Usain Bolt sets a new Olympic benchmark
Usain Bolt wins the 200m at the London Olympics. AFP Photos
Usain bolted into Olympic history with his effortless win in the 200 final to become the first to win back-to-back 100 and 200 track golds at successive Games.
Bolt stopped the clock at 19.32, just outside his Olympic record of 19.30 set in Beijing, with Jamaica filling the podium: Yohan Blake 19.44, and 22-year-old Warren Weir 19.94.
An incredible feat for a country with a population of just 2,709,300 at last count.
It’s not only Bolt’s superb athletic ability, second to none in sprinting, but his charisma. He’s the perfect ambassador for his sport.
If you could bottle his charisma, you’d be a multi-millionaire overnight.
Not far behind was Kenyan David Ridisha, who lowered his own 800 world record of 1.41.01 to 1.40.91 in a magnificent display of effortless power leading from start to finish.
In his wake, Botswana’s Nijel Amos’ silver with 1.41.73, a time that equalled LOGOC boss Seb Coe’s career best, and bronze to the second Kenyan, Timothy Kitum, with 1.42.53.
Controversial South African Caster Semenya was the fastest qualifier for the women’s 800 final with 1.57.67, well ahead of Russia’s world champion Mariya Savinova’s 1.58.58, prompting more questions as to Semenya’s sexuality.
A sixth and bonus gold for the Australian K4 canoeists Jake Clear, Murray Stewart, David Smith and his brother Tait. They led from start to finish to beat Hungary, with a history of being the nation to beat in this event. The Czech Republic were third.
The times prove how courageous the Aussies were with 2.55.085, Hungary 2.55.699, and the Czechs 2.55.850 – nothing in it over 1000m.
The Stingers, the Australian women’s water polo team, have won won bronze, but only in nail-biting overtime 13-11. In regulation, the Stingers led 11-10 with a second left on the clock, when Hungary scored.
Stingers’ goalie Alicia McCormack sealed the bronze by saving three hot shots in extra time.
But the losses by the Kookaburras and the Opals gave some credence to Day 13.
The Kookaburras, a hot gold medal prospect, went down 4-2 to Germany in a semi-final, the Opals lost 86-73 to the USA in their semi.
The Kookas led 2-1 into the second half, but Germany piled on three goals in nine minutes, and that was that. It was a bitter disappointment for coach Ric Charlesworth in his third Olympics as national coach.
In Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000, he took the Hockeyroos to two golds, and since he took over the Kookas in 2009 they haven’t lost a tournament until last night.
Charlesworth announced his retirement after the game.
He must be saluted for a magnificent career, not only as a player where he represented in 227 internationals for his country, but also his very successful record as a coach of both national teams. He has been an outstanding servant of Australian hockey and will be missed.
After three successive Olympic silvers, the Opals were on course for a major upset with a 47-43 lead at the big break, playing superb basketball.
But the wheels came off dramatically in the second half, as the Americans dominated 43-26.
The Opals couldn’t find the basket for love nor money, but the Americans showed why they haven’t been beaten for 20 years of Olympic competition, and that was that, as well.
In the 10m platform diving, 16-year-old Brittany Broben won the silver medal, finishing on 366.50, with Malaysia’s Pandelela Rinong Pamg taking bronze with 359.20.
BMX, with world champion Sam Willoughby and Khalen Young, qualifying for the semis. Brian Kirkham missed the cut.
In the 10k swim, Melissa Gorman finished 11th in 22.214.171.124, gold to Eva Risztov from Hungary in 1.57,38.2.
Equestrian, with Edwina Tops-Alexander finishing 20th in the individual show jumping, Julia Hargreaves 35th, James Patterson-Robinson 41st, and Matt Williams 72nd.
Gold to Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat.
London 2012 Olympics – Day 14 Gallery
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