France celebrate their victory. Photo: Steve Christo
THAT brings to a close Day 2 at the London Olympics.
It's been a rainy day, but there's been no shortage of action. If you missed Australia's flop in the men's 4x100m, you can relive the pain in Phil Lutton's live coverage from the pool.
(Warning: scenes may not be suitable for children)
Recap some of the other action including the Boomers vs Brazil (Reporter: Chris Dutton) and the women's 140km road race (Rupert Guinness) and the gymnastics (Georgina Robinson ).
PHIL LUTTON: REACTIONS? That wraps up a dramatic night of swimming at the London Olympic pool. We've seen two world records fall, gold medals for Dana Vollmer (USA), Cameron van den Burgh (South Africa), Camille Muffat (France) and the French 4 x 100m relay team. On the Australian front, Christian Sprenger wins silver in the 100m breaststroke and Alicia Coutts in the 100m fly.
But the debate is over the men's 4 x 100m relay, who missed a medal tonight as the French and Americans swam off in a superb race, won by the French. James Magnussen had the grumps after it finished and swam a 48.03 to lead off, well behind his best time of 47.10. He sat on the plastic chair with his head in his hands and was stunned. That turned the plan on its head and the Aussies played catch up from there. James Roberts, another big fancy in the 100 freestyle, swam another poor leg and Australia - hot favourites going in - finished fourth. How does the Missile bounce bounce back from here? This will test his resolve like never before. He has to get over it and man-up for the sprints.
We're back tomorrow with heats and semis of the women's 200m free, heats and semis of the men's 200m fly and heats and semis the women's 200m IM. Gold medals up for grabs in the men's 200m freestyle, women's 100m backstroke, men's 100m backstroke and women's 100m breaststroke.
Phelps, Lochte, Rice, Sun, Jones in the mix and Emily Seebohm a big chance for gold in the women's 100m backstroke. Join me then, or at least take me in your pocket on the commute to work.
10.37pm — Tim Barrow reports: Australia WINS in the badminton. Dominating with a 21-9, 21-7 victory by Renuga Veeran and Leanne Choo. Take that South Africa. Well done ladies. Apparently we lost elsewhere though, which is disappointing for all concerned.
10.19pm Bouncing back form the devastation for Australia's 4x100m freestyle defeat, Renuga Veeran and Leanne Choo have won the first set against South Africa in the badminton. They took command with deft skill and power to secure it 21-9, with the second set underway now.
UPDATE — Phil Lutton reports: Giann Rooney has still got love for The Missile. She tweets: "Would like everyone to know that Magnussen didn't brush me, he was just walking around in a daze, don't think he even knew I was there."
9.38pm Here's some feedback from Magnussen. He tells Michael Cowley that he is absolutely gutted with that lead-off swim: "Words cannot describe how I feel. I dont know what went wrong. I felt like I was going really well into the race. That's my first big disappointment."
He also gave short shrift to Nine's Giaan Rooney on pool deck as well: "I’ve got no response really. I don’t know what happened.”
9.28pm — Georgina Robinson reports: Perth girl Lauren Mitchell is through to floor final in gymnastics! Great news given the huge disappointment of the women's team missing the final, squeezed out of the top eight by Romania and Japan. Mitchell is a medal chance but will need a huge effort to beat Russian, American and Italian rivals. She has been talking to the Australian team psychologist over the past couple of days to deal with the pressure. Ever since she won gold on the floor in the 2010 world champs she's been Australia's brightest hope. That's a lot to carry on small shoulders. Let's get behind her! Unobtrusively.
9.20pm — Phil Lutton reports: Thoughts on that relay? Some twitter folk not particulary impressed with Magnussen's post-swim interview with Nine. It all went horribly wrong from the start. They were considered very good things here in London. Magnussan a concern but so too Roberts, who didn't look to be flying in either of his swims today and was perhaps lucky to be part of the final. No good things at the Olympics, as we just found out. The surprises keep rolling at the pool.
9.12pm G'day SF from Canberra. Very good point regarding Magnussen, one which we were just discussing. Sprinting is a real confidence event in swimming and that could have a real impact on his individual efforts. It was a slow leg, no doubt, but as I said I'm not sure it cost them gold. James Roberts has had two swims and also looks stuck in the lower gears. But what a race - just have to love the madness of the relay.
9.08pm Sensational race. The Americans and the French at it on the final leg and the French get there by the nearest of margins. Boilover at the pool. And the red-hot favourites Australia miss a medal. James Magnussen sits on the chair with his head in his hands. He swam a slow leg to lead them out and he thinks that has cost his team dearly. They would have hoped he had given them a big lead. To be honest, I'm not sure it mattered. James Roberts didn't make much ground on Cullen Jones in any case. Great leg from Phelps - maybe that gets his mojo back after the 400m IM performance.
MEN'S 4 x 100m RELAY Clean start. Magnussen in the water - he swam a treat in the heats. Magnussen and Adrian lead them to the change. No big lead for the Missile - slow leg from him. Americans in front at the halfway mark - huge from Phelps! Gets them half a body and the Aussies in all sorts now. USA well in front with one swim to go - they'll need a disaster to lose this. Roberts v Lochte.... Lochte well clear and they are going to street them. The Americans flying but the French coming to get them! Aussies gone and maybe miss a medal! Lochte rallies.... what a race! FRANCE! GOLD to the French, silver to the USA, Russia bronze and the Australians fourth.
9pm And here we go folks... the men's 4 x 100m relay. This is like Ali-Frazier three after a good undercard. This has long been tipped to be one of the races of the entire meet. Australia the quickest in lane four with James Magnussen, Matt Targett, Eamon Sullivan and James Roberts. For the USA, it's Nathan Adrian, Michaelp Phelps, Cullen Jones and Ryan Lochte. Let's get it on...
8.56pm Hocking and Seebohm away. Seebohm got the Olympic record this morning with a 58.23, let's see what she has left in the tank tonight. Seebohm turns inside the world record. She's flying.... 58.39 and she wins the semi-final. Hocking fourth in 59.79. Seebohm is the fastest qualifier for the final ahead of USA's Missy Franklin. Belinda Hocking also makes it, qualifying seventh. Seebohm the woman to beat for gold. She'll start favourite in tomorrow night's final.
8.52pm As we wait for Emily Seebohm and Belinda Hocking in their 100m backstroke semi, here's what Brenton Rickard thought of the men's 100m breaststroke, which saw his WR tumble at the hands of Cameron van der Burgh.
