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Live coverage: London Olympics Day 11 Back To Main
Australia wins two gold medals in 10 days. Then we win two gold medals in little more than two hours. They went to two Queens of the Track — the athletics track and cycling track — and they've given us two big reasons to smile today.
Victories to Anna Meares and Sally Pearson not only restored credibility to our Olympic campaign — they helped us leapfrog New Zealand in the medal tally. Watch out, Kazakhstan (six gold) ... we're coming!
That's where we leave our live coverage today. Scroll down to relive all the action. We'll be back with all the action LIVE from 6.30pm today
9.18pm — Daniel Sankey (athletics): Speaking to Channel 9 afer a long victory lap around the Olympic Stadium, Sally Pearson said she felt "absolutely incredible". "It’s just like it went so fast! I was so pumped after that heat and I said to my coach, ‘I want this. It has to be mine. It can’t go any other way, it has to be mine tonight'. Oh man, that was awesome," she said. "I was so nervous and I was so scared before it but I was ready and I just really wanted that. I wasn’t going to let anything stop me."
Speaking to journalists later, Georgina Robinson reports that Sally went on to say: "It's a dream. Relief was the first thing I felt and then shock. I'm just going through the emotions. I really wanted this. I've worked so hard for two years. To see my name on the scoreboard, I just can't believe it. I didn't realise how close Dawn [Harper] was until the end. I said in my head, 'please don't let this happen, I need this'."
Georgina tells us Pearson wasn't the only one feeling the pressure. Silver medallist Dawn Harper was definitely feeling it too. "I'm happy to win a silver, there was so much pressure on me," Harper said. The 28-year-old was three lanes away from Pearson and said she also had no idea who had won. "I couldn't feel her, it was so close crossing the line and I just didn't know what had happened," she said. "I'm just so happy to be here. I wanted to be here and I wanted to be a part of it."
9.05pm — Georgina Robinson (athletics):
She wasn't sure but she bloody did it. Sally Pearson
in the women's 100m hurdles in 12.35 seconds, 0.02secs in front of the woman who beat her in Beijing four years ago. It started raining lightly as the runners were introduced but Pearson shook it off and held off Harper's lunge to add a gold medal and Olympic record holder to her collection of accolades. It wasn't as easy as we all thought it would be but Sally got the job done. That's all you need to do.
That was certainly not the walk in the park we all thought it would be. It could have been the rain, or what looked to be a slightly slower start from Pearson. But no, a look at the times tells us it was just Dawn Harper's class that took it down to the wire. The American set another personal best — two in the space of two hours thank you very much — to take it right to the line against her Aussie rival. Pearson bettered her semi-final time by 0.04sec to set a new Olympic record. Phew.
Beautiful reunion with her mother and husband Kieran Pearson, a plumber on the Gold Coast. A warm embrace for Harper too, and then it took a little while to get Our Sal off the track. She just wanted to stand there, holding up the flag and making contact with anyone in bright yellow. Who could possibly blame her? Apart from the 1500 metres guys trying to warm up 50 metres away! What a champion. And what delirious, bleary-eyed workers will trudge into offices all over the country today.
Athletics: Women's 100m hurdles final
SALLY PEARSON (Australia)
DAWN HARPER (USA)
KELLIE WELLS (USA)
9.02pm — Daniel Sankey (athletics): GOLD FOR AUSTRALIA! Sally Pearson has won the women's 100m hurdles title in a new Olympic record time of 12.35 seconds in a narrow photo finish. Second was Dawn Harper of the USA from her compatriot Kellie Wells.
OTHER ATHLETICS RESULTS
Men's 1500m final
TAOUFIK MAKHLOUFI (Algeria)
LEONEL MANZANO (USA)
ABDALAATI IGUIDER (Morocco)
Men's high jump final
IVAN UKHOV (Russia) (pictured above)
ERIK KYNARD (USA)
MUTAZ ESSA BARSHIM (Qatar)
8.23pm — Phil Lutton (weightlifting): Iranian superman Behdad Salimi has won GOLD in the men’s superheavyweight lifting at the ExCel Centre. The huge man was the hot favourite going in and when Russian rival Ruslan Albegov failed to in his bid to lift 247kg in the clean and jerk, the title was his. Salimi finished with a combined total of 455kg, six kilograms clear of countryman Sajjad Anoushiravani Hamlabad. Ruslan took the bronze one kilogram back. It was little Iran out here. At least a third of the 6000-strong crowd were waving flags and cheering one of their nation’s highest profile athletes, if not the highest. It was deafening as he went for a clean and jerk world record of 264kg but couldn’t clean it. What an afternoon and evening out here to wrap up the Olympic weightlifting in London.
Weightlifting: Men's super heavyweight (+105kg) final
BEHDAD SALIMIKORDASIABI (Iran)
455kg (208kg snatch, 247kg clean and jerk)
SAJJAD ANOUSHIRAVANI HAMLABAD (Iran)
449kg (204kg snatch, 237kg clean and jerk)
RUSLAN ALBEGOV (Russia)
448kg (208kg snatch, 240kg clean and jerk)
8.21pm — Daniel Sankey (diving update): There was a big upset in the men's 3m springboard diving tonight — but it wasn't the upset Australia was hoping for, with Brisbane 20-year-old Ethan Warren placing seventh. Russian Ilya Zakharov managed to end China’s diving dominance in London, scoring 555.90 points to beat Chinese teammates Qin Kai (541.75) and He Chong (524.15). It's the first of six diving finals in London that China has failed to win. Warren, from Brisbane, was scored 488.95 points — an effort that suggests he'll be a force to be reckoned with in Rio in four years' time.
