NBC Olympics.com – The second of three days of event finals will begin at 1 p.m. ET on Monday, Aug. 15th. The men's still rings, men's vault and women's balance beam finals will be contested. Watch live on NBC Olympics or tape-delayed in primetime on NBC.
Men's still rings
Four years ago, Arthur Zanetti won Brazil's first Olympic medal in gymnastics with a gold on still rings. He and the roaring Brazilian fans that fill the Olympic Arena would like nothing more than to see Zanetti win another in the still rings final at the Rio Olympics. Standing in his way will be Greece's Eleftherios Petrounias, the 2015 world champion on rings. and China's Liu Yang, the 2014 world champion and top qualifier into the final.
This final will also be partially notable for who is not competing. France's Samir Ait Said and the Netherlands' Yuri van Gelder has top-eight rings scores in qualifications, but circumstances took them out of the final. Ait Said broke his leg on the vault in the preliminary round; he has already had surgery and says he plans to be back for the 2020 Olympics. Van Gelder was expelled from the Dutch Olympic team for breaking their rules of conduct. He left the Olympic Village, and when he returned early the next morning after a night of drinking, reportedly disturbed other athletes who were trying to sleep. He was sent back to the Netherlands, filed a lawsuit in hopes of being reinstated, but was denied.
With two world championships titles and a complicated vault named after him, North Korea's Ri Se-Gwang will be the favorite for gold in the men's vault final.
Ri's vault consists of a quarter twist onto the vaulting table then two back flips with a full twist off.
He won't be the only gymnast doing his own eponymous skill in the final. Romania's Marian Dragulescu will do the Dragulescu, which earned him a bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics. The 35-year-old is competing at his fourth Games and hopes the vault--two front flips with a half twist before landing--will win him gold in Rio.
Other medal contenders will be Japan's Kenzo Shirai, known as the "Twist Prince" for his ease with twisting skills, and Ukraine's Oleg Verniaiev, who already won all-around silver in Rio.
Women's balance beam
The last event of the day will be the women's balance beam, where Simone Biles will compete for her fourth Olympic medal of the Rio Games. If she succeeds in winning beam gold, she'll tie with four other women--Ecaterina Szabo, Vera Caslavska, Agnes Keleti and Larisa Latynina--for most gold medals won by a female gymnast in a single Olympics.
As the two-time reigning world champion on beam, Biles has a history of staying steady under pressure--and strong nerves are perhaps just as important as high difficulty and perfect execution when it comes to the beam. Joining her in the final will be another American, Laurie Hernandez. The 16-year-old has never performed at a major international competition before, but has shown so far that she can handle the Olympic spotlight. Biles and Hernandez were the top two qualifiers into the final.
In third was Flavia Saraiva, the 16-year-old Brazilian gymnast that has enchanted crowds with her charisma and powerful tumbling. Being just 4-foot-4, Saraiva is one of the lightest beam workers in Rio, meaning that she seems to float about the 4-inch-wide wooden beam.
The Netherlands' Sanne Wevers will also be fighting for a medal. She won silver at the 2015 World Championships in dramatic fashion; after she got off the beam, she hurried to her notebook to calculate her own difficulty score. When the judges posted a different one, she appealed. They determined that she was right and they were wrong, and raised her score.