Bolt eyes ‘triple-triple’, Maracana hosts women’s final


Rio de Janeiro: Usain Bolt’s final leg of his ‘triple triple’ quest on his Olympic farewell is the undoubted show-stopping moment at Rio 2016 on Friday.

The Jamaican superstar’s 200m win on Thursday on top of his 100m success last weekend has left him on the doorstep of a historic clean sweep of sprint titles from the last three Olympics.

At the Olympic stadium, the American women’s 4x100m relay team are out to make the most of their reprieve in the heats after near disqualification following a baton blunder.

Jamaica were second fastest into the final behind the US quartet but will be bolstered by the return of 100m and 200m champion Elaine Thompson, who sat out the heats.

Ethiopian Almaz Ayana seeks to add the women’s 5,000m to her world-record success in the 10,000m.

In women’s pole vault, Jenn Suhr is hoping a mystery virus last weekend won’t compromise her title defence.

The men’s 50km walk gets Friday’s 22-gold medal programme off to a brisk start.

With Italy’s Beijing 2008 winner Alex Schwazer serving an eight-year drugs ban one to watch is Jared Tallent.

The Australian took silver in 50km and bronze in 20km in 2008, was belatedly awarded a 2012 London Olympics 50km walk gold medal last month in the wake of a Russian doping case.

There are also golds in women’s 20km walk and men’s hammer.

In badminton, Malaysian world number one Lee Chong Wei is out to avenge two heartbreaking Olympic final defeats to arch-nemesis Lin Dan of China in the men’s semi-finals.

In the women’s final, Spanish badminton world number one Carolina Marin faces ace Indian shuttler P. V. Sindhu.

India, population 1.25 billion, has a meagre bronze medal to show for its efforts and with only three days of competition left Sindhu has the hopes of a vast nation on her shoulders to come up trumps.

In the pool, the United States meet Italy in the women’s water polo final.

Russia’s synchronised swimmers are the hot favourites in the teams free routine final to continue the country’s total stranglehold on the sport stretching back to Sydney 2000.

Germany are seeking to make history by winning both football finals, with the women’s team playing Sweden at the mythic Maracana at 1730 local time (2030 GMT).

It was at the Rio stadium two years ago that Germany clinched the World Cup, and the men’s team at the 2016 Games face hosts Brazil 24 hours later.

While neither team in Thursday’s final has won an Olympic gold medal, Sweden’s coach Pia Sundhage is a two-time Olympian having coached the United States to win in 2008 and 2012.

Women’s modern pentathlon concludes in Deodoro.

After day one, Poland’s Oktawia Nowacka leads from Beijing 2008 champion Lena Schoneborn with defending titleholder Laura Asadauskaite placed 11th.

In the women’s hockey final Britain are standing in the way of the Netherlands’ third consecutive Olympic title.

The British team features wife and wife Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh who tied the knot in 2013 and are believed to be the first married gay couple to compete at an Olympics.

Equestrian wraps up at Deodoro with individual jumping gold and Swiss rider Steve Guerdat defending his London 2012 crown.

There are also gold medal finals in BMX cycling, wrestling, boxing and taekwondo.