Olympics Day Eleven: Semi-Final Football And A Bucket Load Of Medals

After the drama of rain bouncing around in the Olympics stadium last night to cause a delay in proceedings for all the track and athletics final the participants in today’s events will be hoping to be able to take to the starting blocks and field areas on time and get through everything cleanly and safely. But it looks like the sun and rain clouds will be interchangeable throughout the day so the athletes should include the chance of delays into their mental preparations.

People by the beach will find out whether the men’s 10km swim will have somebody edging it out with a lap to go and being able to maintain that lead to the finish or will find the leader chopping and changing right down to a sprint finish to leaping up for the time blocks at the end of the course.

The women’s football is unlikely to come under risk if there is any rain and the semi-final matches are something to keep a close eye on as Brazil hope to edge closer to getting that first Olympic gold whilst competing in their home games.

It is the third and final day of synchronised swimming duets today and it looks like it could be a real battle for the Russian duet if they want to be able to retain their Olympic title that they picked up in London 2012.

And after an exciting day in the aquatics centre yesterday there is more action as the men’s quarter-finals take place. They will all be desperate to wrap the match up in normal regulation time instead of going to the most cruel of penalty shoot-outs. Brazil take on Croatia at 19:10 UK time and will be one of the highlight games of the late afternoon session.

Men’s 10km Swim

Preview

The women’s race seen the waters get slightly more choppy as they progressed through the four laps of the course and that may very well happen again here for the men’s race. A lot of the competitors that mainly compete in lake swims may take a bit of time to adjust to the conditions as swimming in a bunched group with 24 other professionals is a big different to training in a group of two or three.

It is likely to be a bit cooler for the men today as rain is predicted to come and go during their time in the water. Whilst this might make the water a little choppier it should help people to be able to complete the race without becoming dehydrated but it might make it a bit harder for them to grab onto drinks and gels as they pass the stations with their coaches on.

London 2012 winner, with over a three second lead at the finish, Oussama Mellouli (Tunisia) competes in the pack today to try to keep hold of the title of Olympic champion. Whilst the silver medallist from London does not make an appearance the bronze medallist, Richard Weinberger (Canada) does and will be looking to go two better this time around.

Brazil have Allan Do Carmo competing in this swim and the people watching from the beach will be hoping that his name pops up as one of the leaders in the crucial parts of the race to go with Okimoto’s bronze from yesterday.

Live Updates

13:17 – They have just headed around one of the turning points on the track to come back towards the beach after thirteen minutes and the Australian Jarrod Poort has gone out hard from the beginning and has developed an early lead. With several laps of the course to go though it seems unlikely he will be able to keep this up without slowly and the chasing pack being able to catch him back up.

13:30 – Poort is still ahead of the rest of the field and had increased the lead but the pack, that is now pretty much in single file, are slowly starting to catch him down as they all veer off to the feeding station before focussing back on the specific lines of the course.

13:33 – At the end of the first lap Poort crosses the point 28.41 minutes into the race 57 seconds ahead of the defending Tunisian Olympic champion Mellouli who is leading the chase group.

13:45 – From certain angles it looks like the pack are closing in on the Australian but he has actually extended his lead to just over a minute as the chase group have bunched back up and there is a risk that some of them do not even realise there is a guy ahead, let alone so far ahead, for them to need to chase.

14:04 – Just after the one hour mark Poort has extended his lead to a minute and a quarter second ahead of the chase group despite deciding to basically stop at the feeding station to take on his drink and have his coach shout a few things down to him before he carries on.

14:17 – At last, just before they start the final lap, the chase pack are slowly but surely starting to claw a bit of the time back and are now less than a minute behind him. It will be interesting to see if Poort will have any energy left for a sprint finish should it end up coming that close by the end. There is about 30 to 45 minutes of the race left.

14:30 – The swimmers have started the last lap and some of them have collected final fluid and gels from the feeding station. Poort is still having his lead decreased and it is much nearer to three quarters of a second now and will have to really fight to hold on to this lead near the final part of the swim.

