Olympics Day One: Shooting, Swimming, Sculls and Scoring Galore

The first official day of action is here for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil. With thousands of athletes across a wide range of sports the day is crammed full of action.

As a one woman blogging band there are only so many things I can watch and cover at once but the multi-screen viewing is in action. Naturally that also means I will be giving you information on my top sports throughout the day so please accept my apologies if your sports are not included.

The blog will be constantly updated throughout the day so be sure to keep coming back and refreshing. Each sport will have its own headline in bold with content underneath. If a sport has a morning session and then pauses until the evening I shall just resume that sport in that section but be sure to make the time difference clear with time stamps.

There will also be an overall summary of each sport, in a bullet point fashion, including highlights and important points to discuss at the end of the section so if you are in a hurry just scroll down to the bottom of each sport to find out the top stuff. And an ‘other sports’ section will be included at the end to bring you updates on anything else Olympic related that has happened but I have not watched.

Sports completed for the day shall be moved down the order in the blog. The sports nearer the top have the current or most recent action covered. The other sports section will remain at the bottom throughout as it is just a short summary as opposed to live comments.

Now let us get into the action and I hope you enjoy.

Swimming

The heats of the swimming at the Olympics can end up taking quite some time as a lot of athletes qualify and have the chance to progress to the next rounds.

Men’s 400m Individual Medley

Heats

17:06 – The first heat comes to an end with Christoph Martin Meier finishing first out of three competitors.

17:13 – Another heat, with a full line up of competitors, comes to an end and is won by Australian Travis Mahoney. This was the second ‘slow’ heat before the bigger names enter the water.

17:14 – Max Litchfield takes to the block of lane six and starts his 400m IM campaign. He will need under 4.12 to probably qualify.

17:19 – The Japanese swimmer finishes first but Litchfield gets a lifetime best under four minutes and twelve to practically secure his place in the final.

17:22 – The Final fourth heat gets underway and the crowd get excited as the first Brazilian competitor enters the pool. 

17:23 – Japanese’s Seto takes an impressive and early lead as he does the first couple of legs under world record pace to leave the two US swimmers in lanes on either side of him behind.

17:26 – Seto is not able to keep the pace up, despite being world champion, and finds Chase Kalisz from the USA overtaking him with a lifetime best. The pace of the others in the heat means Max Litchfield gets into the final as fifth fastest.

Final

02:03 – After the heats earlier today the swimmers have been put into lanes that match times to put the fastest of the Japanese and US athletes in the middle lanes.

02:05 – The swimmers bounce off the far wall for the first time in this eight length race.

02:06 – They finish the first stint of the medley and move onto the backstroke. Hagino (Japan) takes the early lead.

02:09 – Hagino stretches for the wall and hits it first in just over four minutes to secure gold. Chase Kalisz (USA) gets silver and Seto (Japan) grabs bronze ahead of GB’s Max Litchfield.

Women’s 100m Butterfly

Heats

17:30 – Refugee athlete Mardini takes to the pool for the first heat of the 100m butterfly and wins it. At this stage though it is the time that matters to get through not your race finishing position.

17:32 – The second heat is won by Israeli Ivry with a fairly decent time. As she heads out of the pool another Brazil swimmer enters poolside.

17:34 – The Brazil De Paula swimmer wins heat three in just less than 58 seconds but she seems a little disappointed to have not gone quicker.

17:35 – We now move on to the properly seeded heats of this women’s 100m butterfly.

17:37 – US swimmer Vollmer wins the fourth heat in under 57 seconds and is very likely to make the final. Her teammate, who qualified first in the US trials, follows her in the next heat.

17:40 – Despite Worrell qualifying for the USA team fastest at the trials she finishes the heat almost half a second slower than Vollmer.

17:43 – The final heat, the fastest by seeding, is won by Sweden’s Sjostrom in just over 56 seconds but it looked a little scrappy at the start and at the turn. She will go into the semi-finals as fastest qualifier.

Semi-Finals

02:17 – The American athlete Vollmer can only come second in the semi-final behind the 16 year old Japanese swimmer Ikee.

02:23 – The second semi-final has some of the best in the world at the minute including Swede Sjorstrom and Canada’s Penny Oleksiak.

02:24 – Sjorstrom finishes the round first and with it gets a new Olympic record almost a whole second ahead of anybody else making it through to the final.

Men’s 400m Freestyle

Heats

17:49 – The first of seven heats gets underway but it only includes three swimmers.

17:52 – Butler from the Cayman Islands is clearly ahead in this heat but with a time of four minutes and seven seconds he is very unlikely to make the next stages of the competition.

17:55 – The second heat has seven swimmers taking part. They are still very unlikely to make the next round but will be swimming for pride and perhaps a personal best.

17:58 – Initially the pace was incredibly quick and even close to world record pace but the last couple of lengths seen Quintero and Mathlouthi slow down and finish with a time of three minutes and fifty seconds.

18:13 – There was a rare moment of chaos as a Spanish swimmer did what appeared to be a false start. He got out the pool in floods of tears but ended up being allowed to swim in his heat. After all the emotions he would have just gone through he ended up finishing the heat in last place.

Final

02:29 – The swimmers make their way into the pool from the call room. Great Britain’s James Guy finds himself in lane seven after not getting a great time by his standards in the heats.

02:33 – James Guy leads at the 250m mark but all the other swimmers were just starting to build themselves up to do the last section very speedily.

02:35 – Australia’s Mack Horton manages to beat somebody with several questionable drug offences, and then being re-allowed into professional sport, to the gold medal.

Women’s 400m Individual Medley

Final

02:51 – After a medal ceremony for an earlier event the women come out and get ready to take to the blocks. Britain’s Hannah Miley and Amy Willmott take up lanes six and two.

