(Jon is still suffering from pre-withdrawal symptoms, and may desperately need attention from qualified professionals soon. While you're completely ignoring his crisis, you can babble about tonight's broadcast here in your usual open thread.)
Today's Olympic WTF?: "WTF is the deal with decathlon and heptathlon scoring?" No, you don't get points for what place you finished in for each event. It's a mathematical formula which takes three set parameters for each event (A, B, and C); for track events, where a lower "score" (time) is better, you subtract the time from B, and in the field and jumping events you subtract B from the score (distance or height). So it's either (A(B-P)^C) or (A(P-B)^C). Don't even ask me how they derive A or C, but B is a base accomplishment; for instance, it's 18 for the 100m, meaning you have to beat 18 seconds to get any points. You have to jump 2.2m in the long jump, put the shot 1.5m, high jump 3/4 of a meter, run the 400 in 1:22, run the 110m hurdles in 28.5, throw the discus 4m, pole vault 1m, throw the javelin 7m, and run the 1500m in eight minutes. In other words, you could probably get off your couch and go record a positive score in every decathlon event; the point of the scoring system is to cover pretty much any level of human capability in a fashion which bell-curves upward.
Here's your recap of Day 14 and guide to the penultimate day of competition:
Athletics: In no surprise whatsoever, the US team of Keshia Baker, Francena McCrory, Diamond Dixon, and DeeDee Trotter recorded the best qualifying time in the women's 4x400m, and will roll on to the final. More surprising, perhaps, was that Jeffrey Demps, Darvis Patton, Trell Kimmons, and Justin Gatlin did the same in the men's 4x100m (although, to be fair, Usain Bolt didn't run as part of the Jamaican team in the qualifyer).
In medal competition in the field events, Renaud LaVillenie of France set an Olympic record at 5.97m in the men's pole vault to capture the gold. Germans walked away with silver and bronze courtesy of Bjorn Otto and Raphael Holzdeppe; American Brad Walker failed to mark, passing at the starting height of 5.50m and then missing all three attempts at 5.65m. Tatyana Lysenko of Russia won the gold in the women's hammer throw; the silver was claimed by Poland's Anita Wlodarczyk and Betty Heidler of Germany won the bronze. There were no Americans in the final.
On the track, Ethopia won gold and bronze in the women's 5000m, Meseret Defar beating Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot and teammate Tirunesh Dibaba. Molly Huddle came in 11th and Julie Culley 14th. Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight, and Carmelita Jeter captured USA GOLD in the women's 4x100m, with Jamaica winning silver and Ukraine taking the bronze. Turkey went gold-silver in the women's 1500m, won by Asli Cakir Alptekin over teammate Gamze Bulut; Maryam Yusuf Jamal of Bahrain snagged the bronze. Shannon Rowbury was sixth and Morgan Uceny did not finish. Finally, the men's 4x400m team of Bryshon Nellum, Joshua Mance, Tony McQuay, and Angelo Taylor -- deprived of the services of Maurice Mitchell after his heroic 200m on a broken leg yesterday -- were beaten to the tape for the first time since 1972 and had to settle for USA silver. The gold went to the Bahamas; Trinidad and Tobago won the bronze.
Basketball: Spain took down Russia 67-59 in the first men's semifinal. Levin Durant scored 19 and LeBron and Melo added 18 each to lead Team USA over Argentina 109-83 in the other.
Boxing: Since everyone left standing as of tonight gets a medal (losers of all these matches get bronze, you see), we'll start talking about them, and I'll lay it out in bullet form:
- Men's Light Fly: Ireland's Paddy Barnes advanced to the final after being declared the winner by judge's decision over Shiming Zou of China following a 15-15 bout; Kaeo Pongprayoon of Thailand defeated Russian David Ayrapetyan 13-12. Zou and Ayrapetyan win bronze.
- Men's Bantam: Another Irish boxer moved on to the finals as John Joe Nevin took a 19-14 decision over Cuban Lazaro Alvarez Estrada. Britain's Luke Campbell easily handled Satoshi Shimizi of Japan 20-11. Bronze for Estrada and Shimizi.
- Men's Light Welter: Cuba's Roniel Iglesias Sotolingo cruised to an easy 15-8 win over Italian Vincenzo Mangiacapre, and Denys Berinchyk of Ukraine scored a 29-21 win in a brawl with Mongolian Munkh-Erdene Uranchimeg. Mangiacapre and Uranchimeg each claim a bronze.