14:40 – Poort’s lead is now just 15 seconds ahead of the rest of the field with about 1500m of swimming left to go which in the scheme of things does not sound like a lot but as you tire and your muscles start to hurt it is a very long time.

14:45 – And that is it his lead has gone and he is falling down through the pack and very unlikely to even get a medal as the others are able to speed off to the finish line. Weertman (Netherlands) is now the leader of the field.

14:57 – The race comes to an end and there is a photo finish to figure of the medals as one swimmer struggles to hit the automatic timing board.

Summary

After Australian Poort led out at the beginning of the race and was able to get a comfortable lead the pack started to chase after him with a lap to go.

With 1500m left it was clear that he would not only be overtaken but end up outside of the medal positions as he really seemed to lack any energy to be able to give it a final push. He tried really hard to find a way to get the gap to be big enough but he just could not hold on.

One a photo finish has happened and footage has been analysed Weertman (Netherlands) gets the gold in one hour 52 minutes and 29 seconds just ahead of Gianniotis (Greece) and Olivier (France) rounds off the rostrum just three seconds behind.

Burnell (Great Britain), Ryan (USA) and Khudyakov (Kakazhstan) got disqualifed during the race for various offences against other swimmers.

Women’s Football

Preview

The last four teams of the tournament get ready to do battle today to get into that gold medal match but losers can at least take conciliation in then having a shot at the bronze medal match.

The host nations Brazil take on Sweden, 17:00 UK time, and whilst the crowd will be there to cheer them along they had a few frustrating moments in their last match. Sweden knocked out world number one’s USA to get to this stage and are looking on fine form to be able to just do enough and keep pushing to win this match and have a chance in the final.

Germany should be able to win against Canada in their semi-final match, 8pm UK time, but if a couple of players do not bring their best form to the pitch a couple of costly errors could see the game on a knife edge as it nears ninety minutes. But in fairness to Canada they have continued to hold their own and beat France 1-0 in the quarter-finals so they may be able to knock the now favourites down and out of the gold medal match.

Live Updates

—– Brazil v Sweden —–

17:00 – The whistle goes for the start of the first half. it looks from their formation that Sweden are going to start on the defensive as Brazil attempt to press up the pitch in the early stages. The crowd is pretty small for this match but that is an unfortunate result to a game being played at 1pm Brazil time mid-week.

17:10 – Brazil have had the majority of shots in the first ten minutes, as the crowds continue to take their seats in the stadium, but Sweden have managed to break down their defence a couple of times as well but neither team has found an early opening goal.

17:25 – It is somehow still 0-0 in the match but Brazil are by far doing better and if they can just get the right connection onto the ball in the final part of the pitch they will be able to get easily ahead in this match.

17:35 – Sweden are being forced to have their defensive line much nearer the back of the pitch than they would want and they seem to have a second line pretty much directly ahead of that. Every time they are getting possession of the ball the crowd are booing them, even if they are not moving forward, and that must be a little unnerving for the Swedish team.

17:46 – Half-time is reached and neither side have managed to break the dead-lock. Sweden have continued their defensive football from the start, which USA keeper Hope Solo said after their defeat was “cowardly”, but they have managed to go on the counter and have a few chances from free play as well as set pieces. Brazil just need to continue trying to chip away at the Swedish defence and as long as they keep their defence active and alert they look the most likely to be able to get a winning goal from the performances so far. It could easily end up going to extra time though and with the hot weather the players, especially the Swedish, will be making the most of the break.

18:15 – Just less than 60 minutes into the match and Brazil are certainly pushing much more in the second half but they are again struggling to force a mistake from the Swedish keeper and are coming under threat from counter-attacks.

18:28 – Brazil are having to calm down Marta after she gets a yellow for catching one of the Swedish players whilst defending. As the Swedish player receives treatment Asslani picks up the ball and takes it amongst herself to start spinning in around on her finger like a basketball. Several minutes later Sweden are able to take the free kick but it just goes through the keepers legs and out for a throw in on the other side.

18:40 – There are ten minute left and after Sweden were getting more chances for a while Brazil have really stepped their game back up, partly caused by Marta’s anger, and they are now really under pressure to just keep shot after shot out of the box.

