What a brilliant effort by the British men’s gymnastics team... a bronze medal... the first in 100 years... and it came in the most dramatic circumstances. It looked like a last-rotation shoot-out between Team GB and Ukraine for the bronze. One solid performance and two superb routines on the floor were enough to edge out the Ukrainians but amidst the celebrations came the news that the Japanese competitor had made a mess of his pommel horse dismount and we had won the silver medal!!
The reaction of commentators, competitors and spectators was incredible... but then, in the true spirit of the Games, came a protest from the Japanese. You just knew it wasn’t going to end well... except for those from “the Land of the Rising Score...” and Japan found themselves elevated from 4th to 2nd... team GB still had a bronze, but I felt heartily sorry for the Ukrainian gymnasts.
It was hard not to feel slightly disappointed, but this was a stunning achievement by Team GB and the crowd proved that if booing the Japanese ever became an Olympic sport, we’d have another medal in the bag.
Elsewhere, sixteen year-old Ye Shi Wen has denied taking drugs, after winning a swimming gold courtesy a five-second personal best. The performance was described as“disturbing” by an American coach, after the girl’s freestyle split was quicker than Ryan Lochte in the men’s event... I’ve no thoughts either way and she's never failed a drugs test, but apparently, the youngster’s denial came whilst she was doing a passable impression of Barry White at a post-medal ceremony karaoke.
Slightly worse news for the Chinese came from the badminton group stages when their teenage prospect Wak Mai Toh was forced to pull out after sustaining a foot injury... although confirmation that their poorest diver Beh Lee Phlop had failed to qualify for the finals was less of a surprise...
Over at the fencing, South Korea’s Shin Lam was defeated in the very last second of a bout after the clock had been re-set following an infringement. She was absolutely distraught and sobbed throughout a sit-in that lasted well over an hour... the whole episode reminded me of my reaction to Mum taking away a sherbet dib-dab for being naughty when I was four...
Anyway, many congratulations to Britain’s Eventing team on their fantastic silver medal... Zara Phillips gets the dubious honour of being the subject of the blog’s title... and photo, but I will close with an update on the Games’ best-looking competitor... the current leader is Aussie swimmer Stephanie Rice... still a long way to go though...
All my own work... almost.