London Olympics: Saina, Sawarn, Jai Bhagwan make India smile

There was plenty of action on Day 2 of the Games with 14 golds up for grabs! To see India's schedule click here.

- India's world number two women's archery team eliminated
- Sawarn wins repechage in singles sculls
- Heena falls just short, finishes 12th in 10m Air Pistol
- Ghosh out of TT competition
- Jwala-Diju lose second match
- Saina Nehwal makes it look easy, cruised to win
- Boxer Jai Bhagwan wins in 60 kg category
- Somdev Devvarman loses in first round
- Paes-Vardhan, Bhupathi-Bopanna doubles matches postponed
- Vishnu Vardhan singles match also postponed

France shocks US

France come back in spectacular style to beat USA in the men’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay. Russia came in third while favourites Australia finished outside the medals.

Muffat takes home the gold

Camille Muffat of France takes gold in women's 400m freestyle in OR time, with USA's Allison Schmitt silver. Rebecca Adlington bronze for GB. Muffat's smooth style carried her through but Schmitt gave her a good fight right up to the end.

Another WR in the pool

Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) goes 58.46 in the 100m breaststroke, .12 under old mark. South Africa's first home grown champion. Brilliant swim.

Broken jaw (and dreams)

Ghana's flagbearer is out of the Olympics after failing to recover in time from a broken jaw sustained in a qualifying fight. Maxwell Amponsah had surgery to reset his jaw following the fracture on May 5 but it hasn't fully healed, meaning he carried his country's flag at Friday's opening ceremony but won't get to compete. Ghana's Olympic committee says "there are potential major complications if he re-fractures his jaw." AP

New WR for Dana Vollmer

Dana Vollmer (USA) wins women's 100m fly gold. Ying Lu of China silver, Australia's Alicia Coutts bronze. Voller won in 55.98, becoming the first woman ever to go below 56 seconds. Super swim.

Somdev loses

Jarko Nieminen comfortably beats #Somdev 6-3 6-1 in the men's singles tennis event. The match was delayed due to rain.

South Korea wins 7th straight women's team archery gold

Needing a score of nine on the final arrow, Hyeonju Choi of South Korea came through Sunday to keep her nation unbeaten in Olympic women's team archery. South Korea has won the gold medal all seven times the event has been contested at the Olympics and this time the victory came by a single point over China.

Serbia shock Hungary in Water Polo

Serbia upset defending champions Hungary in a thrilling early water polo group match on Sunday, powering to a 14-10 victory and signaling to the Hungarians that they a have a huge battle on their hands to win a fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal. In a match fought out with the intensity of a final, the two favorites matched each other goal-for-goal in the first half, before European champions Serbia took command with a prolific third-quarter performance. The defeat ended water polo super power Hungary's unbeaten run of 17 games at the Olympics. They last lost a match 12 years ago in the group stages in Sydney. AP

Djokovic, Tsonga locked in a battle

Fabio FOGNINI (ITA) V Novak DJOKOVIC (SRB) [2] In progress: 7-6(7) 2-3

Jo-Wilfried TSONGA (FRA) [5] V Thomaz BELLUCCI (BRA) In progress: 6-7(5) 2-2

Hardly dreamy, still dominant

Kevin Durant scored 22 points, LeBron James added eight assists and the U.S. Olympic men's basketball team opened tournament play with a rough-and-ragged 98-71 win over France on Sunday. Seeking a second straight gold medal to match the one they won in Beijing four years ago, the Americans expected a tough test from a French team featuring San Antonio guard Tony Parker and five other NBA players. The US was never in real trouble, and after overcoming some major foul issues and sloppy play, the superstar-laden squad finally put France away in the second half. AP

Paes-Vardhan, Bhupathi-Bopanna matches postponed

Heavy rain has meant that the organisers were forced to cancel some of the matches. Paes-Vardhan and Bhupathi-Bopanna's matches were among them. Somdev Devvarman's match against Jarko Nieminen has been delayed. The score stands at 3-6 0-1.

Neymar-inspired Brazil beat Belarus

Strong contenders Brazil beat Belarus 3-1 in the men's football competition. Belarus took the early lead but Brazil just had too much class. Neymar was brilliant but the rest of his team is good as well. Belarus were stubborn in defence as long as the scores were 1-1 but then Neymar turned things around with a superb free kick.

