The quadrennial sporting extravaganza that is the Olympic Games is upon us and what an opening few days we’ve seen. Welcome to our Friday Wrap as we take a look at Days 5 & 6 of action from Rio.
It was a productive couple of days from our Swimming Team with the Dolphins mining a gold, two silvers and a bronze from the Rio pool.
18 year old Kyle Chalmers, who was seventh after 50m, absolutely blitzed the field to claim Australia’s first Men’s 100m Freestyle Gold since 1968.
Maddie Groves set a personal best time in claiming Silver in the 200m Butterfly Final. Her incredible swim almost claimed Gold, falling an agonising 0.03 seconds behind winner Mirela Belmonte Garcia of Spain.
On the back of an unbelievable swim by Emma McKeon, who took the team from seventh to first in the second leg, the Women’s 4 x 200m Relay team claimed Silver behind the US. The result means McKeon now has the Rio Medal Box Set after Gold in the 4 x 100 and Bronze in the Individual 200m.
The Men’s Quadruple Sculls came home like a steam train attempting to reel in defending champions Germany. Going stroke for stroke with their rivals, they claimed silver but came oh so close to pinching gold.
Jessica Fox paddled he way to bronze in the K1 Canoe Slalom, the 22 year old finished her run in the fastest time but was a awarded a penalty for touching a gate on the way through. With a silver from London already in the cabinet, she will be paddling for the full set when she lines up in Tokyo in four years.
Our medal fancies have produced mixed results:
The Hockeyroos put their campaign back on track with a 6-1 win over India, and 1-0 win over fellow pre-games fancy Argentina. The knockout rounds now beckon. The Kookaburras also improved their position with a 2-1 win over Great Britain.
The Opals continued on their winning way but were pushed all the way by Japan before running out 92-86 winners. The Boomers showed that they are a genuine medal chance in their 88-98 loss to the USA.
200m Backstroke World Champion Emily Seebohm failed to qualify for the final, her self-proclaimed ‘average Olympics’ ending with her sixth place in the Semi Final.
Marcus Fraser, after shooting a 63, had a 3 stroke lead in the Olympic Golf tournament after the first round. Scott Hend was 11 strokes back tied for 50th.
Our Women’s Water Polo team suffered a set-back in their quest for gold with a tight 7-8 loss to Italy, The Sharks recorded their first win over-powering Japan 8-6.
It was a disappointing Women’s 100m Final for the Campbell Sisters. Both entered the race as fancies, Cate especially having broken the Olympic Record twice through the qualifying process. She flew out of the blocks and led with 25m to go but faltered and finished 6th behind sister Bronte who touched the wall in 4th.
The group stages of the Beach Volleyball have been completed on Copacabana Beach. Our pair Louse Bawden and Taliqua Clancy qualified for the elimination rounds and are one of 16 teams still standing. Unfortunately Mariafe Artacho and Nicole Laird did not make it through their group and were eliminated.
The Fiji Rugby team proved their pre-tournament favouritism well earnt as they swept all before them on their way to the Gold Medal. The win represented the Island nation’s first Olympic Medal of any colour and it was not lost on the players. As the game neared its conclusion, big burly footballers began to shed tears as the enormity of their achievement washed over them. The emotion of their victory song was an unforgettable moment. The players had an impromptu celebration on the field after the game, no doubt a celebration mirrored in many houses back in Suva.
If an Australian winning the blue riband Men’s 100m Freestyle for the first time in 50 years wasn’t memorable enough, it produced a few moments that won’t be forgotten by those who saw them.
Cameron McEvoy was the pre-Olympics favourite but struggled in the final to finish seventh. When interviewed after the event, he refused to make excuses or wallow and instead revelled in his team-mates triumph “Not the best (race). My preparation was good all year round and it was probably just the last week or so I imagine that has probably thrown” he said. “But enough about me. Kyle’s come in and done another PB on top of the PB he did at the trials. He’s just turned 18 and he’s an Olympic champion – that’s bloody wonderful isn’t it.
Chalmers is a student at Immanuel College in Adelaide, the scenes from their assembly hall as his fellow students celebrated their class mates triumph were something very special indeed.
