A new world record set by British Chris Hoy in cycling
Five things we learned from day 7 at the Olympic Games.
- There’s nothing like a partisan crowd. Chris Hoy claimed his fifth gold medal in cycling as he led the British men’s sprint team home in a new world record. The noise in the ever-so-hot Velodrome was deafening.
We saw this in the UEFA Champions League last season with Chelsea. Essentially when it is your day ain’t nothing that’s going to get in your way. In the women’s cycling team sprint the German pair Miriam Welte and Kristina Vogel were preparing to contest the bronze medal. But after the British duo of Jessica Varnish and Victoria Pendleton were relegated from the final for a take-over infringement, the Germans who had the third best time in the last eight were upgraded to the showdown against the Chinese. The superquick Chinese won the final but – guess what – they were relegated for a take-over infringement. “We didn’t want to win like this,” said Welte. Both ladies admitted they had been incredibly lucky. Much like Chelsea against Bayern Munich.
- For all the talk of the millions invested in British athletes, there’s always one that slips away. Peter Wilson lost his sports funding back in 2008 which could have helped his development for the double trap shooting event. So short of cash was the farmer’s son that he had to wok as a bar man in his Dorset village pub. But he was spotted by the eagle-eyed Ahmed al Maktoum, who won a gold medal for Dubai in the double trap event in Athens. After he retired from competition following the Beijing Games in 2008, al Maktoum agreed to coach Wilson for free … and the rest is the British revelling in the glory of another gold medal even though it was forged in the deserts of Dubai. Al Maktoum, dissimilar to UK sports funding, isn’t likely to run out of cash. He’s a sheik.
- The controversy of the empty seats just won’t go away. Britain’s Andy Murray played his single’s quarter final at Wimbledon and there were the obligatory rows and rows of unfilled seats. Outside hundreds of fans had to watch the match on the grassy knoll dubbed Murray Mound.
- Michael Phelps is rather good in the pool. The Baltimore Bullet notched up bauble number 20 since Athens 2004. The 27 year old took the 200m individual medley to become the first swimmer to win the same event at three consecutive Olympic Games. If anybody ever asks Michael Fred Phelps II to unveil the collection …there’ll be 16 golds 2 silvers and 2 bronzes. And on day 8, he’s in the 100 metres butterfly final.