Day 3 brought on plenty of drama as two young stars won the first of many Olympic gold medals while some of the favourites failed to fire. There was an interesting stat posted on twitter this morning pointing out that not one 2008 gold medal had successfully been defended in the pool so far.
MEN’S 200m FREESTYLE
Ryan Lochte was one of the favourites to win this event and with the gold in the 400 IM already won on the first day of competition but he was left out of the medals altogether. Korea’s Taehwan Park and China’s Yang Sun finished equal second just ahead of Lochte for both to claim silver medals in a time of 1:44.93 just 0.11 seconds ahead of Lochte. All the other could really hope for was a silver medal at best though as Frenchman Yannick Agnel won by nearly 2 seconds in a 1:43.14 well ahead of the pack. This is Agnel’s second gold medal of the games having been part of the successful 4x100m freestyle team yesterday.
WOMEN’S 100m BACKSTROKE
In the race that made every person watching the swimming feel incredibly old, Lithuania’s 15 year old Ruta Meilutyte won her country’s first swimming gold medal. Having lead from start to finish Meilutyte showed astonishing maturity and skill to hold off the fast finishing American Rebecca Soni and win by 0.08 seconds. Needless to say she was pretty happy on the podium and is looking forward to having something to bring back to her school friends in show & tell. Japan’s Satomi Suzuki finished a second back to claim the bronze while Australian Leisel Jones overcame some pre-Olympic criticism over her weight to finish an impressive fifth in her third Olympics.
MEN’S 100m BACKSTROKE
This race was certainly one for the American audience (apologies to those who are still waiting for the NBC tape delay) as they won gold and silver in this one. Matthew Grevers who had qualified fastest for the final in an Olympic record time of 52.16 to claim another gold for the USA. Countryman Nick Thoman beat out some stiff competition to claim the silver medal in a time of 52.92 seconds. Japanese swimmer Ryosuke Irie finished 0.05 seconds behind Thoman to claim the bronze beating out French favourite Camille Lacourt for the final spot on the podium.
WOMEN’S 100m BACKSTROKE
In the heats Emily Seebohm from Australia firmed herself as the favourite for this event by setting a new Olympic record of 58.23 seconds. Unfortunately for Seebohm it would appear that she had peaked at the wrong time having to settle for the silver medal behind American phenom Missy Franklin who swam an incredible race to win the gold in a time of 58.33 seconds. After the race a devastated Seebohm was interviewed by channel 9 Australia where she was struggling to get a word out due to the tears. It’s great that she wanted to win so much but the tears were a bit much. Everyone reacts their own way though, afterwards there was an even crueller TV moment when they decided to show her not only the race but her interview in the studio. To cap off a great day for the Japanese swimming team Aya Terakawa claimed the bronze just behind Seebohm in an Asian record time of 58.83.