02:57  Hosszu from Hungary gets a new World Record by a whopping two seconds and wins the event. It looked like Hannah Miley was going to get bronze but she just missed out.

Men’s 100m Backstroke

Semi-Finals

03:14 – Despite it being much busier crowd wise in this evening session than it was earlier the Brazil swimmers are getting a relatively small cheer when welcomed to the pool side.

03:16 – British Ross Murdoch takes part in the first semi-final in lane two. To progress to the final he is likely to need a lifetime best.

03:17 – It is Koseki from Japan that finishes fastest with American Cordes and Brazilian Gomes closely behind. Depending on the time of the next semi-final home competitor Gomes is likely to make the final.

03:20 – Adam Peaty enters and will be feeling confident of going through as fastest qualifier after showing the competition he is in the form of his life by getting a world record in the earlier session.

03:23 – The time is a little slower than it was this morning but Peaty still secures the second fastest time in history to go through to the final with the fastest time.

Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay

Final

03:28 – The teams all get introduced to the crowd and they prepare themselves by stacking all their items up into the boxes behind the blocks.

03:31 – USA has the lead at the half way point but the Australian Campbell sisters prepare to give it their best shot for the team to get a slightly better medal than the position when entering the pool.

03:33 – The Australians are able to recover it and not only win the gold medal but also manage to smash the world record.

Summary

  • Max Litchfield gets through to the finals of the men’s 400m Individual Medley final in fifth place with a lifetime best. He finishes fourth in the final whilst Japan get gold and bronze in the men’s 400m Individual Medley to make a sandwich with the USA.
  • Canadian Penny Oleksiak qualifies second fastest for the women’s 100m butterfly semi-finals and in doing so gets a Youth World Record.
  • Great Britain’s Adam Peaty gets a new world record for the men’s 100m breaststroke during the quarter-finals on the first day of competition in Rio’s Olympic pool. He narrowly misses out on setting a new record again in the semi-finals but secures fastest qualifier for the final.
  • Mack Horton (Australia) wins gold after a fierce swim in the 400m freestyle final ahead of Yang Sun (China) and Gabriele Detti (Italy).
  • Katrinka Hosszu (Hungary) wins with a new world record of two seconds. Maya Dirado (USA) gets the silver and Mirein Belmonte Garcia (Spain) just pips Great Britain’s Hannah Miley to the bronze. An incredible performance from Hosszu.
  • Australia win the 4×100m freestyle with a new world record. USA finish second with a new national record. Canada gets the bronze. 

Women’s Football

The second group matches for the women’s competition are taking part today. There are several teams that if they win confirm the teams place in the next round.

Canada v Zimbabwe

Canada will very much be expected to win this match. Zimbabwe would have to have the match of their life to win this.

19:08 – It only takes seven minutes for the Canadians to score a goal and take the lead. They scored in a very similar fashion to their goal against Australia in the opening match.

19:09 – Had a Canadian placed themselves slightly near the keeper they could easily have made it 2-0 after an awkward fumble seen the ball completely bounce away from the gloves when a save was attempted.

19:17 – Zimbabwe have been able to push up against the Canadian defense a little but not enough to appear as a threat in any way.

19:18 – All of a sudden Canada have a ball go into the box over the top of several players and the Zimbabwe keeper charges in and clashes into the Canadian player to get a yellow card and give away a penalty.

19:19 – The penalty is scored by Christine Sinclair to make it 2-0.

19:25 – Zimbabwe seem to be struggling very early on and like they are not able to get into thr swing of things or work together as a unit. They are already looking a little tired and not running very much on the ball or when trying to get the ball.

19:30 – Sinclair was able to find some space for herself just outside the box but she was not able to get the ball to meet her foot perfectly and the shot goes wide.

19:35 – It looks like the Canadian Janine Beckie is aiming for top scorer in the competition as she slams the ball into the back of the net for the second time today to make it 3-0.

19:42 – Canada very nearly lead 4-0 but the goal, in the 40th minute, is disallowed. Still 3-0 just before the break.

19:42 – Zimbabwe have found a little mojo and are really pushing to find the back of the net at the right end of the pitch but the Canadian defence continues to be strong and sends the ball for a corner that comes to nothing.

20:14 – The Canadian Fleming gives away a free kick and a yellow card Buchanan then argues with the ref and gets a yellow card as well meaning she will miss the next match.

20:20 – In the first 65 minutes Zimbabwe have only managed to have four shots and none of them have been on target yet. They are being held back very well by the entire Canadian team.

20:28 – The Zimbabwe defence is fairly haphazard and looks a little disorganised but when it comes to stopping corners, from any team, it generally seems to be working.

20:35 – It looked like Canada had successfully made it 4-0 after the last goal was disallowed but then the same thing happens with the one that hits the back of the net again. With ten minutes of normal time left it is still 3-0 but could easily have been 5-0.

20:42 – The Canadian keeper loses a moment of concentration and runs far away from the posts to allow Zimbabwe to get a consilation goal. With five minutes to go it is 3-1.

USA v France

This is an absolutely massive game. Either team has the potential to win the gold medal and my favourites are France but both sides did not seem at their best in the opening games. If a clear winner comes out of this match then we might have a competition winner.

21:02 – Hope Solo, the USA keeper, might be a hugely successful footballer with over 100 international clean sheets but because of her personal background everytime she goes near the ball she keeps getting booed.

21:14 – The ball is being sent from end to end as each team presses hard, has a go and ends up losing the ball. It is unlikely this tempo can remain throughout the entirity of the first 45 minutes.

21:27 – The USA team, particularly Solo, comes under a lot of pressure for several minutes as a shot cleared away results in several corners and attempts before the keeper os able to catch it and send it away back up the other end.

21:29 – France were looking very strong but ended up giving away a dangerous free kick right outside the box to slow their momentum and give the US team and chance to get ahead.

