Monday, August 15, 2016

XXXI Olympic Summer Games, Rio 2016 (Day 10)


  1. Heres the stuff I'm most interested in today ...

    Now—Swimming, women’s 10km marathon (Haley Anderson of Santa Clara, California, won silver at London 2012; at the third and last split, she was 16th)

    8:59 a.m. Central—Cycling, women’s omnium scratch race (Team USA’s Sarah Hammer of Temecula, California, won silver in London)

    9:35 a.m.—United States vs. Mexico in the final day of men’s volleyball Pool A competition (four teams advances, and Team USA is fifth but tied with second-through-fourth-place teams at two wins and two losses)

    1:46 p.m. (but I’ll plan to look for it on the prime-time Bob Costas show)—Gymnastics, women’s beam (London bronze-medalist Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas scored high enough to qualify for the final, but only two gymnasts from any team can advance, and Team USA’s Simone Biles and Laurie Hernandez were the top two)

    2 p.m.—United States vs Brazil in the quarterfinals of men’s beach volleyball (Beijing 2008 gold medalist Phil Dauhauser is back with a new partner after failing to medal in London)

    6:35 p.m.—Track and field, men’s pole vault (23-year-old Sam Kendricks of Oxford, Miss., was the top qualifier)

    8 p.m.—Track and field, men’s 800m (Team USA has two of the eight finalists, but Kenya has three, including the London gold medalist)

    8:45 p.m.—Track and field, women’s 400m (Team USA won gold and bronze in London, but the gold medalist, Sonya Richards-Ross, is now one of the NBC commentators)

  2. Medal Count (USA Version):

    1. USA: 26 + 21 + 23 = 70
    2. CHN: 15 + 13 + 17 = 45
    3. GBR: 15 + 16 + 7 = 38
    4. RUS: 9 + 11 + 10 = 30
    5. JPN: 7 + 4 + 15 = 26

  3. The USA women's field hockey team had been a great story of this Olympics, as their four wins in pool play were much better than any recent effort. But after one quarter in their quarter-final match with Germany, they trail 2-0 and could be on their way out of the tournament.

  4. Speaking of pool play, here are the final standings from Pool A of the men's basketball:

    1. USA: 5-0 (10 points)
    2. AUS: 4-1 (9)
    3. FRA: 3-2 (8)
    4. SRB: 2-3 (7)
    5. VEN: 1-4 (6)
    6. CHN: 0-5 (5)

    Venezuela and China are eliminated; the other four teams move to the quarter-finals.

    Pool B finishes up today. As things currently stand, Spain is in fourth place, which would mean that they would play the USA in the quarter-finals. That could change after today's games, where Spain (2-2) plays Argentina (3-1), while Lithuania (3-1) plays Croatia (2-2).

  5. With three and one-half minutes to go, the USA women's field hockey team finally scores. They still trail Germanyh 2-1.

  6. Down by one goal, an American hockey player goes charging toward the German goal. She is set upon by two German players and goes tumbling to the ground. This is no flop -- they have to stop the game and she is helped off the field due to an injury. But apparently the Germans didn't break any rules and Germany is awarded the ball.

  7. When we last checked in on the Team USA men's volleyball team, our boys were 0-2 in pool play. But, as the old saying goes, "there are no guarantees in international volleyball." Team USA, after trailing late in the first set against winless Mexico this morning, stormed back for a 3-0 victory and its third pool-play win in a row. That advances the United States to the knockout tournament, regardless of how today's other matches involving 2-2 teams comes out today.

    The London 2012 men's volleyball medalists were Russia, Brazil and Italy. Russia and Italy have qualified for the knockout tournament, but Brazil has to win this afternoon to keep playing.

  8. And that's it for the Americans in field hockey, as they lose 2-1 to Germany.

    1. The London women's field hockey medalists were Netherlands, Argentina and Great Britain, and they're all alive in the Rio quarters.

      Germany and Netherlands were London gold and silver winners in men's field hockey, and they are in opposite semifinals tomorrow in Rio.

  9. On the Gold Zone, it's time for Tanith White to hand off to Andrew Siciliano, and we see them standing on opposite sides of their big screen. In her heels, White appears to be at least two inches taller than Siciliano.

  10. The U.S. women's water polo team won its first gold medal at London 2012. In Rio, Team USA was undefeated in pool play, and it just beat Brazil, 13-3, in the knockout quarterfinals. The next match will be Wednesday against either Australia (bronze medal in London) or Hungary (fourth place in London).