Dutch gymnast Yuri van Gelder was competing in his first Olympics after missing selection in 2004, 2008 and 2012. The ‘Lord of the Rings’ as he had become known after his 2005 World Championship in the event, spent the night before the Olympic final celebrating his qualification. It was to be a costly mistake with the Netherland’s Olympic Team punishing him for his imbibing by sending him home. After 12 years of toil, he would not compete in what would likely be his only Olympic Final, too much time as ‘Lord of the Drinks’ had cost him his dream.
Trash talk is always fun
With Olympic attention to soon turn to the track and field events we are watching the beef between Olympic Champion Usain Bolt and his main rival American Justin Gatlin.
The 100 metres is in a lot of ways an ego driven event and as a result it is littered with rivalries. There have been a few shot across the bow as both have settled into their preparations. Gatlin has made quite a few statements about Bolt’s “medical pass” as the Jamaican was selected despite not being able to compete at the Jamaican trials. Bolt responded “I think they have not learned over the years the more you talk, the more I want to beat you” he continued “It’s one of those things but I’m looking forward to it, should be exciting and they will feel my full wrath as always”
Yes it will be exciting.
Elina Svitolina from the Ukraine took her place in the third round against the world number one Serena Williams. Having lost all 4 of her previous meetings, the most recent a 6-1, 6-1 annihilation in the French Open there weren’t high hopes for her to progress. 72 minutes remarkable minutes later and Svitolina had caused one of the biggest boilovers of the Olympics, despatching Williams 6-4, 6-3.
What was that about??
On Day 4 the divers and water polo players turned up to pools that were a little less than ideal in their colouring. Water Polo players complained of sore eyes and an inability to see under water but Olympic officials were quick to assure all that the pool was safe. In a statement the organisers suggested that the discolouration was a result of heat and a lack of wind causing a rapid growth of algae, a claim disputed by blue-green algae experts who argue it unlikely for a rapid growth like that to happen overnight. #poolgate was born.
Best Meme’s and Tweets
Sage Boggs almost perfectly sums up the Olympics viewing experience.
Is there a change of thinking needed about Golf at the Olympics after Marcus Fraser’s first round?
The end result of the ‘Phelps’ stink eye’ moment was another gold for the most decorated Olympic athlete in history and the above motivation poster moment. If you want to look at the ‘stink eye’ in all its full hilarity here.
Andrew Bogut. It would have been easy for the Dallas Maverick’s big man to accept the praise from the Aussie media and fans after the Boomers’ 10 point loss to the US. His response though was actually more exciting than the game itself, he wasn’t happy. “Look, we’re disappointed. The Australian media is going to be like ‘you guys did great this and that’. No we didn’t. We lost”.
It was a perfect response, this team wasn’t happy anymore with ‘near enough is good enough’. They’re in Rio to win and it doesn’t matter who is across from them on the court, they want to beat them.
Australian swimming coaches for their 4 x 200m Relay team selection. With the team finishing an agonising 0.68 away from third placed Japan, their decision to rest Australian 200m Champion Cameron McEvoy from the event effectively cost them a medal.
Events to Watch Days 7, 8 & 9
Saturday 13 August
3.15am Men’s Basketball Group A Match – Our Boomers take to the court again after their solid showing against the US. China will be a step down in opposition but the Boomers will still need to be at their best.
6.45am Boxing Women’s 57-60kg Preliminaries – Shelley Watts opens her campaign to add to her Commonwealth Games Gold.
7.00am Women’s Cycling Team Sprint Finals – Anna Meares and Stephanie Morton are our hopes in this event.
7.00am Men’s Cycling Team Pursuit Finals – Australia are Favourites, will they bring home the gold.
10:20am Men’s Long Jump Qualifying Round – Fabrice Lapierre begins his campaign for Long Jump Gold.
11:03am Women’s 200m backstroke final –Belinda Hocking is our hope in this race with World Champion Emily Seebohm not progressing past the semi-finals.
11.12am Men’s 100m Butterfly Final – Michael Phelps will again line up to win an event for the 4th successive Olympics. Will he stay on track to claim six golds in Rio?
11:44pm Rowing: women’s single sculls final A – World Champion Kim Brennan should better the silver she won in London by claiming the gold in Rio.
