Day 3 of the Rio Olympics was full of drama & amazing achievements.
First up, the drama! The feud between the Australian swim federation & the Chinese heats up! It started two days ago when troubled, controversial Yang Sun of China tried to rile up Australia's Mack Horton by splashing water at him during practice, trying to intimidate Horton. Yang has a history of trying to bully the opposition.
But Horton wasn't intimidated. He stayed cool & went on to beat Yang, winning gold & unseating the defending 400m freestyle champion. Now the Chinese are demanding that Horton apologize for labeling Yang a "drug cheat" in reference to Yang's secret suspension for drugs during a press conference after Horton's victory over Yang.
The Aussie Olympic committee fired back that Horton was speaking out in support of clean athletes & wished him well.
In other feuds, the drama continues in swimming! This time, the Olympics organizers are asking the athletes to play nice & cut back the trash talk, especially in light of the crowds booing all the Russian teams.
Of particular note is when Russian Yuliya Efimova, world champion, was booed loudly as she entered to compete in the 100m breaststroke semifinal. Why was the crowd booing? Because Yuliya Efimova did test positive for drugs & was put on a 16 month suspension! But for reasons unexplained--other than corruption & crooks in authority--FINA, the governing body for water sports, has allowed her at the last minute on Saturday to compete, putting her suspension on hold! And they admit that, yes, she did test positive for drugs again! And further lab tests are going on! So why the hell is that cheater here? At the Olympics? Ruining the spirit & ideals of the sport!?!
And furthermore, why are these same crooked officials asking other athletes, especially American Lilly King, to play nice? They are concerned that when Yuliya Efimova finished first in her semifinal, she raised a defiant finger signaling her number one standing. But Lilly King looked at the tv monitor backstage & waved her own finger at Yuliya Efimova's tv face, saying, Uh, uh! King would go on to beat Yuliya Efimova's time, claiming the top qualifying time.
When asked, King said that if her rival Yuliya Efimova needs drugs to compete, then whatever, that's her deal. King was here to "compete clean for the US."
So now it's too controversial to wave a finger at cheating athletes & it's ok to let these drugged up cheats compete on the most prestigious stage of sporting events? Oh, hell, no!!!
A cheater is a loser who deserves to be booed & shamed & chased out of the Games!!! Hell, a cheater deserves to be mocked & have rotten fruit tossed at them!!! Keep booing those cheaters!!! Keep those despicable losers away from taking part in the Games! Still no word from those crooked FINA officials on why this cheater Efimova was allowed at the last minute to compete.
In other drugging news, Sergei Shubenkov, the world 110-meter hurdles champion, & fellow Russian, two-time Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Yelena Isinbayeva have both failed to have their bans lifted in a Swiss federal court. Last month, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld Russia's ban from the Olympic track meet, & all international track & field events, for extensive doping across the spectrum.
More bad news for those cheating drug users: The Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations is applauding the decision by Paralympics officials to ban the entire Russian delegation for extensive & systemic use of performance enhancing drugs. We applaud you, too!!! Keep the Games clean!!!
Olympic Rugby Sevens
In exciting news, Olympic rugby sevens made its debut here at Rio 2016. And the women competed today for medals!
I have to admit, I was blown away by just how tough these fierce women were, especially rivals Australia & New Zealand! Those two teams totally outclassed the other teams. They played fast & furious & rough! These ladies went after that ball & protected it as if it were a newborn baby, or better yet, the latest Heremes handbag!
Back off, bitches! This ball matches my shoes!
In the end, it was a Commonwealth showdown, with Australia beating New Zealand for gold. New Zealand settles for silver. And Canada surprises Great Britain--having lost to the Brits in an earlier match, the Canadians pull off an incredible effort to secure the bronze! It was a fantastic ending to an action packed series. A job well done, ladies.
Gymnastics, Men's Team
One of my favorite events at the Olympics, the men's team gymnastics took place. And since the US didn't medal, it's no surprise that the American media are mostly silent or ignoring the results all together.
But it shouldn't be surprising, given the history of the American men's team. The women are held to a higher standard & they train harder under a strong leader, adhering to a strict regimen that has allowed them to be dominant over the last decade & beyond.
Meanwhile, the men's side has been disappointing & very mediocre over the past decade. And the really sad & pathetic part is, they seem to be fine with this! What the f*ck?
