The men’s marathon and the biggest game in Japanese basketball history should prove to be the highlights of the last day of the Tokyo Olympics.
Here are the key events to look out for on Day 16.
If you’re wondering where to watch the action in Japan, check your local TV listings or make use of this handy streaming guide from The Japan Times.
Athletics: Kenya eyes repeat
World record holder and gold medal favorite Eliud Kipchoge will look to make it an all-Kenya sweep in the Olympic marathon a day after countrywoman Peres Jepchirchir beat the field, and the stifling heat, to claim gold.
Kipchoge, the gold medalist in Rio, has come tantalizingly close to setting an official record under two hours, but it might be tough for him to set a new mark in what is shaping up to be another hot and humid day in Sapporo, even with cutting-edge footwear helping him along. His best time at an official event remains 2 hours, 1 minute, 39 seconds.
The top women’s runners were about 13 minutes off the world record on Saturday.
Unlike the women’s race, which was moved up to 6 a.m. in an attempt to beat the heat, organizers are sticking with a 7 a.m. start for the men’s race.
Basketball: More history on the hard court?
The run by Japan’s women’s team will already go down as a monumental step forward for basketball in the country.
A win over the vaunted U.S. would turn that step into the type of leap that only a basketball star could make.
The Americans have won the last six gold medals and on paper should make quick work of this year’s Cinderella team.
Regardless of the result, Japan has already secured its first basketball medal and all that’s left to decide is whether it’s gold or silver.
Tip-off is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.
Who will top the medal table?
It’s rare that the medal table comes down to the final day, but China and the U.S. are in a dogfight for ultimate bragging rights at the Tokyo Games.
Heading into Sunday, China is sitting nicely with 38 gold medals but the U.S. caught up late in the evening with a pair of track relay wins to get to within two.
The final day of action is also shaping up to be in the Americans’ favor. In addition to potential golds in women’s basketball and women’s volleyball (the U.S. faces Brazil in the gold medal match at 1:30 p.m.), a pair of U.S. boxers have gold medal bouts ahead of them.
Keyshawn Davis fights Cuba’s Andy Cruz in the men’s lightweight final at 2:15 p.m., while super heavyweight Richard Torrez Jr. has a date with Bakhodir Jalolov at 3:15 p.m. A good day in the ring may just do it for the Americans, who have only lost the gold medal count once since 1992 — finishing second to China at the 2008 Beijing Games.
The best hope for China to add to its tally, meanwhile, lies with boxer Li Qian, who is up against Britain’s Lauren Price in the women’s middleweight final.
Can Japan hit 30?
The Japanese Olympic Committee may have ditched its goal of 30 golds at the Tokyo Games in favor of focusing on athlete safety, but the target is tantalizingly close after a late rush on Saturday capped by the country’s first gold in baseball. Japan sits at 27 heading into the final day.
We’ve already established that the women’s basketball team will be solid underdogs, but if they pull off an upset a path to 30 may open up for the hosts.
In track cycling, Yumi Kajihara is one of the top favorites in the women’s omnium, while Yuta Wakimoto is a contender in the men’s keirin. Yudai Nitta will also join Wakimoto in the keirin quarterfinals on Sunday, with action at the Izu Velodrome beginning at 10 a.m.
In Sapporo, Suguru Osako could also be left to pick up gold if Kipchoge falters in the men’s marathon.
The closing ceremony
How will organizers wrap up what have been perhaps the most unusual Games in Olympic history? Tune in at 8 p.m. to find out.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.