beisel and Missy Franklin each won their semifinals in the women's 200 backstroke, while Tyler McGill and Michael Phelps both qualified for the finals of the men's 100 fly. Katie Ledecky won her heat to qualify for the women's 800 free final, but Kate Ziegler finished last in hers and is eliminated. Only the women's 100 free spared the world an American sweep in today's finals. Missy Franklin finished fifth and Jessica Hardy last; Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands set an Olympic record in winning the gold, while Alaksandra Herasimenia of Belarus took silver and China's Tang Yi won the bronze. In the men's 200 backstroke, Tyler Clary also set an Olympic record, and with Ryan Lochte claimed USA GOLD and bronze; Ryosuke Irie of Japan slipped between the two for silver. For the second time in two days, Rebecca Soni set the world record in the women's 200 breaststroke, winning another USA GOLD. Japan's Satomi Suzuki won the silver, and the bronze went to Russian Iuilia Efimova. Micah Lawrence came in sixth. Finally, the quest is officially over for Michael Phelps as he beat out Lochte for the men's 200 IM, the pair claiming USA GOLD and silver. It's the 20th medal and 16th gold for Phelps, both more than anyone in the history of ever at anything. Laszlo Cseh of Hungary won the bronze.
Table Tennis: China's Zhang Jike beat Dimitrij Ovtcharov of Germany 4-1 in the first men's singles semifinal, while China's Wang Hao dispatched Chuang Chih-Yuan of Taipei by the same score in the second. Ovtcharov claimed the bronze with a 4-2 win over Chih-Yuan; Jike won the gold, beating his countryman 4-1 in the final.
Tennis: In women's quarterfinals, Serena Williams beat Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets, Kim Clijsters against Maria Sharapova, Maria Kirilienko also took a straight set victory over Petra Kvitova, and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus upset Angelique Kerber 6-4/7-5. In men's singles, all four quarterfinals were straight set wins: Andy Murray over Nicholas Almagro, Novak Djokovic beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Juan Martin Del Potro getting past Kei Nishikori, and American John Isner bowing out, as expected, to Roger Federer. In men's doubles, the Bryan brothers defeated Israelis Jonathan Ehrlich and Andy Ram to advance to the semis; the Williams sisters also moved on, plowing Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci 6-1/6-1. Liezel Huber and Bob Bryan were knocked out in the first round mixed doubles by Germany's Sabine Lisicki and Christopher Kas.
Volleyball: In men's group A, Bulgaria swept Australia, Poland blanked Argentina, and Italy shut out the British; in group B Germany edged Serbia 3-2, Russia shut out Tunisia, and Team USA beat Brazil 3-1.
Water Polo: Spain beat Australia 13-9, Greece handled Kazakhstan 11-4, and Croatia took out Italy 11-6 in men's group A; group B saw Montenegro and Serbia tie at 11, while Hungary beat Romania 17-15 and Team USA beat Great Britain 13-7.
Weightlifting: Off day.
MEDAL COUNT: TAKE THAT, CHINA. Not only has the United States grabbed the overall lead 37-34, the two rivals are now tied at 18 on the gold-only count. Overall, a lot of countries are piling into the teens now, with China being trailed by Japan at 19, Germany and Russia at 17, France 16, and the host British at 15. As for golds only, South Korea now has sole possession of third place with seven, then France has six and Great Britain five. Next is a three-way tie at four between North Korea, Germany, and Italy. The mighty Kazakhs have now slipped into a tie for ninth with Russia and South Africa.
Tomorrow (all times Central):
Remember, all events available live streaming if you can get it to work. The broadcast details I give here are TV-specific. They also don't necessarily imply coverage of any particular competitor or team matchup unless specified.
