Olympic stuff August 1 2012


There was drama aplenty at the Olympics last night with the highlight coming from the Team GB women’s volleyball squad who beat Algeria, rated 53 places higher in a thrilling 5 set match. Given that the team have had no funding for 2 years this ranks as one of the best Team GB performance so far.

Another shock looked on the cards in the GB v Canada women’s basketball game with GB leading 61.57 with 5 minutes to go. Team GB couldn’t hold on as the Canadians rallied to win 73.65.

In the men’s hockey Germany came from behind to beat Belgium 2.1, in the women’s volleyball Italy saw off Japan in 3 closely fought sets while in the women’s handball Norway got the better of Sweden 24.21 in the Scandinavian derby.

In the pool Lithuania gained their first ever Olympic gold thanks to 15 year old Ruta Meilutyte in the women’s 100m Breaststroke.

Well, that was last night. It is 8.50 on Tuesday and we are already under way with Holland one up against Japan in the women’s hockey!

Well, Tuesday evening now and there has been plenty more excitement at the Olympics. Holland went on to beat Japan 3.2 while GB lost a 3.1 lead against Korea and finished strongly to maintain their 100% record winning 5.3.

Winners and losers

Hungary’s domination of the water polo event seems to be at an end as their aging team was beaten by Montenegro.

There was a tasty looking encounter in the men’s handball between Croatia and Serbia with Croatia coming out on top 31.23.

Great Britain women’s pair Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin suffered their first defeat in the beach volleyball against the Italian pair but are still in the competition.

Team GB won silver in the Equestrian 3 day event team competition behind Germany while the Germans also won the individual gold via World and European champion Michael Jung. There was a hard luck story in the individual. Sweden’s Algotsson Ostholt would have taken the gold but she agonisingly had the last fence down and had to settle for silver.

History was made in the fencing tonight with Africa’s first-ever Olympic fencing medal as Egyptian Alaaeldin Abouelkassem took silver in the men’s Individual Foil.

The longest day

It was a day of long matches. In the women’s beach volleyball Brazil (Talita Antunes and Maria Antonelli) beat Germanys Sara Goller and Laura Ludwig 21-19 29-31 15-13. The Germans saved 10 match points. In the men’s single at Wimbledon Fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won the longest three-set match in Olympic Tennis history against Canada’s Milos Raonic in three minutes short of four hours.25.23 in the deciding set.

The gentler sex

Team GB beat Brazil at Wembley with full back Steph Houghton again scoring the winner in front of over 70,000 fans. Although Kelly Smith missed a penalty Houghton’s goal squeezed in from a narrow angle after just 2 minutes put us into the quarter finals and a winnable fixture against Canada at Coventry.

It’s never nice to finish 4th in the Olympics but that was the fate of weightlifter Canada’s Christine Girard. She put that disappointment behind her today claiming bronze. Maiya Maneza of Kazakhstan claimed the gold setting an Olympic record on the way.

Well, with Michael Maze and Dimitrij Ovtcharov battling for a place in the table tennis men’s singles semi finals and Germany and Australia 1.1 at half time I will sign off until tomorrow.

Olympic stuff Diary: July 31 2012


Winners and losers

Another medal for Team GB and from an unexpected quarter! The team gymnastics provided real drama as we appeared to win the silver medal, only to be relegated to bronze after an appeal from Japan. Nonetheless bronze was a fantastic achievement matching the bronze we had won 100 years before.

Elsewhere the Three Day Event team go into the show jumping phase in with medal chances after the dressage and cross country. We are currently lying second behind Germany with Sweden in 3rd and New Zealand not far behind.

There was disappointment for Team GB in the diving where Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield finished fourth.

One of the best performances from Team GB ended in defeat, albeit a very creditable one going down 7.8 to Russia.

The most remarkable moment of the day came in the women’s basketball where Belinda Snell scored a 3 pointer in the last second from inside her own halfto equalise for Australian against France at 6 all. There was not to be a happy ending though as Francec went to to win in added time.

The gentler sex

China seem to be winning gold medals all over the place and their China’s Li Xueying added to their collection in the women’s weightlifting 58kg category breaking the Olympic record in the process.


We continue to do well in the boxing. Welterweight Freddie Evans, ranked 2 in the World beating his Algerian opponent. He faces a Lithuanian in the next round.


