Olympics Day Ten: Mammoth Swims And High Hurdles

After the events on the track last night, not only of Bolt winning but Niekerk’s World Record in the 400m, it might be a little difficult for anything to top that today in general Olympic sporting terms.

But today we go from the women’s road marathon yesterday to women battling it out in the open water of Copacabana beach and from men’s water polo preliminaries to the women’s quarter-final matches as well as seeing the synchronised swimmers back in action but this time having to get certain technical elements into their performance.

There is a stack load of events in the Olympic stadium in the morning and evening session including the women’s 3000m steeplechase final and the men’s heats with the normal sized hurdles being brought out for the men’s 110m and the men’s and women’s 400m hurdling events.

If you do not know what to follow or who to look out of or are perhaps new to a few of these events then check out the previews below. Live coverage will be added throughout the day and if you miss the action and just want a quick summary those will be available afterwards too.

As always join in the conversation in the comments below or on twitter, facebook and google+.

Women’s 10km Swim

Preview

This event, that starts at 1pm UK time, always leaves me in absolute awe. 10km is the same as 400 lengths of your local (25m pool) and whilst that might not sound too bad, I mean it would certainly be no walk in the park for the majority of amateur regular swimmers, but to do it against the clock and surrounded by loads of other people dashing off to try to beat you to the finishing line sounds hellish.

And at the 2012 Olympics they completed this event in a lake that was being pretty kind and calm on that day but here for Rio 2016 they are taking to the choppy sea waters and giving it their all surrounded by salty water that will suck the life out of their body and the waves to keep those muscles having to push on through.

The gold and silver medallists from London 2012 return to this Olympics with their eyes set on the podium once again. Defending champion Éva Risztov (Hungary) will have hoped to wake up this morning with a relaxed body and in the competition mindset after competing in the 800m heats in the pool a couple of days ago. Haley Anderson (USA) will be looking to go one better this time around and add a gold Olympic medal to her silver one from four years ago.

But swimming in the sea on a much warmer day is certainly very different and some of the more inexperienced swimmers may struggle. The Brazil crowd that turn up to squint a look at the swimmers will be hoping Poliana Okimoto does better for them this time around after getting dehydrated and collapsing on a medic boat part way through London 2012.

This is a race that has huge unpredictability and the medals could go to almost, there are certainly a few that are not quite up there with the best, any of the 26 women field but not all of them are likely to make it to the end especially if they have not fuelled up correctly in advance.

Live Updates

13:15 – The swimmers have being going for just over ten minutes and they are still generally as one big pack. Nobody has already had to pull out of the event but there are a couple of swimmers starting to drop off. To get to this point they had to swim out to the starting point as somehow the platform they were supposed to start on got swept away a couple of nights ago despite being specially made for the event in these waters today.

13:20 – As there is a bit of pushing and shoving amongst the whole pack the referee, who keeps an eye on everything and can give warnings and yellow and red cards for offences, decides to blow a whistle and give the pack a warning that they are not going to stand for it throughout the entire swim.

13:35 – At the end of the first of four laps of the course the two Brazilian swimmers are in the lead and pushing the initial pace. At the end of the first lap is the feeding station and the coaches have to put bottles and gels in little cups and clamps and lower them down off of a platform on a huge stick for the swimmers to lean up and grab. Very bizarre.

13:50 – After 45 minutes of swimming the pack is starting to break up a little more but there is still nobody that has taken a really clear lead out ahead of the rest of the pack. At the minute the leaders keep switching as the one at the front decides they need to recover some energy for the later stages.

14:00 – The pack has certainly started to divide a little and it now looks more like there is a leading group of four or five swimmers with a few more just behind and then the rest trailing up the back.

14:05 – They finish the second lap just after the hour mark and will no doubt be pleased to know they have made it past the half way point of the race. The pace will marginally increase from this point on and split the pack further.

14:12 – Muller (France) one of the favourites to win the race based on this seasons performances has edged her way to the front of the group. The swimmers are now a lot more in a line than the V shape that they started in.

14:23 – The water is starting to look a little choppier and the pack are now having to chase Van Rouwendaal (Netherands) who seems to have made a real push to break clear of the field.

