For British fans the third day of Beijing 2008 will live long in the memory. This is not because it was a medal fest because it most certainly was not. For all the events of which there were 13 Golds and a total of 39 medals up for grabs, team GB came back with just two.
But what a two it was!
Rebecca Adlington won the Olympic 400m Freestyle title with an astonishing performance. Watch the race here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/olympics/swimming/7553217.stm
Rebecca came from nowhere to claim Gold from Katie Hoff by 0.07 of a second with Jo Jackson claiming third. There delight at their achievement is what makes the Olympics so special. This was yet another case of the best of the action taking place while I was asleep but even watching the playback I was in tears. I was so pleased for them and so proud too.
My earlier nocturnal viewing wasn’t what it could’ve been with most of the schedule making way for the Equestrian cross-country. The time limit was 8:00 and to my knowledge no-one got anywhere near it so there were time penalties aplenty. To sum up the eventual situation following the cross-country, Great Britain profited from the teams above them making mistakes. As the day closed Germany lead the from Australia with Britain third going into Tuesday’s show jumping final. This was largely due to William Fox-Pitt producing the second-fastest time.
In other events the Men’s archers disappeared in the first round losing to Japan while in the synchronised diving there was a remarkable spat between Blake Aldridge and his 14 year old dive partner Tom Daley.
You can read the full transcript of Blake’s interview here but basically Aldridge blamed Daley for the failure stating that he was ‘over-nervous’. Part of the problem stemmed from Aldridge asking his mum to call him before the fifth and final dive. Daley said they were still in the competition so no-one should be making calls.
Frankly, I agree with the youngster – he was giving it his all even though they were destined to finish last of eight but to criticise someone so young is questionable behaviour indeed. Jealousy perhaps?
Incidentally, Michael Phelps won his second Gold in the 4 x 100 m Freestyle Relay in another world record. This was one of the most amazing swimming races I’ve ever seen. The US team beat the French in a final touch with almost every team breaking the previous world record. The British team managed to smash the UK record by 18 seconds in two races…and they still came last!
Here’s the race in full.
Day three medal table with GB in seventh.
To read my other daily reports. please go to my Olympic index page.