21:30 – The French keeper Bouhaddi manages to stop the shot from going into the goal with a little touch but the referee and linesman do not seem to notice and it just goes out for a goalkick.

21:40 – With five minutes left of the first half both sides have had several strong moments offensively but both have also stayed defensively in control in their areas and as a result it is still 0-0.

21:46 – Both sides will be happy to have kept a clean sheet but both teams will be disappointed to have not managed to score.

22:11 – Carli Lloyd gets what looks like it will be an incredible chance but the flag goes up for offside and Lloyd does not argue over it as she, through her great understanding and senses of the game, knows that is the case.

22:20 – After some quick passing play and good positioning from the US team they are able to get the ball to captain Carli Lloyd’s feet in the box to allow her to put her team 1-0 up just after the 60th minute.

22:24 – The referee finally decides to hand out the first card of match despite a long list of stoppages and foul happening earlier in the match. The yellow goes to Crystal Dunn of the USA that seemed much more focussed on stopping the player than getting the ball. 

22:27 – Jill Ellis, the USA coach, quickly decides to remove Cystal Dunn from the pitch after that yellow card and replaces her with Ali Kreiger.

22:36 – It looked like France had found an equalising goal just before the 80th minute and the crowd were erupting but it was clearly realised that the point blank shot had hit the side netting instead and they were still trailing 1-0.

22:47 – The US team try to waste a couple of minutes by making their last substitution in the dying momemts of the game. They are clearly desperate to help Hope Solo keep another clean sheet so they can take away three points from the game.

Germany v Australia

23:00 – I join this game at the start of the second half. Australia have the lead at 2-1 but Germany will be pressing and perfectly capable of getting an equaliser if not a winner.

23:21 – Caitlin Foord has a great chance to score a third goal for the Australian but she ends up hitting squandering the chance by sending it well over the crossbar.

23:27 – Foord ended up with another chance to increase their lead but she crumbles under the pressure and send it well wide for a goalkick. On a good day she performs really well but in this second half she has left me fairly disappointed.

23:38 – With just less than 10 minutes to go, without factoring in added time, the Germans have a great chance at goal. It ends up going for a corner but the shooter hits the ground in disappointment. In the end the corner is cleared away too.

23:43 – The Germans know how important it is to at least get a point out of the match and are going all out to apply pressure. Their efforts result in a number of corners and then a freekick.

23:45 – The freekick is curled into the box and finds its way to the German captain who fumbles it over the line as an Australian flings themself onto the ground in front of them. With a couple of minutes to go Germany make it 2-2.

Colombia v New Zealand

00:00 – The game gets underway. Whilst New Zealand are not an awful side the recent performances of Colombia suggest they will have the strength and passion to be able to secure the three points.

00:10 – Colombia keep having the send the ball all the way back to the goalkeeper to maintain posession of the ball. It is clear they are nervous of what the Kiwi’s can do if given half a chance.

00:14 – The New Zealand team are struggling to get anywhere near the goal as Colombia seem to have their entire team on the defensive. We are just less than fifteen minutes in so it could end up being a long game.

00:30 – As the clock strikes the 30 minute mark the Colombian team, facing constant pressure from the New Zealanders, found it to be too much and Amber Hearn gets her name to be the first on the scoresheet to make it 1-0.

00:45 – The first half of this match is really one that people are unlikely to remember from the group stages of the women’s football at the Olympics. New Zealand have dominated possession and chances but Colombia were able to generally hold them off and stop them getting tok close to the keeper. Hopefullt a bit of energy and enthusiasm will be brought out of the tunnel in the second half.

01:08 – The Colombians have a couple of moments where they look like they could score but the quality of the New Zealand defence shines through and puts a stop to the threats and try to slow the pace of the game back down to assert control.

01:15 – Possibly the best chance of the match for Colombia so far comes from a freekick that hits the crossbar, bounces down and is able to be kicked back in a goalward direction.

01:31 – The New Zealand team have largely had to defend against the attacks and counter-attacks of their opponants. The Colombians are looking much more lively. At half-time the Ziwi’s may have been disapponted at the score line but if they are able to keep a clean sheet here, after this second half, they will no doubt be delighted.

01:41 – As the match enters the last five minutes of the game the Colombian players continue to run the ball towards the goal. One of them gets slightly caught by the New Zealand captain Erceg and gets a straight red card and gives away a free kick right outside the box. Questionable decision as some referees would give the Colombian a yellow card for simulation in the Premier League.

Brazil v Sweden

02:15 – I join this match 15 minutes in just as the home nation finish taking a free kick. It is currently 0-0.

02:20 – The Brazilian crowd in the Olympic Stadium have a chance to show great excitement as Beatriz sends the ball to the far post out of reach of the Swedish goalkeeper to make it 1-0.

02:25 – Brazil decide one goal is simply not enough to keep the fans entertained and not a comfortable enough lead so Christiane doubles the scoreline to make it 2-0.

02:38 – Brazil continue to be largely dominant on the pitch but also much more physical in relation to defending and obtaining the ball. 

02:39 – Despite being just over five minutes away from half time the game is still highly charged and full of energy as Sweden look to get a goal back before the whistle and Brazil look to extend their lead even further.

02:43 – Sweden’s Seger gives away a penalty and gets a yellow card for her troubles. As a result Marta steps up to the penalty spot and sends the keeper diving the wrong way to make their lead 3-0 right before half time.

03:03 – Sweden get a corner early in the second half. They should have an advantage from the corner because of their height difference but instead they keep sending them short or far wide of the box and attempting ground ball play.

03:21 – Sweden are starting to look a little flustered whilst trying to get hold of the ball and head forward.

03:22 – Earlier goalscorer Christiane pulls up clutching at her leg and has to be helped off the pitch by physios wit an immediate sub being made. It looks like that could be the end of her Olympic games.

