Olympic viewing guide: Another swimming podium chance, first men's medal?

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Canada's Kylie Masse is going for her second medal of the Games tonight, in the women's 200m backstroke. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images - image credit)
Canada's Kylie Masse is going for her second medal of the Games tonight, in the women's 200m backstroke. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images - image credit)

This is an excerpt from The Buzzer, which is CBC Sports' daily email newsletter. Stay up to speed on what's happening at the Tokyo Olympics by subscribing here.

Canada added one medal on Day 7. And what a medal. The women's eight rowing team produced one of the most electrifying performances of the Games, upsetting New Zealand to win Canada's first Olympic gold medal in this event since 1992. After that, two of Canada's greatest Olympians fell just short of the podium. Penny Oleksiak missed taking sole possession of the all-time Canadian record for Olympic medals by a fingertip, finishing 0.07 of a second off the bronze in the 100-metre freestyle despite swimming a personal best. Rosie MacLennan's bid to win her third consecutive gold in women's trampoline also ended with a fourth-place finish. Women have won all 11 of Canada's medals so far — three gold, three silver and five bronze.

Day 8 might be the calm before the wonderful storm coming Saturday night and Sunday morning, when we'll see Oleksiak take her last shot at breaking the Canadian medal record (in the women's 4x100m medley relay) and Andre De Grasse sprint for another podium in the marquee men's 100m.

But Canada still has a few solid podium opportunities before that Super Saturday/Sunday kicks off, so let's run through those in our daily viewing guide. Plus, some good news for people who like rematches of epic women's soccer games and some bad news for the best men's tennis player of all time.

Canadian medal chances on Friday night/Saturday morning

Here are the strong ones, in chronological order:

Swimming

Kylie Masse has a good shot at the podium in the women's 200-metre backstroke final at 9:37 p.m. ET. The 100m backstroke is her best event — she won silver in it earlier this week, adding to her back-to-back world titles — but Masse took bronze in the 200 at the most recent world championships, in 2019.

The favourite is Australia's Kaylee McKeown, who beat Masse for gold in the 100 backstroke four days ago and was the silver medallist in the 200 back at the 2019 worlds. The reigning world champion and world-record holder, Regan Smith, didn't make it out of the brutal U.S. trials in this event. The two women who beat her — Rhyan White and the deliciously named Phoebe Bacon — are also in the medal mix, along with 29-year-old Aussie Emily Seebohm, who won the world title in 2015 and '17. Canada's Taylor Ruck made the final, but she's considered a long shot for a medal.

The other person to watch tonight is the oldest Canadian ever to swim in the Olympics. Brent Hayden, 37, competes in the men's 50m freestyle semifinals at 10:11 p.m. ET. He won the 100m freestyle world title in 2007 and the Olympic bronze in 2012 before retiring for seven years. Hayden had the eighth-fastest overall time in the 50m freestyle heats this morning.

All of tonight's swimming races will be broadcast live on the CBC TV network starting at 9:30 p.m. ET. You can also stream them live on CBC Gem, the CBC Olympics app and CBC Sports' Tokyo 2020 website.

Boxing

Technically, Tammara Thibeault's women's middleweight quarter-final at 12:24 a.m. ET is not a medal match. But it effectively is. That's because, in Olympic boxing, they don't make the two semifinal losers fight for the bronze medal. They just give one to both. So the winner of tonight's quarter-final between Thibeault and 2016 Olympic silver medallist Nouchka Fontijn of the Netherlands is guaranteed a medal — colour TBD. Thibeault took bronze at the most recent world championships, in 2019. She's the only Canadian boxer still alive in Tokyo.

Weightlifting

Boady Santavy competes in the men's 96-kg division starting at 6:50 a.m. ET. The 24-year-old is listed as the No. 4 favourite in the betting markets, so he could be the guy to finally get Canadian men on the board in Tokyo.

