The quadrennial sporting extravaganza that is the Olympic Games is upon us and what an opening few days we’ve seen. Welcome to our first Monday Wrap as we take a look at Day 1 & 2 of action from Rio.
We couldn’t possibly talk about the first 2 days without spending some time on the Opening Ceremony. Before the ceremony, I would have thought any extended talk about flag bearers in this wrap up would be on Anna Meares but this is not the case. The moment that will live on my in my memory of the 2016 Opening Ceremony will be of an Australian born Tongan Taekwondo exponent.
Tongan Flag Bearer Pita Nikolas Taufatofua sent social media into melt down when he entered the Maracanã Stadium and Olympic folklore wearing a uniform consisting of a ta’ovala and lots of baby oil.
Russia’s Black Tie outfits were also memorable but at what end of the spectrum is to be decided by individual tastes.
The biggest cheer for the night was reserved for the 10 refugee athletes who entered the arena behind the Olympic Flag. It was the kind of moment that only the Olympics can produce, as they took their place in the arena to rapturous standing ovation. Well it was the biggest cheer until the next, and last, country Brazil made their entrance.
The Australian team had an interesting welcome to Brazil. Unfinished rooms in the Athletes Village, a fire causing an emergency exit after they took up residence followed by theft of IT equipment. After all this they have had an electrifying start to competition.
Gold, Gold, Gold is an apt description for the first days for our team. Mack Horton in the 400m Freestyle, the 4 x 100m Women’s Relay Team and Catherine Skinner in the Women’s Trap Shooting all had performances that called for the playing of Advance Australia Fair.
Bronze Medals were also claimed by Taylor Worth, Alec Potts and Ryan Tyack in the Team Archery event, Maddison Keeney & Annabelle Smith in Synchronised 3m Springboard Diving and by the 4 x 100m Men’s Relay Team.
Our medal fancies in team sports have produced mixed results:
The Matildas, our women’s football team, are walking a tight rope after securing only one point from their first two games.
The Pearls, our women’s rugby team, will be chasing gold on Day 3. One win from a medal, two wins secures gold.
The Kookaburras and Hockeyroos both serious gold medal contenders in the Hockey, both suffered shock defeats in their pool games.
The Boomers and Opals both opened their Basketball competitions with sound group stage wins.
Our men’s water polo team the sharks lost a tight opening match against host nation Brazil.
12 months ago Yusra Mardini and her sister were swimming for their lives, lost at sea with a boatload of refugees, the boat they boarded to flee their homeland of Syria having sunk. Day 1 of competition saw her swimming for gold at the Olympics. Although she won her heat, she was unable to qualify for the semi-finals of the 100m Butterfly. Having survived what she had to reach this point, the result was inconsequential really.
French gymnast and former European Champion, Samir Ait Said suffered a horrific injury in the team’s gymnastic event. In a manoeuvre gone wrong Said landed badly and suffered, what appeared to be, a compound fracture of his leg.
Sickeningly, the crack of the bone was said have reverberated around the arena. As he was stretchered from the arena Said, despite the pain, was able to acknowledge the standing ovation with a wave to the crowd.
The “He’s done what” Moment
Michael Phelps did what he does best and claimed another gold medal in the USA’s dominant 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay. It was Phelps’ 19th gold medal, amazingly more gold medals than Argentina and Austria have been able to win in Olympic competition.
We are loving the beef between Australia’s Mack Horton and China’s Sun Yang. The controversial Chinese swimming star is alleged to have splashed our Mack the Knife in the warm up pool. Yes, apparently Olympians are just big kids when they get in the pool too. Horton when quizzed about the incident, made reference to Yang’s 2014 drug suspension, suggesting he had “no time for drug cheats.”
Chinese fans and officials were incensed, thousands of fans taking to social media to express this to Horton. In an unfortunate mix up, an Englishman named Mark Horton, has mistakenly been caught in the cross hairs, receiving a number of the irate tweets.
The pair are expected to fight it out for the 1500m Gold too, so this could get interesting.
Novak Djokovic was an overwhelming favourite to claim Gold at the Olympics and in doing so, become just the third man to complete the Career Golden Slam. Nobody told Juan Martin del Potro, who despite spending 40 minutes of the morning stuck in elevator, shocked everyone by eliminating the World Number 1 in the first round. Whilst the Olympics may not seem to be high on many tennis players’ priorities, the tears shed by Djokovic showed how much it meant to him.
Most Redundant Role
While we at The Sportress would never like to quibble when it comes to safety, a lifeguard employed to supervise the world’s best swimmers would have to be one of the more ridiculous things we’ve seen.
Channel 7’s Olympic App. Whilst able to show advertisements without fail, its ability to actually broadcast the events was not anywhere near as successful. They have apologised today advising the problem was rectified.
Events to Watch Days 3 & 4
Tuesday 9th August
3.30am & 8am: Women’s Rugby Semi Finals & Gold Medal Match – Will the World Champion Pearls crown 2016 with Olympic Gold?
11:30pm: Women’s 100m backstroke final – Emily Seabohm and Maddie Wilson will chase gold from Lanes 1 and 6 respectively.
11:38pm: Men’s 100m backstroke final – Mitch Larkin, Emily Seabohm’s partner will be hoping to follow her golden lead, he is the favourite in the 200m backstroke, and ranked third in the world in the 100m and is a strong show to medal here.