Bardini Bressan R (8')
Alexandre Pato (15') NEYMAR (65') OSCAR (90+3')

Don't mess with Om

North Korean weightlifter Om Yun Chol set an Olympic record and matched the world record for the men's 56 kilogram clean and jerk lift on Sunday by lifting 168 kg - exactly three times his own bodyweight. Lifting in the B group, consisting of the seven athletes who chose the lowest starting weights and were not expected to challenge for medals, Om laid down a total of 293 kg across two styles of lifts for group A athletes to beat later on Sunday. Reuters

Wimbledon runner-up Radwanska out in first round

Women's second seed Agnieszka Radwanska crashed out of the Olympic tennis in the first round on Sunday, losing 7-5 6-7 6-4 in a shock defeat to world number 24 Julia Goerges.

Saudi Judo athlete to withdraw if hijab banned

A female Saudi Arabian judo competitor, one of the first two female athletes sent to the Olympics by the conservative kingdom, will withdraw if she is not allowed to wear her hijab or Islamic headscarf, during bouts, her father was quoted as saying. Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani is due to compete in the +78kg judo category on Friday. A Saudi official said earlier this month that its female athletes would have to obey Islamic dress codes. Reuters

Why are the stands empty?

Olympic organisers scrambled on Sunday to quell a backlash over depressing TV images of half-empty stands at the London Olympics as a government minister said an urgent inquiry had been launched to identify just who had failed to show up and why.

Read the full story here.

Saina's next challenge

Saina next faces Tan Lianne on Monday at 2300 IST and that will be a must-win for her, since the Belgian has already won her game. Only one player advances to the round of 16 from a group of three.

The difference between India and China is... family

Firstpost blogger Aparna Popat on why we shouldn't forget India's unsung heroes...

China beat the US to the top of the table at the Beijing Olympics 2008. With 51 golds compared to US’s 36, they made it abundantly clear that they were now a sporting superpower and here to stay. Looking for the secret to China’s success, it was found in their system.

Medal or Tattoo? Maybe both!

Result overturned after angry crowd erupts

A cacophony of boos from the crowd helped force a reviewing jury to take the unprecedented step of overturning the decision of a referee and his two judges in the Olympic judo on Sunday. After a close encounter in the quarter-final of the men's -66kg category between Japan's Ebinuma Masashi and South Korea's Cho Jun-Ho, the referee and judges on the mat raised their blue flags to indicate Cho had won. The arena at London's ExCel Centre erupted in derision with the disgusted Japanese coach looking utterly flabbergasted. The result was referred to a reviewing commission and they ruled that Masashi should be the winner. Reuters

Jai Bhagwan wins

Jai Bhagwan has also won his bout against Allisop Andrique in the Men's Light (60 kg) category with a fair degree of ease. He took the first two rounds by identical margin of 7-3 to build up a 14-6 lead. And then eased up a bit in the third round to win 18-8. Most convincing win by an Indian boxer. Vijender was very controlled last night, this was a domination performance.

Strawberries and cream anyone?

Saina makes it look easy

Pressure? What pressure. The other Indians may have struggled under pressure but Saina simply shrugs it off. She cruised to victory in straight games -- 21-9, 21-4. She needed just 10 minutes to win the second game and 22 minutes to win the match. Remember this is a round robin league. So she will need to win her other matches too. But this was a great start. Absolutely stunning stuff.

Saina wins first game

Total shutout. Saina wins the first game in just 12 minutes, the scoreline reads 21-9. Still can't watch the match though. DD, ESPN need to get their act together.

File picture of Saina Nehwal. AP

File picture of Saina Nehwal. AP

Saina begins her match

Saina has taken an early 10-6 lead and is looking good to win the first game. Go Saina... bring India some cheer. DD Sports for some reason is showing us skeet shooting. Crazy!!!

Saina up next

Saina Nehwal will now take the court in a bit. She is up against Switzerland's Sabrina Jaquet and is favourite to win. Let's hope she can. Go Saina.

No respite for the Indians

The Indians went into a big slump at the start of the second game and were down 1-6 but then fought back to level at 7-7 but continued making errors to lose 21-16. The pair lost in straight games and are almost out of the competition. They never found any rhythm and their co-ordination was bad as well. Not a good way to lose.

Gutta, Diju struggle

The Indian pairing was too slow and too inconsistent. Too many errors from Gutta and Diju meant that the Danish pair had an easy time, winning the first game 21-12. The Indians will need to turn it around in some style to win this match. It's vital they do or it might mean curtains for their Olympics hopes.