8.20pm — Georgina Robinson (athletics): "The Warrior", as David Rudisha (a Masai) is known, just loped into the men's 800m final with a 1min 44.35sec performance. The guy is ridiculous, some kind of genetic throw-forward, much like his sprinting equivalent Usain Bolt. I'd love him to chase down his own world record (1min 41.01sec) here but the reality is he probably won't. It's the Olympics and it's a bit chilly. Sparing a thought for Jeff Riseley too. He should have been in these semis. His latest PB could have run him into the final as well.
Athletics: Men's discus final
ROBERT HARTING (Germany)
EHSAN HADADI (Iran)
GERD KANTER (Estonia)
Update on discus finalist Benn Harradine — he threw 63.59m on his third attempt. It was his best for the night but shorter than his first throw in the heat (64m)! He's ninth now on the table, meaning he's culled from the list for the next three throws. That's it for Big Benn. He's standing on the mondo with his bag packed and his hands in his pockets. He'll be very disappointed.
8.03pm Told ya. Benn Harradine's second throw in the men's discus final reached 63.16m. Has him ranked eighth so far. Random fact about Benn Harradine: Australia's last medal hope in the men's discus would not look out of place in the front row of a rugby league team. But at 198cm and 115kg, he's not even the heaviest man in the athletics team. That honour belongs fellow discus thrower Scott Martin, who failed to advance from this morning's qualification round. He tips the scales at 135kg.
7.52pm — Big Benn Harradine has a few nerves to wrangle. His first throw in the men's discus final made it 58.24 metres, the shortest throw of the night so far. 'sOkay though, you don't get a haircut that spunky without some fire in your belly. He'll rally.
7.27pm That's how you do it. Smoke the field in the fastest time this year to stamp your authority all over the final in a couple of hours. Sally Pearson shot down the straight, nailing every hurdle, in 12.39secs. Dawn Harper the reigning Olympic champ won the first heat in 12.46secs, a new personal best for her. American Lolo Jones finishes third and misses the automatic qualifying spot. She'll need to wait for the results of the third and final semi to see if she makes the final as one of two lucky losers.
7.20pm — Phil Lutton (weightlifting): As it turns out, Steiner couldn’t come out for his final lift. That 196kg ding to the head did him in. I know what you’re thinking — soft. It wasn’t even 200kg. He’ll have to take a total of 192kg on the snatch. I suspect that’s his chances of defending gold all gone. Three other lifters have already shifted 198kg and now we are entering 200kg territory. This is frightening to watch.
7.19pm — Georgina Robinson (athletics): Stakes are high and if you thought any of us media types were building it up just ask Reina-Flor Okori, whose false start just cost her her Olympic campaign. One gone from the first semi final. Olympic champion Dawn Harper goes on to win it eeeasily in 12.46secs — a personal best.
7.12pm — Phil Lutton (weightlifting): That’s gotta hurt. Defending Olympic champ, German Matthias Steiner (above), cops 196kg on the head after he fails to snatch the weight and the bar tumbles onto his neck. He lies there prone as they bring out a big Olympic banner so the audience can’t see what’s happening. Are they going to put him down? No! He’s up! Just a 196kg knock to the head. No biggie. Wowsers.
7.12pm — Michael Gleeson (athletics): Fresh from his Olympic final teenager Steve Solomon will lead off the men's relay team in the first round on Thursday morning. Ben Offereins wil run the back straight, Brendan Cole the third leg and John Steffensen will come home with the baton. Joel Milburn has been left out of the team for the first heat.
6.53pm — Georgina Robinson (athletics): Is anyone else spent or am I just soft? A final resolution (in our favour) in track cycling's greatest rivalry and Sally Pearson's biggest test a couple of hours away. Throw in a water polo nail-biter, more success but a looming USA match-up in the basketball and Australia's toughest cookie under 160cm in Lauren Mitchell and it's a bloody lot to take in. But Muse is playing over the loud speakers here at the stadium, I've stocked up on wine gums and mints, chewed a bit of concrete and I'm going to get us through this, folks.
It's Pearson first up in the 100m hurdles semis. Her main rival Dawn Harper (USA) is in the first race in lane four, then Pearson races Lolo Jones (USA) in the second race. Kellie Wells, another American, races in the third semi.
Straight after that Big Benn Harradine takes the field for the final of the men's discus. He threw 64 metres easily on his first attempt in the qualifying and was confident he had much more in him. The men's 800m semi-finals start while the blokes are throwing plates — no Aussies but watch out for David Rudisha, one of the most beautiful runners (technique, I'm talking about his technique), in the second race. He is a joy to watch.
Then it's the semis of the women's 200m — again no Australians — before Sally Pearson, universe willing, makes her appearance in the 100m hurdles final. If you're awake and reading this you've picked a gem of a morning. Enjoy.
6.48pm — Phil Lutton (weightlifting): It’s like a Vegas prizefight in here. The atmosphere is incredible at the ExCel as the big boppers of the men’s +105kg is about to get rolling. Already, we have some drama. Azerbaijani lifter Velichko Cholakov has failed to turn up for the weigh-in and has been eliminated before it starts. Mate – I feel sorry for you. We’ve all had that bus driver over here.
The massive men announced on stage now and there’s Behdad Salimi, all 168kg of Persian Pride from Iran. He’s so immense I’m ashamed to be male. The gold medal could be his and he could break his own world record. The collective grocery bill of this is about the same as the AOC’s budget.
6.05pm — Rupert Guinness (track cycling): He did it. I wish I could say Shane Perkins. But no. Sir Chris Hoy. The British cycling legend signs off on this Olympic track cycling meeting with a gold medal in the men's keirin final. He won from Maximillian Levy of German and Simon Velthooven of New Zealand, who is absolutely thrilled to grab a bronze medal. Hoy did it the hard way ... he was forced to race out in front and hold off the field for two laps. It would've been beyond any normal human being ... but Chris Hoy is no normal human being.