"Not bad, not quite where I wanted to be. I pride myself on doing well in finals so to go slower than the semis, that's the most disappointing part of it," he said. "I don't think I got my first 50m right. It just didn't quite happen unfortunately."
8.37pm Hayden Stoeckel does well to swim a 53.74 and qualify eighth for the men's 100m backstroke final tomorrow night. American Matthew Grevers wins the second heat and is the quickest man through in 52.66. He's the gold medal favourite and exceptionally good at swimming backwards. Women's 100m backstroke semi-finals on the way next.
8.32pm Daniel Arnamnart finishes eighth in his 100m backstroke semi, with Frenchman Camille Lacourt winning. Meanwhile, Christian Sprenger is over the moon at his silver medal in the 100m breaststroke. South Africa's Cameron van den Burgh won gold in a WR time.
"Sometimes you just have those swims where everything falls into place," he tells Michael Cowley.
"I think I was 12th in the Olympics in 2008, so I think focusing on the100m and dropping the 200m was a good move for me. I gained a lot of confidence and just trainng for it specifically was a good move."
WOMEN'S 400m FREESTYLE Here's the big chance for the Brits and they lift the roof off as Rebecca Adlington dives in from lane eight. Camille Muffat from France the quickest qualifier in lane four next to countrywoman Coralie Balmy. That pair lead them down the 150m stretch about half a body length clear. They're under world record pace. Adlington battling a touch to stay with them from lane eight but a long way to go and she is the champ. Muffat leads them home with 100m to go now. Allison Schmidt the American right there on her shoulder. Adlington racing for bronze. Huge roar and Muffat and Schmidt got at it here... what a race. They touch and it's..... GOLD for Muffat! She sets an OLYMPIC RECORD 4.01.05. Allison Schmidt the American gets silver and Adlington battled hard to get bronze. Well played.
Women's 400m freestyle
Camille Muffat (France)
Coralie Balmy (France)
Rebecca Adlington (Great Britain)
MEN'S 100m BREASTSTROKE FINAL Kosuke Kitajima, the twice Olympic champ, in lane seven jumps well. As does Cameron van der Burgh the South African in lane four. It's quick. Rickard has the WR in this but it's a suit time. They come back and van der Burgh is clear. He will win GOLD for South Africa and it's a WORLD RECORD of 58.46. Wonderful swim from Sprenger and he gets silver, with the US veteran Brendan Hansen winning bronze.
Men's 100m breaststroke
Cameron van der Burgh (South Africa)
Christian Sprenger (Australia)
Brendan Hansen (USA)
8.13pm Men's 100m breaststroke about to jump. Australia has two chances with Brentan Rickard and Christian Sprenger. A wide open race and they are both in with a medal chance. Ready to roll...
8.08pm A tear during the ceremony for Vollmer. She looked too excited for words there. Lovely moment. Coutts loving it all as well. And Foo Fighters on the PA. It's all happening here.
" I'm so excited and on top of the world right now. I've never had an individual world record and now (a) gold medal. Everything went as I could have wanted. I had a long finish so I could still go faster (in future races)," Vollmer said.
8.04pm Coutts getting her bronze medal. Great opening few nights for her. Gold in the relay and bronze tonight in the 100m fly. Dana Vollmer from the US accepts her gold. A very deserving Olympic champion and a world record to go with the bling. A fair night at the office. Star Spangled Banner about to play and it won't be the last time we hear that in this venue.
8pm Less empty seats tonight. I expect the army are in civvies tonight to plug the gaps.
7.57pm G'day to SF from Canberra. Thanks for checking. Coutts did well, didn't she? Strong finish. Jones in the water now and should get through. That first final was a slow one, Michael Cowley assures me. They hit and Meilutyte wins easily in 1.05.21. Jones qualifies fifth for tomorrow night's final in a time of 1.06.81, which is her quickest time this year. Leiston Pickett misses out.
7.54pm Rebecca Soni from the US wins the first semi of the women's 100m breaststroke in 1.05.98. Leisel Jones and Leiston Pickett up next. The 15-year old Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte in lane four is the quickest so far today.
7.50pm Here's an update on Alicia Coutts, who won bronze in the 100m fly earlier. She tells Chris Barrett that she swallowed water with 15m to go and it may have cost her silver. She didn't get to bed until 7am after her gold medal last night in the relay. Just couldn't sleep and who could blame her?
7.45pm Sun is a stringbean at six-foot-eight and just eats up the water with those huge strokes. Fraser-Holmes leads them at the halfway mark. But Sun Yang streaks clear and is the top qualifier for the final. Thomas Fraser-Holmes makes it but Kenrick Monk misses out. Does that mean he has to go home after his Facebook photo? That's so harsh.
7.40pm Paul Biedermann, the German world-record holder, wins that semi ahead of Ryan Lochte. His WR is in the flash suits and he is miles off that pace, setting a 1.46.10 tonight ahead of Lochte's 1.46.31. Sun Yang won the 400m gold last night and races in semi-final two, along with Kenrick Monk and Thomas Fraser-Holmes, the Aussie entrants.
7.36pm Big swim from Vollmer but no surprise. She has looked in wonderful touch this week. China are swimming the house down this week and Lu Ying finishes second ahead of Coutts, who had a quick start by her standards, fell behind and powered home. Great race to start the night. Men lining up for the 200m freestyle semi-final as I type.
WOMEN'S 100m BUTTERFLY They're in. Start is clean. Coutts has a strong finish but needs to stay in touch. She's a head behind at the turn. Coutts needs to move as Vollmer bolts clear. GOLD for Vollmer and a WORLD RECORD of 55.98. What a swim. Lu Ying is second and a BRONZE for Alicia Coutts.
Women's 100m butterfly
Dana Vollmer (USA)
Lu Ying (China)
Alicia Coutts (Australia)
7.31pm Finalists on the pool deck being introduced. Getting ready for the first race of the night. Dana Vollmer the red-hot here but Alicia Coutts has been in good nick. Certainly a huge medal chance in this race. She races from lane five.
7.28pm Good evening everyone and welcome to the Olympic pool. It should be a brilliant evening, starting with the finals of the women's 100m butterfly before moving onto the men's 100m breaststroke, women's 400m freestyle and last but nowhere near least, the men's 4 x 100m relays. All the stars are out, Coutts, Phelps, Magnussan, Adlington, Lochte, Sun, Soni, Vollmer to mention a few. We also have the semi-finals of the women's 100m breaststroke, men's 200m freestyle, women's 100m backstroke and men's 100m backstroke.
