Archive for July 30th, 2012
Day 3: Team GB’s Gymnasts stun favourites to win bronze in men’s team final but it’s heartbreak for Daley and Waterfield
ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS: What an astonishing day it’s been for Team GB’s gymnasts – with the men making the podium in the team final for the first time in a century.
Rank outsiders heading into the competition, Louis Smith, Sam Oldham, Kristian Thomas, Max Whitlock and Dan Purvis finished in the silver position before a Japanese appeal nudged them into third place.
It was a bizarre and confusing finale that leapfrogged Japan from fourth place to second behind the invincible China, much to the derision of the home fans. But don’t let that overshadow a remarkable achievement in a sport where no men’s team in the modern era has even come close to matching Britain’s last bronze in 1912.
DIVING: In sharp contrast to the delight at the North Greenwich Arena, it was heartbreaking to watch Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield fall short in the synchronised diving after holding the Gold medal position at the half-way mark.
It was even more upsetting to hear that the pair received abuse on a social networking site for finishing just outside the medals.
The British pair slipped behind China, Mexico and USA into fourth when Waterfield over-rotated on entry in the fourth of six dives. But it was still an outstanding effort by the pair.
How disgusting then to hear that 18-year-old Daley, who lost his father to cancer last year, was subjected to a sickening rant on Twitter.
Devastated Daley responded by making an example of the abuser. “After giving it my all you get idiots sending me this,” Daley tweeted before linking to the message, from a user named Riley Junior, who had written: “You let your dad down, I hope you know that.”
WEIGHTLIFTING: Elsewhere, it was also a day for Zoe Smith to hit back at her Twitter abusers when she set a new British clean and jerk record. The 18-year-old lifted 121kg on her way to an 11t place finish in the women’s 58kg weightlifting competition.
It was a stunning effort by the attractive youngster who had every right to turn on her critics by declaring: “There are people who hate female weightlifters because we apparently all look like men. But we don’t. I’m a girl, I wear make-up and lip gloss and things like that.” Well said Zoe, who looked absolutely stunning when she appeared in the BBC studio with Gabby Logan last night.
ROWING: At Eton Dorney 25,000 fans went crazy when Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins smashed the Olympic record as they made it through to the final of the women’s double scull. Their time of six minutes 44.33 seconds shaved almost five seconds off the previous best set by Germany in 1992. What made their victory margin even more incredible was they eased off in the last 500m to keep something in reserve for Friday’s final.
For 36-year-old Grainger, a silver medallist in her last three Olympics, let’s hope she finally lands that elusive Gold medal.
SWIMMING: How amazing to see 15-year-old Plymouth schoolgirl Ruta Meilutyte win Gold for Lithuania in the women’s 100M breaststroke. It was Lithuania’s first ever swimming medal. And it was a proud moment for her British coach Jon Rudd. The youngster, who attends the same school as Tom Daley, edged out American Rebecca Soni by 0.08 seconds. The look of wonder on the teenager’s face was one of the stand out images of the Games so far. She was so surprised she could hardly speak. It was an uplifting moment at the end of a race that began in confusion when the beep went before the swimmers were told to take their marks, causing a false start.