Sunday 15 August
6.27am Women’s Cycling – Keiren Final – Anna Meares should again figure prominently, is there another golden chapter left in her story book career? The Sportress took a look at Anna and here amazing career earlier this year take a look here: https://sportress.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/anna-meares-is-greatest-as-evidenced-by-box-jumps/
9.50am Men’s Long Jump Final – Farbrice Lapierre having won silver at the most recent indoor and outdoor World Championships it is clear his best is good enough to mix it. Can he produce it on the day and supplant Jumping Jai Taurima as Australia’s most recent Long Jump Olympic Medallist? Does anyone else remember Jumping Jai Taurima??
11:11am Men’s 1500m freestyle final – They aren’t the only two in the race but how will the Mack Horton Sun Yang rivalry end up when they face off here again..
11:35am Women’s 100m Final – One of the true classic Olympic events who will be crowned the fastest woman on earth?
11:49am Women’s 4 x 100m medley relay final – Selection headaches in almost every leg, the swimmers who miss out on this team would almost be a medal chance too. With either Bronte or Cate Campbell anchoring the team they will be very hard to beat.
8pm Golf Men’s Individual Stroke Play Final Round – After a 112 year absence golf makes a heavily star reduced return to the Olympics. I suggest this as a potential peculiarity only, if the withdrawal rates are similar in Tokyo in 2020, this may well be a very short return for golf to the Olympic fold. Will Marcus Fraser still be in the hunt after his first round heroics?
Monday 15 August
04:34am Gymnastics men’s pommel horse final – no real Australian fancy in this but it wouldn’t be the Olympics if you didn’t watch something you had no idea about and profess an expert scoring knowledge after 10 minutes. Plus there is always the chance of this happening : https://youtu.be/81Y-vetomsg
06:04am Cycling: men’s sprint final – Matthew Glaetzer the silver medallist at the world champs will be a serious medal chance here.
11:25am Men’s 100m Final – can Usain Bolt sign off from Olympic competition with an unprecedented 3 consecutive golds in the Olympic Games true blue riband event?
MEDAL TALLY AFTER DAY 4
|Mack Horton – 400m Freestyle||Maddi Groves – 200m Butterfly||Men’s Team Archery|
|Women’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay||Women’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay||Keeney/Smith – Sync. 3m Springboard|
|Catherine Skinner – Women’s Trap||Men’s Quadruple Sculls||Men’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay|
|Women’s Rugby||Mitch Larkin – 200m Backstroke||Equestrian Eventing Team|
|Kyle Chalmers – 100m Freestyle||Emma McKeon – 200m Freestyle|
|Jessica Fox – K1 Canoe Slalom|
Men’s Individual Round of 32 – Ryan Tack (Aus) def by Robin Ramaekers (Bel)
Men’s Doubles Preliminary Round – Chau/Serasinghe (Aus) def by Lee/Yoo (Kor)
Mixed Doubles Preliminary Round – Midleton/Choo (Aus) def by Ahmad/Natsir (Ina)
Women’s Singles Preliminary Round – Wendy Chen (Aus) def by P. Buranaprasertsuk (Tha)
Men’s Preliminary Round – Boomers def by USA 88-98
Women’s Preliminary Round – Opals def Japan 92-86
Women’s Preliminary Round – Clancy/Bawden (Aus) def van Iersel/Meppelink (Ned) 27-25, 18-21, 16-14
Women’s Preliminary Round – Artacho/Laid (Aus) def by Wang/Yue (Chn) 16-21, 11-21
K1 Women’s Final – Jessica Fox – BRONZE
Men’s Individual Time Trial – Rohan Dennis 5th
Men’s Team Sprint Bronze Medal Race – Australia def by France
Women’s Team Pursuit Qualifying – Australia 3rd
Dressage Individual Grand Prix Day 1 – Lyndal Oatley 36th, Mary Hanna 39th, Kristy Oatley 42nd, Suzanne Heard 54th.
Dressage Individual Grand Prix Day 2 – Lyndal Oatley 36th, Mary Hanna 39th, Kristy Oatley 42nd, Suzanne Heard 54th.