18:49 – We are into added time of the second half and neither time have managed to get a goal despite so many chances and as a result it looks like we are about to go to 30 minutes of extra time. If that happens, given Sweden have already had to do it to beat USA to get to this point in the competition, Brazil may win as fatigue kicks in for the Swedish.

18:51 – Extra time it is going to be.

19:07 – 100 minutes of the game has now passed and Brazil use another substitute to try and help them try to find a way past the Swedish defence to get into the semi-final without ending up going to penalties.

19:20 – The teams are tiring and are becoming tactically weaker the more we progress into this match. There are ten minutes left of extra-time and they need to find another bout of energy and strength if they want to avoid taking this to a painful penalty shoot off.

19:30 – The Swedish keeper Lindahl has really had a good match and managed to keep it up into the final minutes of extra-time as she denies Brazil time and time again from set pieces and free play plus rebounds of those she is unable to cleanly catch.

19:34 – The whistle goes and the match is getting taken to penalties. Can Sweden win another round on penalties alone?

19:41 – Marta scores Brazil’s first penalty. And Sweden score their one too to literally silence the stadium.

19:43 – The next two penalties are saved. Is this going to completely replicate the Swedish game against USA? Still 1-1.

19:45 – 2-2 as both teams score.

19:47 – They are still in dead-lock as another two shots are scored to make it 3-3 out of four on both sides.

19:48 – Brazil miss and Sweden score. Sweden are into the gold medal match. Brazil’s dreams are crushed in front of their home crowd.

—– Canada v Germany —–

20:00 – The match is just starting and the favourites Germany will have an extra boost if they see that their biggest rivals, Brazil, have failed to make it into the gold medal match.

20:13 – It really looks like Canada have scored from a fabulous piece of build up play that results in a header but it creeps just wide of the post to keep it at 0-0.

20:21 – Buchanan takes one of the German players down in the box for them to have a penalty. Berhinger walks up to the spot and scores to put her team up 1-0.

20:48 – It is half time in the match and Germany are looking to remain as the stronger team going into the second half. Canada have had some chances but not managed to convert any of their attempts on goal. The defence from the Canadians will have to find new levels of composure to be able to ensure they do not make any more costly errors.

21:16 – Canada should easily have scored a couple of times in this second half but it looks like their fate may quickly becoming sealed as Däbritz scores for Germany to allow them to double their lead.

21:41 – There are five minutes remaining in the match and Canada have been unable to find a response to Germany scoring. Whilst Germany have continued to have a few shots on goal they have generally dropped back quite a lot to focus on defending and keeping a clean sheet. The energy levels have generally dropped massively on the pitch and Canada looked resigned to defeat.

Summary

Brazil fought right to the very end of their match and were especially lively after the captain Marta received a yellow card for catching one of the Swedish players. Despite their efforts through normal time and extra time the Swedish team remained strong defensively and could not be defeated. It went to penalties and it was only there that the host nation lost to go into the bronze medal match as opposed to the gold one.

Sweden are joined by Germany in the gold medal match. After being awarded a penalty fairly early in the first half Germany were able to take the lead against Canada and from there looked comfortable as they worked the ball around. In the second half the German team were able to find the back of the net again to leave Canada looking rejected and disheartened.

Sweden v Germany for the gold medal match. Brazil v Canada for bronze. There will be heartbreak. There will be excitement. There will be tears. But most importantly there will be football.

Water Polo

Preview

Eight teams of men take part in the men’s quarter-finals today and kick off with Hungary v Montenegro and will make for an interesting game but is unlikely to be particularly close at the end of the 32 minutes of game play.

As mentioned earlier Brazil take on Croatia and will be hoping that the crowds turn up in force, despite it being during the middle of a working day, to help cheer them along and show them as much support as they did in their last preliminary group match. They are favourites to win this match, based on group performance, but if Croatia bring their A game they will be able to threaten and make it a really close game.

