Monday, July 30, 2012

London Olympics 2012: Day 2

The story of day two of competition at this Olympics is that Jordan Wieber will not compete in the Women's Gymnastics All Around. Yes, you heard right, the defending world all around champion will not compete and the reason may surprise you. It was not a gymnast from another country who dashed Wieber's chances, it was not her closest competitor on the U.S. team Gabby Douglas. Instead it was her close friend, Aly Raisman.

Raisman outscored Weiber in the floor exercises which was the U.S. team's final rotation. When Weiber saw her name drop to third below Raisman and Douglas, she burst into tears. So for U.S. gymnastics fan everywhere, this is bittersweet. Having even some more time to think about all of this, why does World Gymnastics have this ridiculous world, who is to say that the top five gymnasts in the world cannot be from the game country, and so, if Jordyn Weiber was within that top 24 then why shouldn't she be allowed to compete for that medal? Why are we being so unfair? How is this helping to advance the sport which, if anything, has dwindled in popularity? It has grown in talent, so let us reward truly, the most talented.

I love this chart which shows you exactly who qualified for what events: Women's Gymnastics All Around and Individual Events

Not only did Dana Vollmer complete a comeback eight years in the making but she won the gold and set a new world record in the Women's 100m Butterfly on Sunday night. In 2004 at the Athens games, an impressionable 16 year old Vollmer won a relay gold. Four years later, that all changed when Vollmer failing to qualify for the Beijing games.

She says that missing those games forced her to rethink her training and how she felt about swimming, a sport that was once so fun for her. That time must have made all the difference because besides being the first woman to swim a 100m fly in under 56 seconds, she did it all with one of her two swimming caps coming off in the first 50 meters.

Women's 100m Butterfly

rank lane
1      4      Dana Vollmer U.S.A. 55.98 WR
2      7      Lu Ying China 56.87
3      5      Alicia Coutts Australia 56.94
4      6      Sarah Sjostrom Sweden 57.17
5      8      Ilaria Bianchi Italy 57.27
6      3      Jeanette Ottesen Gray Denmark 57.35
7      2      Claire Donahue U.S.A. 57.48
8      1      Ellen Gandy Great Britain 57.26

For anyone who is a fan of U.S. Swimming, I am sure the biggest question that came out of Sunday night was who decided the start order for the Men's 4x100m relay? I do not consider myself an expert in swimming, although I do think I at least know a little bit about just about everything and anything. Even I know that Ryan Lochte should not have swam the anchor leg of that relay. He is not considered to be one of swimming's sprinters; he swims the 200m, the 400m, etc. He does not swim the 50m or the 100m. Looking at the four athletes who raced last night: Nathan Adrian, Michael Phelps, Cullen Jones, and Lochte; Lochte probably should have swam second. Adrian was good in that first position, and Jones does well in the third or fourth position, as does Phelps really. Next time a relay comes around, maybe the U.S. coach could consult with us.

Men's 4x100m Relay

rank lane
1      6      France 3:09.93
2      5      U.S.A. 3:10.38
3      3      Russia 3:11.41
4      4      Australia 3:11.63
5      1      South Africa 3:13.45
6      2      Germany 3:13.52
7      8      Italy 3:14.13
8      7      Belgium 3:14.40

Thirty year old Brendan Hansen said that the bronze medal he won in Sunday's 100 Breaststroke is the shiniest bronze medal he's even seen. He finally got his revenge on longtime Japanese rival Kosuke Kitajima who was shut out of the medals.

“I really wanted to say I was gonna do something and follow through with it,” said the 30-year-old. “That bronze medal tonight did that. This is probably my favorite medal that I’ve ever gotten in the Olympics. And probably the hardest one that I had to work for.”

Men's 100m Breaststroke

rank lane
1      4       Cameron van der Burgh South Africa 58.46 WR
2      6       Christian Sprenger Australia 58.93
3      8       Brendan Hansen U.S.A. 59.49
4      1       David Gyurta Hungary 59.53
5      7       Kosuke Kitajima Japan 59.79
6      3       Brenton Rickard Australia 59.87
7      5       Fabio Scozzoli Italy 59.97
8      2       Giedrius Titenis Lithuania 1:00.84

Allison Schmitt, Michael Phelps' training partner, and some say, the reason he loosened up with his swimming in the past few years picked up a silver medal in the 400m free.

Women's 400m Freestyle

rank lane
1      4      Camille Muffat France 4:01.45 OR
2      5      Allison Schmitt U.S.A. 4:01.77 AR
3      8      Rebecca Adlington Great Britain 4:03.01
4      2      Lotte Friis Denmark 4:03.98
5      1      Frederica Pellegrini Italy 4:04.50
6      3      Coralie Balmy France 4:05.95
7      7      Brittany Maclean Canada 4:06.24
8      6      Lauren Boyle New Zealand 4:06.25

*U.S. Women's Soccer advanced to the semi

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