Well things are happening far too quickly for me to keep up with everything on the blog, but after a slow start, team GB are now storming ahead with medals flooding in. The men’s and women’s team pursuit cycling was really amazing with the women breaking a new world record to win gold easily. But the biggest story so has to be an incredible hour on the athletics track where we won gold medals for men’s long jump, women’s heptathlon and men’s 10,000 metres. All 3 wins were incredible. And then today, Andy Murray wins gold for singles tennis, beating Federer in the final at Wimbledon after losing in the same venue just a month or so ago.
So incredibly, we’re now in third place on 16 golds and a total of 37 medals, while just a day or so ago, South Korea were ahead of us in the table – it now looks unlikely they’ll ever threaten us again. China and the US have been taking turns to head the table, it really is neck and neck, but at this moment, China is ahead with 30 golds against the 28 US golds. But of course, in terms of population, GB is the clear leader!
For me what makes it so impressive is the diversity in terms of backgrounds, sports, and ethnicity of the British winners that reflects the multicultural nature of Britain perfectly.
On a separate note, one reader mentioned the badminton controversy and I wanted to share my views on this. The organisers for the first time decided to have a group qualifying setup rather than straight knockout. This is very similar to how football competitions are orgainised. So usually the winner of one group plays the runner up of another.
But one of the strong teams (China) surprisingly came second in their group meaning that the winner of another group would have to play them. So what then happened was several teams tried to lose their match to avoid playing the strong team in the next round. And eventually 4 pairs were disqualified and sent home.
Many people agree they should have been thrown out of the competition for not doing their best, but I do feel a bit sorry for them. Once the format is communicated, to some extent, they have the right to adopt the tactic they feel will give them the best chance of winning the gold medal. I mean, in athletics heats, when a runner is way out in front, it’s common for them to slow down as they approach the finish, knowing they’ve qualified for the next round. So they’re not giving their best.
I understand the organisers will be reviewing the format for next time to avoid this happening again, so in a way it’s a bit harsh for the players who were sent home, especially if they decide it needs to be changed. It’s like saying “yes, we messed up so we’re going to correct the problem, but you are still disqualified”.
That’s all from me for now, I’m off to the 02 Arena (North Greenwich Arena) to watch the gymnastics today. Go Team GB!