Brownlees, Bolt & Jones chase gold: Rio day-by-day guide

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Day 13: Thursday, 18 August

Jonny and Alistair Brownlee<!–

Triathletes Alistair Brownlee (right) and brother Jonny won gold and bronze respectively at London 2012

How the action will unfold

11:00 – Charley Hull three shots off the lead as the second round of the women’s golf begins.

13:40 – Heath and Schofield in the men’s kayak double 200m. They qualified fastest and have a chance of a medal.

14:00 – Tonia Couch in the women’s 10m platform semi-finals (the final is at 20:00).

14:30 – Jade Jones starts the defence of her London 2012 taekwondo title. Should Jones make the -57kg gold medal match, it will be at 02:00.

15:00 – Alistair Brownlee seeks to retain his London 2012 triathlon title with brother Jonny – bronze medallist four years ago – likely to be in hot pursuit.

15:00 – Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge have the chance to claim Great Britain’s first Olympic medal in badminton since 2004 when they face Chinese duo Wei Hong and Biao Chai in the men’s doubles bronze medal match.

17:05 – Britain will finally get their 470 women’s sailing gold as the medal race gets under way following Wednesday’s postponement due to light winds.

18:00 – Reigning Olympic flyweight champion Nicola Adams, who is guaranteed at least a bronze medal, faces China’s Cancan Ren in the semi-finals.

18:35 – Sailors Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign, currently fourth, will be looking to force their way onto the podium in the 49er men’s medal race.

02:30 – Usain Bolt will be bidding for his second gold in Rio – and eighth in the Olympics in total – in the 200m final, while Eilidh Doyle goes in the women’s 400m hurdles final at 02:15.

Gold medals – 23 in total


Rio’s triathlon course involves an ocean swim off Copacabana beach followed by a hill to be tackled eight times on the bike and a hot, flat run to finish. Britain’s Brownlee brothers, London Olympic champion Alistair and bronze medallist Jonny, have had their chances boosted by the withdrawal of their main threat: Spain’s Javier Gomez is out with a broken arm. But while Gomez is missing, compatriot Mario Mola is one of several rivals who could still beat either Brownlee to gold. The race begins at 15:00.

Usain Bolt is back for the men’s 200m final (02:30 Friday). This is the second of three events Bolt needs to win to complete his planned “treble treble” of Olympic titles, although his 2008 relay gold medal is in some jeopardy following a positive retest of Jamaican team-mate Nesta Carter’s sample from those Games. Bolt, however, will keep his mind occupied with another task he has set himself: running sub-19 seconds in this race.

Britain’s first Olympic taekwondo champion returns for more in Rio on Thursday. Flint’s Jade Jones was the Youth Olympic champion and still a teenager when she won gold in the women’s -57kg category at London 2012. Four years later, Jones has added two European titles and is the world number one for her weight. The evening session begins at 00:00 on Friday UK time.

Brit watch

Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark should finally be crowned women’s 470 sailing champions – assuming the conditions are good enough for the medal race to take place – while Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign, currently fourth, could force their way onto the podium in the men’s 49ers medal race. Medal races begin at 17:00.

Tonia Couch has made the final of the women’s 10m platform diving. (from 20:00). The 27-year-old took European silver this year. Last year, North Korea’s Kim Kuk-hyang made history as her country’s first diving world champion – at the age of 16.

Britain’s canoe sprint team does not feature Olympic champion Ed McKeever, who has struggled to replicate the form that handed him a stunning K1 200m victory in London. This time around, Team GB’s best shot lies with Liam Heath. He has a chance in the K2 200m (session starts at 13:00) paired with Jon Schofield – an event in which they won bronze four years ago – and also has a K1 200m World Cup win to his name this season.

World watch

The USA’s Ashton Eaton will try to emulate Daley Thompson as the men’s decathlon concludes with the 1500m finale (from 01:45 Friday). Thompson won back-to-back decathlon titles at the 1980 and 1984 Olympics – Eaton, the London 2012 champion, holds the world record and world title heading to Rio. While his score at US Olympic trials was some way off his record, it remained higher than the career best of any rival.

After Brazil’s women failed to clinch the beach volleyball title, the men’s event presents a second strong chance for the hosts to win gold. Alison Cerutti and Bruno Schmidt are the men’s world champions heading into the contest and face the Italian pairing of Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo in the final from 04:00 on Friday UK time.

Hockey’s men’s gold medal game starts at 21:00 with Argentina, who beat defending champions Germany in the semi-final, facing Belgium.

