All times BST
Day 2: Sunday, 7 August
Gold medals – 14 in total
Archery (women’s team), cycling (women’s road race), diving (women’s 3m synchro), fencing (men’s foil), judo (men’s -66kg, women’s -52kg), shooting (women’s trap/10m air pistol), swimming (men’s 100m breast & 4x100m free relay, women’s 100m fly & 400m free), weightlifting (men’s 56kg, women’s 53kg).
Adam Peaty, a three-time world champion for GB in 2015, is favourite to win gold in the 100m breaststroke after breaking his own world record in the heats and qualifying fastest in the semi-finals (02:53 Monday).
This could be the first time we see Michael Phelps at the Rio Olympics. The 31-year-old legendary US swimmer, owner of 18 Olympic gold medals already, could be selected to swim for the US in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay (03:54 on Monday).
Another US superstar, Katie Ledecky, is the clear favourite for the women’s 400m freestyle gold (03:01 Monday). At 19, Ledecky is still the youngest American swimmer heading to Rio despite winning London 2012 gold in the 800m free plus nine world titles since. GB’s entrant is 2014 European champion Jazz Carlin.
Earlier in the day, British world champion Lizzie Armitstead sets off to improve on London 2012 silver in the women’s cycling road race (from 16:15). Armitstead has focused her training on preparing for the Rio route’s mountainous terrain.
Five nations earned the maximum quota of four riders in their road race teams, including the Netherlands, for whom Marianne Vos and Anna van der Breggen could both threaten Armitstead – who has two support riders.
Britain’s only fencers at Rio 2016 compete in the men’s foil, with the individual event starting at 13:00. This year’s GB contingent includes world number five James Davis, who won Britain’s first European title in the men’s foil two years ago, and world number six Richard Kruse attending his fourth Olympics.
Commonwealth judo champion Colin Oates takes part in the men’s -66kg category from 14:00, while Helen Glover and Heather Stanning begin their defence of Olympic women’s pairs gold in Sunday’s rowing heats which start from 12:30. The men’s coxless four, an event won by Britain at the last four Olympics, also begins.
GB’s rugby sevens women play Canada at 16:30 before the knockout stage begins later in the day, while Britain’s men’s hockey team face New Zealand at 21:00.
Sunday is women’s gymnastics qualification day. This is a big sport for the US, where journalists dubbed their women’s team the “fierce five” after securing team gold at London 2012. America’s 2016 contingent start qualifying at 21:30, with the British team going earlier at 18:30.
In archery, South Korea could win an eighth consecutive women’s Olympic team title (from 13:00). Since the sport’s reintroduction to the Olympics in 1972, South Koreans have won more than half of the available gold medals (19 out of 36). London 2012 team and individual champion Ki Bo-Bae returns to lead the women’s team for Rio.
Qatar’s handball team make their Olympic debut against Croatia at 13:30. Qatar won world silver on home soil last year, a controversial result as many rivals accused the hosts of having assembled a “world select” team featuring naturalised players from the Balkans and western Europe.
If the team repeat the feat this year and reach the podium, they will be the first team from Qatar to win Olympic medals. No Qatar athlete has done better than bronze at the Games.
Did you know?
China’s Wu Minxia, the first woman to win diving gold in three consecutive Olympics, will try to break her record and make it four in the 3m synchro event (from 20:00). Rebecca Gallantree and Alicia Blagg, Commonwealth champions and European silver medallists, compete for GB in the event.
Day 3: Monday, 8 August
Gold medals – 14 in total
Diving (men’s 10m synchro), fencing (women’s sabre), gymnastics (men’s team), judo (men’s -73kg, women’s -57kg), rugby sevens (women), shooting (men’s 10m air rifle & trap), swimming (men’s 200m free & 100m back, women’s 100m back & 100m breast), weightlifting (men’s 62kg, women’s 58kg).
The men’s team gymnastics final, which takes place from 20:00, will have to go some way to outdo London 2012’s final for drama. Four years ago, a judges’ video review of the very last routine saw Japan elevated above hosts Britain for silver while China took gold.
This could be James Guy’s biggest night in the pool for Great Britain. He won the 200m freestyle world title in Russia last year as a 19-year-old, setting a national record as he beat China’s Sun Yang. However, the Olympic final (02:21 Tuesday) could be even tougher: Frenchman Yannick Agnel, who won the London 2012 title, missed the 2015 World Championships through illness but returns for Rio. Germany’s Paul Biedermann and America’s Conor Dwyer could also challenge.
The first Olympic rugby sevens final will be held from 23:00 as the women’s contest reaches its climax. Australia won the last women’s world series and reached the final in four out of the series’ five rounds, while New Zealand were the champions in each of the previous three years.
Britain’s Tom Daley is set to make his first appearance of Rio 2016 in the men’s 10m synchro diving competition, which begins at 20:00. Daley, now 22, is far better-known for his individual exploits at the Olympics – including bronze at London 2012 – but he and new synchro partner Dan Goodfellow took European silver in May of this year.
From 13:30, Somerset’s Ed Ling goes in the men’s trap shooting having won world silver two years ago. Starting at 13:00 are archery’s individual men’s and women’s events, which feature European bronze medallist Patrick Huston on his debut alongside Naomi Folkard at her fourth Games.
Monday’s rowing (starting at 12:30) includes the first heats for the men’s and women’s eights, with Britain’s men the current world champions. The women’s -57kg judo, from 14:00, includes London’s 23-year-old Commonwealth champion Nekoda Smythe-Davis.
Sailing begins its first day of action at 17:05 with windsurfers, the men’s laser and women’s laser radial fleets. Racing takes place over a number of days so there are no medals yet. Nick Thompson, in the laser, has won the past two world titles for GB. In windsurfing, Bryony Shaw is a three-time world silver medallist and Nick Dempsey took silver at London 2012.
In hockey, Britain’s women face India at 22:00.
The women’s 200m freestyle heats (from 17:00) should be the first time we see Missy Franklin at Rio 2016. Franklin raced in seven events as a 17-year-old at London 2012, winning four Olympic golds, but has endured back trouble since and is no longer the dominant female force in US swimming. That mantle has been assumed by Katie Ledecky, who is almost two seconds quicker than Franklin over the 200m free in their fastest times this year.
In 2012, Ruta Meilutyte won 100m breaststroke gold for Lithuania – but having lived and trained in Plymouth in the build-up, she was practically an adopted Brit to many fans. At the age of 15, she became the youngest-ever Lithuanian Olympic champion and has not stopped since, adding the European title earlier this year. Her main challenger in Rio could be Russia’s Yuliya Efimova, who served a 16-month doping ban from 2013 to 2015.
