Phelps brilliant, but another goldless Aussie day in London
If anybody needed any proof Michael Phelps’ phenomenal ability isn’t on the wane, last night’s 100 fly final was it.
The American came from seventh at the turn to win in 51.21, his 17th Olympic gold to go with his two silver, and two bronze. Silver was shared by South African Chad de Clos, and Evgeny Korotyshkin in 51.44.
In the very next race, tiny 15-year-old American Katie Ledecky faded in the last 5m to miss a world record in the 800 free of 8.14.10, but still blitzed an elite field in 8.14.63 from Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia’s 8.18.76 and England’s world record holder Rebecca Adlington’s 8.20.32.
No Australians were in either race, but Eamon Sullivan finished eighth in the 50 free in 21.98 – the gold won by Frenchman Floren Manaudou with 21.34.
It took a world record by Great Britain to win team pursuit cycling gold over the Australians Jock Bobridge, Glenn O’Shea, Rohan Dennis, and Michael Hepburn, with bronze to the Kiwis.
And Anna Meares finished fifth in the final of the keirin, won by her great rival, England’s Victoria Pendleton.
Kim Crow and Brooke Pratley won silver in the women’s double sculls won by a very proficient Great Britain, undefeated for the last two years.
Crow will be on duty for the sixth time at this regatta tonight in the final of the single sculls, her pet event. Dare we think gold without imposing the kiss of death?
Bronze for the Australian quad fours of Dan Noonan, Karsten Fosterling, James McRae, and Chris Morgan behind Germany and Croatia. A big disappointment for the Croatians, unbeaten all year.
But no joy for the Australian men’s pair of James Marburg and Brodie Buckland, finishing fifth in the final, emphatically won by New Zealand’s Eric Murray and Hamish Bond, who have been unbeaten for four years.
And a third rowing gold for New Zealand with Mahe Drysdale capturing the single sculls. The Kiwis are having a ball at Australia’s expense.
In the semis:
At Wimbledon and world number one Roger Federer dodged a major bullet in his bid to win his first Olympic singles gold when he eventually edged past Juan Martin del Potro 3-6 7-6 19-17 in a 4 hour 26-minute marathon – the longest best of three sets match in the history of the Open era.
The final set alone took 2 hours 47. Federer converted only 2 of 13 break points (15%), and made 41 unforced errors.
Federer will meet Andy Murray for gold, after the Scot had surprised Novak Djokovic 7-5 7-5.
In the women’s, Serena Williams thumped Victoria Azarenka 6-1 6-2, while Maria Sharapova easily beat Maria Kirilenko 6-2 6-3.
The Bryan twins, Bob and Mike, beat Julian Benneteau and Richard Gasquet 6-4 6-4, and will meet Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra in the final after their 6-3 4-6 18-16 win over David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez.
In the pool, the Australian Campbell sisters Bronte (24.94) and Cate (25.01) both missed the cut for the 50 free final. The Netherlands Ranomi Kromowidjojo the fastest qualifier with 24.07.
Mitchell Watt (7.99) and Henry Frayne (7.95) have both qualified for the long jump final.
Around the venues:
Three Australian sailing classes are still well in medal contention – Olivia Price, Nina Curtis, and Lucinda Whitty in match racing, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen in the 49ers, plus Tom Slingsby in his Laser.
Still to come, the white-hot gold medal chance with Malcolm Page and Matthew Belcher in the 470 class.
The Opals secured a quarter-final berth with an unconvincing 70-66 win over Russia. Captain Laura Jsckson had a very quiet game by her lofty standards, while Liz Cambage top-scored for the Opals with 17, that included the first female slam dunk in Olympic history,
But the gold-seeking Kookaburras received a major wake-up call with a 2-2 result against Argentina.
Having chalked up 11 goals to nil in their first two games, the Kookas led 2-0 at the break last night, but let in two second-half goals, and were lucky to draw in the end.
Captain Jamie Dwyer’s goal made him the greatest goal-scorer in Australia’s history.
In the 3m springboard diving, Jaele Patrick and Sharleen Stratton, both qualified for semis.
Water polo and Australian “Stingers” cemented top spot in their group with an 11-8 win over previously unbeaten Russia.
At Olympic Park Brendan Cole and Tristan Thomas both qualified for the semis of the 400 hurdles.
Australian Youcef Abdi had an automatic 3000 steeplechase final spot in his keeping until he clipped the very last obstacle and stumbled. The first four in each heat qualified, Abdi finished sixth.
Dale Stevenson finished 26th in the men’s shot put, but only the top 12 qualified for the final.
On the debit side, Australian rower Josh Booth, a crew member of the eights, will be sent home for disorderly conduct, damaging a shop window in London on a late night drinking spree that will cost him $2100 to repair, and Todd Woodbridge had a push and shove incident with a security guard in the village in the early hours of the morning.
Simple question, why can’t they just enjoy the privilege of being an Olympian and behave like normal people?
With the Australians a meagre 17th on the medal tally, it’s high time green and gold started to do the job they were selected for – to compete to the best of their ability.
London 2012 Olympics – Day 7 Gallery
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