We start with the women's 100m fly final. Australia's Alicia Coutts races from lane five next to the gold medal favourite and fastest qualifier, American Dana Vollmer.
7.08pm — It’s going to be a blockbuster in the relay with Michael Phelps an official inclusion for the Americans. Ryan Lochte is going to swim the anchor leg against the Australian team of James Magnussen, Matt Targett, Eamon Sullivan and James Roberts. World record in danger?
6.20pm — Daniel Sankey reports: It's official. Cadel Evans is OUT of Wednesday's Olympic time trial, citing fatigue. Cycling correspondent Rupert Guinness chasing more details now ... but it's fair to say that Evans has had a big few weeks, with a tough Tour de France defence followed by yesterday's Olympic men's road race. More soon.
5.44pm For a while, it looked like a brilliant comeback was brewing at the beach volleyball by Australian pair Becchara Palmer and Louise Bawden. Ranked number 14 in the world, they went into the match against Germany's world number six pairing of as firm underdogs. And it looked as though the match would go to script, with the Germans taking the first set 2-18. However, the Aussies played some inspired beach volleyball in the second set, taking it 21-19 to level things up as rain fell on centre court at the Horse Guards Parade arena. However, it wasn't to be ... the Germans lifted to take the third set 15-8 and left Palmer and Bawden ruing a missed opportunity. Their loss was the second for the Aussie girls, with Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medallist Natalie Cook and her partner Tamsin Hinchley losing in straight sets (21-18, 21-19) to the American pairing of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh last night. Bad luck girls!
5.38pm — Georgina Robinson reports: Hope is fading rapidly for the Australian women's gymnastics team, who are ranked eighth after four rounds, with heavy hitters Romania still to come. The Russians and Chinese shot up the rankings to second and third respectively, behind the United States, while Germany squeezed into seventh spot ahead of Australia. This is really disappointing for the Aussie girls, who came eighth at last year's world championships and sixth in Beijing. Twenty-one-year-old Lauren Mitchell is still ranked fourth in the floor and should get through to the final, but that'll be it for Australia. The girls will be bummed.
4.33pm — Daniel Sankey reports: Let's go around the grounds now, and update some of the other results that are going on around the Olympic precinct.
BOXING: Terrific news from ExCel Arena, where Australian boxer Cameron Hammond fought his way through to the final 16 of the men's welterweight (69kg) competition. Fighting in his first Olympics, the 22-year-old from Moree outpointed Nigeria's Moustapha Abdoulaye Hima 13-6 to stay alive. The news wasn't so great for boxing team captain Luke Jackson, though. He's out ... and he's retired from the sport as a result. See entry next to the Australian flag below.
VOLLEYBALL: Bad news for the Aussie men in their opening prelim, as they went down to Argentina 25-21, 25-22, 25-20. However, the Aussies can hold their head up high — the Argentinians are a highly-rated team, ranked number eight in the world compared to Australia's 22.
TENNIS: It was a shocker for Australia yesterday, with our women bundled out on day one, and it's not getting any better for the men on day two. Bernard Tomic, our top ranked men’s player, lost the first set of his first-round match in a tiebreak to Japan’s world No.18 Kei Nishikori. Tomic went down 7-4 in the breaker and play is once again suspended due to the weather.
CANOE SLALOM: Great effort from Kynan Maley to advance to the semi-finals of the C1 men with a sixth-place finish in the heats at the Lee Valley White Water Centre. His total time of 96.07 was 5.24 seconds behind the Slovak Benjamin Savsek, but still easily enough to make the top 12 and advance to the next round.
4.05pm — Australia's William Henzell is through to the third round of the men's table tennis singles, and reckons his win over Portugal's Joao Monteiro was the best of his career. Henzell will now meet Vladimir Samsonov and after posting a (4-2) 2-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-6, 6-11, 12-10 victory at the ExCel centre anything might be possible. "In this form I give myself a chance against anyone," Henzell says. "A few weeks ago I wasn't supposed to beat either of the guys I have beat. Anything can happen now that's the sort of mood I'm in, and the sort of form I'm showing."
4.03pm — Georgina Robinson reports from the women's gymnastics: Australia are in trouble. Canada has vaulted itself into contention for a team finals spot and threatens to squeeze Australia out of the top eight. The top five standings are as follows: USA, Great Britain, Italy, Canada and Australia. And Russia, China, Romania and Germany are still to compete. Will get you an update on Lauren Mitchell's chances of qualifying in the individual floor momentarily.
3.56pm Australian boxer Luke Jackson looked crestfallen as he suffered a comprehensive 20-7 decision victory loss to China's Qiang Liu in the first round of the Olympic boxing's lightweight (60kg) division earlier today — so crestfallen, in fact, that he quite the sport immediately afterwards. Jackson was the captain of Australia's boxing team at these Olympics. Let's hope he picks up his chin and continues to support the rest of the boys — and girl — in the team.
3.50pm — Georgina Robinson reports: The Uzbekistan gymnast at the centre of the Olympics' latest drug scandal has claimed she "did not know" how the prohibited substance furosemide ended up in her body. Her A-sample tested positive to the substance, and she is now waiting on the results of a test on her B-sample. Full story here.
3.44pm — Tim Barrow reports from the women's 3m synchro diving: Australian duo Annabelle Smith and Sharleen Stratton can't quite nail the final dive, picking up 66.50 with a forward two-and-a-half somersault and twist arrangement. It means they finish with 304.95 in fifth. Australia could have been a little vulnerable to an attack from Team GB for fifth there, but it's another disappointing effort from the hosts and a moral victory for the Aussies. Meanwhile, all 8.5s and nines for China. They're all class and easily win another gold. Silver for the US and bronze for Canada, who outlasted Italy.
3m women's synchronised diving
CHINA: Minxia Wu, Zi He 346.20
USA: Abigail Johnston, Kelci Bryant 321.90
CANADA: Emilie Heymans, Jennifer Abel 316.80
3.11pm — A forward three-and-a-half somersault registers 69.75 for Australian duo Annabelle Smith and Sharleen Stratton, cutting the gap to the Italian girls, who stumbled with a poor execution on their fourth dive. Italy (fourth) scored 63.90 and lead Australia (fifth) 243 to 238.45. China showing the world how it's done with 266.1 after four splashes. Canada now third as a result of the Italian mistake with one round to go. The US trying to hold the Canucks off for silver. Canada need to make up 1.5 on the last dive.
3.40pm— Rupert Guinness reports from the women's road race: Just 1km to go and the charge for the medals begins. Huge roar of crowd for Great Britain's Elizabeth Armitstead. The Russian Olga Zabelinskaya is in front, followed by the Dutchwoman Marianne Voss and Armiststead on last wheel.