From 14:00, the world’s leading eventers take on Rio’s cross country course. Michael Jung, who led Germany to team gold and picked up the individual title in 2012, remains at the top of his game but could be upstaged by team-mate and 2014 world champion Sandra Auffarth aboard in-form Opgun Louvo.
When the Spanish women’s basketball team play the US at 16:00, it will reunite the two nations who reached the London 2012 men’s Olympic final (which the US won 107-100).
Did you know?
Pending IOC ratification of sample retests from Beijing 2008 and London 2012, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) says it will ban Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan and Russia from sending weightlifters to Rio over doping offences. At the time of writing, Russia had appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Weightlifting is a traditional source of gold medals for North Korea, supplying at least half of the country’s Olympic titles at both the Beijing and London Games. However, the nation has not escaped the IWF’s doping clampdown and was recently docked two Olympic quota places for past offences. North Korea’s Kim Un-guk will not defend his 62kg men’s title on Monday (from 14:00) after failing a drugs test last year.
Day 4: Tuesday, 9 August
Gold medals – 15 in total
Canoe slalom (men’s C1), diving (women’s 10m synchro), equestrian (eventing team & individual), fencing (men’s epee), gymnastics (women’s team), judo (men’s -81kg, women’s -63kg), shooting (women’s 25m pistol), swimming (men’s 200m fly & 4x200m free relay, women’s 200m free & 200m medley), weightlifting (men’s 69kg, women’s 63kg).
The women’s team gymnastics final (from 20:00) is one of the Olympics’ biggest draws, particularly in the United States, who won gold at London 2012 and both subsequent world titles. Simone Biles, 19, is the star of the US team and tipped by many to become a face of the Rio Games, while both Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas return for a second Olympics. Britain picked up world bronze last year.
Can Britain’s swimmers repeat one of 2015’s great sporting upsets? Find out late on Tuesday (03:38 Wednesday, UK time) in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay. Last year, James Guy made up a 1.63-second deficit in the final leg to overhaul the US and give Britain world gold, ending a streak of five consecutive world titles in the event for America.
David Florence won gold in canoe slalom’s C1 event at both the 2013 and 2015 world championships – and Tuesday (from 17:30) could be the day he converts that into his first Olympic title. Twice a silver medallist on the ultimate stage, the Scot will celebrate his 34th birthday the day before Rio’s C1 final.
Britain will be hoping for medals when eventing reaches its showjumping climax from 14:00. William Fox-Pitt has recovered from a fall and subsequent induced coma in time to compete in Rio with top horse Chilli Morning. However, Germany are the favourites to win both individual and team gold having done so at London 2012 and the 2014 World Equestrian Games.
With Sir Ben Ainslie out of the picture after three straight Olympic titles in sailing’s Finn class, the discipline is left in the hands of Giles Scott for Rio 2016. Scott has already won two Rio test events and the past three Finn world titles, making him the rock-solid favourite as the class gets under way from 17:00 on Tuesday.
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor has hopes of a medal in the women’s 200m individual medley (03:29 Wednesday) having swum to world bronze last year and the Commonwealth title in 2014. However, Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu – who styles herself the “Iron Lady” of swimming – is the favourite by a distance based on form.
In hockey, Britain’s men play hosts Brazil at 22:00, while the men’s rugby sevens competition begins with Britain facing Kenya at 16:00 and Japan at 21:00.
Bert le Clos, father of South African swimmer Chad, won millions of British fans with his impassioned analysis for the BBC as his son beat American Michael Phelps to gold in the 200m butterfly at London 2012.
For Rio, Le Clos and Phelps are back: Phelps looking to win Olympic gold in this event for the third time, Le Clos defending the title while parents Bert and Geraldine both battle cancer. Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh is a third contender – the 30-year-old is the current world champion and has gone more than a second quicker in this event than any rival in 2016.
Germany play Canada in the women’s football group stage at 20:00. Germany lost to the US in the semi-finals of last year’s World Cup, while Canada – who hosted that tournament – were knocked out by England in the quarter-finals.
Did you know?
Despite more than 100 of its athletes having tried since Fiji’s 1956 Olympic debut, the Pacific archipelago has never won a medal at the Games. That could change with the introduction of men’s rugby sevens: Fiji qualified in style for Rio by winning the 2014-15 sevens world series under the leadership of English coach Ben Ryan.
Alice Schlesinger was an Israeli athlete until 2014 but will compete for Britain in the women’s judo -63kg category from 14:00. The 28-year-old, a world bronze medallist for Israel in 2009, switched allegiance (her mother is English) following a protracted dispute with the Israel Judo Association. She is currently ranked ninth in the world and looking to improve on a seventh-place finish at London 2012.
Day 5: Wednesday, 10 August
Gold medals – 20 in total
Canoe slalom (men’s K1), cycling (men’s & women’s time trials), diving (men’s 3m synchro), fencing (men’s sabre & women’s foil), gymnastics (men’s all-around), judo (men’s -90kg, women’s -70kg), rowing (men’s & women’s quadruple sculls), shooting (men’s 50m pistol & double trap), swimming (men’s 100m free & 200m breast, women’s 200m fly & 4x200m free relay), table tennis (women’s singles), weightlifting (men’s 77kg, women’s 69kg).
Road cycling’s time trials begin at 12:30, seeing athletes compete one after the other to set the fastest time over a course stretching for 30km (women) or 55km (men). Similarly to the road race, the time trial circuit is forecast to favour climbers and again, GB’s Chris Froome is among the contenders for men’s gold. The Netherlands’ Tom Dumoulin and Germany’s Tony Martin are also popular picks. Female riders expected to fight for gold include Dutch star Ellen van Dijk and New Zealand’s world champion Linda Villumsen.
Andrew Willis leads British hopes in the pool, competing in a 200m breaststroke event (final: 02:03 Thursday) that has produced heaps of GB success in recent years. Michael Jamieson won silver over this distance at London 2012 but failed to qualify for Rio, while Ross Murdoch won the 2014 Commonwealth and 2016 European titles yet could not qualify at Britain’s Olympic trials. Willis is fourth-fastest in the world this year.
Japanese gymnast Kohei Uchimura has 10 world titles to his name, including every individual all-around gold medal since 2009, and he’s still just 27 years old. Can he retain his Olympic all-around title from London 2012? Find out from 20:00 onward. British hopes lie primarily with Max Whitlock, the 2014 world silver medallist.