It's not a matter of talent, because the US has a bounty of talent. It a more serious & fundamental problem of consistency & execution. There is no unifying leadership, no accountability, no incentive to improve on the men's side. How are you expected to win if you don't train consistently & aren't challenged to raise your game? Mediocrity is unacceptable! The entire culture of mediocrity & unreliability must change if the men are to improve their standings. It's really pathetic to have the girls carry the entire program, getting the sponsors while the men just look incompetent. Get your sh*t together, men's side. Because the world sees you as a joke!
You know what wasn't a joke? The incredible performance from team Japan. Japan has totally transformed itself to become the dominant force in men's gymnastics, after years of chasing China.
Team Japan put in spectacular superb performances that elevated them way above the rest, leaving powerhouse China & rising Russia to battle over who would get the silver & who would take the bronze.
Kohei Uchimura, the reigning world champ & defending Olympics champ, perhaps the best male gymnast ever, finally gets his team gold. Kohei Uchimura has a gold for all around and two silvers in team & floor exercise from London 2012, plus two silvers in team & all around from Beijing 2008, in addition to multiple world championships. The last time Japan won a team event was Athens 2004, twelve years ago.
With Ryohei Kato & Kenzo Shirai putting on superb performances, the entire Japanese team leaped so far ahead in the top spot that the other teams were scrambling to make it on the podium.
Russia, despite the boos from the audience, put in a fantastic performance, executing marvelous routines that gave them the edge over China, getting them the silver! It is their first medal since Sydney 2000, sixteen years ago! And it signals the return & rise of Russia's men's gymnastics. Defending London Olympics champions China settle for bronze. Great Britain is fourth. The US is fifth. Brazil is sixth. Germany, seventh.
But the most baffling performance belonged to Ukraine, who barely made any effort at all! In fact, their gymnasts just touched some of the apparatuses, then walked off. The other teams accused that the Ukraine was just using the team event as a practice for the upcoming all around & individual finals! And just for that, I hope they lose!
Judo Women's 57kg
Joyous news for the host nation! Rafaela Silva won the first gold for Brazil in the women's 57-kilogram judo final, winning against number one ranked Sumiya Dorjsuren of Mongolia, who takes the silver. It is the moment the host nation has waited for, their first gold of the Rio Olympics! And the crowd went wild as she cried tears of joy.
Her journey has always been a struggle. The gold medalist, born & raised in the favelas, in one of the most violent slums of Rio, had to fight a lot to survive. Her parents then decided to focus that fighting spirit & had her trained at a judo dojo founded by Athens 2004 Olympics judo bronze medalist Flavio Canto.
In London 2012, she failed to make it out of qualifying, due to making an illegal hold. She was then subjected to internet bullying & racist attacks. She felt depressed & left judo for several months, contemplating dropping the sport all together. But after a few months, she resumed training & became the world champ in 2013. Her gold win not only lifts the spirit of the home nation, it also confirms that she is a talented, tough, & terrific champion.
Portugal's Telma Monteiro & Japan's Kaori Matsumoto, defending London 2012 gold medalist, take the two bronzes.
Judo Men's 73kg
Japan's Shohei Ono beat Rustam Orujov of Azerbaijan to take gold in the men's 73-kilogram event. Ono delivers Japan's first judo gold of the Rio Olympics, a welcomed addition to Japan's five judo bronzes won so far in Rio.
Dirk van Tichelt of Belgium & Georgia's Lasha Shavdatuashvili, gold in the 66kg division at London 2012, take the bronzes.
Men's 10m Air Rifle
Italy's Niccolo Campriani has earned gold in men's 10-meter air rifle, adding to a London 2012 silver in this event & a London 2012 gold in the three position rifle event. Serhiy Kulish of Ukraine wins silver. Russia's Vladimir Maslennikov takes the bronze.
|Competitors compete during the 10m Air Rifle Men's at the Olympic Shooting Centre in Rio de Janeiro on August 8, 2016, during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. / AFP / PASCAL GUYOT (Aug. 7, 2016 - Source: AFP)|
And a disappointment for both World No. 1 Cao Yifei of China & Romania's Alin George Moldoveanu, defending London 2012 champion, who failed to qualify.
