Today in Rio: USA go for three-peat, Brazil seek golden goodbye


Rio 2016 draws to a close on Sunday with 12 golds up for grabs on the final day of the Olympic Games.

The Games will be brought to their conclusion with the closing ceremony at the Maracana, ending two weeks filled with drama and controversy in Brazil.

The headline act on day 16 comes at the Carioca Arena as the United States men's basketball team go for gold against Serbia.

But the focus for the home nation will be firmly on the Maracanazinho as the men's volleyball team aim to replicate the feat of Brazil's footballers to claim the Olympic title.

The final athletics medal will be handed out in the men's marathon, while four boxing gold medal bouts round off action in the ring. Golds will also be dished out in rhythmic gymnastics, wrestling, the men's mountain bike cross country race and the men's handball final.



Not since 2004 have the USA failed to claim the gold medal in men's basketball.

On that occasion, they suffered a stunning semi-final defeat to Argentina, who went on to take the title for the first time.

But the USA dominated en route to gold in Beijing and London and made relatively light work of Argentina in the quarter-finals in Rio.

It has been a largely unconvincing tournament from Mike Krzyzewski's men, as evidenced by their narrow 82-76 defeat of Spain in the semi-finals.

However, it would be a seismic shock if Serbia could pull off an upset and Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Carmelo Anthony will be expected to put on a show to make sure of the three-peat.



No men's volleyball team has been as consistent as Brazil in recent Olympic competition.

Brazil will compete in their fourth straight final on Sunday but are seeking a first gold since 2004 after defeats to the USA and Russia in 2008 and 2012 respectively.

Their opponents the last time Brazil won gold were Italy, who once again stand between the host nation and glory 12 years after that victory in Athens.

And Brazil's Lucas Saatkamp believes the Italians pose a significant threat to their Olympic title hopes.

Saatkamp said: "They have been serving very well. They also have players who improved a lot like Filippo Lanza and Osmany Juantorena who helped the team grow. They also have centres who play a big role in blocking, so it's a balanced team and I think they have been the most consistent team so far in the tournament."



Kenya can afford to be confident of gold in the men's marathon with Eliud Kipchoge leading their charge.

A bronze and silver medallist in the 5,000 metres at the 2004 and 2008 Games respectively, Kipchoge heads into the race in impressive form.

He recorded his second straight London Marathon win in April and also has victories to his name in Chicago and Berlin since 2014.

Compatriot Stanley Biwott is likely to be among his main challengers, along with Ethiopia's Tesfaye Abera and defending champion Stephen Kiprotich, who will be looking to become the first back-to-back winner since Waldemar Cierpinski in 1980.



Athletes, fans and delegates alike will flock back to the Maracana at 20:00 local time as Brazil says goodbye to the Games with a closing ceremony.

Details of what can be expected during the ceremony are scarce, but what we do know is that the Olympic flame - lit by Vanderlei de Lima 16 days ago - will be extinguished.

The torch will be passed on to those in charge of the next Games in Tokyo in four years before the flame is put out.

In addition, Rio's mayor Eduardo Paes will hand the Olympic flag to Tokyo's governor Yuriko Koike, although Brazil can still look forward to the Paralympics, which start on September 7.