Voss goes for the sprint and Armistead chases .... but she can't get there!
Women's road race
Marianne Voss (Netherlands)
Elizabeth Armistead (Great Britain)
Olga Zabelinskaya (Russia)
Thanks for following ... now to chase the reactions!!!
3.30pm Elizabeth Armitstead, Marienne Voss and Olga Zabelinskaya appear set for a three-up to decide the medals, barring accidents or mechanicals. The individual attacks from peloton only slow its momentum because it slows after each break is caught. They need one full committed effort, but with 5km it is probably too late ... 3.6km to go now: here's hoping they have a safe run to the finish in these atrocious conditions.
3.15pm Okay, my nails are getting really short now. The peloton is getting its chase organised — Italy, Germany and the US leading chase. The gaps are varying, but the Russian, Zabelinskay, is the weaker of the three in the breakaway. They can't afford to lose her, but also can't afford to slow because of her.
The BBC commentator said: "I wouldn't like to call it." The other commentator reminded him: "You've got to." Up front the leaders appear to be having trouble getting information. There is no race radio but they clearly want more information from officials. Yesterday, men had difficulty in getting accurate and expedited time gaps.
Okay, back to the women's race and they are back to Richmond Park, less than 20km to go and the gap actually seems to be getting bigger! Word is the gap is around 40 seconds with 16km or so to go. Gotta give the roadside fans a slap on the back for staying out in these numbers in these rainy conditions. Watch this space!
3.11pm — Tim Barrow reports from the women's 3m synchro diving: The Australian duo of Anabelle Smith and Sharlene Stratton put in a solid reverse dive effort to ensure they maintain sixth place ... and they're sneaking away from the Ukraine. Australia have a total of 98.4 after scoring 48.2 in the second round. China still ahead on 106.80, with the US on 105, Italy on 104.40 and Team GB (102) fighting for medals.
3.05pm — Daniel Sankey reports: Looking grim for the Sharks in the water polo. Two-and-a-half minutes left in their preliminary clash against 2011 world champions Italy and they trail 7-4. It's been a gutsy effort, but ultimately they've been outclassed by a very, very good team.
3pm — Rupert Guinness reports: This sounds strange but it is true ... the official time gaps we're being given are wrong. The gap between the attackers and peloton was last timed at 26secs. The leaders are still working well, but the big news is that there are now only three in the lead break, with Shelley Olds being dropped. The challenge for the break should be bigger now, but then they should be motivated knowing that if they stay away they will all bag a medal, rather than before with four riders when one would have missed out. That uncertainty being eliminated is a huge boost. And before anyone reminds me, YES ... if they stay away my tip of a bunch sprint will be wrong! Still 20km or so to go!
2.55pm Forget what I said about dry roads! They are anything but dry now. It's still set to be a cracker of a finish, with the front group working well. They are committed, so it's all on the peleoton to work well and not leave all the work to one or two riders. If they baulk or hesitate, it could be all over red rover. But there is still time for this race to change either way. Word is the gap is coming down ... No, not "word is". It is fact, the gap is 12 seconds.
2.45pm First serious breakaway of the day with 45km to go. After Russian Olga Zabelinskaya attacks and gets distance, she is joined by Marianne Voss of the Netherlands, Elizabeth Armistead of Great Britain and Shelley Olds of the US. Caught out are the Germans and Italians. Its some way to the finish for them to stay away, but it's a classy group and with roads drying, they can get some good speed if they work well together.
Latest gap is 24 seconds with less than 40km to go ... the peloton can't let up. They will have learned from what happened yesterday in men's race — well, they should have. A word about Voss ... at 25 years of age, she's one of the classiest riders in the womens peloton. She won world title gold medal in road race in 2006, but is also a five times silver medallist in the event at world title level. She leads the World Cup and UCI rankings. She comes here after defending her Giro Donne (the women's Giro d'Italia) victory. She won Olympic gold on the track in the points race in 2008 at Beijing. She was also named Dutch athlete of the year in 2008 and 2009. That is some CV!
2.48pm - Daniel Sankey reports: Quick check back at the water polo, and Australia has pulled back a goal in their preliminary match against Italy. It's now 5-3 with 4:30 left in the third period. Time running out, but we're still in with a show.
2.36pm — Rupert Guinness reports: Marienne Voss (Neth) uses her sprinting prowess to jump away on the final hill, and Elizabeth Armistead (GB) jumps across. With Belarus' Alena Amialiusik, they escaped for a short spell, but were caught. Soon after, Armistead has a go with Voss briging her back ... this wil go on for a bit until — or if — the rubber band snaps. The Aussie in the depleted peloton, by the way, is Shara Gillow — after several earlier surges in the race and chases, she's still doing well, following the tempo and will give her best on the flat run home. Gillow is also down for Wednesday's time trial, so she is obviously in good form.
2.33pm — Daniel Sankey reports: Australia has scored a second goal in the men's water polo preliminary clash with Italy - but that's only got them back to a 5-2 deficit with less than four minutes to play in the second period. Going to be tough for the Sharks to claw back a three-goal deficit ... but these boys are fighters.
2.15pm — Rupert Guinness reports: Emma Pooley of Team GB just doesn't stop. There is not a lot of her — she is probably the smallest rider in the peloton — but geez, there is a lot of heart in her. She is a real fighter. She continues to attack and chase and attack and chase ... she is making me feel tired! Her efforts have hurt many others, including her teammate Nicole Cooke, the defending champion. Pooley has street cred: she was a silver medallist in the 2008 time trial at Beijing and won the 2010 world title in the discipline. One of the most consistent winners on the women's circuit too. Latest: Cooke is back onto the peloton .... Okay, last chance for any climbers: the peloton nears the start of second ascent of Box Hill. Looking for Aussie jerseys ... can see one.
2.10pm Canadian Clara Hughes drills it up the climb and strings out the group. Then Ellen Van Dijk, for the umpteenth time today, takes over before Shelley Olds of the US has a crack. They charge through the feed zone in a strung-out line. The attacks continue one after the other before the race hits the descent ... but despite all the digs there is a regroupment. I think there will be too many top sprinters in this race for a break to go and stay away — at least with only two laps of the Box Hill circuit. If I'm wrong, so be it!
2pm They are on Box Hill and somehow Canadian Clara Hughes has gotten to the front — should never have underestimated her! Great riding by her to go from the back to the front of the peloton that quick. For the record, she was the first Canadian to win medals in summer and winter Olympics. With her 1996 bronze for the road race she has won four winter Olympic medals in speed skating, including a gold at Turin in 2006 and bronze at Vancouver in 2010.
