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sábado, 13 de agosto de 2016
Rio 2016: Farah retains crown as Phelps signs off with another gold – live!
Mo Farah won gold once again, in remarkable circumstances. Photograph: Xinhua / Barcroft ImagesIt’s coming up to 6am in Rio, and you could be forgiven for imagining that the athletes who competed on Saturday are sleeping off their endeavours. Not so Greg Rutherford, who has been up into the wee small hours mulling over his inability to defend his long jump title. Rutherford was inconsolable after Jeff Henderson of the US took gold ahead of the South African Luvo Manyonga, leaving him with “only” a bronze medal to show for his efforts. “I come here to win and when I don’t it’s difficult … It’s a very hard bronze medal to take,” he said in the immediate aftermath of the competition. And eschewing his bed, he’s since been baring his soul further on Twitter. Chin up, Greg.
Today’s prize for verbal accuracy goes to Pummeluffpapa, who makes the valuable distinction between “reprisal” and “reprise”. In my defence, it was still early. But if Mo did go in for reprisals, Pummel, I wouldn’t want to be Galen Rupp … training partner or no training partner.
Whatever happens to Justin Rose, Andy Murray and the other Brits in action on day nine, Team GB is assured of at least one gold medal.That’s down to the endeavours of track cyclists Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner, who will contest the final of the Olympic men’s sprint. Over to you, Helen Pidd.
Britain’s track cyclists are assured of yet another gold and silver medal after both Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner reached the final of the individual sprint.
The two friends, who won gold in the team sprint with Philip Hindes on Friday night, will go head-to-head in the Rio velodrome on Sunday at 5.04pm local time. They are sharing a room in the Olympic village, which may make pre-race preparation a little tricky on Sunday morning.
Given that Kenny is the reigning Olympic champion, it was something of a surprise that Skinner was the first to reach the final, after beating Australia’s Matthew Glaetzer in two straight matches. Kenny lost his first semi-final to Denis Dmitriev by some margin, which meant his match went to three agonising races. He won the latter two, however, leaving the Russian to fight it out for bronze with Glaetzer.
Back to today, and there’s an early start too in the women’s marathon final, in which Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba, the reigning world champion, is the gold medal favourite. It promises to be a suitably epic contest, with Dibaba facing stern challenges from the Kenyan duo Jemima Sumgong, the 2016 London marathon winner, and Helah Kiprop, who pushed her all the way in Beijing. The action gets underway at the Sambódromo, traditionally the scene of carnival samba school parades but reappropriated for use as an archery and marathon venue during the Olympics, at 09.30am Rio time.
We can’t mention the tennis without pausing for a moment to reflect on the remarkable achievement of the unheralded Monica Puig inwinning the women’s singles against Angelique Kerber on Saturday.Her gold medal, the first of that hue for Puerto Rico in any discipline, was just reward for a typically fearless, free-hitting third-set performance to which Kerber – the Australian Open champion, world No2 and recent Wimbledon finalist, if you please – simply had no answer. She’s a thoroughly likeable character, is Puig, and her breakthrough moment feels long overdue, her best previous showing in a major competition having been a fourth round appearance at Wimbledon three summers ago. That is scant return for such a gifted player, but at 22 she has time on her side. Her Rio victories over major winners Garbiñe Muguruza, Petra Kvitova and Kerber point to a big future in the game.
Farah’s win shunted Britain’s gold medal tally up to 10 – Team GB are now third in the overall standings, behind China and the US – and day nine could bring further joy if Andy Murray can chart a course around the 6ft 6in obstacle that is Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro. That won’t be easy, however, because Del Potro – still feeling his way back into the sport after his prolonged struggles with injury, which have included three wrist operations – has played some inspired tennis in Rio. His semi-final win over against Rafael Nadal on Saturday was a sight to behold, with his serve in fine fettle and that extraordinary forehand in full flow in the final stages of a third set steeped in tension and drama. There were no such problems for Murray, whose straight-sets dissection of Kei Nishikori was nothing less than clinical, but he will need to be at his best against the man who conquered world No1 Novak Djokovic in the opening round. Del Potro left the court in tears after beating Nadal and, with his backhand much improved since his tentative return to the circuit earlier this year, he looks intent on riding that wave of emotion all the way to Olympic gold. The men’s singles final, which will be played over five sets, is scheduled for 3.30pm Rio time.
