W2W4 on Saturday in Rio: Hope and Venus play

Saturday is the first full day of competition at the Rio Olympics, and the first 12 gold medals will be awarded. Here are some of the highlights:

Heats begin at noon ET: Four swimming finals will be awarded. And the United States’ Katie Ledecky’s first swim of these Games is expected to be in the prelims of the 4x100m freestyle relay. She would win a medal if the U.S. finishes in the top three Saturday night.

4 p.m. ET: The top-ranked U.S. women’s team faces third-ranked France in the second game of the group stage. The winner will likely advance to the quarterfinals, but winning the group will provide an easier knockout path. Assuming she plays, Hope Solo will the first keeper in soccer history — female or male — to play 200 international games.

6 p.m. ET: The U.S. men’s team opens against China. The U.S. has won the last two gold medals and is on a 68-game win streak since the 2006 World Championships. Carmelo Anthony will tie a team record by playing in his 24th Olympic game, and he needs 18 points to pass Michael Jordan for third on the team’s Olympic scoring list.


Race begins at 8:30 p.m. ET: The men’s road race is one of the first medal events on Saturday, and the competition will be familiar for those with Tour de France memories dancing in their heads. Great Britain’s Chris Froome, who last month won his third Tour title in the past four years, will try to do what fellow Brit Bradley Wiggins did four years ago in London — win both the yellow jersey and gold medal in the same year. The course is grueling, and a climber’s dream. Froome’s biggest competition will come from Vincenzo Nibali and Alejandro Valverde.

Begins at 9:30 a.m. ET: The U.S. men’s team looks to redeem a disappointing team finish four years ago in London, as qualifying begins Saturday. They will compete in the second of three subdivisions (1:30 p.m. ET at Rio Olympic Arena), and the five team members are Chris Brooks, Jacob Dalton, Danell Leyva, Sam Mikulak and Alex Naddour. Leyva was called up after John Orozco withdrew last month with an ACL injury.

And finally …

Will Venus Williams’ successful 2016 continue in Rio? Venus, who is tied with sister Serena for the most Olympic gold medals with four, takes on Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens in the opening round (5:45 p.m. ET). Madison Keys takes on Danka Kovinic (11 a.m. ET), while one of the biggest matchups of the day comes between Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard and Team USA’s Sloane Stephens. Jack Sock is the lone American on the schedule in the men’s draw.

For a complete list of the day’s events, go here.



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