Summer Olympics 2021: What to Watch for on Day 6 in Tokyo

Carol Schram@pool88Featured ColumnistJuly 28, 2021

Summer Olympics 2021: What to Watch for on Day 6 in Tokyo

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    Mark Schiefelbein/Associated Press

    Seventeen sets of medals will be handed out on Day 6 of the Tokyo Olympics, and once again, all eyes will be on the Ariake Gymnastics Centre. 

    USA Gymnastics announced Wednesday that Simone Biles has withdrawn from Thursday's individual all-around competition in women's gymnastics. She will be replaced by Jade Carey.

    Elsewhere, the action will continue in the pool, and the U.S. women will look to stay undefeated in beach volleyball. The competition is tightening up in boxing, with American competitors in three weight classes looking to advance to the quarterfinals. If you're craving something fresh, tune in for the first round of men's golf or Day 1 of the high-adrenaline women's rugby sevens.

    With the tricky time change between North America and Japan, here's your daily reminder of what's happening when. Day 6 events will start Wednesday evening Eastern time, run through the night and wrap up Thursday morning.

    Let's go! This is your guide to Day 6 at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.    

Start Times and TV Info for Notable Events

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    Peter Morrison/Associated Press

    Women's Gymnastics

    Individual all-around: 6:50 a.m. ET on Thursday, NBCOlympics.com

                   

    Men's Swimming

    100-meter freestyle final: 10:37 p.m. ET on Wednesday, NBC

               

    Men's Golf

    Round 1, Part 1: 6:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday; Part 2: 9 p.m. ET Wednesday, both on Golf Channel

                                     

    Women's Beach Volleyball

    USA vs. Kenya: 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, NBCOlympics.com

    • Also part of NBC Primetime Plus coverage, starting at 12:35 a.m. ET on Thursday

                

    Women's Rugby Sevens

    Pool Round, Session 1: 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, NBCOlympics.com

                                  

    Boxing

    Round of 16 for men's middleweight, superheavyweight and women's flyweight: 10 p.m. ET Wednesday, NBCOlympics.com

          

    Wednesday's prime-time coverage on NBC kicks off at 8 p.m. ET. It will feature live swimming, as well as replay coverage of the individual all-around final in men's gymnastics and the men's synchronized springboard final in diving.   

Women's Gymnastics Individual All-Around Continues Without Simone Biles

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    Gregory Bull/Associated Press

    Simone Biles is out. Jade Carey is in.

    That's the major news for the women's all-around final, a competition that Biles won at the 2016 Rio Games. Citing concerns about her mental health, though, Biles has withdrawn from both the team event and individual final.

    Her absence is the important and unavoidable main storyline.

    However, the competition should be fierce, especially among Brazil's Rebeca Andrade, U.S. standout Suni Lee and Russian Olympic Committee duo Angelina Melnikova and Vladislava Urazova. They were the top four qualifiers behind Biles—and only 0.300 points separated Andrade in second from Urazova in fifth.

    Carey, a 21-year-old from Phoenix, finished the qualifiers with a 56.265. She's considered a specialist in vault and floor exercise, winning a combined three silver medals at worlds in those two competitions.

Swimming

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    Lee Jin-man/Associated Press

    One of the bright lights of the U.S. men's swimming team, Caeleb Dressel will try for his first individual gold medal on Wednesday night, in the 100-meter freestyle.

    The 24-year-old already has golds from two 100-meter relays—in Rio in 2016, and last Sunday in Tokyo. In Wednesday's individual semifinals, he qualified with the second-fastest time, as Kliment Kolesnikov from the Russian Olympic Committee set a new European record.

    Dressel also plans to swim in the 100-meter butterfly and the 50-meter freestyle later this week.

    The men's 100-meter freestyle is scheduled for 10:37 p.m. ET on Wednesday night.

    Four other sets of medals will also be handed out at the pool in this session—the men's 800-meter freestyle and 200-meter breaststroke and the women's 200-meter butterfly and 4x200-meter freestyle relay.