Serbia v Spain and Italy v Greece are the other two matches happening today and they too are going to be close to call. I imagine Greece are going to edge it over Italy and Serbia should be able to edge it over Spain, despite a poor group qualifying, to get into the semi-final matches.

Live Updates

—– Hungary v Montenegro —–

15:04 – The match gets under way with the traditional swim off and within a couple of minutes both sides have had an exclusion but whilst Hungary are unable to make the most of it Montenegro capitalise and get the first goal of the match to go 1-0 up.

15:15 – The first quarter ends with Montenegro leading 2-1.

15:18 – At the start of the second quarter the leaders get possession from the swim off to have the first shot at goal in these eight minutes.

15:21 – Montenegro have extended their lead to 3-1 after nearly conceding a couple of moments ago but luckily being saved by the frame of the net being hit instead.

15:22 – The Montenegro team have a three goal cushion as Ivovic finds the back of the net. They lead 4-1.

15:27 – It took a fair while for the Hungarian team to get the ball but Erdelyi finds himself with space to be able to get Italy a goal and leave them trailing 2-4.

15:29 – The three goal cushion is recovered by Janovic for Montenegro with just over a minute left on the second quarter clock to make it 5-2.

15:30 – Hungary make the most out of the Montenegro keeper being slightly off his line and Varga cancels out a portion of that goal cushion Montenegro were trying to build up to leave them trailing 3-5.

15:32 – There are two seconds left on the clock for the second quarter and a time out is called to see if a lob shot can be fired into the back of the goal before half time but it comes to nothing and the hooter goes.

15:39 – A minute into the third quarter Paskovic bounces the ball off the water the water and into the back of the net to give Montenegro a 6-3 lead.

15:45 – Hungary scores to trail 4-6 thanks to an effort from Vamos but the Montenegro coach strongly appeals and gets a warning from the officials to calm down.

15:47 – Vamos is on a scoring roll and launches the ball into the net. He does it so far into the corner and at such speed at the ball gets stuck in the net at the point of the frame. Hungary are now just one goal behind.

15:48 – A response is found from the Montenegro team and the ball falls to Klikovac who helps to recover that goal cushion as they now lead 7-5.

15:49 – This has certainly been the most action packed quarter so far. Erdelyi scores for Hungary to again just put them one goal behind but they will need to defend strongly to not mess up without possession again.

15:50 – And again there is a goal as Montenegro score to make it 8-6 with just over a minute left in the third quarter.

15:55 – The final quarter gets going and Hungary immediately start off where they left off and Erdelyi gets a goal to close in Montenegro’s lead once more.

15:57 – Ivovic is having none of it though and scores another recovery cushion goal for Montenegro. 9-7 with seven minutes of the match remaining.

15:58 – Hungary are really fighting for this and as they have a player advantage Vamos is able to find the back of the net once more. If they can tighten up defence and regain possession they can make this match level.

16:06 – With just a minute left on the clock Hungary have equalised as Varga continues to put in a stellar performance during this match to score again. 9-9. If neither team get a winner we’re off to penalties.

16:08 – The final time out of the match is called with 12 seconds remaining on the clock but that team talks do nothing and they are off to penalties.

16:14 – Both teams score their first penalties. 1-1.

16:15 – The second ones are both scored as well despite the keepers going the right way. 2-2.

16:16 – Montenegro score at one end and their keeper gets his arm to the ball to block it at the other end. They lead 3-2.

16:17 – Both of the fourth shots are blocked. It remains 3-2 for Montenegro.

16:18 – Montenegro score the fifth penalty and that brings the match to an end. Hungary are out and there are tears amongst the Hungarian team. The crowd, including a rather large chunk of Montenegro fans, are jumping up and down with absolute delight.

—– Serbia v Spain —–

16:30 – The first quarter gets the match started with Spain winning the swim off for initial possession.

16:34 – Flipovic gets the first point of the match to put Serbia ahead with just over five minutes of the first quarter remaining.

16:36 – Spain are quickly able to find an equaliser after getting possession after the Serbia goal.

16:39 – Serbia resume the lead, at 2-1, as Mandic is able to find the back of the net with less than three minutes remaining on the countdown clock for quarter one.

