All the action as it ufolded in London on the 10th day of competition.
Argentina fought hard but the USA remains dominant as they continued to power through the group with a 126-97 victory as they look to defend their Olympic basketball gold medal. The underdogs were strong in the first two quarters but they weren't able to keep up with the pace of the NBA stars that make up the American elite team. Both teams were closely matched in terms of field goals but it was the turnovers for the Argentines that lead to 27 extra points for the US. They are now through to the quarter finals, opening their campaign against our neighbours across the ditch, on Thursday (NZT). Brazil will face Argentina, France against Spain and Russia vs Lithuania. (SM)
As predicted the US have come out firing and let the cannons loose. It's now 105-77 with the start of the 4th just under way. The US bench is having a huge game and Kevin Durant has had a huge game with 28 points and 100% from downtown. Can we see them reset the top total combined scores this game? (SM)
USA and Argentina are in an arm wrestle in the men's basketball as they head to the lockers for drinks break at half time 60-59. America has the lead but that comes down to some sharp shooting from beyond the arc. Manu Ginoboli and the Argentines are causing mayhem from inside the lane but will they tire trying to play similar kind of ball to the US, or will the defending champs change up a gear and start to walk away with it. Second half under way in moments....(SM)
And another goalless stalemate in the women's hockey, this time between Argentina and Australia, has established the semi-finalists. Argentina as group leader will play Great Britain while the Black Sticks have a huge challenge against the Netherlands, who are the number one ranked nation in the world. (CM)
Argentina is the monkey on the Americans back in the men's basketball. The USA is dominating on the stats board but at the end of the 1st quarter there is only a basket separating the two teams. At the end of the 1first quarter it's 34-32 thanks to a buzzer beating 3-pointer from Kevin Durant. (SM)
The men's United States basketball team have tipped off their
final preliminary round game against Argentina from Basketball
Arena. Durant, Bryant, Paul, James and Chandler are starting
for the superstar side. The record setting squad, coached by
Mike Krzyzewski, are hot favourites to take out the gold medal.
They've taken an early 11-5 lead. Earlier today Australia beat
Russia 82-80, France won 79-73 against Nigeria, the UK beat China
by 32 points and Brazil upset Spain 88-82. (SM)
Jennifer Suhr of the United States has upstaged Russian glamour girl Yelena Isinbayeva to win the women's pole vault. Suhr won with a jump of 4.75m while YIsinbayeva could only manage 4.70m to win bronze. But Yelena, who was bidding for her third consecutive gold medal, took the defeat well. After the 30-year-old hit the mat for the last time having knocked the bar off with her thigh, she got up with a big smile on her face, waved to the crowd and blew a kiss to the camera. She knows how to work it - that's for sure. (Reuters/CM)
Algerian medal contender Taoufik Makhloufi was reinstated in the
1,500 metres today, hours after being thrown out of the London
Olympics for not trying in his 800m heat. "After reviewing evidence
provided by the LOCOG medical officer, the disqualfication of
(Taoufik Makhloufi) from further participation in the athletics
competition of the 2012 Olympic Games has been revoked," the IAAF
said in a statement. Which is news Nick Willis will take note of.
Tears are seen from Valerie Adams but a silver medal is still a
great achievement and at 27 she should be around for redemption in
Valerie Adam's bid for a second consecutive shot-put gold medal
has fallen short at the London Olympics today. The New Zealander's
best throw was a commendable 20.70m on her third throw but was well
short of what was achieved by her great Belarusian rival Nadzeya
Ostapchuk, who consistently threw over 21m, with a best of 21.36m,
to win the gold medal. Adams had three no-throws but did enough to
win silver. Evgeniia Kolodko of Russia won bronze with a throw of
Another no-throw for Valerie but it wouldn't have mattered as it fell well short of the 20m mark. Ostapchuk then throws another great shot of 21.32m. What a consistent night the Belarusian has had and - all patriotism aside - she really deserves the gold medal. Val has one more chance but I wouldn't bet a dollar on it.
Poor fourth throw from Adams. She is red flagged for a second time as her shoulder falls away badly. Her arch-rival Ostapchuk, who has a real rhythm going, then throws 21.15m. A big ask for Val now. (CM)
Adams has made her best shot of the day - 20.70m - but
it is still not good enough to better Ostapchuk, who throws
21.36, with three throws remaining. Adams will now have to throw a
personal best to take gold. (CM)
Adams' second throw was red flagged. There appeared to be separation between her neck and the shot as it landed well short of the 20m mark. Ostapchuk then steps up and throws a massive 21.31m to take the lead. Nerves building!
