Australia's medal chances in Rio: your Olympic planner for the next two weeks

Wondering when you’ll need to tune in to watch Australia win gold over the Olympic fortnight? Look no further than Matt Cleary’s guide (all times AEST)

Saturday 6 August

09:00 The opening ceremony - Firecrackers, feathers and frolicking. So much frolicking. The big dance is Rio’s big be vinda to the world – a chance to show off and let it all hang out. And while it may be naff in parts, you should wake up and watch it over your Wheaties. Because almost everyone else will.

22:30 Men’s road race cycling – Richie Porte is listed as a 66-1 long shot but for an early snapshot of Rio, accept no substitute for the 237.5 kilometre road race.

Sunday 7 August

07:30 Women’s rugby sevens: Australia vs Fiji – In the world champions’ second hit-out (their first is against Colombia at 02:30), look for big games from co-captains Sharni Williams and Alicia Quirk, and the speedy Charlotte Caslick.

12:24 Women’s 4 x 100m freestyle final – Cate Campbell is the world’s fastest female swimmer. Her sister Bronte Campbell is the reigning world champion. The other women – Emma McKeon, Brittany Elmslie – swim the 100m freestyle for Australia. You could just about chow down on the bullion now.

Monday 8 August

12:54 Men’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay final – In April’s Australian trials, James “The Missile” Magnusson finished behind three members of this team – Kyle Chalmers, James Roberts and Cameron “The Professor” McEvoy. The team doesn’t have a nickname yet. You’d think they would.

Tuesday 9 August

08:00 Rugby sevens: women’s gold medal match – Will it be gold for the Aussies? Will they change how Australians see women’s sport? They’re fast and they’re fit and kids want to be them. Why not them?

11:38 Mens 100m backstroke final – Mitch Larkin is the world’s third-ranked backstroker in the 100m. He’s top-ranked in the 200m. See him scream down the outside lanes here.

Wednesday 10 August

23:22 Rowing: men’s quad. sculls final A – Karsten Fosterling, Alexander Belongogoff, James McRae and Cameron Girdlestone have won at two recent world cup regattas. They have never been fitter. No reason why not them, either.

Thursday 11 August

12:03 Men’s 100m freestyle final – Cameron McEvoy is hot favourite here. He swims like Aquaman in a hurry.

Friday 12 August

11:26 Mens 200m backstroke final – Mitch Larkin is the world’s No1-ranked backstroker over four hot laps. You’d suggest he qualifies in the middle lanes here.

12:18 Women’s 100m freestyle final – Cate Campbell owns the 100m world record. Sister Bronte Campbell is the world champion. It will have to be a super-fast woman who knocks either one off the top of the podium in this one.

Rugby players
Ellia Green and Amy Turner are members of the Australian women’s rugby sevens team who’ll push for gold in Rio. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

Saturday 13 August

07:42 Track cycling: mens team pursuit final – Makes for good television, the pursuit. The front riders whip up the slope, all speed and sluicing synchronicity. And each lap is an update of who’s catching who. They’ll all be chasing the world champion Aussies.

11:03 Women’s 200m backstroke final – In the Australian Olympic trials in April, Belinda Hocking beat Emily Seebohm “by the length of one of Donald Trump’s fingers,” according to colleague Paul Connolly. Seebohm is world champion. They are the fastest backstrokers in the world. They’ll be hard to match here.

23:44 Rowing: women’s single sculls final A – Kim Brennan is reigning world champion and expected to add a gold medal to the silver one she won London.

Sunday 14 August

11:11 Mens 1500m freestyle final – In the grand tradition of long-distance Australian water men such as Murray Rose, John Konrads, Kieran Perkins, Daniel Kowalski, Glen Housman and Grant Hackett, Australia’s big hope in the big swim is 20-year-old Victorian Mack Horton. Also has quite a cool name.

11:49 Women’s 4 x 100m medley relay final – Backstroke? World champion Emily Seebohm or the woman who beat her in the trials, Belinda Hocking. Breast stroke? Fourth-fastest Aussie ever, Georgia Bohl. Butterfly? Either Emma McKeon, third-fastest woman this year, or 200m individual chance, Madeline “Mad Dog” Groves. Freestyle? World record holder Cate Campbell. Or world champion Bronte Campbell. Whatever the configuration, you’d suggest they’re a fair chance here.

Monday 15 August

06:04 Cycling: men’s sprint final – Matthew Glaetzer of Adelaide won a silver medal in the world championships and looks a fair medal hope here. A huge man, like a bull riding a bike.

Tuesday 16 August

22:23 Women’s kayak double 500m final A – Alyssa Bull and Alyce Burnett will make their Olympic debut in Rio. They were Under-23 World Championship bronze medallists.

Wednesday 17 August

06:05 Track cycling: womens omnium points race – They say Annette Edmondson is a good show in this six-leg cycle action. (The points race is the sixth leg of six. There are five others. Google could tell you more about the rest.)

06:44 Track cycling: women’s sprint final – Can Anna Meares power her way to a third Olympic gold medal? Here’s hoping. She’s a ripper, Anna Meares.

Thursday 18 August

03:05 Sailling: men’s 470 medal race – It’s the world’s worst spectator sport but Mat Belcher and Will Ryan are a good show in two-person dinghy action.

10:15 Women’s long jump final – Brooke Stratton has leapt further than any Australian woman. In March her 7:05m jump smashed the Australian record and would’ve won a bronze in London. Can she fly further here? Here’s hoping.

Friday 19 August

06:00 Hockey: men’s gold medal match – The Kookaburras are often hot favourites in this event and since 1984 have never finished worse than fourth. But in all Olympics – and hockey’s been there since 1908 – Australia has but a single gold, from Athens in ’04. Australia go in, again, as world champions.

08:00 Men’s 50km race walk – Jared Tallent will defend the gold medal he was recently awarded on the steps of Melbourne’s Old Treasury Building nearly four years after a disgraced, drug-assisted Russian walker stole it from him. Yes, stole it!

Saturday 20 August

04:00 Women’s BMX final – Caroline Buchanan can ran throw a BMX bike around like an angry kid with an old rag doll. Watch her pump those piston thighs.


Matt Cleary

The GuardianTramp

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