14:27 – Risztov is catching up on the Dutch swimmer as they get to about 30 minutes remaining.

14:36 – The Hungarian slips back after the effort to close the gap and the Dutch woman is back in the lead with Okimoto and Bruni (Italy) behind her.

14:50 – Van Rouwendaal is still leading and looks comfortable but now it is Xin of China trying to chase her down.

14:56 – The Chinese swimmer has fallen further back as the Italian and Brazilian swimmers switch positions to follow the Dutchwoman again.

15:00 – At the end there is a sprint swim, and how they are able to do that after 10km is beyond me, and Van Rouwendaal hits the timing pads first ahead of Muller and Bruni.

Summary

Van Rouwendaal took the lead with over 30 minutes to go and managed to retain it to the finish line to get gold.

After a bit of a scrap behind her and various contenders Muller (France) finishes second and Italian Bruni comes into the finish line for bronze.

Synchronised Swimming

Preview

After the free routine part of qualifying yesterday, details of which are available here, the female duets enter the pool again to complete the technical routine.

For this round of qualification the pairs must complete a set of moves in a specific order as given to them in advance by the judging panel. The judges will be looking for perfection from the more basic of elements and seeing how they make them flow with others before moving on to the more complex parts of the routine.

These scores will get added to the last round of scores and the top 12 will go through to the finals. Some are already basically just doing this for experience and pride including the Australian duet who have to travel significant distances to just be able to train together and struggled to go for more complex elements in their routine yesterday and also the young Egyptian pair that are using these games as a stepping stone to Tokyo 2020.

Marks are awarded based on execution of the performance and the overall impression based on how they combined the elements and put creativity into the performance as well as how far in the pool they end up travelling. These scores are usually similar, if not a touch higher, than the ones in the free routine so expect Russia, China, Japan and Spain to be finishing between 180 and 200 points to secure a place in the final.

These scores do still matter to the pairs near the top of the leader board though as unlike other events, such as diving, their qualifying scores are carried on into the final and will be added to whatever they are able to do in the coming days.

Live Updates

15:05 – Teams are drawn out at random for the order in this heat. Russia, the leaders at the end of day one, go first and finish with 96.4 points in the technical round to get 194.5 points overall.

15:11 – The pair near the bottom of the table, the Australians, go second and manage 73.6 in this round to finish with 148.4 and will have to watch their names drop down the table after every single duet performs.

15:16 – The French duet hug each other and look delighted after their score of 86.2 is revealed to give them a total of 173. Their costumes seem to represent very flourescent flame pattens and are actually quite nice.

15:22 – Greece are the fourth pair to enter the pool and end with a total score of 172.4 after getting a technical score of 85.3.

15:28 – Colombia finish their performance and whilst it was enough to get 80.3 it only gives them a total of 160.8 so they will have to use this performance as an experience for the future.

15:30 – The Canadian have a theme today of rainforest animals but it is a lot less obvious and clear than it was yesterday. Their costumes remind me of something that a Brazilian duet might wear as it is just yellow and green sparkles and I think it is supposed to represent a forest or at least some trees.

15:34 – 89.2 points are awarded to the Canadian team to give them an overall score of 179.3 to put them into second at this early stage.

15:37 – You could not lose the Japanese duet in the dark. Their costumes are a very bright collection of colours but it looks beautiful on them as the colours are put into curved sections to look like leaves on a branch and calmed with white and silver sparkles around the colours.

15:40 – Japan score 93.1 with their technical routine and comfortably slot themselves into second on the board with a total of 187.5.

15:44 – The Egyptian duet, with a really spirally and flowery muted costume, get 76.5 in the second round and end with 154.1 but as they are both only 18 years old they never expected more than experience for 2020.

15:49 – Czech Republic duet have yellow costumes that at a distance look rather plain but up close has a lot of black and white detailing. They score 80 points in the technical and slot into 7th at the minute on 160.5 points.

15:56 – The longest planned routine of the technical routines comes to an end by the Austrian duet of two of three triplets. They also have a very beautiful costume of pinks and black with a lot of pearls and diamontes to balance it out. They score 85 points to go into 6th with 170.3 at this stage of the competition.