Cycling: Men's keirin final
5.50pm— ANNA MEARES HAS DONE IT! Gold for Australia in the women's sprint as Anna dominates the second race of their final to take the prize two races to zero over her great rival, Great Britain's track Victoria Pendleton. Anna has rushed into the crowd to embrace her family. Tremendous moment for Australia!
Meares takes the win after Pendleton was relegated in the first race for shifting out of her lane in the run to the line. It was Meares' turn to lead out in the second, but after she slowed almost to a stop, Pendleton took the front and did her best to hold on. Meares' tactics worked a treat as she rounded up Great Britain's keirin gold medallist and powered away for a comfortable victory.
Track cycling: Women's sprint
5.48pm — Daniel Sankey (main press centre): To give you an idea of the media interest on the track cycling action at the velodrome tonight (Anna Meares vs Victoria Pendleton in the women's sprint final and Sir Chris Hoy in the keirin) ... an announcement just came over the loudspeaker here in the MPC warning journalists that there was absolutely no space anywhere in the press tribunes. The only place they could squeeze in reporters was in the venue media centre, where journos would have to watch the race on the television feed. Admittedly the Olympic Stadium is a bigger venue, but that did not happen on men's 100m night when Usain Bolt won the gold!
5.47pm — Chris Dutton (basketball): The Opals have this one wrapped up. They're on their way to the semi final against the US. Jackson becomes the all-time leading scorer for women at the Olympics with 12 points. At times it wasn't pretty, but the Opals are still in the race for a gold medal. They just have to topple the champions of the past three Olympics to achieve their goal.
Basketball: Women's quarter-final
AUSTRALIA 75 (Cambage 17, Jackson 12, Batkovic 10) defeated
CHINA 60 (Ma 15, Miao 13, Chen 9)
5.41pm After failing to score in the third quarter, Jackson is back in the game and hit a big three-pointer to extend the Opals' lead to 10 and followed it up with some hard work down low to open up a 13-point gap. Cambage has 15, Batkovic has 10. We've got three minutes remaining. Opals 71 China 58
5.40pm — Rupert Guinness (track cycling): Drama in race one of the women's sprint final! Great Britain's Vicky Pendleton is first across the line against Australia's Anna Meares by a mouse's whisker ... just 0.001 seconds. But then she is relegated for coming out of her lane in the home straight in the run to the line. Anna Meares gets the win and is just one ride away from gold! Meares 1 Pendleton 0
5.36pm — Chris Dutton (basketball): Elizabeth Cambage has led the Opals back to the front and they've got a small buffer with six minutes left. Cambage has 12 points for the game and Abby Bishop has been outstanding with nine points. Jackson is back on the court, but she hasn't scored in the second half. Cambage gets her 14th point and the Opals are leading by six. Opals 63 China 57
5.29pm — Rupert Guinness (track cycling): Fantastic finish to the women's omnium, with Great Britain's Laura Trott pulling out the fastest time (35.110 seconds) in the 500m time trial to clinch the gold medal. The USA's Sarah Hammer was fourth fastest in 35.19secs but kept the silver; and great news for Annette Edmondson of Australia who took the bronze after being second fastest in the time trial (35.140 seconds).
For the record, third fastest in the time trial was France's Clara Sanchez in 35.451secs — she was the "spoiler" for points for Hammer. But great emotional scenes for Trott as she goes straight back to the grandstand to hug family and friends. Great images as she turns and stands with the British flag.
Edmondson is very happy too — as she should be. By the way, a right royal gathering of Royals and the likes tonight. Coming ...... (please insert drum roll here please to heighten anticipation) ... the women's sprint and men's keirin finals.
Cycling: Women's Omnium
5.26pm — Chris Dutton (basketball): The Opals are back in front! This is an intense, scrappy game, we could be in for another thriller here. Is it going to come down to another buzzer beater? The Opals got on top with a dominant three-minute period. They weren't at their best, but they got a bit of momentum rolling and now lead. Opals 53 China 50
5.15pm The good news is Jackson is back on the court and played the first three minutes of the second half. The Opals are also leading by one point ... oops as I wrote that China streaks away to get the lead back. We've got another see-saw battle here. The Opals haven't been convincing in any of their matches yet. China 42 Opals 41
5.11pm — Peter Hanlon (gymnastics): Lauren Mitchell has finished fifth in the women's floor final, with gold going to the American Alexandra Raisman from Catalina Ponor, the poor woman she knocked off the podium with a post-siren protest in the beam an hour ago. Mitchell has been squeezed out by the smallest margin between any competitors. Mitchell now lays claim to Australia’s best-ever gymnastics finish at an Olympic Games, as well as becoming our first ever gymnastics world champion in 2010.
5.04pm Lauren Mitchell's just been tipped into fourth by the Italian Vanessa Ferrari, who's scored 14.90 for her routine. Australia's quest for a first Olympic artistic gymnastics medal ends there.
Gymnastics: Women's floor final
ALEXANDRA RAISMAN (USA)
CATALINA PONOR (Romania)
ALIYA MUSTAFINA (Russia)
5.03pm — Chris Dutton (basketball): It's hard to know where to start after that first half — two bits of big news. The first — and probably most important — is Lauren Jackson was forced to leave the court with what looked like an ankle injury. She got trapped underneath Suzy Batkovic and limped to the doctor. She didn't return in the final three minutes of the half. The second is that CHINA IS LEADING. The Opals were expected to trounce the Chinese. But with Jackson on the sideline, China stole the lead just before half-time. They hold on to a one-point lead at the break. China 36 Opals 35
• Field goals: Opals 32%, China 47%
• Three pointers: Opals 1-6, China 3-5
• Rebounds: Opals 21, China 19
• Turnovers: Opals 7, China 8
5.01pm — Phil Lutton (weightlifting): Damon Kelly makes another successful lift, getting under 192kg with relative ease in his first attempt at the clean and jerk. Anybody recruiting bouncers would have a field day out here. Kelly loads up the bar to 201kg now — the crowd don’t mind that either. No fuss, no mess, no mucking around. He throws it up there and it’s another good lift. He’s not a medal chance but he’s having a good outing here today.
