Monday, August 13, 2012

Olympic Round Up: Day 17

Contributed by Emma Booth
Regional Director, USA Sport Group.

Back to Olympic Round Up: Day 13

 Jamaican Me Crazy
Usain Bolt became a triple gold medalist in London, winning the 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relay. He is, in his words “a legend”. Jamaica as a team however, took home 12 medals from the athletics stadium. It was a Jamaica one, two three in the 200m, where Bolt set yet another world record, and Yohan Blake and Warren Weir taking silver and bronze respectively. Hans Parchment came third in the mens 100m hurdles, to Americans Aries Merritt and Jason Richardson. And the mens 4 x 100m relay team of Bolt, Blake, Nesta Carter and Michael Frater gave Bolt his third gold, in yet another World Record time of 36.84 seconds. But the womens team played their own role in Jamaica’s success; taking silver in the 4 x 100m relay, and bronze in the 4 x 400m relay. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce took home two individual medals from the Games, silver in the women’s 200m and gold in the women’s 100m, with Veronica Campbell-Brown taking a bronze in that same race. The Jamaicans were relentless in the sprint finals, and were amazing to watch.

Diving for Gold
China dominated the diving pool, with a total of ten medals; six of them gold. But the mens 10m platform final sprung a surprise, which left favorite Qiu Bo in tears, Team GB in the pool, and David Boudia top of the pile. In a dramatic final, Boudia pretty much led from the off, and was unfaltering throughout the entire competition. The chasing pack of Chinese pair Qiu Bo and Lin Yue, and GB’s Tom Daley could well have found themselves frustrated, as every time they upped their game… Boudia matched it. The final dive saw Daley, Bo and Boudia all guaranteed a medal bar a dramatic error, it was just a question of what color. Daley posted a score of 90.75, which was good, but not good enough to nab position one or two as both Boudia and Bo had a higher degree of difficulty in their final dives. Both Boudia and Bo posted over a hundred points, but Boudia scored 1.8 points better than Bo to take the win, and the devastation was clear on the Chinese man’s face. Final standings; USA gold, China silver, Team GB bronze.

No Slow Mo
The final mention in my Olympic blog goes to the superb Mo Farah; double gold medalist in both the 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter finals, and Great British hero. Farah won the 10,000 meter ahead of his training partner, American Galen Rupp, which was an achievement in itself – running 10k in less than 28 minutes! But it was the 5,000 meter race which had everybody jumping up and down with delight. It was a slower race than expected, but Mo judged it brilliantly, and as he rounded that final bend, the crowd were on their feet, willing him home, and he responded. Even with Dejen Gebremeskel and Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa chasing him down, he held on and won by .32 of a second – turns out he ran his last mile in under 4 minutes! A great race, a great finish, a great athlete, and a great way to bid farewell to the Olympics in London.

Bring on Rio.

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