LANE ONE: NBC warms up the country before Tokyo: two weeks of U.S. Olympic trials, so set your viewing schedule now

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/Updated/While the whining continues over whether the Tokyo Games should be held or will be held, the time for talk has ended over picking the U.S. team in the three biggest medal sports for the American delegation: swimming, track & field and gymnastics.

Consider this: in these three sports alone, the U.S. won 77 medals in Rio in 2016 – 33 in swimming, 32 in track and 12 in gymnastics. That’s more – in just three sports – than any other nation won in the entire Games, as China was second with 70 total medals. The U.S. won another 44 medals for a total of 121.

The U.S. diving trials concluded on Sunday, when plenty of surprises (see the links to Sunday’s coverage above) and the swimming trials started Sunday night from Omaha. The track & field trials start on Friday (18th) from Eugene and the gymnastics trials start the 24th, from St. Louis.

All of this action is on NBC, of course – over the air, on cable and online – hoping to get you primed to spend two full weeks watching the Tokyo Games. In many ways, the trials are just as compelling as the Games; in swimming, for example, there are three medals to be handed out in Tokyo, but only the top two make the U.S. team at the Trials and even that is not assured given the squad-size limitations.

So here’s a day-by-day roster of what to expect, and who to expect to see in live finals broadcasts (see the link above for the entire TV schedule, including prelims, and delayed broadcasts):

14 June (Monday: 8 p.m. Eastern on NBC): Swimming, with women’s 100 m Fly (Torri Huske), men’s 100 m Breast (Michael Andrew), women’s 400 m Free (Katie Ledecky).

15 June (Tuesday: 8 p.m. Eastern on NBC): Swimming, with men’s 200 m Free (Kieran Smith), women’s 100 m Back (Regan Smith), men’s 100 m Back (Ryan Murphy), women’s 100 m Breast (Lilly King).

16 June (Wednesday: 8 p.m. Eastern on NBC): Swimming, with women’s 200 m Free (Ledecky), men’s 200 m Fly (Chase Kalisz), women’s 200 m Medley (Madisyn Cox), women’s 1,500 m Free (Ledecky).

17 June (Thursday: 8 p.m. Eastern on NBCSN): Swimming, with men’s 800 m Free (Jordan Wilimovsky), men’s 200 m Breast (Nic Fink), women’s 200 m Fly (Hali Flickinger), men’s 100 m Free (Caleb Dressel).

18 June (Friday: 9 p.m. Eastern on NBC): Swimming, with women’s 200 m Breast (King), men’s 200 m Back (Murphy), men’s 200 m Medley (Andrew), women’s 100 m Free (Simone Manuel).

+ Track & Field (10 p.m. Eastern on NBC): men’s 10,000 m (Grant Fisher) men’s Shot (Ryan Crouser).

19 June (Saturday: 9 p.m. Eastern on NBC): Swimming, with men’s 100 m Fly (Dressel), women’s 200 m Back (Smith), women’s 800 m Free (Ledecky).

+ Track & Field (10 p.m. Eastern on NBC): women’s 100 m (Sha’Carri Richardson), women’s Discus (Valarie Allman).

20 June (Sunday: 8 p.m. Eastern on NBC): Swimming, with men’s 50 m Free (Dressel), women’s 50 m Free (Manuel), men’s 1,500 m Free (Wilimovsky).

+ Track & Field (9 p.m. Eastern on NBC): women’s 400 m (Allyson Felix), men’s 400 m (Michael Norman), women’s 100 m hurdles (Keni Harrison), men’s 100 m (Trayvon Bromell), men’s decathlon (Harrison Williams) plus men’s Hammer (Rudy Winkler), women’s High Jump (Vashti Cunningham) and women’s Triple Jump (Keturah Orji).

21 June (Monday: 8 p.m. on NBC): Track & Field, with women’s 1,500 m (Shelby Houlihan), women’s 5,000 m (Karissa Schweizer), men’s 800 m (Donavan Brazier) plus men’s Pole Vault (Sam Kendricks), men’s Javelin (Curtis Thompson), men’s Triple Jump (Will Claye).

22-23 June: rest days

24 June (Thursday: 6:30 p.m. on NBCSN): Gymnastics, with the men’s first day (Sam Mikulak).

+ Track & Field (9 p.m. Eastern on NBCSN): women’s 3,000 m Steeple (Emma Coburn), women’s Shot (Felisha Johnson).

25 June (Friday: 5 p.m. Eastern on NBCN): Track & Field, with men’s 3,000 m Steeple (Hillary Bor), men’s Discus (Mason Finley).

+ Gymnastics (8 p.m. Eastern on NBC): women’s first day (Simone Biles).

26 June (Saturday: 4 p.m. Eastern on NBC): Gymnastics: men’s second day (Mikulak).

+ Track & Field (9 p.m. Eastern on NBC): men’s 110 m hurdles (Grant Holloway), 400 m hurdles (Rai Benjamin), women’s 200 m (Richardson), women’s 10,000 m (Emily Sisson), plus women’s Hammer (DeAnna Price), women’s Javelin (Maggie Malone), women’s Pole Vault (Sandi Morris), women’s Long Jump (Brittney Reese).

27 June (Sunday: 7 p.m. Eastern on NBC): Track & Field, with women’s 400 m hurdles (Dalilah Muhammad), women’s 800 m (Ajee Wilson), men’s 1,500 m (Matthew Centrowitz), men’s 200 m (Noah Lyles), men’s 5,000 m (Paul Chelimo), women’s heptathlon (Kendell Williams), plus men’s High Jump (JuVaughn Harrison), men’s Long Jump (Jeff Henderson).

+ Gymnastics (8:30 p.m. Eastern on NBC): women’s second day (Biles).

Check your local listings, as NBC is slotting these events in primetime, so those of us in the western states won’t see the events live, but only on delay.

(TSX readers: please note that although there will be daily posts on these Trials, not all of these will be sent by e-mail. The best way to be sure you’re informed of new posts is to follow TSX on Twitter here).

Those wondering if the Trials could be scheduled even closer to the Games should note that the qualification deadline set by the Tokyo organizers is Tuesday, 29 June, and the final entry deadline is 5 July, so this is cutting it about as close as you can get. Rest assured, lawyers and arbitration panels are standing by.

(Thanks to sharp-eyed reader Duffy Mahoney of USA Track & Field for updating the qualification vs. entry deadlines.)

Crazy things happen in sports and especially under the pressure of the U.S. Trials, as well as the Olympic Games. Check the schedule above, and from your local stations, as well as the steaming opportunities, mostly on NBCOlympics.com.

I have extra popcorn ready to go. This is going to be epic.

Rich Perelman
Editor

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