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Ato Boldon’s three must-see races at the Olympics

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NBC Olympics track and field analyst Ato Boldon picked three races to watch at the 2016 Rio Olympics. 

Men’s 400m
Sunday, Aug. 14 – Final at 9:00 p.m. ET

Ato Boldon describes the 400m race from the 2015 World Championships as “one of the best ever.”

South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk defeated LaShawn Merritt, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist, and Grenada’s Kirani James, the 2012 Olympic champion. It was the first time three men went sub-44 seconds in a 400m race. 

Van Niekerk ran so hard that he had to be taken of the track on a stretcher as a precaution. 

The three sprinters will meet again in Rio. 

“The world record could be threatened to win,” Boldon said. 

Men’s 100m
Sunday, Aug. 14 – Final at 9:25 p.m. ET

Usain Bolt is attempting to become the first man to win three consecutive Olympic 100m gold medals.

If anyone can beat him, it is Justin Gatlin. Gatlin is the only sprinter with a victory over Bolt in the 100m since the 2012 Olympics. 

The two rivals have not raced since the 2015 World Championships, where Bolt edged Gatlin by .01 seconds in the 100m final. 

“Nobody has been that close to defeating Bolt since his run started in 2008,” Boldon said. 

Women’s 400m
Monday, Aug. 15 – Final at 9:45 p.m. ET

Six-time Olympic medalist Allyson Felix will run the 400m at the Olympics for the first time in Rio.

She will be challenged by the Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller, who Boldon describes as “improved.” She is undefeated in 2016 and has the year’s fastest time, 49.55 seconds. 

Felix won the 400m title at Trials on July 3 in 49.68 seconds.

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