RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — It’s day 13 of Rio 2016 and there are 23 gold medals up for grabs across 11 events.
American Ashton Eaton continues his decathlon defense as the grueling multi-discipline event reaches its conclusion.
On the backdrop of Copacabana beach, Brazilians Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt go for volleyball gold on home sands.
Bolt goes for his favorite gold
He may be famous for winning the 100m — track and field’s blue ribbon event — but it’s the 200m sprint that Bolt likes best.
The 29-year-old has also tantalizingly ramped up the drama of Thursday’s final by saying he wants to go under 19 seconds.
If he is to sprint where no man has gone before, he will need to run faster than his own world record of 19.19s which he set back in 2009.
“If I can get a good night’s rest after the semifinals, it’s possible,” Bolt promised.
Lest we forget, Bolt must win the 200m to keep his “Triple-Triple” dream alive and secure three sprint titles at three straight Games. But he won’t have to worry about Justin Gatlin Thursday, with the American failing to qualify from his semifinal. The 4x100m relay heats also take place earlier Thursday.
American Eaton flexed his sprinting muscles with a run of 10.46 seconds over 100m in the opening event of the decathlon, Wednesday.
The defending champion followed this up with a leap of 7.94m in the long jump, a distance of 14.73m in the shot-put and a height of 2.01m in the high jump before finishing the day at the head of the field thanks to a time of 46.07 seconds in the 400m.
Eaton claimed gold in his maiden Games four years ago and has gone on to dominate the event, winning two world titles and smashing his own world record with a total of 9045 points.
Is Czech great Roman Sebrle’s Olympic record of 8893 points in sight for the American as he contests the final five disciplines?
Rio’s famous Copacabana beach is no stranger to a party but expect a fiesta close to fever pitch for the men’s beach volleyball finale, Thursday.
Brazilian duo Schmidt and Cerutti go for gold against Italian pairing Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo.
In front of a feverish home crowd, the Brazilian world champions are favorites to add gold to the host nation’s tally.
“When they scream ‘Brazil it gives me goosebumps,” said Cerutti, who won silver at London 2012. “It’s the best atmosphere I’ve played in.”
Russia duo Viacheslav and Konstantin Semenov face Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of the Netherlands for the bronze.
Sibling rivalry over three sports
Will it be sibling rivalry or brotherly love at the end of the men’s triathlon?
Alistair Brownlee will have to beat little brother Jonathan if he is to repeat his feat of London 2012 and defend his Olympic crown.
The brilliant British brothers were the first siblings to share the podium in an individual event since 1908 when Jonathan collected bronze behind Alistair in London.
The Brownlees have strong medal chances, especially in the absence of chief rival Spain’s Javier Gomez who had to pull out after injuring his elbow in a training crash.
The 56 triathletes in Rio must swim for 1.5km, cycle for 40km and then run for 10km in a draining combination of speed and endurance.
Athletes must be wary of “bonking” — described as a state of severe exhaustion caused by a lack of glycogen in the muscles by the Rio 2016 website.
Ships coming in
We are sailing for the last time around Rio’s Marina da Gloria.
The skiffs will round off the competition as the men and women’s 49er classes reach their climax while better winds than those which graced Rio Wednesday will be required if the 470 sailing medal races are to be concluded.
and Blair Tuke clinched 49er gold with two races to spare and the New Zealand duo are now on an unbeaten run that started after they won silver at London 2012. Silver and bronze remain up for grabs.
There is an agonising four-way tie for the gold in the women’s FX race with Spain, Brazil, Denmark and New Zealand all in contention.
Will there be choppy waters ahead with a fight between four crews for the three medals?