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Your Cheat Sheet To Olympics Track And Field Schedule

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olympic track and field schedule

Track and field in Rio has begun and will inevitably take over our lives up through the men’s marathon on Sunday, Aug. 21. Here’s how to plan accordingly around NBC’s streaming schedule (women’s event schedule listed below, see more extensive schedule with men’s events here), along with quick hits on some of the American athletes you’re going to hear about (fun fact: You can search your favorite ‘idols’ here to see information on their events):

Note: Events have various “rounds” based on different factors, such as length of event or size of field. Field events have ‘qualifying’ rounds, where participants qualify for the final round. Track events have various ’rounds,’ like ‘preliminaries,’ ’round one,’ ‘qualifying,’ ‘semi-finals’ and ‘finals.’ Longer events like the 10,000 meters only have a final round. Shorter events, such as the 100 meters, has more rounds due to number of athletes, length of the race and lane restrictions. Medals are awarded in the final rounds of each event. 

Friday, Aug. 12 – coverage 5 a.m. – 6:50 a.m.; 4 p.m. – 5:20 p.m. PST

10,000 meters FINAL
100 meters PRELIM, ROUND ONE
Heptathlon high jump, shot put
1,500 meters ROUND ONE
Hammer throw QUALIFYING

Quick hit on some Americans people will talk about: Molly Huddle, who has a strong chance to medal in the 10,000 meters, will also make her marathon debut later this year. Emily Infeld is also riding the post-world medal wave straight to Rio and is definitely worth watching. English Gardner, the trials champion and almost a shoe-in to the 100-meter finals. Barbara Nwaba, a favorite to perform well in all seven heptathlon events. All eyes on Brenda Martinez for 1,500 meters, as she missed the team in her marquee 800-meter event. Jenny Simpson is America’s favorite 1,500 runner; both women are expected to advance to the finals.

10,000 meters FINAL update: Molly Huddle broke Shalane Flanagan’s American record, set back at the 2008 Olympics. The kicker? It was good for a bronze medal then; Huddle’s time was good for sixth place in a blistering fast 10,000 meters. The winner broke the world record, and Twitter was screaming “dirty.”

Saturday, Aug. 13 – coverage 5 a.m. – 6:50 a.m.; 4 p.m. – 4:50 p.m. PST

Triple jump QUALIFYING
3,000-meter steeplechase ROUND ONE
400 meters ROUND ONE
Heptathlon long jump, 800 meters
100 meters SEMI-FINAL, FINAL

Quick hit on some Americans people will talk about: Emma Coburn, Emma Coburn, Emma Coburn—with a new personal best at the Olympic Trials, she’s highly anticipated as a medal contender. Cover runner and speedster Allyson Felix will race the 400 meters and have the world’s eye on her to maybe run away with gold in her first Olympic 400-meter appearance. 

100 meters FINAL update: Tori Bowie sprinted away with the silver, sandwiched between two Jamaican runners—but she beat two-time defending champ Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who finished third. The gold went to fellow Jamaican Elaine Thompson, her first Olympic medal. 

Sunday, Aug. 14 – coverage 5 a.m.; 4 p.m. – 4:55 p.m. PST

400 meters SEMI-FINAL
1,500 meters SEMI-FINAL
Triple jump FINAL

Quick hit on some Americans people will talk about: Shalane Flanagan, Amy Cragg and Desi Linden! All three are fit and in shape to do very well; the question after watching the Olympic Trials is, will a hot day make or break any of their races? Deena Kastor was the last American woman to medal in the Olympic marathon (2004); hopefully that changes this year!

Marathon update: USA! USA! USA! All three marathoners finished in the top-10 for the first time in HISTORY. Shalane finished sixth, followed by Desi in seventh, then Amy in ninth. Twitter was buzzing about the strongest women’s marathon team in history, and inspiration was high as everyone watched three incredible athletes gut it out hardcore with the best in the world. 

Monday, Aug. 15 – coverage 5 a.m. – 6:40 a.m.; 4 p.m. – 4:35 p.m. PST

200 meters ROUND ONE
Hammer throw FINAL
3000-meter steeplechase FINAL
Discus throw QUALIFYING
400-meter hurdles ROUND ONE
400 meters FINAL

Quick hit on some Americans people will talk about: Sydney McLaughlin is a 16-year-old phenom that made the team in the 400-meter hurdles. She’s got plenty of future Olympics ahead of her; people will wait to see how she does in round one. Whitney Ashley, Shelbi Vaughan and Kelsey Card are all first-time Olympians in the discus throw. 

Steeplechase update: Emma Coburn, America’s best steeplechaser (duh, she has the American record)—brought home America’s first medal ever in an event that’s been open to women since 2008. Oh, and she broke her own AR again. This is a moment that will be track history forever. 

Tuesday, Aug. 16 – coverage 5 a.m. – 5:50 a.m.; 7:20 a.m.; 4 p.m. – 5:05 p.m. PST

5,000 meters ROUND ONE
100-meter hurdles ROUND ONE
Discus throw FINAL
200 meters SEMI-FINAL
1,500 meters FINAL

Quick hit on some Americans people will talk about: Kim Conley is running the 5,000 meters, in her second Olympics, after finishing third at the Olympic Trials. 

Wednesday, Aug. 17 – coverage 5 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.; 1:45 p.m.; 4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. PST

800 meters ROUND ONE
Long jump FINAL
200 meters FINAL
100-meter hurdles SEMI-FINAL, FINAL

Quick hit on some Americans people will talk about: Kate Grace became Oiselle’s second-ever Olympian when she won the 800 meters at the trials (fun fact: it was really her first major title EVER). 

Thursday, Aug. 18 – coverage 5 a.m. – 6:25 a.m.; 9 a.m. – 9:25 a.m.; 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. PST

4×100 meters, ROUND ONE
Javelin FINAL
800 meters SEMI-FINAL
400-meter hurdles FINAL

Quick hit on some Americans people will talk about: The 4×100-meter relay squad includes English Gardner, Tianna Bartlett, Tori Bowie, Mortlake Akinosun, Jenna Prandini and Ariana Washington. Team USA shattered the world record in 2012, and the top-3 runners all ran under 10.80 at the Olympic trials. 

Friday, Aug. 19 – coverage 10 a.m.; 4 p.m, – 4:30 p.m. PST

20K racewalk FINAL
Pole vault FINAL
4×400 meters ROUND ONE
5,000 meters FINAL
4×100 meters FINAL

Quick hit on some Americans people will talk about: Allyson Felix, Phyllis Francis, Natasha Hastings, Taylor Ellis-Watson, Francena McCorory and Courtney Ovolo. This team has earned three golds in this event, and everyone hopes to see them do it again this year. 

Saturday, Aug. 20 – coverage 4 p.m. – 4:55 p.m. PST

High jump FINAL
800 meters FINAL
4×400 meters FINAL