There are 23 Medal events today. But the question on everyone’s mind is whether India can manage to add a gold medal to their Olympics haul. India still have seven athletes remaining in contention. To see India’s schedule, click here.
Guess who won!
Out in lane 6 — they say that’s a disadvantage. Try telling that to Usain Bolt. He won in 19.32 SB — got a great start and had to work hard on the home stretch as Yohan Blake closed the gap. But it’s set in the wall — the Olympics sprint double belongs to Bolt. Blake finished in 19.44 SB. Weir came in third in 19.84 PB. It’s a 1-2-3 for Jamaica. Also Bolt becomes first man to win the 100 & 200 meters in consecutive Games.
As Bolt crossed the line, he put a finger on his lips… as if to silence all his doubters. And in reply, all he heard was silence. After the win, he got down on the track and did some push-ups. No one doubted him… no one ever will again.
“It’s going to be a long night in Kingston tonight” – pa guy
— Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) अगस्त 9, 2012
Yellow is the colour of gold
Usain Bolt joking around as usual, then bumps fists with Yohan Blake. Bolt wearing yellow UB logo hat backward. He seems calm. He seems in control.
Chariots of fire
The Chariots of fire tune is nice… but wasn’t Zorba the Greek (the theme of Athens) better?
41.64 from the US team in their 4x100m heat – the second-fastest time in Olympic history! Just 0.04 off the Olympic record. The old record is held by the East Germans — all those doping stories come to mind.
Broke a leg? No problem!
America’s safe passage into the men’s 4×400 metre Olympic relay final on Thursday morning was not as painless as it had first appeared after Manteo Mitchell revealed he broke his leg half way round the track but still managed to finish.
The 25-year-old 200 and 400 metre runner ran the first leg of America’s heat on a blazing hot day inside London’s Olympic stadium and although he finished with a limp there was no obvious sign of the pain he was feeling.
“I got out pretty slow, but I picked it up and when I got to the 100-metre mark it felt weird. As soon as I took the first step past the 200-metrr mark, I felt it break. I heard it. I even put out a little war cry, but the crowd was so loud you couldn’t hear it,” Mitchell said.
“I knew if I finished strong we could still get it (the baton) around. I saw Josh Mance motioning me in for me to hand it off to him, which lifted me. I didn’t want to let those three guys down, or the team down, so I just ran on it. It hurt so bad.”
Mitchell’s decision to go through the pain barrier allowed his U.S. team mates to sprint to a joint finish with the Bahamas in identical times of 2 minutes 58.87 seconds, the fastest ever run in the first round of the relay at the Olympic Games. Reuters
Wow. David Rudisha breaks 800m WR to win Olympic title in 1:40.91s. Wow. He led all the way and there was no catching him. He promised the record and he delivered. No one could stay with him. He didn’t need pace makers — he did it all on his own. He also becomes first to break 1:41 and sets the only world record of this meet yet.
Rudisha on new world record: “I’ve waited for this moment for a very long time.. Today the weather was beautiful. I decided to go for it.”
Without doubt, the greatest quality race of all time. One under 1:41, two under 1:42, five under 1:43, eight under 1:44.
— IAAF.org (@iaaforg) अगस्त 9, 2012
The 800m record is perhaps the greatest and toughest mark in men’s track. Only three men broken it since 1979 – Coe, Kipketer and Rudisha
— Ian Prior (@ianprior) अगस्त 9, 2012
Bolt vs Blake, round 2
Big race for the night: Usain Bolt vs Yohan Blake in 200m final. That is 1:25 AM IST. The athletes are in the stadium already and they are warming up.
800m third heat
Close finish between Savinova and Niyonsaba in the third 800m semi. 1:58.57 to 1:58.67 NR. Savinova had a lot in reserve though.
Luka finishes 6th
A quick start — Luka tried to keep pace… she stayed fourth for most of the first lap but then the gap started to open up. Then there was no hope for Luka — she struggled towards the end of the race. Caster Semenya wins the second 800m semi-final in 1:57.67 SB from Arzhakova (1:58.13) and Jepkosgei (1:58.26). Tintu’s time: 1:59.67… pretty close to her PB.