And here we go... he’s nudged it up to 205kg. And now 216kg! The quad must be ok. That’s three of me. He tucks in, bends, groans, pumps the big pistons and.... UP IT GOES! He loves it! Fires off a few fist pumps and that’s a total of 381kg. That won’t get him near the top guns of this event but he will be very pleased with his showing. I dare say he will eat — and possibly drink — for Australia after that sort of exertion.
4.58pm — Peter Hanlon (gymnastics): They're away in the twisting, turning, tumbling final that is the women's floor exercise. Lauren Mitchell is up fifth of eight, and with the fancied American Alexandra Raisman and Romania's Catalina Ponor preceding her routine, she'll know what she's got to beat.
Raisman's just set the standard with a jaw-dropping routine that's taken her into the gold medal position. With Fever playing, Ponor's said "right back at you". That should be nearly an even higher score ... no, to the boos of the crowd, she's only been awarded 15.20.
Here goes Mitchell ... wow, these women are amazing. She's going through a routine that looks harder than algebra. Here's the score — 14.833, and that'll give her bronze if the Italian, Russian and Romanian to follow can't better it.
4.57pm — Robert Dillon (water polo): Bugger. It's full-time here at the water polo arena and Australia's gold medal hopes are lying at the bottom of the pool. Despite another gutsy effort, the Stingers have gone down in extra time, but can hold their heads high. Their best hope now is a bronze. They'll play either Hungary or Spain.
Water polo: Women's semi-final
USA 11 defeated
4.56pm — Rupert Guinness (track cycling): Well, well ... Perkins is through to the final! Again he scraped through with a third place in round two. Winning his round was Germany's Maximilian Levy. In second was Kiwi Simon van Velthooven. In the other pedal off, Sir Chris Hoy won from Malaysia's Azizulhasni Awang and Dutchman Teun Mulder. So the finalists for the medal race are: Hoy, Awang, Mulder, Levy, van Velthooven and Perkins. The final race of the women's omnium is on — the 500m time trial. We'll know Annette Edmondson's fate very, very soon.
4.50pm It's on ... Anna Meares vs Vicky Pendleton for the women's sprint gold medal. Both won their semi-finals 2-0 d after both won their semi-finals; Pendleton over Kristina Vogel from Germany and Meares over Shuang Guo of China. Both looked fast. Both looked strong. Both looked happy afterwards and smiled and waved to a cheering crowd.
Meantine, Annette Edmondson is up into third spot on her own now — after starting session on equal third with Tara Whitten with two events to go. In the 10km scratch race, Edmondson won from Sarah Hammer of the USA and Laura Trott of Great Britain. Standings with one event left have Hammer on leading with 15 points, Trott second on 17 points and Edmondson third on 22. The final event is the 500m time trial.
Okay, brace yourself, round two of the men's keirin is on and Shane Perkins is in race two. The world champ has taken the long way through to get here ... via the repechage, in which he only just scraped. Gripping stuff. Oh yeah ... hot here too!
4.49pm — Chris Dutton (basketball): Opals very quiet in the second quarter of their match against China. The crowd isn't that big here either. They haven't got the Army in to fill seats and I can see plenty of vacant orange chairs splattered around the court. You never know what's going to happen in a match like this, even though Australia is ranked much higher. A nervous moment for the Opals just then, Jackson went down on her ankle and struggled to get back up. Scores locked up. Opals 29 China 29
4.40pm — Robert Dillon (water polo): Full-time here at the water polo arena and the news is .... unbelievable! The Aussies have been saved by an Ashleigh Southern penalty a second from full-time. We're now having extra time, three minutes each way. Drama aplenty. These Aussie girls are the Houdinis of world water polo.
There has to be an easier way to earn a quid than covering these Aussie Stingers. I have deadset aged 20 years in the past two games. First a penalty shoot-out win against China. Now we're heading into extra time against the Yanks. These girls are surely destined for gold. They keep finding a way to get out of jail. Australia 9 US 9
4.36pm — Chris Dutton (basketball): The basketball venue has delivered some memorable Australian moments during the Olympics. First it was Belinda Snell's hail Mary from inside her own half to send the Opals' match against France into overtime. The Opals lost that one, but another highlight came two days later when Elizabeth Cambage become the first female in Olympic history to slam dunk during a match at the Games. The men have been decent too. Patrick Mills scored 39 points against Great Britain and then hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to beat Russia yesterday. What magic will we see today? Opals lead China by six. Opals 22 China16
4.30pm — Peter Hanlon (gymnastics): Epke Zonderland of the Netherlands has won gold in the men's horizontal bar with an incredible routine. Don't think any of Fanny Blankers-Koen's four gold on the track at London 1948 made it onto YouTube as fast as Epke's work. He's awesome.
Australia's Lauren Mitchell coming up on the floor any minute now.