03:36 – If there was any doubt about whether there was any way back for the Swedish team there no longer is. Marta manages to get herself on the scoresheet again but this time from open play to make it 4-0 with ten minutes remaining.

03:42 – Beatriz decides that having her name on the scoresheet once is not enough as she does not want to be outdone by Marta and gets a clean shot on goal to make it 5-0 with only five minutes remaining.

03:46 – It is too late for Sweden to win but Schelin manages to get a goal, making it 5-1, to help reduce the teams goal difference deficit and to hopefully help boost their spirits going into the final group match in a couple of days time.

Summary

  • Canada have six points in Group F after winning 3-1 against Zimbabwe.
  • The USA win 1-0 against France in Group G to secure the three points after a tough match.
  • After an eventful first half things settled down in the Germany v Australia Group F game. The game finished 2-2 for the teams to share the points.
  • China win against South Africa 2-0 in group E. Given China lost their opening match to the host nation they will be delighted to get three points on the board.
  • Somehow, despite strong Colombian pressing, the New Zealand team hold on to their 1-0 lead through to the final whistle to get three more points in Group G.
  • Brazil absolutely smash Sweden to get the full three points and top the Group E with six points and a +7 goal difference after winning 5-1.

Archery

The first real day of competition is getting underway for the archery today although after the ranking stages yesterday many archers will well and truly be in the Olympic mindset and aware of their current strengths and weaknesses.

Men’s Team Event – 1st Round Eliminators

This event sees teams of three shooting together. It is a head to head event and they face teams based on the rankings that they settled for yesterday. If you have one weak team member this is an event where they can really drag you down so high quality and motivation from other team members is essential. Teams also have a time limit to shoot their three arrows which really helps to speed the competition up.

France v Malaysia

The French team go in as the higher ranked of the two.

13:03 – Something I did not mention yesterday that may be useful; I explained about them having a sight on their bows. The large sticks that are pointing out massively in front of the bow is something to help balance the bow and counteract any wind that might be in the air but also any shakes the user is experiencing. The competitors also wear a protective shield across their breast; this is for the same reason as several will be spotted wearing an arm guard (nobody wants that speedy and rather lethal string to catch a nipple as it whizzs back towards the main structure of the bow).

13:11 – France were a little behind after the first set of six arrows but after settling into a routine and the day quickly pulled sets back and looked likely to take the lead.

13:17 – Each set is awarded two points when it is won so after France claimed the third set they were leading four points to two. One team member seemed to be struggling a little for France but in the fourth set managed to grab the full ten points.

13:22 – The French show great consistency and in the fourth and final set have their strongest finish with 57 out of a possible 60 to win two more points to finish the elimination six points to two. Malaysia are eliminated. France progress to the next round.

The Netherlands v Spain

13:24 – As one set of teams and judges leave another set enter the arena and get introduced to the crowd. Whilst this is happening the team coach gets the bows set up on the rests behind the shooting line.

13:27 – Spain do not get off to the best of starts with the first arrow hitting the seven but the other two arrows hit nine and ten so the first three arrow score of 26 was not too awful.

13:28 – The Netherlands shoot their first three arrows of the match and are only able to go one better.

13:29 – The guy that messed up his first arrow got a nine the second time around and thanks to good performances from the rest of the team they finish the first set with 54 points but that is not enough to win the first set against The Netherlands final score of 57.

13:35 – One of the Spanish team seems to be having an absolute shocker and lose the second set 57-52. If they lose the next one then they will be eliminated a set early.

13:37 – The Spanish get off to a slightly better start by getting 27 out of their first three arrows but The Netherlands respond and get 28 to keep the pressure on for the final arrows of the set. It looks like an early exit for the Spanish.

13:39 – The Spanish mess up their last three arrows and finish the set on 52 points. It seemed like they were giving the Dutch an easy ride into the quarter-final but one of The Netherlands team scored a five and it looked on the rocks but the final arrow scored the needed ten to draw the set and win five set points to one. The Netherlands progress. The Spanish are out.

Brazil v China 

13:44 – The teams are welcomed into the stadium and greeted by the crowd. The home team unsurprisingly gets the biggest cheer of the elimination rounds so far.

13:48 – After every arrow the crowd were either cheering or motivating the archer to do better next time but by their fourth arrow they had already lost the first set. This was, as I mentioned yesterday, always going to be a challenge for Brazil to win.

13:54 – The Brazil team manage to finish the second set with a respectable 53 points and despite the crowd trying to put off the Chinese athletes they continue with nines and tens to get 57 points. China take the second set to lead 4-0.

13:57 – The Brazil team have not given up and are continuing to fight as hard as the can to win the set to keep them in the competition. Their first three arrows score them 28 against China’s 26.

13:59 – They continue to push hard and with their last three arrows get the set score to be 56 meaning that the Chinese would have to get the perfect 30 to just scrap the point to win the match.

14:00 – China are unable to manage perfection and Brazil get another chance to equal the set points and go to an extra round. The crowd believe in their archers and are still encouraging them along.

14:02 – The home team give themselves a big challenge though as the first three arrows register as two eights and a nine to give the Chinese room for a small mistake.

14:03 – China only slightly miss perfection by registering two tens and a nine from their first three arrows to put enormous pressure on the Brazil team to not only draw but win the set.

14:05 – The challenge ends up being too much and China win 58 to 53 in the final set to make it 6-2 overall. The home nation are out of the team competition and will now have to focus on their individual pursuits for gold.

Chinese Taipai v Indonesia

14:10 – The final teams for this men’s event head out into the arena to try and secure the last spot in the next round of the competition.

14:13 – A lot of the judges in this competition seem to be women. I am not sure if that is for some sort of balance or simply that there are a lot more trained women to judge archery at the highest of levels (but given most coaches are men it seems unlikely).

