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From basketball to baseball: what to watch in the final days of the Tokyo Olympics

Kevin Durant of team USA dribbles the ball during preliminary basketball game between France and United States of America at the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games in the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, on July 25, 2021. LEHTIKUVA / HEIKKI SAUKKOMAA - FINLAND OUT. NO THIRD PARTY SALES.

The Tokyo Olympics are nearly wrapped up, with just a handful of medals left to be awarded before Sunday’s closing ceremonies.

Canadians will only have a shot at a couple of those, but there are still some key events taking place during the final weekend of these Summer Games, including the gold medal finals in basketball and baseball.

Here are some events that will be worth staying up late for (all times Eastern).

Read more: Olympics medal count: Here’s who won the most medals during the Tokyo Games

Basketball

The men’s gold medal final may seem like a done deal for the United States. The team has won the gold in all but three Olympic Games they’ve attended since 1936 and is made up of NBA superstars, led this year by phenom Kevin Durant.

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But the only team the U.S. has lost to in Tokyo is France — who just so happen to be vying for the gold as well. The French last won silver at the 2000 Games in Sydney and have been undefeated so far this year.

It all comes down to the deciding final at 10:30 p.m. ET Friday. The bronze medal game between Slovenia and Australia will follow at 7 a.m. ET Saturday.

The U.S. women have also made it to the gold medal game, which takes place Saturday at 10:30 p.m. ET against Japan.

The U.S. will be chasing its seventh straight gold medal, and has placed within the top three in every Games they’ve attended since women’s basketball was admitted into the Olympics in 1976.

The bronze medal game between Serbia and France will precede the gold final, kicking off at 3 a.m. ET Saturday.

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Athletics

Canadians will be running in the women’s and men’s marathons on Friday and Saturday, respectively, with both races starting at 6 p.m. ET.

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Both races will span 42 kilometres through the streets of Sapporo, which was chosen for the marathons and race walking events to try and avoid the more sweltering temperatures in Tokyo.

Malindi Elmore, Dayna Pidhoresky and Natasha Wodak of Canada will all race in the women’s marathon. They’ll have to contend with the top-ranked Brigid Kosgei and Ruth Chepngetich of Kenya and Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter.

The men’s marathon will feature Canadians Trevor Hofbauer, Cameron Levins and Ben Preisner trying to keep pace with Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, the world record holder who’s also defending his gold medal from the 2016 Games in Rio.

Other athletics finals to watch Saturday:

  • Women’s high jump – 6:35 a.m. ET
  • Women’s 10,000 kilometres – 6:45 a.m. ET (Canada competing)
  • Men’s javelin throw – 7 a.m. ET
  • Men’s 1,500 kilometres – 7:40 a.m. ET
  • Women’s 400-metre relay – 8:30 a.m. ET (Canada competing)
  • Men’s 400-metre relay – 8:50 a.m. ET

Baseball

After Canada won bronze in softball, men’s baseball quickly got underway and has been steadily building up to the finals this weekend.

The Dominican Republic will take on South Korea first in the bronze medal match at 11 p.m. ET Friday. The Koreans came out on top the last time these two teams met, potentially giving them the edge.

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Then at 6 a.m. ET Saturday, hosts Japan will face the United States in the gold medal final.

The Japanese are undefeated so far, including a close 7-6 win over the U.S. in the second round last weekend. But they have also never won Olympic gold in the event; the U.S. last won gold in 2000, while their most recent medal was a bronze in 2008.

Just like softball, these will be the final medals awarded for Olympic baseball, at least for now. The two sports aren’t expected to return for the 2024 Games in Paris.

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What else is on?

  • Norway faces The Russian Olympic Committee in the men’s beach volleyball gold medal final at 10:30 p.m. ET Friday.
  • The United States faces Spain in the gold medal women’s water polo final at 3:30 a.m. ET Saturday.
  • Russia takes on France in the men’s volleyball gold medal final at 8:15 a.m. ET Saturday.
  • The group all-around final in rhythmic gymnastics starts off with the first of two rotations at 10 p.m. ET Saturday.
  • The final boxing medals of the Games will be decided starting at 1 a.m. ET Sunday, including the women’s light and middleweights and the men’s light and super heavyweights.

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