16:42 – I have to say the celebrations by Mandic are by far some of the most animated I have seen in the entire water polo so far. He scores again with less than a minute on the clock to make it 3-1.

16:48 – A minute into the second quarter and Cuk helps to further advance Serbia’s lead. It is 4-1 but there is still plenty of match time left of anything to happen here.

16:51 – Spain recover their deficit a little and make it 2-4 and then as Serbia get an exclusion they are able to find the back of the net and now just trail by one goal. 4-3 to Serbia.

16:55 – The Spanish defence seems to be crumbling a little  in the last half of the second quarter and Serbia now lead 6-3.

17:01 – Aleksic ends the first half of the match with another goal for his side to extend their lead to 7-3.

17:07 – Early into the third quarter Spain manage to reduce the deficit by scoring. They still need three goals just to get back on level pegging with Serbia however.

17:11 – The Spanish team are not giving this up without a fight and score another goal a couple of minutes into the third quarter. They now just trail two goals behind Serbia’s seven.

17:24 – The match is now in the fourth quarter and there is just under six minutes left on the clock. The Spanish coach is looking very concerned and unhappy as every time his team score they end up conceding quickly afterwards. Serbia lead 9-6.

17:31 – Serbia’s keeper is just unable to get a hand on the ball and before he can get there it rides the waves and into the back of the next.With less than two minutes to go in the match Spain are trailing by two goals.

17:33 – Mandic makes the most of a quick turnover of possession and scores another to give his team an increasing lead with 30 seconds left on the clock. It looks unlikely that even if Spain score again they will be able to do enough.

17:34 – Serbia, the favourites of the match, have won and go into the semi-finals. Spain are no longer in the running for a medal.

—– Brazil v Croatia —–

19:15 – I join this match a couple of minutes late with 5:30 remaining on the first quarter clock. Both teams have scored and are level 1-1.

19:20 – Brazil get awarded a penalty but it is saved and they make nothing out of the corner throw. About 30 seconds of game play later Croatia are able to take a 2-1 lead.

19:22 – Buric gets possession of the ball and launches it into the goal to put Croatia 3-1 up with just over a minute left on the first quarter clock.

19:23 – The Brazilian team are able to recover the deficit a little and with less than a minute on the clock make it 2-3. There is certainly still plenty of time left in this match, and perhaps even the quarter, to be able to turn the scoreline around and into their favour.

19:30 – Croatia extend their lead once more as Bukic scores with one minute gone in the second quarter.

19:36 – The lead is extended as Croatia score from open play and then they get awarded a penalty and score it. 6-2.

19:50 – The third quarter is under way and Croatia are leading 7-3 after scoring another goal at the end of the first half.

19:57 – Within a short amount of game play time in the third quarter both sides have managed to score again. Baches initially closed Brazil’s deficit to 4-7 but Jokovic was able to extend it again to give Croatia the 8-4 lead.

20:01 – With less than 30 seconds on the clock Brazil score and they then manage it again with six seconds left on the clock to go into the final quarter trailing just two goals behind Croatia’s eight.

20:10 – Brazil receive an exclusion and Croatia are able to make the most of it and take a 9-6 lead with just over five minutes left in the match.

20:14 – Jokovic scores again and helps to extend Croatia’s lead to give them a really advantage and belief that they can hold onto the match to get into the semi-finals.

20:19 – The hooter goes for the final time and Croatia continue on towards goal and the host nation are out.

—– Greece v Italy —–

20:30 – The final quarter-final match is off in this aquatics centre. Greece are likely to win this match but it will probably not be by a huge margin. It seems that teams with those silly dressing gowns during the anthems are the ones that are more likely to be victorious than having jackets and looking like they have been in the gym and somebody has stolen their trousers for a joke.

20:33 – Italy take the early 1-0 lead within a minute of game play. It will be a real boost to them to be starting to get off ahead.

20:38 – By the half way point of the first half Italy have doubled their advantage to 2-0.

20:47 – The second quarter is under way and at the start of it Italy still have the 2-0 lead. The first quarter is certainly not one that will be remembered.