Jelimo through to 800m final
Kenya’s Pamela Jelimo wins the first 800m semi in 1:59.42, Poistigova second (1:59.45). Pretty good, fast race. But Jelimo was clearly in charge — right from the start. Only the top two have qualified for sure.
Luka’s 800m semi
Her 800m semi-final is the second of the semi-final. South Africa’s Caster Semenya, one of the big contenders for gold is also part of the same semi-final. There are a total of 3 semi-finals.
Mary Kom receives bronze medal
Mary Kom, who became one of the first woman boxers to win an Olympics medal, received her bronze medal today. Check out the images here.
Geeta out of the competition
She was beaten in the second period 0-1. She put up a brave fight but Lazareva was just too strong. Geeta had put up a good fight against Verbeek but it seemed like that match knocked the wind out of her. Read the match report here.
Geeta’s loses first period
Geeta was put down on the mat early by Lazareva and then the points just kept adding up. The Ukrainian won 8-0.
Geeta’s round begins
The Indian is in red. Her opponent is Lazareva.
A gold for Ireland!
Ireland’s Katie Taylor won boxing gold at the London Games on Thursday, capping a scintillating career that delivered four world titles and saw her lead the charge for the inclusion of the women’s event at the Olympics. Taylor, the overwhelming favourite for lightweight gold, beat Russia’s Sofya Ochigava 10-8 in front of an arena packed once again with travelling Irish fans desperate for their first gold of the Games. Reuters
The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done – Arnold Palmer
First boxing gold for the US
Another #Boxing gold: Claressa Shields (USA) defeats Nadezda Torlopova (RUS) in women’s Middle 75kg Final.
Great win for Germany
Germany will defend its Olympic field hockey title in the final after beating world champion Australia 4-2 in Riverbank Arena on Thursday.
Soon after Germany had a brilliant goal from Oskar Deecke disallowed, drawing the capacity crowd’s displeasure, they tied the semifinal at 2-2 in the 54th minute through four-time Olympian Matthias Witthaus.
Five minutes later Timo Weiss, who captained Germany to gold in Beijing and came back last year, scored from a penalty corner to give his side the lead for the first time. Then Florian Fuchs, the team’s youngest member at 20, clinched it with a field goal in the 63rd.
The result was shocking for Australia, which was the gold medal favorite having won the last four Champions Trophies and the 2010 World Cup. AP
Geeta’s match at 10:25 pm
Geeta vs Lazareva of Ukraine will start at 10:25 PM Indian time. Sit tight, there may be a medal tonight.
Nicola Adams makes history, Ren Can’not’
The British boxer, the conqueror of Mary Kom, has become the first woman to win a boxing gold in the history of the Olympics. She beat world champion and world number 1 Ren Cancan of China 16-7.
George Michael for closing ceremony
While London 2012 officials are keen to keep secret details of Sunday’s Olympic closing ceremony, George Michael and Muse have confirmed their involvement in the event. The former ‘Wham!’ singer announced his involvement on Twitter, and Muse, who performed the official track for the Olympics, told NME magazine they would be involved. “We want to keep everything a secret, as with the opening ceremony,” the BBC quoted a Locog spokesman as saying.
Geeta will need to beat Tetyana Lazareva (UKR) in her first match in the repechage. If she wins that, she will have a match against Jackeline Renteria. The Indian wrestler can take heart from the fact that she is the only one who took Verbeek to three periods. The other two wrestlers lost in two straight periods. Verbeek was too powerful for them.
Verbeek wins in semis, Geeta into repechage
Tonya Lynn Verbeek of Canada beat Jackeline Renteria (COL) in the semi-finals to make it to the final and is guaranteed of a silver or a gold. Her win also means that India’s Geeta Phogat will take part in the repechage rounds and have a chance of winning a bronze.
From Athens to London – Olympic Summer Games Posters from 1896 to 2012
See the posters, here.
Verbeek wins in quarterfinals, Come on Geeta!
