SI's Daily Olympic Briefing: Aug. 1
Japan's Kohei Uchimura and Kosuke Kitajima could make history with gold today
U.S. women's hoops faces Turkey; U.S. women's volleyball plays unbeaten China
Medals will be given out in 11 sports, including swimming, diving and gymnastics
LONDON -- Unlike Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt, his name does not resonate globally and rarely do we hear athletic achievements described as Uchimuran. But one of the great athletes of his generation performs today at the North Greenwich Arena and if you find the time to tune in, you are likely to witness something extraordinary.
Men's gymnastics world champion Kohei Uchimura is the heavy favorite to win the men's gymnastics individual all-around (11:30 a.m.). Since winning silver in the men's all-around event in Beijing, Japan's Uchimura has won three consecutive world titles in this event, the only gymnast (male or female) to ever do so. "If, as expected, Uchimura takes home the Olympic gold in the men's all-around," writes SI's Phil Taylor, "most experts will advance the notion that he is the greatest male gymnast of all time." Uchimura's competition today includes U.S. gymnasts Danell Leyva and John Orozco -- both of whom have serious medal prospects -- and the host country's favorite, Daniel Purvis of Great Britain. Medals will also be given out in canoe slalom, road cycling, diving, fencing, judo, rowing, shooting, swimming, table tennis and weightlifting.
After a thrilling night in the pool for Michael Phelps, the action turns to the men's 200 breast stroke final (2:30 p.m.) where Japan's Kosuke Kitajima aims to become the first man ever to win this event in three consecutive Olympics. Hungary's Daniel Gyurta and the Great Britain duo of Michael Jamieson and Andrew Willis are also ones to watch.
U.S. swimmer Kathleen Hersey and Chinese world champion Jiao Liuyang are the favorites for the women's 200 butterfly (3:12 p.m.). Defending Olympic champion Liu Zige and U.S. swimmer Camille Adams also qualified for the final.
Australian world champion James Magnussen is the favorite in the men's 100 freestyle (3:20 p.m.) and he cruised to victory in his semifinal heat Tuesday night. Brazil's Cesar Cielo, the world record holder, France's Yannick Agnel and American Nathan Adrian are serious contenders for the medal stand. The women's 4x200 freestyle relay (4:04 p.m.) is the last final of the night. SI's pick is Australia followed by the Americans.
There will be swimming prelims and semis in the women's 100 free (starting at 5 a.m.), men's 200 backstroke (5:21 a.m.), and the men's 200 individual medley (which features Phelps and Lochte and starts at 6:06 a.m.)
The third round of the Olympic tennis tournament begins at 7 a.m. with boldfaced names across the Wimbledon grounds. The first match on Center Court features American Serena Williams against Russia's Vera Zvonareva, followed by Novak Djokovic (Serbia) against Lleyton Hewitt (Australia). Roger Federer, John Isner, Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams and the doubles team of Venus and Serena are also in action. Today also marks the opener for mixed doubles.
The beach volleyball competition features U.S. stars Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings against the Austrian sister-act of Stefanie and Doris Schwaiger (6 p.m.). The beach volleyball team of Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal continues pool play earlier in the day at 11:30 a.m. against Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Ruslans Sorokins of Latvia.
Medals in the men's epee individual finals (2:10 p.m.) and women's sabre individual finals (2:40 p.m.) will be awarded and it could be a huge day for an Mariel Zagunis, the favorite in the women's sabre, the two-time champion in the event and the flag-bearer for the U.S. Olympic team in London. SI's pick for gold in the men's event is Bas Verwijlen of the Netherlands.
Boxing brings American Joseph Diaz Jr. against Cuba's Lazaro Alvarez Estrada in a Round of 16 bantamweight bout (8:30 a.m.). U.S. heavyweight Michael Hunter III fights Russia's Artur Beterbiev (8:30 a.m.) and U.S. super-heavyweight Dominic Breazeale battles Magomed Omarov of Russia (10:30 a.m.).