WATCH | Gold-winning Canadian rowing team says thanks to family and friends:

Some other interesting stuff you should know about

It's Canada vs. the United States in the women's soccer semifinals. The Canadians guaranteed themselves a medal match today with a dramatic upset of Brazil on penalty kicks. Following 120 scoreless minutes, all-time international goals leader Christine Sinclair missed Canada's first penalty. But her teammates converted the other four, and goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé stopped Brazil's final two shots, sealing the win with a diving save on the decisive final attempt. The top-ranked Americans' subsequent penalty-shootout win over the Netherlands set up a rematch of the epic semifinal at the 2012 Olympics in London. Sinclair scored a hat trick to nearly lead Canada to a monumental upset, but Alex Morgan's goal in the dying moments of extra time won it for the Americans and they went on to win gold. The Canada-U.S. semifinal kicks off Monday at 4 a.m. ET. Even if Canada loses, it will still get to play for its third consecutive bronze medal. Read more about today's quarter-final victory over Brazil and watch highlights here.

Andre De Grasse hits the track for the start of the men's 100 metres on Saturday morning. Advancing through the round-one heats, which begin at 6:45 a.m. ET, shouldn't be more than a formality for the Canadian star. He took bronze in the 100 at the 2016 Olympics, as well as at the 2015 and '19 world championships. Track's marquee event is in transition. The great Usain Bolt retired in 2017 rather than try for a four-peat, while 2016 Olympic and 2019 world championship silver medallist Justin Gatlin finally ran out of gas at age 39, failing to qualify at the U.S. trials. Reigning world champ Christian Coleman isn't here either. The American was suspended for missing multiple doping tests. Trayvon Bromell of the U.S. is now the favourite after posting the two best times of the year — a 9.77 and a 9.80 — in June. Learn about the history of the 100m dash, and where it could go next, by watching this CBC Sports Explains video.

Other track and field events to watch: The women's 100m final goes at 8:50 a.m. ET, with 34-year-old Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce favoured to become the first woman to win it three times. Canadians Crystal Emmanuel and Khamica Bingham qualified for the semis, which start at 6:15 a.m. ET. The two other medal events on Day 2 of track and field are the men's discus throw final (7:15 a.m. ET) and the 4x400m mixed relay final (8:35 a.m. ET), but Canada doesn't have an entry in either. The best Canadian performance on Day 1 was by Moh Ahmed in the men's 10,000 metres. Despite not being picked for the podium, he led with a little over a lap to go before the top runners kicked into gear and he finished sixth. Read more about Ahmed's gutsy run and watch the last few laps here. Watch for him in the men's 5,000, which starts Tuesday. Ahmed took bronze in that event at the 2019 world championships. Get some more fun facts about Canada's track and field team by watching this video.

And finally…

Steffi Graf is safe. The German tennis great will remain the only player in history to win all four singles majors plus Olympic gold in the same year. Men's singles favourite Novak Djokovic, who was eyeing the so-called Golden Slam after winning the Australian and French Opens and Wimbledon, was upset in the semifinals today by No. 4-seeded German Alexander Zverev. The Serbian star will try to salvage bronze when he faces sixth-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain at 2 a.m. ET. Right after that, Djokovic can make it a double-bronze day when he and mixed doubles partner Nina Stojanovic face Australia's Ash Barty (the women's world No. 1) and John Peers for third place. The women's final, between ninth-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland and unseeded Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic, should start around 6 a.m. ET. Zverev faces 12th-seeded Russian Karen Khachanov for the men's gold on Sunday. Djokovic will go for the calendar-year Grand Slam and an all-time men's record 21st singles title when the U.S. Open begins at the end of August.

How to watch live events

They're being broadcast on TV on CBC, TSN and Sportsnet. Or choose exactly what you want to watch by live streaming on CBC Gem, the CBC Olympics app and CBC Sports' Tokyo 2020 website. Check out the full streaming schedule here.

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