The men’s hockey got under way with Korea beating New Zealand 2.0 in the opening game. India have a proud record at the Olympics with more golds than any other nation but they have not beten Holland for 26 years. The sequence continued as the Dutch won a thriller 3.2 Team GB got off to a good start with a 4.1 win over Argentina.


There was an exciting game at the Copper Box with Korea beating Denmark 25.24. There have been some close games in this group with France beating Norway 24.23 on Saturday. Tonight Brazil kept up their 100% record against Montenegro in another tight game.

Olympic stuff July 30 2012



The women’s cycling road race provided a thrilling sprint finish in the pouring rain. The 11/10 favourite, Marianne Vos of the Netherlands just held off GBs Lizzie Armitstead who was quoted at 9/1 over the weekend. Our first medal!

Team GB gained a second medal on day 2 of the games, this time in the pool where Rebecca Adlington did well to take bronze from lane 8 in the 400m freestyle after qualifying from the semis in the slowest time. Gold went to Muffat of France.

In the women’s hockey team GB got there campaign off to a winning start against Japan 4.0 with all the goals coming in the first half. Earlier in the day Argentina put down a market thrashing South Africa 7.1.

In the men’s water polo Serbia are looking real medal contenders after beating Hungary 14.10 while the USA edged out Montenegro 8.7.

There was another medal for Italy in the fencing thanks to Diego Occhiuzzi in the sabre but gold went to the Hungarian Aron Szilagyi. This kept up a proud tradition for Hungary in the event as it was their 13th gold.

There was success for team GB in the women’s beach volleyball where Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin edged out the Canadian pair 2 sets to one.

Our men’s football team kept their hopes of at least a quarter final place very much alive beating a skilful UAE side 3.1. Good to see Giggs open the scoring with a header. Although UAE equalised in the second half goals from Sinclair just 52 seconds after coming on as sub and Sturridge with a delicate chip after being put through by Clevrley saw us through. Craig Belamy provided the assists for the first two goals. In the other game in our group Senegal surprisingly beat Uruguay 2.0 despite playing much of the game with 10 men.

There was a hugely entertaining handball game between Denmark and Hungary where fortunes fluctuated back and forth with the Danes finally prevailing 27.25.

And losers

In the men’s basketball Team GB went down 95.75 to Russia despite leading early on. In the water polo and handball we were beaten as expected 13.4 and 44.15 by Romania and France respectively.

The biggest shock of the football competition was the elimination of Spain, beaten 1.0 by Honduras.

Anyway, with Argentina leading Lithuania 48.37 in the men’s basketball I’m off to bed.

Olympic stuff July 29


This morning I put the BBCs claim that I would “not miss a moment” to the test. First up was a badminton mixed doubles between Poland and Japan and I interspersed that with some archery, handball, rowing and a smidgeon of beach volleyball while also keeping an eye on the rowing and the progress of the cycling road race.

All credit to the BBC coverage. I missed the 2nd heat of the rowing eights (sidetracked by the beach volleyball!) but the rewind facility enable me to “catch up” and watch Team GB come runners up to the Germans in a tough heat. Earlier the USA had won their heat to go through to the final.

Olympic match of the day

The women’s hockey gets going tomorrow with a couple of intriguing “local derbies.” In Group A which is our group the fancied Dutch take on Belgium while in a strong looking Group B Australia meet New Zealand. Also in Group B the world champions Argentina play South Africa

Hungary has a proud tradition in men’s water polo and they start their challenge for the gold medal tomorrow against Serbia.

In the men’s Volleyball the Poland v Italy match could be the pick

In the Men’s football team GB were not too convincing against Senegal and hardly look full of goals. They need to get maximum points tomorrow against a skilful UAE side. It won’t be easy.

The golden shot

China took the first gold medal of the games in the women’s 10m air rifle event and also won their first ever gold in men’s swimming thanks to Yang Sun.


The women’s foil was a triumph for Italy who took a clean sweep of the medals. Performance of the day though came from the reigning champion Valentina Vezzali. Although denied her fourth successive gold she made a quite remarkable comeback to claim the bronze. 12.8 down to her Korean opponent with just 12 seconds left she clawed her way back to 12.12 and won in “extra time.”

Tomorrow sees the men’s sabre the most swashbuckling fencing event.