Archery: The men's individual event concludes with 1/8 eliminations at 3am, quarterfinals at 8, semis at 8:52, and the medal matches at 9:21. (tape delay highlights: NBCSN, 10:15-11am)
ATHLETICS!: Things finally get underway on the track with qualifiers and heats in a whole slew of events. Because of that, I'll break from normal narrative to put these in a bullet list, with American competitors in parentheses:
- 4:00am: men's shot put qualifications (Christian Cantwell, Reese Hoffa, Ryan Whiting)
- 4:05am: HEPTATHLON - 100m hurdles (Sharon Day, Chantae McMillan, Hyleas Fountain)
- 4:25am: women's triple jump qualifications (Amanda Smock)
- 4:40am: women's 100m prelims (nobody in the prelims)
- 5:15am: men's 400m hurdles round 1 (nobody in round 1)
- 5:15am: HEPTATHLON - high jump
- 5:20am: men's hammer qualifications (Kibwe Johnson, A.G. Kruger)
- 5:50am: men's 400m hurdles round 2 (Kerron Clement, Angelo Taylor)
- 6:00am: women's 400m (Francena McCorory, DeeDee Trotter, Sanya Richards-Ross)
- 7:00am: men's 3000m steeplechase round 1 (Evan Jager, Kyle Alcorn, Donald Cabral)
- 1:00pm: HEPTATHLON - shot put
- 1:05pm: women's 100m round 1 (Carmelita Jeter, Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix)
- 1:10pm: women's discus qualifications (Aretha Thurmond, Gia Lewis-Smallwood, Stephanie Brown Trafton)
- 1:50pm: men's long jump qualification (Will Claye, Marquise Goodwin, George Kitchens)
- 2:05pm: men's 1500m round one (Leonel Manzano, Andrew Wheating, Matthew Centrowitz)
- 2:30pm: men's shot put FINAL (pending qualifications)
- 2:45pm: HEPTATHLON - 200m
- 3:25pm: women's 10K FINAL (Lisa Uhl, Amy Hastings, Janet Cherobon-Bawcom)
(tape delay highlights: NBC 9-9:30am, 10:30-11am, Primetime, and Late Night; LIVE: NBC 3:25-4pm)
Badminton: The women's singles semifinals are 3/4 Chinese; Saina Nehwal of India breaks up the party, facing Wang Yihan at 3am, while Li Xuerui meets teammate Wang Xin at 3:45. The men's singles semifinals are slightly more diverse, as Malaysian Lee Chong Wei faces China's Chen Long at 7:30am, while South Korean Hyun Il Lee meets China's Lin Dan at 8:15. In mixed doubles, Joachim Fischer and Christinna Pedersen of Denmark meet Tontowi Ahmad and Lilianna Natsir of Indonesia for the bronze medal at 4:30 am; at 9:00 an all-Chinese gold medal match pits Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei against Xu Chen and Ma Jin. (tape-delay highlights: MSNBC 12:30-1pm, 1:30-2pm, 2:45-3:15pm)
Basketball: Women's group A: Angola-Croatia, Turkey-China, and Team USA faces the Czech Republic. In group B, we have Russia-Australia, Brazil-Canada, and France-Great Britain. (All games LIVE on either NBCSN or NBC Specialty; USA-Czechs at 4pm on NBCSN)
Beach Volleyball: Round of 16 action for both men and women. April Ross and Jennifer Kessy meet Simone Kuhn and Nadine Zumkehr of Switzerland at noon. The startlist for the men isn't posted yet; I'll let you know when the Americans are playing in the comments. (LIVE: NBCSN 3-4pm, NBC 11am-1pm; tape delay: NBCSN 5:30-6am)
Boxing: Raushee Warren takes on Frenchman Nordine Oubaali at 2:30pm in a flyweight round of 16 bout; at 3:30pm welterweight Errol Spence faces India's Krishan Vikas. (tape delay: NBCSN 1-1:30pm, 3:15-4pm, CNBC 4-7pm)
Canoe/Kayak: off day.
Cycling: Team USA rides in the qualifications for women's team pursuit at 10:56am. The first round of men's team pursuit takes place at 10:18, with the finals at 11:59; Team USA isn't involved. No Americans are riding in women's keirin either, which begins at 10am, with repechages and a second round afterward and the gold medal race at 12:38pm. (tape delay highlights: NBC Late Night)
Diving: Christina Loukas and Cassidy Krug will compete in the women's 3m springboard preliminaries, which begin at 8:30am. (tape delay: NBC Primetime)
Equestrian: Day 2 of the dressage grand prix, with Tina Konyot and Calecto V riding at 5am, Adrienne Lyle and Wizard at 6:51, and Steffen Peters and Ravel at 8:35. (tape delay highlights: MSNBC 11:30am-12:30pm)
Fencing: Quarterfinals of the men's team sabre at 5:30 am; Team USA takes on Russia. Semifinals at 6:30, placements at 8:30, bronze at noon and the gold medal match at 12:45. (Not televised today.)
Football: Women's quarterfinals: Sweden-France at 6am, USA-New Zealand at 8:30, Brazil-Japan at 11, and Great Britain-Canada at 1:30pm. (All quarterfinals LIVE on NBCSN or NBC Speciality, including USA-New Zealand on NBCSN at 8:30am.)