While we’re on the theme of the incomparable, how about Mo Farah’s dramatic 10,000m gold? Non-nocturnal Brits may be waking up to the disappointment of learning that Jess Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford fell agonisingly short of the gold standard they set at London 2012, but news of the latest reprise of the Mobot should bring a little cheer to the breakfast tables of the UK. You can relive the highlights of Farah’s victory – and indeed the glittering end to Michael Phelps’ Olympic career – below … although only if you’re in the UK, alas.
Speaking of the golf, one wonders what thoughts will be going through the minds of Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy et al come the medal ceremony. It’s one thing to talk dismissively about watching “the stuff that matters” at the Olympics rather than golf, as McIlroy did ahead of the Games, but quite another to watch a fellow professional claim a medal that might have been yours had you bothered to turn up and compete. I’d wager there will be the odd pang of regret among some of the sport’s absentees come anthem time, whether they admit it or not.
Rose certainly seems to be enjoying his time in Brazil. “It would mean an awful lot to win, especially when you see what it means to other athletes here,” he said after claiming the lead on day eight. “It would be unbelievable.” And his message to absent friends? “I would just tell them I had a great time, a positive experience and a lot of fun. It’s a unique experience and something you should be able to make room for in your schedule once every four years … You can’t compare it to anything else.” Hear hear.
Good morning from London and thanks to Russell for that excellent briefing. So then, day nine. Apparently there are one or two things happening in Rio today, as you’ll have gleaned. Most notably, perhaps, Usain Bolt’s bid for a triple-treble of Olympic golds, which starts in earnest with the men’s 100m sprint semi-finals and – should he make it (it couldn’t happen, could it?) – final. Still, as a grey dawn breaks over London, that seems a very long way off right now. And you know what? It is. It’s just coming up to 4am in Rio, and Usain will no doubt be tucked up in bed dreaming of Justin Gatlin and rear-view mirrors. With the Games’ blue riband event not taking place until late evening, it falls to the golfers to get us underway. Erstwhile Ryder Cup partners Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, respectively placed in the gold and silver medal positions heading into the final round, tee off in just over three hours. They do like their early starts, the golfing fraternity. I’m Les Roopanarine, by the way, and I’ll be guiding you through the day nine build-up until lunchtime UK time.
Welcome back for day nine at Rio, where we’ve witnessed Mo Farahquite literally picking himself up off the ground to take back-to-back golds with a rousing win in the men’s 10,000m final, while Michael Phelps signed off on his Olympic career with his 23rd gold medal – and his fifth at these Games – in the 4x100 medley relay.
The big picture
Day eight quite simply belonged to two phenomenal athletes: Phelps having finished his Olympic career with 23 gold medals in a Rio campaign whose statistical complexity staggers us all anew, while Farah’s brave and brilliant gold medal run to defend his 10,000m title after stumbling onto the track early served as a reminder of how singularly monumental each and every gold medal is at Olympic level.
There was also gold for Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson in the women’s 100m dash, which thwarted her compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s attempt at a third successive Olympic crown, though the latter still took home bronze. “There is a big screen back home in my community in Jamaica,” Thompson said afterwards. “I can’t imagine what is happening there right now.” A decent old party, one would suspect.
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Team GB roundup
It was a day dominated by Farah’s remarkable efforts across at the Olympic stadium, but Team GB’s golden run at the velodrome also continued today with Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell-Shand, Katie Archibald and Elinor Baker taking gold in the women’s team pursuit. It was, according to our own Barry Glendenning, a “seamless, perfect performance: poetry in motion on eight wheels”. Becky James was equally impressive rising from her sick bed to claim silver in the keirin.
In what will surely be her final Olympic campaign, Jessica Ennis-Hillwrung every ounce of energy out of her body to finish with silver in the heptathlon, having entered the final event of the competition – the 800m – with a 142-point deficit to overcome, but brilliant Belgian Nafissatou Thiam cling on for grim death and prevailed. Ennis-Hill couldn’t beat Thiam by the 9.47 second margin she needed at the end, missing out by a couple of seconds.
Great Britain also might be looking at a medal in the golf, whereJustin Rose has moved ahead of Australian Marcus Fraser and SwedeHenrik Stenson for the overall lead with a single round left. The 36-year-old began the day four shots off Fraser’s lead but stormed back to take a one stroke lead by the end of the day. Andy Murray will also be playing for gold in the men’s tennis singles when he takes on Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro. The swimming is now done and dusted, but with silver in the men’s 4x100 medley relay, Team GB has had its best Olympics in the pool since 1908 with one gold and five silvers.
