Sunday, August 5, 2012

London Olympics 2012: Day 7

With only a few more races left in the aquatic center at this Games, the U.S. team really capitalized on some good opportunities for medals on Day 7 (Friday the 3rd for all those keeping track of the dates).

Michael Phelps picked up an 18th career gold, 17 year old Missy Franklin continued to impress picking up a third gold ahead of teammate Elizabeth Beisel who won bronze, 15 year old Katie Ledecky won her first gold medal, and judging by how she competed she'll be the future of U.S. swimming for year's to come. Cullen Jones, a staple on the men's relay teams won his first individual medal, a silver, proving he is one of the best sprinting swimmer on the circuit.

Only three days before, Chad le Clos beat Michael Phelps at the wall to capture gold in the 200m fly, an event that Phelps had won in Athens in '04 and in Beijing in '08. This, in a way, was Phelps' redemption; he poured it on in the last 50 meters looking like the Michael Phelps of old, the one we had grown so accustomed to seeing in Beijing. It was like he was in the pocket, in the zone, in the groove, he got his confidence back and it was overflowing. This was the second event (the first was the 200m im which he swam only the day before) in this Olympics in which Michael Phelps three-peated adding to the legend that is and will be.

Men's 100m Butterfly

rank lane
1      4     Michael Phelps U.S.A. 51.21
2      5     Chad le Clos South Africa 51.44
2      8     Evgeny Korotyshkin Russia 51.44
4      6     Milorad Cavic Serbia 51.81
4      7     Steffen Deibler Germany 51.81
6      2     Joeri Verlinden Netherlands 51.82
7      3     Tyler McGill U.S.A. 51.88
8      1     Konrad Czerniak Poland 52.05 

It's official; she's the best female backstroker in the world, Missy Franklin swept the backstroke winning the 200m as well and doing it in record time. Franklin swam it in 2:04.06 shattering the record previously held by Kirsty Coventry. Even Franklin's competitor and teammate Elizabeth Beisel could only have good words about Franklin's victory saying, "She’s an amazing competitor. She's always having fun but she really knows how to tune in when she needs to and I can’t congratulate her enough.”  

Women's 200m Backstroke

rank lane
1     5      Missy Franklin U.S.A. 2:04.06 WR
2     6      Anastasia Zueva Russia 2:05.92
3     4      Elizabeth Beisel U.S.A. 2:06.55
4     1      Elizabeth Simmonds Great Britain 2:07.26
5     3      Meagen Nay Australia 2:07.43
6     7      Kirsty Coventry Zimbabwae 2:08.18
7     2      Alexianne Castel France 2:08.43
8     8      Sinead Russell Canada 2:09.86

At 15, Katie Ledecky is the youngest member of the U.S. delegation in London, which also makes her the youngest U.S. gold medalist at these games. She impressively beat a seasoned field in the 800m free, the longest women's event in swimming. Teammate Michael Phelps gave Ledecky some advice in the ready room before her race, "'Have fun out there,’” Phelps said. “She went out there laid it all on the line. She looked like she went out and had some fun and won a gold medal and just missed the world record. I would say that’s a pretty good first Olympics for a 15-year-old.”  

Women's 800m Freestyle

rank lane
1     3      Katie Ledecky U.S.A. 8:14.63 AR
2     6      Mireia Belmonte Garcia Spain 8:18.76
3     4      Rebecca Adlington Great Britain 8:20.32
4     2      Lauren Boyle New Zealand 8:22.72
5     5      Lotte Friis Denmark 8:23.86
6     7      Boglarka Kapas Hungary 8:23.89
7     8      Coralie Balmy France 8:29.26
8     1      Andreina Pinto Perez Venezuela 8:29.28

Also know as the "splash and dash," the 50m determines the fastest man in the pool, it requires a great amount of focus and discipline, it requires a great start and a great finish. One of Brazil's most popular athletes Cesar Cielo was the favorite coming into this events. Cullen Jones, of team U.S.A. is probably the best swimmer of the bunch, but it was Florent Manaudou of France who would make it to the wall first. Manaudou's sister, 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.

Men's 50m Freestyle

rank lane
1     7      Florent Manaudou France 21.34
2     5      Cullen Jones U.S.A. 21.54
3     4      Cesar Cielo Brazil 21.59
4     6      Bruno Fratus Brazil 21.61
5     3      Anthony Ervin U.S.A. 21.78
6     8      Roland Schoeman South Africa 21.80
7     2      George Richard Bovell Trinidad & Tobago 21.82
8     1      Eamon Sullivan Australia 21.98


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