14:17 – Chinese Taipai get off to a rather poor start to only get 51 points in the first set so hand the first two points over to the competition after Indonesia manage to grab 55 points.

14:21 – At the half way point in the second set both teams have an absolutely stellar 29 points meaning the pressure would really be on for the final shots.

14:23 – At the end the teams continue to be level pegging and both finish with 56 points to share the set points. Indonesia remain ahead by two points with the standing at the overall half way point being 3-1.

14:29 – The third set continues to be incredibly close and after point verification ends in another draw to result in a lead of 4-2 to Indonesia going into the final set. Taipai will need to win to take it to a tie breaker.

14:33 – In the last set Chinese Taipai have a rather disappointing set and are only able to get 51 points which was not enough to show of the Indonesian team with a final score of 53. Taipai, the higher ranked of the two after the event yesterday, are out. Indonesia are though.

Men’s Team Quarter-Finals

France v Australia

France have the advantage that they did not have to play a match this morning after ranking in the top four yesterday.

18:06 – France have taken the first two points by winning the first set and nearly managed to get a perfect 30 from the first three arrows of the second set but the third arrow scores only a seven.

18:08 – The French keep the pressure applied and respond to the initial high scores to be able to split the set and get another point on the board.

18:14 – Australia manage to win the following set to make it 3-3 with all to play for in the last set. If there is a draw they will go to a shoot-off.

18:17 – At the halfway stage of the final set they both have 26 pointsand will need to remain composed for the final arrow each.

18:18 – France needed to get 29 points to win the last set but their fifth arrow scores six points and as a result they are knocked out of the group competition. Australia head off to prepare for the semi-final later today.

South korea v The Netherlands

Korea are highly respected in the archery world at the moment and are favourites to win the gold medal, especially as they have the new world record holder.

18:25 – As the highest ranked team of the two Korea decided to go first out. The first three arrows score 28 points. These are the first arrows they have shot sonce yesterday so you would expect that to be as rusty as they intend to be.

18:29 – The first set goes to South Korea after getting 55 against 52. The Netherlands have lost five times in the last six meetings against the Korean team.

18:30 – The Netherlands start the second set off. The first arrow gets a 10 but the second can only manage a six. The third arrow makes 25. A score the Koreans can easily beat in the first half of the set.

18:32 – All three Koreans respond and get 29 in the first three arrows giving them a four point lead into the second half of the set.

18:34 – The moment The Netherlands started the set with 25 it was always going to be a lost couple of points. They finished with 54 but that was nothing compared to the Koreans 59 points.

18:35 – South Korea are leading 4-0 and only need to draw or win one more set to go through to the next round.

18:36 – The dutch team were really struggling to handle the pressure and kept ending up with at least one arrow going into the red or even the blue. It is something they will need to work on in the future.

18:37 – After 59 in the last round seeing the Koreans manage only 27 from three arrows is a bit of a disappointment. The Netherlands will be pleased to have managed a set score of 54.

18:38 – A superb and truly world class performance sees the Koreans get another set of three arrows totalling 30. They are through to the semi-final, against Australia, in three swift sets.

Italy v China

The Italian team have not had to shoot today so will be a little more rested but also perhaps a little more rusty. On paper the Italian team are favourites but China have a good chance if they are on form as well.

18:51 – China get off to the better start from the first three arrows of the first set by managing 28 points.

18:52 – The Italian team have struggled a bit in the first set and only managed to get 51 points in total after missing the 10 with all six arrows. China get 55 points to secure the first set.

18:54 – After a quick chat with their coach and amongst themselves the Italian team will be hoping to improve on their first set scores.

18:55 – Despite hopes the Italian team will be very disappointed to only manage 23 points at the half way point.

18:56 – The Chinese team continue to focus on their own performance and keep the pressure on by getting 28 with their first three arrows.

18:57 – Italy are well and truly having a shocker and at the end of the second set have a total score of 48 handing the points to China.

19:04 – China win the match after winning the third set in very convincing style. The Olympic champions, Italy who went in as a seeded top four, are out of the competition.

Indonesia v USA

The USA enter this match as favourites and their supporters in the crowd that cheered them in will be hopeful of success. The Indonesian team have already got further than most people would have expected after getting through the first round against Chinese Taipai.

19:14 – The USA decide to shoot the first three arrows of the match.

19:15 – Indonesia have to get 29 to go level with the USA’s opening half but the first arrow hits the seven to make it impossible.

19:18 – The first two set points go to the USA after scoring 57 to Indonesia’s 51.

19:21 – At the half way point in the second set both teams find themselves on 28 points. Indonesia will feel they have found their rhythm.

19:23 – The USA shoot needing a perfect 30 to win both set points. The first arrow kisses the centre circle and instead hits an eight.

19:24 – Both teams are equal on set points after two sets. Indonesia will be on a high from getting it together whilst the US team will feel like they threw a good chance away.

19:27 – Indonesia look absolutely delighted as they get 29 over the USA’s 28 from the first half of the third set.

19:28 – They need to keep calm in the second half though if they want to get the full two points.

19:29 – An eight for one of the Indonesian team ends up costing them though and they do not even come away from the set with a point losing 57-56. The USA lead 4-2.

19:34 – People either end up crumbling or collapsing under pressure. Indonesia fell apart with 23 in the first half of the first set (compared to the US getting 29) and ended up finishing on 51 points. The US team manage to pull off 56 to see them through to the next round. 

Men’s Team Semi-Finals

South Korea v Australia

The Koreans are still favourites to win the competition and beat the Australians here.

19:47 – It looked like it was going to be the perfect 60 for South Korea in the opening set but the last arrow can only find its way to be a nine to make it 59. They take the first two set points despite Australia getting 57.