The U.S. women's basketball team (2-0) returns to the court against Turkey (5:15 p.m.). Other games of note include Australia-Brazil (9:30 a.m.) and Great-Britain-Russia (11:45 a.m.).
Road cycling offers two medals today, including the women's individual time trial (7:30 a.m.) and men's individual time trial (9:15 a.m.). SI's pick for the women's event is Germany's Judith Arndt with Kristin Armstrong (no relation to Lance) representing the top contender for the U.S. team. Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara is SI's pick for gold in the men's race followed by Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain. Wiggins can become the first person to win an Olympic gold medal and Tour de France in the same year.
The men's and women's individual elimination round continues for archery at Lord's Cricket Ground. U.S. archers Khatuna Lorig (7:15 a.m.), Brady Ellison (10:13 a.m.) and Jake Kaminksi (11:31 p.m.) will all be competing today. The competition begins at 4 a.m.
Badminton heads into the round of 16 in singles and the quarterfinals in women's doubles and mixed doubles. Play begins at 4 a.m.
The unbeaten U.S. women's volleyball team (2-0) continues pool play against China (3 p.m.), one of six matches Wednesday. Earlier in the day, Great Britain and Italy meet at 11:45 a.m.
There are four women's water polo matches today including U.S.-Spain (1:20 p.m.) and Great Britain-Australia (2:40 p.m.)
Medals will be awarded in the kayak (K1) men's final in canoe slalom. Slovenia's Peter Kauzer is SI's pick.
The men's synchronized 3-meter springboard final in diving will be held at 10 a.m. SI's pick for gold is Luo Yutong and Qin Kai. The U.S. team of Troy Dumais and Kristian Ipsen will be contenders.
There are eight matches today in men's soccer including Japan-Honduras (12 p.m.) and Great Britain-Uruguay at 2:45 p.m.
France-Sweden (9:30 a.m.) highlights the six matches in women's team handball today.
Men's field hockey continues with six matches including defending champion Australia against Spain (3:30 a.m.)
Medals in judo will be awarded in the women's 70kg final (11 a.m.) and men's 90kg final (11:10 a.m.)
Three rowing medals will be awarded today including women's pair final (5:10 a.m.), women's quadruple sculls final (5:20 a.m.) and men's eight final (5:30 a.m.).The U.S. has an outside shot at a medal in the men's eight. Heather Stanning and Helen Glover have won all three World Cup events this year and could give Great Britain its first gold medal in the women's pairs final.
South Korea's Kim Jang-mi is SI's pick to win the women's 25-meter pistol finals (10:30 a.m.)
China has won 20 of the 24 medals awarded in Olympic table tennis and today's women's singles final (10:30 a.m.) pits No. 1 seed Ding Ning against teammate Li Xiaoxia.
Weightlifting has two medal events today including the women's 69kg (10:30 a.m.) and men's 77kg (2 p.m.). Russia's Oksana Slivenko is SI's pick to win the women's 69kg while Lu Xiaojun is the pick for the men's 77kg.
"We couldn't shoot into a lake." -- Nigeria men's basketball coach Ayodele Bakare following his team's 72-53 defeat by Lithuania.
70,584: Crowd at Wembley Stadium last night for Great Britain vs. Brazil -- a record for a women's football match in the United Kingdom.
55: The line the United States men's basketball team was favored by against Tunisia. They won by 47.
36: Countries that are fielding 100 athletes or more.
1. Russia Harks Back to Its Olympic Glory Days, By Miriam Elder, The Guardian. The Russians take in the Games from Moscow.
2. Canadians to CTV: We love that you're not NBC, By Steve Ladurantaye, The Globe And Mail. NBC gets crushed again, this time from the North.
3. Ye Shiwen's world record Olympic swim: brilliant, or too good to be true? (By Andy Bull, The Guardian). The swimmer has raised doubts -- at least among the press.