RIO DE JANEIRO – For a number of athletes and teams, the mantra of the Olympics has been ‘survive and advance.’
For host Brazil, that applied to the men’s soccer team, which finally earned a win—scoring its first goals of the tournament in the process—to avoid elimination with a 4-0 win over Denmark on Wednesday.
The United States also avoided its own troubles in men’s basketball, coming from behind to beat Australia 98–88. U.S. boxer Nico Hernandez made his way to the semifinals of the men’s light fly division, while light welterweight Gary Russell moved on to the round of 16, with both making their way toward medals in their respective weight classes.
The United States added five medals to bring their total count to 11 gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze to remain atop the medal table, nine total ahead of China.
Here’s what to look out for on Thursday, Aug. 11:
What to watch
Kayla Harrison out to make history (Judo begins at 10:00 a.m., NBCSN)
In 2012, Kayla Harrison took gold in the women’s 78kg, becoming the second American woman to medal in Olympic judo, following Ronda Rousey’s lead. Now, Harrison looks to become the U.S.’s first woman to take home multiple medals in the sport.
Chinese table tennis show for the men? (Begins at 10:00 a.m., USA)
China’s Ding Ning won gold in women’s table tennis on Wednesday and it is up to the men’s side to win a third straight gold medal. Four remaining athletes face off in a pair of morning semifinals, with medal matches happening in the evening. Reigning Olympic champion Zhang Jike could become the first man in history to repeat.
Men’s rugby medals to be awarded for the first time in 92 years (Begins at 2:30 p.m. medal round 5:30 p.m. NBCSN)
Fiji, Japan, Great Britain and South Africa remain in the hunt in rugby sevens’ return to the Olympic program. The semifinals will be held at 1:30 and 2 p.m. before the medal matches take place at 5:30 (bronze) and 6 p.m. (gold). Fiji has never won an Olympic medal of any kind but is closing in—could it be gold?
Simone Biles will wow in the women’s all-around final (Begins at 4 p.m., airs on NBC at 8 p.m.)
Simone Biles is already an Olympic gold medalist in 2016 after leading the “Final Five” to the all-around title. Now she has her sights set on an individual gold as a heavy favorite, just four years after teammate Gabby Douglas won it all in London. Aly Raisman could give the U.S. its first finish atop the podium since Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson took gold and silver in 2008.
Final 200m IM battle between Lochte and Phelps (Begins at 10 p.m., NBC)
As we all believe this to be Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte’s final Olympics, they will go head-to-head for medals one last time in the 200-meter individual medley. Phelps has won the last three golds in the event while Lochte has settled for silver in two of those races.
Tweets of the day
The Brazil vs. Argentina soccer rivalry is no joke and it also translates over into rugby sevens.
Braz fans at Arg-Bra: "break him", "you're dead", "kick him in the head", " USA, USA". Rio para não chorar.— Christopher Gaffney (@geostadia) August 10, 2016
Can’t-miss podcast today
If you have not subscribed to the Sports Illustrated at the Games podcast, you’re missing out on some great analysis from Mitch Goldich and Alex Abnos on all things Olympics.
Still need help finding what to watch on what channel? Here’s Richard Deitsch’s comprehensive day-to-day guide.
Recommended reads and videos from the SI staff
• In most of my gymnastics recaps and previews this week, I‘ve called Kohei Uchimura the G.O.A.T. The men’s individual all-around final sealed the deal and Brian Cazenueve was there for it.
• Carmelo Anthony was the hero of the U.S. men’s basketball team’s comeback win over Australia. Ben Eagle was on site with the rapid-fire analysis of the close victory that could be re-visited in the gold medal game.
• Lee Feiner teamed up with Tim Layden to produce this wonderful video on Michael Phelps and the building of his legacy.
• You’ve seen the weird bruising and wondered. Now here’s the explanation behind Michael Phelps and the cupping therapy that he’s been using.
• Michael Rosenberg on why golf does not belong in the Olympics.
Athletes to root for
USA men’s volleyball needs a big performance vs. Brazil (Begins at 10:30 p.m.)
The United States men are in a big hole with no points and only three matches remaining in group play. Italy, Canada, Brazil and France are ahead in the standings, and only four teams will advance to the quarterfinals. A comeback will need to start against Brazil.