Brownlees are well hard but Liu crashes on London Olympics day 11
Five things we learned about Tuesday’s day 11 at the Olympics.
- They’re from Yorkshire and they're well hard them Brownlee lads. Alistair Brownlee covered the triathlon events 1.5kim swim; 40km cycle; 10km run in 1 hour 46.25 seconds. His younger brother Jonathan, who was hit with a 15 second penalty, finished 31 seconds behind him to claim third. Javier Gomez from Spain, who won silver, was the man in the middle of the family photo album.
Highs must be appreciated. In 2004 Liu Xiang became China’s first gold medallist on the track when he won the 110m hurdles. He became a national hero and was expected to deliver the gold in Beijing. But in the prelude to those Games the then 25-year-old had been plagued with injuries and eventually had to pull out before his heat. The Bird’s Nest stadium emptied – for they had come to see him and not the competition – and it was a blubfest on national TV. In London Liu had been expected to do well but he crashed into the first hurdle during his heat and he went out.
- It’s a rum old world. One day you’re kicked out of the Olympics for not trying in the heats of the 800 metres and the next day you’re collecting gold in the 1500metres. Algeria's Taoufik Makhloufi was deemed not to have provided a bona fide effort during the 800m race on Monday and was suddenly in the Olympic hall of shame. A medic, however, confirmed that he did have a knee problem and he was in the foyer of redemption after he was reinstated. On Tuesday night the 24-year-old from Souk Ahras was in the pantheon of greats.
- Other wild voyages were in the air. Laura Trott who won the omnium, the six-discipline women’s event, doesn’t actually train for the event. The 20-year-old watches videos and takes advice on what to do from her coach Paul Manning. It was her second gold medal of the 2012 Olympics event after a shiny bauble in the women’s team pursuit. The chirpy Trott was also refreshingly frank about her early days at the Welwyn Wheelers club, just to the north of London. “I didn’t even enjoy it to start with,” she confessed as the gold medal twinkled. “I was only eight when I first started at Welwyn and it was horrible you couldn’t even get a lie-in or anything. I’d go down to Saturday track league and it would be freezing and I really didn’t enjoy it. But when you start getting good it’s the winning feeling, I just loved it and from then on I was just, like, I just love this sport and that was it. I didn’t want to not win.”
- Even with the likes of Trott, British cycling will miss Chris Hoy. Five gold medals and a silver since Sydney 2000. Knighted for his efforts for cycling after Beijing, will he be raised to a peerage for just being brilliant? His victory in the men’s keirin on Tuesday night was text-book comeback-from-the-dead stuff. Excellent theatre. British headline writers will also miss the 36-year-old as he freewheels into a golden sunset. “Good knight,” The Times punned. And The Telegraph, showing a picture of the cyclist crying on the podium as he received his sixth gold, offered “Tears of Hoy”. Best of all, of course for the flying Scotsman, is the flag rolled out by his family: The Real McHoy. Solid gold.