Tonya Lynn Verbeek of Canada, who beat Geeta Phogat, in the 1/8 round, has just beaten Tetyana Lazareva (UKR) in the quarterfinals. She won two straight periods to go through to the semi-finals. If she wins another match, Geeta gets a go in the repechage.
Verbeek wins third period, and match
Verbeek got a huge take-down in the third period, that gave her 3 points. Geeta fought back to get one point but just couldn’t make up the gap.
Geeta will still have a chance to win a bronze, in the repechage, if Tonya Verbeek reaches the final. So let’s pray for Verbeek now.
Geeta wins the second period
Once again, at the end of normal time, both were tied at 0-0 but then Geeta won the lucky draw and managed to get a point and won the period.
Verbeek wins the first period
The first period has ended and Verbeek won it. It was tied at the end of time, then Verbeek defended well to get one point and take the period.
Geeta is wearing red
Canadian Tonya Verbeek is Geeta’s first opponent. It’s on!
Pistorius gets another chance!
Oscar Pistorius will get another chance to run at the Olympics after South Africa won an appeal to advance to the 4×400-meter relay final despite a crash in the heat. The double-amputee runner was on the track but didn’t get to run in the heat Thursday because a teammate tumbled out after a collision with a Kenyan runner.
The Kenyan team was later disqualified for impeding Ofentse Mogawane. South Africa, the silver medalists at the last world championships, filed an appeal to be restored to the final. The IAAF says the South Africans will run in Lane 9 after the jury met and “agreed to advance the South African team, even though they did not finish the race, considering that they had been severely damaged in the incident with Kenya.”
Almost time for Geeta
Her match is next up. A win for her will be a big upset. Time has been changed a little. The match will now begin at 1812 hrs IST.
Competition rules: Wrestling
Athletes compete in weight categories. For all events, there is a direct elimination system that eventually decides the two finalists for the gold medal match.
All wrestlers who lose against either finalist, at any stage of the competition up to and including the semi-finals, enter the repechage; the winners of the two repechage groups win bronze medals.
So remember, even if Geeta loses, she will still have a chance if Tonya Verbeek reaches the final. That is also how Sushil Kumar got the bronze last time round.
Next up for India is Geeta Phogat
The Haryana wrestler made history when she became the first-ever Indian woman wrestler to have qualified for the Olympics and has received a bye in her first round. So she is directly into the 1/8 final. If she wins three matches, she will make it to the final. It won’t be easy though. Japan’s Saori Yoshida won gold in Athens and in Beijing. She’s also favoured to win her weight class at 55 kilograms in London.
Canadian Tonya Verbeek, Geeta’s first opponent, won silver in 2004, bronze in 2008 and nearly beat Yoshida at the world championships in 2011.
5.55 PM: Geeta Phogat vs Tonya Lynn Verbeek (Canada) in the women’s 55kg Freestyle Wrestling 1/8 finals.
Moses says only error or injury can stop Bolt
Only a major error or injury will deny Usain Bolt victory in the men’s 200 metres final at the London Olympics on Thursday, according to twice 400 metres hurdles champion Ed Moses. “It comes down to the biomechanics of his running stride, which is longer because of his height,” Moses said in an article published in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday.
“If he gets up to speed, there is no stopping him because he can take advantage of the incredible leverage his legs give him.” Moses, who broke the world record four times and was unbeaten for almost 10 years, said Bolt also enjoyed the benefit of hard modern tracks such as the one at the London Olympic stadium.
“I would have loved to be able to run on a hard surface like this,” he said. “We would run on far softer surfaces.”
London’s experiencing Jamaican weather
The London Olympics was set for its warmest day yet on Thursday, promising familiar conditions for Jamaicans Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake as they prepared for their 200 metre final encounter at 0025 hrs IST.
Daytime temperatures could reach 24 degrees Celsius (75 degrees Fahrenheit) in dry, bright weather, Britain’s Met Office said. The evening at the Olympic Park was forecast around 22-23 degrees with a humid feel – a fairly typical Jamaican night for 100 champion Bolt – said Met Office forecaster Dave Britton. “It’ll be nothing he’s not used to,” he added.
