Highlights of the day
Rugby – Women’s Final
The Rugby sevens has been amazing to watch over the last few days, and it has quickly become some of the most engaging sport at the Olympics. Australia, the warm favourite coming in, was pushed by the USA in the final round robin match, but no other team has remotely stretched them so far. The Kiwis have also looked dominant to date, but only a fool would write off Team GB or Canada.
Favourites: Australia, NZ, GB, Canada.
Probably should watch
The men’s race shapes as Sun Yang’s chance for redemption after falling short in the 400m on night one of the swimming. Conor Dwyer will be his biggest competition, but Kosuke Hagino might also be a show.
Favourites: Katie Ledecky, Sarah Sjostrom, Sun Yang.
Diving – Men’s synchronized 10m platform
The sync diving really brought it yesterday, and it’s just a fascinating event to watch. The 10m platform adds to the intensity and difficulty of the competition. China will win this.
Favourites other than China: Mexico, Germany.
Judo – Men’s 73kg, Women’s 57kg
So far, HPN has totally underrated judo. IT IS AMAZING. IT MAKES NO SENSE. Not quite a must watch, but I’d be happy if 7 just chucks a channel of judo out there. Or if their streaming worked properly. Kaori Matsumoto is the reigning gold medalist in the 57kg event, with all four medalists from London returning. Sumiya Dorjsuren, from Mongolia is the number one seed, and will be hard to beat.
In the men’s 73kg, An Chang-Rim comes in as a warm favourite, but it seems like (if early form is to be followed, the script won’t be set this early.
Favourites: An Chang-Rim, Rustam Orujov, Sagi Muki.
Watch it if it’s already on
Swimming – Women’s 100m backstroke and breaststroke and Men’s 100m backstroke
There didn’t always used to be this many strokes in the Olympics. Backstroke has been there since 1904 and breaststroke four years later, but butterfly only joined in 1956. Quite clearly they need to rationalise some of these. While the most aesthetically pleasing, breaststroke is the slowest and least practical when swimming for your life from a shark or croc. This should absolutely be a consideration when implementing new Olympic events.
Favourites (Men’s 100M Back): Mitch Larkin, Ryan Murphy, David Plummer.
Favourites (Women’s 100M Back): Emily Seebohm, Kathleen Baker, Katinka Hosszu.
Favourites (Women’s 100M Breaststroke): Lilly King, Yulia Efimova, David Plummer.
Weightlifting – Women’s 58 Kg, Men’s 62 Kg.
Maybe we’ve been a bit harsh on weightlifting so far – the bits we have caught have been pretty good. As people have pointed out to us it’s a great format, even if Darryl Eastlake or Ray Warren aren’t blowing a gasket over the will-they, won’t-they tension. Consider it officially elevated. There are still waaaaaaaaaay too many weight classes, and too many banned athletes to move it higher.
Favourites: Kuo Hsing-Chun, Pimsiri Sirikaew.
Favourites: Chen Lijun, Oscar Albeiro Figueroa Mosquera, Eko Yuli Irawan.
Shooting – Men’s Trap, Men’s Air Rifle
Nope. Not even if they point those guns at us.
Favourites: People with guns, other people with guns.
Fencing – Women’s Individual Sabre
This has been a let down so far this Olympics. We had really high hopes, but something’s off. Might have another look tonight with the sabre and re-assess. Sabres can score with the side, which opens up aggressive slashing motions as well.
Favourites: Olga Kharlan, Mariel Zagunis, Sofiya Velikaya, Jiyeon Kim.