An entire nation will hold its breath in expectation of a home triumph as Brazil’s men go in search of football gold on the penultimate day of Rio 2016 action.
Neymar will carry much of that weight on his shoulders when the hosts – whose women lost their bronze medal match to Canada – take on Germany, a nation to whom they lost 7-1 in the 2014 World Cup on home soil.
But while Brazil’s national sport may ultimately hog the limelight for its citizens, there are events across the Games on Saturday sure to captivate the watching world.
Caster Semenya will put aside all the off-track talk about her when the South African runs in the 800 metres final, while Great Britain’s Mo Farah seeks a fourth Olympic gold in the 5000m.
Elsewhere, the women’s basketball and golf conclude on day 15.
Que Deus nos abençoe e nos proteja pic.twitter.com/kUQR2cvQIj
— Neymar Jr (@neymarjr) August 17, 2016
ENDING A SPORTING ANOMALY
It defies belief that Brazil, five-time World Cup winners, have never won gold in football at the Olympics.
At London 2012 they stood on the brink of bringing to an end one of sport’s greatest anomalies, but Mexico prevailed at a packed Wembley Stadium.
With the nation’s women having come up short this time around, the men will now be expected to deliver.
SUPPORT STRENGTHENS SEMENYA
There is perhaps no athlete whose participation has received as much attention as in the case of Semenya.
Her home nation has rallied around in support on social media and the 25-year-old, who qualified for the 800m final with the fastest time, has been buoyed by that.
Thank you South Africa… I feel proud to be a South African ..Thanks for the Love and Support.. I’ll make you proud.
— Caster Semenya (@caster800m) August 17, 2016
A GREAT BRITON
Team GB are enjoying their most successful Olympics away from London and Farah can add to their gold tally, while taking his personal collection to four.
Farah led the way in the 10,000m, despite a fall, and qualified for the 5000m final following another stumble.
Having done the double in 2012, Farah is on course to repeat the feat, and few would bet against him.
— Mo Farah (@Mo_Farah) August 18, 2016
DOMINANT USA SEEK ANOTHER GOLD
The United States women’s basketball team are one match away from a sixth consecutive Olympic gold.
A familiar foe stands in their way, with beaten 2008 and 2012 finalists Spain charged with pulling off what practically amounts to mission impossible.
Of course the beauty of sport is that no outcome is ever a foregone conclusion, but a Spain victory would be one of the biggest upsets of not just this Games, but any.
ONE MORE ROUND
From the outset golf’s return to the Olympics was embraced by the women and a thrilling competition concludes on Saturday.
Inbee Park leads heading into the final 18 holes, but world number one Lydia Ko was in ominous form in the third round, shooting a stunning 65 to trail by only two strokes.
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