We’re entering the final weekend of the Tokyo Olympic Games and there is some big hardware left to be awarded.
Friday evening starts with the women’s marathon and the final round of the women’s Olympic golf tournament. Despite struggling in the third round, American Nelly Korda still holds a 3-stroke lead.
Knitting fans, or fans of knitters, will get one more chance to see British diver/elite knitter Tom Daley, who competes in the 10-meter platform dive.
That, however, is all appetizer to the main course: the men’s basketball gold-medal game. Kevin Durant and Team USA will face Evan Fournier and France (10:30 p.m. ET). This is somewhat of a revenge game for the Americans, who lost the Olympic opener to the French.
For Jerry Colangelo, the retiring architect of USA Basketball, this game is a culmination and maybe a coronation.
Here’s the best of all the action in Tokyo:
A wild final round … on pause
With two holes remaining in the final round of the Olympic women’s golf tournament, play has been suspended at Kasumigaseki Country Club. The horn went off just after the final group teed off on the 17th hole.
American Nelly Korda holds the lead at 17-under with Japan’s Mone Inami, who is 6 under par in the final round, one stroke back in a solo second. India’s Adidti Ashok and 2016 Rio silver medalist Lydia Ko are tied for third at 15-under.
The delay is expected to last 45 minutes in total and resume at 12:15 a.m. ET. If play cannot resume, the final results revert back to the end of the third round, which had Korda in the lead, Ashok in second and a four-way tie for bronze.
Surprise medal for Team USA
Team USA’s Molly Seidel ran her first marathon ever in February 2020 — at the U.S. Olympic trials. A year and a half later, she is the Olympic bronze medalist at Tokyo, finishing at 2:27:46. Kenya went 1-2 — Peres Jepchirchir won gold with a 2:27:20 finish, followed by Brigid Kosgei. The women’s marathon race was moved to earlier in the morning on Saturday in Sapporo, Japan, due to heat and humidity.
“It takes 10 years to become an overnight success.” – marathoners
“Hold my beer.” – Molly Seidel #TeamUSA
— des_linden (@des_linden) August 6, 2021
Seidel is the third American woman to win a medal in Olympic marathon, joining Deena Kastor (bronze, 2004) and Joan Benoit Samuelson (gold, 1984).
The U.S. men have not had a great run in Tokyo, but the men’s 4×400-meter relay final (8:50 a.m. ET) will give Team USA a chance at redemption. In the heats, the U.S. preliminary squad of Trevor Stewart, Randolph Ross, Bryce Deadmon and Vernon Norwood finished at 2:57.77 to win their heat and automatically advance to the final. They will face Jamaica, Netherlands and Italy, who will all look to make the podium.
For the women’s 4×400, defending champion USA heads into the relay final (8:30 a.m. ET) as a clear favorite, winning its heat in 3:20.86, the fastest time of the entire prelim heats. Ten-time Olympic medalist Allyson Felix is expected to join the team for a chance to win her 11th Olympic medal.
Gold on the pitch
Defending champion Brazil will take on Spain for a shot at the gold medal at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday. Spain is coming off a 1-0 semifinal victory over Japan, while Brazil beat Mexico 4-1. In 2016, Brazil won the gold medal in a penalty shootout against Germany.
USA nears three-peat
Team USA has the chance to win three straight Olympic gold medals in women’s water polo when it takes on Spain at 3:30 a.m. ET. The U.S. topped Group B, then beat Canada in the quarterfinals and the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) in the semifinals. Spain boasts of a similar path, finishing at the top of Group A and beating China and Hungary en route to the final.
Does gold run in the family?
USA high jump star Vashti Cunningham, the 23-year-old daughter of former Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings star Randall Cunningham, is positioned to be a medal contender when the women’s high jump final begins (6:35 a.m. ET). Her 1.95-meter jump in the prelim round automatically qualified her for the finals. She finished first at U.S. Olympic trials in June, and the month before that, she set a personal record with a jump of 6 feet, 7½ inches.