15:58 – Erm alright guys I really am not keen on the Great British duets outfits. This a pizza with the tomato sauce all wavy on the bottom and then yellow gold on the top as the cheese with some blue tear drops thrown on top but it is all dotty.

16:01 – The British duet in their silly pizza costumes end the technical round on 80.7 and 160.7 overall to get 8th.

16:06 – Belarus find themselves down in 10th after ending on 157.9 points after a technical routine of 78.9. Their costumes are the prettiest of today as they are white with long but thin chunks of brighter colours to look like a broken down rainbow. Simple but elegant.

16:12 – The Israeli duet get 79.4 points in the technical routine and finish qualification with 158.3. Their costumes were the same pattern on front and back and I sort of like that consistency.

16:13 – Kazakhstan have a very interesting classical piano piece of music to perform with which builds up massive tension during their synchro swim.

16:17 – The duet manage 81.4 with a total of 182.6 points after performing in their black and yellow wavy costumes.

16:22 – Okay Ukraine now have the most beautiful costumes of the entire competition. It is a bright floral mixture and wow I may just want one to be honest. They go into third place, to their absolute shock and delight, with a total score of 186.6 after scoring 93.1 in the technical routine.

16:27 – The host nations duet ends with a very simple white cut out style costume. They go into 8th place with 83.3 in the technical routine and 167.3 overall.

16:32 – Argentina go for huge sparkles to make their costume blue and white like their flag they get 79.4 points in the technical round and go into 13th place which means they will not be progressing to the finals.

16:33 – The duet from Mexico come out and have very bright and detailed costumes on the front and back but have a huge eye in the middle. It looks like the design in a crossover between the Turkish eye and the Day of the Dead.

16:37 – As the sun shines and hits their costumes to sparkle everywhere they get out the pool with a technical score of 84.9 and are just on the edge of the qualification to the final with points in 11th place.

16:43 – Italy have secure a place in the final with their heavily appliquéd costumes by putting themselves into fourth, at this point in the competition, with a technical score of 90.4 points for a total of 181.

16:48 – The American duet get 86.4 points in the technical routine and end with 172.8 to put them in 7th place. Their costumes were lovely as they were clear meshing nearer the top and then just muted purple and lilac shades to put a big flower with in-depth petals coming from the side.

16:53 – The Switzerland duet have big guitars on their costumes and a fire background. It is quite nice to see such a clear design on the costumes and also to be able to clearly link that to the attitude and theme of their performance. They get 83 points in the technical round to end with 166. They are currently in 12th but are likely to be pushed out by the remaining duets to go.

16:58 – Spain finish their performance and it receives 92.5 from the judges to give them a total of 186.2 points. They will make it into the final but will be a little disappointed with their overall score after putting in what seems to have been two very good performances in the last two days.

17:02 – The Chinese team have gone for the approach of using lots of hair clips to keep their hair in place instead of the more common gelatine. They do match the simple white diamond-esque pattens of the costumes. The technical routine gives them 95.3 to make their total 191 points to put them in second with just one more pair to go.

17:08 – Slovakia, as the first ever duet from their country to compete in the Olympics, are the final pair to come out to the pool to start their performance. They wear fluorescent yellow costumes with a black section down the middle and just a touch of silver sparkle dotted throughout. They are using this Olympics to help them develop as a pair and to focus on Tokyo 2020 so will not be too disappointed to get a technical routine score of 78.3 and a final score of 156 to put them into 22nd position.

Summary

The teams going through to the final and taking their scores from today with them are as follows: Russia, China, Japan, Ukraine, Spain, Italy, Canada, France, USA, Greece, Mexico and Austria.

The host nation Brazil miss out by just one spot whilst Great Britain finish nearer the end of the table. Australia round the table off in last place but given their training difficulties that is not too much of a surprise.

Water Polo

Preview

Eight teams managed to make it out of the group stages a couple of days ago and are now competing in the knock out matches of the quarter-finals. If they win the match they will be guaranteed to take part in a medal match but if they lose their Olympic dreams are over for another four years.

The matches are determined based on where teams finished in the group stages. The winner of group A takes on the fourth place finishers of group B whilst second in group A takes on third in group B and so on.

