Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Day 6 PREVIEW: Yang Wei Searches for Individual Glory in Beijing

It's become routine this week that the hot medal events of each day take place in the Water Cube and the National Indoor Stadium. But for the first time since the games began, Michael Phelps is NOT the focus of today's events. He is not competing today for a medal, only racing in the men's 200 meter individual medley semifinals in this morning's session.

Instead, all eyes that are inside the Water Cube will be looking forward to the men's 100 meter freestyle final, to determine the fastest swimmer in the world (besides Phelps). And in gymnastics, the men's individual all-around final takes place, where Yang Wei could shine in front of the Chinese crowd.

- Swimming: Men's 100 meter freestyle final, 10:49PM EDT
(Live on NBC Primetime on East Coast, LIVE BLOG on NOW Sports)
NBC is probably sobbing that Michael Phelps isn't competing in the finals this morning since he's solely responsible for most of the high ratings that the network has gotten so far. But the men's 100 meter freestyle final should be explosive. The stars are out this morning as France's Alain Bernard will seek to redeem his performance from the men's 4x100 meter freestyle relay, when he was outtouched by Jason Lezak, who is in this final as well. Veteran swimmer Peter van den Hoogenband seeks his third consecutive gold medal final in this event. But all the competitiors should watch out for Eamon Sullivan of Australia, the top qualifier who holds the Olympic and world record.

It may not have Phelps, but it should be highly entertaining. Three other finals will be contested today, including the Men's 200m breaststroke, where Kosuke Kitajima looks to follow up his win in the 100m event, and the women's 200 meter butterfly, where China has a finalist with a good shot of getting gold. Lu Zige is the top qualifier, but she'll have to deal with the world record holder from Australia Jessicah Schipper.

- Gymnastics: Men's Individual All-Around Final, 11PM EDT
(LIVE ON NBC Primetime, LIVE BLOG on NOW Sports)
Yang Wei is the overwhelming favorite to take this event in front of the Chinese crowd that will assemble soon in National Indoor Stadium. He was the favorite at the last Olympics as well and held the lead heading into the final rotation. But Yang Wei fell from the high bar which allowed Paul Hamm to make his epic comeback to win gold in an unforgettable individual all-around final.

But Hamm is not in this final, instead Johnathon Horton and Alexander Artemev are the American representatives in this morning's final. And with Hamm not competing, Yang Wei's path to gold looks a lot smoother. While this final may not be as dramatic, it should still be unforgettable.

- Basketball: USA vs. Greece, 7:50AM EDT
LIVE on USA Network @ 8AM, LIVE BLOG on NOW Sports
In the last meeting between these two teams, Greece shocked the United States and the rest of the basketball world at the 2006 World Championships when they upset the Americans in the semifinals by a score of 101-95. Greece is looking to do it again here in Beijing against the heavily favored American team.

ON TV...
- Now on NBC Primetime: live beach volleyball, coming up: live swimming and gymnastics
- Starting at 2AM, USA Network will have coverage of men's tennis quarterfinals featuring James Blake, as well as coverage of the women's individual sabre event in fencing.
- Then at 8AM, coverage of USA Basketball vs. Greece (LIVE) and the women's team final in archery.
- Later at 6PM, equestrian's dressage grand prix final will be featured on Oxygen Network.

LIVE BLOG on NOW Sports:
- 10PM: Swimming Finals
- 11PM: Gymnastics - Men's Team Final
- 8AM: Men's Basketball, USA vs. Greece

All LIVE BLOGS can be read on
And remember for the latest updates on the competition going on during Day 6, come back here to NOW Sports Daily.

Thanks for letting NOW Sports be a part of your Olympc experience.

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