20:52 – Greece were a little clumsy and got a player sent to the exclusion zone to allow Italy a chance to score. After a goal from the Greeks early in the second quarter they will be sad to have had that effectively wiped out. Italy lead 4-1.

20:58 – Just as the second quarter clock ticks down to a minute Mourikis is able to find the goal for the second time to leave Greece trailing just 2-4 as the half time mark quickly approaches.

21:16 – With one and a half minutes left on the third quarter clock I was starting to think that there was not going to be a goal in this entire quarter but Figioli and Gitto both score in quick concession to increase Italy’s lead to 6-2.

21:19 – Just before the end of the quarter honkers rings out around the stadium Greece manage to get a goal themselves to leave them behind three behind Italy’s six.

21:25 – With just over half of the final quarter remaining Greece’s Fountoulis manages to find the back of the net. If they can keep Italy out whilst scoring a couple more in the rest of this quarter they will have a chance to recover their performance and get through to the next round.

21:27 – As Italy are given the possession after conceding that goal however Greece are unable to adequately defend and end up conceding another goal. The Italians lead 7-4 with three minutes of live play remaining.

21:29 – After picking up a facial injury in an earlier match Italy’s Aicardi, with a mask around his face, gets the ball towards goal and it catchers the keepers underarm and bounces into the net. His team at now 8-4 up.

21:30 – The Greek team are not willing to give up just yet and with two minutes on the clock edge the score closer to being level once again. 5-8.

21:32 – Figlioli gets the ball passed to him right in front of the keeper and they look each other in the face for a brief moment before sending the ball around him to put his team 9-5 ahead with 20 seconds to go.

Summary

After a penalty shoot out Montenegro beat Hungary and go into the semi-finals and will face Serbia who beat Spain 10-7.

Croatia get into the semi-finals after beating host nation Brazil 10-6 and will face Italy in the final who beat Greece 9-5.

Synchronised Swimming

Preview

After the free routine and the technical routine over the last two days the final for the women’s duets are finally here. Russia, the reigning Olympic champions, are amongst the favourites to return to the rostrum but will face the strongest competition from China and Japan.

The three medals are not completely tied up though and there may be room for a couple of duets to at least sneak into the bronze medal position. But as scores are carried over from yesterday’s technical routine some will have an almighty mountain to climb, in terms of getting an extra ten points over others in this final free routine, to get anywhere near touching distance to the medal positions.

It will be interesting to see their final outfits, after seeing them on the first day of competition because they are exceptional works of art, combined with their make up and hair pieces, and such sparkly pieces of glamour. Let us see if any of them can make a large improvement on their routine scores from the first time around.

18:00 – The lots have been drawn for the order that the final twelve will compete in and the Canadian pair will be the first to perform which is nothing that any of these duets would really want.

18:01 – Canada have a theme of heartbreak and the music is a mixture of angry and sombre and their facial expressions and speed of movement match those moments in the music. Their outfits are largely white but have sections of red across them and it looks like a mixture of trying to clearly represent Canada and a sort of broken and splattered heart.

18:05 – They get 90.6 for the free routine and finish the competition with 179.89 points and Greece are quickly introduced to the crowd and ready to go.

18:07 – The Greek duet have the outfits that I probably like the most out of all the performances we have seen as they are back in the black suits with sparkly silver skeleton shapes on their torso. They have a theme of spies and I get that a little more in the second performance with the hand movements but it seems to get lost a little near the middle chunk before returning again near the end.

18:10 – Greece manage 86.5 points in the free routine and finish on 171.855 points but as they came into the final in tenth place it was always going to be difficult for them to get nearer the much needed 185 – 195 points for a medal.

18:17 – I have to say that I love the routine by the Austrian duet even more than I did in the preliminary rounds. They have taken on their interpretation of swan lake and the music combined with their grace and choreography is a real pleasure to watch and made much more evenly matched by being two of three triplets. The eighteen year old duet, who mainly wanted to make the final to get experience for Tokyo 2020, get 85.5 points in their routine and end with a total of 170.597.

