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Olympic Daily Preview - Thursday, August 2nd

The U.S. women's gymnastics team hopes to ride the momentum of Tuesday's team gold medal into more awards in the all- around final on Thursday.

Of course, the big story to come out of Sunday's qualifer was that reigning all-around world champion Jordyn Wieber did not get into this event despite posting the fourth-best score. That's because teammates Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas finished ahead of her in second and third, respectively, and rules state that a country can send no more than two gymnasts to the final.

Douglas had an excellent all-around score in Tuesday's team win and will look to hold off Raisman and the talented Victoria Komova, who was part of Russia's silver medal-winning team. Komova outscored Raisman by 0.241 points at the quailifer and was second in the all-around at the 2011 World Championships to Wieber.

The United States has won the gold in each of the past two women's individual all-around. Carly Patterson got the run started at the 2004 Athens Games, while Nastia Liukin took gold four years ago in Beijing.

Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps will have another head-to-head race Thursday, with both U.S. swimmers having qualifying for the 200-meter individual medley.

Lochte, the world record holder, blew away Hungary's Laszlo Cseh by .61 seconds for the fastest time in the semis but Phelps is the two-time defending Olympic champion and will be looking to become the first male swimmer to win the same Olympic race three times in a row two days after setting the all-time Olympic medal record.

Lochte, of course, won the 400 IM Saturday in the first medal race here and Phelps was fourth, the first time he finished off an Olympic medal podium since he was 15.

The final of the men's 200 backstroke is about 30 minutes before the 200 IM on Thursday. Lochte also qualified for that race Wednesday night with the second best time in the semis behind U.S. teammate Tyler Clary.

Heats and semifinals for the men's 50-meter freestyle will also be held Thursday. Brazil's Cesar Cielo hasn't lost at the distance since winning gold in Beijing four years ago while U.S. swimmers Cullen Jones and Anthony Ervin are also hopefuls. Ervin, the 2000 Olympic champion who sold his gold medal, came out of retirement and qualified for the event at trials.

Track cycling begins Thursday, when medals will be awarded in the men's and women's competition. Great Britain's strong cycling program will be hoping for medals in both events, but the host nation will face stiff competition.

In the men's event, Australia, France and Germany should challenge the British, who are led by flagbearer and four-time gold medalist Chris Hoy. Women will contest the team sprint for the first time in Olympic history. Australia enters the competition as the favorite, but Germany won the world championship title in April.

Archery will hand out a gold medal in women's individual archery.

Eyes could turn to South Korea's Lee Sung Jin, who was part of her country's gold-winning team earlier in the event. South Korea has won every medal in that competition since the event was introduced at the 1988 Seoul Games and she'll try to add some hardware on Wednesday.

Others to watch include Italian Pia Lionetti, Tan Ya-Ting of the Chinese Taipei and Japan's Miki Kanie.

Fresh off a 110-63 pounding of Tunisia that gave the men's basketball team two victories in as many outings in the London Games, Team USA takes on Nigeria in Group A play.

Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love scored 16 points apiece in the recent rout, while Kevin Durant recorded 13 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. The American squad will now look to contain Nigeria's frontcourt that contains Al- Farouq Aminu and Ike Diogu.

The other big matchup of Thursday sees a pair of 2-0 teams in Brazil and Russia go head-to-head in Group B action. Russia's Andrei Kiriklenko is averaging a tournament-high 25.5 points per game.

Other matchups include Australia versus China; Argentina against Tunisia, France taking on Lithuania and hosting Great Britain versus Spain.

The tennis tournament continues Thursday with quarterfinal action at Wimbledon and all eyes will be on the men's and women's singles matches. Swiss Roger Federer will face John Isner of the U.S. and Novak Djokovic of Croatia will take on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France. Also on the men's side, Great Britain's Andy Murray will battle Spain's Nicolas Almagro and Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro squares off against Japan's Kei Nishikori.

In women's singles, Maria Sharapova of Russia will meet Belgium's Kim Clijsters while American Venus Williams faces Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki. In the other quarterfinals, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus will battle Germany's Angelique Kerber and Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic faces Russian Maria Kirilenko.

There will also be quarterfinal action Thursday in women's and men's doubles and first-round play in mixed doubles. Serena and Venus Williams will represent the U.S. against Italian team Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci.

Men and women will each get a crack at medals tomorrow in Canoe Slalom.

The men will do battle in the canoe doubles, with Slovakian twins Peter and Pavol Hochschorner going after a fourth consecutive gold medal. France's Gauthier Klauss and Matthieu Peche hope to beat the heat on the brothers.

For the women, Maialen Chourraut of Spain is the favorite to grab her country's first Olympic medal in the canoe slalom as the kayak singles will be decided. Local favorite Lizie Neave finished just behind Chourraut in the heats as the Brit chases a medal.

The United States will look to pull off the upset in the women's team foil competition, which takes place on Thursday.

Italy figures to be the top team in this tournament after sweeping the podium at the individual foil on Saturday. World No. 1 and five-time gold medalist Valentina Vezzali leads the talented squad, which should see its toughest competition from South Korea.

Thursday's rowing schedule will feature another three finals, including the women's eight, which could feature a showdown between the United States and Canada.

Medals will also be awarded in the men's double sculls and lightweight four, while men's fours and lightweight double sculls will hold semifinals, as will the women's lightweight double sculls and single sculls.

Medals will be awarded in the men's double trap shooting event. Peter Wilson and Richard Faulds of Great Britain are expected to both have chance at gold for the host country.

The first round of qualifications in the men's 25-meter rapid fire pistol will also take place at the Royal Artillery Barracks on Thursday.

Judo medals will be awarded in the men's 100kg and women's 78kg classes. American Kayla Harrison will be trying to earn the United States' first Olympic gold medal in judo. She won the world title in 2010, and was the bronze medalist last year.

The men will play for gold in men's table tennis on Thursday, beginning with the semifinal action in the morning. Zhang Jike of China will face Germany's Dimitrij Ovtcharov in one semifinal, while the other match will feature China's Wang Hao and Chuang Chih-Yuan of Chinese Taipei.

In boxing, round of 16 action takes place in the men's lightweight and middleweight classes. The Ukraine has the top seed in both draws -- Vasyl Lomachenko and Ievgen Khytrov.

Among featured matches in the lightweight competition, Great Britain's Josh Taylor fights No. 3 seed Domenico Valentino of Italy. American Jose Ramirez also gets into the ring. In middleweight bouts, Britain's Anthony Ogogo goes up against Khytrov and U.S. fighter Terrell Gausha squares off against Indian Vijender.

Badminton will continue to try and leave recent controversy behind on Thursday, one day after the sport's governing body decided to expel four women's pairs from the London Games for trying to intentionally lose matches.

Beach volleyball features men's and women's preliminaries, equestrian returns with Day 1 of Dressage individual and team Grand Prix and sailing has both men's and women's races on tap.

In team sports, the women return to Olympic Park with six matches in field hockey. One of those sees the United States matched up with Australia. Men's handball also has six games on the docket, including Great Britain and against Argentina, while the U.S. and hosting Brits are one of six men's water polo matches set to take place. Also set to tear up Earls Court is men's volleyball.