Wednesday 10 August
12.00am Rugby Men’s Group B – our Thunderbolts begin their campaign against France.
11:22pm Rowing: Men’s Quad Sculls Final A – Karsten Fosterling, Alexander Belongogoff, James McRae and Cameron Girdlestone two world cup regatta wins in the lead up to Rio mean these guys are a serious medal threat.
MEDAL TALLY AFTER DAY 2
|Mack Horton – Men’s 400m Freestyle||Men’s Team Archery|
|Women’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay||Keeney/Smith – Sync. 3m Springboard|
|Catherine Skinner – Women’s Trap||Men’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay|
Men’s Individual Event
Taylor Worth 14th, Alec Potts 20th, Ryan Tyack 23rd
Women’s Individual Event
Alice Ingley – 58th
Men’s Team Event
Bronze Medal Match – Australia 6 v China 2
Boomers 87 v France 66
Opals 84 v Brazil 66
Opals 61 v Turkey 56
Del Solar / Laird (Aus) 2 v Cope Charles / Alfaro (CRC) 0
Del Solar / Laird (Aus) 0 v Walsh Jennings / Ross 2
Mens 91kg Preliminaries – Jason Whately (Aus) v Juan Nogueira (Bra) 3
Men’s Road Race
Simon Clarke 25th, Richie Porte DNF, Rohan Dennis DNF, Scott Bawden DNF
Women’s Road Race
Amanda Spratt 15th, Rachel Neylan 22nd, Gracie Elvin 49th, Katrin Garfoot DNF
Women’s Sync. 3m Springboard – Keeney / Smith – Bronze
Matildas 0 v Canada 2
Matildas 2 v Germany 2
Kookaburras 2 v New Zealand 1
Kookaburras 0 v Spain 1
Hockeyroos 1 v Great Britain 2
Men’s 60 kg Round of 32 – Joshua Katz (Aus) 0 v Diyorbek Urzboev (Uzb) 100
Men’s 65 kg Round of 32 – Nathan Katz (Aus) def by Imad Bassou (Mar)
Women’s 48 kg Round of 32 – Chloe Rayner (Aus) 0 v Latetitia Payet (Fra) 101
Pearls 53 v Columbia 0
Pearls 36 v Fiji 0
Pearls 12 v USA 12
Quarter Final – Pearls 24 v Spain 0
Women’s 10m Air Pistol – L. Yauhleuskaya 24th, E. Galiabovitch 43rd
Women’s Trap – Final – Catherine Skinner (Aus) 12 v Natalie Rooney (NZ) 11
Men’s 100m Backstroke – Semi Final 2 – Mitch Larkin 2nd, Joshua Beaver 7th
Men’s 100m Breaststroke – Heat 3 – Joshua Palmer 5th
Men’s 100m Breaststroke – Semi Final 2 – Thomas Fraser-Holmes 6th
Men’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay – Australia Bronze
Men’s 400m Freestyle – Final – Mack Horton Gold, David McKeon 7th
Men’s 400m Individual Medley – Final – Thomas Fraser Holmes 6th, Travis Mahoney 7th
Women’s 100m Backstroke – Semi Final 1 – Maddi Wilson 1st, Emily Seebohm 3rd
Women’s 100m Breaststroke – Semi Final 1 – Taylor McKeown 6th
Women’s 100m Butterfly – Heat 4 – Madeline Groves 6th
Women’s 100m Butterfly – Final – Emma McKeon 7th
Women’s 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay – Australia Gold
Women’s 400m Freestyle – Final – Tamsin Cook 6th, Jessica Ashwood 7th
Women’s 400m Individual Medley – Heat 4 – Kerryn McMaster 4th
Women’s Singles – First Round
Jian Fang Lay (Aus) 4 v Maria Dolgikh (Rus) 3
Melissa Tapper (Aus) 2 v Caroline Kumahara (Bra) 4
Women’s Singles – Second Round
Jian Fang Lay (Aus) 4 v Sofia Polcanova (Aut) 2
Women’s Singles – Third Round
Jian Fang Lay (Aus) 0 v Mengyu Yu (Sin) 4
Men’s Singles – First Round
David Powell (Aus) 0 v Marcello Aguirre (Par) 4
Xin Yang (Aus) 2 v Aleksander Karakasevic
Men’s Singles – First Round
John Millman (Aus) 2 v Ricardas Berankis (Ltu) 0
Jordan Thompson (Aus) 0 v Kyle Edmund (GBR) 2
Thanasi Kokkinakis (Aus) 0 v Gastao Elias (Por) 0
Sam Groth (Aus) 0 v David Goffin (Bel) 2
Men’s Doubles – First Round
Guccione /Peers (Aus) 0 v Del Potro/Gonzalez (Arg) 2
Women’s Singles – First Round
Sam Stosur (Aus) 2 v Jelena Ostapenko (Lat) 1
Daria Gavrilova (Aus) 0 v Serena Williams (USA) 2
Women’s Doubles – First Round
Rodionova/Rodionova (Aus) 0 v Makarova/Vesnina (Rus) 2
Gavrilova/Stosur (Aus) 1 v Bacsinszky/Hingis (Sui) 2
Men’s Group Game – Sharks 7 v Brazil 8