4.21pm — Chris Dutton (basketball): Five minutes into the match here at the basketball and China is proving a tough competitor. At the moment it's fairly open and both teams getting plenty of shots away. Jackson could be in for a big night. I'm backing her for 30 points. Suzy "the Batgirl" Batkovic about to be subbed in. For anyone interested, the US beat Canada 91-48 to book their spot in the semis. China leading by two here. China 14 Opals 12
4.21pm — Robert Dillon (water polo): This is going to be a battle to the death. The Americans went out to a two-goal lead but the Aussies have narrowed the deficit to one, at the end of the third quarter. Are the Stingers heading to extra time for the second successive game? One thing is for sure, they won't go down without a fight. USA 7 Australia 6.
4.18pm — Phil Lutton (weightlifting): Australia’s Damon Kelly is ranked eighth after the snatch in Group B of the men’s +105kg weightlifting at the ExCel Arena. Kelly’s 165kg was a promising result, although he’s behind the early pacesetter Yauheni Zharnasek from Belarus, who threw up a big total of 196kg. He had a good battle with Hungary’s Peter Nagy, who finished with a snatch total of 191kg. The bar looks like it’s going to collapse the stage as it thuds back into the floor. Outstanding stuff — and these aren’t even the main medal hopes. They are on later this evening in Group A. Clean and jerk about to begin.
4.11pm — Chris Dutton (basketball): We're about three minutes away from tip-off here at the Basketball Arena. We've got the Australian Opals up against China in the women's quarter finals. If the Opals will, they will advance to a semi-final clash with the United States. It's not the way the Opals had planned their tournament. They had hoped to stay on the opposite side of the draw to the US until the gold-medal match. But only one will make it to the final now.
4.02pm — Robert Dillon (water polo): It's a thrill-a-minute here at half-time in the water polo semi. Both teams trading goals and nobody has yet grabbed the ascandancy. Ash Southern has rifled in three goals for the Stingers and Alicia McCormack saved a penalty. But Aussies still on the wrong end of the scoreline. USA 6 Australia 5.
3.49pm — Daniel Sankey (sailing update): Australia's men's 470 crew of Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page are assured of at least a silver medal, leading the class heading into tomorrow's final medal race. The Aussies won races nine and 10 of their series today to finish four points ahead of Great Britain on the points tally. The equation tomorrow is simple ... if they finish ahead of or one position behind the Great Britain crew in tomorrow's medal race, they will take the gold. More than one position behind the Great Britain crew, and they will take silver.
If they can take the gold, it would be the third Australia has won at London 2012. Tom Slingsby grabbed our first in the men's Laser yesterday, and the men's 49er crew of Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen will receive their gold medal after tomorrow's medal race (they already have an unassailable lead and just need to get through tomorrow's race).
3.46pm — Robert Dillon (water polo): It's quarter-time here at the water polo, and scores are 3-all. Aussies led 2-0 and then 3-2 but the Yanks hit back by equalising with two seconds left on the clock. That hurts. Ash Southern has two goals for the Stingers. Australia 3 USA 3
3.44pm — Phil Lutton (weightlifting): Three good lifts for Damon Kelly of Australia as he makes mincemeat of 165kg in the snatch. He is pumped, the big man. Clean and jerk to come as the rest of the field makes it through their snatch attempts.
3.42pm Damon Kelly has loaded 5kg on the bar and will attempt 160kg in his second lift in the snatch. He looked good in his first lift — let’s see how he goes here. And he throws it up there as he lets out a huge bellow. It’s a good lift. Great stuff from the massive man. He had no idea how he would go here after that quad strain but he’s running on adrenalin with some great support for him in the stands.
3.40pm Australia’s gentle giant of the Games, Damon Kelly, smashes out his first lift of 155kg in the snatch. The quad didn’t seem to hamper him there. Good start for the big man.
3.39pm — Peter Hanlon (gymnastics): Welcome to North Greenwich Arena, which was Tony Blair's Millennium Dome last time I was here, back when I wore a younger man's clothes. Less than an hour now until Perth's Lauren Mitchell goes for gold on the floor, and there's been a controversy in the beam involving two of her rivals. The Chinese quinellaed it, with the Romanian Catalina Ponor — who took gold on the floor in Athens eight years ago — finishing third. The Americans weren't happy with the score given to their girl Alexandra Raisman so protested, and after a couple of tense minutes her score was bumped up and Ponor was bumped off the podium.
From up here in the no-idea seats, they might have had a point: Raisman's routine looked terrific, although I guess there's more to it than simply not falling off.
Anyway, both Raisman — who has already won team gold here and enters the floor final as the favourite — and Ponor are two of Mitchell's big rivals in her quest to become Australia's (and Perth's) first Olympic artistic gymnastics medallist.
3.26pm — Robert Dillon (water polo): Here we are back at the water polo arena for the semi-final between Australia and the United States. Our girls in buoyant mood after their penalty shoot-out win against China. The crowd is deadset going bananas. Great rivalry between these teams after Australia beat the Yanks in Sydney 2000 to win the gold medal.
2.45pm Phil Lutton (weightlifting): Rumble big man rumble. I’m strapping myself in at the ExCel Arena for one of my favourite events of the Games, the men’s +105kg weightlifting. These are the strongest men in the world and the some of the biggest brutes in the Games. This joint is going to thundering as they throw around the big iron this afternoon and this evening. The medal favourites are going to be lifting totals of 450kg plus. Almost all of these goliaths are weighing in at more than 150kg.
