The along came NBC.
These day-finals for swimming are seriously annoying - aside from the fact you need a nice boss who has access to a TV (fortunately mine does) - it also means the nights are bloody boring. Watching heats swims is dull. Even Bruce struggles to get excited; even Duncan Armstrong finds it hard to get jingoistically over the top (he is able to though).
Anyhoo; to recap the day: Libby great. Hayden Stoeckle is a bolter. The pool is fast (like yeah I know what that means)
The race of the day though was the men's 4x100m frestyle relay.
The French well and truly choked - or should I say Alain Bernard (former WR holder) did. Going into the last leg the French led by 0.59secs. Bernard obviously had a rush of adrenaline and swam the first 50m in 21.27secs. Justin Lezak, swimming the last leg swam for the Americans swam his first 50m in 21.50secs.
The final 50m was what counted though. Bernard looked good till the last 10m and then he died - his last 50m was done in 25.46secs. Lezak doing a Thorpie in Sydney swam his last 50m in 24.56secs and took the win and kept Phelps' hopes for 8 Gold alive.
Eamon Sullivan swam first for the Aussies and broke the WR. But I wouldn't get too excited - Michael Klim did the same thing in Sydney. Sullivan swam 47.24 with a reaction time to the gun of 0.71secs. Lezak swam 46.06 with a reaction time of .04secs. Now I know you can't just add the reaction time, but by comparison, Sullivan's final 50m was 24.76secs.
Yes Lezak was swimming for Gold, which will always bring out more than merely swimming to end the first leg, but I'm going to say it right now - Sullivan will need to break his WR again if he wants to win Thursday night.
Also of note - Phelps swam the 3rd fastest 100m ever. So forget his slowish swim in the 200m freestyle semis, I'd still bet him to win it in another WR.
More proof that the Olympics makes people think differently.
Yesterday Channel 7 was "flooded" with calls from irate viewers because 7 was showing the Crows-Richmond AFL game rather than the synchronised diving, water polo and trap shooting.
Now I know I am a Crows' fan and synchronised diving anti-fan, so I'm a bit biased, but can you imagine hearing this at any other time in the next 4 years: "Oh bugger, they've put on a footy game, I wanted to watch the synchronised diving. I'm so irate, I'll actually ring up Channel 7 and complain"?
Yes the Olympics do weird things to people.
8:15pm: Just watched the Judo semi. Now there's a dumb sport. They pretty much wrestle each other for a bit. Then stop. Then wrestle each other for a bit more. Then stop. No one actually does a throw or anything, so the result is decided by the judge who (in this semi) awarded points against the Australian because she was too passive - ie the sport is so boring and pointless you have to penalise competitors for not bothering to actually do anything.
I'm thinking of adding it to my list of sports the Olympics should do without.
The list includes:
Anything with synchronised in it,
Soccer (they have the world cup)
Basketball (they have the NBA)
Tennis (they have the Grand Slam)
Road cycling (they have the Tour de France) - but keep the time trial.
Trampoline (Is trampoline a sport? No. Is it a thing that the lucky kids next door have? Yes)
Handball (look I know it's big in Europe, but it hasn't caught on anywhere else, let it die)
Modern Pentathlon (it's a sport made up purely to be in the Olympics, and is basically for rich Europeans - you ever recall hearing about a kid at school doing the modern pentathlon? Nope - so ditch it).
8:30pm: Men's hockey. It's good, but over on Channel 10 is Burn Notice, so I'm leaving Beijing for a while. I like Burn Notice; it's basically MacGyver meets Magnum PI. And that's a combination that you just can't go wrong with. Plus co-star, Gabriel Anwar looks like a beach volleyballer, and there used to be a beach volleyballer called Gabriel Reece, so I figure that's close enough to the Olympics to warrant watching.
There really is a need for more shows like it. There's too many shows that (to quote one ad) make you question humanity. What happeend to all those great programs like there were in the 80s - shows like Scarecrow and Mrs King, Jake and the Fatman, Hardcastle and McCormick, Knight Rider... ok maybe I'm getting a bit nostalgic now. Still you can't tell me the world wasn't a better place when law and order shows weren't about serial killers, but were about real legal issues... issues that required the services of law firm McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney and Kuzaky.
The Hockeyroos did well enough without my support: 6-1 over Canada. Channel 7 is now on repeat mode - showing all the swimming finals and ceremonies.
Tomorrow's swimming finals:
- Men's 200m free: Phelps in a WR.
- Women's 100m Backstroke: Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe looks to be the one to beat; hard to believe that Zimbabwe is even allowed to compete -but then I guess all of the African nations aren't threatening to boycott like they did in Montreal in 1976 purely because NZ played rugby against a South African team.
- Men's 100m Backstroke final: Here's hoping Stoeckel hasn't left it all in the semis. The first five might all be within half a second.
- Women's 100m Breaststroke. Liesel Jones is paying odds of $1.01. Yep, bet $100 to win $1.
Also the Eventing (what used to be called the 3-day event) show-jumping. Australia trails Germany by less than one knocked rail. So yes, for that one time every four years forget that people with horses normally annoy the hell out of you especially when you're following a horse-float on a single lane road with no passing opportunities, and act like it's your favourite sport - it all starts around 9pm so at least it'll be good watching tomorrow night.