Opening up the day of action is the host nation Brazil as they take on USA. The crowd have massively got behind their teams in the water polo and I hope that it being at midday Brazil time on a Monday does not result in a lack of crowd to cheer them along in the 70000 capacity indoor pool they are now playing in. But as lowest qualifiers in their group they are going to have a real battle on their hands against the American team.

Italy should have a pretty easy time of it against China as they have certainly put in a superior performance throughout the preliminary stages and have got a lot stronger defensive line to hold off any Chinese attacks. If China do win this match, as the underdogs, it would be a fairly large upset.

The other two games of Australia v Hungary and Russia v Spain are likely to be fairly close scoring at the end of quarters but given Spain finished second ahead of Australia in third and Hungary in fourth at London 2012 they all have something to prove and will want to improve on those positions here in Rio 2016 (though one team will be disappointed with a lower position regardless of how much they try).

Live Updates

—– Brazil v USA —–

18:10 – The match between the host nation team and USA gets started. The men’s Brazil team had a fairly large crowd last night and whilst the crowd is not too shabby for this one there is a noticeable difference with it being during the middle of a working day in Rio.

18:12 – It is the USA that are able to score first in the match to go 1-0 up after about a minute and half of game play.

18:15 -Neushul doubles the score line to 2-0 thanks to Brazil being rather clumsy in offence and defence and keep handing the ball to the USA team.

18:16 – With just over four minutes left on the third quarter clock Musselman scores to further increase USA’s lead to 3-0 after Brazil again lose possession from a clumsy pass down at the other end of the court.

18:19 – Clark scores her second game of the tournament so far to increase the score line to 4-0 for USA.

18:21 – Mathewson gets a goal for the American team and now they are 5-0 up with just over a minute left in the first quarter.

18:26 – Steffens makes the most of a Brazil player getting excluded to get her name on the list of scorers in this match. 6-0 to USA with just less than a minute played in the second quarter.

18:39 – USA are now 8-0 up after they score from open play and also get awarded a penalty which sends the keeper the wrong way. The half time hooter is sounded and the eight different scorers in the match so far can be delighted with the team performance.

18:45 – Another different member of the USA team gets the ball to find the back of the net and this time it is Fischer. She makes it 9-0 early into the third quarter.

18:46 – Neushul is the first member of the team to get two as she just lets the ball slowly trickle past the keeper and into the back of the net. They are now in double figures and leading 10-0.

18:49 – This is really turning into a game that I can imagine Brazil wish they had not even bothered to turn up to as Fischer scores her second to make the score line 11-0 with still over five minutes left on the third quarter clock.

18:50 – After scoring the penalty in the earlier quarter Gilchrist is not challenged enough by the Brazil defence and manages to score again to put her team 12-0 ahead.

18:56 – USA now lead 13-0 after Steffens scores another one. Brazil had the chance to get a goal as they had the player advantage but they just keep launching the ball at the keeper where she can easily save it and as a result it is parried away and Brazil lose possession once again.

18:59 – The USA keeper Johnson gets out of the pool at the start of the fourth quarter and allows their other keeper, who has only played five minutes at the Olympics so far, to take her place.

19:02 – From long distance Chiappini manages to get a goal for Brazil and ruin the clean sheet that the USA’s keeper had worked so hard for. With just over five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter USA lead 13-1.

19:08 – The roof is raised by the crowds, that are starting to increase a little by number ahead of the evening matches, as the Brazil team manage to score again with two and a half minutes left on the clock to leave them trailing 2-13.

19:12 – Another goal is recovered by Brazil as they are able to stop the American team from scoring in the final quarter. USA are through to the semi-finals after winning 13-3.

—– Australia v Hungary —–

19:30 – Some of the crowd have left the aquatics centre now that Brazil have finished playing. A lot of events are lacking in crowds so I am not too sure what ticket prices are like for the evening to if they were just popping in to watch them play or if they have just gone off to get refreshments and such before returning for a few of the later games.

19:32 – McGhie gets the ball into the back of the net for the first goal of the match to put Australia up 1-0.

19:38 – Webster makes it 2-0 for Australia by scoring her sixth goal, with three minutes left in the first quarter, from open play in this tournament.

