5 to Watch: Local Olympians Medal in Rio - NBC Chicago
2016 Rio Olympic Games

2016 Rio Olympic Games

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5 to Watch: Local Olympians Medal in Rio

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Wednesday was a big day for local Olympians looking to medal in Rio.

    With track-and-field in full swing and U.S. teams facing elimination rounds, the competition definitely heated up.

    Here are the five to watch for Day 12 of the Rio Games.

    Photo credit: Getty Images

    1. Evan Jager Wins Historic Silver Medal in Men's 3,000m Steeplechase

    Algonquin runner Evan Jager may be a veteran Olympian but he took home his first Olympic medal Wednesday with a historic second-place finish in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase.

    Jager finished with a time of 8:04.28 in a thrilling race, coming just behind Kenya's Conseslus Kipruto, who finished in 8:03.28. 

    The last American to medal in the steeplechase was Brian Diemer in 1984.

    Jager, who set the American record in his fifth competitive steeplechase race ever, competed in the 2012 Games but fell short of medaling, coming in sixth in the event’s final race.

    The Jacobs High School graduate known for his billowing blond hair and intense speeds, was originally a 5K runner, an event that gained him success after he traded his career at University of Wisconsin-Madison for a professional one with Nike in Portland, Ore.

    How to watch: Jager competed in the men’s 300m steeplechase final at 9:50 a.m. CT. Watch coverage here.

    Show jumper Kent Farrington, of Chicago helped lift Team USA to a silver medal in the team jumping final Wednesday.

    Farrington finished the first round of the team final event with a 0 score, the best possible score in the event. He went on to round two with a score of 1.

    Elizabeth "Beezie" Madden was also expected to compete in the event, but her horse suffered an injury that forced them to withdraw from the team jumping show. 

    Other Americans on the team included Lucy Davis and McLain Ward.

    Farrington will go on to compete in Friday's individual jumping final.

    How to watch: The individual and team events took place simultaneously beginning at 8 a.m. CT. Watch coverage online.

    Lockport native and Olympic wrestler Haley Augello finished the women's 69kg event just short of a medal.

    Augello won her first match by a landslide, but fell in the quarterfinal match to Japan's Eri Tosaka, who went on to win gold. 

    Augello competed again in the Repechage Round 2, looking to advance to the bronze medal match, but fell to Kazakhstan's Zhuldyz Eshimova 3-2.

    Augello, who currently wrestles at King University, won championships at the Women’s University Nationals and Olympic Team Trials. She clinched her ticket to Rio when she placed second during an Olympic Games World Qualifying Tournament in Mongolia.

    “[It will be] one of the most amazing mats I’ll ever walk on besides any other team I’ll make,” Augello said.

    At the age of 9, Augello picked up on the sport when her brother would come home from wrestling and practice his moves on her. She attended a practice with her brother’s team and instantly fell in love.

    She is joined in Rio by her four siblings, parents and grandparents thanks to donations made via a GoFundMe page that helped pay for their travel.

    How to watch: Augello competed in the women’s 48kg freestyle events Wednesday beginning at 8 a.m. CT. Watch coverage here

    Zach Ziemek hopes to add his name to the list of historic decathletes in Rio this year.

    The Itasca native finished the 2016 Olympic Trials with a personal record of 8,413 points from all 10 events in the decathlon. He is also a Big Ten record-holder in the decathlon and the NCAA champion in the indoor heptathlon.

    He will face Ashton Eaton in the competition, however, who is considered the “world’s greatest athlete” by winning decathlon gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics and at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships. In 2015, the Oregon-native became the first decathlete to win the IAAF Athlete of the Year award after breaking his own decathlon world record. He also holds the indoor heptathlon world record, as well as heptathlon gold medals from the 2012, 2014 and 2016 World Indoor Championships.

    Eaton was leading in the decathlon after the first three events Wednesday. He came in second in the 100 meters, first in long jump, and 10th in shot put. The high jump and 400 meters were still to come on Wednesday.

    Ziemek finished third in the 100 meters, ninth in the long jump and 25th in the shot put. 

