The London Olympics Day 4 Results and Highlights
Although Michael Phelps may be past his 8 Gold medal haul of Beijing four years ago, he managed to put himself in the record books once again yesterday. He picked up two medals to take his Olympic hoard up to 19. More Olympic medals than any other athlete has ever won. Phelps was narrowly beaten in the Men’s 200M Butterfly. Looking for all the world like he had it won, his final stroke left him short of the wall and as he coasted in Chad le Clos of South Africa touched before him, taking the Gold, five hundredths of a second in front of Phelps. Takeshi Matsuda of Japan picked up the Bronze, which is becoming a regular habit for Japanese swimmers at this Olympics.
An hour later Phelps was back in the pool with his team mates for the 4 x 200M Freestyle final. The Americans pretty much dominated the event from start to finish. Both the British and Australian teams featured in the medal positions for parts of the race, but by the time Phelps hit the water, in the anchor leg, there was little doubt who would take the Gold. Team USA finished over three seconds ahead of second placed France, China came in third.
Love him or hate him, no one can deny Michael Phelps work ethic and self belief. He believes that anyone can do anything that they put their mind to and even his 19 medal total can be beaten. He even hopes to add more medals to his stash before he leaves London.
The American Women were not to be denied either, Allison Schmitt won the 200M Freestyle in a new Olympic record of 1:53.61 Camille Muffatt of France claimed Silver and Bronte Barratt of Australia the Bronze.
Australian golden girl of the pool, Stephanie Rice, looked like she would add to her Beijing medal haul for most of the 200M Individual Medley final. But she was beaten to the medals by Shiwen Ye of China, Alicia Coutts of Australia and Caitlin Leverenz of the USA. British girl Hannah Miley came in 7th.
In the Basketball both Australia and Great Britain were in action and both slipped to defeats. Australia were beaten 82-70 by second favourites Spain, while Great Britain went down 67-62 to Brazil. The British looked competitive, but they were always playing catch up and missed a lot of seemingly straightforward shots that would have given them the win. Russia secured a resounding win over China 73-54
The Boxing competition is still in its early stages (round of 32) and the seeded fighters have not yet joined the contest. But there have been some very competitive bouts, especially in the lower weight divisions. Boxers from Thailand and Kazakhstan have put in some very commendable performances.
Equestrian has never really been my thing. Personally I think the horses should get the medals, they do all the running and jumping, the jockeys just steer and sit back for the ride. But the medals were decided in the 3 Day Event with Germany taking Gold in the team event, Great Britain, Silver and New Zealand, Bronze. The story is most newsworthy because Zara Phillips, the Queen’s Granddaughter, is a member of the British Team and the first member of the Royal Family to win an Olympic medal. Although her Father (a commoner) also won Silver in the same event in 1972 and 1988 and her Mother, Princess Anne, was also an Olympian in 1976 but did not feature in the medals. But she has enough Gold and Silver of her own.
Zara Phillips came in 8th in the individual competition, which was won by Michael Jung of Germany. Australia’s highest finisher was Andrew Hoy at 13th competing in his seventh Olympic games at 53. It doesn’t say how old his horse is.
In Women’s Football, Great Britain faced Brazil and beat them 1-0. Stephanie Houghton scored the goal in the second minute of the match.
The Hokeyroos, Australia’s Women’s Hockey team beat Germany 3-1 recovering from their 1-0 loss to New Zealand in their first game. Great Britain had their second win beating South Korea 5-3
Great Britain and Australia faced each other in the Men’s Volleyball with the Australians winning 3 sets to nil.
In Water Polo the Australian Men made a comeback after their defeat to Italy beating Kazakhstan 7-4 While Great Britain went down by a devastating 21-7 to Serbia.
Another busy day ahead in London awaits.