19:41 – Australia increase their lead to 3-0 with just under two minutes to go before there is a little break in the play.

19:43 – The Hungarian captain Keszthelyi scores a penalty and brings their first quarter deficit to 1-3.

19:50 – Top scorer for the Australian team so far, Ash Southern, adds another goal to her name by making it 4-1.

19:53 – The Hungarian keeper is sent the wrong way from open play and Southern gets her second goal in quick succession to make it 5-1 with four minutes on the clock of the second half.

19:57 – Hungary manage to claw a goal back, as Australia have an exclusion, to make it 2-5 with a minute remaining in the first half.

19:59 – Right on the whistle Hungary scramble for the ball, spin and put it into the net to leave them trailing at the half time hooter 3-5 and having a decent chance of finding a way back into the match.

20:05 – For the first time this match Australia win the swim off to get possession first as the third quarter gets started.

20:07 – The Hungarian team are really starting to recover in this match as Takacs scores to leave them trailing just one goal behind the Australian’s five with less than six minutes of the quarter remaining.

20:10 – Southern gets her third goal of the game from a long distance shot that the keeper is able to get her hand on but not stop it from finding the back of the net. Australia new lead 6-4 with four minutes remaining in the third quarter.

20:14 – The ball is bounced by Bujka to bulge the back of the net and reduce Hungary’s deficit to just one goal again. 5-6 with two and a half minutes remaining in the third quarter.

20:15 – Hungary’s captain, after scoring the penalty earlier, punches the air in the pool as she manages to find the net to get the equaliser in the match so far.

20:18 – With 50 seconds on the clock McGhie, the early Australian scorer, gets another goal next to her name by scoring again to put her team in the lead.

20:26 – There are five and a half minutes left on the clock for the fourth quarter and both teams have scored. Australia initially got a cushion but Hungary score again and now trail 7-8.

20:28 – With less than three minutes to go Antal scores her first goal of the game to make it level at 3-3.

20:33 – With 53 seconds on the clock Australia call a time out to try to figure out a way to get that last crucial goal without conceding at the other end.

20:37 – The match ended in a tie so we are about to have a penalty shoot-out commence. These work in the same way as regular football; five shots each unless one side cannot recover it before that or if they are tied and will carry on until one takes the lead. They have to tread water at five metres out and shoot with keepers remaining in net at either end instead of taking time to switch over.

20:40 – It is 1-1 after they both have a shoot on target.

20:41 – Hungary are shooting first and get the second. Southern remains calm for Australia and keeps it level at 2-2.

20:42 – The Hungarian captain, who scored a penalty in the game earlier as well as a goal from open play, bounces the ball off the water and into the net. Australia aim for the bottom left corner but it hits the post and bounces out to give Hungary a 3-2 lead.

20:43 – Hungary score their fourth goal to really put the pressure on Australia. The Australian scores to make it 4-3 but if Antal scores it is meaningless.

20:44 – Antal scores, to end the shoot-off with a perfect five, and Australia are out of the competition and in floods of tears.

—– Russia v Spain —–

22:20 – The match gets under way. I expect this, much like the Australia v Hungary game, to be quite a close one come the end of the match but the defences will need to step their game up compared to some of their previous efforts.

22:22 – Spain scores first and go ahead 1-0 but the Russians respond and pounce on a chance given to them from a rebound and make it 1-1.

22:23 – One of the Spanish players get free at long-range and choose to attempt to shot. it is fired into the net and they resume having the lead 2-1.

22:25 – Russia get the first exclusion of the match and Spain try to make the most of it but it is saved by the keeper and the player comes back into the pool.

22:27 – Another exclusion causes Russia to be down a player a Leiton Arrones makes the most of it within the first second of the player being out of action to find her first goal of this Olympic tournament at the age of 16. Spain have gained a cushion and are 3-1 up.

22:31 – With a minute left on the first quarter clock Glyzina takes a shot towards the goal and there is a brief moment of discussion between the officials before it is decided that it did cross the line and it counts. They now just trail 2-3.

22:32 – The Russian coach calls for a time out to help them get an extra goal before the hooter but also to stop them going into the next quarter having conceded another one.