High pressure is forecast over London for a few days, he added, with an increased risk of showers for Sunday’s marathon and closing finale. Reuters
Women’s boxing gold
History is going to be made on Thursday, and Claressa Shields wants to be the one to make it. The first Olympic gold for women’s boxing will be awarded, with the American Shields slugging it out with Russia’s Nadezda Torlopov. The 17-year-old Shields has won over the London crowd with a combination of style, skill and charisma. And all this success is just starting to sink in for the final American in the boxing competition. “I’m still kind of shocked,” Shields says. “I’m thinking in my head, ‘Is it really true? Am I fighting for a gold medal (Thursday)?’” AP
Jamaica crash out in men’s 4x400m relay
Jamaica’s bid for the men’s 4×400 metres relay gold was cut short by injury on Thursday when Jermaine Gonzales pulled up with an injury in the third leg of their heat. The world championship bronze medallists, who had fancied their chances of ending America’s dominance in the event, looked devastated with Gonzales on his knees in despair.
Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, had said on Wednesday there was a slim chance he might have run in the final for Jamaica. The heat was won by Beijing silver medallists the Bahamas with a season’s best of 2 minutes 58.87 seconds, nipping just in front of world champions and winners of the event at the last seven Olympics, the United States.
Joining them in Friday’s final will be medal contenders Trinidad and Tobago and Britain, who finished first and second in the day’s first heat. Reuters
Pistorius leaves London without a medal
When double-amputee runner Oscar Pistorius finally had a shot at an Olympic medal, he didn’t get a chance to run. South Africa’s relay team never made it to the third section of the 4×400 in the opening heat after Ofentse Mogawane crashed, leaving Pistorius waiting with his hand outstretched for a baton that never came.
When he realized his Olympics were over, Pistorius raised his hands to his head, and waved his arms down in frustration. Since the South Africans had already won silver at the world championships last year, the “Blade Runner” knew his team had a good chance of mounting the Olympic medal podium after Friday’s final.
Now he leaves London, with only the distinction of having marked the games by becoming the first amputee athlete to run in an Olympic track and field competition. AP
A reconstruction of Usain Bolt sealing his status as the world’s fastest man by winning the 100m gold in the most keenly-anticipated event of the tournament. Bolt, 25, crossed the line in 9.63 seconds. Seven out of eight competitors finished in under 10sec, with Bolt’s Jamaican team-mate Yohan Blake taking silver and American Justin Gatlin winning bronze
See the amazing video on the Guardian here.
Thank you, Mommy
America’s Brittney Reese could have been shooting hoops instead of picking up an Olympic long jump gold medal on Wednesday but for what has turned out to be a wise choice by her mother.
“She sat me down and told me track was what I needed to do, and momma knows best so that’s what I did,” recalled Reese, who was a promising basketball player in her youth.
Now 25, Reese made the second biggest jump in the world this year inside London’s Olympic stadium to add gold to her world indoor and outdoor titles and achieve her ultimate goal.
She had only managed to register two of six attempts all night but her second jump of 7.12 metres was good enough to win. Reuters
The faces tell it all
— FirstpostSports (@FirstpostSports) अगस्त 9, 2012
The World Cup rematch
The US women’s soccer team still feels the sting from that shootout loss to Japan in the World Cup last July. On Thursday night, they get another chance against the Japanese for Olympic gold.
“It’s definitely redemption, but it’s also an opportunity,” midfielder Carli Lloyd says. “And an opportunity to show the world that we’re the No. 1 team and this game is going to be different.”
Abby Wambach ran into Japanese midfielder Homare Sawa in the athletes village, and they spoke briefly.
“We told each other that we were glad the other had won, because we believe that we’re the top two teams in the world and we believe our fans deserve to see a great final,” Wambach says. AP
All you wanted to know about the Indian wresting team’s chances
A bronze in the Beijing Games four years ago came as a surprise for many but as their chance at the London Olympic Games draw closer, the country’s grapplers led by Sushil Kumar will be out to prove that they are no longer the dark horses.
With a total of five wrestlers in the fray for the Olympics this year, the country is hoping nothing less than a couple of yellow strips from its athletes and the onus once again is on the tried and tested pair of Sushil and Yogeshwar Dutt.