  11. Britain just keeps piling up the medals. They now have 40 total medals -- only six behind China's 46. The last time the USA and GBR both finished in the top two of the medal count was 1908.

  12. The USA is eliminated from men's beach volleyball, going out in the quarter-finals to Brazil. The Brazilian fans are pretty much as happy as you would expect.

  13. Team USA is out of the men's beach volleyball tournament. The better U.S. guys, Phil Dauhauser and Nick Lucena, lost, 2-1, to Brazil, and it felt like Team USA was holding on for dear life the whole match. The Brazilian guys were a broad 6-foot-8 dude, Alison Conte Cerutti, who was part of the London 2012 silver-medalist team, and Bruno Oscar Schmidt, who is part of the family of a famous Brazilian basketball star and some kind of journalist. In addition to just plain playing better (even the U.S. guys said so), the charismatic Brazilian guys whipped up the crowd into quite the home-field advantage. Plus, a terrific wind started gusting shortly before the match (it caused some re-arranging of the sailing schedule), and the U.S. guys said they struggled to adjust to that. Chase is ... no U.S. medal in men's beach volleyball. I'll be rooting for the Brazilians the rest of the way.

  14. There have been six Olympic men's beach volleyball tournaments (including Rio 2016). Three times, Teams USA won gold (including the first two); three times, Team USA finished fifth (including the last two).

    The U.S. women finished fourth and fifth in the first two Olympic tournaments but now have won three gold medals in a row. Kerri Walsh Jennings of Santa Clara, California, and April Ross of Costa Mesa, California, have a semifinal match against a Brazilian team tomorrow.

  15. The handball competitions are both nearing their knockout phases. The women’s elimination tournament starts tomorrow, with the London 2012 gold and bronze winners (Norway and Spain) still in contention. The men’s tournament starts Wednesday, and France will be trying to win a third straight gold and become the only team to win as many as three Olympic men’s handball golds after going undefeated in group play.

    And Team USA? Well, this is apparently quite a complicated story. Wikipedia: "Due to disputes over funding, general lack of fiscal discipline, and accusations of incompetence, on February 14, 2006, the USOC revoked the governing duties of the sport from the United States Team Handball Federation but has since selected USA Team Handball as the new National Governing Body.[1]" Team USA last qualified for the Olympic handball tournament (men or women) at Atlanta 1996. In fact, the U.S. handball teams failed to qualify for either the World Championships and Pan American Games tournaments where they would’ve competed to qualify for Rio 2016.

  16. The last two gold medal matches in men's basketball have featured the United States versus Spain. This year, Spain started off by losing to Croatia (70-72) and Brazil (65-66). Spain then beat Nigeria -- the worst team in Pool B -- by only nine points (96-87). But Spain then crushed Lithuania, who had been undefeated, by FIFTY POINTS (109-59). And now Spain is already up 22-11 over Argentina with 2:21 left in the first quarter. So Spain appears to be ready for the medal round.

  17. 8:20 left in the 3d:

    ESP 55 - 35 ARG

    For the second game in a row, Spain looks awesome. They have to like their chances for gold.

  18. Here are the FIBA rankings for men's basketball teams:

    1. USA
    2. ESP
    3. LTU
    4. ARG
    5. FRA
    6. SRB
    7. RUS
    8. TUR
    9. BRA
    10. GRE

  19. After three quarters:

    ESP 71 - 57 ARG

  20. The United States and Spain have met in the last three Olympics. Here is what has happened:

    2004 Quarter-Final:
    ESP 94 - 102 USA

    2008 Final:
    ESP 107 - 118 USA

    2012 Final:
    USA 107 - 100 ESP

  21. Final Score:

    ESP 92 - 73 ARG

    Spain looked awesome.

  22. Everyone talks about Usain Bolt, but as far as I can tell, almost every single sprinter in Jamaica is better than almost every single sprinter in the United States. This strikes me as an extraordinary development, especially as it has now gone on for the last 10 years.

    Why is this? Do the Jamaicans have a better field of runners to choose from? If so, why is that? Do they have better coaching? If so, why can't we learn from what they are doing?

    I realize that no one in the U.S. press will actually cover any of these questions, but I would really like to know the answers. Maybe I should check the Jamaican press; they probably write about this stuff all the time.

  23. NBC has cast Sally Draper's elementary-school teacher in a time-travel drama and Peggy's mentally ill work colleague in its Superstore sitcom.