- Men's Middle: Brazilian Esquiva Falcao Florentino hammered Anthony "Wake Me Up Before You" Ogogo 16-9, while Japan's Ryota Murata narrowly outpointed Abbos Atoev of Uzbekistan 13-12. Bronze goes to Ogogo and Atoev.
- Men's Heavy: Ukrainian Oleksandr Usyk pummeled Tervel Pulev of Bulgaria 21-5, while Italy's Clemente Russo edged Azerbaijan's Teymur Mammadov 15-13. Pulev and Mammadov earned bronze.
- Men's Fly: Mongolian Tugstsogt Nyambayar beat Russian Misha Aloian 15-11; Cuban Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana took out Irishman Michael Conlan 20-10. Bronze medals for Aloian and Conlan.
- Men's Light: Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine got past Cuban Yasnier Toledo Lopez 14-11 while South Korea's Soochul Han beat Evaldas Petrauska of Lithuania 18-13. Toledo Lopez and Petrauska each take home a bronze.
- Men's Welter: Freddie Evans of Great Britan edged Ukrainian Taras Shelestyuk 11-10, while Serik Sapiyev of Kazakhstan beat Russian Andrey Zamkovoy 18-12. Bronze for Shelestuyk and Zamkovoy.
- Men's Light Heavy: Egor Mekhontcev of Russia beat up Brazilian Yamaguchi Falcao Florentino 23-11; Kazakh Adilbek Niyazymbetov advanced on judge's decision after a 13-13 bout with Ukrainian Olyksandr Gvozdyk. Falcao Florentino and Gvozdyk share bronze.
- Men's Super Heavy: Italian Roberto Cammarelle eked out a 13-12 win over Magomedrasul Medzhidov of Azerbaijan, while Great Britain's Anthony Joshua gave the home crowd something special in the final event of Day 14, beating Ivan Dychko of Kazakhstan 13-11. The bronze medals go to Medzhidov and Dychko.
Canoe/Kayak: Tim Hornsby squeaked through the qualifying heats for the men's 200m K1, but came in last in his semifinal heat (albeit with a time faster than the bottom half of the first heat). He'll get to row in the B final tomorrow, but can't medal. In the women's 200m K1 Carrie Johnson qualified for the semifinal, but was eliminated there. No Americans qualified for the men's 200m C1 or K2, both of which also went through quals and semis this morning.
Cycling: Mariana Pajon of Colombia took gold in the women's BMX, with Sarah Walker of New Zealand winning the silver and Laura Smulders of the Netherlands earning bronze. Brooke Crain of the USA was last in the final run; Alise Post was eliminated in the semifinals. In the men's event, Connor Fields won his semifinal heat, but David Herman was eliminated. Fields went down in a crash in the final, however, and had to settle for seventh. Latvia's Maris Strombergs won the gold, followed by Australian Sam Willoughby and Carlos Mario Oquendo Zabala of Colombia.
Diving: Nicholas McCrory (8th) and David Boudia (18th and last) made it out of the preliminary round of the men's 10m platform.
Football: In today's only game, South Korea won the bronze medal with a 2-0 win over the Japanese.
Gymnastics (Rhythmic): Julie Zetlin finished 21st in the individual all-around competition, and will not advance to the tomorrow's final. Also not advancing to the final of the group all-around competition is Team USA, because you can't win if you don't play.
Handball: In the men's semifinals, Sweden squeaked by Hungary 27-26 and France handled Croatia 25-22, the widest margin of the six knockout games thus far. Those six games have been decided by a total of nine points.
Hockey, Field: Belgium claimed 11th place in the women's bracket with a 2-1 win over Team USA, which is a nice way of saying that the supposed medal favorite Americans finished dead last. That was followed by Australia taking fifth place, beating China 2-0. Great Britain then won the bronze medal with a 3-1 win over New Zealand, and the Netherlands beat Argentina 2-0 to win the gold.
