A fan's guide to Wednesday at the Games - Macleans.ca

A fan’s guide to Wednesday at the Games

Plus a round-up of Tuesday’s highs and lows at the Games


Photography by Stefano Rellandini/AFP/Getty

The (slower) 100m dash:

Brent Hayden isn’t the fastest man in the world, but a gold in the 100m freestyle could make him the fastest swimmer. After finishing second at the world championships last year, the 28-year-old from Mission B.C. qualified for the finals with the sixth fastest time in the semi-finals. He’s already the first Canadian to make the 100m finals in 50 years.

Approximate time to watch: Men’s 100m freestyle final – CTV 3:20 p.m. Eastern/12:30 p.m. Pacific

Update: Hayden wins the bronze, Canada’s first swimming medal in London.

Despatie’s first dive:

On June 2, Alexandre Despatie blacked out for 10 seconds after hitting his head while training in Spain. The gash on his forehead is a reminder of the dangers of diving. The two-time silver medalist (one in Athens, another in Beijing) will start his third Olympic games alongside Reuben Ross for the 3m springboard synchronized diving, and gold is within their reach.

Approximate time to watch: Men’s 3m springboard synchronized diving – CTV 10 a.m. Eastern/7 a.m. Pacific

Update: The duo finish in 6th place.

Extremely early wake-up call:

The men’s eights rowers have been toying with our emotions. The good: they are the defending Olympic gold medalists from Beijing and set a new world record holder earlier this year. The bad: they finished last in their opening heat, and came second in the repechage to earn a spot in the finals. Anything can happen, and Canada’s first gold medal from London could very well happen if coxswain Brian Price and his men pull it all together.

Approximate time to watch: Rowing men’s eight final – CTV 5:30 a.m. Eastern/2:30am Pacific

Update: The men win Canada’s first silver medal of London 2012. Germany takes Gold.

One last ride:

Clara Hughes, the only Canadian to win multiple medals at both Summer and Winter games, will be on her bike for the last time at the Olympics, her sixth time competing. After a disappointing 32nd place finish in the road race, the 39-year-old will be in the individual time trial, an event she won the bronze medal in at Atlanta 1996. Win or lose, it will be Canadians’ last chance to witness one of our greatest Olympic athletes.

Ryder Hesjedal, winner of the Giro d’Italia earlier this year, will also be competing in the men’s time trial, after being well back of the medal standing in the road race, when he was left with the peloton as the lead group made a break towards the medals.

Approximate time to watch: Women’s cycling individual time trial – Sportsnet 7:30 a.m. Eastern/4:30 a.m. Pacific. Men’s: 9:15 a.m. Eastern/6:15 a.m. Pacific

Update: Clara Hughes finishes in fifth, 30 seconds off from the podium. Ryder finishes in 28th, more than 5 minutes back from the winner.

Tough digs:

Joshua Binstock and Martin Reader will have do a lot of scrambling to defeat Brazil in beach volleyball. After the Canadians opened up the tournament with a win over host UK, they fell in straight sets to a strong Norwegian duo. Brazil has won both their matches in straight sets with relative ease, and look to continue that trend in the final group match.

Approximate time to watch: Sportsnet 2:30 p.m. Eastern/11:30 a.m. Pacific.

Daily recap, Tuesday:

Highs: Canadians are taking out the polish for bronze. Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion secured a medal in 10m platform synchronized diving, which was quickly followed by another medal away from the water. Antoine Valois-Fortier upset the No. 10 ranked American Travis Stevens in the 81kg men’s judo bronze medal match. The 22-year-old is the first Canadian to win an Olympic medal in judo since his coach, Nicolas Gill, won silver in Sydney 2000. Weightlifter Christine Girard will also go back to Olympic Village with a bronze medal. After finishing fourth in Beijing four years ago, she lifted 103kg in the snatch, followed by 133kg in the clean and jerk, to win Canada’s third bronze of the day.

Low: It’s not really a low when you rally with the world’s No. 6 ranked tennis player for what might be the longest match in Olympic history. Milos Raonic split the first two sets with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France before rain delayed their match for more than two hours. Upon returning, fans were treated to a final set that could not finish with a tiebreaker. With two heavy servers, it wasn’t until Tsonga broke on the 48th game to win 25-23. It’s not truly a low-light; Raonic can be proud do have provided the most entertaining tennis match this Olympics will likely see. Nonetheless, he and the rest of Canada can only feel disappointed to have come so close.

Royal silverware: Zara Phillips, riding on her horse High Kingdom, has become the first member of the Royal family to win an Olympic medal after the British equestrian team took silver in team eventing.



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