WE WERE ALL set for go for day six in London and it was a particularly exciting one for Irish fans.
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- Rower Sanita Puspure won her C/D single sculls semi-final this morning and will contest the C final on Saturday.
- Michael Phelps wins 200m Individual M<edley Gold for his 20th Olympics medal.
- Chris Hoy and his two cycling teammates win sprint gold at the Velodrome. The gold is Hoy’s fifth in the Olympics.
- Darren O’Neill bows out of the games after a quarter-final boxing loss to Stefan Hartel of Germany.
- Hannah Craig finishes 10th in the final of the Women’s K1 Slalom Final.
- Swimmers Barry Murphy and Melanie Nocher are out of the Olympics after disappointing performances in their respective heats.
- Murphy was second in the 50m freestyle with a time of 22.76, while Nocher finished sixth in 2.16.29 during the 200m backstroke.
9.27 – Good morning, sports fans! If you’ve been saving up that sick day for awhile, it might just be worth using. It’s day six of London 2012 (where has the time gone?) and there’s non-sport Olympic goodness right through until late tonight.
We won’t be missing a thing and are only delighted to have your company.
9.37 – First thing’s first. Here’s which members of Team Ireland are in action today…
- Rowing: Sanita Puspure is in the first of the C/D single sculls semi-finals around now.
- Swimming: Barry Murphy is in heat two of 50m freestyle from 10am. Melanie Nocher takes part in the 200m backstroke at around 11.30am.
- Equestrian: Anna Merveldt gets her dressage underway with the Grand Prix in Greenwich Park. Merveldt and Coryolano are first up in the third section today at 1.25pm.
- Sailing: Scott Flanigan and Ger Owens begin the men’s 470 with their first two races at 12pm and 1.30pm. Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern race in the 49er class at 12pm and 12.45pm, while Peter O’Leary and David Burrows in the star class are up at 12.05pm and 1.20pm.
- Canoeing: Hannah Craig is in the semi-finals of the women’s K1 kayak from 2.12pm. If she makes the top 10, the final will be at 3.57pm.
- Boxing: After John Joe Nevin secured a spot in the quarter-finals yesterday, Darren O’Neill can do likewise when he takes on Stefan Hartel of Germany in the last 16 of the men’s middleweight division. O’Neill is in the ring at 2.45pm.
9.46 – Sanita Puspure, who disappointingly didn’t make the A/B semi-finals on Tuesday after a fourth place finish, has just won her C/D semi-final, leading from early on and finishing ten seconds ahead of the next rower.
That means she is into the C final, which is scheduled for Saturday.
9.53 – Next up, we’ve got swimming with both Dubliner Barry Murphy and Down’s Melanie Nocher in the pool.
Murphy tweeted this morning:
11.10 – Check out how this medal table from an Australian newspaper distinguishes between North and South Korea…
11.32 – Eighth from eight on the turn, Phelps roars past everyone to take first in 51.72. Serbia’s Milorad Cavic is in second (51.90). The semi-finals are tonight.
Melanie Nocher is coming up next in the women’s 200m backstroke.
11.41 – It’s a poor finish from Nocher. She held third for the first half of the race but comes home in sixth place with a time of 2.16.29 – nearly six seconds slower than her qualifying time.
She won’t progress and looks distraught according to RTE commentators.
THE FATHER OF a champion Chinese diver has reportedly admitted hiding news that her mother had cancer to keep her focused on the Olympics, triggering criticism of China’s ruthless pursuit of victory.
Diver Wu Minxia, 26, scooped gold in the synchronised 3m springboard at the London Olympics, becoming the first diver in history to win golds at three consecutive Games.
12.32 – Andy Murray is in action on Court One at Wimbledon. The Scot is playing Nicolas Almagro of Spain for a place in the semi-finals. He is currently 4-2 ahead in the first set.
12.41 – Boxer John Joe Nevin, who met Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy but is holding out for the Williams sisters, says he can go all the way in the bantamweight division.
I wouldn’t be in the competition if I didn’t think I could go all the way.”
14.10 – Carl Hester off Great Britain currently leads the dressage while our very own Anna Merveldt, who admirably trotted Coryolano about the arena, is now in ninth place.
14.36 – This is getting perilous – Craig is down to fifth and seven women are still to go. Two of them need to go slower.
