Five things learned during day eight of London 2012
Today is the eighth day of the London 2012 Olympic Games. RFI's Paul Myers is there and here are his observations of the day's events.
- Michael Phelps is not going quietly into retirement. He upstaged his rivals yet again by winning the 100 metres butterfly just ahead of the South African Chad le Clos. It was Phelps's 17th gold and his 21st Olympic medal. Phelps has anointed Le Clos as the coming man and really with a name like that it could be equally in a cinematic realm. But we'll stay with things acquatic. Phelps said after he hangs up his flippers he wants to go to South Africa to go cage diving with Chad. Sounds like a film.
- Swimming organisers aren't thinking on their feet. When David Bowie's Heroes was played at the opening ceremony as the British athletes strode out, I thought that's a good touch. When it was wheeled out after the British cycling team won the cycling sprint, it also worked. So a very big trick was missed on Friday night as 17 year old Missy Franklin collected the women's 200m backstroke in a world record time and 15 year old Katie Ledecky blazed her way to the 800m freestyle. Did we hear Bowie's Young Americans? No. Gift missed.
Tennis player Roger Federer's personal ambition knows bounds. The Olympic gold is the only major title without a shelf in his panoramic trophy cabinet. So after taking four and a half hours in the semi final to dislodge Juan Martin del Potro from Centre Court at Wimbledon, 30 year old Federer said he was pleased because Swiss athletes are being castigated in their national press for failing to deliver any kind of medal. With his advance to the final, the nation will have at least one silver. You know the 17 times grand slam wiinner aches for gold but it was ace Roger. Ace.
- The god of mischief has indeed descended from Olympus because Federer's opponent in Sunday's final will be Britain's Andy Murray. Federer crushed the yearnings of a nation a few weeks back when he beat Murray in four sets to win Wimbledon for the seventh time. Britain hasn't had a Wimbledon men's champion since Fred Perry back in the 1930s. It hasn't had an Olympic tennis champion either. Will Federer inflict further pain?
- With all the testosterone in the air, it's refreshing to see that here's still a small space for hubris. The British prime minister David Cameron was eulogising the transport system on Thursday night and London's capacity to cope with a huge event. Friday morning saw - you guessed it - a chunky breakdown in the transport system. The Central Line which which serves Stratford and the Olympic Park was out of action for a couple of hours.