2.07pm — Daniel Sankey (gymnastics): They're showing men's gymnastics on Channel 9 at the moment and I did hear them mention that Lauren Mitchell would be up soon in the women's floor apparatus final. That's certainly correct, but depends on how you describe soon ... especially if you're in Australia and planning on staying up to watch her. The latest gymnastics scheduled (revised just two hours ago) has the floor final listed to start at 4.31pm UK time (1.31am Wednesday AEST). The program for the gymnastics today is as follows:
• 2pm (11pm AEST): Men's parallel bars final
• 2.51pm (11.51pm AEST): Women's beam final
• 3.43pm (12.43am Wednesday AEST): Men's horizontal bar final
• 4.31pm (1.31am Wednesday AEST): Women's floor final — Lauren Mitchell
1.48pm DIVING —Big congratulations to Australia's Ethan Warren, who has scraped into the final of the men's 3m springboard in 11th position (12 qualify). Warren, just 20 years of age and making his Olympic debut, finished with a total score of 456.85, 53.30 behind the top qualifier, China's Chong He. So there's a bit of work to do for Warren to get into medal contention, but in an Olympic final, nobody can be ruled out.
To medal, Warren will have to score more than 500 points ... and that's not out of the question, given he did exactly that in the London Test Event earlier this year.
The final will be held at 7pm (4am Wednesday AEST) — and no matter the result, it's been a terrific effort by Warren to even get to London. Last year, he was forced to miss almost four months of training after being diagnosed with myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart caused by infection. He spent a week in hospital and his future in the sport was under threat. Just 12 months later, he's in an Olympic final. Great stuff.
1.17pm MEN'S TRIATHLON — Terrific scenes in Hyde Park as Alistair Brownlee, well clear of the rest of the field, drapes himself in the Great Britain flag and strolls across the finish line (above) to the cheers of a jubilant home crowd. Brownlee threw down the gauntlet to Javier Gomez in the second half the the 10km run leg and the Spaniard couldn't respond, having to settle for the silver. Brownlee's brother, Jonathan, held on for the bronze medal to secure another medal for the host nation.
Australia's Courtney Atkinson was right in contention until the run leg. He entered the final transition in a group of about 20, but couldn't go with the hot early pace set by the three medallists, eventually finishing in 18th position (+2:54). Brad Kahlefeldt (32nds, +3:52) and Brendan Sexton (35th, +4:11) were the other Aussies who finished out of the medals.
Triathlon: Men's medal race
1.07pm The crowd is going ballistic as Great Britain's Alistair Brownlee puts a five second gap on Spain's Javier Gomez. Alistair's brother Jonathan is still in third place, despite having to stop for a 15-second penalty for mounting his bike too early in the first transition. He's now 13 seconds in front of France's Laurent Vidal, and the race for gold and bronze is well and truly on. Australia's Courtney Aktinson hasn't been able to make an impression in the run ... he's fallen out of the top 10 and at last count, was sitting in 12th.
12.56pm — Georgina Robinson (athletics): Both Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake are through to the semis, which is no great surprise. A third Jamaican is also through. Warren Weir qualified second-fastest behind Ecuadorian Alex Quinonez, wiht Lemaitre third and Blake and Bolt in fourth- and fifth-fastest positions respectively.
And in some great news for Australia, Kathryn Mitchell scraped into the final of the women's javelin. Mitchell threw managed to crack the 60-metre mark with a best throw of 60.11m. She qualified in the 12th and final spot, with Kim Mickle down in 17th.
That's a wrap from the track. Hope your alarms are set for a few minutes before 4.15am AEST, when Sally Pearson runs in the 100m hurdles semi-final. The dramas in the men's event are a chilling reminder of how it can all come unstuck on a fast track. Hopefully Pearson can maintain the razor-sharp focus she displayed in her heat and go through to the final, at 6am AEST, tomorrow morning. Benn Harradine is also in the discus final at 4.45am AEST. It could be a big morning for Australia. See you then.
12.48pm Great Britain's triathlon brothers Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee and Spain's have surged clear at the beginning of the 10km run leg, putting a 30m gap on the chasing runners. Australia's Courtney Atkinson, who had an excellent changeover from the bike, hasn't had the best start to the run ... he's another 30m behind the chasing pack and will have to work hard to get himself back into medal contention.
12.22pm Just past the halfway mark in the men's triathlon as the competitors enter their fourth of seven laps on the bike. The chasing pack caught the leading five riders and we now have a group of 22 vying for the medals. Australia's Courtney Atkinson was officially 12th in the group and looking comfortable on the bike. Unfortunately, his fellow Aussies Brad Kahlefeldt and Brendan Sexton haven't been able to tack on and their medal chances look over. They're in the second pack (in 31st and 33rd positions respectively) at +1:10.
12.13pm — Tim Barrow (men's hockey): Glenn Turner makes it 7-nil with a diving deflection off Eddie Ockenden's pass. Pakistan challenge the goal, saying their defender was pushed out of the play. The goal stands however and it's full-time here at Riverbank Arena. Australia march through to the medal rounds with an emphatic win.
Hockey: men's preliminary
AUSTRALIA 7 (C Ciriello 2, R Ford, G Turner, L De Young, M Knowles, J Dwyer) defeated
12.05pm — Georgina Robinson (athletics): Well that was easy for the U-Bolt wasn't it. A fast start then a jog from the 160m mark to take the first heat of the men's 200m hurdles in 20.39 seconds. This is his pet event though, he will be gunning for teammate Yohan Blake, so don't let that heat performance fool you, or the fact Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre qualified 0.05sec faster. Blake is up in heat four.
12.05pm — Rupert Guinness (canoe sprint): Good news and bad news from the waters of Eton Dorney ... let's start with the good. The men's K4 1000m crew won their semi-final to go directly into Thursday's final. Getting an early lead, they held it all the way to the finish, despite a strong last burst from world champions Germany. Australia finished in 2mins 52.505secs, with Germany second in 2min 53.575secs and the Czech Republic third in 2min 53.984secs. The guys were happy, as you may have seen from Tate Smith at the finish line.
