London 2012 morning wrap: Magnussen back, Phelps becomes King
US swimmer Michael Phelps. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON
Michael Phelps’ 4×200 freestyle relay gold makes the American the new record holder of Olympic medals in history, with 19, edging past Russian gymnastic legend Larissa Latynina’s 18.
The US relay team blitzed the field with 6.59.70, from France and China, with the Australians fifth in 7.07.00.
Phelps isn’t the dominating force he was in Beijing, with eight golds.
But he’s still one helluva competitor, even though it wasn’t all roses for Phelps in the 200 fly final last night.
For 199 metres, Phelps led all the way until South African Chad de Clos came from nowhere to grab gold with his last stroke near the wall against Phelps’ glide.
Good news for Australia: James Magnussen is back.
He and Phelps were the key competitors from Day 4 in the pool at the London Olympics.
Magnussen regained his “Missile” status in the semis of the 100 freestyle after failing miserably in the 4×100 freestyle relay two nights ago. He was fastest qualifier for tomorrow night’s final with 47.63, the second fastest time in the world this year.
James Roberts missed out with 48.57.
Alicia Coutts has a full set of London medals after taking silver with 2.08.15 in the 200IM final to China’s supergirl Ye Shiwen’s Olympic record 2.07.57.
Stephanie Rice finished fourth in 2.09.55 in her best swim of the meet.
Bronte Barratt was the fastest qualifier for the 200 freestyle, but couldn’t repeat the performance where it counted. American Allison Schmitt won effortlessly in 1.53.61 from French lass Camille Muffat with 1.55.58, with Barratt 1.55.81 edging out American Missy Franklin 1.55.82 for bronze.
Australian Kylie Palmer finished eighth.
Brenton Rickard was lethargic in qualifying for the 200 breaststroke semis, but snapped out of it to reach the final in lane 8 with 2.09.31. Brit Michael Jamieson fastest with 2.08.20.
Jessica Schipper finished 13th fastest in the semis of the 200 fly with a time of 2.08.21. American Kathleen Hersey showed the way with 2.05.90.
And the synchronised diving team of Loudy Wiggins and Rachel Bugg finished a close fourth off the 10m platform.
Around the venues:
The Australians are sailing superbly, with the match racing crew of Lucinda Whitty, Nina Curtis, and Olivia Price unbeaten in six races, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen are on top of the 49er class table, despite capsizing overnight, while Tom Slingsby leads the Laser class.
Genuine hopes are building up in the rowing. Crossing my fingers that comment isn’t the kiss of death.
Kim Crow is head and shoulders above the field in the women’s single sculls to reach the semis, the women’s eights have qualified for the final, as have the men’s lightweight fours.
The Sharks, the Australian men’s water polo team, chalked up their first win with a 7-4 success over Kazakhstan, goalkeeper Joel Dennerley outstanding for the Sharks with numerous saves. “Blocker” Roach’s son Aidan scored for the second time in as many games.
But no joy for the Australian equestrians, who were confident to medal pre-tournament. They finished sixth in the team event, with veteran Andrew Hoy, in his seventh Olympics, the best-performed in the individual finishing 13th, Chris Burton 16th.
The team medals went to Germany, Great Britain with Zara Phillips becoming the first British royal to medal at an Olympics, and New Zealand bronze, the Kiwis first medal of these Games.
The individual to Germany’s Michael Jung on his 30th birthday, Sweden’s Sara Algotsson Osholt, and Germany’s Sandra Auffarth.
In keeping with the increasing number of shocks and disappointments London has produced so far, Osholt only had to clear the last obstacle in the show-jumping to claim gold, but her horse just clipped the rail and took it down – gold turned to instant silver in a heartbeat.
No joy either for the men’s basketball Boomers beaten 82-70 by Spain, the silver medallists in Beijing and ranked second in the world. It was the Boomers second successive loss having been beaten 75-71 by Brazil in the opening round.
And the women’s volleyball team of Louise Bawden and Becc Palmer were beaten in straight sets by the Dutch.
The big question for tomorrow night will be James Magnussen.
Can he redeem himself and lift Australia’s sinking swimming stocks?
London 2012 Olympics – Day 5 Gallery