14.52 – This is pure agony. Craig is ninth with two women to go – one of them is British, Lizzie Neave, and the other is Spanish, Maialen Chourraut, world number two.
15.04 – 14-8 now to Hartel after two rounds. Yikes. O’Neill was lured into the corner by the German at one stage. He waited for O’Neill to blink then unloaded three scoring shots in quick succession.
15.18 – O’Neill met his match today but tried his heart out to the last. Bernard Dunne’s ambitious six medals from six boxers claim, unfortunately, will not come true.
15.32 – Victoria Azarenka of Belarus has defeated Angelique Kerber, conquerer of Venus Williams yesterday, in straight sets. Serena Williams has demolished Caroline Wozniacki 6-0, 6-3.
15.50 – Just when he needs to, Novak Djokovic ups the intensity and breaks Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. He holds his serve to win the match. He will face Andy Murray in the last four. Anything else going on at Wimbledon? Juan Martin del Potro is playing Kei Nishikori in the Men’s Singles – the match is currently tied at 3-3 in the first set.
15.56 – Here comes Hannah Craig – she is up first in the K1 Final.
16.10 – For someone who was 31st in the official kayak world rankings last season, Hannah Craig’s qualification for the final was a huge achievement. That will be scant consolation for her as she never looked close to getting up into medal contention.
16.25 – This woman loves handball. Olympic officials have clamped down very effectively on footage making it up the internet but let me assure you – Ann Grete Norgaard pulled off a great strop after missing a penalty in her handball match against Spain.
She still managed to score seven goals but Spain won 24-21. Handball is a great sport.
Ann Grete Norgaard of Denmark celebrates after scoring a goal. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
16.30 – Jessica Fox, who started near the back of the K1 field, put in a hugely impressive run to set a good time to beat. Emilie Fer of France went out and beat it by .61 seconds. Gold goes to France and the 29-year-old.
Hannah Craig finishes in ninth place.
Over in the track cycling, Team GB golden girl Victoria Pendelton has broken a world record in the qualifying heats. Mark Cavendish called it right. More to come I’d say.
16.50 – Tagir Khaibulaev of Russia beats Tuvshinbayar of Mongolia by Ippon to win gold in the men’s -100kg judo Gold Medal. Vladimir Putin pegs it onto the canvas to help him celebrate. The Russian Premier fancies himself as a martial arts expert. On the hunt for a picture.
17.07 – Former Irish Olympic swimmer Gary O’Toole was on RTÉ speaking about the efforts of Ireland’s squad in the pool. Speaking about the illness that hindered Melanie Nocher, he said:
You can’t control these things and if you are not right on the day, that’s it, four years down the drain.
O’Toole added that he was bitterly disappointed by the performance of Barry Murphy, a swimmer that sets high standards for himself, and said Sycerika McMahon was the best performer. “She has emerged with a good degree of respect,” added O’Toole. The two-time Olympian said:
Grainne (Murphy), of course, was ill and that was desperately disappointing … Whether she should have been here or not is another matter.
Reasons to be cheerful: Hannah Craig. (©INPHO/Dan Sheridan)
17.15 – Pendellton and Varnish have been disqualified for an early changeover in the Women’s Sprint at the Velodrome. That is a medal down the drain for Team GB and its supporting hordes.
Roger Federer is a set up on American John Isner and looking to close it out in the second set. It looks like a Federer v Del Potro semi-final at this stage.
17.24 – Victoria Pendelton is looking to keep upbeat on BBC after her (and Jess Varnish’s) disqualification.
The change-over was deemed illegal and Pendelton put it down to ‘being a bit overwhelmed and excited’ by the occasion.
We’ve never really had an illegal changeover before so it was not something we were overly concerned about.”
“Now and then, rubbish things happen and it was just one of those days,” she added.
17.39 – Information and comedy from the Irish Sun’s reporter in London. He tweets that Anthony Ogogo may not be through to a bronze medal bout just yet.
17.42 – For some nifty pictures of the judo and wrestling action during the games, check out @L2012MatCam
17.48 – Vladimir Putin about to pull off a classic Ippon manoeuvre on judo gold medallist Tagir Khaibulaev. Either that or the Russian President is grasping his head and telling him ‘well bloody done’.
Side note: What is the going rate for cosmetic surgery (your basic facial nip-tuck procedure) in Russia.