Also in the "good news" basket goes the Australian crew for the C2 1000m men's semi-final. The pairing of Alex Haas and Jake Donaghy may have been fifth and last — clocking 3mins 52.018secs compared to the winning time of 3mins 36.456secs of the victorious Russians. But considering they are 17 year-olds looking ahead to the 2016 Olympics in Rio, they had every right to be happy for the experience. They are confident that they are on track for 2016 Games. Compare them in size and strength to most of the others and you can see what value another four years will give them. This has been experience in the bank for them.
Okay, now the bad news. Alana Nicholls was fifth in her semi-final of the K1 500m. It was a tight finish for them all, but the first two to go straight to the final, her fifth sees her go to the B-final. It was nevertheless a stunning finish with South Africa's Bridgitte Hartley coming from behind in lane six — two lanes outside Nicholls, who was in lane 4 — to win the race. The other automatic qualifier for the final was Ukraine's Inna Osypenko-Radomska. And in the women's K2 500m semi, Naomi Flood and Lysdsie Fogarty failed to qualify for the final after a slow start put them out of the frame.
12.03pm — Daniel Sankey (men's triathlon): Great Britain's Brownlee brothers, Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, are doing their best with three other rivals to put a gap on the chasing pack in the bike leg of the men's triathlon. Joining the Brownlee brothers in the lead group are Italy's Alessandro Fabian, Spain's Javier Gomez and Slovakia's Richard Varga. Australia's Courtney Atkinson still the best placed Aussie — he's in the chasing pack which is about 15 seconds in arrears on the lead group.
11.50am — Tim Barrow (men's hockey): Jamie Dwyer shows why he is the best in the world and makes it 6-nil. 21 minutes left and I can officially declare a rout. Not even I can put the mock on them now, can I? Australia 6 Pakistan 0
11.48am — Daniel Sankey (men's triathlon): Courtney Atkinson is the best-placed Australian after the swim leg of the men's triathlon. He emerged from the water in 21st place, just 30 seconds off the lead. Brad Kahlefeldt was in 33rd (+1:10) and Brendan Sexton in 47th (+1:57). Race favourite Alistair Brownlee, of Great Britain, is in the leading bunch.
11.46am — Tim Barrow (men's hockey): Wow. Bang! Australia make it five goals, with a smashing Russell Ford shot, there's no keeper in the world who could stop that blisteing hit. Pakistan had made a better start to the second half, with Muhummas Rizwan Snr (junior is also playing in this Pakistan team) showing brilliant skill to fire off a back-handed bullet, but Nathan Burgers is up to the challenge with a pad save. The only challenge now is for the Kookaburras to produce the ruthless streak they talk about and keep the procession of goals going. With 25 minutes remaining, Australia 5 (Ciriello 2, De Young, Knowles, Ford) Pakistan 0
11.38am — Georgina Robinson (athletics): Henry's House of Frayne. Looks like he's missed qualifying for the triple jump final by a good few places. Too many guys nailing high 16s today. Such a shame for the 22-year-old, who set a personal best of 17.23m in March this year.
11.32am The Frayne Train waits. He improved his final jump to 16.40m but has to wait now for the rest of the field to finish before they can collate the top 12. Please reFrayne from panicking, he could still make it. [Pun credit to Dave Robertson (@_daverobbo) on Twitter]
11.29am — Daniel Sankey (men's triathlon): Set for a start in the men's triathlon — Australia represented by Courtney Atkinson, Brad Kahlefeldt and Brendan Sexton. Atkinson finished 11th in Beijing; Kahlefeldt won the 2008 Commonwealth Games and was 16th in Beijing, while Sexton is making his Olympic debut.
11.27am — Tim Barrow (men's hockey): Half-time: Ciriello has his second less than two minutes before the break to make it 4-0. Australia were peppering the goal, forcing a couple of saves from Shah. Eventually Ciriello fires a backhanded shot into the bottom right corner and Australia are well on the way to a semi-final place. They've given up two and three goal leads, but not four, surely. Australia 4 (Ciriello 2, De Young, Knowles) Pakistan 0
11.22am Three-nil, yes got him! Chris Ciriello, who has had a wonderful Olympic campaign to this point, slots a low penalty corner shot into the backboard. On resumption the game has been held up by Jamie Dwyer going down for a collision with opponent Waseem Ahmad. At the other end, Mark Knowles made a smart defensive deflection to prevent a likely Pauk-e-starrrn goal, but it's the only real chance they've had. Continuing the Tony Greig inspired blog theme, it's been a maurrvelaus start to this game, the Aussies are playing hauurrrrd and faurrrst. Five minutes left in the first half: Australia 3 (De Young, Knowles, Ciriello) Pakistan 0
11.21am — Georgina Robinson (athletics): Henry Frayne (pictured above) is going well in the triple jump qualifying. His first two jumps were 16.25m and 16.35m — both short of the 17.10m automatic qualifying jump but competitive in this field so far. Frayne also made the long jump, finishing out of the medals (teammate Mitchell Watt won silver).
11.18am Aussie Eloise Wellings lined up for her second Olympic event today, the women's 5000m, but came in in 15th place (15 minutes 35.53 seconds) so won't go any further. Wellings finished 21st in the 10,000m on Friday.
Have you heard of Liu Xiang
? He is the poorest sod going in athletics and here's why. The Athens 110 metre hurdles gold medallist and former world record holder was set to defend his Olympic title in Beijing before having to withdraw from the event in Beijing at the very last minute due to leg and heel injuries.
Last year, at the world championships in Daegu, Liu made the final but came third after Cuban Dayron Robles pulled on his arm from the lane beside Liu. Robles won the final but was disqualified, elevating Liu to the silver medal position but denying him the chance to put Beijing behind him.