22:34 – At the end of the first quarter Spain lead 3-2 but this match is still very open going into the rest of the match. Russia need to focus on getting better at defending long shots and also having more discipline to not get exclusions and give the Australians a player advantage.

22:39 – Russia get awarded a penalty and the ball is sent left by Glyzina but the keeper goes to the right to allow the score to become level at 3-3.

22:40 – But the Russian team then make exactly the same foul at the other end and Spain get a penalty. The difference is that the keeper is able to catch hold of it and maintain possession for Russia instead. Still level at 3-3.

22:42 – Russia nearly give away another penalty as one of the Spanish players is held back but she is able to hit the ball off the water and put it over the goalkeepers head. The keeper looked stressed at what the defender was doing and ended up not even trying to make the save. Spain lead 4-3 with four minutes to go before half time.

22:44 – The goal lead has been cancelled out though as Ivanova is able to get hold of the ball and squeeze it past the keepers arms to bring the match back to 4-4 for Russia.

22:46 – With a Spanish player getting an exclusion the Russian team use a time out to try to get ahead for the first time in this quarter-final match.

22:55 – At half time the teams are level on 6-6 and will be looking to improve further in the second half to edge themselves ahead.

23:01 – Another penalty is awarded to Spain and after a couple of goals from both teams in the third quarter they go ahead 7-6 with five and a half minutes remaining on the third quarter clock.

23:03 – The Russian team keep trying to score a different way with each goal and the one to make it 7-7 bounces across the water like a skipping stone and sneaks its way past the keeper.

23:05 – Spain have a shot blocked at one end and they are able to go on the counter-attack and get past the defence to score a goal to put them 8-7 ahead with four minutes to go in this quarter.

23:06 – The Young Spanish player, Leiton Arrones, shows her potential and strength by scoring her second goal of the match to make it level again at 8-8.

23:07 – A time out is called by the Russian team as the Spanish side receive a player exclusion and are a woman down in the pool for the following 20 seconds of game play.

23:08 – One of the Spanish players is silly and grabs onto a Russian player whilst they have possession near the net and she gets sent off to the exclusion zone. The Russian team manage to make the most of it to make it 9-8.

23:09 – It looks like the Russian team have found a second round of energy to swim from one net to the other as the captain Prokofyeva scores to put them into double digits. 10-8 in Russia’s favour.

23:13 – The hooter for the end of the third quarter has just gone with Russia still leading 10-8. They will be trying to defend extremely well from now on whilst trying to sneak an extra goal or two in during the final quarter.

23:15 – Russia, for the first time this match, win the swim off and it perhaps show that Spain are starting to tire a little as the fourth quarter gets started.

23:20 – A time out is called by Spain as over half way into the fourth quarter they have not managed to recover another goal as Russia have gone onto the defensive. Russia are still leading 10-8 and just a few match minutes away from winning the match and going into the quarter-finals.

23:23 – Spain manage to recover a goal and now only trail 9-10 with two and a half minutes to go. But that gives Russia possession and they dart to the other end and get an absolutely stunning goal from Karimova to put Russia ahead 11-9.

23:25 – As Russia go on the attack again the Spanish put their arms up in the air but the ball still finds its way through them all and past the keeper to increase their lead to 12-9 with a minute remaining.

23:26 – Spain scramble towards the other end of the pool and finally, after going over and hitting the post so many times, get the ball into the back of the net to reduce their deficit to 10-12 with 40 seconds left on the clock.

—– Italy v China —–

23:40 – This match is very likely to be won by the Italians as they have had a much stronger performance, in terms of presence and physically, through the competition so far. Italy we top of their group come the end of the preliminaries and have put in some really good performances.

23:46 – With nearly half of the time on the first quarter clock gone Garibotti finds a way for the ball to get into the back of the net to put Italy 1-0 up after several players have had shots bouncing off the bar prior to that.

23:51 – Zhao gets her fifth goal of this Olympics for China, with less than two minutes remaining in the first quarter, to bring it level at 1-1.

23:52 – With 45 seconds on the clock the Chinese coaches have called a time out to try to help them get the lead but that obviously gives the Italians a chance to discuss tactics too.