18:22 – The Mexican duets performance comes to an end. Their performance includes slow and fast sections and is generally very well in sync. The costumes are very sparkly but are mainly purple, pink and green patterns over a nude meshing. They came into the final in twelfth but after a free routine score of 86.06 they finish on 170.9935 which puts them one place from the bottom four performances in.

18:27 – USA get 87.53 points for a performance based on fury that uses some music from Fast and Furious. It is very high paced and jammed full of action but that scores gives them a total of 173.9945 and puts them in second place with seven duets still to perform.

18:34 – The French team, that are also competing in the team competition in a few days time, complete their free routine with 87.96 to get an overall score of 174.2491 which will move them up the overall rankings from how they cam into the final.

18:40 – Russia return to the pool with their absolutely stunning costumes that are various blue and green tones to represent scales as well as a silvery white section to me a shell over the breasts to represent mermaids which is also their theme. They are simply mesmorising costumes and their performance of elegant moves and gentle music really helps match their skill and real quality. A joy to watch and from this performance alone, excluding their technical performance, they deserve to retain their champion title that they picked up in London 2012. They get 98.53 for their performance, an improvement by nearly two points from the preliminary time around, to give them an extraordinary total score of 194.991.

18:48 – Possibly one of the biggest challengers to the Russian pair, the Chinese, follow them into the pool to perform their free routine. It must be horrible to have to come after such a strong and high quality performance but they manage to get their lifts out of the water really high and is well done but they do not look overly happy on leaving the pool which is quite rare for the ever smiling synchronised swimmers. They get 97 for their free routine which puts them in second place at present with 192.3688 points.

18:53 – I find the Japanese teams performance to be very boring to watch but the judges continue to like it and they go into third place with 188.0547 points after receiving 94.93 in their free routine.

18:58 – I probably should not choose to like a performance based on a song but each time I have watched the performance by the Italian duet them having the song Sweet Dreams by The Eurythmics has really added to the enjoyment of watching their routine. They miss out on the medals though despite reaching 92.36 in the free routine they only get 182.8079 points in total.

19:05 – Ukraine are awarded 94 points to give them 187.1358 overall and that puts them into fourth place. They look truly heartbroken and are wiping tears away as they go to the coaches after their scores.

19:12 – The pair that were keeping their training a secret for so long up until the last couple of months finish in fifth place. The Spanish duet miss out on the Olympic fairytale by getting 94.13 in their free routine to give a total of 186.6357 points.

Summary

After an exciting hour and a bit the gelatine will be getting melted out of the hair and the water proof make up will be getting scrubbed off. The excellent outfits will be getting hung up to dry to probably never be worn again. Russia win ahead of China and Japan with Italy and Spain just in behind.

Some truly beautiful, elegant and exciting performances throughout. The team synchronised event will be even better so if you can find time to give that a watch.

Track And Field

Preview

Another day of exciting events will be happening in the Olympic stadium in the morning and evening sessions with Bolt and Gatlin starting another battle in the 200m as well a never-ending amount of hurdle heats, semi-finals and a final.

Hopefully the re-introduction of the likes of bolt and the fact Brazil got a gold medal in the pole vault last night will bring the crowds in and finally make this statement a bit nearer to being full instead of just having pitiful pockets of support (I have seen more people watching Diamond League matches in the middle of the season that hardly have any big names in).

After having to qualifying in terrible rainy conditions the discus women will be hoping for the morning session to keep the circle dry and help them to do anything other than just hit the side netting, nearly hit a sound woman in the middle of the field (because apparently we need to hear the discus hitting the grass) and get absolutely drenched.

A thing to note on the side is that the samba bands that were introducing field event finalists have slowly decreased in enthusiasm and look more and more awkward as the athletes completely ignore them and do not have a little dance as they get put onto the big screen in front of the crowds.

The men’s 110m hurdles final happens as the last event of the evening, after doing the semi-finals a little earlier, and after some runners were allowed another go after seriously struggling to get over the hurdles in a quick time without slipping as the rain really bounced down and started to form puddles for the first couple of heats they will all be desperate for no rain or questionable organisational decisions.

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