Olympics 2020: Can Team US sweep up in the gymnastics and basketball?
It has been an action-packed, and dramatic couple of weeks in Tokyo. From eye-catching performances in the 100m men’s final to stunning displays in the pool from Team GB, you just can’t take your eyes off the Olympics. In this preview, we will look ahead to some of the big medal events taking place this week.
Can Simone Biles crown tough Olympics with gold in the women’s beam event?
For Simone Biles, it has been an Olympics she would perhaps rather forget. After withdrawing from the team final following one rotation, and then the next four individual events, Biles has felt the strain. She cited her mental health as the reason for why she pulled out, but she has been confirmed on the start list for the women’s beam event final on Tuesday.
Biles — who was the darling at Rio in 2016 — when she stormed to five gold medals, qualified for six finals in Tokyo. However, this time around she has been struggling with her routines, most notably her twisties. Biles will be competing in the rescheduled balance team final alongside team-mate Suni Lee, and she will be desperate to crown it with a gold.
- Team USA to win the women’s balance beam event: XX
- Team ROC to win the women’s balance beam event: XX
Olympics 2020: Can Team US strike gold in the basketball?
After an inauspicious start to their Olympics campaign when they suffered an 83-76 defeat to France, Team US got things back on track when they enjoyed a blowout 119-84 victory over the Czech Republic last weekend to secure a spot in the knockout stages. Jrue Holiday posted 11 points, while JaVale McGee finished with 10 points to set up a quarter-final meeting with Spain.
Team USA may not have it all their own way against Spain
In terms of the bracket, Team USA will fancy their chances. Their record stands at 12-0 when it comes to Olympics, but the last three Olympic meetings between the two sides has seen Team USA prevail by an average of eight points per game. This is one of the strongest USA teams, but they will have to be mentally strong to see off Spain.
Team USA hoping to reel in China at Olympics 2020
So far, it has been another memorable display for Team USA at the Olympics. Notoriously one of the strongest countries, they have amassed, at the time of writing, 20 gold medals, six shy of China’s tally, and they are second in the medals table. However, they have won four more medals (60) overall than the Chinese.
Olympics 2020: Team US looking for redemption after mixed relay disqualification
The relay races are always fraught with danger. Just ask Team USA’s mixed relay race team who were disqualified in the heats after the baton was exchanged outside the designated changeover zone. The men’s 4x400m relay team will be hoping to rubber-stamp a spot in the final, and storm to gold.
On Saturday evening, the men’s team will be hoping to defend the title they won in Rio five years ago. On that evening, they were truly dominant as the team comprising the likes of LaShawn Merritt, and Arman Hall saw off Jamaica and the Bahamas. It is an event that Team USA have a proven track record in, and they’ll hope to pocket another gold.
- Steven Gardiner to win the 400m final @5/4 with Casumo
- Wayde Van Niekerk to finish in the top three @2/1 with Casumo
Meanwhile, Steven Gardiner, who took bronze in the 4x400m men’s relay final, will be looking to go better in the 400m. The Jamaican, who was second at the World Championships in 2017, is the reigning world champion. He has been in terrific form leading up to the Games in Tokyo, and he will be a strong contender for this weekend’s 400m final.
Olympics 2020: Pat McCormack eyeing gold after Aidan Walsh forced to withdraw
Team GB look set for another golden Olympics insofar as boxing goes. Pat McCormack is through to Tuesday’s welterweight gold medal bout against Cuba’s Roniel Iglesias after Aidan Walsh pulled out of their semi-final clash with an ankle injury. Walsh picked up the injury in his quarter-final victory over Mervin Clair.
Meanwhile, Ben Whitaker put on a masterclass as he saw off Imam Khatatev to advance to the -81kg final via a split decision. And he will face Cuba’s Arlen Lopez in the final on Wednesday. Lopez has a natural orthodox stance, and he is an effective switch hitter, so he could cause problems for Whitaker.
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