1.55pm Peoloton passing through Dorking now and soon to hit the Box Hill circuit. Jostling near the front by riders who want to be in front position as they hit the hill. Suprised to see Clara Hughes near the back at such a crucial time. The 39-year-old is not short of experience. She won a bronze medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Up front, defending champion Nicole Cooke and Brits are all well-positioned.
1.40pm Gotta love the BBC commentator. Talking about British rider Emma Pooley as she goes up some rural hills, he says: "This is meat and gravy for her." Truth be known, he was right. She has been active in covering and marking moves. Latest: after a descent, one of the big pre-race favourites, Marianne Voss of the Netherlands, attacks. The Dutch were one-twoing and trying to force a split in the group as it approached Box Hill. Van Dijk has another go and gets a good gap. She is soon joined by French rider, Audrey Cordon. But its seems they'll be caught — effective in tiring out the other riders, though.
1.21pm — Georgina Robinson reports: Australia has placed in the second session of the women's artistic gymnastics qualifying round. That sounds wonderful but there are about five big problems — called the United States, Russia, China, Romania, Great Britain, Japan and Germany — that have not hit the competition arena yet. The Australians won't know until 8pm (5am AEST) if they've done enough to make the team finals.
Our 2010 world champion Lauren Mitchell said she was reasonably confident her teaml, which also includes Georgia Bonora, Ashleigh Brennan, Larissa Miller and Emily Little, would make the top eight.
"I'm pretty happy with the way the team went, I reckon we can make the top eight — it'll be close but I reckon we can do it," she said. "And personally, fingers crossed for floor finals, I don't think I will make the finals on beam."
A nervous wait for the team, then. Mitchell said she wasn't sure if she could stomach watching the final two sessions. "It will be very, very nerve-wracking," she said. "There's still some really good teams to go and some really good competitors to go so ... I don't know if I want to watch it and just see the results at the end."
1.20pm — Rupert Guinness reports: World champion Giorgia Bronzini is in a right pickle. She has a flat tyre and at same time Kristen Armstrong of the US attack. The attack is chased down by Gillow of Australia, but more attacks and accelerations serve to extend the lead on Bronzini as the races goes through narrow country lanes. Bronzini tries jumping into the slipstream of the Italian team car — not allowed officially. Low and behold, what happens? A race commissaire apears — they are in the red cars. Bronzini sat back alone for a bit, then as soon as commissaires disappeared, she was back behind the team car. Finally, when she was 30 metres from the peloton, a teammate dropped back to assist. They'll let it pass I reckon, but Bronzini's little hiccup there goes to show how this race may be lost — the wrong puncture at the wrong time and your race could be over!
1.16pm Rain still falling, but things are hotting up on the approach to Staple Lane Hill — before the Box Hill circuit — with Dutch rider Ellen van Dijk making two attacks. Both are caught, but it shows intent to try and split the field before the circuit. Good to see the Australian team have been consistently up near the front of the peloton to stay out of trouble — well, as much as you can in a bike race!
1.15pm — Chris Dutton reports: It's all over here in the men's basketball prelim between Australia and Brazil. For the Aussie fans, a frustrating game — but Brazil too good. Mills best for Boomers, Ingles not far behind. Full-time: Brazil 75 Australia 71.
1.13pm — Chris Dutton reports: Five seconds left: Oh no, the Boomers forced a defensive error but the ball hits Ingles' foot and the shot clock is reset. The Boomers foul and Brazil is going to the line. Marcelinho Huertas makes both shots. Brazil 75 Australia 71.
1.09pm Just 29 seconds left in the last quarter of the men's basketball prelim between Australia and Brazil: Ingles with another great play around the back of the Brazil defence and the margin is just two points. Need a defensive stop here. Crowd getting into it, noise is deafening here. Brazil 73 Australia 71.
1.07pm One minute remaining: Joe Ingles making some big plays in offence in this last quarter and gets the margin to four points with a great drive. But he's down injured after taking a charge. This is a tight one! Brazil 73 Australia 69.
1.02pm Three minutes to go and all of a sudden, the Boomers have caught fire from three-point land. They just nailed three in a row, two to Andersen and one to Joe Ingles. Lead is back to five. Brazil 67 Australia 62.
12.59pm Four minutes to go in last quarter and David Andersen hits a huge three-pointer. It was just the Boomers' second of the night. It cut the lead to seven, but Matt Dellavedova gives up a foul which allows Brazil to re-etablish their buffer. Andersen's three could have been a turning point if there was no foul. Brazil 65 Australia 56.
12.55pm Six minutes to go in the Australia vs Brazil men's basketball prelim. This is crunch time for the Boomers — they trail by 10 points and need to score if they want to have a chance of winning. Someone needs to support Mills. Brazil 61 Australia 51.
12.50pm — Rupert Guinness reports: 112km to go in the women's road race and the peloton is all together. About 12.40pm, we saw first crash of the race — it involved Tapei's Mei Yu Siao and Estonia's Grete Treier, who fell on a right-hand bend. It appears they slipped on the white paint markings. The race pace has picked up as rain starts to get heavier. As race settles, here are some names to watch for in the race with their race numbers: Nicole Cooke (1/GB), Elizabeth Armistead (2/GB), Emma Pooley (4/GB), Marianne Voss (8/Neth), Judith Arndst (9/Ger), Ina Teutenberg (11/Ger), Kristin Armstrong (13/USA), Evelyn Stevens (16/USA), Giorgia Bronzini (18/Ita), Shara Gillow (21/Aus), Chloe Hosking (22/Aus), Amanda Spratt (23/Aus), Clara Hughes (30/Can).
12.40pm — Chris Dutton reports: The Boomers have a fight on their hands in their men's basketball prelim against Brazil. Trailing by 10 in the third quarter, their woeful shooting from long range is killing them. They've only made one shot from three-point territory from 14 attempts. Patty Mills is doing everything out there. He has the brightest yellow shoes I've ever seen. Someone said they look like he's on permanent turbo in NBA jam. But he needs some support. These refs are tough! they've been calling offensive fouls all night off the ball. The players can't even put a hand on each other. Give them handbags I say.
12.34pm — Rupert Guinness reports: The peloton has left Richmond Park, and soon after Fernandes Silve sits up and is caught. On corners and little descents team helpers are urging riders to slow down because of slippery sections. Gotta say, the crowds are pretty darn impressive considering the rain — and heavy rain forecast for Box Hill — and cooler temperatures. A British journo just offered me a wine gum ... I took it. In BBC coverage, I just heard someone coughing up terribly in the background ... hope they are okay.