Liu is a hero in China but was under enormous pressure coming into London to provide a happy ending after the heartbreak of the past few years. Today he started his 2012 campaign in a generally shambolic set of heats that saw two disqualifications, hurdles flying left right and centre and at least five athletes who did not finish. Liu lined up in the sixth and final heat of the first round and — can you believe it — didn't make it past the second hurdle, clipping the first and tumbling head-first onto the track.
The 29-year-old limped off the track and looked to make his way into the tunnel but had second thoughts. He came back out and hopped down the straight, while the crowd cheered him on, determined to finish. As he approached the finish line he hopped over to lane four and touched the final hurdle, before hopping back to the sideline and crossing the finish line. He was met by three of his fellow hurdlers, who all understand where he's come from. They hugged him and helped him into a waiting wheelchair. Another Olympic campaign aborted. That is heartbreak.
10.55am — Tim Barrow (men's hockey): ANOTHER GOAL FOR AUSTRALIA! Again, a flying start for the Kookaburras, with Mark Knowles slots a penalty stroke in the top left corner, after Matthew Butturini was cruedly brought down in the circle when about to shoot. Early domination has been a common theme in this tournament and it will be a real confidence booster for them to maintain and perhaps even extend the lead against Pakistan. After 8 minutes: Australia 2 (De Young, Knowles) Pakistan 0
10.52am — GOAL FOR AUSTRALIA! It took just five minutes for the Kookaburras to take the lead, through their first penalty corner. Co-captain Liam De Young was at the back post after the ball was deflected off Pauk-e-starrrrn's goalkeeper Imran Shah, cleaning up the scraps to push it in. Australia 1 Pakistan 0
10.44am — Georgina Robinson (athletics): Hmm... Australian Kim Mickle fouled her third throw so her best for the morning is still 59.23m. She might struggle to stay in the top 12 depending on how group B goes. We'll keep you updated.
10.41pm — Rupert Guinness (canoe sprint): Latest news from Eton Dorney ... Alana Nicholls has been our most impressive performer, placing second in her K1 500m heat to make the semi-finals later this morning. With the first six from seven starters going to the semi, the big story would have been had she missed out. But she had an impressive start and led through the 240m after which Great Britain's Rachel Cawthorn came through to win in 1min 53.491sec. Nicholls cruised through, no doubt saving some gas for the knock-out round to come. Some excitment later though in the K2 500m for women, when the spotlight fell on the last three crews, including Australias Naomi Flood and Lydsie Fogarty. With the first five to the semi-final, one crew would miss out and between Australia, Great Britain and Cuba — who finished 4th, 5th and 6th — there was only 300th/second! That is what you call ... close!
Just in: On those sausage and bacon rolls? Yup I cracked and bought one — improvement on last week's, but still nothing beats the sausage sizzle at footy back home (burp!).
10.40pm — Tim Barrow (men's hockey): From the Hockeyroo heartbreak, comes Australia's world No 1 hope the Kookaburras against Pauk-i-starrrrn, in my best Tony Greig impression, this morning at Riverbank Stadium. Unlike our women's team, the men can afford a draw today and make it through to the semi-finals. Still, Ric Charlesworth's team could have already sealed their spot, giving up a two goal lead against Argentina and three goals against Team GB. A loss put the Aussies in the danger zone, with Britain and Spain to meet later in the day, anything better and we're off to the medal rounds. Play to start shortly.
10.14am — Georgina Robinson (athletics): Good opening throw of 59.23m from Kim Mickle (pictured above). Not quite the automatic qualifying distance of 62m but not far off it either and she has two throws to come. If she doesn't make that distance she needs to be top 12 to advance. Barbora Spotakova came and conquered with a first throw of 66.19m. She's one of the few 70m throwers. That's her morning's work done.
10.11am — Daniel Sankey (track cycling): Huge blow for Australia's Shane Perkins in the men's keirin this morning. The individual sprint bronze medallist missed a top two placing in his heat, which will force him into a sudden death repechage to qualify for the semi-finals later today. Commentator Phil Liggett remarked he may have been a bit stiff from yesterday's racing.
10am — Georgina Robinson (athletics): Welcome to day five of track and field! Four Australians up this morning — Kim Mickle and Kathryn Mitchell in the javelin qualifying, Henry "Wolverine" Frayne in the triple jump and Eloise Wellings in the 5000m — and a certain famous Jamaican trying to etch his name deeper in history. Err, that's Usain Bolt if it's been a hard day for you back home. He's running in the 200m heats in the first leg of his campaign to bag the "double double" — gold in the 100m and 200m at two consecutive Olympics.
But first up it's Mickle in the javelin. She's in a tough qualifying group — including the reigning champ Barbora Spotakova from Czech Republic and Christina Obergfoll from Germany — but 12 are taken so it's doable. Mitchell is in Group B for qualifying, which starts at 11.35am (8.35pm AEST).
9.45am — Rupert Guinness (canoe sprint): From bikes back to boats, but ones that go forward rather than backwards, I'm at the canoe-kayak at Eton Dorney today. And racing has begun. Its cold and windy, but I think they have improved on their egg, sausage and bacon rolls (looking at another journo eaitng one now ... mmm).
Where was I?
Yes .. canoe-kayak and Australia has four entries racing today, starting with the K4 1000m of Tate Smith, Dave Smith, Murray Stewart and Jacob Clear who have just raced their heat. With only first to the final and the others to the semi-final on Thursday, they placed third. First was Hungary in 2mins 54.153secs, second Czech Republic in 2mins 54.267secs and third Australia in 2min 59.789secs.
Also coming up, or ON as I write, is the men's C2 1000m in which the 17-year-old Australian crew of Alex Haas and Jake Donaghy — definitely here for valuable experience and with an eye on Rio 2016. They were sixth and last in their heat. Quite a ways back were the Queenslanders, but it is vital experience in the bank.