Read the full report here.
Sahana fails third attempt on 1.85m
Sahana has failed her third attempt at 1.85 as well. The official site shows three failed attempts, so that will mean the end of her Olympic journey. She managed just one good jump.
Faster, Higher, Snarkier
How the Olympics telecast makes us a nation of media critics
We’ve become a nation of … sports media critics. You know, those writers who go sniffing for bonehead color commentary and network drama. For 17 days in late summer, their dirty pleasure is ours.
Read the superb piece on Grantland, here.
And still tougher…
Another ‘X’ for Sahana. She is struggling at this height. Her SB is 1.92, so this is well within her capabilities.
It gets tougher
Sahana fails her first attempt at 1.85. She still has two more attempts to clear the height. Her first attempt was at 1.80, and she cleared that easily.
She glides… she floats
She rolled off the turn and into the straightaway, 80 meters of orange carpet stretched out in front of her. It was just past 9 on a warm Wednesday evening in the well of London’s Olympic Stadium, four days from the close of the 30th Summer Games. Allyson Felix glided toward the lead in the 200 meters. It turns out she resents such descriptions when the work is so hard. “I’m very strong,” Felix would say later that night. But she does glide. She floats. It’s air beneath her feet, ground beneath the others.
Read the superb piece on Sports Illustrated here.
We agree completely.
`Gowda ends lowly eighth”says Times of India headline.Unjust & disrespectful I say. Vikas finished 8th out of 12 finalists & 41 contenders..
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) अगस्त 9, 2012
Sahana Kumari has cleared her first height of 1.80 in her first attempt. Her best is 1.92 — so she should have a few more good jumps in here before things get tough.
The High mark
The World Record for High Jump has been around for a while. The height is a spectacular 2.09 and it was set by Stefka Kostadinova of Bulgaria. It is one of the oldest records in modern athletics. Altogether Kostadinova set seven world records – three outdoors and four indoors. She also holds the women’s world record for having jumped over 2.00 m 197 times.
You can check out more details of Kostadinova’s career, here.
The High Jump qualification has begun
Sahana Kumari is in Group ‘B.’ At the moment, Group ‘A’ in jumping.
First up for India
2:00 PM: Women’s High Jump (Qualification): Sahana Kumari. She is the current national record holder at 1.92m. She broke eight-year-old national record of 1.91 m set by Keralite Bobby Aloysius and was the last Indian athlete to qualify for the Games.
Both jogged across the finish line. Both know they’ve got more in the tank — maybe even a gold medal.
Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake both moved onto the finals of the 200 meters with easy runs Wednesday night. They’ll go for the gold medal in Thursday’s night final, and think the winner has a shot at breaking Bolt’s world record of 19.19 seconds.
“Anything is possible,” Blake said. “It’s the 200 meters and we are both full speed. Anything can happen.”
Bolt said the time off between heats — he ran once Tuesday, once Wednesday and now has until Thursday night to prepare for the final — gives him the rest he needs for a potential electric run.
“There’s a possibility, definitely,” he said of a new world record. “I can’t say, but the track is fast. I know I’m feeling great.” AP
London calling for javelin man Thorkildsen
Andreas Thorkildsen has been dogged by injuries this season but the return to the stage he loves best has put the Norwegian in the mood to emulate the great Jan Zelezny and win a third successive Olympic javelin gold. “I love this stuff, walking into a stadium of 80,000 people cheering, it’s good fun,” Thorkildsen told reporters on Wednesday after getting his timing right with his second qualifying throw to reach Saturday’s final. “This is where we create new memories. Beijing was awesome…this is London, let’s make it better.”
The 30-year-old was understandably rusty with his first effort of 76.20, but made no mistake on his next attempt and, qualifying mark achieved, was able to sit back down and lap up the atmosphere on a warm evening in the capital. Thorkildsen is hoping to match world record holder Zelezny’s three golds which the Czech won between 1992 and 2000, but has struggled to hit top form this year. “It’s been my groin and quads and back…you name it and I’ll add it,” he said. “Age? – that’s probably the biggest one,” he said. Reuters