12.33pm — Phil Lutton reports: That's the morning session done at the pool. This was supposed to be a day for Team GB to celebrate gold but there's no certainty Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington will deliver in the women's 400m freestyle. The Brit has the nation on her shoulders but like Steph Rice and Michael Phelps, just scraped into the finals and will swim from the outside lane. All will be revealed tonight. Kylie Palmer and Bronte Barratt failed to progress.
The big hope for the Australians tonight is the men's 4 x 100m relay. They had some ground to make up in their heat but qualified fastest, with James Magnussen immense bringing them home in his first swim in London. America will flank them, with Russia, South Africa and France all expected to be their when the whips are cracking. Do not miss this race.
Other finals tonight will see Alicia Coutts in the 100m butterfly and Christian Sprenger and Brenton Rickard in the men's 100m breaststroke. Leisel Jones and Leiston Pickett will swim in the semis of the 100m breaststroke and Emily Seebohm was the swim of the day, torching the the Olympic record to qualify fastest for the 100m backstroke.
Full coverage from the Olympic pool from 7pm tonight (4am AEST).
12.20pm — Rupert Guinness reports: It didn't take long for a break to go. After a few minutes, Brazilian Janildes Fernandes Silva, now a three-time Olympian (after appearances in Sydney and Athens) has shot off the front. Meanwhile, Britain's Emma Pooley has just got back on to the peloton after a puncture — on these wet roads the debris from broken glass is always a risk.
The peloton seems happy to let Fernandes hang off the front — she's had a 15 second lead for some time. Oops, Australia's Amanda Spratt has had a flat rear tyre. She's up and going though .. don't worry, this is not a tack-attack a la Tour de France. As I said, wet and dirty roads ...
12.15pm — Daniel Sankey reports: Great effort by the women's eight in the rowing — they've finished second in their heat behind the gun USA crew. Unfortunately, only first place goes through to the final, but they'll go into the repechage with plenty of confidence, having just finished ahead of Great Britain and Germany.
12.04pm — Phil Lutton reports: Away they go. Cameron McEvoy swims the lead-off leg for the Aussies, James Feigen for the US. James Roberts in the water now with some work to do in lane four. Australia fourth at halfway with Tomasso D'Orsogna in the water now and making up ground. Magnussan about to get his first taste of the London pool. Big swim from the world champ - he rounds them up and heads for home. Massive final leg from him and the Aussies get there. Australia win with a time of 3.12.29, beating the USA with 3.12.59 and Russia (3.12.71). Nothing in that but The Missile delivers the goods. Australia the quickest qualifiers for the final tonight. It's going to be a ripper.
12pm Good go there — the French win the heat in a time of 3.13.38, with South Africa a stroke behind and Italy third. And here come the Aussies and Americans - huge rivals in this event.
11.57am Men's 4 x 100m in action. Australia in heat two. The French, South Africans, Italy and Brazil some of the fancies in heat one. USA paired with the Aussies in heat two and you heard it here - The Missile will swim.
11.56am — Rupert Guinness reports: We're back for more road racing, this time the women's 140km race that includes two laps of the 15.8km Box Hill circuit. Before we start, what an amazing race yesterday was: one million-plus fans on the course they say — incredible. Today hasn't got the hot weather of yesterday, in fact about 30 minutes ago thunder roared above at the start and rain fell. Heavy storms are forecast.
Right now it's 17 C degree with a SW wind blowing. In the field of 66 riders there are a stack of good sprinters, so on a fast course it might be pretty hard for a break to stay away. Lets see ... if it rains a break may go, as it did in 2008 in Beijing when Britain's Nicole Cooke won. For Australia, there are three entrants — Amanda Spratt, Shara Gillow and Chloe Hosking (who is a good medal hope for the sprint, she's had a great season with several wins). The field is lined up now .... the helicopters are hoveing above, the officials whistles are blowing to clear the start straight on The Mall — and they are off! UCI President Pat McQuaid officially set them off ...
11.56am — Phil Lutton reports: Bit of a hiccup for Adlington. She only just qualifies for the final and will swim from the outside lane. She had no pressure in the heat and it may have cost her a quicker time. Still reckon she can win. American Camille 'Little Miss' Muffat the quickest.
11.48am Kylie Palmer finishes fifth in her heat of the 400m freestyle, with Frenchwoman Coralie Balmy winning in a very handy time of 4.03.35, which is about a second quicker than Adlington but there was more pressure on in that race. Still, the Brit isn't going to coast home tonight by the looks of that.
11.42pm Ye Shiwen's world record in the women's 400m IM last night was so amazing that the 16-year-old would have beaten Ryan Lochte on one of the freestyle legs. "Yeah, we were talking about that at dinner," Lochte said. "It is pretty impressive. She's fast. If she was there with me, she might have beat me."
Ye's freestyle leg, where she reeled in Elizabeth Beisel like a Porsche overtaking a Datsun, was incredible. She started the final 100m about two bodylengths behind, was in front with 50m to go and surged clear. Amazingly, she isn't swimming in any of the freestyle races - those girls should be very thankful. Her next event is the 200m IM, where she is now the favourite. They will want to be about 100m clear before the freestyle.
11.36am Adlington on the blocks. She won the 400m and 80om gold in Beijing, breaking a 30-year drought for the UK in the Olympic pool and becoming the first British woman to win two swimming golds at the same Olympics since 1908. The 800m is her pet event but she is the 400m champ. Crowd loves this as she gets going in lane four. She leads them after 100m and might want to put a marker down before tonight's final. She's two seconds ahead at the halfway mark and will only get stronger from this point in the race given her distance credentials. All Adlington now.... there's 100m to go and it's her against the clock. Does it easily in a time of 4.05.75. American Chloe Sutton is second, Garcia Belmonte from Spain third. Adlington looked in terrific shape - it will take a disaster to see her miss out tonight surely.
11.13am We're into the heats of the men's 100m backstroke. Australia has Hayden Stoeckel and Daniel Arnamart the two Australians in actions in the final heat. American Aaron Peirsol the world record holder and Olympic champion in this event. He's retired so it's up for grabs.
11.06am Ruta Meilutyte and American Rebecca Soni were the two standouts in the women's 100m breaststroke heats. Jones qualifies 5th fastes for the semis with Pickett 11th.