Gutta, Diju ready for battle
The Indian mixed doubles pair has taken the court for their match against the Danish world no.8 pair of Laybourn and Juhl. Jwala-Diju are ranked 13th in the world but have lost their last two matches against the Danes.

Tennis Men's Singles: Vishnu Vardhan gets in

Philipp Kohlschreiber's replacement in the men's singles will be Vishnu Vardhan of India. He will play Blaz Kavcic today.

10m Air Pistol: China's Guo W wins gold

Guo Wenjun wins the gold in the 10m Air Pistol with a score of 488.1. She won the gold with her last shot -- a 10.8. Celine Goverville took silver and Olena Kostevych got the bronze. India's Heena Sidhu had finished 12th in the event.

TT: Bong beats Ghosh in men's TT

In the end, Bong recovered superbly from a slow start. But Ghosh showed glimpses of class. He is still very young -- just 19 and hopefully the lessons he will learn here will help him at the next Olympics. By the way, just can't resist this -- North Korea's Bong beat India's Bong. Apologies in advance. Ghosh lost the match 4 games to 1. The scores were 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-9, 11-7.

TT: Bong takes a 3-1 lead

India's Ghosh took it to 8-8 in the fourth game but then a few errors gave the game to Bong.

Rowers Sandeep Kumar and Manjeet Singh finish fourth

India come 4th in the lightweight double sculls heats. Manjeet Singh and Sandeep Kumar timed 6:56.60. They will take part in the lightweight double sculls repechage. Italy's Pietro Ruta-Elia Luini finished first with a time of 6:35.72.

TT: Bong too strong

After a slow start, the North Korean has turned it on in some style. He's taken the third game -- 11-5 and leads by 2 games to 1.

TT: Ghosh loses second game

K H Bong fought back to win the second game 11-6. This is a fight for Ghosh, he will not have it easy.

TT: Ghosh takes early lead

The 19-year-old is taking on Kim Hyok Bong of North Korea in the second of the men's TT competition. And he's just won the first game 11-9. Come on!

Quote of the day

When you win, say nothing, when you lose, say less - Paul Brown

Was an Olympic record set today?

We've found a really cool site to tell you exactly that. It doesn't miss the world records either.

Hannah Miley's dolphin grin must wait

Up close, when you're just a few feet away her, Hannah Miley does not look much like an Olympic contender. The girl from Inverurie is small, slender and very pale. And, at 5ft 5in and 8st 3lb, Miley appeared notably less imposing than her rivals during Saturday's final in the 400m individual medley at the Aquatics Centre in Stratford.

While China's Ye Shiwen powered to the Olympic title in a world record of 4min 28.43sec, beating the favourite Elizabeth Beisel into second place, Miley showed characteristic bravery but without the additional sparkle that might have won Britain's first medal at London 2012.

Read the entire piece on the Guardian.

Heena falls just short

Heena Sidhu fails to qualify for the final of the 10m Air pistol event. The Indian finished 12th with 382 points. China's Guo Wenjun finished first with 388 points. It was a really close battle. Heena shot 5 10s to begin her final round but then followed it up with 5 9s to end up with 95 points. In the other three rounds, she shot 93, 97, 97 with 11 inner 10s. The other Indian in the fray, Annu Raj Singh, shot 378 to finish 23rd. Her scores in the four rounds were 94, 96, 97, 91. Only the top 8 shooters qualify for the final.

Bhupathi is ready

Our man in London

Veteran sports writer Ayaz Memon tells Firstpost that at the Olympics, mystery women are everywhere!

Not only did Madhura participate in the march past, but stayed the duration of the remaining part of the ceremony which included many acts, climaxing with Paul Macartney’s rendition of ‘Hey Jude’, leaving the ground with the Indian athletes, though this time not in the vanguard.

Read the piece here.

Sawarn wins repechage in singles sculls

Sawarn Singh has come first in the men's single sculls repechage and is through to the quarterfinals!! He lead from start to finish over the distance of 2,200 metres to win in a time of 7:00:79. Great stuff from the Indian, who had finished fourth in his heat yesterday.

Heena, Annu Raj turn it on

In the third round, Heena Sidhu and Annu Raj have both hit 97s. The first round lapse may come back to haunt them.

