Summer Olympics 2016: Predictions for Day 8 Medal Events

Bleacher Report Olympics StaffFeatured ColumnistAugust 13, 2016

Summer Olympics 2016: Predictions for Day 8 Medal Events

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    Angelique Kerber
    Angelique KerberClive Brunskill/Getty Images

    With swimming wrapping up Saturday, the focus shifts to track and field. Five events will be settled at the Rio Olympic Stadium, highlighted by the women's 100 meters.

    The women's tennis final is the other high-profile event for Saturday. Germany's Angelique Kerber, ranked second in the world behind Serena Williams, is a heavy favorite against Puerto Rico's Monica Puig.

    Let's take a look at previews and predictions in those events and the other finals that will take place on Day 8 in Rio.

Cycling Track

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Women's team pursuit

    Great Britain set a world record in the qualifying round of the women's pursuit, breaking Australia's previous mark set at last year's world championships.

    The United States won last year's world championship and entered the Olympics as the favorites. The U.S., led by veteran Sarah Hammer, was second fastest during qualifying. Hammer is looking for her first gold medal in the Olympics. She's won two silvers, including a silver in the team pursuit in the 2012 Olympics.

    Canada, which lost to the U.S. in last year's world championship finals, and the Australians, who finished third in qualifying, should also contend for medals.

    Gold: Great Britain

    Silver: United States

    Bronze: Canada

      

    Women's keirin

    This is one of the strangest sports in the Olympics, but it's highly entertaining. The riders start the race following a derny motorbike—similar to a pace car—but unlike when cars follow a pace car, there is no set order in which the racers have to stay. With two-and-a-half laps left, the derny peels off and it's a sprint the rest of the way.

    Germany's Kristina Vogel won the world championship this year and is the favorite to win gold in Rio. Australia's Anna Meares and China's Gong Jinjie are her top challengers.

    The first women's keirin race at the Olympics was in 2012, and Great Britain's Victoria Pendleton won it. Pendleton is not back to defend her title, and Great Britain's best shot at a medal is Rebecca James, who won bronze at the world championships.

    Gold: Kristina Vogel, Germany

    Silver: Gong Jinjie, China

    Bronze: Anna Meares, Australia

Swimming

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    Martin Meissner/Associated Press

    Women's 50-meter freestyle

    In a bit of a surprise, Denmark's Pernille Blume has been the fastest women in the pool in both the heats and the semifinals of the 50-meter freestyle.

    The favorite coming in was Australia's Cate Campbell, and she had the second-best time in the semis. Campbell is looking to redeem herself after a disappointing 100-meter free, which saw her finish sixth. She's the only woman this year to swim under 24 seconds in the 50 free. 2012 gold medalist Ranomi Kromowidjojo is the third seed entering the finals, and 100-meter free winner Simone Manuel sneaked into the 50 free finals with the sixth-best time in the semis.

    Gold: Cate Campbell, Australia

    Silver: Pernille Blume, Denmark

    Bronze: Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Netherlands

       

    Men's 1,500-meter freestyle

    Italian Gregorio Paltrinieri had the top time in qualifying, and he's able to go much faster. Paltrinieri's time (14:44.51) was more than 10 seconds slower than his best time this year.

    Connor Jaeger had the second-best time in qualifying and won the silver medal in the world championships last year behind Paltrinieri. Jaeger was followed in qualifying by fellow American Jordan Wilimovsky.

    Australian Mack Horton, who won gold in the 400 meters in Rio, finished with the fourth-best qualifying time. Horton had the second-best time this year entering the Olympics, which was more than five seconds slower than Paltrinieri's.

    The 1,500 final is Saturday night at 9:11 p.m.

    Gold: Gregorio Paltrinieri, Italy

    Silver: Mack Horton, Australia

    Bronze: Connor Jaeger, United States

      

    Women's 4x100-meter medley relay

    The United States didn't race its best team in the 4x100-meter medley relay heat and still qualified with the top time by more than two seconds.

    The Americans are expected to use Lilly King (100-meter breaststroke gold medalist), Kathleen Baker (100 back silver medalist), Dana Vollmer (100 butterfly bronze medalist) and Simone Manuel (gold in the 100 free) for the final.

    Canada, Denmark, Russia and Australia followed the U.S. in the prelims. The U.S. won gold in the event four years ago in London, and Australia won silver, with Japan bringing home the bronze. The relay final is scheduled to start at 9:49 p.m.