Rowing’s first finals take place on Wednesday, including men’s and women’s quadruple sculls (from 14:10). Earlier, the day’s semi-finals are likely to feature the British women’s pair, men’s four and women’s lightweight double – all boats that won gold in 2012.
Four years ago, Peter Wilson emulated Richard Faulds’ Sydney success to win shooting double trap gold for GB on home soil. Wilson has since retired and the challenge in Rio now belongs to Commonwealth champion Steve Scott – currently ranked 10th in the world. The event begins at 13:00.
Starting at 16:30, the women’s 69kg weightlifting category features one of GB’s two Rio lifters in Rebekah Tiler. London Olympian Zoe Smith has a shoulder injury so Tiler, a 17-year-old whose dad was a bodybuilder, is the lone woman selected for Britain. The European bronze medallist believes a top-eight finish is realistic.
At 16:30, Britain’s men face a tough rugby sevens test against New Zealand before the knockout stage begins. An hour later, Britain’s women have a similarly tricky group-stage hockey tie against Argentina, the world number two side and London 2012 silver medallists. At 00:30 (Thursday), Britain’s men’s hockey team face Australia – who beat GB 3-1 to take bronze in London four years ago.
World bronze medallists Jack Laugher and Chris Mears are in 3m synchro diving action from 20:00, while canoe slalom’s K1 final (17:30) could include 23-year-old Joe Clarke on his Olympic debut.
Australia’s Cameron McEvoy is bidding for gold in the men’s 100m freestyle final (03:03 Thursday) – but victory is not often simple for Australia’s swimmers. James Magnussen, the country’s big hope at London 2012, was beaten to gold by American Nathan Adrian – by the margin of 0.01 seconds.
Adrian is back for 2016 but McEvoy’s new Australian record time is more than half a second faster than the American so far this year.
In the women’s 200m butterfly (02:54 Thursday), look out for Japanese rising star Natsumi Hoshi. Having won Olympic bronze in this event four years ago, the 25-year-old is now the world champion. She will have to beat Aussie rival Madeline Groves to take gold in Rio. Japan’s swimming team for Rio is the country’s largest since its home Tokyo Olympics in 1964.
Men’s sabre fencing (final session from 22:30) features Daryl Homer, the first US man to win a world medal in sabre (silver in 2015). Homer grew up in the Bronx and was inspired to start fencing when he saw a picture of the sport in a dictionary, aged 11. He’s now ranked 10th in the world and has a shot at becoming the first American ever to take Olympic men’s sabre gold.
Did you know?
Women’s singles table tennis reaches a climax late on Wednesday (about 00:30 Thursday, UK time) – and it is likely to be a question of which Chinese player will take gold. China won all four Olympic table tennis titles at Beijing 2008, and did the same four years later in London. Chinese selectors overlooked world number one Liu Shiwen, to pick the two women who contested London 2012’s final: gold medallist Li Xiaoxia and the team-mate she beat, Ding Ning, who is now the world champion.
Day 6: Thursday, 11 August
Gold medals – 19 in total
Archery (women’s individual), canoe slalom (men’s C2, women’s K1), cycling (men’s team sprint), fencing (women’s epee), gymnastics (women’s all-around), judo (men’s -100kg, women’s -78kg), rowing (men’s pair, double sculls & lightweight four, women’s double sculls), rugby sevens (men), shooting (women’s 50m rifle 3-position), swimming (men’s 200m back & 200m medley, women’s 200m breast & 100m free), table tennis (men’s singles).
Track cycling begins at 20:00 inside Rio’s Velodrome – one of the last 2016 venues to be completed. Britain is known as a track cycling powerhouse and London 2012 provided nine British medals. GB’s riders made up for a disappointing 2015 world championships by topping the medal table at 2016’s Worlds at the London Olympic Velodrome.
The finale of the women’s all-around contest gets under way from 20:00. Athletes win medals based on their overall score after performances on the floor, vault, beam and uneven bars. America’s Gabby Douglas edged out Russia’s Viktoria Komova for gold four years ago and is on the US team again in 2016. But all eyes will be on younger team-mate Simone Biles – winner of the past three world titles.
Katherine Grainger won gold in the double sculls with Anna Watkins at London 2012 but, four years later, was initially left off the GB team for Rio. Now reinstated alongside Victoria Thornley in the same boat, the 40-year-old Scot will be going for her fifth Olympic medal. She would become Britain’s most-decorated female Olympian if it happens. The final begins at 12:40.
A one-two in slalom canoe’s C2 category was one of Team GB’s greatest moments of London 2012. Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott produced a shock to bring home gold; with fellow Britons David Florence and Richard Hounslow taking silver at the Lee Valley course. Baillie has since retired while Stott has struggled with injury, so Florence and Hounslow will be GB’s only C2 entry in Rio. The C2 final starts at 18:15 with the women’s K1 final, potentially featuring GB’s Fiona Pennie, at 19:00.
Gemma Gibbons captivated home fans at London 2012 with her run to the final of judo’s women’s -78kg category, proudly declaring “I love you mum!” to millions on TV as she fought her way to silver. Four years later, Natalie Powell is Gibbons’ successor having come out on top in a fierce selection battle for Rio. Powell, 25, won Commonwealth gold for Wales two years ago by beating Gibbons in the final, and then beat Gibbons again for European bronze in April this year. Action starts at 14:00 and will also star Kayla Harrison, who won America’s first judo gold medal in 2012.
British interests in the Velodrome will focus on the men’s team sprint (final at 22:21), featuring 2012 champions Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny now paired with Callum Skinner instead of the retired Sir Chris Hoy. Qualifying in the team pursuits (women from 20:19, men from 20:00) is the night’s other attraction.
Kate Richardson-Walsh proved an indestructible Olympian at London 2012. The GB women’s hockey skipper had her jaw broken when hit by a stick in a group game against Japan – but she returned two games later, wearing a face mask, to lead her team to Olympic bronze. Now GB, still captained by Richardson-Walsh (who has since married team-mate Helen Richardson-Walsh), face Japan at the Olympics once again from 00:30 on Friday.
Michael Phelps has won three consecutive Olympic titles in the the men’s 200m medley. The 31-year-old could possibly go up against fellow American Ryan Lochte in Rio final (03:01 Friday).
The women’s 100m freestyle final (03:18 Friday) is set to feature at least one of Aussie star sisters Bronte and Cate Campbell. Bronte, 22, is the world champion but Cate, 24, is the national champion and holds the world record. Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom is another contender for gold.