19:53 – Both teams initially finish the second set on 58 but the Koreans have an arrow observed and end up with 59 instead. Despite a fabulous performance from the Australians in the first two sets they trail 4-0.

19:58 – South Korea have done enough to win 6-0 meaning they are in the gold medal match. The Australians will have to come back out and hope they can grab the bronze medal.

China v USA

This is a fairly balanced match and it will be interesting to see who can progress to which medal match.

20:14 – USA win the first set with 58 points.

20:17 – China remain consistent and get 28 in the first half of the second set but the USA hits hard and gets 29. There is going to be hardly anything in this set.

20:18 – China finish the first set on 56 points, enough to win several sets in previous matches, but not against such a strong American team that manage 58.

20:22 – Both sides to be feeling the pressure a little as they only manage 26 and 27 from the first half of arrows in set three. China have to win this set to have any chance of going for gold.

20:23 – The end of the set sees China finish on 53 compared to the USA’s 55 and with that the final medal matches are decided.

Men’s Team Bronze Medal Match – Australia v China

From the performances in the semi-finals it looks like Australia will be able to grab the bronze medal in this match.

20:43 – At the end of the first set it is Australia that take the points by scoring 56-55.

20:48 – The Chinese team look a little off and are still altering their sights. In the second set they finish with 53 points allowing the Australians to take another two points to put them ahead 4-0.

20:52 – In the first half of the third set the Chinese manage to take the lead and they manage to keep composure to get 57 points overall.

20:53 – The Australian team are not able to match it and only get 54 allowing the Chinese to do another set in the hopes of getting a tiebreaker.

20:58 – The Australian team say “anything you can do I can do better” by finishing the fourth set with 59 points to get the bronze medal. Despite all their efforts China leave empty handed.

Men’s Team Gold Medal Match – South Korea v USA

South Korea are favourites to get gold and given the amount of 10 point arrows they have collected during the competition today it will take an incredible moment of bad performance from them and superb good luck from the USA for them to not live up to expectations.

21:08 – South Korea start how they mean to go on and lay the gauntlet down by securing 30 points with the first three arrows.

21:09 – The USA look disappointed after their first three arrows but still managed a very respectable 29.

21:10 – You can tell it is the final of a major competition when South Korea pull off a perfect 60 points in the opening set of a match.

21:11 – The USA team member that only scored a nine in the first round looks a mixture of dejected and annoyed resulting in a lowly seven with his second arrow of the round.

21:13 – Being behind on set points the American team are the first to shoot in the second set.

21:14 – Half way through the second set both teams are on 27 points reminding them all they are not perfect and have a chance to win.

21:16 – Both sides initially looked like they would have to settle for sharing the points of the second set as they get perfect second half 30s to reach 57. But South Korea get an arrow promoted and take the lead 4-0 with 58.

21:22 – South Korea have done what everybody expected them to do before they even arrived in the Olympic village; win the gold medal. The USA team who were great but not quite consitent enough have to settle for silver.

Summary

  • Indonesia, China, The Netherlands and France progress to the second round to face top seeded teams South Korea, Italy, USA and Australia.
  • Malaysia, Spain, Brazil and Chinese Taipai are knocked out at the first stage of the competition.
  • Australia, China, USA and South Korea progress to the semi-finals.
  • France, Italy, Indonesia and The Netherlands have been knocked out at the quarter-final stage.
  • South Korea and USA make it into the gold medal match. South Korea win gold. USA win silver.
  • Australia and China will be battle it out for the bronze medal. – Australia win the bronze.

Rowing

When it comes to sports at the Olympics rowing is certainly one of the events that very few people watch at any other time of the four year sporting cycle. But there is something about it that shows great physical strength and in the events with more than one person very impressive co-ordination to ensure that they go at maximum speed in the essential straight line.

Single Men’s Sculls

It is the first event to kick off for the day and more specifically the single men’s scull. At this stage there is a massive variety of countries and abilities but these heats will really narrow down the quality and the next round will see any mediocre performers removed. The top three finishers from this stage will go through to the next round.

12:33 – The first sculls event is under way and sees athletes from countries like Vanuatu and Cuba. They are seeded heats so the initial races will see a couple of rowers dashing off into the distance compared to a few others.

12:38 – After a little while, because let us face it these races actually take a fair amount of time to complete, the Cuban is the first to cross the line and everybody has to wait a few moments before the rower from Vanuatu finishes.

12:40 – This is the sort of competition where they tend to get the next heat started pretty much instantly after the one before has finished. They heats seem to come thick and fast but with the amount of time it takes for each one to finish they need to have speed to stop the heats from lasting for hours.

12:44 – The second heat is dominated by New Zealand Mahé Drysdale who puts himself to the test a little bit initially but has a fairly relaxed stroke speed overall.

12:48 – I should point out that any rowers that do not finish in the top three have a chance to go through a best of the rest heat to have another shot at reaching the quarter-finals.

12:52 – There are quite a few rowers making history here today by being the first single men’s scull competitor ever for their respective country. Doing so will help to encourage more people to get involved in the sport but also to encourage funding and support from governments and companies.

12:57 – As the weather starts warm up and the day well and truly gets underway, as this event started around 9am Brazil time, the water starts to look increasingly questionable and like something that you really would not want to end up falling into.

13:05 – Alan Campbell of Great Britain is in the lead of heat four by a comfortable margin and only having to put in a 30 stroke rate per minute effort to secure that first place finish.

13:09 – Campbell finishes with a time just of just over seven minutes but he can certainly go a lot quicker when the time comes for it to be required.

13:13 – In the fifth heat the wind seems to be picking up a little and a couple of the rowers seem to be going at a slight angle. Some rowers go at a slight angle anyway with one arm being stronger than the other but this is far more noticable amongst the entire field.