He just couldn’t keep away. Vladimir Putin and Tagir Khaibulaev. (Nick Potts/PA Wire)
17.55 – Venezuelan fencer Ruben Limardo Gascon won his country’s second-ever Olympic gold medal earlier today. He then hopped on the London Underground to listen to some quality busking and bask in the smell of 9-hour-work-day sweat.
The Olympics, eh.
18.20 – Boom: Douglas takes the gold as predicted by gymnastics experts at TheScore, Russian’s Komova is in second and in tears.
18.39 – Pat back on the scene and it was spaghetti bolognese. The track cycling continues apace and Maria Sharapova is a set and a break up on Kim Clijsters at Wimbledon.
18.43 – The Men’s Badminton Singles competition waves goodbye to its last European competitor as Peter Gade of Denmark is beaten in straight sets by Chen Long. As for the women’s side of the draw - Saina Nehwal of India stands alone against a trio of Chinese competitors as we reach the semi-finals.
18.58 – Gold medal for Chris Hoy – he loves a win. He was part of an exhilarating race as the Team GB trio blitzed a hard-riding French team. He wins gold alongside Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny. Business is picking up for Great Britain.
19.05 – The Netherland’s women’s hockey team are on-course for the semi-finals after the secured a 1-0 win over China today. Maartje Goderie got the winning goal after she dribbled her way along the left byline and cut inside, firing across goalkeeper Zhang Yimen and in off the far post.
Dutch star Maartje Paumen takes on Ren Ye (wearing her ‘Tribute to Halloween’ mask). (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
* PS: Bullit Marquez – you have a fantastic name!
19.13 – What else about that Chris Hoy win? It is his fifth gold medal. The trio of GB cyclists won in a world record time of 42.6 seconds. And Prince William was chuffed with it. Here is what former cycling gold medal winner Chris Boardman on BBC said:
What an exciting final and for me it was all about young Philip Hindes. He had to do the ride of his life there, and all three of them are on the form of their life. All the team can be rightly proud of themselves, a fantastic job all round.
19.35 – America’s Cullen Jones and Caesar Celio of Brazil get times of 21.54 in the Men’s 50m Freestyle semi-final to advance.
19.43 – Women’s 200m Breastroke Final coming up and Rebecca Soni will be looking for gold first, world record second. Bruno Fratus won his semi-final of the Men’s 50m Freestyle – more good news for Brazil.
May not have mentioned this yet – Sharapova beat Kim Clijsters in two sets.
19.47 – GOLD! Rebecca Soni wins and breaks the world record that she set last night by .41 of a second. She touched the wall in a time of 2:19.59 after really picking up the pace in the last 100m. He final turn was seamless and really gave her a chance of breaking the record.
19.50 – BBC are saying that no swimmer has successfully defended their Olympic title. Ryan Lochte of the USA is looking to turn that around in the Men’s 200m Backstroke Final.
19.54 – The streak continues. Tyler Clary beats Ryan Lochte, who finishes third, to win 200m Backstroke gold.
20.14 – In the Dressage today Hiroshi Hoketsu, the 71-year-old Olympian from Japan, finished 17th (once again – synergy) with his horse, Whisper. His official London 2012 profile has his occupation listed as ‘Athlete, Retired’. One of them is my dream occupation.
Ian Thorpe, the former Australian swimmer and gold medal factory, has been on Twitter for a day and is up to 38,476 followers already. There he is on BBC now, smug as you like.
20.21 – Get the marker out and start circling August 3 on your ring-bound calendar because tomorrow afternoon is the day the Olympics really begin … for the Men’s Trampoline contestants. Can Diogo Chanchinho of Portugal give it some bounce and style to defeat Dong Dong of China? Tune in tomorrow!
20.27 – Michael Phelps wins Gold! He led after a stunning first 100m and he held on as Ryan Lochte pushed him hard in the final 25m. Olympic medal number 20 for the living legend.
Lochte gets silver and Laszlo Cseh of Hungary gets bronze.
20.42 – Missy Franklin next up and searching for more USA gold in the Women’s 100m Freestyle Final.
20.48 – Ranomi Kromowidjojo wins Gold in an extremely tight race. The Dutch swimmer won with half a stretched body to spare but it was a close-run thing for the other medals. Aliaksandra Herasimenia gets silver and China’s Tang Yi is third. Fran Halsall of Great Britain was sixth but she honestly missed out on silver by .3 of a second.