2016 Olympics: Daily Pac-12 guide to the Rio Olympics
The final days of the Olympics are coming up and the build up to the medal rounds in basketball, soccer, volleyball and water polo are drawing near. The women’s water polo medals will be decided on Friday, with Team USA, which boasts 11 Pac-12 players, going for their second-straight gold, while the Conference is guaranteed a bronze medal in the women’s soccer tournament. On the track, the Pac-12 has four medal opportunities, including in the men's and women’s 4x100-meter relays. Below is a look at the daily Pac-12 guide to the Rio Olympics.
Daily Pac-12 Guide to the Rio Olympics (Aug. 18, 2016)
The semifinals get underway and the Pac-12 will have multiple players in each side of the bracket. Team USA, with Klay Thompson (Washington State) and DeMar DeRozan (USC), face Spain for a chance to play for a gold medal.
On the other side, Australia, with Aron Baynes (Washington State) Andrew Bogut (Utah) and Brock Motum (Washington State), look to get past Serbia for their chance at a gold medal.
Four of the 11 women’s golfers competing in round three have their tee times later in the day, including Taiwan’s Candie Kung (USC) who will go out in the third-to-last tee time of the day. The golfer’s will be positioning themselves for the final round on Saturday when medals will be decided.
The Pac-12 is guaranteed a bronze medal in women’s soccer when Canada and Brazil go head-to-head. Incoming freshman Jessie Fleming (UCLA) looks to lead her Canadian squad to a medal, while current UCLA goalkeeper coach Aline Reiss looks to help Team Brazil claim the hardware.
The USA is guaranteed to play for a medal when it takes on Italy in the semifinals of the Olympics. The Americans, with eight first-time Olympians on the team including Erik and Kawika Shoji (Stanford) and Micah Christensen (USC), are looking to claim a medal for the first time since winning gold in 2008.
Track & Field (M/W)
The Pac-12 has four medal opportunities on the second-to-last day on the track, including former Cardinal Ekaterina Stefanidi competing for Greece in the women’s pole vault final. Former Arizona State Sun Devil Shelby Houlihan takes to the track in the 5,000-meter final.
The men’s and women’s 4x100-meter relays close out the night. USA’s Allyson Felix (USC) and English Gardner (Oregon) ran in the heats, helping to qualify for the final. In the men’s relay, former Trojans Aaron Brown and Andre De Grasse helped Team Canada qualify for the relay final, as well. All four are likely to get the call again to run for medals.
Water Polo (W)
The women’s water polo tournament wraps up when the United States, with 11 Pac-12 athletes, compete for gold against rival Italy, the last team to defeat the U.S. over a year ago. The Americans, led by team captain and the tournament’s leading scorer Maggie Steffens (Stanford), will be going for their second-straight Olympic gold.
Hungarian teammates and Golden Bears Dora Antal and Anna Illes play for a bronze medal versus Russia, as well.
Hannah Buckling (USC), Ronnie Webster (Arizona State) and Team Australia face Spain’s Roser Tarrago (California) and Anni Espar (USC) for fifth place. Brazil’s Victoria Chamorro (USC), Izabella Chiappini (Arizona State), Vivianne Bahina (Arizona State) look to lead their team against China in the seventh place game.
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