3 underhyped Olympic showdowns worth checking out on Day 8
There are 22 sports featured on Day 8 of the Olympics, with these three encounters all deserving a little love:
Gold Medal Match
Monica Puig (Puerto Rico) v Angelique Kerber (Germany)
It isn’t often that the women’s tennis tournament produces an upset winner, with Elena Dementieva standing out among the names Venus Williams, Justine Henin-Hardenne and Serena Williams as the sole surprise gold-grabber this century.
The prospect of Puig, who has never reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam in 14 attempts – falling at the first hurdle in half – going the distance is therefore a captivating story, especially as she is competing for Puerto Rico’s first ever gold in any discipline.
The 22-year-old has unquestionably earned her spot, slaying three seeds – including Garbine Muguruza and Petra Kvitova – but the toughest test remains. Kerber is second seed, has fought in two major finals already this year and has yet to drop a set in Rio.
South Korea v Honduras
The group stage of the men’s football was a mixed affair, with Groups A and B more sedate – serving up 28 goals in 12 games – and Groups C and D enthralling, with their 12 fixtures conjuring 52 strikes.
As a result, the highlight of quarter-final day might not be Portugal v Germany or Brazil v Colombia, but instead the collision between South Korea and Honduras.
South Korea scored 12 times in Group C, with the most engrossing contest a 3-3 draw with Germany, while there wasn’t a single clean sheet kept in any of Honduras’ three Group D assignments.
Spain v Lithuania
Lithuania endured their worst ever Olympics performance four years ago when suffering quarter-final elimination at the hands of Russia, a far cry from their bronze-medal performances in 1992, 1996 and 2000 and semi-final showings in 2004 and 2008.
They are back in business this summer though, taking down hosts Brazil, Nigeria and Argentina to promptly confirm progress from the group stage.
Staying flawless will be tricky against Spain though, with the 2012 silver medallists in some peril after being edged out by Croatia and Brazil in their first two matches before rallying against Nigeria.
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