Tokyo 2020: Daily Pac-12 guide to the Olympic Games (July 31)
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Paul Casey (ARIZONA STATE) started round three of the Olympic men’s golf competition four shots off the pace set by 36-hole leader Xander Schauffele. By the conclusion of play, Casey, representing Great Britain, had cut two shots off his deficit, placing himself well within striking distance of a gold medal with a 5-under 66.
"It's motivated me, it's inspired me,” Casey said after his round. “It's already been a win. I just hope it's a really big win."
Casey is aiming to become the second consecutive British golfer to win gold in the recently renewed men’s golf competition. Fellow countryman Justin Rose captured the first gold medal in Olympic golf competition in over a century at Rio in 2016.
The task will not be easy, as Casey will have to top a congested leaderboard that features 12 players within five shots of Schauffele’s lead at 14-under. Casey will tee off in the final group with Schauffele and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama at 7:09 p.m. PT.
» Katie Ledecky (STANFORD) made it a three-peat in her top event, the 800-meter freestyle, with another gold medal performance. Ledecky became the third female swimmer to win gold in an event at three consecutive Games, joining Hungary’s Krisztina Egerszegi (200-meter backstroke) and Australia’s Dawn Fraser (100-meter freestyle). The 800 freestyle was the last individual event for Ledecky at these Games, and at last she conquered Australia’s Ariarne Titmus, who had bested her in the 200 and 400 free finals.
» Kelly Claes (USC) and Sarah Sponcil (UCLA) capped off an undefeated run through pool play in women’s beach volleyball competition with a 2-1 set victory over Brazil. The third-ranked pair will have a primetime matchup Sunday night with Canada in the Round of 16 which will begin at 5 p.m. PT.
» Nico Mannion (ARIZONA) provided 14 points off the bench for Team Italy in an 80-71 victory over Nigeria that secured a place for Italy in the men’s basketball quarterfinals. The victory marks the fifth consecutive Olympic berth for Italy with an appearance in the quarterfinals.
Looking Ahead: The swimming competitions will conclude Saturday night, with finals in the men's and women's 50 free, men's 1,500 free and men's and women's 4x100 medley relays. It was a successful week in the pool for the Pac-12. Of the Conference's 43 total individual medals through Day 9, 18 came in the pool across a variety of races.
Quote of the Day: “I love the training, I love the day-to-day. I’m just going to keep doing it until I feel like it’s time. Obviously the Olympics in 2028 are in L.A. so that’s kind of out there and appealing also.” – Katie Ledecky (STANFORD) on her future as an Olympian
Jack Johnson is a journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a collaboration between the Pac-12 Conference and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.