    How to watch: Ziemek began the first of two days of Decathlon events Wednesday, competing in the 100m, the long jump, the high jump and the 400m. Coverage of the events began at 7:30 a.m. CT with the men’s decathlon 100m. Watch coverage here.

    Photo credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

    2. Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross Win Bronze Against Brazil

    Defending gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and her partner April Ross lost their chance at a gold medal in the Rio Olympics, but they won the bronze medal Wednesday after defeating a tough Brazilian duo.

    The dynamic duo lost Tuesday’s semifinal match against Brazil’s Agatha and Barbara Seixas de Freitas by a score of 21 to 18. It marked only the third and fourth lost sets of Walsh Jennings' storied Olympic career. Dating back to the 2004 Olympics in Athens, the 38-year-old racked up 26 wins and, now, one loss.

    They advanced to the bronze medal match Wednesday, where they played another Brazilian team, Larissa Franca Maestrini and Talita Rocha.

    Brazil's Talita and Larissa won the first set 21-17, while the U.S. won the second 21-17. The U.S. then took the deciding set 15-9 to take the bronze medal. 

    U.S. Olympic middleweight boxer Claressa Shields, who won a gold medal at the London games, hopes to repeat in Rio, as she poses for photographs at the U.S. Olympic Training Center June 23, 2016, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
    Photo credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images

    3. Claressa Shields Advances to Boxing Semis After Debut Fight in Rio

    Top American boxer Claressa Shields has won her first round in the ring at the Rio Olympics.

    Shields beat Russia's Yaroslava Yakushina in the women's middleweight quarterfinals on Wednesday with a 3-0 score. She moves on into the semifinals. She will face the winner of the second match in her division: Dariga Shakimova of Kazakhstan on Friday.

    The Michigan native unexpectedly dominated the first Olympic women's boxing tournament in London and won the gold medal, becoming the first American woman to win gold in the sport.

    Shields hasn't lost a fight since London, winning two world championships and a Pan-American Games title.

    Shields began boxing in 2006 at age 11, when she found herself getting picked on. A year later, she started boxing after being motivated by a story that her father – a former boxer – told her about Laila Ali taking after her dad, the great Muhammad Ali.

    How to watch: Boxing Day 12 coverage begins online at 12 p.m. CT.

    USA's forward Carmelo Anthony (L) works around France's power forward Boris Diaw during a Men's round Group A basketball match between USA and France at the Carioca Arena 1 in Rio de Janeiro on August 14, 2016, during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
    Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images

    4. Men's Basketball: US Beats Argentina, Advances to Semifinals

    The U.S. men's basketball team powered into the semifinals of the Olympics, beating Argentina 105-78 on Wednesday night.

    Emphatically ending a stretch of three straight close games, the Americans turned a slow start into an early ending with a 27-2 run in the first half.

    Sportsmanship, Perfection Interrupted and Biles' 4th Gold

    They will meet Spain on Friday in a rematch of the last two gold-medal games. Spain beat France 92-67 earlier Wednesday.

    Kevin Durant scored 27 points for the Americans.

    How to watch: Catch coverage of the U.S men’s team online.

    Usain Bolt of Jamaica points to the sky before winning the Men's 100 meter final on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on Aug. 14, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
    Photo credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

    5. Usain Bolt Back on the Track, Tori Bowie Runs for Gold in Women’s 200m

    Bolt already has one Rio gold in the men’s 100m. Now he’s competing in the 200m semifinals as he continues his pursuit to win gold in three events across three Olympic games.

    Bolt finished first in his heat of Tuesday's qualifying event in 20.28 seconds.

    Bolt will run in the semifinals Wednesday, and if that goes as expected, he'll be lining up for gold medal No. 8 on Thursday night, where the biggest drama may not be whether he wins, but whether he cracks the once-thought-untouchable 19-second barrier. He already owns both the world record at 19.19, and Olympic record at 19.30.

    American Tori Bowie, who has already won a silver in the women’s 100m, also looks to add to her medal count as she races in the 200m final. Standing in her way will be Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson, who won gold in the 100m.

    How to watch: Evening track and field coverage begins live online at 6:20 p.m. CT. Bolt’s race is expected after 8 p.m. CT.

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