Phelps Wins 100m Fly Gold : Gold For Men’s Four And Women’s Lightweight Doubles, Silver For Purchase And Hunter Spirig Wins Triathlon, Jenkins Fifth : aforadio.com
Posted in Sports on 05. Aug, 2012
Phelps Wins Olympic 100m Fly Gold In Swan Song
On the eve of his retirement, Phelps provided an unforgettable reminder of his incredible talent and determination when he came from seventh at the turn to overpower his rivals and win in a time of 51.21 seconds.
South Africa’s le Clos, who beat Phelps in the 200 butterfly final, dead-heated for second with Russia’s Evgeny Korotyshkin but neither man could hold Phelps off once he started to roll his giant shoulders and kick his powerful feet.
By winning, he joined his American team mate Missy Franklin as the only triple gold medallists in London after she broke the world record in the 200 backstroke final a few minutes earlier and took his career tally to 21 medals, including 17 golds.
He still has one more event to go before he hangs up his goggles, the 4×100 medley relay, an event the US men have never lost at an Olympics they have attended.
Later in the evening, Florent Manaudou pipped Cullen Jones of the United States and Brazilian Cesar Cielo for the men’s 50m freestyle gold medal.
The 21-year-old charged down the pool to get his hand on the wall first and win the frantic one-lap dash in a time of 21.34 seconds.
Jones took the silver medal in 21.54 while the bronze went to Cielo in 21.59.
Cielo won the Olympic title in Beijing four years ago and both world championships in between, setting the current world record of 20.91 in Sao Paulo in 2009.
He was the quickest away off the blocks but was overhauled in the scramble to the finish by both Cullen and Manaudou, who qualified sixth fastest for the final.
The younger brother of Laure Manaudou joined his famous sister on the top of the Olympic podium when he won.
Laure Manaudou won the women’s 400 freestyle gold at the Athens in 2004, becoming the first female French swimmer to win an Olympic title.
France have now won four swimming gold medals in London.
The eight finalists were separated by less than two-thirds of a second with American Anthony Ervin fifth in his comeback to the Olympics.
Ervin won the gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics but quit the sport three years later, saying he was fed up and wanted to find more meaning in his life. He only decided to make a comeback last year.
Gold For Men’s Four And Women’s Lightweight Doubles, Silver For Purchase And Hunter
Confirming their position as the strongest rowing nation in the world, Britain powered off the start in their men’s four final which had been dubbed an “Ashes” clash on a par with the cricketing rivalry between the two countries.
The commanding performance followed days of tough talking from the Australian boat and gave Britain a fourth consecutive win in the men’s four and took the host nation’s medal tally on the course to seven, making it the most successful Olympic regatta for the country in modern rowing.
The win by just over a second also denied Drew Ginn the chance to become the first Australian to win gold in four Olympic Games.
Twenty minutes later the tally went to eight medals with four golds, one silver and three bronzes as Katherine Copeland and Sophie Hosking rowed through the favourites to win the women’s lightweight double sculls by a length.
The duo were in utter disbelief and looked up at the big screen to confirm their win after they crossed the line before hugging each other and standing up in the boat to accept the applause.
The British crew slowly pulled away from the field with a commanding performance to edge China and world champions Greece. They hugged each other in the boat and looked stunned with their win.
Ginn had used the build up to the Games to try to heap the pressure on the British men’s boat, saying they would be scared of racing against the Australians.
Instead, the British boat surprised the fast-starting Australians by matching them from the off and then pulling out a slight lead by the 250 metre mark.
They then held on to that lead with a display of powerful rowing which allowed them to respond to anything the Australians could throw at them.
As the two crews went over the line the British threw their arms in the air before collapsing in to their boat and blowing kisses to the crowds and pumping their fists.
The Australians in contrast fell back into their boat and held their heads in their hands. The two crews then congratulated each other on the side of the lake minutes after the race.
“We’d been under a lot of pressure to carry on the coxless four tradition and we’ve done it, this is wonderful,” Britain’s Alex Gregory told the BBC.
“My son will be able to take the medal into school and say my dad’s an Olympic champion.”
