Olympic Special: London 2012 – Day 3

Actually, I seriously thought I would start this entry with the following words: “And yet another day without medals for Germany.” Nnope, we actually got one today and it was not the Men’s synchronized 10m platform event and it has a pretty unpleasant story behind it. More about it later, but another unpleasant story now, because our last remaining female Table tennis player lost today and is out of the tournament. Probably the most successful and best Table tennis player who ever lived, Timo Boll, currently ranked 7th in the world rankings, surprisingly lost in the rount of the best eight and is also out of the tournament, sadly. His team colleage won and advanced into the quarterfinals, thanks. Let’s hope he’ll make it into the semi-finals, then we have a chance to win a medal.

Other than that, there are more surprising stories to tell about this day, because during the equestrian eventing cross-country event, sadly quite some participants fell and one of the horses decited to finish the race on it’s own, meaning: it ran away and the event had to be stopped temporary to catch the fleeing horse. The last event, jumping, will be held tomorrow and Germany has a pretty good chance, because the team is currently ranked first, before second place Great Britain and in the individual rankings Ingrid Klimke with her 15-year old horse Butts Abraxxas are curently at the top with high hopes for gold. Now that’s something we like to hear.

What we also like to hear are news from our amazing rowers. 4 german boats managed to qualify themselves in different finals so far and special attention should be given to Germany’s Men’s Four during the heats. Why? Because they passed the 1500m mark on fifth (last) place and passed the goal-line, only 500m later, in second place. I know I’ve said the german rowers are doing amazingly well, but this was seriously impressive. When I was watching I honestly thought they would have to go into the repechage and then they suddenly came out of nowhere completing the race right after Australia, who absolutely outclassed everyone in this race.

In canoeing, whe had some more events today and sadly in the men’s C-2 slalom our german participants missed the semifinals by 0.03 seconds. This hurts. In the women’s K-1 slalom competition our competitor made it into the semifinals with the 9th best time. I wasn’t able to watch any canoeing yesterday, but I was really impressed when I fist saw where the slalom events are being held. It looks so cool at Lee Valley White Water Centre, thank you Britons for the wonderful location, but pretty much all the locations are so beautiful, it’s just a matter of what is most impressive.

Our gymnastics failed to win a medal and only paced 7th, even though Fabian Hambüchen did extreamly well, it was just not enough for the team, but he will have his chance to win an individual medal. Let’s hope he wil present himself as good as he did today, or better of course. Still, it’s not too late to place your bets on Germany’s worst summer olympics.

Back to bussiness and to the first gold medal of the day, that was given to Alin George Moldoveanu from Romania in the Men’s 10m air rifle shooting event. It was a very exiting final, the first place changed several times and Niccolo Campriani from Italy came in second at last. Bronze went to Gagan Narang from India and this man has a pretty touching story behind him, because his father had to sell some land to be able to buy his son his first air rifle and in order to prevent this to happen again, he later founded a school for air shooting, I think. Of course evey athelte deserves the medals he or she wins, but this man’s medal weights a bit more than others.

For the second medal, we have to go back into the water and also into the next german medal-catastrophy, because the same guys who won silver 4 years ago, only got 7th place today, because they seriously messed up one of their jumps and got thrown back from 3rd place to 7th. The winners were Cao Yuan and Zhang Yanquan from China with a very strong performance in the synchronized 10m platform diving event and absolutely deserved to win. Second place went to Mexico and third to the United States. Britain was unable to keep their good results from the early jumps. Too bad, because the audience celebrated their athletes like heroes with massive cheering every time they appeared. By the way, the Chinese said they wanted to win every diving event there is in the olympics this time. They’re doing pretty good so far.

In Judo Kaori Matsumoto from Japan won against romanian athelte Corina Caprioriu in the lightweight event. Men’s lightweight winner was Mansur Isaev from Russia, who won against Riki Nakaya winning silver for Japan. Nice fight, but I didn’t liked the fact that Isaev sat onto his opponent after the fight was over to celebrate his victory, while Nakaya was still lying on the ground. This was unnessecary and I absolutely love the fact that so many athletes congratulate the winners very friendly, hugging and kissing them.

