Rio Olympics viewer’s guide for Thursday, Aug. 18
Thursday night is a big one at the track.
Usain Bolt's final individual race of the Games (and possibly his career) will get the headlines, but don't overlook Ashton Eaton. The world's greatest athlete will be wrapping up the decathlon minutes before Bolt races in the 200 meters, and at 28, he too might be competing in his last Olympics. Don't miss these two titans of track.
Also of note Thursday: the undefeated U.S. women's basketball team dribbles into the semifinals, women's golf opens up Round 2 and the men take to the sand for the finals of beach volleyball, and Adeline Gray seeks to become the first American woman to win gold in Olympic wrestling as the tournament begins. She is among the favorites in her 75kg weight class, which competes throughout the day from her first match at 9:16 a.m. to the finals at 5:35 in the evening.
Here are a few detailed notes on things to watch Thursday, with a full TV guide below that:
Men's 200 meters (9:30 p.m. ET, NBC)
Days after becoming the first to win three straight 100-meter golds, Bolt will also look to become the first to win three straight 200 golds. Competition could be fierce. American LaShawn Merritt ran the fastest time (19.74 seconds) in the world this year; Jamaican Yohan Blake finished second to Bolt in London and ran a speedy 20.13 in semis Wednesday; and you can't count out Canadian Andre De Grasse.
U.S. women's basketball (6 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Team USA basketball has been a dominant force in Rio, beating opponents by more than 41 points a game. They'll put their undefeated record on the line when they face France Thursday in the semifinals. The U.S. played a tighter-than-expected game with Japan in the semis, leading by as little as six points before pulling away. Also of note: Sue Bird sustained a knee injury in the win over Japan and it's not known if she'll play against France. Bird has started every game for the U.S. in the past three Olympics and compiled a 30-to-3 assist-to-turnover ratio in Rio.
Men's decathlon (8:56 p.m. ET, NBC)
Eaton looks to defend his 2012 gold medal in the final day of the decathlon. The events Thursday: 110-meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, 1500 meters. The world record holder in the event, Eaton has finished first in the decathlon in every major competition since 2012.
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 second round — Golf Channel (coverage through 3 p.m.)
Track and Field: Men’s and women’s qualifying; men’s 400-meter hurdles (final); men’s decathlon — NBCSN
Canoe/Kayak: Single and double (finals) — NBCSN
Track and Field: Men’s and women’s qualifying; men’s 400-meter hurdles (final); men’s decathlon — NBC
Triathlon: Men’s finals — USA
Badminton: Women’s doubles (finals) — USA
(11:20 a.m.) Water Polo: Men’s, Montenegro vs. Croatia — NBCSN
Wrestling: Women’s freestyle (qualifying) — NBCSN
Field Hockey: Men’s, Netherlands vs. Germany — NBCSN
Volleyball: Women’s, U.S. vs. Serbia (semifinals) — NBC
Diving: Women’s platform (semifinals) — NBC
Cycling (BMX): Men’s (quarterfinals) — NBC
Basketball: Women’s, Spain vs. Serbia (semifinals) — NBCSN
Sailing: Men’s and Women’s, 49er (finals) — MSNBC
Handball: Women’s, Netherlands vs. France (semifinals) — MSNBC
(3:30 p.m.) Water Polo: Men’s, Italy vs. Serbia — NBC
Synchronized Swimming: Team qualifying — NBC
Wrestling: Women’s freestyle (finals) — NBCSN
Taekwondo: Men’s and women’s quarterfinals and semifinals — CNBC
Modern Pentathlon: Fencing — CNBC
Basketball: Women’s, U.S. vs. France (semifinals) — NBCSN
Field Hockey: Men’s, Belgium vs. Argentina (finals) — CNBC
Beach Volleyball: Men’s, Netherlands vs. Russia (third-place match) — NBCSN
Track and Field: Finals: Men’s shot put; women’s javelin; men’s 1500-meters decathlon; women’s 400 hurdles; men’s 200 — NBC
Diving: Women’s platform (finals) — NBC
Volleyball: Women’s, China vs. Netherlands (semifinals) — NBC
Beach Volleyball: Men’s, Brazil vs. Italy (finals) — NBC
Boxing: Men’s light heavyweight (finals) — NBCSN
(9:45 p.m.) Taekwondo: Men’s and women’s, 57kg, 68kg (finals) —NBCSN