2016 Olympics: Daily Pac-12 guide to the Rio Olympics
The Olympics’ other marquee event shares the spotlight with swimming when the track & field events begin on Friday. The Pac-12 sent 52 swimmers to Rio, second only to the 57 track & field athlete contingent. Beach volleyball and women's soccer begin the knockout stage of their respective tournaments, and rowing is also in the middle of three days of medal races. Below is the daily Pac-12 guide to the Rio Olympics.
Daily Pac-12 Guide to the Rio Olympics (Aug. 12, 2016):
All three UCLA-affiliated USA badminton players are still in group play with Howard Shu taking on Indonesia’s Tommy Sugiarto in men’s singles to start the day. Iris Wang is in the singles competition and faces Portugal’s Telma Santos, and in mixed doubles, Jamie Subandhi’s team takes on a squad from Japan.
Klay Thompson (Washington State) and DeMar DeRozan (USC) look to help Team USA continue to control the field taking on Serbia in its second-to-last group-play game, while Andrew Bogus (Utah), Brock Motum (Washington State), Aron Baynes (Washington State) and Team Australia look to bounce back from a close loss to the Americans against China.
Dwight Lewis (USC) will look to get his squad from Venezuela on a roll against Kim Tillie’s (Utah) France when they go head-to-head on Friday.
Armed with three Utes and a Bruin, Team Canada hopes it has the arsenal to hand the Team USA women an upset at the Rio Games tomorrow.
Beach Volleyball (W)
The elimination stage of the beach volleyball tournament begins with the round of 16 on Friday and Saturday. The pair of Kerri Walsh Jennings (Stanford) and April Ross (USC) are one of two American teams remaining. Matchups had not been announced at the time of publishing. Walsh-Jennings is going for her fourth-straight gold medal while Ross is looking for her first, winning silver in London in 2012.
Kassidy Cook (Stanford) makes her highly-anticipated Olympic debut for Team USA on Friday in the 3-meter springboard preliminary competition after battling injuries for the last two years.
The knockout round begins in the women’s soccer competition as Team USA takes on Sweden in the quarterfinal. The Americans are coming off a surprising performance, ending in a draw with Colombia, so USA with Hope Solo (Washington) anchoring the defense, will be looking to make a better showing.
Jessie Flemming (UCLA) led Canada into the quarterfinal round, as well, and take on France. UCLA goalkeeper coach Aline Reis will lead Brazil against Australia.
South Korea’s Byeonghun (Washington) made the cut after the first round and moves on to the second round of play in Rio.
Rowing continues with three medal opportunities on tap for Friday. Stanford's Grace Lucsak races for a medal in the women's pairs for Team USA. Washington teammates Will Crothers and Conlin McCabe of Canada will compete for a medal in the men's coxless four and Washington's Patricia Obee competes for Canada in the finals of the women's lightweight double sculls.
A pair of Stanford sailing standouts and USA teammates will take to the water for their sailing races. Marion Lepert is scheduled to for her 11th race in the RS:X competition, a discipline similar to windsurfing. Helena Scutt and her boatmate begins her Olympics run in the 49er FX event.
Another rematch in the pool between Hungary's Katinka Hosszu (USC) and USA's Maya DiRado (Stanford), this time in the women's 200 meter. Hosszu goes for her fourth medal, already having collected three. DiRado also has three medals already, one of each color. USA's Katie Ledecky (Stanford) is also going for more hardware in the 800 meter, having won two individual gold medals and two relay medals.
A pair of American men will take the pool to cap the medal races in the 50 meter freestyle event. Nathan Adrian (California) and Anthony Ervin (California/USC) helped the USA to a gold medal in the 4x100-meter relay earlier this week and Adrian won an individual bronze in the 100-meter free.
Table Tennis (W)
USA and Lilly Zhang start the team competition on Friday and take on Germany in the first round. Zhang made her Rio debut earlier this week in the singles tournament and advanced to the third round before losing.
USA’s Steve Johnson, formerly of USC, has seen success so far in Rio, advancing to the men’s singles quarterfinals, where he will face defending Olympic Champion Andy Murray of Great Britain. Johnson also has an opportunity to medal in the doubles competition, earning a spot in the bronze medal match where he and his teammate, Jack Sock, face Canada’s Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil.
Greece’s Alexi Pappas (Oregon) will have the only medal opportunity for the Pac-12 on the first day of the track competition. Pappas, making her Olympic debut, will be racing in the 10,000 meter.
Though Pappas is the only one racing for a medal on Friday, there are several Pac-12-affiliated athletes running. Canada’s Brianne Theisen-Eaton (Oregon) competes in her first-ever Olympic Games, while the Bahamas’ Tynia Gaither (USC) and USA’s English Gardner (Oregon) make their debut in the women’s 100-meter heats.
The USA’s top contender in the women's 1,500 meter, Jenny Simpson (Colorado) will look to advance to the next round in the event, as will Australia’s Zoe Beckman (Oregon).
On the men’s side, Donald Sanford of Israel runs in the heats of the 400-meter, also rapping Arizona State, and David Torrence (California) is in the 800-meter field.
Five former Pac-12 student-athletes will play for their countries in volleyball on Friday. Led by USA head coach and former UCLA Bruin Karch Kiraly, Carli Lloyd (California), Foluke Akinradewo (Stanford) and Karsta Lowe (UCLA) go up against Italy to try to maintain their lead in Pool B. Debora Seilhamer (USC) and Puerto Rico take on the Netherlands still looking for their first win of the Games.
Water Polo (M)
The US men’s water polo team with 10 Pac-12 athletes needs a win to move on to the knockout round of the tournament. With just one win so far, the red, white and blue face Montenegro, who also has just one win, Group B play.
Australia and Greece also play each other in Group A. Joel Dennerley (USC) will try to help the Aussies catch Greece and Kostas Genidounias, who are just ahead in the standings.