For the third day out of four the sound of the British national anthem then echoed across the lake as British rowing fans belted out the anthem in support of their rowers.
But there was disappointment for Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase in the men’s lightweight double sculls as Denmark came through the British defending champions in the final 100 metres of the race to win gold in the tightest clash of the Olympic regatta.
Britain had powered off the start and led for 1,900 metres by half a length but they could not hold off the Danish boat of Mads Rasmussen and Rasmus Quist who sprinted for the line.
The race had to be restarted after the British boat broke their equipment in the first 100 metres, prompting the officials to restart it 10 minutes later.
New Zealand took the bronze.
The Czech Republic’s Miroslava Knapkova powered to victory in the women’s single scull to add to her 2011 world championship title and finally confirm her position at the top of the sport.
The 31-year-old, who had previously won a string of silver and bronze medals at international regattas, had a strong start and led by over a length by 500 metres and established more than a boat’s length of clear water before 1,000 metres in one of the most dominant finals of the regatta.
Denmark’s unheralded Fie Udby Erichsen took silver and Australia’s Kim Crow the bronze.
Spirig Wins Olympic Triathlon In Photo Finish, Jenkins Fifth
After a ferocious sprint finish, both Spirig and Lisa Norden of Sweden were given the same time of one hour 59 minutes 48 seconds.
The judges examined the photographic evidence and said Spirig’s winning margin was less than 15 centimetres.
Two seconds back, Erin Densham of Australia won the bronze medal, having been in contention for gold until the final 200 metres.
Britain’s Helen Jenkins finished fifth after being run out of contention in the final kilometre.
Lucy Hall, who finished 33rd, led out the swim and organised the pace in the bike to give Jenkins the best chance of a medal, while Vicky Holland finished 26th despite a crash.
Jenkins, who was the first British woman to win the ITU World Championship Series title, was disappointed but admitted she had nothing left to give on the day.
“I did give it everything. I just couldn’t hang in there in the last lap of the run,” said the double world champion.
“This has been the hardest ten weeks of my career. I had an injury – it’s been really hard to actually get to the start line and I’m actually amazed I was in contention for that long.
“I haven’t been able to get all of my running in and I gave it everything. The crowd helped so much, I want to thank everyone out there shouting and I gave it everything. I’m sorry it wasn’t a medal.
“I really tried and I’m so grateful to the team. Unfortunately Vicky (Holland) crashed and Lucy kept the pace on in the bike and made sure we didn’t get caught by everyone behind.
“I think the British triathlon team have been amazing – we did everything right for this one I just haven’t been able to get all the training in for this race. Everything else was right just my run legs weren’t.
“When I get tired my head just drops and my legs were just going. Congratulations to the top three girls, they really fought for that well deserved winners.
“Just after San Diego I had a problem with my knee since then it’s been a battle to get here and it hasn’t really gone away I’ve just been training through a lot of pain for ten weeks.
“We’ve had a lot of tears a lot of emotion going on but I’ve had a great team around me and we were confident that from my form in San Diego that I would still be close to it but unfortunately I just wasn’t one hundred percent there on the run.
“The good thing about triathlon is there are three sports so I could just really focus on my swim and bike and get that ready and just didn’t have quite enough today. If the race had been a few months ago I would have been alright.”
Hall, who was the youngest member of the team at just 20, admitted she had regrets about her role as domestique in the team.
“I probably should in hindsight looked back a bit more,” she said. “I knew we were spread out and everything. I kind of assumed that Helen and Vic were there, so on my part I’m sorry.”
Holland was involved in a crash with Australia’s Emma Moffatt and the 26-year-old admitted that the incident cost the chance to really influence the race.
“I was first lap round Buckingham Palace and the white lines were still a little bit wet from the rain this morning,” she said.
“I saw her (Moffatt) go down maybe a few metres in front of me and I was taking a wide line round her and I got taken out from behind.
“I would love to see the footage I think that maybe someone who also got caught in the crash tapped my back wheel.
“I got up pretty quick but couldn’t get back to the pack from there on in it was a case of not trying to hunt down these girls because they were some of the fast runners.
“So it was just a case of cruising round at the back and waiting for the run and I actually ran quicker than I thought I would.”