23:57 – The second quarter gets under way and China have an early shot towards goal but it bounces off the corner of the frame and out of play to give Italian possession again.

23:59 – Italian Emmolo maximises the use of the water and lifts herself up to bounce the ball down onto it to launch it onto the inside of the top of the net and put her team ahead 2-1.

00:02 – After a while of struggling the Italians seem to have settled a little and figured out a way to not only work the ball forward but to also get it passed the keeper. They now lead 3-1.

00:04 – Emmolo gets another goal as she sends the ball across goal, past the keeper and inside the post to increase their lead to 4-1. After China looked the better team for a period of this game they seem to have faded off quite a look and look far too relaxed for a quarter-final match.

00:06 – Zhang, who ended up in a bit of a battle in one of the previous matches and still has a rather bulging and currently more yellow toned black eye, scores her first goal of the match to reduce their deficit to 2-4 with a minute of the first half remaining.

00:08 – We need to discuss this. Because in football having a coach that does not speak you language is a bit more okay because they have a pretty decent amount of time to discuss tactics but the Chinese coach needs a translator for the time outs and that must surely waste precious seconds of tactic talk.

00:14 – After China win the swim off for the third quarter they are able to use their 30 seconds to shoot wisely and with a few seconds left they get a goal and now only trail one goal behind Italy’s four.

00:16 – But with their success also comes a failure as one of their players ends up excluded and as she comes back into it Italy are dominating in front of goal and thud the ball into the goal to extended their lead once more to 5-3.

00:18 – It looks like Italy have managed to rediscover momentum and some energy to be able to break through the Chinese defence as Gorlero finds the back of the net and they now have a three cushion lead by scoring to make it 6-3.

00:19 – China launch the ball towards the net and it comes of the inside of the frame and crosses the line to leave them trailing just 4-6 with nearly five minutes remaining on the third quarter clock.

00:21 – Another long-range shot is lobbed into the net by Garibotti to give her team a 7-4 lead against a tiring Chinese side.

00:23 – A fifth player for the Italian team, Di Mario, gets her name on the score sheet and Italy now lead 8-4.

00:33 – Both teams score quickly at the start of the fourth quarter and within a minute and a half of fairly uninterrupted game play Italy lead 9-5.

00:37 – After getting a touch complacent and allowing China to score another goal the Italians end up with a penalty and are able to convert it into a goal. Just ask quickly as they manage that the ball is back down the other end and finding its way into the back of the net. The score is now 10-7 to Italy with four minutes of the match remaining.

00:44 – With a minute on the clock Italy practically stop any chance of China being able to find their way back into it as they score again twice to give them a 12-7 lead.

00:46 – Italy win and progress into the semi-finals. China have no chance of getting a medal now but given the performance today this is the deserved outcome.

Summary

USA progress to the semi-finals, after beating Brazil by a very comfortable margin, and will take on Hungary after they were able to beat the Australians in a penalty shoot-out.

Russia beat Spain 12-10 after starting slowly but being able to maintain energy and strength levels whilst building up slowly to secure the match in the final quarter and will take on Italy who had a strong match against a Chinese team that were weak in the middle quarters.

Track And Field

Preview

Under the new structure of the Olympics final events also happen in the first session of the day. This is to help spread the medals out and entice crowds in to see more of the action. With that the women’s hammer final and women’s 3000m steeplechase both happen in the early session with the men’s pole vault and 800m and the women’s 400m happening in the evening session.

Several of the women that made it through the qualifying round of the women’s steeplechase seemed to be really struggling with some of the jumps, especially the water jump, in the tricky sticky weather conditions. They will be hoping to have smoothed those issues out for the final whilst the men will all be hoping to get off to a slightly more comfortable start.

With the women’s 200m and three sprint hurdles events first rounds happening over the course of the day there is certainly going to be a lot of jumping and possibly the odd fall as people clatter into the barriers with nerves and slight niggling injuries.

Live Updates

—– Women’s 200m —–

13:30 – The first of nine heats gets the morning session under way with Schippers (Netherlands) in lane four and Thomas (Trinidad and Tobago) in lane two.