Fiji are one of the favourites to win gold in the men’s rugby sevens (medal matches from 22:30). But New Zealand and South Africa can be expected to run the Fijians close. Team GB cannot be discounted either as England have two fourth-place world series finishes in the past three years.
In rowing, the final of the men’s pair (12:30) seems almost certain to feature New Zealand’s Eric Murray and Hamish Bond. The Kiwis have won every world title stretching back to 2009 and are the defending Olympic champions. They have never lost a race in this event. New GB pair Alan Sinclair and Stewart Innes will look to overhaul them in Rio.
Did you know?
Rio’s Olympic golf competition begins on Thursday at 11:30, but the sport has been hit by the withdrawal of a string of the world’s top golfers. The last time golf featured in the Olympics was in 1904 and the gold medallist was Canadian 46-year-old George Lyon. Lyon had actually been a cricketer first, earning a Canadian record with his top club score of 238 not out.
Day 7: Friday, 12 August
Gold medals – 24 in total
Archery (men’s individual), athletics (men’s 20km walk, women’s 10,000m & shot), cycling (track: men’s team pursuit, women’s team sprint), equestrian (team dressage), fencing (men’s foil team), gymnastics (women’s trampoline), judo (men’s +100kg, women’s +78kg), rowing (men’s lightweight double sculls & four, women’s lightweight double sculls & pair), shooting (men’s 50m prone, women’s skeet), swimming (men’s 100m fly & 50m free, women’s 200m back & 800m free), tennis (men’s doubles), weightlifting (men’s 85kg, women’s 75kg).
At the velodrome, the men’s team pursuit medals will be decided from 22:20. In recent years, this has more often than not become a contest between Britain and Australia for gold. GB took the title in 2012 and two of the team’s riders, Ed Clancy and Steven Burke, return for 2016 while Bradley Wiggins returns from the road.
Jessica Ennis-Hill’s defence of her heptathlon title begins at 13:35 with the first of her seven events, the 100m hurdles. Ennis-Hill and GB team-mate Katarina Johnson-Thompson will complete four of heptathlon’s seven events on the first day of athletics in Rio’s Olympic Stadium: also today are the high jump (from 14:50), shot put (00:35 Saturday) and 200m (02:05 Saturday).
Katie Ledecky’s signature event, the women’s 800m freestyle, reaches its climax at Rio’s Aquatics Centre (02:20 Saturday). As a 15-year-old, the American blew past Britain’s Rebecca Adlington to win gold in this event at London 2012 and she has dominated it since. A clearer favourite in any Rio event is hard to find. World bronze medallist Jazz Carlin will hope to reach the podium for GB. Meanwhile, Michael Phelps and Chad le Clos could once again go head-to-head in the final of the men’s 100m butterfly (02:12 Saturday).
British rowers could have a series of shots at gold on Friday (from 13:30), led by Helen Glover and Heather Stanning as they defend their Olympic pairs title. Both lightweight double sculls crews are world silver medallists, while the men’s coxless four finished third in the world last year.
Britain remain a world power in dressage, four years after taking team gold inside Greenwich Park. Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro are the stars of the show while Carl Hester also returns from London 2012, alongside Fiona Bigwood and Spencer Wilton. Germany, the 2014 world champions ahead of Britain, may start Friday’s battle for team gold (from 14:00) as slender favourites.
Eighteen-year-old Amber Hill and 44-year-old team-mate Elena Allen represent GB in shooting’s skeet contest from 13:00. Both have strong recent records: Allen is the Commonwealth champion and 2014 world silver medallist, while Hill became the sport’s youngest-ever World Cup winner in 2013 before taking gold at last year’s European Games.
Speaking of European Games gold, Britain’s men’s foil fencers were team champions in Baku and reached the quarter-finals at the last world championships. Rio’s team event begins at 13:00 and is the only team fencing event for which GB have an entry this year.
The morning athletics session includes the women’s 10,000m final (15:10), featuring Britons Jess Andrews, Beth Potter and 42-year-old Jo Pavey in her fifth consecutive Olympic appearance.
Tennis reaches its first medal matches of the Rio Olympics from 16:00 in men’s doubles, an event which features Andy Murray and brother Jamie teaming up for GB.
In hockey, Britain’s men play Spain at 21:00. Earlier, Germany meet the Netherlands in a rerun of the 2012 Olympic final (won by Germany) at 17:30.
Track cycling’s women’s team sprint contest will take place without Britain as the team failed to qualify – an outcome that led to a public dispute between rider Jess Varnish and coaching staff at the world championships in March. China, Germany and Russia will all be hoping for gold at 22:00.
The first of Rio’s women’s boxing prelims begin on Friday from 15:00. Ireland’s Katie Taylor returns to defend her 2012 lightweight title. After five years unbeaten, the 30-year-old missed out on a sixth straight world title this year amid what she called a “challenging few months”. The flyweight class also gets under way, featuring GB’s 2012 Olympic champion Nicola Adams.
The women’s trampoline contest (from 18:03) gave Canada their only gold medal of London 2012, courtesy of Rosie MacLennan, but Chinese athletes have dominated the event at world level since. Kat Driscoll, ninth for GB in London, competes again in Rio alongside Bryony Page.
Women’s shot put (02:00 Saturday) is a chance for dominant New Zealander Valerie Adams – one of 18 siblings – to add 2016 gold to her 2008 and 2012 titles. Adams, who has long been outspoken in her criticism of doping in track and field, originally finished second in London, but Belarusian Nadzeya Ostapchuk failed a drugs test a week later and was stripped of gold.
Did you know?
At 14:20, Croatia face Italy in the men’s water polo group stages – a rematch of the London 2012 final, which was won 8-6 by the Croatians. That was Croatia’s first water polo gold medal, contributing to the country’s best Olympic result as an independent nation: 25th in the medal standings with three gold medals and six overall. The same thing happens in women’s handball from 20:40: London 2012 champions Norway play losing finalists Montenegro in Group A. Silver four years ago was Montenegro’s first Olympic medal in history.
Day 8: Saturday, 13 August
Gold medals – 21 in total
20: Athletics (women’s 100m, men’s discus, 10,000m & long jump, women’s heptathlon), cycling (track: women’s team pursuit & keirin), fencing (women’s sabre team), gymnastics (men’s trampoline), rowing (men’s single sculls & eight, women’s single sculls & eight), shooting (men’s 25m rapid fire pistol & skeet), swimming (men’s 1500m free & 4x100m medley relay, women’s 50m free & 4x100m medley relay), tennis (women’s singles), weightlifting (men’s 94kg).