11.01am — Daniel Sankey reports: Leisel Jones didn't miss the media after finishing second in her heat in a good time. Talking to Channel 9's Grant Hackett on the pooldeck, she said it was difficult to read the things that "journalists were writing about their own countrymen". "Thanks a lot, you just fired me up. It’s the best thing that could have happened to me," she said.
11am — Phil Lutton reports: Ruta Meilutyte is only 15 years old. Terrific swim from the young Lithuanian. That time has put a scare through the field and if she can back that up in the semi-finals shapes as the swimmer to beat.
10.54am Good swim from Jones there. That's her fastest time of the year and she finishes second in the heat to Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte, shose 10.05.56 is the fastest time of the year. Leiston Pickett is third with a time of 1.07.41. We'll wait and see but that should be good enough to get her through to the semi-finals later tonight.
10.48am Leisel Jones and Leiston Pickett coming up very shortly in heat four of the women's 100m breaststroke. Heat three in the water now.
10.38am That's made things interesting. Ryan Lochte (pictured above) was just edged in his heat by Sun Yang, the Chinese gold medalist last night from the 400m freestyle. He's a big talent and full of confidence. Lochte will still be favoured but he will have a race on his hands. The Australian pair of Kenrick Monk and Thomas Fraser-Holmes racing now. They have both made the semis, with Yannick Agnel winning that heat in a time of 1.46.60. Monk third in 1.46.84. Fraser-Holmes did enough to swim again with his time of 1.47.50 but that looks like it's as far as he will go.
10.35am Emily Seebohm said she just wanted to get through the heats but now, she is wondering if a world record is in reach after that belting heat swim. She is the fastest qualifier for the 100m backstroke semis.
"All I wanted to do this morning was make it through and not miss out. I saw a few who were really close yesterday and I just didn't want to be one of those people and I know what it's like just misisng out (she missed the Olympic final narrowly in 2008 finishing ninth after semis). My goal is to just keep moving forward and maybe the world record in the final, who knows," Seebohm said.
10.32am Paul Biedermann is the world record holder in the men's 200m and 400m freestyle but the German didn't get past the 400 heats yesterday. His records were set in the suit era. Let's see how he performs now in this 200m heat... touches third. Russian Danila Izotov wins, with GBs Robbie Renwick second.
10.30am Emily Seebohm wears contacts and for some reason, were a little blurry after her swim. She looked up and thought she had swum a second slower. Instead it was a new Olympic record. She qualifies for the semis a full second faster than American Missy Franklin, with Hocking in third.
10.21am — Daniel Sankey reports: Reigning men's double scull gold medallists David Crawshay and Scott Brennan have won their repechage in the rowing in effortless fashion, almost five seconds ahead of their nearest rivals, the Ukrainian pairing of Dmytro Mikhai and Artem Morozov. Crawshay and Brennan looked in gold medal form and will take plenty of confidence into their semi-final.
10.20am — Phil Lutton reports: The men about to start the heats of their 200m freestyle. Ryan Lochte the clear favourite for this race, especially after his win last night, although the 400 IM is notoriously draining on the swimmers. Yannick Agnel the Frenchman his biggest threat. The world record for this race is held by German Paul Biedermann, who is swimming here but struggled in the post-supersuit era. Michael Phelps holds the Olympic record but it's not on his program for London.
10.16am Belinda Hocking finishes second in her heat with a time of 59.61 behind one of the medal favourites, Missy Franklin from the USA who gets home with 59.37. But Emily Seebohm was the story of those heats - she's the woman to beat thus far. The challenge has been laid. We'll get some words from her very soon. Both Australian girls safely through to the semi-finals.
10.13am Spofforth struggles in her heat. Finishes fourth with a time of 1.00.05. What a big swim that was from Seebohm. The Aussie girls are on fire at the pool. Belinda Hocking about to swim her heat.
10.10am Seebohm (pictured above) out smartly in this heat — under world record pace at the halfway mark. Massive swim from Seebohm here! Daylight second and that's a new OLYMPIC RECORD. She touches with a 58.23, beating Coventry's Olympic record of 58.77. The world record, held by Brit Gemma Spofforth, is 58.12. She swims now.
10.05am Emily Seebohm in heat four of the 100m backstroke up very soon. She swam a leg in the heats of the 4 x 100m relay yesterday morning without taking part in the final. Belinda Hocking in the final heat. Kirsty Coventry is the reigning Olympic champion.
10.05am Welcome to the Aquatic Centre for day two of competition. Opening night left us with plenty to talk about and we'll add to that today, with four gold medals up for grabs and the Australians heavy favourites to make it a relay double in the final race of the evening. We'll find a winner of the 100m butterfly for women, the men's 100m breastsroke, the women's 400m freestyle and the 4 x 100m relay.
This morning we have heats of the women's 100m backstroke (Emily Seebohm, Belinda Hocking), men's 200m freestyle (Thomas Fraser-Holmes), women's 100m breaststroke (Leisel Jones, Leiston Pickett), men's 100m backstroke (Daniel Arnamnart, Hayden Stoeckel), the women's 400m freestyle (Kylie Palmer, Bronte Barratt) and the men's 4 x 100m relay.
It's a huge day for the Brits, with Rebecca Adlington a big chance for gold in the 400m freestyle. This place will be rocking but she will have tough competition and is a stronger in the 800m, which she is expected to dominate. We'll also see American star Ryan Lochte in action after he slayed Phelps last night, Chinese young gun Sun Yang and Australia's sprint star James Magnussen, who has elected to dip his toes in the pool for the heats of the 4 x 100m freestyle.
9.56am — Tim Barrow reports from the women's hockey. Full-time - New Zealand 1 Australia 0. Australia pulls Cronk from the field to put an extra person in the field of play, but even that isn't the solution to their woes this morning. It's full time and New Zealand have won 1-nil, Stacey Michelsen scoring the winner three minutes into the first half. Just how much damage this does to Australia's campaign remains to be seen, but there's no doubt the Hockeyroos are bitterly disappointed by this result. They lifted in the final 15 minutes, with Ashleigh Nelson and Hope Munro working overtime up forward in pursuit of an equaliser, which never eventuated. New Zealand are on top of the standings with a 1-nil victory, Australia left to stew on this result until they play Germany on Tuesday. The Kookaburras are up against South Africa tomorrow morning when the men's competition starts at Riverbank Arena.
9.48am Emily Smith shown a green caution card for dissent and told to take a seat by the umpire, after she was denied at close range by NZ goalkeeper Russell. Then Ashleigh Nelson almost latches on to a pass while in the clear in the circle. Seven minutes left and temperature is rising at Riverbank Arena.