BMX, the summer Olympics’ answer to snowboard cross, reaches the men’s quarter-final stage from 17:30. Riders drop from a start gate and navigate a complex, snaking pattern of bumps and berms before hurtling across the line… or into the dirt. Britain’s Liam Phillips, who won the 2013 world title, is the world number three and a medal contender. However, watch out for Dutchman Niek Kimmann, who burst on to the scene with a world title as a 19-year-old last year.

Did you know?

Two Japanese freestyle wrestlers are heading to Rio in the hope of maintaining an impressive record: winning every Olympic title since their sport was added to the Games. Kaori Icho and Saori Yoshida won the -63kg and -55kg titles respectively when women’s freestyle made its debut at Athens 2004; they did the same in Beijing, and the same again in London. Icho, unbelievably, had a 13-year winning streak going until February this year. Yoshida is expected to drop to freestyle’s new -53kg category for Rio. Both should be in action today from 14:00.

Day 14: Friday, 19 August

Liam Phillips, Tre Whyte and Kyle Evans<!–

Liam Phillips (right), Tre Whyte (middle), and Kyle Evans (left) will represent Great Britain for BMX

Gold medals – 22 in total

Athletics (men’s 50km walk, hammer & 4x100m relay, women’s 20km walk, 5000m, pole vault & 4x100m relay), badminton (men’s doubles, women’s singles), boxing (women’s lightweight), cycling (BMX: men & women), equestrian (individual show jumping), football (women), hockey (women), modern pentathlon (women), synchro (team), taekwondo (men’s -80kg, women’s -67kg), water polo (women), wrestling (freestyle: men’s -57kg, -74kg).


By the time we reach the men’s 4x100m relay final (02:35 Saturday), one of three things will have happened. Either Usain Bolt is preparing for the last missing piece of his treble treble, or Bolt is seeking redemption having finally been knocked off his perch by a rival in 200m, or for some devastating reason Bolt and Jamaica have failed to reach the final. Whatever happens, it is expected to be his last Olympic outing and guaranteed to be worth watching. Not so long ago, at Athens 2004, Britain’s men won this event – but in recent years GB quartets have had trouble getting the baton safely home.

Great Britain’s women’s hockey team are guaranteed another Olympic medal and go for gold as they face defending champions Netherlands in the final (21:00). Captained by Kate Richardson-Walsh, they’ve won all seven of their matches in Rio and reached their first final with a superb 3-0 win over New Zealand in the semi-finals. The women’s team, who won bronze in London 2012, will now be hoping to emulate the men’s side that memorably won gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

In London, it took both Latvia’s Maris Strombergs and Colombia’s Mariana Pajon just under 38 seconds to win men’s and women’s BMX gold. Crash, though, and the race will feel like it takes a lifetime. Shanaze Reade was Britain’s face of BMX in Beijing and London but she is out of the line-up for Rio; instead, GB’s attention will be on Liam Phillips and Kyle Evans in the men’s event (from 17:30).

Britain’s top show jumper won’t be in Rio. So how will GB fare in the individual final (from 14:00) without Scott Brash and his injured rides? France’s Simon Delestre holds the world number one ranking while the USA’s Mclain Ward is on form.

Friday appears to have been appointed women’s finals day in Rio: the women’s gold medals will be decided in water polo (19:30), hockey (21:00), football (21:30) and modern pentathlon (22:00) – the latter being a combination of fencing, swimming, show jumping, running and shooting. Britain has a fine women’s pentathlon record with silver medals at the past two Olympics, a bronze in Athens and both gold and bronze at Sydney 2000. Sweden play Germany in the women’s football final.

Brit watch

Lutalo Muhammad must be getting tired of selection battles. After he won an acrimonious affair against Aaron Cook in the run-up to London 2012, Cook chose to leave GB and fight first for the Isle of Man then, most recently, Moldova. Cook has qualified for Rio and could yet meet Muhammad as a Moldovan at the Games. Meanwhile, Muhammad spent the past year successfully proving to selectors that he deserved to be sent to Rio at the expense of team-mate Damon Sansum. The men’s -80kg contest begins at 13:00.

Dominic King is back for his second 50km walk (starts 12:00) as a GB athlete. King, 33, was the 51st and last athlete to post a time at London 2012 – 40 minutes behind the leaders – although three athletes who finished ahead of him have since been disqualified. Eilish McColgan has qualified for the women’s 5000m final (01:40 Saturday), which features Ethiopia’s 10,000m champion and world-record holder Almaz Ayana.

Holly Bradshaw, who finished sixth at London 2012, is through to the women’s pole vault final, which begins at 00:30 on Saturday UK time.

