London 2012 Olympics: Day Ten – Four legs gold, two wheels more gold

The Omnium is the best event in town, baby!

The last Monday of the 2012 Olympic Games. It has passed with a disgraceful swiftness and I feel that I haven’t had the chance to take it all in, much like an anorexic at a buffet. After quiet day on Sunday the competition roared back to life once more yesterday. Sadly I had to get my bike serviced 10 miles from where I live so much of my day was spent travelling and trying to keep up with the events via Twitter, the BBC iPhone app or BBC Five Live. The BBC as always having a fine broadcast system and service with options of viewing and in-depth analysis of a huge amount. God bless Auntie Beeb!

If you were also listening to Five Live you will have heard the full coverage of the team jumping in the Equestrian event over at Greenwich and will have heard the tense commentary as Britain and the Netherlands tied and were forced into a jump-off. In this, unlike in the main competition, the idea is to have a clean round and not to race around as quickly as possible. The Dutch hit the paddock first and had a clean round until the last fence when the back legs of Marc Houtzager’s ride, Tamino knock the penultimate fence down. If GB could make a clear round the Gold would be theirs. Peter Charles was the man to do it – no pressure but GB hadn’t won a Gold in team jumping since 1952. It was tense and with every fence cleared successfully the crowd drew in a tighter breath. Five Live listeners were subjected to Pippa Funnell eeking like a mouse as he cleared the penultimate fence and then exploding in an orgasm of joy as he cleared the final and clinched the Gold for GB. It was a team event and congratulations go to the entire team, especially to Nick Skelton for competing at 54 in his first Olympics.

No rest for the commentators as they had to fling the listeners over to the ‘Pringle’ for the track cycling and Jason Kenny was lining up in the Match Sprint. Many had seen UK Cycling’s decision to select young Kenny over the much more powerful and much more experienced Sir Chris Hoy as something of an aberration. Surely the defending Olympic  champion should be allowed to compete? Surely Hoy could be the only hope for GB gold? The sprint is a best of three where the riders start side-by-side on the track and compete for three laps and the result is simple. Win and you would be a Gold medal winner. Kenny lined up alongside his sparring partner from the Team Sprint, Gregory Bauge. In the first race the klaxon goes and the riders creep out of the blocks – riding at a walking pace so as not to allow the opponent the slipstream and so you don’t tire too quickly. By lap two, Kenny was faking across the track riding slightly faster and willing Bauge to breakaway. Bauge bites and goes for one allowing Kenny to slide behind him for the third lap sprint. And now the fun begins. Bauge is stuck making the headway for Kenny to lap up and on the backstraight Kenny breaks for it – it is a neck and neck sprint which Kenny wins by half a wheel. Very close. 1-0 to GB.

The second heat was  even easier for Kenny. The same pattern repeated with Kenny looking for Bauge to bite and go ahead of him but fool Bauge once….. At the beginning of the final lap, Jason Kenny glances over his shoulder at the Frenchman and bolts it. It was a flat-out sprint to the line with the gap of over a wheel for GB to take the 6th Gold from 7 events in the track and a further 3 to come tomorrow. Amazing performances that put the Beijing performance in the shade. Outstanding! Before I move away from cycling I have to mention two things: 1. I have the utmost respect for Azizulhasni Awang who has had an excellent Olympics and is really returning to his best after a horrible crash in Manchester last year. If you don’t know about this, you can watch the race here. Behind Hoy was an almighty crash and a 20cm splinter embedded itself in his leg. Nasty. 2. I love the Omnium. it is new for 2012 and if you have never really watched Olympic cycling before then do make a date to watch the highlights of this or try to catch it tonight. It is essentially the pentathlon for cycling and the best heat of them all is the Elimination round (also known as ‘Miss and Out’ or ‘Devil take the Hindmost’). In this a group of riders (usually 20 or so) take to the track in a group and at some point the judges will fire a pistol indicating that at the end of the next lap the person with the last back wheel to cross the line is out and flashing handlebar will inform them of that. It is the most exciting form of racing as the field of 20 are whittled down to just a handful to find a winner. Good luck to Laura Trott tomorrow!

