Saturday, August 4, 2012

London Olympics 2012: Day 6

Gabrielle Douglas will go down as one of the greats in gymnastics. There have only been four American women who have won the all around: Douglas, Nastia Liukin in 2008, Carly Patterson in 2004, and Mary Lou Retton in 1984. Each one is so captivating, strong, graceful, original; they epitomize what it means to be a fighter. Gabby did something that none of the other three did though; she is the first woman to win gold in the team finals and gold in the all around.

Critics often compare Douglas to Dominique Dawes, but say her skills are a combination of Patterson's strength and athleticism, and Liukin's grace and maturity. Douglas' story is a sentimental one, she moved away from home two years ago to train with Coach Liang Chow who trained Shawn Johnson. At first her mom, Natalie Hawkins, was completely opposed to the idea, but she saw how much Gabby wanted it, and finally agreed. I am so glad her mom agreed, because we got to see a young determined woman who worked hard, and had that hard work pay off.

Women's Gymnastics All Around

1. Gabby Douglas U.S.A. 62.232
2. Viktoria Komova Russia 61.973
3. Aliya Mustafina Russia 59.566
4. Alexandra Raisman U.S.A. 59.566

As you can see above, Mustafina and Raisman have the same score. They both should have received a bronze medal, right? Wrong! According to archaic gymnastics rules that make no sense, when two gymnasts tie the lowest score of the four routines are dropped for each gymnast. Then, the remaining three scores are averaged, and whoever has the higher average receives the medal. Why couldn't two bronze medals be given out?

Reading Material--- loved this fun article on Gabby Douglas.

The Americans went three for four in the aquatic center on Day 6, how did they do it?

Rebecca Soni doesn't like attention, she'd prefer to just fly under the radar. You can imagine how much she disliked being the favorite coming into the 200m breast, an event she won four years ago in Beijing. On this day six though, Soni became the first female Olympic Champion from Beijing to defend and retain her title. Soni also set a new world record becoming the first to swim the event in under 2:20; she swam it in 2:19.59. Soni and boyfriend Ricky Berens have both won two medals at this Olympics.

Women's 200m Breaststroke

rank lane
1     4      Rebecca Soni U.S.A. 2:19.59 WR
2     3      Suzuki Satomi Japan 2:20.72
3     6      Iuliia Efimova Russia 2:20.92
4     5      Rikke Pedersen Denmark 2:21.65
5     1      Martha McCabe Canada 2:23.16
6     7      Micah Lawrence U.S.A. 2:23.27
7     2      Suzaan van Biljon South Africa 2:23.72
8     8      Sally Foster Australia 2:26.00

U.S. teammates Tyler Clary and Ryan Lochte both medaled in the 200m backstroke, but it wasn't in the order that you think. Lochte went into this event as the favorite and he came out of it with a bronze medal. Clary, who faced criticism earlier in these Games for saying he trained harder than Michael Phelps came out of the 200 with a gold. Although Lochte led on all the turns, Clary made his move in the last 50 meters closing it out at the wall.

Men's 200m Backstroke

rank lane
1     4      Tyler Clary U.S.A. 1:53.41 OR
2     6      Irie Ryosuke Japan 1:53.78
3     5      Ryan Lochte U.S.A. 1:53.94
4     2      Radoslaw Kawecki Poland 1:55.59
4     3      Fenglin Zhang China 1:55.59
6     7      Kazaki Watanabe Japan 1:57.03
7     8      Yakov Tamarkin Israel 1:57.62
8     1      Mitch Larkin Australia 1:58.02

He did it again, maybe it was the confidence he gained anchoring a relay the previous day, maybe it's the determination to go out on top, maybe it was because it was the last time he would ever swim against rival and friend Ryan Lochte, maybe it was just meant to be, but Michael Phelps added another gold to his collection winning the 200m individual medley. He became the first male swimmer to win the same event at three consecutive Summer Games. The question becomes, not what has Michael Phelps done, but rather, what has he not done? It's seems like he's done it all. "To be able to win the gold medal and repeat three times is something pretty special," Phelps said.

Men's 200m Individual Medley

rank lane
1     3      Michael Phelps U.S.A. 1:54.27
2     4      Ryan Lochte U.S.A. 1:54.90
3     5      Laszlo Cseh Hungary 1:56.22
4     6      Thiago Pereira Brazil 1:56.74
5     2      Kosuke Hagino Japan 1:57.35
6     7      Ken Takakuwa Japan 1:58.53
7     1      James Goddard Great Britain 1:59.05
8     8      Markus Deibler Germany 1:59.10

Phelp's 200m im

Finally, in the women's 100m free, it was a dutch sprinter who took gold in a race where the lone American finalist, Jessica Hardy, didn't even make it to the podium.

Women's 100m Freestyle

rank lane
1     4      Ranomi Kromowidjojo Netherlands 53.00 OR
2     1      Aliaksandra Herasimenia Belarus 53.38
3     6      Yi Tang China 53.44
4     5      Melanie Schlanger Australia 53.47
5     3      Missy Franklin U.S.A. 53.64
6     7      Francesca Halsall Great Britain 53.66
7     2      Jeanette Ottesen Gray Denmark 53.75
8     8      Jessica Hardy U.S.A. 54.02

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