A fifth Olympic gold as the Australian sailors take control
Australia's Iain Jensen (L) and Nathan Outteridge (R) celebrate on the podium after winning gold in the 49er sailing class. AFP PHOTO/William WEST
Sailors Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen officially claimed Australia’s fifth London Olympics gold medal last night even though they were the 49er champions two days ago with an unassailable points lead.
All they had to do last night was turn up and cross the starting line.
For Outteridge, it was redemption for Beijing.
He teamed up with Ben Austin and was leading both the final race and the battle for gold when they capsized within sight of the finishing line.
But there’s more gold in store from the scenic Weymouth course with Malcolm Page and Matthew Belcher in the 470 class, and Olivia Price, Nina Curtis, and Lucinda Whitty in the Elliott 6m match race class, making it a probable four golds from the regatta.
It’s been a superb team effort from the Australians, who have gone about their business with quiet confidence, no dramatics, and total professionalism. They have shown the rest of the Australian Olympic team how to succeed.
Their four golds will be earned the hard way, and thoroughly deserved,
There was sheer delight in the 80,000 strong Olympic Park for 26-year-old American Allyson Felix with her gold in the 200. Only last week she said she would give up all her world champion medals for one Olympic gold.
Now she’s got it, with a withering run around the bend to win handsomely in 21.88.
There is no more beautifully balanced athlete at the Games than Allyson Felix, so justice has been done.
Silver went to the 100 champion Shelly-Ann Frazer-Pryce from Jamaica in 22.09, and bronze to American Carmelita Jeter from the outside lane in 22.14.
Another Jamaican, Veronica Campbell-Brown, seeking an unprecedented third successive 200 gold, finished fourth in 22.38.
And American Sonya Richards-Rodd, seeking a 200 gold to go with her 400, finished fifth in 22.39.
This was an elite field.
But don’t take any notice of the men’s 200 semi-final times.
Defending champion Usain Bolt looked like he was jogging down to the newsagency to pick up any paper with his photo on both the front and back pages, clocking 20.18.
Yohan Blake turned off 20m out and almost stopped on the line with 20.01.
These two magnificent Jamaicans will blitz the field tomorrow night in the final. The big question: can Bolt break his own world record of 19.19?
With this bloke, anything is possible.
In Bolt’s case, lightning can strike twice.
The 110 men’s hurdles has seen carnage since the opening round. None more so than the world record holder and defending champion from Cuba, Dayron Robles, who snapped a hammie in the final last night clearing the second of 10 hurdles.
That left the most consistent performer this year, American Aries Merritt, with gold, and with 12.87, he gave Robles’ world record of 12.84 a decent shake.
Australians around the venues:
The men’s water polo team lost 11-8 to Serbia in the quarters.
Defending champion Steve Hooker qualified ninth for the final of the pole vault with 5.50. Germany’s Raphael Holzdeppe, and Renaus Lavillnie led the way with 5.65.
BMX, with gold medal favourite Caroline Buchanan leading the women’s seeds with 38.434 seconds, Lauren Reynolds ninth with 40,045.
In the men’s BMX, Sam Worthington is sixth with 38.496 seconds, Khalen Young 17th with 39.304, Brian Kirkham 22nd with 39.610.
Gymnast Lauren Mitchell finished fifth in the floor final, despite nailing some very difficult tumbling moves. The 2010 world floor champion, Australia’s first, was a miserly 0.066 points away from a bronze last night she richly deserved which would, and should, have been another Australian first.
Craig Mottram, in his fourth Games, was the best of the three Australians in the opening heats of the 5000, but none of them qualified for the semis.
Mottram, after leading for most of the race faded to finish 16th in his heat with 13.40.23, while David McNeill ran 13.45.88 to finish 13th, and Collis Birmingham clocked 13.50.39 to finish 17th in the other heat.
Diving, and Brittany Broben 339.80 points, and Melissa Wu 337.90, have qualified fourth and fifth for the 10m platform final.
And the Boomers’ campaign is over, beaten 119-86 by the USA in their basketball quarter final – the quarters breakdown (USA first) 28-21, 28-21, 28-28, and 35-16. The Boomers were spirited in the third quarter, but far too many turnovers, and shabby shooting, proved costly overall, with Patty Mills outstanding for the Boomers.
In another major officialdom bungle, Sally Pearson’s gold medal presentation from the previous night was scheduled before the 200 women’s track final was decided last night when Olympic Park was chockers with 80,000.
But Sally’s ceremony wasn’t held until very late during the men’s decathlon when there were only about 15,000 still in the stands, after a two hour delay.
Disgraceful LOGOC. Sally Pearson’s career-high moment punted into no-man’s land.
It would never have happened to a Brit.
London 2012 Olympics – Day 13 Gallery
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