Olympics: “Treble-treble” in sight for Usain Bolt

Olympic fans might want to look away now as there are just three days to go at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

It’s day 14 in Brazil and another D-day for Jamaica’s Usain Bolt as the sprinting superstar goes for a third gold of the Games in the 4x100m relay.

The gold Bolt is chasing is just one of 22 on offer across a dozen events in Brazil, Friday.

Four pairs of legs are better than one

Bolt may be the fastest man in the world but sometimes even he needs a little help from his friends.

The 29-year-old has already blitzed to the 100 and 200-meter crowns and now he’s relying on his Jamaican teammates if he is to complete his collection in the 4×100-meter relay.

Jamaica are gunning for a third straight Olympic sprint relay title, which will ensure the peerless Bolt wraps up a unique “triple-triple” of all three sprint titles at three consecutive Olympics.

Bolt put his feet up for the relay heats but the quartet of Kemar Bailey-Cole, Nickel Ashmeade, Asafa Powell and Jevaughn Minzie qualified in second with a season’s best of 37.94 seconds.

The Americans went through with the fastest time of 37.65s and will pose a threat to Bolt’s ambitions, Friday.

It’s worth remembering this could be the last time the charismatic Bolt will grace an Olympic track. He says he plans to retire after the 2017 World Championships.

Elaine Thompson has the chance to get the jump on Bolt once more by winning her sprint gold just before her Jamaican teammate.

Thompson is also targeting a clean sweep of sprint titles in the women’s 4x100m relay and Jamaica is favorite for gold.

The US was originally eliminated in the heats after Allyson Felix failed to hand the baton to teammate English Gardener following a collision with another runner from Brazil.

On appeal track and field governing body, the IAAF, gave the Americans the opportunity to qualify again in a re-run, where they eventually ran faster than China’s 42.70s in the heats.

First soccer silverware

Sweden has been accused of playing cowardly, defensive football on its way to the women’s Olympic final — will it change tactics for the gold-medal match?

Sweden has come through two penalty shoot-outs to upset both USA and Brazil but that could be a dangerous tack against fellow finalists Germany at the Maracana.

Neither team came home with a medal from London 2012 but Germany, ranked second in the world, is a three-time bronze medalist.

Swede, Pia Sundhage, masterminded the USA’s golds at the last two Games but left to coach her home nation on the road to Rio.

“We are not satisfied,” she said. “We want to win.”

There will be feverish scenes at the Corinthians Arena where Brazil is going for the bronze medal against Canada.


Riding a rollercoaster circuit is what it’s all about in the Olympic BMX competition.

The exciting event reaches its conclusion Friday with the men and women’s semifinals and finals.

London 2012 gold medalist Mariana Pajon posted the fastest seeding time in the women’s event with a best time of 34.508s.

“The Brazilian fans are very warm,” said the Colombian. “We are from Latin America and we are united.”

The men’s competition is wide open after the three favorites crashed out in crushing quarterfinals.

Double Olympic gold medalist Maris Strombergs of Latvia collided with Britain’s former world champion Liam Phillips with neither going through to the semifinals. A big wipe out also ended the charge of French world champion Joris Daudet.

Australian London 2012 silver medalist Sam Willloughby was among a handful of riders to ride through cleanly on the windswept course. Whatever happens a new BMX men’s champion will be crowned, Friday.

Jolly Hockey Sticks

Expect a high-quality climax to the women’s hockey completion when the Netherlands takes on Great Britain.

The Dutch team is aiming to do a ‘Usain Bolt’ and become the first to win three consecutive Olympic titles.

Great Britain is unbeaten in Rio so far and wants to maintain that in its first Olympic final.

“That’s seven from seven wins. We want eight from eight,” said GB captain Helen Richardson-Walsh, whose wife Kate is also on the team.

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