The evening atmosphere on Copacabana Beach has been electric for beach volleyball and Wednesday promises to be wildest night at the venue as the Brazilian team of Agatha and Barbara are one win away from winning gold on home soil. In a thrilling match on Tuesday night, the Brazilians defeated the American team of Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross, a loss that ended Walsh Jennings’s streak of three consecutive gold medals in beach volleyball.
In order to win the gold, the Brazilians will have to take out fifth-seeded Germans Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst, who upset Brazilian favorites Larissa and Talita to advance to the final. (Given the men’s World Cup result between Germany and Brazil, all Germany-Brazil matches take on added meaning.) Agatha and Barbara are the defending world champions and will be favored. Germany has never won a women’s beach volleyball medal of any color. It is the last event of the evening, scheduled to begin at 10:59 p.m. ET. Medals will also be awarded in badminton, boxing, equestrian, sailing, taekwondo, track and field and wrestling.
What to watch (all times in Eastern Standard Time)
• The women own the track tonight with finals in the long jump (the first medal of the night), the women’s 200 and women’s 100m hurdles. The women’s 200 features Americans Tori Bowie, who took silver in the 100, and Deajah Stevens. The current world champion and favorite in the race is Dafne Schippers of The Netherlands. The 200 should go off around 9:30 p.m. ET.
Americans Kristi Castlin and Brianna Rollins are medal favorites in the 100m hurdles (9:55 p.m.) while Brittney Reese of the U.S. can become the first woman ever to repeat as champion in the long jump. She took gold in London. Other track events in the evening session feature the men’s 200 semifinals (Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin).
• Women’s golf returns to the Olympic program for the first time since 1900 with Round One of the competition. Play begins at 6:30 a.m. ET on The Golf Channel. New Zealand’s Lydia Ko is the favorite. Stacy Lewis, Gerina Piller, and Lexi Thompson compete for the U.S.
• American Ashton Eaton, the defending gold medalist in the decathlon, begins his attempt to repeat as champion for the first time since Great Britain’s Daley Thompson won in 1980 and 1984. The first event is the 100 meters (starts at 8:38 a.m.).
• Kenya has won the last eight men’s steeplechase Olympic races. The final starts at 10:55 a.m. Evan Jager is the U.S.’s best chance at a medal.
• Women’s water polo semifinals at the Olympics Aquatic Center features Russia-Italy (11:20 a.m.) and U.S.-Hungary (3:30 p.m.).
• The Brazilian men’s soccer team meets Honduras at noon in a semifinal that will be watched by millions in-country. Nigeria and Germany play in the other semifinal (3:00 p.m.).
• The undefeated United States men’s basketball team opens elimination round play against Argentina (5:45 p.m. Eastern)
Writes SI’s Alex Wolff: “U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski suits up a team featuring only two players, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant, with prior Olympic experience. High expectations for the U.S. in Olympic tournaments are partly the result of Dream Team nostalgia dating back to 1992, and partly the result of no other roster being composed entirely of NBA players. Thus the U.S. can expect challenges from no fewer than five or six teams—the three that threw those scares at the Americans during group play, plus several that survived insanely balanced Group B.”
• Men’s Volleyball quarterfinals features Canada-Russia, United States-Poland, Italy-Iran and Brazil-Argentina. The U.S. plays at 1:00 p.m.
• Japan’s Kaori Icho could become the first wrestler to win four straight gold medals. She wrestles today in the 58kg (128 pounds) competition.
• The 2012 Olympic champion in the women’s boxing 75 kg category—Flint’s Claressa Shields—debuts in women's middleweight quarterfinals at 1:3o p.m.
• The women’s bronze medal match in beach volleyball begins at 9:00 p.m. ET.
• Gymnastics gala: One last chance to see the medal-winning Olympic gymnasts as part of a non-judged gala performance. Simone Biles and Aly Raisman headline for the U.S.