9.43am NZ win a penalty corner in the frantic moments after Cronk was caught out of position when she unsuccessfully attempted to prevent a centreing Kiwi pass. Katie Glynn tries to flick New Zealand to the safety of a two goal lead, but it's padded away by Cronk and the pressure if off the Hockeyroos when it hits Glynn's leg as she tries to recover the situation.
9.40am Australia start pressing, with Hope Munro producing an optimistic cross looking for Ashleigh Nelson, but there's just no way through this Kiwi team at the moment. The Hockeyroos have 15 minutes to make some magic happen. NZ 1-0.
9.38am — Daniel Sankey reports: Swimming heats begin in a little over 20 minutes. Here's a great piece to whet your appetite — Michael Cowley and Georgina Robinson preview today's action, and review last night's action in the pool. I'm amazed they're looking as fresh as they are, given this was filmed around midnight our time.
9.35am — Tim Barrow reports: The Australians call for a video referral after Emily Smith goes down in the circle. Just like in the NRL, there are endless reviews on the big screen and everyone ooohs and aahs in hopeful anticipation. Meanwhile, Casey Eastham is animated as she argues the point with the umpire. In the end, the referral is dismissed, ruling Smith tripped over her own feet and NZ breathe a sigh of relief at not having to defend a penalty corner.
9.27am New Zealand captain Kayla Sharland sends a back stick screamer over the bar from just inside the circle. Wow that had some zing on it. Then Cronk is forced to five away to her right to prevent the Kiwis picking up a second. Clinging on for dear life at the moment, the Hockeyroos. NZ 1-0.
9.21am Four minutes into the second period and with one lunging pad, Cronk keeps the Aussies in this contest in a one-on-one situation inside the circle. Nailbiting times for Australian hockey fans.
9.11am Halftime at the hockey, and after a sleepy start, Australia have started to make their presence felt at Riverbank Arena. However, they haven't been able to find an equaliser, with New Zealand clinging to their 1-0 lead.
"Australia worked hard on the counter attack and they went, oh, so close when Megan Rivers hit the wrong side of the post, but the shaky isles generally looked anything but and were more fluent and polished with their ball movement. New Zealand were in control for long periods of the first half and they struck after three minutes, before Aussie keeper Toni Cronk was forced to save the day with an incredible high glove save on a penalty corner. At half-time, it's Stacey Michelsen's scavenging effort which is the difference, it's NZ 1-0."
9.08am — Daniel Sankey reports: It was a disappointing day in the judo yesterday, with Brisbane youngster Arnie Dickins (great name for a London Olympics, 'ay?) bowing out in the 60kg division. The Aussies have another chance today, though, with Victorian Ivo dos Santos in the men's 66kg division. This is one guy you wouldn't want to mess with, folks. Not only is he Oceania's reigning judo champ, he also trains in mixed martial arts at Evolve MMA in Melbourne's north. The gym is getting right behind dos Santos, with a message of support on their website for the 26-year-old, who had his first MMA bout in 2010 when he beat Rob Pryde via submission in just two minutes.
8.43am Later today we'll see the Aussie girls in the qualification rounds of the women's gymnastics. If you missed Samantha Lane's piece on Lauren Mitchell yesterday, make sure you take a look sometime before you sit down in front of the TV and start discussing how wonderful it is to listen to Eddie McGuire EVERY NIGHT on the Olympics commentary. Obviously not many Collingwood fans sticking up for Eddie Everywhere in the comments section of this story.
8.34am Horrible start for the Hockeyroos, reports Tim Barrow. "New Zealand are one up after just three minutes from a Stacey Michelsen goal. The Kiwis streamed down the left side, before earning a penalty corner. The initial shot was padded away by Australian goalkeeper Toni Cronk, but Michelsen was there to pick up the scraps. NZ 1-0."
8.24am It's golden sunshine at Riverbank Arena as the Hockeyroos start their quest for a medal of the same colour at Riverbank Arena against New Zealand, Tim Barrow reports.
"It's a crucial game even this early in the competition, with Australia ranked seventh in the world and the Kiwis one rung above in sixth. A member of the world all stars team last year, defender Katie McGurk has overcome a rolled ankle at training three days ago to take her place in the lineup for the Aussies.
"The Hockeyroos were thrashed by the Netherlands 4-nil in a practice match in London last week, but have had some encouraging results this year, including making the final of the Olympic testing event, where they were also beaten by the world No 1 Dutch.
"It's a bright blue water-based synthetic field here at Riverbank Arena, affectionately known as 'smurf turf'. South Africa, the United States, Argentina and Germany are also in this group. The game will start at 8.30am."
8.14am — Daniel Sankey reports: The Mark Cavendish dummy spit is all over the UK press this morning — but as you'd expect, the Brits have taken a slightly more sympathetic view of the hot favourite's failure to win men's road race gold. "Tears" was the popular theme in The Sun and The Telegraph, although I was pleased to see The Sun's chief sports writer Steven Howard bring a bit of reality back into Cavendish's claim that Australia's tactics cost him a medal. "No wonder they call us whingeing Poms," Howard opined. "What did he expect, everyone to wave us through?". Bravo, Mr Howard. Feel free to come by the Fairfax office on level two at the MPC, I'll shout you a beer. (A cold one, that is).
7.59am First cab off the rank today is the Hockeyroos, who kick off their campaign against New Zealand at (5.30pm AEST) - in a stadium that somehow resembles this. No joke. Tim Barrow's out there for us today, he'll be chiming in with the early news shortly. And fan favourite Phil Lutton's currently negotiating his way through the London transport system to take us back to the pool this morning, where Leisel Jones swims in the heats of the women's 100m breaststroke. We'll also see the men's 4x100m freestyle team, which is attempting to do exactly what the girls did last night — win gold. Don't expect to see the Missile just yet, though ... he'll be resting up for the final early tomorrow morning (Australian time).
7.50am What a day we had yesterday! An upset gold medal victory in the women's 4x100m freestyle relay, the shock defeat of Michael Phelps, and a bit of Brits vs Aussie biffo over the men's road race. Good to see our readers weighing in on Mark Cavendish's ridiculous statement that Australia's negative tactics cost him the gold medal. Didn't see much negativity around Stuart O'Grady's gutsy effort to keep the breakaway out of the peloton's reach. And what about Michael Rogers' brave attempt to go so solo and catch the breakaway himself? More than 230 comments on that story ... and there's still 60 waiting to be moderated, so give me a few moments while I jump in there to help out!