Valerie has made a great start with the biggest shot so far. Her first throw went 20.61m which was 60cm better than Ostapchuk's. China's Lijiao Gomg had the second best throw of 20.13m. Still a long way to go but the signs are encouraging after Adams had a questionable morning. (CM)
Valerie Adam's bid for a second consecutive gold medal in the women's shot-put is just about to get underway. As dusk draws near in London, the tension builds in the newsroom, especially now that the Aussies are just behind us on the gold medal count. But in all reality this is a two-horse race with archrival Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus, who got the top qualifying throw of 20.76m, the only real challenger. Stay tuned. (CM)
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have wrapped up a silver medal in the men's 49er competition. In today's final round they placed 6th on both occasions but were unable to make ground on the Australians who finished first and third. The medal race is on Wednesday night (NZT).
Germany Dimitrij Ovtcharov kisses an unidentified companion, according to Reuters, after his men's team semifinals table tennis match. A table tennis groupie? No surely not. (CM)
Three of the four semi-finalists have been found in the women's
hockey competition. The Blacks Sticks have been joined by the
Netherlands and Great Britain from the other group with the last
qualifier to be decided at 8:15am this morning when Australia play
Team Aussie has notched their second gold of the Olympic Games
thanks to sailor Tom Slingsby. Slingsby's medal lifted Australia
from 21st to 16th on the medal tally and close to catching New
Zealand who remain two spots higher at 14 with three gold medals,
something our trans-Tasman rivals are well aware of. "We don't want
to suffer jokes for the next three years and 50 weeks until (the
2016 Olympics in) Rio," said Australian deputy chef de mission
Kitty Chiller. "So hopefully we can overcome them (NZ). They've had
a fantastic start." (AAP/CM)
Is Lucy Van Dalen the happiest athlete in New Zealand
The 1500 metre runner snuck into the
on her Olympic debut and even before
she knew of her qualification, her joy was conspicuous for all to
see. "I feel like I had a really strong race today. I felt really
good out there," Van Dalen said. A devoted Christian, the
23-year-old is good pals with fellow church-goer, Nick Willis, who
is also never short of a smile. Maybe these two are on to
Kiwi boxer Alexis Pritchard's Olympics is over after she was absolutely dominated by Russia's Sofya Ochigava going down 22-4. She really had no answers against the powerful Russian, but can at least be proud of reaching the second round, no New Zealand boxer has done that since David Tua in the 1992 Games.
Meanwhile over in Weymouth race 14 in the 49er class has been delayed. New Zealanders Peter Burling and Blair Tuke sit in second overall in that class. (ACR)
And great news from the sailing - Aus Zealand wins another gold medal! It happens that this one was secured by someone from across the Tasman as Tom Slingsby takes out the Laser class with our other representative - Andrew Murdoch - in fifth. A bit disappointing that Slingsby was waving the Australian flag on his lap of honour - I guess we now know how his countrymen feel when they see the Aboriginal colours being illicitly brandished - but maybe that just means we need to start work on a joint flag asap, maybe something involving a kiwi and a kangaroo hugging each other. (GC)
Meanwhile, from the track comes news that Algerian Taoufik Makhloufi was thrown out of the Olympics because he didn't try in his 800m heat today. Remember, Makhloufi was the guy who won the pedestrian first 1500m semifinal this morning and loomed as a medal rival for Kiwi Nick Willis in the final. Apparently, his team left it too late to withdraw his entry from the shorter distance and obviously he's trying to conserve his energy for the 1500, so he jogged 100m and pulled out. He didn't cheat anyone out of a spot in the next round, he wasn't trying to manipulate the draw ... what's the problem here? (GC)
Stephen Jones - irrelevant attention seeker! (GC)
While we try and fill the lull in live Olympic events in the wee hours this morning, notorious British rugby scribe Stephen Jones has found his own way of staying entertained. He has spent the last hour or so winding up Kiwis and Aussies on Twitter about their inferiority compared to the mighty Team GB. Jones received an angry response after tweeting this: "Gone incredibly quiet South of Equator.Not much 2 you say as GB smash it. No shame in being below Kazakhstan. Well. Not much."
One proud Kiwi replied: "198 nations below the Kazakhs. NZ easily beating GB in medals per capita, gold per cap, weighted medals per cap & medals/GDP."
However Jonesy remained unimpressed: "that is the saddest, most defeated, most pathetic, small nation tweet ever sent. Well done!"
