Giant on the move
There was a joke going around the Olympics (until yesterday evening) about how none of Britain’s gold medals had been won by people standing up. Perfect for the British, no? We do like a nice sit down and a cup of tea after all.
Christine Ohuruogu ended that odd little sequence when she followed the sailors, swimmers, cyclists and rowers on to the podium to collect her gold for the women’s 400 metres.
Britain’s tally of 16 golds is their best since 1908 and puts them third in the medals table (as you’ll see if you glance to the right) ahead of the likes of Russia, Australia and Germany.
Kate Holton takes a look here at Britain’s Olympic renaissance, following the embarrassment of winning just one gold medal in Atlanta in 1996. Money has had a lot to do with it, with so many athletes now benefiting from National Lottery funding, but it has created a potential problem heading into the 2012 London Games.
My mother back in the United States thinks I’m having a great time in Beijing. She envisions me casually dropping into see the swimming and the athletics, having a relaxed lunch, and then strolling over to the next venue to catch another big event in the evening. Let me give you a run through of one day I had near the start of the Games…
7:00 - Wake up too late for breakfast, rush through ablutions and run for bus. Clear airport-style security. Get on bus for 20-minute ride. Transfer to second bus for 40-minute ride to shooting venue.
The cheers before kickoff in the Beijing Workers’ Stadium were for five-times world champions Brazil and Ronaldinho. At the final whistle, the Chinese crowd rose to acclaim Argentina after a 3-0 win against nine-man Brazil sent them through to the Olympic final.
China may be a relatively untapped soccer market, but the 50,000 plus crowd knew that the best team had won on the night.
Russell Boyce writes: The men’s +105kg weightlifting produced grunts and groans, strains and shouts as men lifted weights up to 258kg.
It also produced an amazing series of portraits as these heavyweight giants battled it out for the gold medal, ferocious and hard faced giants every one of them, or at least so it seemed.
Tune in to the latest podcast hear about Yelena Isinbaeva’s pole vault magic, open water swimming’s dirty little secret and why you should never let an Australian come home with souvenirs for the kids.
I’m joined by Julian Linden, Belinda Goldsmith, Simon Evans and John “David Gedge” Chalmers for seven minutes of sunshine from grey Beijing. Enjoy…
Americans looking at the medals table to the right of this blog, or on the official Games website, might be surprised to see the host country topping the chart with 39 gold medals and 68 in total.
The New York Times website, meanwhile, has the United States on top with a chart-leading 73 medals in total, 23 of them gold.
After watching the men’s nail biting, down-to-the-wire 20 km race walk, I’m still not convinced this sport belongs in the Olympics.
Athletics is about running fast, throwing far and jumping high. Walking is about twisting your body and trying to go fast while trying to go slow. It’s like swimming in a straitjacket.
If you have been to the daily Olympic press briefing by Games organisers you’d think there was a war on around the venues and not a well-run Olympic Games, packed with memorable moments.
While the Games, on a sporting level, have been a smooth operation so far, with records set and ecstatic crowds, inside the press conference room it is a different story.
I’m joined by Simon Evans, Julian Linden, Belinda Goldsmith and Ossian Shine for a short talk about the sport here in Beijing. Tune in to find out about china’s unluckiest man, the power of the yam and why Michael Phelps wouldn’t touch a dram.
A few technical gremlins delayed this but … better kate than trevor.
The men do 40 km over 160 laps, the women 25km over 100 laps. That’s the easy part.