- The Washington Times - Friday, August 8, 2008

Day by Day highlights

All times Eastern

FRIDAY

Opening ceremonies (8 a.m.). The games officially begin at Aug. 8, 2008 at 8:08 p.m. Beijing time.

SATURDAY

Men’s gymnastics: Opening day of qualifying (12:01 a.m.). The United States gets the early draw (noon Beijing time). The team includes Burke’s Justin Spring, who overcame several injuries to make his first Olympic team. Swimming: 400 individual medley heats (6:30 a.m.). Michael Phelps and Katie Hoff start their busy weeks, one they hope ends with a satchel of gold medals, in the event they both set the world record in last month in Omaha.

SUNDAY

Swimming, Part I: The first session of finals. The men’s 400 IM and 400 freestyle and the women’s 400 IM and 4x100 free relay. Phelps and Hoff are favorites to win their first golds of the competition in the IMs. (10 p.m. Saturday on the East Coast). Women’s gymnastics: First day of qualifying. The U.S. starts at 1:15 a.m. Women’s field hockey: Argentina vs. USA (6:30 a.m.). The U.S. is in the Olympics for the first time since 1996. Swimming, Part II: Women’s 400 freestyle heats (6:30 a.m.). Great Falls’ Kate Ziegler makes her Olympic debut in the first of two events she’ll swim. Hoff is the favorite here, too. Men’s basketball: USA vs. China (10:15 a.m.). The Americans, a dismal fourth in Athens, begin their quest for gold against the home team and center Yao Ming. The U.S. will play five pool-play games.

MONDAY

Swimming: (10 p.m. Sunday on the East Coast). Finals in the women’s 400 freestyle, 100 butterfly and men’s 100 breaststroke and 4x100 free relay. Women’s basketball: USA vs. China (8 a.m.). A day after the men’s teams duel, the women open Olympic play. The Americans have won the last three gold medals, going a combined 23-0. A reserve on the team is Alexandria’s Kara Lawson.

TUESDAY

Men’s gymnastics: (10 p.m. Monday on the East Coast). The team finals. China is the favorite and the United States would need a huge performance from Paul Hamm to reach the medal stand. Swimming: (10 p.m. Monday on the East Coast). Finals in the men’s 200 free and 100 back and women’s finals in the 100 back and 100 breast. Softball: USA vs. Venezuela (12:01 a.m.). This is the last softball competition until at least 2016 and the U.S. is expected to face stiffer competition that the Athens walk in the park. Boxing: Bantamweight first round (1:30 a.m. or 7 a.m.). Gary Russell Jr., of Capitol Heights makes his first trip into an Olympic ring.

WEDNESDAY

Women’s gymnastics (10:15 p.m. Tuesday on the East Coast). Team finals. This is a three-team race between China, Romania and the United States. Swimming: (10 p.m. Tuesday on the East Coast). Finals in 200 butterfly, 4x200 free relay and women’s 200 free and 200 IM. Baseball: USA vs. Korea (6 a.m.). Like softball, the sport of baseball is off the Olympic docket in 2012. The Americans failed to make the Athens Games. Men’s soccer: USA vs. Nigeria (5 a.m.). The soccer competition is all over China, but the Americans play a rare preliminary game in Beijing.

THURSDAY

Swimming, Part I (10 p.m. Wednesday on the East Coast). Finals in the men’s 100 free and 200 breaststroke and women’s 200 fly and 4x200 free relay. Men’s gymnastics (11:15 p.m. Wednesday on the East Coast). The individual all-around final. Paul Hamm won this event in 2004. This year’s favorite is China’s Yang Wei. Tennis: Men’s doubles semifinals (4 a.m.). Bob and Mike Bryan are the gold medal favorites for the U.S. They could face a team here that includes Roger Federer. Swimming, Part II: Women’s 800 freestyle heats. (6:30 a.m.). This is Ziegler’s signature event. Even though she lost to Hoff at Trials, most projections have Ziegler claiming the gold.