On the evening of “Super Saturday” – 4 August, 2012 – Mo Farah, Greg Rutherford and Jessica Ennis all won gold in a defining, deafening hour of Olympic success for the host nation. If that’s going to happen again in Rio, tonight is the night: the long jump starts at 00:50 Sunday UK time, Farah’s 10,000m follows at 01:25 and the heptathlon’s 800m finale is at 02:53.
Farah, now 33, has won both 10,000m world titles since 2012 but expects his Kenyan rivals to set off at a blistering pace in a bid to disrupt his race strategy. Meanwhile, Rutherford is back on the Rio start line as the reigning world, European and Olympic champion. Ennis-Hill came back from the birth of her first child to win the 2015 world heptathlon title and appears to have recovered well from an achilles tendon injury earlier this year. Canada’s Brianne Theisen Eaton, owner of this season’s top score so far, is tipped to challenge for gold.
And that’s not all on the track. You may have heard a lot about trebles when it comes to Usain Bolt, but there’s one person who could beat him to three straight Olympic 100m titles: Jamaican team-mate Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. The 29-year-old Beijing and London champion has struggled with a toe injury but is still expected to be on the start line for the final (02:35 Sunday). The field should be full of gold medal contenders: Dutch sensation Dafne Schippers, another Jamaican in Elaine Thompson and Americans Tori Bowie and English Gardner.
Britain’s women are in the spotlight at the velodrome on Saturday (evening session from 20:00). The women’s team pursuit was a nailed-on British gold medal at London 2012 but other nations have loosened GB’s grip at world level over the past couple of years. Watch out for Canada, the US and Australia as challengers. In the same session, 2013 world champion Becky James will hope for a medal in the keirin – the race where a motorbike acts as pacesetter before pulling away for the dramatic final laps.
Rowing’s eights finals take place from 15:04. The women’s event has seen the United States dominant for a decade and that’s unlikely to change in Rio, but Britain are the 2015 men’s world champions. Germany won the men’s event at London 2012.
Britain’s Fran Halsall heads into the women’s 50m freestyle event (final: 02:03 Sunday) as the world’s fourth-fastest over the distance this year. Australia’s Campbell sisters, the Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo and Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom are among her expected rivals for medals in swimming’s shortest Olympic distance. Halsall, 26, was fifth in this event at London 2012 and a world bronze medallist a year later.
Britain’s women face the US in hockey at 22:00. America is not a traditional field hockey power but the team has come a long way in recent years: they finished 12th at London 2012 but were bronze medallists in this year’s Champions Trophy – the sport’s biggest Rio warm-up event – with Britain just fifth.
Rio’s first sighting of Usain Bolt is likely to come some time after 16:00 in the first round of the men’s 100m. Bolt arrives in Brazil already an Olympic legend, but the Jamaican 29-year-old is hoping to secure the “treble treble” with victory here in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay. This will be spectators’ first chance to see how Bolt has recovered from a hamstring injury sustained at Jamaica’s Olympic trials.
The women’s singles tennis final is widely seen as a chance for Serena Williams to add yet another trophy to the cabinet. The 34-year-old was an Olympic doubles champion as far back as Sydney 2000 and won singles gold at London 2012, brushing aside Maria Sharapova in the final. The session starts at 16:00 with the men’s and women’s bronze play-offs due on court first.
America’s male swimmers have never lost an Olympic medley relay – which is not bad considering the event has been held since 1960, when two of the gold medallists had been born before World War Two. The Rio relay, due off at 03:04 on Sunday UK time, is the final race in the pool for this Olympics.
Did you know?
At 22:35, one of the biggest group-stage clashes in men’s volleyball will see Brazil take on Italy. Brazil were the runners-up at London 2012 and can expect fervent support as this year’s hosts, while Italy – dominant in the sport throughout the 1990s – were World Cup finalists last year. Brazilian coach Bernardo Rezende, or “Bernardinho” to fans, will have his son Bruno on the Olympic team.
Day 9: Sunday, 14 August
Gold medals – 22 in total
Athletics (men’s 100m & 400m, women’s marathon & triple jump), boxing (men’s light flyweight), cycling (track: men’s sprint), diving (women’s 3m), fencing (men’s epee team), golf (men), gymnastics (men’s floor & pommel horse, women’s vault & bars), sailing (men’s & women’s windsurfing), shooting (men’s 50m rifle 3-position), tennis (men’s singles, women’s doubles & mixed doubles), weightlifting (women’s 75+kg), wrestling (Greco-Roman: men’s 59kg & 75kg).
Usain Bolt is in line to compete for his third Olympic 100m title in a row (semi-finals from 01:00 Monday, final at 02:25). The Jamaican suffered a hamstring injury at the end of June but proved his fitness by powering to 200m victory at the London Anniversary Games in July. American Justin Gatlin is quickest so far this year in the 100m (in 9.80 seconds) and the 34-year-old American is one of the favourites for gold.
At the Velodrome, the men’s sprint final (from 21:04) could feature Britain’s Jason Kenny – winner of the London 2012 title. Kenny, 28, has been relatively quiet since London but roared back into contention with this year’s world sprint title.
The pommel horse had not held much interest for British fans until success in 2012. That was until Louis Smith took silver and was part of the team that claimed bronze in London. Smith won world silver last year in Glasgow with team-mate Max Whitlock taking gold, and both should feature in Rio alongside a stacked field. The final starts at 19:29. Earlier, from 18:00, Whitlock will also contend for gold in the men’s floor event having won world silver last year. Japan’s Kenzo Shirai is the man to beat.
From 16:00, Olympic tennis concludes with a string of medals. GB’s Andy Murray will defend his London 2012 title while women’s doubles is expected to feature American sisters Serena and Venus Williams. Team GB’s entry for the mixed doubles is not yet finalised, but Murray could have another outing in that event.
With big names missing the Olympics, Team GB’s Justin Rose and Danny Willett could be in a strong position for the start of golf’s men’s final round from 11:00. Rose won the US Open in 2013 while Willett was this year’s surprise Masters winner following a late collapse in form for America’s Jordan Spieth, who is a Rio no-show.
With Paula Radcliffe retiring last year, Britain’s two entrants in the women’s marathon (from 13:30) will be Sonia Samuels and Alyson Dixon. Neither are considered likely medal contenders.