    American Hali Flickinger qualified second in the 200 fly, while her teammate Regan Smith had the fourth-fastest time. Both have already earned bronze medals in Tokyo—Flickinger in the 400-meter individual medley and Smith in the 100-meter backstroke.

Men's Golf Begins

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    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    Though some of the biggest names in golf won't be competing, the men's Olympic event will still deliver plenty of star power.

    Hideki Matsuyama made history in April, when he became the first Japanese golfer to win the Masters Tournament. But his preparation for the Olympics has been far from ideal. He hasn't played a competitive round since withdrawing from the Rocket Mortgage Classic in early July after testing positive for COVID-19.

    World No. 1 Jon Rahm and No. 6 Bryson DeChambeau also will not be in action after testing positive for the coronavirus before traveling to Japan. Second-ranked Dustin Johnson and South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen are two of the game's other top stars who elected not to make the trip.

    But golf is always a hard sport to handicap, and the field that will be teeing off at Kasumigaseki Country Club features many well-known stars from around the globe. Among the top names: newly minted British Open champion Collin Morikawa, Ireland's Rory McIlroy and Norway's Viktor Hovland. 

U.S. Women Look to Stay Perfect in Beach Volleyball

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    Felipe Dana/Associated Press

    The U.S. women's "A-Team" of Alix Klineman and April Ross is unbeaten through its first two pool-play matches at Shiokaze Park.

    On Wednesday, Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil will try to duplicate that record against Kenya's Gaudencia Makokha and Brackcides Khadambi, who dropped their opening match to Brazil in straight sets.

    Claes and Sponcil got together in 2019 and are making their Olympic debuts. They started their tournament by eking out a three-set win over Latvia's Tina Graudina and Anastasija Kravcenoka, 21-13, 16-21, 15-11.

    The Americans trailed 11-9 in their final set before they ripped off the last six points of the match. A win on Wednesday would all but assure Claes and Sponcil of a chance to advance out of their four-team Pool D.

    They'll wrap up the group stage Saturday against Brazil, while Klineman and Ross finish up in Pool B against the Netherlands on Friday.

Women's Rugby Sevens Begins

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    If you got a taste for rugby sevens while watching the men's event, here’s good news: The women's tournament begins in Japan on Thursday.

    It debuted as an Olympic sport in 2016. Australia took gold, New Zealand won silver and Canada claimed the bronze. The best-known players in this emerging sport are Portia Woodman from New Zealand and Charlotte Caslick of Australia, both veterans of the Rio Games.

    The U.S. team had climbed to second in the world in 2019, before Covid-19 put the sports world on pause. Hopes are high for the group, which is known for its speed, height and power.

    Like the men's side, the women's field consists of 12 teams. Each match consists of two seven-minute halves and delivers high-intensity, non-stop action.

    You'll find the U.S. team in a relatively manageable Pool C in the group stage, along with Australia, China and Japan. The Americans will play two matches on Day 6, taking on China on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET and then facing Japan at 5 a.m. ET on Thursday.      

Quarterfinal Spots Are Up for Grabs in 3 Boxing Divisions

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    The United States is a powerhouse in Olympic boxing, with more golds and total medals in the sport than any other country.

    The competition has now reached the round of 16. On Day 6, keep an eye out for these medal hopefuls:

    • In the men's middleweight division, Troy Isley, a 22-year-old from Virginia, is one of the first professionals to represent the U.S. at the Olympics thanks to an agreement from 2016 with the International Association of Amateur Boxing (AIBA). He's taking on Gleb Bakshi from the ROC.
    • In the men's superheavyweight class, Richard Torrez Jr. will square off against Chouaib Bouloudinats of Algeria. Torrez is a 22-year-old from California. His father, who serves as his coach, competed as a boxer in the 1984 Olympic Team Trials.
    • In the women's flyweight division, 33-year-old Texan Virginia Fuchs will be taking on Stoyka Zhelyazkova Krasteva of Bulgaria. Fuchs began her athletic career as a cross-country runner and then started boxing during her sophomore year at LSU. She finished third in her division at the 2018 World Championships.   
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