More amazing achievements were accomplished today on Day 10 of the Rio Olympics. Here's what happened on Monday.
First up, the behind the scenes news.
Stefan Henze, a coach of the German canoe teams, died Monday after sustaining head injuries last week in a car crash in Rio de Janeiro. On Tuesday, German flags will be at half mast across the Olympic venues in mourning. Stefan Henze, who was 35 & won a silver medal in canoe slalom at Athens 2004, died surrounded by his family, the team said. Condolences & much serenity to the family & friends of Henze.
The Rio Olympics organizing committee has apologized to American swimmer Ryan Lochte & the others who were robbed at gun point early Sunday morning on their way back to the athletes' village when the armed robbers, impersonating security officers, pulled their taxi over & robbed the four swimmers at gun point. There was confusion earlier when the IOC at first, denied it happened, but then later acknowledged that the robbery did in fact occur. The Rio Olympics committee has promised tighter security & more vigilance to keep the athletes & visitors safe.
Russian whistleblower Yulia Stepanova, 800m runner, says she fears for her safety since hackers infiltrated both her email account & the anti-doping system that keeps track of her whereabouts. The World Anti-Doping Association reports that hackers did infiltrate their database last week. The database contains information about the athletes' whereabouts, in case they are chosen for an out of competition drug test.
Stepanova, who was denied a spot in the Olympics by the International Olympic Committee that banned all but one lone athlete of Russia's track team from competing at the Rio games, says she, her husband, & their young son recently moved to another undisclosed location in the United States for safety reason. And though she would've liked to compete in Rio, the lack of security & dangers prevalent in the city would have made it much easier for the criminal elements to attack her. Lets hope the authorities do more to protect her & her family. She is brave for revealing the truth about the pervasive state sponsored doping the Russians engage in. Keep the games clean!
And now, the games:
It has to be the most controversial contest so far. In the heavyweight division, Evgeny Tishchenko of Russia seemed to be losing to Vassiliy Levit of Kazakhstan--he was slipping, slowing, had his eye busted open so a lengthy halt was called by the referee to stop the bleeding. And he only seemed to be barely hanging on.
To the crowd & everyone else who saw the fight, Kazakhstan fighter Vassiliy Levit was the definitive winner. But then the judges made the unexpected (suspicious) decision to unanimously award the thoroughly beaten Russian Evgeny Tishchenko a unanimous win!
And the crowd started booing loudly to show their disgust & disagreement with the judges poor decision! And they booed right on through the medal ceremony! Booed Tishchenko right out the door!
Vassiliy Levit, Kazakhstan, tried to calm the crowd, asking that every fighter deserves respect. But it was pretty obvious that he agreed with the crowd about the judges suspicious decision. I also think that Levit definitely controlled that fight & should've won the gold.
This is just another example of why instant replay & recordings should be used to actually count the hits & landed punches & keep the results free from corrupt judges.
The medal standings in heavy weight boxing:
Gold--Evgeny Tishchenko, Russia
Silver--Vassiliy Levit, Kazakhstan
Bronze--Rustam Tulaganov, Uzbekistan
Bronze—Erislandy Savon, Cuba
Greco-Roman wrestling 85kg
Russia's Davit Chakvetadze, number three in the world, took down reigning world champion Zhan Beleniuk of Ukraine in the final round of the 85kg tournament. It is Russia's second Greco-Roman wrestling gold of the Rio games, & more are expected.
Javid Hamzatau of Belarus & Denis Kudla of Germany take the bronzes in hard fought matches.
Greco-Roman wrestling 130kg
Cuban wrestler Mijain Lopez won his third consecutive Olympic title in Greco-Roman's heaviest weight class after defeating longtime rival Riza Kayaalp of Turkey in the 130kg gold medal match of the wrestling giants!
It is the third straight year the two have met in the finals. Kayaalp, London 2012 bronze medalist, had won a bout at London 2012 against Lopez. Lopez won the world championship title in 2014. Kayaalp won the world championship title in 2015. And in this match, Lopez would overcome world champion Kayaalp, defeating him & taking the gold!
With this win, Mijain Lopez joins legendary Soviet/Russian wrestler Aleksandr Karelin as the only two to win all three Greco golds consecutively, & the third wrestler to win 3 Olympics gold.
Azerbaijan's Sabah Shariati & Russia's Sergey Semenov claimed the bronzes.
It is a historic day as Ruslan Nurudinov won gold for Uzbekistan in the men’s 105-kilogram weightlifting division, the first weightlifting medal of any kind for the nation. He lifted a total of 431kg.
After succeeding in his final lift, Nurudinov stuck his tongue out & shouted with joy, before bowing to the crowd in triumph, with tears in his eyes.