Our big hope in the men’s road race was Mark Cavendish but he was out of the medals. Two riders broke away in the closing stages with the more experienced of the pair Alexandr Vinokurov of Kazakhstan out sprinting his Colombian rival with the bronze going to Norway.


Michael Phelps, the greatest swimmer of all time could only finish 4th in the 400m individual medley with the gold going to emphatic winner Ryan Lochte of the USA.

The gentler sex

Team GB continue to progress in the football competition following up their success against New Zealand with a 3.0 win against Cameroon. Left back Steph Houghton was again on the scoresheet but an injury to defender Ifeoma Dieke is a worry. Next stop is Brazil in a decider to see who tops the group.

Our women’s volleyball and handball teams were both making their Olympic debuts and although they both lost, to an incredibly tall Russian side and Montenegro respectively both put up a spirited performance.

Best of the rest

Team GB stars at Eton Dorney were Helen Glover and Heather Stanning in the women’s pairs. They look a good bet for the gold after winning their heat in an Olympic record time. In the boxing ring our middleweight Anthony Ogogo won his bout to move into the round of the last 16.

On the debit side for team GB Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier were narrowly beaten in the badminton mixed doubles and now face a stiff task to qualify for the enxt round. IN the pool Hannah Miley was 5th in the 400m medley final.

Olympic stuff July 28 2012


The action finally gets under way tomorrow with medals up for grabs in various sports. Team GB has a chance of a medal in the 400m individual medley where Hannah Miley was the world championship silver medal winner; furthermore her picture is on the back of my cornflakes packet!

Olympic match of the day

In the Women’s football Japan and Sweden clash having both won their opening games.

Scandinavian bragging rights are at stake in Group b of the women’s handball competition with Sweden, Norway and Denmark in the same group. Denmark plays Sweden tomorrow with the Dane’s favourites apparently.

We are competing in Volleyball for the first time and we are not expected to do too well. We face the powerful Russian side tomorrow in the women’s competition. A heavy defeat looks on the cards!

The golden shot

Shooting will provide the first gold medal of these games with the women’s 10m air rifle event being decided at lunchtime tomorrow.

The gentler sex

Back in 1943 employers were advised to “Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. You have to make some allowances for feminine psychology. A girl has more confidence and is more efficient if she can keep her hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and wash her hands several times a day. The women’s 48kg weightlifting gold will be decided tomorrow. We have to wait a little longer for the women’s wrestling and boxing to get under way!


The men’s boxing starts tomorrow with the first round of the bantamweight division. Back in 1948 Emmanuel B. Aghassian representing Iran lost in the first round of the bantamweight competition to Spaniard Vicente Namdjou. Ahassian was the father of tennis star Andre Aggassi.

Luke Campbell is our bantamweight man in London. He had a bye in the first round and will meet either an Italian or a boxer from Namibia in round 2. Our middleweight Anthony Ogogo faces a boxer from the Dominican Republic.


There is a gold medal up for grabs in the men’s 155 miles cycling road race. Hopes will be high for a GB medal here. In the London 1948 games the men’s road race was won by the Frenchman Jose Beyaert who had been in the French resistance. Our highest placed competitor was Robert Maitland who came 6th.

Diary: July 28 2012



2.55 Fast ground is the key to Desert Law and on the basis of his 2nd at Epsom in the “Dash” he should go well.


8.00 Seven Veils can defy a penalty here.


2.30 Rafeeq will appreciate the quick ground.



3.20 Priceless Jewel got stuck in the mud last time at York and is worth another chance.

4.35 Kimberella sets a decent standard.

5.05 Strada Facendo has an each way chance at the odds.

5.35 Aazif looks as though stamina is his game and should appreciate this trip (or even further)


8.45 Amadeus Wolfe Tone looks the one to beat.


2.05 Popular is a distance winner on the all weather and has an each way chance.

Today’s picture is courtesy of the artist Karen Davies

Diary: July 27 2012



3.30 Free Verse (ew)

4.05 Western Prize (danger Montaser)

4.40 Dandy


5.45 Caterina

8.55 Solar View


7.40 Stencive

8.10 Expert Fighter

8.45 Engrossing



7.30 Gathering

8.30 Pea Shooter

Picture courtesy of the artist Katy Sodeau