Numbers of note
50: Number of medals won by Britain as of Tuesday night, making it the most successful overseas Olympics for Team GB.
Pieces of note
• From Toronto Star columnist Bruce Arthur: A dead man, and an embrace.
• From Reuters: Our best 50 photos from the Rio Olympics.
• From Golf.com: Women's Golf Takes Center Stage in Rio.
• SI’s Tim Layden examines Shaunae Miller's golden dive that won her the 400 over Allyson Felix.
• From The Washington Post writer Rick Maase: They were strangers at the starting line. Less than 20 minutes later, they were eternally linked.
See Tuesday's Olympic television listings below for the afternoon and evening below, and be sure to check out SI.com’s comprehensive coverage of Rio 2016.
Note: Not all events listed below are live, but you can watch every Olympic event live on NBCOlympics.com.
All times Eastern.
Golf: Women’s first round – Golf Channel (through 3 p.m.)
Canoe/Kayak: Flatwater qualifying heats – NBCSN
Track and Field: Men’s steeplechase, men’s decathlon – NBCSN
Badminton: Men’s singles quarterfinals – USA Network
Track and Field: Men’s decathlon, men’s steeplechase – NBC
Equestrian – Team jumping final – NBC
Gymnastics – Exhibition gala – NBC
Basketball – Men’s quarterfinal, Australia vs. Lithuania - USA Network
Field hockey: Women’s semifinal, Netherlands vs. Germany – MSNBC
Water Polo: Women’s semifinal, Russia vs. Italy – USA Network (11:45 a.m.)
Soccer: Men’s semifinal, Brazil vs. Honduras – NBCSN, Telemundo
Volleyball: Men’s quarterfinal, USA vs. Poland – NBC
Wrestling: Women’s qualifiers (48kg, 58kg, 69kg) – MSNBC
Handball: Men’s quarterfinal, Germany vs. Qatar – MSNBC
Basketball: Men’s quarterfinal, Spain vs. France – USA Network (1:30 p.m.)
Cycling: BMX seeding runs – NBCSN
Gymnastics: Exhibition Gala – MSNBC
Boxing – Telemundo
Canoe/Kayak: Flatwater qualifiers, semifinals – NBC
Water polo: Women’s semifinal, USA vs. Hungary – NBC
Gymnastics: Exhibition gala – NBC
Soccer: Nigeria vs. Germany – NBCSN, Telemundo
Badminton: Mixed doubles final – USA Network (3:15)
Table tennis: Men’s bronze medal match – USA Network (3:15)
Taekwondo: Men’s and women’s flyweight quarterfinals, semifinals – USA Network (3:15)
Handball: Men’s quarterfinal, Denmark vs. Slovenia – MSNBC (3:30 p.m.)
Sailing: Men’s and women’s 470 boat medal round races – MSNBC (3:30 p.m.)
Volleyball: Men’s quarterfinal, Italy vs. Iran – CNBC
Field hockey: Women’s semifinal, New Zealand vs. Great Britain – CNBC
Basketball: Men’s quarterfinal, USA vs. Argentina – NBCSN (5:15 p.m.)
Gymnastics: Gala performances – NBCSN
Wrestling: Women’s freestyle medal rounds (48kg, 58 kg, 69kg) – NBCSN
Boxing: Men’s welterweight final, women’s lightweight semifinal – NBCSN
Track and Field: Women’s long jump, women’s 200 meters, women’s 100 meter hurdles, men’s 200 meter semifinals, men’s decathlon (400M) – NBC
Beach volleyball: Women’s final – NBC
Diving: Women’s platform, qualifying rounds – NBC
Beach volleyball: Women’s bronze medal match – NBCSN
Basketball: Men’s quarterfinal, Croatia vs. Serbia – NBCSN, Olympic basketball channel
Table tennis: Men’s team final – NBCSN
Taekwondo: Men’s, women’s flyweight finals