Armenia’s Simon Martirosyan takes silver with 417kg & Kazakhstan’s Alexandr Zaichikov won bronze with 416kg.
Absent was world record-holder Ilya Ilyin of Kazakhstan, a heavy favorite for gold, but he was banned from the Rio Olympics after failing doping retests of samples he gave at Beijing 2008 & London 2012. He risks losing his golds from those games.
It was an ugly scene at the omnium. Britain's Mark Cavendish was riding high on the outside of the velodrome when he made the stupid move to cut down & crash into South Korea's Park Sang-hoon. The contact caused Park Sang-hoon to crash hard & get run over by Italian Elia Viviani & Aussie Glenn O'Shea, as both were unable to stop or divert away from Park in time.
Park appeared unconscious on the track & did not move as medical officials rushed to his aid. He was placed on a stretcher & was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. He is reportedly in a stable condition.
Elia Viviani of Italy takes the gold & leaves Cavendish the silver. Defending London 2012 champion & Rio 2016 team sprint bronze winner, Norman Lasse Hansen of Denmark, gets bronze.
I am really disappointed & disgusted at Mark Cavendish. Instead of apologizing for causing the horrific crash & seriously injuring someone with his recklessness, he didn't apologize nor acknowledged the horrific accident he caused. Instead of saying he was sorry, the first word out of his mouth were he was sorry that he didn't win gold.
You may have a (undeserved) silver now, but your actions, lack of common decency, absence of class, & lack of common courtesy clearly demonstrate that you are a big old piece of poop. You stink & you're not fit to be around decent people & polite society.
Dressage individual Grand Prix freestyle
There was a small kerfuffle in the normally genteel world of equestrian sports. After a lively crowd pleasing flamenco performance by Spain's Severo Jesús Jurado riding Dujardin, the Spanish supporters booed the lower marks the judges awarded. The loud boos eventually resulted in the Germans booing the Spaniards & heated words were exchanged between the conflicting parties. Order was eventually restored when the booing parties calmed down.
Great Britain's Charlotte Dujardin & Valegro successfully defend their London 2012 individual dressage title. Valegro will now be retired.
Germany's 6 times Olympic gold medalist, Isabell Werth & Weihegold OLD take silver. Werth is a controversial figure, for she has served a previous ban for doping a horse she rode. Top ranked Germany's Kristina Bröring-Sprehe on Desperados FRH take the bronze.
In the men's still rings, world champion Eleftherios Petrounias of Greece, takes gold, scoring the only 16.000 in the competition. It should be noted that Petrounias served as the first torch bearer as the Olympics torch made its way to Rio.
|Eleftherios Petrounias of Greece competes in the Men's Rings Final on day 10 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Rio Olympic Arena on August 15, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Aug. 14, 2016 - Source: Lars Baron/Getty Images South America)|
The normally boisterous Brazilian crowd was unusually silent as London 2012 champion, Arthur Zanetti, the first Brazilian to win a gymnastics gold, made an attempt to defend his title as the Lord of the Rings. But he managed a 15.766, earning him the silver. Denis Ablyazin, Russia, scored 15.700 to take the bronze, the first still rings medal for Russia.
Netherlands's Yuri van Gelder, the 2005 world champion, had qualified for the rings final but was expelled from the Olympics for violating Dutch team rules on alcohol consumption last weekend after the qualifying competition.
Se Gwang Ri of North Korea won gold in the men's vault, giving North Korea its second Rio gold, the first for the country in gymnastics. Russia's Denis Ablyazin takes the silver, a second Rio Olympics medal after winning bronze in the still rings an hour earlier that Monday afternoon! He succeeds in defending his London 2012 silver.
Unbelievably, there was a tie for bronze between Japan's Kenzo Shirai & Romania's Marian Dragulescu. They both averaged 15.449 for their two vaults, but Shirai was awarded the bronze because he had the highest score on a single vault. Tie breaker rules are stupid! They both should've earned that bronze!
Women's balance beam
In a dramatic contest, heavy gold medal favorite & world champion Simone Biles, United States, stumbled, knocking her into bronze on the balance beam. The door was wide open for world champion runner up, Sanne Wevers of the Netherlands to get gold, after executing an exquisite & most challenging routine on the beam, making it look so fluid & flawless. Lauren Hernandez, United States, takes the silver with a lively performance.
Women's open water 10-kilometer
Big drama in the women's open water 10km swim. Sharon van Rouwendaal, Netherlands, won the race by 17.4 seconds, which was enough to shield her from the mess that happened right behind her as the swimmers duked it out for silver.