13:19 – Eventually the fifth heat comes to an end with the Czech rower Ondrej Synek leading the pack home after a strong finish he look mildly surprised with a huge grin and a bit of head shaking too.

13:30 – Another heat pulls itself over the imaginery finish line with Norweigan Nils Jakob Hoff getting the crown but over ten seconds behind other first place finishers.

Single Women’s Sculls

The Women now have a chance to get their boats on the water and to show what them and their boats have to offer.

13:31 – The first heat gets underway and at the 1000 metre mark looks close between two boats. Unlike the men’s event it is only the first two that go through to the next round.

13:38 – Mexican Kenia Lechuga Alanis wins the first sculls heat for the women in just over eight minutes and eleven seconds. The Zimbabwean and Australian follow quickly but the final heat members take a fair while to join them at the finishing line.

13:50 – The US rower was looking to be in the lead but a previous Danish Olympic medallist Fie Udby Erichsen was pushing to go through in first place rather than second making it a really big race. In the end Genevra Stone from the US wins and will get the better positioning in the next round of the competition.

14:04 – The water is getting worse. Rowers doing the scull events are practically sitting in the water it will be interesting to see if any end up getting ill later in the week.

14:05 – Another women’s heat comes to.an end with the Canadian Carling Zeeman easily winning the heat despite a slow time of eight minutes and forty seconds.

14:12 – The emergency speedboat chases the next heat of athletes down at the early point as Jeanine Gmelin from Switzerland fights of Chinese rower Jingli Duan to take the early lead but at the 1000m mark the gap is looking increasingly tight.

14:14 – By the 1500m point the Chinese athlete has taken the lead and pulled a lead up of over two seconds. The Swiss rower may now slow the pace a little and just ensure second place automatic qualification.

14:20 – The next heat gets underway and it includes the reigning Olympic champion in lane four. But beside her in lane five is a 19 year old rower from Togo that only took up the sport in 2014. A massive moment for her which I am sure she will take a lot from.

14:25 – Despite perhaps initial expectations the Olympic champion would initially zoom off and hammer the competition it was actually Nigerian Ukogu that took the early lead. But Austrian Lobnig and the Olympic Czech champion are starting to close quickly.

14:28 – The Togo rower seems to have given up. The water was very chopping in the middle of the course and she just completely lost control of the direction she was trying to send the boat into.

14:30 – Despite initial impressions the Togo rower persisted and finished the race to allow her a second chance in the loers races.

14:40 – New Zealand rower Emma Twigg takes a comfortable and early lead in the next heat of this single sculls competition. She looks fairly relaxed and to be doing a slow stroke rate to finish in eight minutes and fifteen seconds.

Men’s Pairs

14:44 – From the little boats with individuals we move on to slightly bigger works and a chance for rowers to show their communication skills and strength combined. We are back to the top three finishers going through to the next round of the competition.

14:49 – The wind and choppy water is still noticable as this competition gets underway forcing teams to the very edge of their lane.

14:51 – Despite a bit of weather trouble the Australians manage to keep themselves in the lead and find a way away from the buoys by the side of the lane.

14:52 – Ir was initially very close for second and third between the Czech team and the South African team but the latter managed to increase tempo and grab second.

14:55 – A Great British pair takes to lane one in the second heat. They will be looking to win to get a good positioning in the later round and assert themselves. There are only four crews in each heat so it takes a pretty poor run to not qualify at all.

14:59 – The French team have taken an incredible lead in the first half of the heat and can afford to focus on straight lines rather than speed during the choppy section of water.

15:00 – The British team have really stepped their pace up and are doing their best to finish as highly as possible but, given the French pace, they are having to battle for second place.

15:02 – As the French cross the line the British team are able to secure second against Romania which will help them in the next round to have a fairly decent set of competitors.

15:05 – The next group of pairs get ready to start their battle for gold but there was a false start that set off the horrible buzzer meaning they must all return to the start and get ready to attempt it again.

15:09 – Finally after all lot of struggling to get stable and ready to go again the heat was able to get underway. This heat contains the boggest threat for the whole competition; the New Zealand pair.

15:14 – New Zealand are leading the field very well but everybody got a little distracted as the Serbian pair end up capsizing and ending up in the water. Even the commentators have never seen this happen. Not good water for it to happen in either.

Women’s Pairs

15:20 – It takes quite a lot of time to get the Serbian pair and their boat out of the way of the course but eventually the women’s pairs are able to get underway.

15:21 – The Great Britain pair, including Katherine Grainger, get the first heat underway and take a very early lead.

15:25 – From being in the lead though they find the pair from Lithuania not only catching them up but overtaking them and the French quickly started to lose in as well. The first three teams go through but this is essential for the GB team to improve their confidence.

15:27 – After a very close finish Lithuania managed to win, followed by GB who managed to just about hold of the increasingly speedy French.

15:32 – The second heat gets under way and almost immediately it looks like it will be the Chinese pair that enter the second chance repechage whilst the Polish team dashes off.

15:34 – But at the 500m mark the Chinese have pulled it back into third just behind the Belarus pair as the US pair seems to massively fall away and struggle quite a lot to stay in their lane in the choppy water. The US team will be in the repechage.

15:41 – The final heat for the women’s pairs gets underway. The New Zealand team in this heat are the world champions but initially seem to have got off to a very slow start.

15:43 – The New Zealanders are strong atheletes though and are able to close down the gap to the Greek and Czech teams. Australia have taken a decent lead and would have to massively have an issue to not get into the top three here.

15:44 – By the half way mark the New Zealand team has found the strength and speed to overtake the Czechs and also the Greek team with the fastest pace amongst the four pairs.

 15:45 – The Greek team and the New Zealand team both have a bit of difficulty and seem to catch a buoy but both pairs recover quickly.

