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5 Olympic events to watch this weekend

Gymnastics, basketball, track and field: Team USA has a promising weekend you won’t want to miss

The Olympic rings displayed at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo.
People pose for photo with the Olympics rings display at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo, Thursday, July 8, 2021. It will be a busy weekend of competition in Tokyo.
Koji Sasahara, Associated Press

The Tokyo Olympics are only midway through. Already, Team USA has won 41 medals, including 14 gold, 16 silver and 11 bronze, per a medal tracker from Olympics.com. The U.S. is ranked third in gold medals and first in total medals.

And Team USA is favored to win multiple events coming up this weekend. Here are the weekend’s top events you won’t want to miss.

On Saturday ...

Swimming finals: men’s and women’s 4x100 medley relay

The Tokyo Olympics are the first Games since 2000 that Michael Phelps is not swimming for Team USA. Other swimmers have risen to the challenge, reported ESPN.

  • Both the men’s and women’s teams for the 4x100 medley relay qualified for the finals, per NBC.

The women’s team finished second in qualification by only one second. The men’s team did not perform to its usual standard. They qualified by only 0.34 seconds, per NBC. Historically, Team USA has won the men’s medley relay every year since the event debuted in 1960. This year, they compete for their 10th consecutive gold medal.

  • The swimming finals will begin at 7:30 p.m. MT on Saturday, per CBS Sports.

Men’s basketball: the USA vs. the Czech Republic

Going into the Games, the USA men’s basketball team has been favored to win gold. After losing to France by seven points and then beating Iran by 54 points, the basketball team — led by Kevin Durant — will be back on the court Saturday morning to play against the Czech Republic, per ESPN.

  • The USA vs. Czech Republic game will start at 6 a.m. MT, per CBS Sports.

Track and field finals: 4x400 mixed relay and women’s 100 meters

Both of these events have involved quite a bit of controversy for Team USA.

Before the Games began, Sha’Carri Richardson — who was a contender for gold in the women’s 100-meter race — was disqualified after testing positive for THC, a chemical compound in marijuana, reported the Deseret News.

  • Three Americans — Teahna Daniels, Javianne Oliver and Jenna Prandini — have all qualified for Saturday’s semifinals in the women’s 100-meter race, per NBC Sports.
  • The event semifinals will take place at 4:15 a.m. MT with the finals at 6:50 a.m. MT, per NBC Sports.

As for the 4x400 mixed relay, an event making its Olympic debut, Team USA currently holds the world record and has been favored to win gold. However, the team was disqualified for an illegal pass but was reinstated shortly after, per ESPN.

  • The mixed 4x400 relay team will compete in the finals — hopefully without a similar incident, per ESPN.

And then on Sunday ...

Women’s gymnastics finals: vault and bars

So far in the Games, the women’s gymnastics events have held many surprises with Simone Biles withdrawing from earlier events and Team USA’s Suni Lee bringing home gold in the individual all-around, per the Deseret News.

  • The gymnasts will be back on Sunday with the event finals for vault and bars, per CBS Sports.

Friday, Biles withdrew from the vault and bars finals but may choose to compete in the floor or beam finals. Instead, MyKayla Skinner will replace Biles in the vault final, per the Deseret News.

Track and field finals: men’s 100 meters and men’s high jump, long jump

For the first time since the 2004 Athens Games, Usain Bolt is not competing at the Olympics. His absence has left sprinters vying for the podium — and Team USA has the potential to claim gold and silver, per NPR.

  • Americans Trayvon Bromell and Ronnie Baker are both in the running for claiming the title of “world’s fastest man,” per NPR.
  • The men’s 100-meter final will begin at 4:10 a.m. MT, per CBS Sports.

Also of note, JuVaughn Harrison will compete in both the men’s high jump — at 4:10 a.m. MT — and the men’s long jump — at 7:20 p.m. MT, per NPR. He is the first man to represent the U.S. in both events at the Olympics since 1912.