Well played Stevie Boy, this guy clearly wrote the book on how to get a rise out of people! (ACR)
So we're now heading into what's become the Bermuda Triangle of Olympic coverage, those hours between midnight and 3am when nothing really seems to happen, and all topics Olympic-related (and unrelated) are open for discussion. The beach volleyball commentators have just remarked how the the court attendants often run out to rake the sand and are accompanied by the theme tune from the Benny Hill Show . I realise many of you won't have a clue who Benny Hill is (or was), but for those that do, I can now inform you the tune is called Yakety Sax, written by James Q. "Spider" Rich and Boots Randolph in 1958.
So apparently the Aussies are back! And it's all thanks to New Zealanders mocking their slow start to the London Games . Apparently. I'm unconvinced as to whether not Australia can claim to really be 'back' until they win a gold medal, but according to their leading news agency a win in the heats of the hurdles and their basketballers getting up in a pool game constitutes a change of fortunes... (ACR)
Good news from the track, where Lucy Van Dalen finishes eighth in her 1500m heat with a time of 4m 07.04s. That's slower than she ran to qualify for the Olympics, but when you consider she took a huge hunk off her previous best to make it to London, this isn't a bad performance at all. Her heat is the fastest of the three and she progresses to the semifinals as one of the slowest losers. (GC)
Nice race from Steven Ferguson and Darryl Fitzgerald sees them through to the K2 1000m final . They finished third behind the Swedish crew and the pair from Australia. They will race in the final on Wednesday. (ACR)
Ok, that's more like it! Big Val pops one waaaaaaay over the 18.90m and puts her tracksuit on. That's her finished for the night (NZT). The distance of 20.40m is still well down on what she'll need to win gold and places her second (so far) behind archrival Nadzeya Ostapchuk (20.76m). But she's through and can now put her feet up and rest for the final tomorrow morning. So far, only six athletes have achieved the automatic qualifying standard.
Val Adams steps into the shot circle for what's expected to be a
mere formality - a qualifying distance of 18.90m. It's a distance
she should do in her sleep, left handed with a standing throw - but
inexplicably, her effort falls well short of the mark. It's called
a foul and the look on Val's face is one of confusion - definitely
not the start anyone expected. Stay tuned. (GC)
New Zealand's K1 100m crew are through to their semi-final after finishing fourth in their heat. Looking at the competition format it would appear that everyone who competed in a heat went through to the semi-final though, with the winner of each heat straight through to the final.
So after getting my abacus out and counting all my fingers and toes, I can confirm the Black Sticks are through to the medal matches ! That means one more win will guarantee them their first Olympic medal. Great stuff from the girls!
While all that excitement was going on at Riverbank Arena, Ben Fouhy competed in his canoe sprint heat at Eton Dorney. He's safely through to the K1 1000 semi-final after finishing second in the heat.
A 0-0 draw for the Black Sticks after they put on immense
pressure in the last few minutes but can't convert. The draw might
be enough to get the Black Sticks through, they just need world no.
2 Argentina to beat world no. 7 Australia tomorrow morning. For
Germany their tournament is over and they'll be hugely disappointed
to have wasted so many chances. Player of the game for mine is
Bianca Russell in goal for the Kiwis, if it wasn't for her their
medal hopes could well have diminished already.
A chance for New Zealand after Julia Muller is yellow carded for hitting the ball away after the referee's whistle. Germany will be a woman down for the remainder.
A technicality has cost Germany a goal. They found the goal
again from a penalty corner, but it was above the 18 inch backboard
on the goal. The first shot from a penalty corner has to be below
that backboard, unless it is a drag flick. Very confusing for those
not familiar with the game, but the upshot is that it is still 0-0
with just over 20 minutes to go.
New Zealand have done well to get to half-time at 0-0. There was
a strong shout for a German goal just before half-time, but the
video umpire correctly ruled that the ball had not taken a
deflection off a German stick before going into the goal. The Black
Sticks will be thankful for a break after having to do an awful lot
of defending in the back end of the half.
Black Sticks goalie Bianca Russell is single-handedly keeping New Zealand in the medal hunt in the last 10 minutes or so. The Kiwis are just starting to get opened up a bit in defence, but Russell 's produced some absolutely stunning saves to keep the Germans out approaching half-time.
No score halfway through the first half at Riverbank Arena. It's been pulsating action however with quality chances being created at both ends of the turf. Goals seem inevitable.
The Black Sticks women will see their medal hopes go on the line shortly against the powerful German side. A win would see the Black Sticks assured of a place in the semi-finals while a close loss would see them needing other results to go their way. Germany are one of the best sides in the world, but are not unbeatable as Australia showed last week.