The first medals in sailing are handed out from 17:05, when the men’s windsurfing medal race begins. The women’s event follows an hour later. GB’s Nick Dempsey and Bryony Shaw have each won Olympic medals in the past, but both are looking for their first Olympic gold.
When Katie Clark and Olivia Federici compete in synchro swimming’s duet from 15:00, years of hard work with no funding will pay off. Both swimmers retired after the 2013 World Championships and the sport’s funding for GB athletes was cut a year later, but the two returned and successfully qualified for a place at the Games earlier this year.
Diving’s women’s 3m springboard final at 20:00 could include Grace Reid and Rebecca Gallantree. Scotland’s Reid, 20, took European bronze just ahead of Gallantree in May.
Beijing gold medallist and two-time Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt is likely to start the men’s 400m final for the US at 02:00 on Monday. Merritt is a controversial figure following a reduced, backdated doping ban served between the Beijing and London Games but is the world’s fastest man over 400m so far this year. Grenada’s Kirani James, who won in London with Merritt missing through injury, is back for Rio while South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk will try to turn his 2015 world title into Olympic gold.
One of gymnastics’ most exciting contests is the women’s vault, from 18:44. Romania’s Sandra Izbasa beat American McKayla Maroney to gold in 2012 – Maroney’s “not impressed” face on the podium became a worldwide online meme, to the point where US President Barack Obama reproduced her expression in a photo with Maroney at the White House.
Boxing’s men’s light flyweight final (from 18:15) may involve Ireland’s Paddy Barnes, who has finished with bronze at each of the past two Olympics. Barnes was confirmed in April as Ireland’s flagbearer at Rio’s opening ceremony. Galal Yafaiboxes for GB in the event.
Did you know?
Wrestling is split into two disciplines at the Games: freestyle and Greco-Roman. Greco-Roman, which begins from 14:00, is unusual on the Olympic programme in that only men may take part.
Day 10: Monday, 15 August
Gold medals – 17 in total
17: Athletics (women’s 400m, steeplechase & hammer, men’s 800m & pole vault), boxing (men’s heavyweight), cycling (track: men’s omnium), equestrian (individual dressage), gymnastics (men’s vault & rings, women’s beam), sailing (men’s laser, women’s laser radial), swimming (open water: women’s 10km), weightlifting (men’s 105kg), wrestling (Greco-Roman: men’s 85kg & 130kg)
World titles? He has them. One of the largest collections of Tour de France stage wins in cycling history? His. But after an attempt at the Beijing Olympics went awry, Mark Cavendish still has no Olympic medal to his name. The Manxman, 31, is expected to ride in the Rio omnium – a collection of six cycling events designed to establish an all-round champion. The omnium concludes with the points race at 21:23.
Sailing’s laser and laser radial classes reach their medal races (from 17:05) featuring GB’s Nick Thompson and Alison Young respectively. Thompson is a double world champion making his Olympic debut with London 2012 laser entrant Paul Goodison not returning, while Young, fifth at London 2012, returns for Rio.
Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro are Olympic, world and European individual dressage champions and can expect to enter the Rio final (from 14:00) as the favourite. This is also set to be Valegro’s last outing before retirement. The horse, 14, is part-owned by Dujardin’s Olympic team-mate Carl Hester.
Christine Ohuruogu has a habit of pulling out Olympic medal-winning performances when it matters: she registered a stunning victory at Beijing 2008 then picked up silver in London four years later. Now 32, she’s back in the GB team for Rio having won the 2013 world title – but America’s Allyson Felix could be a better bet for 400m gold (race from 02:45 Tuesday), particularly as this is her only individual event having failed to qualify for the 200m. Bahamas sprinter Shaunae Miller is second-fastest in the world behind Felix this year, while South Africa’s Caster Semenya has voiced an ambition to win this race as part of a Rio 400-800 double.
A frustrating fourth at London 2012, open-water swimmer Keri-Anne Payne returns for Rio. The 28-year-old missed her first chance to seal a place last year but came through a final qualifier in June to be named to the team. Payne hasn’t had a major world podium since taking a year out after her London disappointment, but knows from past experience what it takes: she won silver at Beijing 2008. Tune in to the 10km open-water swim from 13:00.
The omnium’s elimination race has fast become a crowd favourite since its introduction prior to the London Olympics. GB’s 2012 champion Laura Trott has more than once hung on to the bitter end with a series of late, late moves to defy elimination – and she’s expected to ride in the Rio elimination race from 22:17.
Gymnast Arthur Zanetti has the chance to become a home hero in the men’s rings competition from 18:00. Zanetti, 26, won Olympic gold at London 2012 and has been on three of the last four world podiums. The gruelling event sees athletes suspended in mid-air by the arms before hauling themselves through a series of complex positions. Watch out for the iron cross: forming the cross with your arms and legs perfectly perpendicular is one of the rings’ simplest but toughest moves.
The men’s Sweden-Brazil handball contest, at 20:40, is one of the more interesting of the group stages – pitting the losing 2012 finalists against the hosts. Brazil have never done better than 10th in men’s Olympic handball, while Sweden have been runners-up the last four times they took part.
Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk looks indomitable in the women’s hammer (from 14:40), particularly given the doping crises hanging over Russian rivals. Wlodarczyk, London’s silver medallist, holds the world title and world record of 81.08m. Poignantly, she throws using a glove that belonged to close friend and fellow hammer thrower Kamila Skolimowska, who died in 2009 after winning gold as a 17-year-old at Sydney 2000. Men’s pole vault (00:35 Tuesday) is a chance to see exciting French star Renaud Lavillenie in action, although the reigning world champion is Canada’s Shawn Barber.
Sailing’s laser radial class should feature Xu Lijia, who followed bronze at her home Beijing Games with gold for China four years later – despite having only half of her hearing and hardly any vision in one eye, not to mention a tumour removed from her knee. Lily, as she better known, has most recently been studying for a management degree in Southampton but dropped retirement plans to come back for Rio. “I’m going to grab another medal,” she promised in March.
Did you know?
If you’re wondering about the dimensions of gymnastics’ beam (women’s final from 19:42), it’s just over four feet off the ground, 16 feet long… and less than four inches wide. And then you’re expected to start doing backflips on it. Good luck!
Badminton’s women’s doubles reaches the quarter-final stage today (from 15:30). Infamously, four pairings were disqualified from London 2012 for trying to lose their last group games in the hope of ensuring a better quarter-final draw. The rules have been changed for Rio 2016 to make it less clear how the quarter-final draw will pan out, meaning – in theory – there’s less incentive to throw a group game.