13:31 – Schippers starts off comfortably and speeds up a little but is able to look around and slow back down a little towards the line for the first automatic qualifying spot. Pohrebniak (Ukraine) grabs the second one with a personal best.

13:35 – Heat two is won by Prandhni (USA) and Mayer (Germany) gets a personal best to secure a place in the next round.

13:42 – Ahye (Trinidad and Tobago) gets the first spot after slowly down to jog over the line. Facey (Jamaica) finishes second.

13:48 – Ta Lou (Ivory Coast) and Thompson (Jamaica) get the qualifying spots into the semi-final with the winning time being the fastest so far.

13:56 – Okagbare (Nigeria) and Asher-Smith (Great Britain) win the fifth heat and third place may sneak into the fastest loser spots with a time sub 20 seconds.

14:02 – Heat six is won by Stevens (USA) and second place goes to Soto (Venezuela) for them both to make it into the next round.

14:08 – Lalova-Collio (Bulgaria) and Nelson (Australia) battle it to the line to get the qualifying spots. Williams (Great Britain) is currently the fastest loser with two heats to go.

14:13 – Bowie (USA) comes through to snatch first from Ahoure (Ivory Coast) after seeming to lose her footing in the first moment of the race and having to push through to take the win. Both go through from heat eight into the semi-finals.

14:19 – The finally heat could prove to be a real race to the finish line and especially with people knowing what time they need to get a fastest loser spot.

14:20 – Hackett (Trinidad and Tobago) finishes just behind of Odiong (Bahrain). Campbell-Brown (Jamaica), the defending champion, finishes in third place but with a time too slow to make it through as a fastest loser and can defend the title no longer.

—– Men’s 400m Hurdles —–

15:37 – The first heat of this event gets started with Clement (USA) on the inside and tighter lane. The crowds are cheering for the Brazil athlete to do well.

15:39 – Lahoulou (Algeria), Tumuiti (Kenya) and Clement get through as the three automatic qualifiers into the next round

15:43 – Another Brazilian goes in heat two, in lane one, so the crowd again need settling before the race can begin.

15:45 – The three automatic spots go to Copello (Turkey), Alejandro (Puerto Rico) and Suguimati (Brazil).

15:54 – Warholm (Norway), Culson (Puerto Rico) and Magi (Estonia) get into the next round by finishing first to third.

16:03 – The Japanese runner Nozawa wins the fourth heat ahead of Barr (Ireland) and Cray (Philippines).

16:08 – Whyte (Jamaica) wins heat five with a comfortable lead. Robinson (USA) slows down towards the line and ends up qualifying third just behind Green (Great Britain) who pushes to the line.

16:18 – The final heat concludes with the last three automatic qualifying spots going to Koech (Kenya), Van Zyl (South Africa) and Silva (Uruguay). Tinsley (USA) finishes all the way down in sixth and looks very angry with himself.

—– Men’s 110m Hurdles —–

00:40 – The first heat of this event gets started just as the rain starts to come down again finely after raining earlier and keeping the track wet. The heats will see four automatically go through to the semi-finals with four fastest losers.

00:45 – Mcleod (Jamaica), Porter (USA), Julmis (Haiti) and Hicks (Nigeria) get the first automatic qualifying spots.

00:50 – The second heat happens as it absolutely starts to have the rain hammering and bouncing off the track. Ortega (Spain), Baji (Hungary), Trajkovic (Cyprus) and Cabral (Canada) get the spots but the fastest losers are unlikely to have much of a chance as the rain really did cause them to lose grip and sight to be able to get a decent time in.

01:25 – Heat three sees Bascou (France), Pozzi (Great Britain), Riley (Jamaica) and Oliveria (Brazil) who ended up slidding over the line on his belly. Whilst heat four sees Belocian (France) disqualified for a false start to give Douvalidis (Greece), Allen (USA), Traber (Germany) and O’Farrill (Cuba)

01:36 – Ash (USA), Martinot-Lagarde (France), Clarke (Great Britain) and Souza (Brazil) round-up the last automatic qualifying spots in the fifth and final heat. Czykier (Poland) and Ristic (Serbia) get two of the four fastest loser spots from this heat as well.

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