2021 Olympics: Tokyo Summer TV Schedule, Live Stream and Thursday Predictions

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIJuly 29, 2021

United States' A'Ja Wilson (9), center, grabs a rebound between Nigeria's Adaora Elonu (11), left, and Atonye Nyingifa (21) during women's basketball preliminary round game at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Saitama, Japan. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

The Olympic winning streak for the U.S. women's basketball team has reached 50 games. And there's no reason to believe the Americans are going to slow down anytime soon.

Continuing its pursuit of its seventh consecutive gold medal, Team USA is set to face Japan in its second game of the Tokyo Olympics. But in order to watch it live, you will have to stay up late—or get up early—as tipoff is set for Friday at 12:40 a.m. ET.

Before that game, there will be plenty of action throughout the day. Among the events taking place will be the second round of the men's golf tournament, the final of the men's doubles tennis tournament, a Spain-Argentina men's basketball matchup, plenty of swimming finals and more.

Here's everything you need to know for watching the Olympics on Thursday.


Thursday TV, Live-Stream Schedule

2 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET, USA Network

Men's water polo, women's slalom canoeing, women's rugby, swimming, women's volleyball


6-11 a.m. ET, Peacock

Women's gymnastics


8:10-10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

Men's basketball (Spain vs. Argentina)


6:30 p.m.-3 a.m. ET, Golf Channel

Men's second round


8-11:30 p.m. ET, NBC

Swimming, track and field


8 p.m.-12:30 a.m. ET, USA Network

Track and field


8 p.m.-2 a.m. ET, CNBC

Men's volleyball, women's beach volleyball, rowing, women's rugby, BMX cycling, women's gymnastics


11 p.m.-2 a.m. ET, Olympic Channel

Tennis (men's singles and mixed semifinals, men's doubles final)


12:40-2:30 a.m. ET, USA Network

Women's basketball (USA vs. Japan)


Preview, Predictions

The U.S. women's basketball team may have won its first game of the Olympics, but it wasn't as dominant a victory as usual. The Americans notched an 81-72 win over Nigeria for its 50th consecutive Olympic victory behind 19 points and 13 rebounds from A'ja Wilson.

Team USA is consequently looking to improve to 2-0 against Japan, which is coming off a 74-70 win over France in its first action of the Tokyo Games. The host nation has never previously medaled in women's basketball.

It's likely that the U.S. is going to go 3-0 against its Group B opponents. After this matchup against Japan, Team USA will face France early Monday morning.

Expect the Americans to look much more dominant against the Japanese than they were in their Olympic opener. Now that Team USA has its first win of the Games, it should get on a roll, much as it has done in its previous six appearances at the Olympics.

"It felt good to get in the flow of things out there," Wilson said after Team USA's first win, per Doug Feinberg of the Associated Press. "I was definitely nervous, but then had that moment when I was like I'm supposed to be here."

There will be four medal events in the swimming during Thursday night's Olympic coverage on NBC: the women's 200-meter breaststroke, the men's 200-meter backstroke, the women's 100-meter freestyle and the men's 200-meter individual medley.

Among those races, the American most likely to win a gold medal is Michael Andrew, who will be competing in the 200-meter individual medley. He finished second in his semifinal race to advance to the final, but he led the field for the first three laps before getting edged by China's Shun Wang.

The 22-year-old, who is making his Olympics debut, finished fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke. He will likely earn his first medal in the 200-meter individual medley, and don't be surprised if he comes away with the gold. At the very least, he should earn the silver.

Another swimmer to keep an eye on is Emma McKeon of Australia. She will be competing in the 100-meter freestyle final after setting an Olympic record in her heat with a time of 52.13 seconds. That ranks eighth-fastest all time.

It's possible McKeon will post an even better time in the final. Regardless, expect her to win the gold medal, especially after she came up short in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay a day earlier, when Australia finished third behind China and the U.S.


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