Summer Olympics 2021: What to Watch for on Day 14 in Tokyo

Carol Schram@pool88Featured ColumnistAugust 5, 2021

Summer Olympics 2021: What to Watch for on Day 14 in Tokyo

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    Petros Giannakouris/Associated Press

    Just three days remain in the Tokyo Summer Games, which means some big tournaments are winding toward their conclusions. And with the action running fast and furious in track and field, we'll see 23 events award gold medals on Day 14 across all sports.

    U.S. fans will be disappointed not to see their national team in the women's soccer final after a surprising loss to Canada. But April Ross and Alix Klineman will do their bit to bring home gold on the sand in beach volleyball, while the women's basketball and indoor volleyball teams will attempt to advance through their respective semifinals.

    Inside Tokyo Olympic Stadium, six medal events in track and field include the always-thrilling 4x100-meter relays for both men and women, along with the women's 400-meter final. Two medal events in race walking will happen at Sapporo Odori Park.

    With the tricky time change between North America and Japan, here's your daily reminder of what's set to take place when Day 14 events start Thursday evening, run through the night and wrap up Friday morning.

    Let's go!

Start Times and TV Info for Notable Events

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    Petr David Josek/Associated Press

    Women's Beach Volleyball on NBC

    • Gold-medal match: Thursday night at 10:30 p.m. ET
    • Bronze-medal match: Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET

    Track and Field on Peacock

    • Men's 50 km race walk: Thursday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. ET
    • Women's 20 km race walk: Friday morning at 3:30 a.m. ET
    • Women's javelin: Friday morning at 7:50 a.m. ET
    • Men's 5,000-meter final: Friday morning at 8 a.m. ET
    • Women's 400-meter final: Friday morning at 8:35 a.m. ET
    • Women's 1,500-meter final: Friday morning at 8:50 a.m. ET
    • Women's 4x100-meter relay final: Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. ET
    • Men's 4x100-meter relay final: Friday morning at 9:50 a.m. ET

     Women's Basketball Semifinals on

    • USA vs. Serbia: Friday morning at 12:40 a.m. ET
    • Japan vs. France: Friday morning at 7 a.m. ET
    • Replays: Friday morning at 10 a.m. ET on USA Network and Friday at 4:15 p.m. and 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN

    Women's Volleyball Semifinals on

    • USA vs. Serbia: Thursday night at midnight ET
    • Brazil vs. South Korea: Friday morning at 8 a.m. ET
    • Replay Saturday morning at 2:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN

    Women's Soccer Gold-Medal Game on USA

    • Canada vs. Sweden: Friday morning at 8 a.m. ET
    • Bronze-medal match between USA and Australia replays Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN

    Women's Track Cycling Final on

    • Women's Madison: Friday morning at 4:15 a.m. ET

    Thursday's prime-time coverage on NBC includes the live broadcast of the women's gold-medal match in beach volleyball along with the men's park final in skateboarding, the women's platform final in diving and track and field events including the men's 400-meter final, the decathlon and the heptathlon.

April and Alix Go for Gold in Beach Volleyball

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    Petros Giannakouris/Associated Press

    April Ross and Alix Klineman of the U.S. will play Australia's Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy for the gold medal in women's beach volleyball.

    New teammates for the Tokyo Games, 39-year-old Ross is a three-time Olympian who won silver in London in 2012 with partner Jen Kessy and bronze in Rio with Kerri Walsh Jennings. Klineman, 31, is a 6'4” tower of an athlete who's an Olympic first-timer — a former indoor volleyball player who made the switch to sand after meeting Ross at the 2017 Stagecoach country music festival.

    Since Ross and Klineman partnered up in January of 2018, they haven't looked back. In Tokyo, they've dropped only one set in six matches on their way to the final. In their semifinal, they needed just 37 minutes to dispatch the Swiss duo of Anouk Verge-Depre and Joana Heindrich, 21-12, 21-11.

    The opposition in the gold-medal match will be provided by Australia's Artacho del Solar and Clancy. They're both veterans of the Rio games — from separate duos — who have teamed up in search of their first Olympic hardware.

    In a tightly contested three-set quarterfinal, the Australian pair took out Canada's top-ranked team of Sarah Pavan and Melissa Humana-Paredes. A 23-21, 21-13 straight-set semifinal win over Latvia advanced them to the gold-medal game.

Sprint Relays Highlight a Busy Day on the Track

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    The 4x100-meter relay finals will deliver a blistering shot of adrenaline. The fastest runners in the world get to compete in a team setting and do their best not to drop that infernal baton.

    The Jamaicans have dominated in recent years. On the women's side, they'll be hard to beat again after Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson swept the medals in the individual 100-meter event.

    For the men, Jamaican legend Usain Bolt's retirement has opened things up. Keep an eye on Canada, for which Andre De Grasse will be looking to medal in his sixth straight Olympic final and match his three-medal performance from Rio. He has picked up bronze in the 100 meter and gold in the 200 meter in Tokyo.

