Seventh Aussie gold, but the American girls light up the track
Australia's Mathew Belcher (L) and Malcolm Page (R) celebrate on the podium after winning gold. AFP photos
The event of Day 14 at the London Olympics was the peerless and powerful performance of the American 4×100 women’s relay team, smashing the world record of 41.37 set in 1985 by a suspect East German team, with an astonishing 40.82.
So, gold to Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, her second after winning the 200, Bianca Knight, and Carmelita Jeter with Jamaica silver in 41.42, and Ukraine bronze with 42.04.
It took the Australian sailors to turn up trumps again overnight with Malcolm Page, and Mathew Belcher, capturing 470 class Olympic gold.
But two more golds went begging on the BMX track, and one at the main stadium.
Three-times world champions Page and Belcher crowned their dominance in the class by making sure they beat Great Britain in the final.
It was sailing’s third gold, and Australia’s seventh.
Retirement looms for 40-year-old Page, ending a magnificent career with six world titles, and now back-to-back Olympic gold, the first Australian sailor to achieve the feat.
The Australian Elliott 6m match-racing crew of Olivia Price, Nina Curtis, and Lucinda Whitty is into the final after a nail-biting 2-1 semi win over Finland, and will meet Spain for gold who defeated Russia 2-1 in their semi.
A special salute to national coach Victor Kovalenko who has masterminded Australia’s hugely successful campaign that has so far proved to be the country’s most successful sport in London.
Interestingly, the USA will open an inquiry into why they failed to win an Olympic sailing medal for the first time since Berlin in 1936.
BMX in front of a capacity crowd, Australians Sam Willoughby, the world champion, and the highly-rated Caroline Buchanan, were clearly the best riders in the semis, and hot prospects for gold.
But when push turned to shove in the final, gold was shoved.
For the first time Willoughby was a tad slow out of the gate, allowing defending champion Maris Strombergs from Latvia to grab the lead, and keep him at bay all the way for gold; Willoughby the silver.
Compatriots Brian Kirkham and Khalen Young both missed the final cut.
Devastation, though, for Buchanan, who was never in the hunt from the gate, finishing a distant fifth. Lauren Reynolds missed the final cut.
Steve Hooker. the defending pole vault champion, bombed out in the final without one clearance. He gave 5.50 a miss, and three times failed at 5.65, ending his campaign without troubling the scorers.
Better news for another Australian defending champion in the 10m platform diving, Matthew Mitcham, who qualified ninth for the semis tonight, James Connor just missed the cut of 18, finishing 20th.
The Australian men’s 4×100 track relay team of Anthony Alozie, Isaac Ntiamoah, Andrew McCabe, and Josh Ross ran the race of their lives to not only grab a berth in the final, but set a national record of 38.17 as well.
The fastest qualifiers were the USA with 37.38, also a national record, and Jamaica 37.39 without Usain Bolt, who will take his place in the final.
Jesse Phillips and Stephen Bird have qualified for the K2 final over 200m, but Alana Nichols narrowly missed qualifying for the K! final by 3/100ths of a second.
Ky Hurst was in the main pack until the last lap to finish 20th in the 10k marathon swim in 220.127.116.11 – gold to Tunisia’s Oussama Mellouli in 18.104.22.168.
And the Hockeyroos finished fifth in the women’s hockey comp after beating China 2-0.
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