Back to top

Olympic team sports final preview

Carlos Boozer of the Dream TeamIt's 1pm Friday in Athens, 8pm here in Sydney on a balmy Friday evening in late winter. We're getting down to the Bismuth End of the Athens Games. Here's where the team sports are up to:

Basketball: Women's semi-finals, starting from 9.30pm Sydney time: Russia v USA and Australia v Brazil. It's hard to go past the Dream Teamettes and the Opals in these. Men's semis, from 3am Saturday my time: Argentina v USA and Italy v Lithuania. You don't really know with the Dream Team these days, but I think my money is on Lithuania now for the gold. USA are currently the mens favourites with PaddyPower at 1.67, Lithuania 2.50, Italy 9.00, Argentina 16.00.

Soccer: With USA having won the women's gold on Thursday, Iraq play Italy for bronze on Friday night, with Argentina playing Paraguay in a 10am local time kickoff on Saturday. Geez, even in Sydney the soccer final didn't start till midday! Argentina are short priced favourites, but anything can happen in Olympic soccer. My trifecta: Paraguay, Argentina, Iraq (which will make them happy at the RNC next week).

Handball: The only sport in which Australia does not enter a team. Men's semis today: Croatia v Hungary and Germany v Russia. In the women's event, France v South Korea and Denmark v Ukraine. I don't have a clue here sorry... Finals are not till Sunday, the bronze medal matches tomorrow.

Hockey: The Germans won their first women's hockey gold yesterday. This evening, the German men play Spain for bronze, Australia play the Netherlands for gold starting at 3.30am Saturday Sydney time. This is one event where I will let parochialism run riot. Holland are favourites with PaddyPower at 1.53, Australia are 2.37. And Spain for bronze, if only to keep the Telediario crew happy tomorrow morning. (I've just put two euros on the Aussies.)

Volleyball: The Peace and Friendship Stadium sounds like somewhere the Hussein brothers would torture the Iraqi national football team after another loss. But it has been the scene of some great action over the past two weeks. Men's semis tonight: Russia v Italy and USA v Brazil. I wouldn't be unhappy to see an Italy-Brazil final. Saturday night, the women's competition wraps up. Brazil plays Cuba for bronze, Russia and China for gold. China will do me. The men's medal games are on Sunday afternoon.

Water polo: The women's event is over, and congratulations to Italy. The men's semi-finals are on tonight. Hungary play Russia and Greece play Serbia & Montenegro. Medal games on Sunday. I've never seen so many events continue on the final day right up almost till the closing ceremony starts. I'll go with HUN to beat SCG.

The final classification matches in the men's hockey have all been completed now. Pakistan are 5th, beating New Zealand 4-2. India are 7th, beating South Korea 5-2. Great Britain are 9th. They were 1-1 with South Africa after extra time and won the penalty shootout 4-3.