By Matthew Kitchen, NBC Olympics
Bolt aims to win double gold, American women’s teams fight for gold on the soccer pitch and in pool, and Shields fights for Olympic history in women’s boxing. Here’s what we’re watching on Day 13.
Women’s Soccer – The U.S. women won an instant classic against Canada Monday and now head toward a gold medal match against Japan, a team that dashed their hopes in the World Cup final last summer. America’s top goal scorer Abby Wambach leads the team and Alex Morgan, a year older and wiser, continues to be the rising star of the team.
Men’s 200m – Usain Bolt is hoping to become the first man in history to double the double, that is: win gold in the 100m and 200m. He’ll again face strong countryman Yohan Blake, who surprised Bolt to win the Jamaican Trials in July. Warren Weir could make it a clean sweep for Jamaica, but American Wallace Spearmon will fight to make the podium.
Men’s Decathlon – American Ashton Eaton, who broke the decathlon world record in June at U.S. Trials, ran the fastest 100m in Olympic decathlon history to lead the pack through five events. Two-time world champ Trey Hardee in fifth but only 15 points out of the medals as the men take on the 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, and 1500m.
Women’s Water Polo Final – The U.S. women have medaled in three straight Olympics, but are yet to strike gold on the sport’s biggest stage. Leading goal scorer, Maggie Steffens, hopes to change that with the help of goaltender Betsey Armstrong. The U.S. played Spain to a 9-9 draw in group play and Thursday’s final looks to be another battle.
Women’s Boxing – Claressa Shields aims to win the first Olympic middleweight gold in women’s boxing history Thursday when she faces off in the squared circle against Russian Nadezda Torlopova. Shields destroyed her semis opponent, Marina Volnova, 29-15 and hospe to be a shining light for an otherwise dismal performance from USA Boxing.
Men’s 800m Final – If you haven’t heard of David Rudisha, grab a seat for the men’s 800m. He’s the surest thing to a lock as there is in these Olympics, and we’re not sure if anyone will be within shouting distance when he crosses the finish line Thursday night. American Nick Symmonds needs to run a perfect race for bronze, and to win Paris Hilton’s heart.