Highlight of the Day
Cycling – Women’s Omnium
Laura Trott will be going for her second straight gold in the Omni, but faces a tough challenge in the ever-unpredictable event. One bad event can sink a campaign, or one opportune breakaway in the points race (one of the best Olympic formats) can deliver a medal. And that’s before we get to the elimination race that sees the freaking handlebars of the last place rider’s bikes light up when they’re eliminated.
Probably should watch
Diving – men’s 3m springboard
DRAINING THE POOL FOR YOU!!! One of the Go-Betweens’ best songs, and also a descriptor of what they did to fix the Rio diving pool. Cao Yuan can pull off some mad flips and pikes and twists, and should take this one out.
Cycling – Women’s Sprint, Men’s Kierin
The kierin is the absolute bomb. The sprint is merely great. Predicting the kierin is a fool’s game. Rebecca James is a warm favourite for the sprint, but as usual tactics will play a huge role.
Athletics – Men’s 110m Hurdles, Men’s High Jump, Women’s 1500m
With the heats of the 110m Hurdles being hit by last night’s extreme downpour, the form guide has been relatively obscured here. Omar McLoed got the fastest round 1 time, but what that means is really unclear. Defending world champion Sergey Shubenkov is absent due to his Russian-ness, and world record holder Aries Merritt is missing Rio due to a kidney transplant affecting his preparations. Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, Dimitri Bascou and Ronnie Ash should also be competitive here.
The high jump is great. It’s the answer to the age-old question “Can I jump over that fence, no-hands, and go for a swim in that pool?” Though instead of a pool, it’s a padded bag. And instead of you, it’s some of the best athletes in the world. Derek Drouin comes in as the defending world champion, and Mutaz Essa Barshim has cleared 2.40m in recent years.
In the discus the entire field qualified within three metres or so of each other. Of all the wide open fields here, this is one of the most open. Sandra Perković is the defending Olympic champion, and is also the youngest member of the Croatian Parliament (at 26 years old) to boot.
Watch if it’s on
Athletics – Men’s triple jump, Women’s 1500m
As we opined on Day 9, the triple jump is less good than the other jumping events. Not to say it’s not bad, but if you took it out of the Olympics we wouldn’t miss it. Christian Taylor from the US will be battling against teammate and prominent hat wearer Will Claye for the gold, with Nelson Evora (amongst others) in the mix.
Genzebe Dibaba is a very strong favourite in the 1500m, which to be honest isn’t our favourite track event. Dibaba is the world record holder and current world champ, and had to bow out of London 2012 with a hamstring injury in the final lap.
Weightlifting – Men’s Over 105kg
The most weights.
Canoe – Men’s canoe single 1000m, Women’s kayak double 500m, Women’s kayak single 200m, Men’s kayak single 1000m
Quick explainer: the canoe events are the ones where they paddle a one sided blade on one knee, and look like Norse gods while doing so. Kayaks have two bladed paddles, and athletes who look like fit accountants on a day off sitting down. While they will be fun enough to watch, which you will due their placement early in the day, there are waaaaaaay too many events in the canoe category.The favourites are, in order of the events listed above, Sebastian Brendel, Hungary, Lisa Carrington, and Rene Holten Poulsen
Boxing – Men’s 49kg
Robson Conceição comes in as the local favourite here.
Wrestling – Men’s Greco-Roman 66kg and 98kg
WARNING: Greco-Roman wrestling is terrible to watch. Just don’t – wait for the freestyle. A bunch of Russians and Eastern Europeans will win these events.
Synchronized Swimming – Women’s Duet
Yeah, nah. Come on. I know they are athletes, and I know a lot of this is hard to pull off, but for our money you’d be better off watching the Hollywood aquamusicals of the 40s and 50s. One reason to watch this is if you’re a Russian homer keen to watch something they’re going to win without doping being a serious dark cloud.
Swimming – Men’s 10km marathon
If you like watching unclear spectacles where you don’t know who is in the lead for most of the race, then this is for you. Jordan Wilimovsky is the notional favourite here.
Sailing – Men’s laser and finn, Women’s laser radial, mixed Nacra 17
More boats, some mixed gendered.
Favourites: rich people from rich countries