Day 11: Tuesday, 16 August
Gold medals – 25 in total
Athletics (men’s triple jump, high jump & 110m hurdles, women’s discus & 1500m), boxing (men’s lightweight), canoe sprint (men’s C1 1000m & K1 1000m, women’s K1 200m & K2 500m), cycling (track: men’s keirin, women’s omnium & sprint), diving (men’s 3m), gymnastics (men’s parallel bars & high bar, women’s floor), sailing (Nacra 17, men’s Finn), swimming (open water: men’s 10km), synchro (duet), table tennis (women’s team), weightlifting (men’s 105+kg), wrestling (Greco-Roman: men’s 66kg, 98kg)
It’s the final day of track cycling for another Olympics, but the last night of action promises plenty: gold medals are on the line in men’s keirin, the women’s omnium and women’s sprint (session starts at 14:00). Laura Trott is the big name to watch in the omnium, where she is usually challenged by US rider Sarah Hammer and Australia’s Annette Edmondson. Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner are in the men’s keirin while Becky James and Katy Marchant go in the women’s sprint.
Giles Scott has won 19 out of the 21 regattas he has sailed since losing his Finn class selection battle with Ben Ainslie for London 2012. From 17:05 we will find out whether he can convert that dominance into his first Olympic gold medal for Britain. New Zealand’s Josh Junior is the only Rio competitor to have beaten Scott since the last Olympics.
Artistic gymnastics concludes from 18:00 with the women’s floor, men’s parallel bars and men’s high bar. The floor event looks set to be another chance for America’s Simone Biles to assert her dominance, while the men’s high bar is the traditional domain of flamboyant Dutchman Epke Zonderland – whose London 2012 routine was a highlight of the Games. Zonderland has won two out of three world titles since.
From 22:00, GB’s Jack Laugher should feature in the men’s 3m diving. Laugher, 21, finished this season’s diving world series ranked fourth in the world and won last year’s world bronze medal.
In an open-water swim lasting nearly two hours, Scunthorpe’s Jack Burnell was just five seconds off a bronze medal at last year’s world championships. He swims the 10km race for GB from 13:00.
London 2012 bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz and European bronze medallist Chris Baker are GB’s entrants in the men’s high jump (final from 00:30 Wednesday). Andrew Pozzi is Britain’s fastest 110m hurdler this year, with the final (02:45 Wednesday) missing both Olympic champion Aries Merritt and world champion David Oliver. Laura Muir, fifth at last year’s world championships, is the fastest female 1500m runner outside Kenya and Ethiopia so far this year (02:30 Wednesday).
Christian Taylor is out on his own so far this year in triple jump, more than 10cm clear of compatriot Will Claye in 2016’s longest marks to date. They were the gold and silver medallists respectively in London and Taylor is the reigning world champion. French former world champion Teddy Tamgho, who withdrew from London 2012 after ankle surgery, misses Rio (final from 13:50) with a broken leg picked up at France’s Olympic trials.
Men’s hockey reaches the semi-final stage from 16:00. Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and Britain got this far in 2012 – the British succumbing to a devastating 9-2 defeat on home soil at the hands of the Dutch. The Champions Trophy, held between the world’s top teams in June this year, saw a resurgent Indian team reach the final before Australia triumphed.
Women’s football is also down to the final four (from 17:00). The US will expect to make this stage of the competition at the very least, with Germany and France also tipped to perform. Japan, who were World Cup finalists last year, did not qualify for Rio despite hosting one of the qualifying tournaments.
Did you know?
The mixed-gender Nacra 17 catamaran crews are making their sailing debuts at Rio with the medal race from 18:05 today. Athletes claim this is the most spectacular sailing class to watch. Britain’s Nicola Groves and Ben Saxton won World Cup gold in Weymouth in one of their final outings before the Olympics.
Day 12: Wednesday, 17 August
Gold medals – 16 in total
Athletics (men’s 3000m steeplechase, women’s 200m, 100m hurdles & long jump), badminton (mixed doubles), beach volleyball (women), boxing (men’s welterweight), equestrian (team showjumping), sailing (men’s & women’s 470), table tennis (men’s team), taekwondo (men’s -58kg, women’s -49kg), wrestling (freestyle: women’s -48kg, -58kg, -69kg).
Ever since Brazil was awarded the 2016 Olympics, beach volleyball has been waiting for its chance to shine on Rio’s sand. Brazilians love the sport and are remarkably successful at it: since beach volleyball’s Olympic debut in 1996, Brazilians have appeared in seven of the 10 Olympic finals. However, you’ll need to wait until late in the night to see if the hosts reach this year’s women’s final on Copacabana Beach – it isn’t set to start until 04:00 on Thursday UK time. For the US, three-time Olympic champion Kerri Walsh Jennings is back for Rio and hotly tipped to contend for gold. No Britons qualified.
Earlier in the day and a sporting world away, the team showjumping final begins at 14:00 across the city at the Deodoro complex. Scott Brash, a star of Britain’s charge to team gold at London 2012, will miss Rio as his top two rides are both injured – but 2012 team-mate Nick Skelton, now 58, returns for his seventh Olympics (a British record). In contrast to their glorious home Olympics, Britain only just qualified for Rio 2016. Canada’s showjumping team does not include Ian Millar, who achieved legendary status by featuring in the past 10 Olympics. However, his daughter, Amy, is in the team for her Olympic debut.
Women’s long jump could be a sensational contest (from 01:15 Thursday). Brittney Reese sealed her Rio place by leaping to 7.31m at US Olympic trials – the farthest any woman has jumped since 2004. Reese won gold in London with just 7.12m by comparison, while she’ll face competition in Rio from team-mate Tianna Bartoletta (whose two world titles were won a decade apart, in 2005 and 2015). Step forward, too, Shara Proctor. The Briton, ninth at London 2012, was last year’s world silver medallist while Jazmin Sawyers and Lorraine Ugen complete a strong GB line-up.
Badminton’s mixed doubles reaches its climax in a session starting at 12:30. Britain’s representatives in the mixed doubles are Chris and Gabby Adcock, playing together at the Games for the first time since they married in 2013. The couple are ranked seventh in the world and became the first Britons to win a World Superseries Finals title in 2015.
The women’s 200m final (02:30 Thursday) could feature GB’s Dina Asher-Smith and Jodie Williams. Asher-Smith is the new European champion and was a trackside kit-carrier during Britain’s famous Super Saturday at London 2012, watching Jessica Ennis-Hill, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah win gold. The Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers is a major contender for 200m gold, as are Tori Bowie for the US and Veronica Campbell-Brown for Jamaica.
