Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Day 5 PREVIEW: Phelps Poised to Make History, USA-China Rivalry Arrive in Gymnastics

Like yesterday, it will be a busy morning of competition in Beijing as finals are contested at the pool and in the gym. But unlike yesterday, the historic significance of this morning's events are much higher.

- Gymnastics: Women's Team Final,
10:30PM ET, LIVE ON NBC Primetime and LIVE BLOG on NOW Sports
In the men's team final, the United States were not expected to medal in the absence of Paul and
Morgan Hamm. But solid performances earned them a bronze medal.

In today's women's team final, the United States are one of the favorites. But like the men's final, all competitors will have to compete with the Chinese in front of their home crowd at National Indoor Stadium. The loss of Chelsie Memmel to injury will put more stress on the American team, who enters the final with the second highest qualifying scores behind China. While Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson are expected to be solid, the rest of the team must not repeat the mistakes made during qualifying.

In should be a huge showdown at National Indoor Stadium, and both China and the United States will compete head to head on the same apparatus throughout the four rotations.

- Swimming: Phelps In Position To Make History At Water Cube,
Synchronize your watches ladies and gentlemen, because at 10:21PM ET, history is expected to be made by Michael Phelps. Should the American win, he will become the best Olympian in history by winning the most career gold medals of all time. Phelps will compete in the final of the Men's 200 Butterfly and attempt to win his fourth consecutive gold medal in Beijing, and most importantly, his tenth career Olympic gold medal.

Phelps will also be competing in the men's 4x200 meter freestyle relay in the last final of the morning. Unlike the thrilling relay won by the Americans on Monday, the Americans are the heavy favorite in this event after smashing the world record in Melbourne at the world championships last year.

The women's 200 meter free and 200 meter Individual Medley finals will be contested this morning in Beijing as well.

- Cycling: Men's and Women's Individual Time Trial,
11:30PM ET (Women), 1:30AM ET (Men)
The road cyclists are back in action today for the time trial, where instead of racing against each other, it will be a race against the clock. American Kristin Armstrong is heavily favored to win the women's event while the event is wide open in the men's event. Cycling stars Fabian Cancellara, Stefan Schumacher and Cadel Evans are all contenders to win the time trial in Beijing.

ON TV...
- Gymnastics and Swimming, 10PM ET/PT on NBC (LIVE on East Coast)
The potential historic morning in Beijing can be seen tonight in primetime, broadcast live to the Eastern half of the United States.

- Men's Soccer, USA vs. Nigeria, 5AM ET Live on USA Network
After the American's draw with the Netherlands on Sunday, this game vs. Nigeria is a must win game in order for the United States to make the quarterfinals.

- Women's Water Polo, USA vs. Italy, 12 Noon on NBC Daytime
This is a matchup of the defending gold medalists from Athens (Italy) against the defending world champions (USA).

NOW Sports LIVE BLOG Schedule
10PM - Swimming: Gold Medal Finals
10:30PM - Gymnastics: Women's Team Final
5AM - Men's Soccer, Preliminaries: Nigeria vs. United States
8AM - Women's Volleyball, Preliminaries: China vs. Cuba

Live blogs can be read on our alternate website:
And remember to continually check back here at NOW Sport Daily for continuous updates on the action-packed competition of Day 5. Thanks for letting NOW Sports be a part of your Olympic experience.

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BEIJING 2008 Tentative NBC Schedule (BLOG POSTS BELOW...)