Five more days of golden drought for Aussies in London
American Michael Phelps won the long-awaited 200 individual medley clash with compatriot Ryan Lochte to take his career Olympic medals to a new high of 20: 16 gold, two silver, and two bronze.
What an incredible competitor, the likes of which we may never see again.
Phelps stopped the clock at 1.54.27; Lochte 1.54.90.
In a surprise statement yesterday, London Games boss Seb Coe reckons Phelps is the most decorated Olympian but not necessarily the greatest.
Coe mentioned rower Sir Steve Redgrave and decathlete Daley Thompson, both Englishmen, along with Jesse Owens, as the greatest.
The boss is moving into dangerous waters even bringing up the subject.
One thing is for sure, Michael Phelps is one helluva swimmer.
There’s no argument he’s the greatest swimmer the world has ever seen, not only for his record medals, but also his versatility. And he’s not finished in London just yet: he was the fastest qualifier in the 100 fly this morning, looking for his 21st medal.
There was silver for 18-year-old Australian kayaker, Jessica Fox, just 0.61 seconds off gold. The world junior champion, Jessica went one better than her mother Myriam, who captured Olympic bronze in Atlanta 1996.
And double drama on the first night of cycling with red hot favourites Great Britain disqualified for an illegal change-over before the women’s team sprint medal round, and China had their world record setting gold relegated to silver with Germany promoted.
Aussies Anna Meares and Kaarle McCulloch won bronze.
The Australian men’s team sprint of Matthew Glaetzer, Shane Perkins, and Scott Sunderland missed out on bronze against Germany. The gold was won by Great Britain, giving Sir Chris Hoy his fifth in Olympic competition.
Celebrations began immediately when Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan won New Zealand gold in the double sculls, the Kiwis’ first at these Games.
And South Africa won their first-ever rowing gold, crewed by James Thompson, Matthew Brittain, John Smith, and Sizwe Ndlove, in the lightweight man’s four.
Both the Australian men’s lightweight four of Todd Skipworth, Sam Poeltz, Ben Cureton, and Anthony Edwards, and the women’s eights, didn’t fire in their finals.
The men finished fourth, and they are a far better crew than that. The women, sixth.
In the pool, Melanie Schlanger finished fourth in the 100 free final, 3/100ths of a second off a bronze. Dutch girl Ranomi Kromowidjojo won gold in an Olympic record 53 seconds dead.
Sally Foster finished eighth with 2.26.00 in her 200 breaststroke final, won in world record time by American Rebecca Soni with 2.19.59.
Mitch Larkin also finished eighth in his 200 backstroke final, won in Olympic record time by American Tyler Clary with 1.53.41. Defending champion Ryan Lochte took the bronze in 1.53.94.
In the semis:
Meagen Nay was third fastest qualifier for the 200 backstroke with 2.07,42, but Belinda Hocking missed the cut with 2.09.36. Fastest qualifier the American Elizabeth Beisel with 2.06.18.
Eamon Sullivan qualified in equal seventh with 21.88 for the 50 free final. James Magnussen missed the cut with 22 seconds dead, finishing sixth in his semi.
Rowing, and Kim Crow (26) is an excitement machine. She literally paddled her way through her semi of the single sculls to be third fastest.
A hot prospect of a 400 hurdler when she was 18, Crow was Jana Pittman’s closest rival when she badly broke her foot, her hurdling career done and dusted.
She switched to rowing and in London will compete in the double sculls as well with Brooke Pratley.
Kim Crow is golden material despite a gruelling schedule.
Around the venues:
The Hockeyroos beat USA 1-0, an important win to stay in touch, with Anna Flanagan the scorer.
The Boomers scored their first win of the Games with an 81-61 success over China. Patrick Mills showed the way with 20 points.
Six-times Olympian Russell Mark finished 20th in the double trap, an event he won gold in Atlanta in 1996, and silver in Sydney 2000.
Natalie Cook, gold medallist in Sydney 2000, and Tamsin Barnett, were eliminated from the beach volleyball.
The men’s water polo team were soundly beaten 13-9 by Spain.
And Roger Federer is just one win away from the only trophy of note he hasn’t won: Olympic singles gold. He meets Juan Martin del Porto in the final.
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