Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Day 12 Preview: BMX Cycling and Open Water Swimming Makes Debut at Olympics

Although we're approximately 3/4 of the way done with the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, several sports have yet to begin competition. BMX Cycling finally makes its long awaited debut in the Olympic program while the newly-added Open Water swimming discipline tests the endurance of long-distance swimmers. The first medals are also awarded in synchronized swimming and taekwondo.

- Track and Field: Men's 200m Final (10:10AM ET)
Jamaica's Usain Bolt has looked strong throughout the entire year and has peaked in time to win the 100m gold medal and claim the title as fastest man on Earth. Today he goes for the elusive track double when he competes in the 200m final. No athlete has ever completed the elusive double since Carl Lewis in 1984 in Los Angeles. Bolt has several huge threats in his bid to win another gold medal, including Americans Walter Dix and Shawn Crawford.

- Synchronized Swimming: Duet Free Routine (3AM ET)
Russia has less than a half-point lead over Spain going into today's free routine final when the first medals are awarded in synchronized swimming at the Water Cube. Anastasia Davydova and Anastasia Ermakova are in the lead but will have to stay perfect if they want to win this battle of water ballets. Japan and China, virtually tied after the technical routines, will battle for a spot on the podium as well.

- Men's Volleyball Quarterfinals: China vs. Brazil (8AM ET), United States vs. Serbia (10AM ET)
Spots in the semifinals are decided when the top volleyball teams in the world faceoff in the quarterfinal round. The Americans are facing Serbia in a rematch of the World League Final this year, won by the United States in four sets, 26-24, 23-25, 25-23, 25-22. That win clinched the United States its first World League title ever after Serbia defeated them in the first match of the World League finals tournament. With the head-to-head matchup even, this one may be the most important of all. In other team sports, quarterfinals will also be held in men's water polo, men's handball and men's basketball. Semifinals will be held in softball and men's beach volleyball.

CHECK OUT NOW Sports later for a full recap of the day's competition and any important updates and breaking news.

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