Friday, August 15, 2008

Day Seven: Or, Thanks for the Great Financial Advice

Ok I admit it, my big tip of Leisel Jones taking out the 200m breaststroke, and thus making 7% on your investment was not exactly the hottest advice. But in my defence I based my tip on her being able to the complex things required to swim breaststroke - those things which only true champions can do - you know, breathe:

"It was pretty difficult. I don't think about it when I'm swimming, that's probably why I get to the end and all of a sudden realise I've got to breathe again. I'm not really thinking about it. I'm just thinking about my stroke and holding it and keeping it together so I'm probably not really focused on breathing until I get to the end."

Though Leisel's other comments after the race are pretty good:

"There's definitely no disappointment at all... 'Silver medal's still a silver medal at the Olympics. I'm still really happy with that. It has been a really long week and it's hard to get up and down, up and down but I'm still so pleased with a silver medal. I gave it everything, I couldn't have done anything more so I can't be disappointed with that. I dug really deep, she was just better on the day and you can't control that.''

You can't argue with that - not shame in getting beaten by someone who breaks the WR

Libby Trickett as well won a silver, and like Leisel was absolutely fantastic in defeat:

"I wanted to be hurting right at the end of it and I definitely did that. Full credit to Britta [the winner] she swam a fantastic race and I know how hard we have to work to get to where we are right now and to have four one hundredths separating us, it's not much but that's what the racing's about."

Now it does help that both Leisel and Libby already have won a gold medal (and should win another in the 4x100 medley relay), but they were both favourites to win these races, both were world record holders, and both showed a fair bit of class.
Apparently some of the "ethnic dancers" used in the opening ceremony weren't really from ethnic minorities. My goodness what a disgrace; thank heavens we live in a country where we never fake anything in the name of entertainment...
The US are complaining that the winning Chinese female gymnastics team contained athletes under the age of 16 (the minimum age allowed).

And while yes that would be terrible if they were cheating, the fact the sport needs a minimum age requirement at all just proves the sport is a joke. Yes I know sports such as tennis and golf have age limits - but that is on the number of tournaments girls can play each year to ensure their bodies are not wrecked by the time they reach 18. There is no advantage in being young (or small).

The age limit in gymnastics is there for two reasons - because the bodies of girls under 16 are still developing and would be harmed by doing such high intensive activities; and because girls who have small childlike bodies have an advantage. Let's be honest, they don't need the age limit in the men's gymnastics, because no 15 year would stand a chance against the men.
Madonna turned 50 today. Yes, I feel old.
6:52pm: Despite my poor form tipping Leisel, Libby, and Scott Martin and Justin Anlezak in the Shot Put, I'm still holding firm on Tiranesh Dibaba to win the 10,000m in 6 hours time (I'm just not sure of my tip that Channel 7 will actually show it).
I'm not the biggest Tamsyn Lewis fan. Nothing to do with Jana Pittman or anything. I haven't been a Tamsyn Lewis fan for many years now. She constantly turned up to major events either not in form, or runs stupidly so that she virtually guarantees herself not making it through her heat. She has generally been the best 600m runner, which is not such a great thing when you need to run 800m; and when she runs 400m, she is generally the best 300m runner.

But this morning in her heat, she knew she was the fourth fastest in the field, and so was unlikely to finish in the top 3 as an automatic qualifier. Therefore she needed to ensure she was one of the six fastest non-automatic qualifiers. She went out fast, faded as usual, but held her form to finish 4th and got through as the fastest non-automatic qualifier.

In the 3 semis the first 2 and then the next 2 fastest go through through to the final. I can't see her being able to do that, but at least she finally seems to have come to an Olympics in form.
8:22pm: Track cycling is great to watch, but it's all over too quick. In the pursuit for example you ride a qualifying heat, beat your opponent but because your time is outside the top 8 you miss out on the qualifying. Ditto the team sprint. Australia beats the Netherlands in the second round, but because their time is fourth fastest they're only going to be in the run-off for bronze.

My favourite event on the track are the points race and the Madison. Both look completely insane, make no sense and just are great to watch. The points race is on tomorrow night at 7:40pm. Should be fun.
This Make me a Supermodel with Jennifer Hawkins that Channel 7 is starting to advertise looks close to the most vomit inducing piece of TV this side of Denise Richards It's Complicated. If you haven't seen it because you don't have foxtel, I'll give you quick run down: it's a half hour in which Denise Richards tries to prove that she is the most self absorbed, vacuous, white-trash, bitch in Hollywood. Amazingly each week she succeeds.

I see Pamela Anderson is in Australia to promote her new show, but take note - it's not a reality show; it's an "observational documentary". It's one of those irregular verbs:
"I doing an observational documentary; you are doing a reality show; she is trying valiantly to suck some more minutes of fame out of her talentless existence".
9:00pm: The Aussies just missed out on the bronze in the team sprint by 8 thousandths of a second. Imagine competing in a sport where success or failure is judged by such small margins.
9:47pm: Men's 1500m heat shown delayed by 20 minutes (we only see one of the four)- Aussie Mitchell Kealey gets run out in 11th place. So that is delayed, but we must watch the 1500m swimming heats live (that's right 15 minutes of watching Craig Stevens coming 5th, then another 15 minutes of Grant Hackett). And meanwhile the men's 100m second round heats are happening right now. Now why bother showing the greatest field of sprinters ever live? Also Kylie Wheeler is coming 4th after two events in the heptathlon. Have we seen any of her? Nope. This obsession with swimming is sickening.
10:10pm: Geez this 1500m is boring. C'mon Channel 7, a 100m takes 10 seconds, how about a quick cross??? All we would miss is half a lap!!!!!!

Hackett swimming well (apparently he is sick - isn't he always? I think that's part of his training routine to make sure he get's sick just in time for the 1500m final). But seriously, how can this compete with athletics - all you can see is a head bobbing up and down. We have no idea if he's hurting - Bruce is reduced to asking Dan Kowalski if he looks good - in running you get the facial expressions, the strategy , the physicality. Swimming is great in the last 50m.

That said if Hackett wins the final, in my books he becomes a better swimming than Thorpe: three in a row is reserved only for the greatest.

A new Olympic record. Fantastic. Now for the final on Sunday (and the final will be good watching). There has never been a race where everyone has broken 15 minutes. For this final everyone has qualified in under 14min 50secs. So that means for the first time ever, someone has broken 15 minutes, and not even made the final. Amazing. To put it in context, last year at the world championships Hackett came seventh in 14:59. This year that would be good enough for 13th fastest. At the Athens Olympics 8th in the final was Craig Stevens in 15:13. Here that would put him in 24th fastest.

I think it's fair to say the 15oom has changed - the 15 minute barrier is now like the 4 minute mile - if you can't do it, don't even bother showing up.
11:01pm: It's now past 11pm on the first night of the athletics competiton, and we have seen by my reckoning one 1500m heat, three 100m heats and that's it. They haven't even replayed Tamsyn Lewis getting through in the 800m. We now see the 4th of the men's 1500m heats with Australian Jeff Reisley - this happened 90 minutes ago.

I'll set the tape going for the women's 10,000m I have no faith in Channel 7 to be bothered staying up till past midnight. Still confident about Tiranesh Dibaba...


hollowman said...

SBS claim the guy commentating the Soccer is Mike McCann, However I have my doubts and think it could be Rob Sitch or even Dr Evil moonlighting as a commentator for SBS.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the updates, can you believe CH7 is making us sit through Collingwood vs port adelaide, nil all draw could be the only satisfying result