Highlights and results from Day 10 of The London Olympics 2012
There have been some unkind jokes going around on the web, mostly from British and Kiwi fans. They go something along the lines of – Call any Aussie friends you may have and say: ‘You’ve just won Gold!’ When they ask which sport, say: ‘Sorry I meant you’ve just ONE Gold.’. Well day 10 at the London Olympics changed all that, well at least until they can come up with a joke for two. Tom Slingsby, of Gosford, raised the nation’s morale by winning a long awaited second Gold medal in the Laser class of single-hander dinghies at the Olympic Sailing. Now that may mean something to all of the sailor types out there, but to the rest of us it means Australia rocketed to 19th on the medal table.
To keep the jokesters at bay, Australia’s pairing of Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen have secured an unassailable lead in the 49er skiff class, they only have to finish Wednesday’s final event to pick up another Sailing Gold.
In the Athletics stadium five more medals were decided. The Women’s Pole Vault was the first event to start and the last to finish, in the evening session. Swirling winds in the stadium played havoc with all competitors, not to mention having to stop for track races and medal ceremonies. Australia’s Alana Boyd came in 11th with a vault of 4.30 metres. British hope Holly Bleasdale was equal 6th on 4.45. Jennifer Suhr of the USA and Yarisley Silva of Cuba both finished on 4.75 metres, Suhr was awarded the Gold on a count back. Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia won Bronze.
The Women’s Shot Put was a much shorter event; they even managed to get their medals awarded on day 10. But it takes more than a slight wind to affect a 4 kilogram (8.8 lb) ball. Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus won Gold with a 21.36 metre put. Valerie Adams of New Zealand won Silver, Evgeniia Kolodko won another Bronze for Russia.
There were qualifiers and semi-finals of the Women’s 200 metres and 400 metres hurdles, but the first track final of the night was the Men’s 400M Hurdles. British hope and Athletics team captain David (Dai) Green finished fourth behind Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic, Michael Tinsley of the USA and Javier Culson of Puerto Rico. Sanchez went into some serious celebrations after winning the event, then burst into tears during the medal ceremony, before he even mounted the dais. He continued to sob uncontrollably after his medal was placed around his neck and his national anthem was played. Now this was a great comeback for Sanchez, having won the Gold in Athens in 2004 and failed to medal in Beijing and it’s nice to see commitment, but I am informed that Sanchez’s only connection to the Dominican Republic is that his parents are from there, he was born raised and trains in the USA.
The Women’s 3000 Metres Steeplechase is an event that has been dominated by the Kenyans and Ethiopians. But the tables were turned at the London Olympics. Yuliya Zaripova of Russia led from start to finish, the Kenyans and Ethiopians challenged but were not able to pass her for any significant amount of time and she seemed to gain 5 metres on the field at every water jump. In the final straight she streaked away from the field and Habiba Ghribi of Tunisia beat off the other challengers for Silver. Sofia Assefa of Ethiopia claimed Bronze, Kenya’s first finisher was fourth.
The Men’s 400M final featured 19 year old Australian Steven Solomon, but he was not the youngest in the race. In fact the Gold and Silver were both won by teenagers. Kirani James of Grenada was pulling away at the end and finished over half a second in front of World junior champion, Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic. Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago claimed the Bronze.
So a good night in the stadium for Russia and the Dominican Republic, Day 11 will see the Women’s 100M Hurdles semi-finals and final, where all Australians will be hoping that Sally Pearson can break their duck on the track and bring home the Gold.
In Basketball, Australia narrowly beat Russia 82-80. Great Britain finished their campaign with a convincing 90-58 win over China and the US Dream Team did the same in the angry and high scoring 126-97 point win over Argentina. Basketball now moves into the quarter final knockout rounds, where Australia face the mighty USA on Wednesday. The Australian Women’s team, the Opals, face China in their quarter final today.
The Boxing has also reached the gnarly quarter final rounds. All semi finalists are guaranteed a medal, as there is no fight off for the Bronze in Boxing. British Middleweight (75Kg) Anthony Ogogo won his bout against German Stefan Hartel and countryman Anthony Joshua beat China’s Zhilei Zhang in the Super Heavyweight (91Kg) class.