World watch

Even if the men’s 4x100m relay disappoints, the women’s relay (slightly earlier, at 02:15 Saturday) is set up to be a blockbuster. In 2012, the US broke the world record to beat Jamaica to gold. Three years later, the Jamaicans set a national record to hit back and beat the Americans to the world title. By this point in the Olympics, both relay teams could read like a who’s who of Rio sprint medallists.

The men’s -74kg wrestling is the domain of Jordan Burroughs, one of the biggest characters on the US team. Burroughs – Twitter handle @alliseeisgold – is the world and Olympic champion and has only been defeated once at the Olympics or World Championships. His event starts at 14:00.

Did you know?

Race walking has suffered considerable damage at the hands of doping in recent years, embodied particularly in the plight of Jared Tallent. The Australian finished second at Beijing 2008 behind a gold medallist who has since tested positive for performance-enhancing substances, then came second at London 2012 behind another athlete who was subsequently shown to have doped. That athlete, Russia’s Sergey Kirdyapkin, only formally had his gold medal stripped in March – leaving Tallent to pick up gold at a special ceremony in June, almost four years after the race. Tallent captains Australia’s athletics team in Rio.

Day 15: Saturday, 20 August

Nicola Adams<!–

Box clever – Nicola Adams looks to defend her Olympic title

Gold medals – 31 in total

Athletics (men’s 1500m, 5,000m, javelin, 4x400m relay, women’s 800m, high jump, 4x400m relay), badminton (men’s singles), basketball (women), boxing (men’s bantamweight & middleweight, women’s flyweight), canoe sprint (men’s C2 1000m, K1 200m & K4 1000m, women’s K4 500m), cycling (mountain bike: women), diving (men’s 10m), football (men), golf (women), gymnastics (rhythmic: individual all-around), handball (women), modern pentathlon (men), taekwondo (men’s +80kg, women’s +67kg), triathlon (women), volleyball (women), water polo (men), wrestling (freestyle: men’s -86kg & -125kg).


There’s little doubt about the highlight for the hosts: the men’s football final takes place at 21:30 and Brazilians will expect their team to be in it. Rules on age mean this won’t be the Brazil team many people know, as all but three of the squad must be under the age of 23 – but big names like Neymar still feature. Brazil were silver medallists behind Mexico at London 2012 and have never won this event at the Olympics.

The penultimate day of the Olympics brings Tom Daley another chance to shine (from 20:30). Daley, 22, is Britain’s lone entrant in the men’s 10m platform dive – an event in which he won bronze at London 2012 and again at last year’s World Championships. He finished this year’s Diving World Series second in the world behind China’s Chen Aisen, with American David Boudia a close third. Daley has already picked up a bronze in the 10m syncro alongside Dan Goodfellow.

Mo Farah is one of two Britons in the men’s 5,000m final (01:30 Sunday) alongside Andrew Butchart as he seeks to repeat the 5,000m/10,000m double achieved at London 2012. Also in the race is 41-year-old Bernard Lagat, who won the US Olympic trial for this event.

Nicola Adams became the world’s first female Olympic boxing champion with flyweight victory at London 2012, but the 33-year-old was missing a world title until May this year – when she beat Thailand’s Peamwilai Laopeam, adding world gold to her collection. However, no British boxer since 1924 has successfully defended an Olympic title. The women’s flyweight final starts at 18:00.

Such is the strength of British women’s triathlon that the world number three, Jodie Stimpson, will not be on the Rio start line. Non Stanford, Vicky Holland and Helen Jenkins – each winners on the World Series circuit – wrapped up Team GB’s three quota places for the Rio Games. Star names so far this season include New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt and Bermuda’s Flora Duffy, but American 30-year-old Gwen Jorgensen may be the favourite: she went unbeaten in a dozen races during the build-up to Rio.

On a packed day with more than 30 Olympic titles on offer, athletics inside Rio’s Olympic Stadium concludes with the men’s and women’s 4x400m relays from 02:00 Sunday UK time.

Brit watch

GB’s Jamie Cooke is ranked first in the world in men’s modern pentathlon, which runs from 16:00, having taken World Cup final gold in the run-up to Rio. A men’s medal in pentathlon would be a departure as the British are usually stronger in the women’s event – no GB male has won a pentathlon medal since 1988, in the since-discontinued team event.

Events on canoe sprint’s final day of action include the women’s K4 500m. Team GB have a four-woman team entered but the event has traditionally been the domain of eastern European nations, in particular Hungary. The men’s K1 200m (13:07) might be a chance for GB’s Liam Heath to win a medal.