The unhappiest medalist of the day was Team GB’s reigning long jump champion Greg Rutherford, who scraped into the final with his last attempt of the heats and was then beaten into third place by American Jeff Henderson and South African Luvo Manyonga in a dramatic final. But at least he put the disappointment in perspective: “It’s a very hard bronze medal to take. If you’d told me 10 years ago I would be gutted with an Olympic bronze, I’d have told you not to be so stupid,” Rutherford said afterwards.
Team USA roundup
What you are reading now is not template text, it’s just that Michael Phelps keep winning gold medals. There’s only so many ways you can say it, especially once our own Andy Bull had pointed out a few days back that Phelps has now even usurped the greatest ancient Olympians. You might not have heard of Leonidas of Rhodes, who dominated the Games between 164 and 152 BC (I think NBC might be showing his events on a tape delay sometime in the next few days) but we assure you, Phelps is now better than him. His team-mates who took gold in the men’s 4x100 medley relay don’t go too badly either.
Elsewhere Jeff Henderson jumped to gold in the that men’s long jump final, though his winning leap of 8.38 metres really does remind you of how insane Mike Powell’s 1991 world record of 8.95 metres really is. Henderson’s victory was secured with his last jump, which edged out South African Luvo Manyonga by just one centimetre.
If you’re still trying to process the sight of Katie Ledecky finishing Friday’s 800m freestyle final without a single opponent in a wide-angle camera frame, you’re not the only one. Her 11.38-second win for gold shaved almost a full two seconds off her own world record in the event. As our own Bryan Armen Graham points out, her only ‘loss’ in 20 races in major international competitions was a relay.
Australia team roundup
Kim Brennan wasn’t all Australia had to crow about on day eight, but the veteran rower broke a considerable drought with her gold medal win in the women’s single sculls – it was Australia’s first rowing gold in eight years and only the country’s second ever women’s triumph. Yet for all of the excitement at the end of the race, the 31-year-old was more concerned by the whereabouts of her dog Ernie, who was waiting with Brennan’s husband Scott. “Scott was very proud of me,” Brennan said after collecting her medal, “but I wanted to see how Ernie was doing, but he wasn’t too interested in watching my race. He wanted the attention to himself.” A new mascot for the Australians?
The other medals of the day went to Anna Meares in the cycling – where bronze in the women’s keirin event made her the most decorated of all Australian Olympic cyclists – while the women’s 4x100 medley relay team grabbed silver in the second-last event of the swimming schedule. In the last, a barnstorming finish by Kyle Chalmers lifted Australia to bronze in the men’s 4x100 medley. Yet aside from the failure of Mack Horton to win a medal in the men’s 1500m, the story of the night was Cate Campbell’s atonement for individual event misfires with a mighty final leg of that medley relay.
“The world got to witness possibly the biggest choke in Olympic history a couple of nights ago, Campbell had said after she and sister Bronte again bombed out in the final of the women’s 50m freestyle. But rather than leaving the Games with steam coming out of her ears, the older sibling got back on the horse and channeled her frustrations into a scything freestyle leg to bring her team home one spot behind Team USA. Fascinatingly, Campbell’s time was 1.07 seconds faster than that she posted in the individual final of that event – and would have won her gold. Maybe it’ll make her feel even worse.
Picture of the day
It has to be Mo Farah, who even got the thumbs up from his vanquished opponents Paul Kipngetich and Tamirat Tola.
All times below are local to Rio: here’s the full timetable tweaked for wherever you are. Or add four hours for UK, add 13 hours for eastern Australia; subtract one hour for east-coast US and four for west coast.
All eyes will be on Usain Bolt and the men’s 100m sprint final, which takes place at 22:25 local time in Rio, 25 minutes after the 400m final
Justin Rose and Marcus Fraser will tee off early in the day in the hope of securing gold, with the golf starting at 07:00
American Andrew Thomas Bisek will wrestle for gold against Cuban Rios Hernandez after 10:30
From 14:00 Team USA is in the unusual position of having two entrants in the mixed doubles tennis final as Jack Sock and Bethanie Mattek-Sands take on Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram, while Andy Murray takes on Juan Martin Del Potro in the men’s singles gold medal match at 15:30.
In the evening Australia’s Boomers take on Venezuela in the basketball, while the evening athletics session brings us finals in the women’s triple jump.
Underdog of the day
Goes to women’s singles tennis champion Monica Puig, who became Puerto Rico’s first gold medallist in any sport. In an almost unbearable climax, she saved six break points and had four match points before closing it out for a rousing win.