Highlights and results of Day 5 of The London Olympics 2012
On the fifth day of the London Olympics host nation Great Britain won their first Gold medals. Women’s Rowing Pair Helen Glover and Heather Stanning were not only GB’s first London Gold medallists, but also the first ever British women to win a rowing event. They led their final from the start and appeared to keep putting distance between them and the opposition. There was a little tiring towards the end of the race when the followers gained some ground, if you can do that in the water, but the British girls still finished almost 3 seconds ahead of second placed Australia. New Zealand came in third for an all Commonwealth sweep of the medals.
Shortly afterwards the Men’s 8 took to the water. The German crew were firm favourites for Gold. But the British eight pushed them all of the way and even led for some brief moments. But all that effort told in the final stages and Canada passed Great Britain to win Silver, the British held on for Bronze.
Across the country Bradley Wiggins, this years Tour de France winner, was fighting out the Individual Cycling Time Trial and leading by some distance. He finished 2 seconds ahead of German Tony Martin. Fellow Brit Christopher Froome secured the Bronze medal. This was far from Wiggins first Olympic medal he is the most successful British athlete and Olympic cyclist of all-time with seven Olympic medals, including four Gold medals. He began his career on the track, but has made the transition to road cycling, becoming one of the few cyclists to gain success in both disciplines. But Great Britain can not lay sole claim to Wiggins, he was born in Ghent Belgium to an English mother and Australian Father, who was an endurance cyclist. But do not expect the Brits to be sharing his success.
It was another busy night in the pool with four Swimming medals decided. Great Britain almost picked up their third Gold of the day in the first of those.
The Men’s 200M Breaststroke. Michael Jamieson was gaining on Gold medallist and new world record holder Daniel Gyurta, from Hungary, at the end of the race and had there been a few more metres would have won. Jamieson finished only 0.15 seconds behind Gyurta and 0.12 behind the previous record. Japan in the form of Ryo Tateishi picked up yet another Swimming Bronze.
The Women’s 200M Butterfly final did not feature an Australian for the first time in many years. Liuyang Jiao of China won Gold, in a new Olympic record, Mireia Belmonte Garcia of Spain Silver and surprise, surprise Natsumi Hoshi of, you guessed it, Japan Bronze.
The Men’s 100M Freestyle featured Australian favourite and Gold medal hope James Magnussen. As always, it was a very close event with only 0.92 separating first and 8th. Magnussen appeared to have delivered the Gold, but was actually beaten on the touch by an agonising 0.01 of a second by Nathan Adrian of the USA. Brent Hayden of Canada came in third.
The final event of the evening was the Women’s 4 x 200M Freestyle Relay. Having won the 4 x 100M event Australia were going for the double. It was a close battle between Australia and the USA. Alicia Coutts entered the water with a lead on the final leg, but Allison Schmitt swam a brilliant anchor for the USA and they finished with the Gold and a new Olympic record. France came in third some distance behind. Great Britain placed a commendable 5th.
In the Men’s Football, Great Britain secured a 1-0 win over a Uruguay side that featured Liverpool star striker Luis Suarez. Daniel Sturridge scored the only goal of the game for GB to finish top of Group A. They now face South Korea in the quarter final knock out stage at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday.
The controversial news of the day was that 8 women were disqualified from the Badminton doubles competition for “not using one’s best efforts to win”. The competitors from South Korea, China and Indonesia appeared to be trying to lose their games in order to secure an easier opponent in the next round.
As a result of the days events Great Britain finished the day in 11th position on the medal table. Australia dropped out of the top ten for the first time at these games. The USA remains second, some distance behind the leaders China.