Women’s golf concludes from 11:00. Charley Hull, ranked 27th in the world, is considered Britain’s best bet for a medal. The 20-year-old finished tied for second at April’s ANA Inspiration, one of the five majors, a stroke behind New Zealand’s Lydia Ko.

Bianca Walkden and Mahama Cho should both be in action on taekwondo’s final day (from 13:00). Walkden is the world champion at +73kg – only the second world gold medallist in British history, after Sarah Stevenson – but that category does not exist at the Olympics, so +67kg is her chosen weight.

World watch

Norway’s women have won the past two Olympic handball titles, are the reigning world champions and have even proved their mettle on Brazilian soil having won a world title in Sao Paulo five years ago. The Dutch handball team, surprise silver medallists in last year’s World Championships, will be in Rio after missing qualification for London 2012 by a single point. The women’s final begins at 19:30.

The men’s javelin final (from 00:55 Sunday) appears unpredictable. Keshorn Walcott was a shock champion for Trinidad and Tobago in 2012, when he won the world junior and Olympic titles in the same year, but has not reached a world final since. Kenyan Commonwealth champion Julius Yego continued his rise with a world title last year, having finished fourth in 2013. Norwegian Andreas Thorkildsen, the 2004 and 2008 Olympic gold medallist, retired earlier this year.

Many observers think no rival will come close to South Africa’s Caster Semenya in the women’s 800m final (01:15 Sunday). The 25-year-old, who missed last year’s world final but ran a world-leading 800m time in July, remains best known for a gender-testing dispute seven years ago after she won world gold.

Did you know?

For the past 20 years, gold in rhythmic gymnastics’ individual all-around contest (from 19:20) has been the province of Russian competitors. One of a small handful of gender-specific events at the Games – there being no men’s equivalent – this sport sees athletes performing four routines (featuring a ball, hoop, ribbon and clubs) to find an overall winner.

Day 16: Sunday, 21 August

Fireworks at the Maracena<!–

Brazil says goodbye to the Olympics and hands the flame on to Tokyo for 2020

Gold medals – 12 in total

12: Athletics (men’s marathon), basketball (men), boxing (men’s flyweight, light welterweight & super heavyweight, women’s middleweight), cycling (mountain bike: men), gymnastics (rhythmic: group), handball (men), volleyball (men), wrestling (freestyle: men’s -65kg & -97kg).


Rio’s final morning is dominated by one of the Games’ most gruelling events: the men’s marathon (from 13:30). Team GB are represented by Scottish brothers Derek and Callum Hawkins alongside Tsegai Tewelde, a 26-year-old born in Eritrea before seeking asylum in Edinburgh nine years ago. Tewelde says the scar on his forehead comes from a land mine explosion that killed a friend and left him injured as an eight-year-old.

Team USA will expect to win gold in men’s basketball (19:45) despite a lengthy list of absentees for the Rio tournament. Some American reports say this is the weakest Olympic team since Athens 2004, where the US struggled to an uncharacteristic bronze medal – but the national team has not been beaten since 2006.

Brit watch

There aren’t many chances for British medals on the last day of the Games, but boxing (from 18:00) could deliver. Savannah Marshall could have a shot at women’s middleweight gold, while the men’s super-heavyweight class is home to 2015 world bronze medallist Joe Joyce.

Grant Ferguson is Britain’s entrant in men’s mountain biking from 16:30. Ferguson was a late call-up to Team GB, which initially didn’t have a quota place for the event until other nations handed back unused places. The 22-year-old is ranked 49th in the world. Watch out for road cycling world champion Peter Sagan riding in the mountain bike event for Slovakia.

World watch

At first glance, the rhythmic gymnastics group final (from 15:00) looks like another cakewalk to gold for Russia, winners of every group gold since Sydney 2000. However, upsets are not impossible: Bulgaria shocked the Russians by winning world gold in 2014, for example, while Italy won the world title in 2011.

Men’s handball and volleyball reach their finales at 17:15 and 18:00 respectively. Brazil’s men have not missed out on a volleyball medal since Sydney 2000, while the French handball team have won the past two Olympic titles alongside last year’s World Championship gold.

Did you know?

The closing ceremony, which begins at 23:15, marks the end of the Rio Olympics and hands over to Tokyo for the 2020 Games. Tokyo’s organisers will be given eight minutes of the ceremony to give us a taste of their plans, as is traditional – remember David Beckham inside a double-decker bus at Beijing 2008? However, as usual, most of the details of the ceremony are closely guarded secrets.

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