Posted by: crustynomad | August 15, 2008

Olympics – day 7

Today saw the start of the track cycling which will surely see the GB come back laden in medals. In the Men’s team sprint final, Great Britain won the third home Gold of the games with a time of 43:128 ahead of the French who had were victorious earlier in the year in the World Championships. Hats off to the three man team of Jamie Staff, Jason Kenny and Chris Hoy.

This was just the start in what was a startlingly successful day at the velodrome. Houvenaghel and Romero finished in one and two in the Women’s individual pursuit first round qualifiers while Bradley Wiggins lead the Men’s individual pursuit qualifiers with team mate Burke also progressing in fifth place.

For the first time in a couple of nights I had resumed my nocturnal viewing habits. This was mainly because it was the start of the track and field athletics and there were a couple of very tasty reasons to stay up.

Julie Hollman, who hails from my neck of the woods in South Lincolnshire, and Kelly Sotherton were both competing in the Heptathlon but it was a mixed day for both of them though Kelly will be happier with her Bronze medal position at the end of day one.

It was also the start of the 100m heats and what a rag-bag assortment of nations and abilities were on show. This was never more clearly evident than when former world record holder, Tyson Gay, finished nearly two and half seconds ahead of the man who came in last, American Samoan, Shanahan Sanitoa.

This is what the Olympics is all about and while you do question the right of some competitors being there when clearly better athletes are not, it makes for a nice warm feeling of humanity coming together to celebrate sport. Very corny but still true.

Ultimately it looks like the final medals will be between Jamaicans Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell, who performed well within themselves to reach the semis in 9.92 and 10.02secs respectively.

On the water is was a good day for the GB rowers with 10 crews in the finals which is more than any other nation. The Men’s team convincingly won their lightweight double sculls semi-final ahead the Italians and are a great Gold prospect for tomorrow so the best of luck to Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter.

The sailing is still going well with team GB expected to reap the rewards of a strong few days on the water. After eight races Ben Ainslie and the women’s absurdly titled Yngling class team were both in pole position with Ainslie guaranteed a Silver and a Bronze for the girls.

Ben just has to ensure that the second placed competitor, Zach Railey of the US, doesn’t beat him by six places. This is precisely why the Britain’s game plan is to ‘stick to Zach like glue’ and not worry about his final race placing. For the women to finish third would require a set of circumstances that would be as cruel as they are unlikely. The are currently on 22pts, one ahead of the Netherlands on 23 with Greece way back on 42.

Finally we have the sixth edition of the Michael Phelps Gold rush. As expected, it was another world record, this time in the 200m individual medley finishing in 1 min 54.23secs ahead of Laszlo Cseh of Hugary and Ryan Lochte of the USA. Lochte did get his moment of glory when he triumphed in the 200m backstroke final with a world record of his own.

Here is the medal table at the end of day seven.

Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze TOTAL
1 China 26 9 6 41
2 USA 14 13 19 46
3 Germany 8 2 4 14
4 South Korea 6 9 3 18
5 Italy 6 4 4 14
6 Japan 6 4 3 13
7 Australia 5 7 8 20
8 Russia 3 8 8 19
9 France 3 8 7 18
10 Great Britain 3 2 3 8

To read my other daily reports. please go to my Olympic index page

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