FRIDAY, AUG. 15

Track and field (9 p.m. Thursday on the East Coast): National Stadium opens for business with Tyson Gay, Usain Bolt and Walter Dix in the preliminary round of the 100 meters. Swimming, Part I (10 p.m. Thursday on the East Coast): Finals in the men’s 200 back and 200 IM and women’s 100 free and 200 breaststroke. Women’s gymnastics: All-around final (11:15 p.m. Thursday on the East Coast). Shawn Johnson has lost only one all-around meet at the senior international level – to teammate Nastia Liukin. Johnson is the gold medal favorite here. Softball: USA vs. Japan (12:01 a.m.). No team has given the United States more trouble in the last four years than Japan. Swimming, Part II (6:30 a.m.): Women’s 50 freestyle heats. Dara Torres, 41, competes in her only Olympic event.

SATURDAY, AUG. 16

Swimming (10 p.m. Friday on the East Coast): Women’s 800 freestyle final. Janet Evans’ world record has stood for 19 years and isn’t likely to be broken, but Ziegler and Hoff should vie for the gold. Track and field: Men’s 100 meter semifinals, final (7 a.m.). NBC couldn’t coax the IOC to get the “World’s Fastest Man” race into prime time? Men’s basketball: Spain vs. USA (10:15 a.m.). The Americans continue pool play against the team most project as its biggest obstacle toward a gold medal.

SUNDAY, AUG. 17

Swimming (10 p.m. Saturday on the East Coast). Finals in the men’s 4x100 medley relay and the women’s 50 free and 4x100 medley relay. Men’s tennis: Gold medal match (4 a.m.). Here’s hoping it’s Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal. Gymnastics: Event finals (6 a.m.). Individual medals handed out in men’s floor and pommel horse and women’s floor and vault. Track and field: Event finals (7 a.m.). The women’s 100 meter semifinals and final.

MONDAY, AUG. 18

Gymnastics: Event finals (6 a.m.). Finals in men’s rings and vault and women’s uneven bars. Boxing: Bantamweight quarterfinals (7 a.m.). Russell should advance to at least this point. Track and field: Men’s 110 meter hurdles opening round (9 p.m. Sunday on the East Coast). Former Howard University athlete David Oliver won the Olympic Trials.

TUESDAY, AUG. 19

Gymnastics: Event finals (6 a.m.). This event wraps up with finals in the men’s parallel bars and horizontal bars (expect Spring to be in both events) and the women’s balance beam. Men’s soccer: Semifinal matches (6 a.m., 9 a.m.). Problem is, they’re in Shanghai.

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 20

BMX: The cycling sport makes its debut with preliminary action (9 p.m. Tuesday on the East Coast). Men’s basketball: Quarterfinal round. If the USA wins Pool B, they’ll play the fourth place team in that pool at a time to be announced … undoubtedly decided by NBC.

THURSDAY, AUG. 21

BMX: Final three rounds. The first medals in this sport are handed out. The USA could sweep the men’s race. (9 p.m. Wednesday on the East Coast). Softball: Gold medal game (6:30 a.m.). Track and field: 400 meter final (7 a.m.). It will probably be defending gold medalist Jeremy Wariner against Suffolk’s LaShawn Merritt. Diving: Women’s 10 meter platform final (8 a.m.). Three-time Olympian Laura Wilkinson hopes to conclude her final Games with a second gold medal. Modern pentathlon: (All day). It’s a 12-hour, one-day event that includes shooting and fencing, swimming, riding and running. At three different venues. Women’s soccer: Gold medal match (9 a.m.).

FRIDAY, AUG. 22

Boxing: Bantamweight semifinals (7 a.m.). If Russell gets to the point, he’s guaranteed a medal. Track and field: 4x100 relay finals (7 a.m.). The two most exciting relay races in the world. Men’s basketball: Semifinals (8 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.).

SATURDAY, AUG. 23

Men’s soccer: Gold medal match (12:01 a.m.). Baseball: Gold medal game (6 a.m.). Track and field: Seven event finals (7 a.m.). Table tennis: Men’s gold medal and bronze medal matches (7:30 a.m.). Women’s basketball: Gold medal game (10 a.m.).

SUNDAY, AUG. 24

Bantamweight: Gold medal match (Between 1:30 and 5 a.m.). Men’s basketball: Gold medal game (2:30 a.m.).

— Ryan O’Halloran

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