In a sport where physical contact does happen, the third place swimmer went too far! French swimmer Aurelie Muller made an illegal move, actually going on top of Rachele Bruni of Italy, actually pushing down Bruni's arm to keep her from touching the finishing wall!
Aurelie Muller was disqualified by the race officials & Brazilian swimmer Poliana Okimoto gets bronze, Brazil's first swimming medal at the Rio games, & she is the first woman to medal in swimming for Brazil. Bruni gets silver.
The French media is all ready hinting that the disqualification was an effort to give the host nation a medal. But it's quite obvious from the race footage that Aurelie Muller did go the wrong way then crashed into Bruni when she tried to cut Bruni off illegally.
The open swim was plagued with polluted waters & serious concerns. The contest was held without meeting FINA standards, which required swimmers to jump off a fixed platform. High winds destroyed the platform last week.
The swimmers had to wade into the water while the crowds cheered. Then about 250 yards out, the swimmers bunched up, waiting for the signal to start the race of four laps around the bay. A Brazilian naval vessel patrolled the area for security, & the officials used boats & jet skis to monitor the race.
Track & Field
There was excitement & more drama in track & field.
Women's hammer throw
Poland's Anita Wlodarczyk dominated as she shattered the old world record & set a new world record for women's hammer throw, 82.29 meters! She gets gold! And she's the first woman to throw the hammer over 80 meters.
Anita Wlodarczyk was the silver medalist at London 2012. Tatyana Lysenko, of Russia, was the London 2012 champion, but she has been banned & barred from competing in Rio for taking steroids. The banned substance was detected in her 2012 sample. Lysenko faces losing her world & Olympic titles.
Zhang Wenxiu, China, tossed 76.75 meters to score silver. And Sophie Hitchon, Great Britain, claims bronze with a throw of 74.54 meters.
Women's 3,000-meter steeplechase
In the hilarious yet dangerous steeplechase, where the racers run a 3000 meter course with obstacles, jumps, & a water puddle, Ruth Jebet, a Kenyan representing Bahrain, came close to breaking the world record. But she faded & finished first anyway to get the gold, the first ever Olympics gold medal for Bahrain.
World champion, Hyvin Jepkemoi, Kenya, won silver. And Emma Coburn, United States, takes the bronze, the first ever steeplechase medal for the US.
Men's pole vault
In the last event of Monday night, Thiago Braz became Brazil’s first men’s Olympic athletics gold medal winner for 32 years by clearing 6.03 meters to claim gold. He sets an Olympic & South American record. And he delivers the second gold for Brazil, who won the first in women's judo last week.
Defending London 2012 champion Renaud Lavillenie, France, cleared 5.97 meters for silver. And American Sam Kendricks takes bronze by clearing 5.85 meters.
The rains delayed the the pole vault event by half an hour. The partisan Brazilian crowd cheered for Thiago Braz da Silva & a few jeered & booed Lavillenie's efforts.
David Lekuta Rudisha of Kenya successfully defends his London 2012 title, winning gold in the 800 meters. Taoufik Makhloufi, Algeria, gets silver. And Clayton Murphy, United States, gets the bronze, the first in 24 years since Johnny Gray took bronze at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
It is an amazing bronze for Clayton Murphy, 21, who raised show pigs on the farm of his small Ohio town. He wasn't serious about running until University of Akron cross country coach Lee LaBadie saw potential & recruited him, training him to become the reigning NCAA 1500m champion. His only goal was to make the finals. To make it on the podium was a spectacular surprise!
Dive! Dive! Dive!
Diving isn't limited to the pools anymore. In the most dramatic & desperate race of Monday night, Bahamas' Shaunae Miller stunned Allyson Felix to win the 400m & deny the American a fifth Olympic gold by diving across the finish line.
Some women will do anything for gold!
Felix had caught up with Miller & was about to pass her at the finish when the taller Miller took the desperate dive & her long torso crossed first, giving her the gold in a foto finish! Shericka Jackson of Jamaica gets bronze.
It is a fine effort for Felix, who is recovering from an ankle injury in April.
And just so you know, it wasn't the first time Monday evening that a dive was used at the end of a race. Brazilian hurdler Joao Vitor de Oliveira dived headfirst over the line to qualify for the men's 110m hurdles Monday night.
It's a strategy he has embraced & used before. Oliveira said his diving finish had become an essential element of his racing strategy. He broke his ribs doing his dive at a meet at Beijing for the 2015 IAAF championships!
I'm guessing this must be the evolution of track. It's not enough to run fast anymore. You've got to learn how to dive now, too! I haven't decided whether diving at the line is a good thing or not. It seems shameful & brilliant at the same time, but it's kind of hilarious, too!
And so ends another surprising & sensational day of competition. More thrills & amazing action are sure to come in the next few days.