On the first day of competition I found myself waking up during the Dressage but as I spent the early hours writing my first Olympic blog on day two I had to first endure the terrible sideshow of the political situation in Georgia on BBCNews24 before coverage from Beijing began.
I was perturbed to see that there was a second day of Dressage coverage to sit through. However things were looking up for the Brits largely due to Mary King who finished 9th individually which pushed the team position to fourth behind the USA. I’m almost inclined to keep a look out tomorrow to see if they can get into the medals.
Most of the action centred on the swimming on terrestrial TV with the main focus being on Michael Phelps. As expected the American romped away to win in a new world record in the 400m individual medley in 4:03:84, nearly 2.5 seconds ahead of his nearest challenger, Laszlo Cseh of Hungary.
I’m no expert but his physique and performance was just absolutely awesome. Makes me breathe in just thinking about it.
‘Ah! We’re in this one!’
It was a quarter-final team match with the Japanese and it was quite interesting viewing. Each team had 24 arrows over eight rounds with each competitor firing once in turn. The team leading on points went second in the following round.
When I started watching GB were about 4 points up but the Japanese fought back to be leading going into the final round. Against everything they’d shown in the previous three rounds they pulled out a couple of bullseyes to win by a whisker. I would have to wait awhile to see how they would get on in their semi-final.
In bed it was the radio again but I was no fit state to stay awake any longer so I needn’t have bothered. Unfortunately I missed the highlight of the day, particularly from a British perspective, as we got our first medal, a Gold in the women’s road cycling for Nicole Cooke .
After 3 hours 32 minutes and 24 seconds Nicole came out in front in a blanket finish in torrential rain. As the BBC’s Simon Brotherton put it: “Cooke pulled off the biggest victory of her life thanks to a combination of ability, tactical nous and sheer guts.”
Some time later while watching the online coverage on my laptop I chanced across GB against the French in the Archery. Was this the final or was it for the Bronze? The standard was such that it had to be the latter as many scores were 7 or 8s and so it proved.
Again the Brits started well but tailed off badly and were left 3 points adrift going into the final round. Amazingly we finished with two bulls and a 9 to put the pressure back on the French. With the final arrow France needed an 8 and that is exactly what they got to win by a point. Zut alors!
Other interesting results on the second day saw Ben Ainslie move up to second following in the Finn Class while Ben Rhodes and Stevie Morrison moved to top of the standings in the 49er class after three races in the Olympic sailing regatta.
For day three I will be looking forward to the Men’s Archery and Blake Aldridge and 14 year old Tom Daley in the Men’s 10m synchro Diving. With only eight teams in the Olympic event, the man and boy pair could well sneak a medal so make sure you are watching from 7:30am for about an hour to cheer them on.
To read my other daily reports. please go to my Olympic index page.