I have taken on the incredible task of writing a list of the top 10 Rio Olympic events to keep an eye out for!
For the sports lovers out there, this is the magical ‘festival’ that displays each country’s talented athletes all day, every day for a large chunk of the month. For the people who don’t enjoy sport, you’re about to have your TV, and life, taken over by the glorious event that is the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Now, I could easily list 20 events off the top of my head that I would enjoy watching, so narrowing this list down to 10 has been a bit of a nightmare. So personally, these are the top 10 that I will be checking out. For the most part, my main focus will be on the Australian athletes of course! Channel Seven has the rights to the games and will be streaming more than 900 hours across Seven, 7Two and 7Mate. (Times shown below are AWST)
1. 100m Sprint
The excitement that surrounds Usain Bolt is something that you will not want to miss. He is going for his third consecutive gold medal and personally, I would like to see him succeed! Australia doesn’t have any male athletes competing against Bolt in this event however, watching the fastest men in the world sprint 100m is always amazing. Australian 100m record holder Mellissa Breen will be representing the green and gold in Rio for the women’s 100m sprint, in her second Olympic Games.
Men’s 100m FINAL – 15th Aug, between 7:00am – 9:30am
Women’s 100m FINAL – 14th Aug, between 7:00am – 10:15pm
2. 100m Freestyle
The equivalent of the 100m Sprint, except it’s in the pool… Just as exciting!
The Australian Campbell sisters, Bronte and Cate, will line up in a sibling showdown after both qualifying for the event. Cate is the current world record holder in the 100m Freestyle after taking 0.01 off the world mark in July. 18 year old Aussie Kyle Chalmers will make his Olympic debut in Rio for the event, joined by Cameron McEvoy, who has been selected to race in 5 swimming events after a sensational week at trials.
Men’s 100m Freestyle FINAL – 11th Aug, between 9:00am – 11:25am
Women’s 100m Freestyle FINAL – 12th Aug, between 9:00am – 10:55pm
When I watch diving, I just wish that one day I could be as skilled at something as these athletes are. Let’s be honest, I will never be that talented, or graceful in the air… And so, I will continue to watch in awe from my couch. Prepare to get up early in the morning for these!
Women’s Synchronised 3m Springboard FINAL – 8th Aug, between 2:00am – 4:15am
Men’s Synchronised 10m Platform FINAL – 9th Aug, between 2:00am – 4:15am
Women’s Synchronised 10m Platform FINAL – 10th Aug, between 2:30am – 5:10am
Men’s Synchronised 3m Springboard FINAL – 11th Aug, between 2:00am – 4:15am
Women’s 3m Springboard FINAL – 15th Aug, between 3:00am – 4:30am
Men’s 3m Springboard FINAL – 17th Aug, between 5:00am – 7:00am
Women’s 10m Platform FINAL – 19th Aug, between 3:00am – 4:30am
Men’s 10m Platform FINAL – 21st Aug, between 3:30am – 5:10am
Yessss! Wow am I excited about the basketball! The Aussie teams (guys and gals) are JAM PACKED with talent and I have a feeling both teams will be in reach of a medal. The men’s team (Boomers) includes Australian basketball royalty such as Perth Wildcat Damian Martin, San Antonio Spur Patty Mills, Dallas Maverick Andrew Bogut and Milwaukee Buck Matt Dellavadova. The women’s team (Opals) includes Perth Lynx’s skipper Tess Lavey, Elizabeth Cambage, Penny Taylor and Leilani Mitchell and many more stars. I am PUMPED to see these teams in action!
With the Boomers team loaded with six NBA players, they are considered realistic contenders for their first ever medal. Australia’s women have won medals at the past five Games and should be in the mix again in Rio.
Women’s Semi-Finals – 19th Aug, between 2:00am – 8:00am
Men’s Semi-Finals – 20th Aug, between 2:30am – 4:30am
Women’s Gold Medal Match – 21st Aug, between 2:30am – 4:50am
Men’s Gold Medal Match – 22nd Aug, between 2:45am – 5:05am
5. Table Tennis
I had a table tennis table growing up, and I like to think I was the champion of my household. (My dad would probably disagree…) In my head, I felt like I could play in the Olympics, in reality, I was probably just slightly above the level of ‘not sucking’… Either way- I get a lot of joy out of watching the skills and intensity of the table tennis! Australia has been represented at every Olympic Games since the sport began in 1988 but has never won a table tennis medal in Olympic competition. Maybe this will be our year! My money will be on Aussie Jian Fang Lay who will become only the second Australian woman to compete at five Olympic Games. At 43 years of age, she will also be Australia’s oldest table tennis athlete to compete at an Olympic Games.
Women’s Gold Medal Match 17th Aug, between 6:30am – 9:45am
Men’s Gold Medal Match 18th Aug, between 6:30am – 9:45am
6. Beach Volleyball
Who doesn’t love a bit of beach volleyball? When asking people what Olympic event they want to watch most, beach volleyball was not surprisingly a favourite. For varying reasons…
Sixteen years after her Olympic debut in Sydney, Louise Bowden will make her third Olympic appearance in Rio when she teams up with up-and-coming star Taliqua Clancy. Nicole Laird and Maria Fe Artacho Del Solar make up the second women’s duo, both making their Olympic debut. Australia doesn’t have a men’s beach volleyball team for Rio however, it will still be a great one to follow!