Gymnastics: off day while the Trampoline competition is held.
Handball: Women's group A includes Angola-Great Britain, Croatia-Montenegro, and Russia-Brazil. In group B, we get South Korea-France, Spain-Sweden, and Denmark-Norway. (LIVE: MSNBC Denmark-Norway 3:15pm)
Hockey, Field: In men's group A, there's Australia-Argentina, Great Britain-Pakistan, and South Africa-Spain. Group B has Netherlands-New Zealand, Germany-India, and Belgium-South Korea. (Not televised today.)
Judo: Men's +100kg and women's +78kg; no Americans. (Not televised today.)
Rowing: At about 4:20 Thomas Peszek and Silas Stafford race in Final B of the men's pair, shooting for seventh place; the A Final is at 5:50. At around 6:10, Margot Shumway and Sarah Trowbridge represent Team USA's final chance to medal in rowing, racing in Final A of women's double sculls. Ken Jurkowski will row in Final D of the men's single sculls (racing for 19th place, basically) at about 3:50; the men's quad sculls final also takes place at about 5:30, with no Americans involved. (tape delay highlights: NBC 9:30-9:45am, 2:45-3:25pm)
Sailing: All races except the RS-X classes and the women's Elliott continue. (Not televised today.)
Shooting: Michael McPhail and Eric Uptagrafft compete in the men's 50m rifle prone event, with qualifications beginning at 3am and the finals at 6. At 4:30am, the qualifications for men's 25m rapid fire pistol continue; Emil Milev and Keith Sanderson are both in iffy shape, but will hope to qualify for the 8:30 final. (tape delay highlights: NBCSN 8-8:30am, 12:45-1pm)
Swimming: Four heats, plus a semifinal; the women's 50 free kicks off at 4am with Kara Lynn Joyce and Jessica Hardy gunning for a spot in the 2:25pm semifinal. At 4:24am, the men's 1500 free heats begin; Connor Jaeger and Andrew Gemmell swim for Team USA. Team USA will be in the pool for both versions of the 4x100 medley relay, with the women's heats at 5:35 and the men's at 5:49. At 1:30pm, Elizabeth Beisel and Missy Franklin race in the women's 200 backstroke final, followed by Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte in the men's 100 fly at 1:38. Katie Ledecky tries to win the women's 800 free at 1:45, and Anthony Ervin and Cullen Jones race the men's 50 free at 2:09. (tape delay heats highlights: NBC 9:45-10:30am and 1-1:30pm; tape delay highlights and finals: NBC Primetime)
Table Tennis: The first round of the team events is tomorrow, with the USA women facing Japan at 4am. The men's team matches take place in the afternoon, but the Americans did not qualify. (tape delay highlights: NBC Late Night)
Tennis: Roger Federer meets Juan Martin Del Potro and Novak Djokovic faces Andy Murray in the men's semifinals; the women's semis have Maria Kirilenko against Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams meeting Victoria Azarenka. The Bryan brothers face the French duo of Julien Bennetau and Richard Gasquet in the men's doubles semifinals; the other match also has Frenchmen, with Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga meeting Spain's David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez. In women's doubles, the Williams sisters take on Russians Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova, while Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond challenge Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic. Finally, the mixed doubles quarterfinals include a match between the team of Raymond and Mike Bryan against Argentinians Del Potro and Gisela Dulko. (LIVE: Bravo, 6am-2pm)
Trampoline: Steven Gluckstein represents the USA as the qualifications for men's trampoline begin at 8am; should he advance, he'll be in the 9:26 final. (LIVE: MSNBC, 8-9:30am; tape delay highlights: NBC Primetime)
Volleyball: Women's group A: Japan-Russia, Great Britain-Dominican Republic, and Algeria-Italy. In group B, Brazil gets China, Turkey meets South Korea, and Team USA takes on Serbia. (LIVE: NBCSN China-Brazil 4am; tape delay highlights, including USA-Serbia which for some reason isn't live: NBC Primetime)
Water Polo: The final, utterly pointless rotation of the women's preliminaries features Spain-Hungary, Russia-Australia, Great Britain-Italy, and China against Team USA. (LIVE: MSNBC Russia-Australia; tape delay: MSNBC Spain-Hungary 10:30-11:30am)
Weightlifting: There's actually an American competing tomorrow, as Kendrick Farris lifts in group B of the men's 85kg class at 4am. No American woman competing in the 75kg, though. (LIVE: MSNBC 2-2:45pm; tape delay highlights: MSNBC 1-1:30pm)