There is a promise of medals in boxing too as both Nicky Adams and Anthony ‘Einstein’ Agogo are guaranteed Bronze medals after reaching the semi-finals of their respective bouts. Still, Bronze can become Gold…. Also with a Bronze is the majestic Beth Tweddle who, even though she fluffed her landing, had a phenomenal day on the uneven bars to take the medal. She posted a Silver medal performance but was relegated when the Russian snuck in there. It was a tense time for Beth and for GB as Gabby Douglas took to the bars as a good performance from here could knock Beth down to fourth. Gabby made an error upon landing though and graciously accepted defeat with a bow and a smile. Beth was awarded the Bronze and in her last Games the woman who is described as ‘Sir Chris Hoy of gymnastic’ takes a bow out on the Olympic stage with a medal.

Over to the athletics (oh yeh…that) there was some news over night. Seems a 34 year-old from Leeds had decided that he wanted to lob his empty beer bottle onto the track after drinking and try to disrupt the 100m final. Luckily it was behind the blocks and it was plastic too. Either way, what an absolute moron. Thankfully a GB Judo player was sitting beside him and kept him seated until police came for a chat. He’s pleaded ‘Not Guilty’ too……

On track things are about collected as that man’s brain cells. Dai Greene ran a magnificent 400m hurdles but only managed 4th, former Le Nurb covergirl (not like that) and Brunel graduate, Perri Shakes-Drayton missed out as the second slowest runner in the 400m heats, but was bumped up when Czech Republic’s Denisa Rosolova and Ukraine’s Hanna Titimets were disqualified letting her in [UPDATE: Rosolova was reinstated so Perri is out again. Do the hokey-cokey!]. Hopefully we can have a better day on the track tomorrow as another Brunelian, Phillips Idowu  begins his attack of the triple jump.

Finally a great story that is doing the rounds. A Christian news website in America has fallen foul of it’s own censorship. One News Now have a blanket ban on the word ‘gay’. So lining up for the 100m final yesterday, in Lane 4 was “Tyson Homosexual”. Apparently “Tyson Homosexual was a blur in blue” and after the race he was quoted, “It means a lot to me,” the 25-year-old Homosexual said. “I’m glad my body could do it, because now I know I have it in me.”

Well that’s good isn’t it


Check out the current medal table below. If you want to get involved then feel free to leave a comment or to find me on Facebook (TheOnlyMoxey) or Twitter (@theonlymoxey).

Gold Silver Bronze Total
China 31 19 14 64
USA 29 15 19 63
Russia 7 17 18 42
Stupendous Britain 18 11 11 40
Japan 2 12 14 28
France 8 9 9 26
South Korea 11 5 6 22
Germany 5 10 7 22
Australia 2 12 8 22
Italy 7 6 4 17
Netherlands 3 3 4 10
Canada 1 3 6 10
Ukraine 3 0 6 9
Hungary 4 1 3 8
Belarus 3 2 3 8
New Zealand 3 1 4 8
Romania 2 4 2 8
Denmark 2 4 2 8
Brazil 2 1 5 8
Kazakhstan 6 0 1 7
Cuba 3 3 1 7
Poland 2 1 3 6
Sweden 1 3 2 6
North Korea 4 0 1 5
Czech Republic 1 3 1 5
Kenya 1 2 2 5
Mexico 0 3 2 5
South Africa 3 1 0 4
Jamaica 2 1 1 4
Iran 2 1 1 4
Ethiopia 2 0 2 4
Slovenia 1 1 2 4
Colombia 0 3 1 4
Slovakia 0 1 3 4
Croatia 2 1 0 3
Spain 0 2 1 3
India 0 1 2 3
Azerbaijan 0 1 2 3
Belgium 0 1 2 3
Lithuania 1 0 1 2
Switzerland 1 1 0 2
Dominican Republic 1 1 0 2
Georgia 1 1 0 2
Indonesia 0 1 1 2
Armenia 0 1 1 2
Egypt 0 2 0 2
Norway 0 1 1 2
Tunisia 0 1 1 2
Mongolia 0 1 1 2
Serbia 0 1 1 2
Norway 0 1 1 2
Greece 0 0 2 2
Moldova 0 0 2 2
Venezuela 1 0 0 1
Grenada 1 0 0 1
Chinese Taipei 0 1 0 1
Thailand 0 1 0 1
Guatemala 0 1 0 1
Estonia 0 1 0 1
Cyprus 0 1 0 1
Malaysia 0 1 0 1
Uzbekistan 0 0 1 1
Singapore 0 0 1 1
Hong Kong 0 0 1 1
Argentina 0 0 1 1
Saudi Arabia 0 0 1 1
Kuwait 0 0 1 1
Puerto Rico 0 0 1 1
Qatar 0 0 1 1
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