Women’s Medal Matches – 18th Aug, between 9:00am – 12:30pm
Men’s Medal Matches – 19th Aug, between 9:00am – 12:30pm
7. Rugby Sevens
Rugby is returning to the Olympics for the first time in 92 years! Australia’s women’s team are the favourites after winning their maiden World Series tour, while the men’s team is firmly in the mix after finishing fourth overall.
At the start of the last Olympic year, over half of the members in Australia’s 12-woman Olympic squad hadn’t even stepped onto a rugby field. Four years on and the Australian women’s sevens team are ranked no.1 in the world and on track for a gold medal in Rio. The Aussie women’s team is comprised of top female athletes drawn from many different fields, courts and tracks around the country. Chloe Dalton played for the Sydney Flames in the WNBL, Ellia Green was a nationally ranked sprinter, Emma Tonegato played rugby league for Australia and several others played touch football for Australia.
Women’s Placing and Medal Matches – 9th Aug, between 4:30am – 7:00am
Men’s Placing and Medal Matches – 12th Aug, between 4:30am – 7:00am
The pure body strength of these athletes is just amazing! Add in the flips and fancy moves on top of that and you have got one exciting sport! Australia has not sent a women’s artistic gymnastics team to the Olympics for the first time in almost 30 years, after falling just short of qualifying at the Rio test event. Australia has qualified one individual to compete, with Larissa Miller claiming that honour. The other Aussie athletes competing are three-time rhythmic national champion Danielle Prince and trampolinist Blake Gaudry.
Men’s Team FINAL (Artistic) – 9th Aug, between 3:00am – 6:00am
Women’s Team FINAL (Artistic) – 10th Aug, between 3:00am – 5:15am
Men’s Individual All-Around FINAL (Artistic) – 11th Aug, between 3:00am – 5:45am
Women’s All-Around FINAL (Artistic) – 12th Aug, between 3:00am – 5:10am
Women’s Trampoline Qual. and FINAL – 13th Aug, between 1:00am – 3:15am
Men’s Trampoline Qual. and FINAL – 14th Aug, between 1:00am – 3:15am
Men’s Floor and Pommel Horse FINAL – 15th Aug, between 1:00am – 4:00am
Women’s Vault and Uneven Bars FINAL – 15th Aug, between 1:00am – 4:00am
Men’s Rings and Vault FINAL – 16th Aug, between 1:00am – 3:15am
Women’s Balance Beam FINAL – 16th Aug, between 1:00am – 3:15am
Men’s Parallel Bars and Horizontal Bar FINAL – 17th Aug, between 1:00am – 3:15am
Women’s Floor Exercise FINAL – 17th Aug, between 1:00am – 3:15am
Individual All-Around FINAL Rotations (Rhythmic) – 21th Aug, between 2:20am – 4:50am
Women’s Group All-Around FINAL Rotations (Rhythmic) – 21st Aug, between 10:00pm – 11:45pm
The Kookaburras will hit Rio with all guns blazing with hopes of turning their Olympic bronze into gold. Returning medal contenders in field hockey, both of Australia’s national teams are expected to be in the gold medal mix. The Kookaburras are equal favourites with the Netherlands, with the Hockeyroos rated second behind a powerful Dutch women’s squad.
Men’s Bronze Medal Match – 18th/19th Aug, between 11:00pm – 1:15am
Men’s Gold Medal Match – 19th Aug, between 4:00am – 6:30am
Women’s Bronze Medal Match – 19th/20th Aug, between 11:00pm – 1:15am
Women’s Gold Medal Match – 20th Aug, between 4:00am – 6:30am
Australia’s men’s team, the Olyroos, failed to qualify for the second straight Games after a miserable qualifying campaign. In happier news, the women’s team, the Matildas, impressed in Asian qualifying to book an Olympic spot for the first time in 12 years. The Matildas have landed in a tricky group featuring Germany and Canada however, as the world’s fifth-ranked side, and quarter-finalists at last year’s World Cup, they are genuine medal contenders.
Women’s Semi-Finals – 17th Aug, between 12:00am – 5:00am
Men’s Semi-Finals – 18th Aug, between 12:00am – 5:00am
Women’s Bronze Medal Match – 20th Aug, between 12:00am – 2:30am
Women’s Gold Medal Match – 20th Aug, between 4:30am – 7:00am
Men’s Bronze Medal Match – 21st Aug, between 12:00am – 2:30am
Men’s Gold Medal Match – 21st Aug, between 4:30am – 7:00am
So there you have it! Let us know your favourite Olympic events at @TweetPerth @EmmaLianaPayne
Ps. Dear family and friends, if you don’t hear a lot from me in the next few weeks don’t fret, you will find me on the couch in front of the TV cheering on the Aussies!