In weightlifting, we had the decision in the women’s 58kg event, that was won by chinese athlete Li Xueying, who also broke the olympic record while she was at it. Silver medal winner was Pimsiri Sirikaew from Thailand and the bronze medal made it’s way to Yuliya Kalina from Ukraine. Just as a side note: German competitor Christin Ulrich rewrote the german record 3 times during this event and still only made it to 13th place. Yeah, this is how good we are at this event, but congratulations to her for improving her personal best so much.
In the men’s 62kg event, we have the third gold medal for North Korea won by Kim Un-Guk. He also rewrote the World Record.

Remember when I was talking about men’s gymnastics? Yeah, this event was won by China, who did a lot better now than they did during the qualifications. Japan also did a lot better compared to their prior performance and won silver, followed by the host with bronze. As a fact, the chinese athletes did so well, they won gold before the competition was over. Oh boy.

Now to the swimming competitions, the first gold medal in the Aquatic Center was given to french superhero Yannick Agnel winning the men’s 200m freestlye event. German competitor and world champion Paul Biedermann only managed to place 5th, but he swam his best time this season so far and the others were incredibly strong, so I think he did a good job, although he’s not entirely satisfied with his time. Ryan Lochte was still better, but also failed to win a medal. Next winner is Missy Franklin in the women’s 100m backstroke event, who qualified for 200m freestyle only 17 minutes before the backstroke final. Her sheldue is pretty impressive in general by the way, she’s trying to win 7 events. Also from America, but on the male side of the swimming team and also winner of the 100m backstroke, is Matthew Grevers. The german athelete came in 6th, but was happy to be able to swim this race at all and was absolutely satisfied. That’s something new from a german swimmer in London.
The last swimmer-medal went to 15-year old Ruta Meilutyte from Lithuania, who managed to improve her personal best during the last 3 month so much, that she won the 100m breaststroke event in Lonon as yet another unusually young athlete. What have I been doing when I was 15 years old? Right, nothing.

And we finally reach the last medal of the day and that was given out in fencing. The women’s individual épée was very dramatic with an extremely close decision in the semi-final between german athlete Britta Heidemann and south korean athlete A-Lam Shin. The last action by Heidemann was so close to the end of the last second, that the korean team discussed it over with the officials, who gave the point to Heidemann nonetheless after 25 minutes of discussions. They relyed on some complicated rules that I didn’t quite understand, but as much as I pity Shin, it actually really does seem like Heidemann’s victory is legit and even after Shin broke into tears and refused to go off stage, there was no helping. They even protested against the decision, but the officials still said it was Heidemann’s victory. She on the other hand lost in the finals pretty much in the last second herself to Yana Shemyakina from Ukraine, but still winning Germany’s first medal in London. Could’ve been gold, because it was a very exiting and close match, but happened to be silver. Still very well done. As for 3rd place, Shin lost aganst Yujie Sun from China, who won the bronze medal. What a mess and a silver medal with a very bitter taste.

And this was day 3! Very exiting, lot’s of stuff happend, good and bad stuff, but still a very exiting day. From a german point of view there’s actually more to celebrate, for example in men’s field hockey and badminton, but I’m lazy now.
Tomorrow, we have decisions in: Men’s C-1 (Canoeing), Women’s synchronized 10 m platform (Diving), individual eventing and team eventing (Equestrian), Men’s individual foil (Fencing), Women’s team all-around (Gymnastics), Women’s and Men’s half-middleweight (Judo), Men’s Skeet (Shooting), Women’s 200m freestyle (Swimming), Men’s 200m butterfly (Swimming), Women’s 200m I.M (Swimming), Men’s 4 × 200 freestyle relay (Swimming), Men’s 69kg and Women’s 63kg (Weightlifting). This is a total of 15 decisions, the most we’ve had so far.

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