Indian shooters pick up the pace

Finally, India's shooters have found some form. Heena Sidhu has shot a 97 in the second round of the 10m air pistol event. While Annu Raj Singh has hit 96.

Heena, Annu Raj Singh have a bad start

Heena Sidhu has shot a 93 in the first round of the 10m air pistol event. While Annu Raj Singh has done slightly better with 94 -- but they are both off the pace. Unless they have a really amazing run in the next three round, it's hard to see them make the final.

Royal wait

The stands are starting to fill up at Greenwich Park awaiting the Olympic equestrian debut of Zara Phillips, the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II.

Phillips is third up Sunday morning in the dressage portion of the eventing competition, which also includes cross country and show jumping.

The VIP section so far is empty, but royals are expected to come cheer on the 31-year-old Phillips, who will be riding High Kingdom.

Aside from her grandmother, Phillips may count on cousins Princes William and Harry and William's wife Kate. Phillips' mother, Princess Anne, is not only president of the British Olympic committee but a member of the International Olympic Committee and a former equestrian eventing Olympian herself. Her father, Capt. Mark Phillips, is a coach on the American equestrian team and may catch a glimpse of his daughter as well.

Greenwich Park, where all equestrian events are taking place, dates from 1433 and is London's oldest royal park — as well as home to the Meridian Line. The main equestrian arena sits right in front of Queen's House, a 17th-century building built as a summer palace for Queen Anne of Denmark, the wife of James I. AP

No respite from defeat

Indian women's archery team has been eliminated by an on-song Denmark. The final score was 211-210 in the favour of the Danes. The Indians were inconsistent - Swuro shot two 6's to put India in a spot of bother and they never recovered. Deepika Kumari didn't have the best day either.

Denmark ahead by just 1 point

India fighting back now with 9,10,10 and Denmark responded with 8,9,8. This is going to be tight. Remember the men's team competition -- Japan came back to level scores against India too.

Denmark ahead by 5 points

India hit 9,9,10 but Denmark hit 8,10,9 to keep things tight. The deficit has been reduced by one point but at this point, India are going out of the competition.

Swuro hits another 6

Not a good day for the Indians. Deepika has hit just one bullseye and Swuro has hit two 6's and that has put immense pressure on the Indians. The difference between India and Denmark is six points 127 to 133.

India continue to trail

Denmark keep up their high standards and even though India shot 9,9,9... they had no hope of catching Denmark, who had 107 points to India's 103.

Danes firing it up

Denamrk shot 29 out of 30 in the third batch, India responded with 10, 6, 8 to fall back by 4 points -- a big, big deficit. Deepika Kumari shot a 10 but Swuro miss may prove costly. 76-80 in favour of Denmark.

After the second batch three arrows, India lead

Deepika Kumari seems off target today but Swuro hit a 10 and Bombayla Devi are in fine form, hitting a 10 and a 9 respectively to keep India ahead 52-51. This is a tight battle.

After the first batch of three arrows, India are ahead

After the first batch of 3 arrows, India had a narrow 1-point lead over Denmark. Deepaki Kumari shot a 7 with her first arrow. Come on India.

India's women archers take on Denmark

At 1:30, India's fancied women's team are scheduled to take on Denmark in the round of 16. Deepika Kumari, who is world number one, fought back pretty well in the women's individual competition after a bad start and India will hope she can take that momentum into the team competition as well.

Deepika Kumari will look to hit bullseye

Deepika Kumari will look to hit bullseye

Indian shooters in action

In the 10m air pistol event for women, Annuraj Singh and Heena Sidhu will carry India's hopes. Both have been consistent shooter, can they make it to the final?

Trivia for the day

Roger Federer has been ranked world number 1 for three consecutive Olympic Games -- 2004, 2008 and now, 2012. Doubt it will ever happen again.

Olympics choreographer upset London bombings tribute not seen in U.S.

A choreographer for the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games said on Saturday he was upset that his musical tribute to the victims of the 2005 London bus and train bombings had not been televised in the United States.

In a controversial decision, NBC cut Londoner Akram Khan's segment from the network's opening ceremony coverage, airing instead a brief interview with Olympic champion swimmer Michael Phelps by "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest.

"I feel disheartened and disappointed," Khan, who is of Bangladeshi descent, said in an online video of a press conference held in London on Saturday. Reuters

Updated Date: Jul 30, 2012 02:10 AM

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