    The women's 400-meter final might mark the swan song for nine-time Olympic medalist Allyson Felix, who could be running her last individual race at age 35. The women will also contest the 1,500-meter distance, while the men will run the 5,000, and we'll see race-walking medals handed out in the 20-kilometer distance for the women and the 50-kilometer for the men.

U.S. Women Face Serbia in Hoops Semifinal

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    The U.S. women's basketball team is peaking at the right time.

    The six-time defending Olympic gold medalists have stretched their winning streak to 53 games with an emphatic 79-55 quarterfinal win over Australia. Breanna Stewart played a team-high 23 minutes, 29 seconds and hit eight of her 10 field-goal attempts to finish with 23 points, and Brittney Griner put the game out reach by scoring 10 of her 15 points in the third quarter.

    Through four contests, the U.S. leads the tournament in points per game (84.8) and field-goal percentage (50 percent) as well as rebounds, blocked shots and assists.

    Up next, the Americans will face Serbia in their semifinal, while Japan takes on France.

    Unlike the U.S. rout, the three other quarterfinals were all nail-biters.

    The Serbs outscored China 28-12 in the fourth quarter to pull off a 77-70 come-from-behind win. The Japanese needed a three-pointer from Rui Machida with 16 seconds left to secure an 86-85 win over Belgium. And France erased a 62-61 deficit by outscoring Spain 6-2 in the last two minutes to earn its 67-64 victory.

US Women Face Serbia in Indoor Volleyball Semifinal

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    Frank Augstein/Associated Press

    Starting 40 minutes earlier, the U.S. women will also take on the Serbs in an indoor volleyball semifinal at Ariake Arena.

    This is a revenge match for the Americans, who settled for a bronze medal in Rio after dropping a five-set heartbreaker to the Serbs in the 2016 semifinal. The U.S. team won silver in both 2012 and 2008 but is still seeking its first Olympics gold.

    In Tokyo, the Americans finished first in Pool B with a 4-1 record in group-stage play and then eliminated the Dominican Republic in straight sets in the quarterfinal despite missing starters Jordyn Poulter and Jordan Thompson because of ankle injuries. The U.S. team is a mix of newcomers like Poulter and Thompson as well as veterans such as team captain and three-time Olympian Jordan Larson.

    Tournament leading scorer Tijana Boskovic is fueling Serbia, which finished second in Pool A, behind Brazil, and beat Italy in straight sets to advance out of its quarterfinal.

    In the second semifinal, Brazil will meet South Korea.

Canada Meets Sweden for Gold in Women's Soccer

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    Fernando Vergara/Associated Press

    It wasn't supposed to be this way for the Americans. But for the second straight Olympics, the U.S. women's national team won't play for gold. This time, the top-ranked team in the world was eliminated in a 1-0 semifinal loss to Canada.

    Jessie Fleming's penalty kick in the 75th minute beat U.S. goalkeeper Adrianna Franch to send her team to the gold-medal game for the first time in its history. Canada won Olympic bronze in both 2012 and 2016 and is led by Christine Sinclair, the 38-year-old who leads all soccer players, male and female, with a staggering 187 goals scored in international play.

    Sweden is back in the final for the second straight Olympics. The squad reached the podium for the first time in Rio, eliminating the U.S. in a penalty shootout in a quarterfinal shocker and earning silver following a 2-1 loss to Germany in the final.

    The Swedes started this tournament with a 3-0 win over Team USA and went 3-0 in group-stage play. They then took out Japan 3-1 in the quarterfinals. Sweden reached the gold-medal game with a 1-0 semifinal win over Australia, thanks to Fridolina Rolfo's goal in the 46th minute.

Women's Madison Debuts in Track Cycling

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    Fernando Vergara/Associated Press

    Another new discipline at the Tokyo Games, the madison is named after New York's Madison Square Garden, where the idea of having two cyclists spell each other in an endurance race was introduced at the end of the 19th century.

    In a 50-kilometer format, a men's madison race debuted at the 2000 Olympics. It was dropped in 2012 because there wasn't a women's equivalent.

    Now, the madison is back, with a women's 30-kilometer event to go along with the men's 50-kilometer race.

    In the madison format, teammates take turns participating. By grabbing hands or offering a push, the racing rider gives the resting rider momentum as she takes over, sling-shotting her back into the competition.

    There are no heats in the madison. It's one race for gold, with all teams on the track at the same time. Points are awarded when teams lap their opponents and during sprint intervals that are scattered through the race.

    Keep an eye out for Kirsten Wild and Amy Pieters of the Netherlands, who are the team to beat. The U.S. squad should be in the medal hunt and is led by Jennifer Valente. Earlier this week, she added a bronze in team pursuit to her silver medal from Rio.