Dressage Team Grand Prix Day 1 – Australia 9th
Dressage Team Grand Prix Day 2 – Australia 9th
Men’s Individual Stroke Play – After Round 1 – Marcus Fraser 1st, Scott Hend T51st
Men’s Preliminary Round – Kookaburras def Great Britain 2-1
Women’s Preliminary Round – Hockeyroos def India 6-1
Women’s Preliminary Round – Hockeyroos def Argentina 1-0
Women’s 78kg Round of 16 – Miranda Giambelli (Aus) def by Mayra Auiar (Bra)
Men’s Four Semi Final A/B 1 – Australia 1st
Men’s Pair Final 1 – Turrin/Lloyd (Aus) 6th
Men’s Quad Sculls – Australia – SILVER
Men’s Preliminary Round – Thunderbolts def South Africa 12-5
Men’s Quarter Final – Thunderbolts def by South Africa 5-22
Men’s Placing Game 5-8 – Thunderbolts def by Argentina 21-26
Men’s Placing Game 7-8 – Thunderbolts def by France 10-12
470 Men’s Races 1-4: Belcher/Ryan (Aus) 8th, 1st, 3rd, 3rd
470 Women’s Races 1-4: Smith/Ryan (Aus) 16th, 8th, 11th, 17th
Finn Men’s Races 3-6: Jake Lilley (Aus) 8th, 6th, 6th, 3rd
Laser Men’s Races 5-6: Tom Burton (Aus) 9th, 14th
Laser Radial Women’s Race 5-6: Ashley Stoddart (Aus) 11th, 11th
Nacra 17 Mixed Races 1-6: Waterhouse/Darmanin 6th, 7th, 4th, 1st, 1st, 5th
Men’s Double Trap Semi Final – James Willett (Aus) 5th
Men’s 100m Butterfly – Heat 5: David Morgan 4th
Men’s 100m Butterfly – Heat 6: Grant Irvine 4th
Men’s 100m Butterfly – Semi Final 1: Grant Irvine 6th
Men’s 100m Butterfly – Semi Final 2: David Morgan 7th
Mens 100m Freestyle – Final: Kyle Chalmers GOLD, Cam McEvoy 7th
Men’s 200m Backstroke – Heat 4: Mitch Larkin 1st, Josh Beaver 4th
Men’s 200m Backstroke – Semi Final 1: Josh Beaver 5th
Men’s 200m Backstroke – Semi Final 2: Mitch Larkin 2nd
Men’s 200m Backstroke – Final: Mitch Larkin SILVER
Men’s 200m Individual Medley – Heat 2: Travis Mahoney 5th
Men’s 50m Freestyle – Heat 9: Cam McEvoy 1st
Men’s 50m Freestyle – Heat 10: Matthew Abood 8th
Men’s 50m Freestyle – Semi Final: Cam McEvoy 7th
Women’s 100m Freestyle – Heat 5: Cate Campbell 1st
Women’s 100m Freestyle – Heat 6: Bronte Campbell 3rd
Women’s 100m Freestyle – Semi Final 1: Bronte Campbell 2nd
Women’s 100m Freestyle – Semi Final 2: Cate Campbell 1st
Women’s 100m Freestyle – Final: Bronte Campbell 4th, Cate Campbell 6th
Women’s 200m Backstroke – Heat 4: Belinda Hocking 1st, Emily Seebohm 3rd
Women’s 200m Backstroke – Semi Final 1: Emily Seebohm 6th
Women’s 200m Backstroke – Semi Final 2: Belinda Hocking 3rd
Women’s 200m Breaststroke – Heat 3: Taylor McKeown 2nd, Georgia Bohl 7th
Women’s 200m Breaststroke – Semi Final 2 – Taylor McKeown 1st
Women’s 200m Breaststroke – Final: Taylor McKeown 5th
Women’s 200m Butterfly – Final: Maddi Groves SILVER
Women’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay – Heat 1: Australia 1st
Women’s 800m Freestyle – Heat 3: Jessica Ashwood 2nd
Mixed Doubles – First Round: Stosur/Peers (Aus) def by Mirza/Bopanna (Ind) 5-7, 4-6
Men’s Preliminary Round: Sharks 8 def Japan 6
Women’s Preliminary Round: Stingers def by Italy 7-8