Sailing: In the rescheduled men's 470 medal race, nothing strange happened at the top; Australia's Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page took second in the race, enough to secure gold no matter what anyone else did; Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell finished fourth, which was good enough for the silver. The bronze went to Argentinians Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente, who also took third in the medal race; the race itself was won by Croatians Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic, who finished sixth overall. Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan finished last in today's women's 470 medal race, leaving them in ninth place overall. New Zealand's Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie and Great Britain's Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark were assured of gold and silver in some form; the Kiwis won the medal race outright to claim the gold, while the British finished in ninth. Lisa Westerhof and Lobke Berkhout of the Netherlands took sixth place in the race, enough to secure the bronze. Australia defeated Finland 2-1 and Spain topped Russia by the same margin in the semifinals of the women's Elliott.
Swimming: Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia captured the gold medal in the men's 10k Marathon in a race where the top four swimmers finished within a mere 10 seconds of one another, which is pretty impressive given the distance involved. German Thomas Lurz won the silver, and Canadian Richard Weinberger claimed the bronze five seconds ahead of Spyridon Gianniotis of Greece. Alex Mayer finished in tenth for the USA.
Synchronized Swimming: Russia won the gold in the team final; China took silver and Spain the bronze.
Taekwondo: In the men's 80kg, Steven Lopez lost to Ramin Azizov of Azerbaijan in the preliminary round. Lutalo Muhammad of Great Britain shared the bronze with Italian Mauro Sarmiento, while Sebastian Eduardo Crismanich of Argentina won the gold by beating Spaniard Nicolas Garcia Hemme. Paige McPherson beat Sarah Stevenson of Great Britain in the preliminary round of the women's 67kg. McPherson then lost to Nur Tatar of Turkey in the quarterfinal, but was given new life when Tatar reached the final. McPherson then defeated Andrea St Bernard of Grenada in the repechage before winning USA bronze over Slovenian Francka Anic. The other bronze went to Helena Fromm of Germany. In the final, Kyung Seon Hwang won the gold by defeating Tatar.
Volleyball: Russia beat Bulgaria in four sets in the first men's semifinal, followed by Brazil sweeping Italy in the second.
Water Polo: Team USA finished in sixth place in men's water polo, losing 8-7 to Spain in their classification match; Hungary took seventh with a 10-9 win over Australia. In the first semifinal, Croatia beat Montenegro 7-5; Italy downed Serbia 9-7 in the other.
Wrestling: Samuel Hazewinkle lost to Daulet Niyazbekov of Kazahkstan in the 1/8 stage of the 55kg event. Niyazbekov lost in the semifinals to Russian Dzhamal Otarsultanov, officially ending Hazewinkle's day. Otarsultanov went on to win gold, defeating Georgian Vladimer Khinchegashvili; Japan's Shinichi Yumoto and Kyong Il Yang of North Korea split the bronze. Jordan Burroughs handled Cuban Francisco Daniel Soler Tanco in the 1/8 round of the 74kg, then got through the quarterfinal with a win over Canadian Matt Gentry. A win over Russian Denis Tsargush sent Burroughs to the final, where he defeated Iranian Sadegh Saeed Goudzari for USA GOLD and, of course, great justice. The bronze medals went to Soslan Tigiev of Uzbekistan and Tsargush.
MEDAL COUNT: The US maintains its overall medal lead over the Chinese, 94-81. Russia, at 63, slightly extended their cushion over the British with 57. Germany's fifth with 42. Gold? USA still in front there, too, 41-37 over the Chinese. The British are third with 25 followed by Russia at 15 and South Korea with 13.
Tomorrow (all times Central):
Remember, all events available live streaming if you can get it to stop buffering. 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.