From 16:00 you can see the semi-finals in women’s hockey. Britain’s women had their hopes crushed by Argentina in a 2-1 defeat at this stage four years ago, but came back to take bronze two days later. The Netherlands will also expect to be involved in the final four.
Boxing’s women’s middleweight quarter-finals take place from 18:30. Savannah Marshall was the world champion entering London 2012 but was knocked out of the contest at this point four years ago. She is back for Rio having taken world bronze in May. Claressa Shields, who won the first-ever women’s middleweight gold for Team USA in London, returns in fine form having won two world titles in the interim.
Sailing’s 470 class reaches its medal races (men and women) from 17:00. Luke Patience has a new partner in the GB 470, Chris Grube, after former partner Elliot Willis had to pull out for bowel cancer treatment in December. Patience and Grube were fifth at this year’s world championships. In the women’s boat, Saskia Clark and Hannah Mills are a holdover from London 2012, where they won silver.
London 2012 women’s 100m hurdles champion Sally Pearson won’t be in Rio – the Australian superstar, who would have captained the team, has pulled out with a hamstring injury. In her absence the three Rio entrants with the year’s fastest times are all American, led by 2013 world champion Brianna Rollins. Surprise 2015 world champion Danielle Williams didn’t make it through Jamaican national trials, while Germany’s Cindy Roleder should be a medal contender. Tiffany Porter and Cindy Ofili race for GB. Catch the final from 02:55 on Thursday, UK time.
Female golfers make their Olympic debut in the women’s first round of play from 11:30. Just one eligible woman, South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace, is known to have withdrawn. New Zealand 19-year-old Lydia Ko is the top-ranked qualifier and a winner of two majors in the past year, while Canadian 18-year-old PGA Championship winner Brooke Henderson is also tipped for the podium. Charley Hull, 20, and 46-year-old Catriona Matthew tee off for GB.
Did you know?
Table tennis in Rio concludes with the men’s team medal matches from 15:00. This event will include America’s first Olympian born in the 21st Century: Kanak Jha, 16, was the first US athlete born in 2000 to qualify for the Games. Jha moved to Sweden to train with better players in the run-up to Rio but, even so, few people would expect the US to make today’s final – to see him in action, you may prefer to keep an eye on the first-round matches (from 12 August). China have won both Olympic titles since the team event was introduced at Beijing 2008.
Day 13: Thursday, 18 August
Gold medals – 23 in total
Athletics (men’s 200m, 400m hurdles, shot put & decathlon, women’s 400m hurdles & javelin), badminton (women’s doubles), beach volleyball (men), boxing (men’s light heavyweight), canoe sprint (men’s C1 200m, K2 200m & K2 1000m, women’s K1 500m), diving (women’s 10m), hockey (men), sailing (men’s 49er, women’s 49erFX), taekwondo (men’s -68kg, women’s -57kg), triathlon (men), wrestling (freestyle: women’s -53kg, -63kg, -75kg).
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 should be 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, though 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-ever 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 roared to 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.
The women’s 49erFX is a new sailing class for the Rio Games and features Sophie Ainsworth partnered with Charlotte Dobson for GB. On the men’s side, Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign were among the last sailors named to Team GB after an intense 49er selection race – helped by winning world bronze earlier this year. Medal races begin at 17:00.
Britain has two bites at women’s 10m platform diving success (final from 20:00) courtesy of Sarah Barrow and Tonia Couch. Barrow, 27, won European gold in this event two years ago; Couch, the same age, 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 London Olympic champion Ed McKeever, who has struggled since 2012 to replicate the form that handed him a stunning K1 200m victory on the penultimate day of the Games. This time around, Team GB’s best shot in the sport could be Liam Heath. He has a shot 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. Rachel Cawthorn paddles for GB in the women’s K1 500m.
America’s Ashton Eaton will try to mimic 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 boycott-hit 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.
If Brazil’s women fail to clinch the women’s 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. The final takes place from 04:00 on Friday UK time.
Hockey’s men’s gold medal game starts at 21:00. At London 2012, Jan-Philipp Rabente scored both goals to seal Germany’s Olympic title in a 2-1 victory over the Dutch. Rabente, 25, had until that point reportedly scored fewer international goals than anyone in the German squad bar their goalkeeper.
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 current world number three and a medal contender. However, watch out for Dutchman Niek Kimmann, who burst onto 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
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 showjumping), 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 the individual events, 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.
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’s 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 showjumper 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 America’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, showjumping, 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. Team USA are defending football and water polo gold.
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. European bronze medallist Stephanie Twell may feature in the women’s 5000m final (01:40 Saturday).
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.
Fabiana Murer is being billed as Brazil’s best hope of an Olympic title for the host nation in track and field. Murer, 35, was five centimetres off last year’s pole vault world title (won by Cuba’s Yarisley Silva) but set a new career best in July as she prepared for her home Games. Holly Bradshaw is Britain’s entrant. The women’s final begins at 00:30 on Saturday UK time.
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 1400.
Today could be the day Katie Taylor picks up a second Olympic title for Ireland in women’s lightweight boxing (18:00). Taylor is ranked first in the world by a distance but could only manage bronze at this year’s world championships, where gold was won by French fighter Estelle Mossely.
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 will captain Australia’s athletics team in Rio.
Day 15: Saturday, 20 August
Gold medals – 31 in total
Athletics (men’s 1500m, 5000m, 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; Argentina, winners in 2004 and 2008 before failing to qualify in 2012, are back for Rio.
The penultimate day of the Olympics brings Tom Daley’s 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.
Mo Farah is one of three British entrants in the men’s 5000m (01:30 Sunday) alongside Tom Farrell and Andrew Butchart. Back in 2008, Farah failed to qualify for this final and didn’t show much sign of the double distance triumph he duly produced in London four years later. But can he hold on to those titles in Rio? The omens from the past two World Championships, where Farah won both the 5000m and 10,000m, suggest he can. 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, won’t 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.
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 doesn’t exist at the Olympics, so +67kg is her chosen weight.
Norway’s women have won the last 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 bitterly contested 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
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 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 which 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 claim this is the weakest Olympic team since Athens 2004, where the US struggled to an uncharacteristic bronze medal – but, on the other hand, the national team has not been defeated since 2006.
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. Don’t adjust your set for the flyweight class: yes, that’s Muhammad Ali fighting for Britain. The Bury ABC-coached 20-year-old is a European silver medallist.
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.
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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