Your daily Olympic wrap-up.
Notable Canadian performance: The Canadian 4X100m freestyle relay team – They swam a new Canadian record and were close to going under the previous world record in finishing a strong sixth. This is one of the most competitive disciplines at the Olympics and it’s more proof that the long road back to swimming contention has begun (I actually don’t think Canada will medal in China, but the Olympics still should be viewed as a huge success story—based only on what’s happened so far).
Notable international performance: I know you’re getting sick of the story, but…the US 4X100m team’s come from behind win was spectacular drama and it probably gave Phelps his eight golds (forget drug testing, someone should check to see if he’s from this planet).
The Maple Leaf Gold: Rowing men’s eights – This time they went out and did what clear Olympic favourites are supposed to do. They won. Easily. And they look golden.
Maple Leaf silver: Julia Wilkinson – a solid swim in the 200m IM put her into tonight’s semis. And she gave my favourite post race interview of the Games to boot (When asked how she recovered from a disappointing finish in the 100m backstroke - “I went home and listened to angry music, cried
Maple Leaf bronze: Fencer Jujie Luan and shooter Susan Nattrass – Although neither was close to a medal they are both older than fifty for God’s sake. Fifty!
Maple Leaf tin medal: Daniel Nestor and Frederic Niemayer – Poof, there goes the first real medal hopefuls. The team blew up in the first round of the tennis tournament making 11 double faults on the way to a three set loss. It’s too bad because it’s likely going to be another four years before we get to see doubles tennis on TV again.
And, a new category – the WTF was the Ceeb thinking award On tonight’s schedule, you’ll note that “Defending Olympic champion Kyle Shewfelt leads the Canadian team's charge to the podium” in the men’s team competition. It will be an impressive performance if he does, considering that the team was eliminated two days ago!
Honourary Canadian award: The U.S’s Jason Lezak – the swimmer that made up a body length on the world record holder over the last 50m of the 4X100m freestyle relay won’t get the credit at the end of the Games that Phelps does. But, without his great swim, we would only be talking about a pedestrian seven gold medals for the American fishman/robot.
Canadian highlights for day 4: The best chance for a Canadian medal yet - Roseline Filion and Meaghan Benefeito in syncro diving. Also, let’s not ignore the Canadian teams – water polo, soccer and fastball (it’s called softball on the Olympic schedule – Neate’s lobbing hard for it to be changed) all go tonight/tomorrow morning.
International highlight for day 4: About a billion Chinese will be watching the men’s gymnastics team final. I suspect CBC viewers won’t be given much choice but to join them.