Athletics: Tomorrow's slate:
- 3:00am: Men's 50k Race Walk Final (John Nunn)
- 11:00a: Women's 20k Race Walk Final (Maria Michta)
- 1:00pm: Women's High Jump Final (Brigetta Barrett and Chaunte Lowe)
- 1:20pm: Men's Javelin Throw Final (No Americans qualified)
- 1:30pm: Men's 5000m Final (Lopez Lomong, Galen Rupp, and Bernard Lagat)
- 2:00pm: Women's 800m Final (Alysia Johnson-Montano)
- 2:45pm: Women's 4x400m Final (Team USA TBD)
- 3:00pm: Men's 4x100m Relay Final (Team USA TBD)
(LIVE: men's 50k walk NBCSN 3am, women's 20k walk NBCSN 11am; tape delay: NBC Primetime)
Basketball: Australia takes on Russia in the women's bronze medal game at 11am. At 3pm, Team USA takes on France for the gold. (Both games LIVE on NBC Specialty; bronze MSNBC 11am, gold NBC 3pm; AUS-RUS will be re-aired on NBC Specialty at 11am and 1pm; USA-FRA at 5:30pm and 8:15pm)
Boxing: Half of the men's finals are tomorrow:
- 2:30pm: Men's Light Fly: Zou Shiming (CHN) vs Kaeo Pongprayoon (THA)
- 2:45pm: Men's Bantam: John Joe Nevin (IRE) vs Luke Campbell (GBR)
- 3:15pm: Men's Light Welter: Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo (CUB) vs Denys Berinchyk (UKR)
- 3:45pm: Men's Middle: Esquiva Falco Florention (BRA) vs Ryota Murata (JAP)
- 4:15pm: Men's Heavy: Oleksandr Usyk (UKR) vs Clemente Russo (ITA)
(LIVE: CNBC 2:30-5pm)
Canoe/Kayak: Finals for the men's 200m K1 are at 3:30am; Tim Hornsby gets to race, but it will be in Final B to rank 9th-16th places. No Americans are involved in the remaining three events: the men's 200m C1 final starts at 3:47, at 4:14 it's the women's 200m K1 final, and finally the men's 200m K2 final kicks off at 4:41. (tape delay: NBC 9-9:45am)
Cycling: The women's Cross-Country mountain bike event starts at 6:30. Georgia Gould and Lea Davison ride for the Americans. (tape delay: NBC 12:45-1:15pm, 1:45-2pm)
Diving: Nicholas McCrory and David Boudia dive in the semifinals of the men's 10m platform starting at 4am. The final begins at 2:30pm. (tape delay: NBC Primetime)
Football: The men's gold medal match between Brazil and Mexico is at 9am. (LIVE: NBC Specialty and NBCSN 9am, replayed on NBC Specialty at 11:30, 1:45, 4:00 and 6:15.)
Gymnastics (Rhythmic): The individual all-around final begins at 7:30am; no American competitors. (tape delay: NBC 1-2pm)
Handball: The women's bronze medal match between South Korea and Spain is at 11am; at 2:30pm Norway takes on Montenegro for the gold. (LIVE: gold NBCSN 2:30pm; tape delay: bronze NBCSN 1-2:30pm)
Hockey, Field: The men's competition concludes with the 11-12 placement game between South Africa and India at 2:30am, followed by the 5-6 game pitting Spain against Belgium. At 9:30, Australia meets Great Britain for the bronze medal, and at 2pm the Netherlands faces Germany for the gold. (LIVE: bronze MSNBC 9:30am, gold MSNBC 2pm)
Modern Pentathlon: The men's competition is today, with fencing at 2:45am, swimming at 7:20, riding at 9:20, and the combined event (shooting and running) at 12:45pm. Dennis Bowsher competes for the USA. (LIVE: MSNBC 12:45-1:15pm; tape delay: 9-9:30am)
Sailing: The petite final of the women's Elliott, otherwise known as the bronze medal race, is at 6am between Finland and Russia; Australia and Spain will decide the gold at 7:05. (Not televised today.)
Swimming: Everyone out of the pool. (Except the modern pentathletes.)
Synchronized Swimming: I SAID everyone out of the pool. We're done here.
Taekwondo: Women's +67kg and men's +80kg weight classes tomorrow, on the same schedule we've had all week. No Americans in these weight classes. (tape delay: NBCSN 7-9am, MSNBC 1:15-2pm, NBCSN 4:30-5pm)
Volleyball: The women's bronze medal match starts at 5:30am, with Japan facing South Korea. That's followed at 12:30pm by Team USA meeting Brazil for the gold. (tape delay: NBC 10:45am-12:45pm, Primetime)
Water Polo: Off day.
Wrestling: Three men's Freestyle events tomorrow, all beginning with qualifications at 7am, 1/8 finals at 7:25, quarterfinals at 8:25, semifinals at 9, and repechage/bronze matches at 11:45. The 60kg event, with Scott Coleman entering in the 1/8 round against Suengchul Lee of South Korea, concludes at 12:46pm; Jake Herbert also enters at the 1/8 stage of the 84kg against Cuban Humberto Daniel Arencibia Martinez, with the final at 1:21, and Tervel Dlagnev starts at 1/8 as well in the 120kg, facing Eldesoky Shaban of Egypt. That event concludes at 1:56. (tape delay: NBC 1:15-1:45, Late Night)