15:47 – Suddenly the Australians are overtaken by the New Zealand team and have to settle for a comfortable second instead of what seemed like it was going to be a comfortable first place to begin with.

Men’s Double Sculls

15:50 – Time to move on to the next rowing event now. There are five pairs taking place in each of these heats with only the top three automatically going through to the next round. The first heat has British interest in lane four.

15:52 – The reigning Olympic champions New Zealand have an initial lead with GB in second at the 500m mark but Azerbaijan are pushing hard to try and keep up with the New Zealanders.

15:55 – Either the New Zealand team are taking it a bit easy in their first race knowing they can easily qualify or the Azerbaijan team are really pushing as at the 1500m mark the Kiwis are still chasing first position. The GB team are down in fourth struggling to recover.

15:57 – Eventually the New Zealand team are able to pull back first place from the Azerbaijan team and it is the Italian duo that get the automatic third spot meaning the British pair will have to do it all again later on today.

16:03 – It is just after 11am in Brazil and the sun is starting to really bounce off the water. A few pairs are looking a little burnt from the weather already and as they throw water over themselves their arms are only going to get redder and more achey.

16:08 – Lithuania, Norway and Germany go through as the top three teams in the second heat of the men’s double sculls meaning Bulgaria will have to do it all again if they want any chance of progressing to the next round.

16:12 – The World and European champions, in the form of the Croatian duo, are competing in the third heat of this competition. They are in the lead despite having a crab moment of the oar getting stuck under the water for a few moments.

16:17 – The French and Australians come in to get qualification behind the Croatian team and that signals an end of the men’s double sculls event (apart from repecharges later on).

Men’s lightweight Coxless Four

16:20 – Five boats filled with four rowers get going and power out of the blocks. This a race with serious muscle and umph but it is under threat at the Olympics because of the idea that countries focus on it too much by putting all the strongest athletes in the team rather than in more individual events.

16:24 – Like most of the men’s rowing events the top three finishers automatically go through to the next round of competition. At the 1500m mark it is very close amongst the top four as to who will grab the three available spots.

16:27 – Italy set off quite quickly and at each stage throughout the race were ahead of the competition and at the end they still managed to grab the win to the surprise of several people.

16:29 – Only four teams take part in the second heat including 2012 silver medalists Great Britain. The British will be chasing and competing against the Danish quad who are expected to win this round.

16:37 – The Danish end up winning the second heat in just less than six minutes with Great Britain trying their best to keep up with them for the majority of the heat. Both sides will feel fairly comfortable about their performance. Greece gets the third place finish.

16:39 – The next heat gets ready to get their Olympic gold medal campaigns underway. The heat contains The Netherlands, USA, Canada and New Zealand.

16:42 – The USA and New Zealand cross the first 500m mark pretty much neck and neck as the water visably starts to settle down from what it was like earlier in the rowing heats.

16:45 – It seems that Canada are going to have to do it all again as they trail noticably behind the other three teams. The New Zealand team use their consistency and teamwork to finish first in just over six minutes.

Men’s Quadruple Sculls

16:50 – Some rowers involved in this event have already competed today. This is a slightly tougher competition to get through the heats with as only the first two finishers automatically go through.

16:56 – The Canadian that earlier had a crab issue in the double sculls had another oar issue but found it completely coming out the water and having to try and grab it to get it back in the water. As a result there is no chance they can do anything other than finish last.

16:57 – Estonia and Ukraine make it through as the automatic qualifiers to the next round.

17:00  – The next heat lines up and gets ready to head off down through the water. This heat includes a team from Great Britain.

17:03 – The British team took the early lead but they then seem to drop off a little and going into the halfway point they find themselves in third position.

17:07 – Australia and Poland finish first and second to get those automatic qualifying spots. The British quad ended up falling away to finish in fourth place.

Women’s Quadruple Sculls

17:10 – The women have re-entered the water and four more boats of four dash off towards the finish line.

17:16 – Ukraine go off quickly and pull away from the other teams well. Nobody is able to chase them successfully and they cross the line in first with Australia taking second and The Netherlands getting third to leave China in fourth.

17:27 – The final broadcast heats of the day come to an end with three teams crossing the line. Germany in first, Poland in second and USA pulling up the rear. 

Other Events

  • The women’s 10m air rifle final happened early in the day of competition. Virginia Thrasher (USA) took the gold medal one point ahead of Du Li (China). Third place went to Yi Siling (China). British athlete Jennifer McIntosh finished the competition in 15th place.
  • The men’s road race for the cycling concluded early evening in Brazil. After an eventful race it was Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium) that got the gold. Jakob Fulsang (Denmark) got silver and Rafal Majka (Poland) grabbed bronze.
  • The women’s under 48kg judo event seen Paula Pareto (Argentina) get the gold medal ahead of Bokyeong Jeong (South Korea) after a day of elimination heats. Kazakhstan’s Otgontsetseg Galkadrakh clinched the bronze.
  • The men also competed in judo with the under 60kg both starting and finishing today. Gold went to Beslan Mudranov (Russia) ahead of Yeldos Smetov (Kazakhstan) who was only able to secure the silver. Two athletes were awarded the bronze medal; Naohisa Takato (Japan) and Diyorbek Urozboev (Uzbekistan).
  • The women’s individual epee in the fencing occured today. Starting at 1pm UK time it carried on until past 10pm. Eventually Emese Szasz (Hungary) was awarded the gold after winning in the match against Rossella Fiamingo (Italy). Yiwan Sun (China) was able to win the bronze medal match to get onto the podium.
  • Weightlifting was one of the events happening today. Women in the 48kg category were competing to become Olympic champion. In the end that honour went to Sopita Tanasan (Thailand) followed by Sri Wahyuni Agustini (Indonesia) and Hiromi Miyake (Japan). 

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