Shooting Men's Trap
Croatia's Josip Glasnovic wins gold in shooting men's trap. Italy’s Giovanni Pellielo takes silver. Great Britain's Edward Ling finally wins a medal, a bronze after being an Olympian for Athens 2004 & London 2012.
Giovanni Pellielo shot first, missing only his fourth shot.
Josip Glasnovic calmly makes all his shots, hitting that fourth that earned him the gold. And the near miss is part of the ongoing legacy of Giovanni Pellielo. The world record holder has a bronze from Sydney 2000, and two silvers from Athens 2004 & Beijing 2008. It may not be gold, but it's a whole lot better than getting nothing at all!
In Other News, Serbian rowers Milos Vasic and Nenad Bedik, whose boat capsized yesterday in choppy waters, made the semifinals after a last minute qualifying event today. Best of luck & here's to smooth, calm waters for them & all the rowers.
Australian cyclist Richie Porte is headed home after breaking his right scapula during a crash in the Olympic road race on Saturday, two days before he was supposed to race for gold in the time trial. The good news is, he won't need surgery to recover. Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten who crashed in the women's road race has a concussion and three fractures to her spine. Speedy recovery to her.
French gymnast Samir Ait Said broke his left leg while trying to land a vault. Then the damned staffers dropped him from the stretcher as they were loading him in the ambulance! Ouch!
He has successfully undergone surgery & is in recovery. The weird thing is that in the lead up to London 2012, he broke his right leg in three places during the European championships! Maybe, it's just me, but perhaps he ought to try a sport that doesn't require strong legs. Maybe one of the shooting events from the prone position. But best of luck & good health to him.
Back to the contested events:
Men's 10m synchronized diving
With the most difficult & challenging dives, China's Lin Yue & Chen Aisen won gold in men’s 10 meter synchronized diving, scoring 496.98 points, earning several perfect 10s along the way & setting a new Olympics record.
The world champion duo secured China's fourth consecutive gold in the event. It is the first time the duo has dived at the Olympics as a team. And for Lin Yue, he becomes the first diver to win two golds in the event, having won before with a different partner, Huo Liang, at Beijing 2008. The Chinese are on track for their goal to sweep all the diving events, which they could not do at London 2012.
Steele Johnson--the most awesome name at the Olympics ever!!!--& David Boudia of the United States took the silver medal, scoring with 457.11 points. And Britain's Thomas Daley & Daniel Goodfellow won bronze, edging out a German duo on their last dive, scoring 445.45 points. The Brits rallied from fifth to win that bronze.
Men's 200m Freestyle
China’s Sun Yang out swims the competition to win gold, leaving South Africa’s Chad le Clos the surprise silver win, & Conor Dwyer of the US takes the bronze.
Women's 100m Backstroke
Hungary’s Katinka Hosszú, having won & set a new record the previous night in the women's 400m individual medley, easily won another gold in this event. American Kathleen Baker takes the silver. And in a spectacular finish, China’s Yuanhui Fu & Kylie Masse of Canada touch the wall at the same time, giving them both a tie for the bronze!
Men's 100m Backstroke
Since Atlanta 1996, the US men have held this title. And at Rio 2016, Ryan Murphy wins gold & continues the American dynasty, setting an Olympics record, & making it the sixth consecutive Olympics the Americans have won the event. China's Xu Jiayu captures silver, & David Plummer of the United States gets the bronze.
Women's 100m Breaststroke.
Finally, the last & most anticipated event of the night. American Lilly King faces off against Russia’s Yulia Efimova, the world champion. The crowd keeps booing Efimova, the drug cheat who was banned for using performance enhancing drugs! Yet for shady, suspicious, unexplained reasons, she was allowed by the crooks in FINA, the swimming governing body, to compete at the last minute.
And when the race started, King led slightly. At the turn, she was still in the lead. Efimova started to surge, but King held her off & beat her to the wall, winning the gold! King sets a new Olympics record. Efimova settles for silver. And American Katie Meili gets the bronze.
Lesson learned: Cheaters are losers! And real champions & true winners don't cheat!
And so ends another dramatic day of competition, full of unexpected surprises & so much excitement! The action will continue for several more days & promises to bring us more drama & more surprises. Congrats to the winners & best of luck to those competing, still on the hunt for a place on the podium.