London Olympics 2012: Top 5 Storylines to Follow on Day 4
Day 4 of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games brings the first opportunity for American medals in women’s gymnastics, as the team prepares for a showdown against seven others. In U.S. team play, the men’s basketball and women’s soccer teams face potential roadblocks on their way to gold.
In the pool, 17-year-old Missy Franklin has another chance at a gold medal, while Ryan Lochte faces stiff competition for a chance to wear gold around his neck at the end of the day.
Click through to read more about all of these athletes and their competitions on the fourth day of the 2012 London Games.
5. Men’s Basketball Forging Ahead Through Group Play
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Sport: Men’s basketball
Event: U.S. vs. Tunisia
Time: 5:15 p.m. EDT
Team USA faces Tunisia in the second game of the preliminary round. Tunisia has no NBA players—in fact, only one player, forward Radhouane Slimane, plays for a club outside of his home nation.
Tunisia is considered to be one of the least talented basketball teams in the Olympics, but a big U.S. win would still send a statement to the rest of the field.
4. Women’s Soccer Faces Familiar Foe
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Sport: Women’s soccer
Event: U.S. vs. North Korea
Time: 12:15 p.m. EDT
The U.S. women’s soccer team rounds out group play with a game against North Korea at historic Old Trafford in Manchester. A win would secure first place in the group. However, the history between these two teams goes back a ways.
Both teams are at the top of the world rankings, and they meet often in major tournaments. In their opening game at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the U.S. won 2-0 on two second-half goals. The teams tied 2-2 in their first game of the 2007 World Cup.
3. Allison Schmitt and Missy Franklin Swim in Women’s 200 Free
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Event: Women’s 200-meter freestyle
Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
Teenage phenom Missy Franklin will go for her second Olympic gold medal in the women’s 200 free. She will face stiff competition from fellow American Allison Schmitt and Federica Pellegrini of Italy. And it's hard to imagine she'll beat 17-year-old Chinese phenom Ye Shiwen.
At the U.S. Olympic Trials, Schmitt broke her own American record, swimming over two seconds faster than the second-place Franklin. Schmitt has yet to win an individual gold medal, but she won bronze in the 4x200 free in Beijing.
2. Michael Phelps Swims for Historic 18th Medal
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Event: Men’s 200-meter butterfly
Time: 2:49 p.m. EDT
Michael Phelps has finished one race out of the medals and has a relay silver. That silver put him one back of the all-time Summer Olympic medal record of 18, held by Russian gymnast Larisa Latynina.
It won't be easy get No. 18 in this race. Phelps comes in with the fourth-best qualifying time.
1. Women’s Gymnasts Aim for First Team Gold Since 1996
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Event: Women’s team final
Time: 11:30 a.m. EDT
The top eight teams in the women’s qualification round are through to the team final. The U.S. won the 2011 World Championships team title, and four members of that team return for a shot at Olympic gold.
Four years ago, the Americans finished second to China in the team final to take silver. None of the current team members were on that roster. Romania took third in 2008 and fourth in 2011, while Russia finished fourth in 2008 and second in 2011.
Expect those four teams to be the biggest contenders for gold.