    Gold: United States

    Silver: Australia

    Bronze: China

       

    Men's 4x100-meter medley relay

    This is America's event.

    The U.S. has won gold in the 4x100-meter medley relay in every Olympics since the relay was introduced in 1960 with the exception of 1980 when the U.S. boycotted. Considering the U.S. dominance in the pool in Rio, that streak should continue.

    Saturday's relay could also be the end of a historic career for Michael Phelps, giving him the opportunity to leave the pool with another gold medal around his neck. Phelps is expected to swim the butterfly leg. Ryan Murphy (backstroke), Cody Miller (breaststroke) and Nathan Adrian (freestyle) should be joining Phelps on the team.

    Great Britain had the top time in the heats, but the U.S. wasn't racing its A-team.

    Gold: United States

    Silver: Great Britain

    Bronze: Japan

Track and Field

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Men's long jump

    Last year's world champion in the long jump, Greg Rutherford, just barely made the final. The defending Olympic champion was the third-to-last athlete to qualify. He wasn't alone as one of the top long jumpers who didn't bring his A-game Friday. 

    American Jarrion Lawson, who has the longest jump this year, finished seventh in qualifying and was followed by last year's world championships runner-up Fabrice Lapierre. Wang Jianan, bronze medalist at last year's championships, is the top seed for Saturdays final, and Jeff Henderson of the United States finished second in the qualifying round.

    Gold: Jarrion Lawson, United States

    Silver: Wang Jianan, China

    Bronze: Jeff Henderson, United States

      

    Men's 10,000 meters

    Great Britain's Mo Farah is the reigning Olympic and world champion in the 10,000 meters. Ethiopians have three of the five fastest times this year in the 10,000 meters, led by Yigrem Demelash, who has the top time this year followed by Farah.

    Kenyans are always players in this race and have three participants, led by Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor. Kamworor finished second at last year's world championships.

    Gold: Mo Farah, Great Britain

    Silver: Yigrem Demelash, Ethopia

    Bronze: Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor, Kenya

      

    Women's 100 meters

    The fastest woman in the world in 2016 is Jamaican Elaine Thompson, but she coasted in her heat Friday night and finished with the 11th-best time of all competitors.

    2015 world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce had the best time Friday, passing the finish line at 10.96 seconds. Tori Bowie, English Gardner and Tianna Bartoletta all won their heats and give the Americans a great shot at grabbing a medal or two. The final is at 9:37 p.m.

    Gold: Elaine Thompson, Jamaica

    Silver: English Gardner, United States

    Bronze: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Jamaica

       

    Women's heptathlon

    Four of the seven events are complete in the heptathlon, with the long jump, javelin and 800 meters remaining.

    Great Britain's Jessica Ennis-Hill, the 2015 world champion and defending Olympic champion, enters the final day in the lead. Canada's Brianne Theisen-Eaton finished second to Ennis-Hill last year and has the top mark this year, but she has ground to make up. Theisen-Eaton sits in sixth place.

    Akela Jones of Barbados trails Ennis-Hill by 25 points, and she's followed by Nadine Visser of Netherlands. American Kendell Williams currently sits one spot away from medaling.

    Gold: Jessica Ennis-Hill, Great Britain

    Silver: Brianne Theisen-Eaton, Canada

    Bronze: Akela Jones, Barbados

Trampoline

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    Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

    Men's individual

    Dong Dong of China is back to try to defend his gold medal from four years ago in London, but he is not the favorite. That would be Russia's Dmitry Ushakov, ranked No. 1 in the world and winner of a silver medal at the London Games.

    The two veterans will be pushed by up-and-comer Uladzislau Hancharou of Belarus. Hancharou, 20, is currently ranked No. 2 and finished in second place at last year's world championships.

    The trampoline final is 2:42 p.m.

    Gold: Uladzislau Hancharou, Belarus

    Silver: Dmitry Ushakov, Russia

    Bronze: Dong Dong, China

Weightlifting

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    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Men's 94 kg

    Kazakhstan's Ilya Ilyin is back to defend his gold medal from the 2012 Games after sitting out last year's world championships. Ilyin set the world record four years ago in London.

    Iran's Sohrab Moradi, ranked No. 1 in the world, set what would have been a record earlier this year had he been competing at an IWF sanctioned event. Vadzim Straltsou of Belarus won last year's world championship.

    The final in the 94 kg starts at 6 p.m.

    Gold: Sohrab Moradi, Iran

    Silver: Ilya Ilyin, Kazakhstan

    Bronze: Vadzim Straltsou, Belarus