By Matthew Kitchen, NBC Olympics
USA Hoops resparks their rivalry with Argentina, a field hockey legend looks for her first gold, and Alex Meyer tries to win one for his late training partner in open water. Here’s what we’re watching on Day 14.
Men’s basketball – After six tough quarters against Argentina, the U.S. finally figured out the Athens gold medalists in Monday’s second half, outscoring them by 28 in the last two quarters. Facundo Campazzo reinvigorated the rivalry with a cheap shot to the groin of Carmelo Anthony, so don’t expect the U.S. to take their foot off the gas in this matchup.
Women’s field hockey – Argentine captain Luciana Aymar is a seven-time World Player of the Year and a winner of five Champion’s Cups and two World Cups, but she’s never won Olympic gold. At 34, this is her final shot. Aymar will lead her team against the Beijing gold medalists from the Netherlands, who beat New Zealand to advance to the gold medal game.
Men’s 4x400m Relay – Save for the boycotted 1980 Games, the U.S. hasn’t lost this race since ’76. They’ll look to take their eighth gold in a row Friday night, but it’ll be a lot tougher without open 400m gold medalists Jeremy Wariner and LaShawn Merritt, who both bowed out with hamstrings injuries. The B-squad should still medal, but it won’t likely be gold.
Men’s open water swim – American Haley Anderson took silver in the women’s open water swim Thursday and now it’s time for the men to dive in to Hyde Park’s Serpentine on Friday. Alex Meyer is top contender and is swimming with a double purpose: winning gold for his country and honoring his late friend Fran Crippen, who died during a race in 2010.
BMX Finals – Thursday’s prelims were highlighted by some of the nastiest crashes we’ve seen in Olympic BMX, but those who lived to tell the tale will go at it again Friday for the title. Connor Fields won his quarterfinals race going away and could bring home the second cycling gold of London for Team USA after Kristin Armstrong won the road time trial.