Sport

Rio 2016, day three: Rowing, Le Clos and women’s Sevens finals

By Daily Maverick Team 8 August 2016

South Africa's rowers continued their good showing with three out of the four teams qualifying straight for the semis. The men's fours were the only team to go into the repechage. Relive the action from day three with this blow-by-blow account.

07:25: Coming up today:

Swimming:

19:00: Men’s 200m Breaststroke (Heat 3): Cameron van der Burgh
19:05: Men’s 200m Breaststroke (Heat 4): Jarred Crous
19:17: Men’s 4x200m Freestyle (Heat 1)
03:28 am (Wednesday): Men’s 200m Butterfly, Final: Chad le Clos
04:03 – 4:12 (Wednesday) : Men’s 200m Breaststroke semi-finals: Possibly, Cameron van der Burgh and Jarred Crous

Rowing:
15:00: Men’s Pair, semi-final: Lawrence Brittain and Shaun Keeling 12noon
17:00: Men’s Four Repechage 1: David Hunt, Jonathan Smith, Vincent Breet and Jake Green

The Blitzboks open their account against Spain at 16:30 with another match against France at 21:30 and Banyana Banyana play hosts Brazil at 1am (Wednesday). There’s also some rowing from 18:05. South Africa’s Stefano Marcia is currently 28th overall on 55 points – we apologise for the oversight in not including this in the results yesterday.

We’ll be back with a live blog from 15:00.

**

06:03: Chad le Clos added another silver to South Africa’s medal tally, setting a new South African record in the process. The 200m freestyle event might not be his preferred race, but that didn’t stop him from putting in a serious effort int he pool. You can read the full story here.

**

00:32: This is also where we sign off the live blog for today. Chad le Clos is in action in the 200m freestyle final and the  200m fly semi-final. We’ll be back first thing to update you.

**

00:30: Australia are the women’s sevens gold medalists after a 24-17 win over New Zealand. Slightly contentious call for Australia’s first try – which looked like it was lost forward – but that’s that. Aussies are number one in the world and have been consistent in this tournament. So, well deserved. Read the report here.

**

00:03: Result from the women’s sevens bronze medal match: Canada 33-10 Great Britain.

TeamGB looked solid yesterday and like certain medal prospects, but imploded somewhat today.Ill-discipline cost them against New Zealand and against Canada and they just lacked the oomph they had on Sunday. On the gold medal match between Australia and New Zealand now. Aussies are very much favourites.

**

22:20: Something interesting has happened! Brazil has won its first gold medal at its home Games.  Rafael Silva won gold in the 57kg judo final.

**

20:22: We’re off for a bit of a break, but will update you if anything interesting happens.

**

20:20: It’s all over, New Zealand win 25-7 and book their spot in the final against Australia. Kick off is at midnight. The bronze medal will be at 23:30.

**

20:13: New Zealand are making the numbers count. There were actually two yellow cards before half-time, so the Kiwis are cruising with the advantage. Portia Woodman has a hat trick. New Zealand are yet to clear a conversion.

**

20:07 New Zealand have crossed over the whitewash again and are in the lead 10-7 after missing another conversion. TeamGB has had a player sent to the sin bin for a tackle in the air. We’re on the stroke of half-time and New Zealand score again. It’s Woodman again. The conversion is missed again, but NZ now have a very valuable 15-7 lead going into the second half.

**

20:04: Didn’t take long for TeamGB to bounce back. Good work at the breakdown to take the ball out wide and it’s Richardson over the line. Kick is good too and TeamGB now leads 7-5.

**

20:02: Portia Woodman finds space and she’s through. Great teamwork to dummy Team GB’s defence, Woodman’s got gas and she left the defenders in the dust. Kick is missed and it’s 5-0 to New Zealand with four minutes to go.

**

19:51: Final result: Australia 17-5 Canada. Next up: Team GB vs New Zealand.

**

19:44: The Aussies are running away with this now. They have another try. It’s Cherry again, who gets hold of the ball after some cunning passing earlier up the field. Australia now well ahead at 17-0.

**

19:40: Earlier, the USA team had a special guest. We’re just waiting for Russel Crowe to show up here.

**

19:38: Half-time and so far it’s the Aussies looking are composed than Canada. The Canadians are making lots of silly handling errors, perhaps just a little bit of nerves. The Aussies are holding their nerve and have managed to cross over the whitewash before half-time. Regulation time had run out, but Australia managed a turn over and ran the ball up 60m to Canada’s try line. The kick is missed and Australia lead 12-0. Regulation time had run out, but Australia got a penalty and ran the ball up 60m to Canada’s try line. The kick is missed and Australia lead 12-0.

**

19:32: Australia have the lead through a nifty try from Emilee Cherry. Conversion is good too and Australia lead 7-0 with two minutes to go in the first half.

**

19:31: First up in the women’s sevens semis is Australia vs Canada. Australia are the favourites, but Canada have been impressive so far. To borrow a horrendous cliche, anything can happen in Sevens.

**

19:14 We’re onto the women’s Sevens semis shortly. We’ll keep you updated.

**

18:57 Le Clos’ will be swimming in a final on Tuesday morning at 3:21am – he’s in the 200m freestyle. He won’t have much time to rest, though, as he’ll have the semis of the 200m fly between 4:10 and 4:19.

**

18:49: Rousseau finishes last in his heat. That won’t be enough for the semis…Chad le Clos is through, though.

**

18:45: Phelps finishing third in his heat with a time of 1:55.73, faster than Le Clos qualifying time. But this is not about the time, of course. It’s about getting through to the semis.

**

18:42: Coming is Michael Phelps and then another South African swimmer, Sebastien Rousseau.

**

18:41: Chad le Clos has started well in his heat and touches first in on the turn. Just like in the 200m freestyle, he’s pushing ahead strongly. He’s second on the second turn, but should be able to pick up the pace for the rest of the way. This is his preferred style, so it’s just about whether he can keep up the pace. He’s first again on the third turn and he’s trying to pull away now. He’s first! With a time of 1:55.57.

**

18:30: South Africa’s fours will have to go onto the repechage. They finished last in this race. They started fairly well, but couldn’t keep it up. Team GB, France and Greece qualify ahead of them. Onto the swimming, then.

**

18:23 Team GB dominating this race. South Africa battling between the other three teams tussling for second or third spot with France and Greece.

**

18:20 Right, we’re off for the final heats of the men’s fours. South Africa’s rowers have started steadily,  and  they are neck-in-neck with with Team GB.

**

18:00: We’re taking a short break now before returning at 18:30 for a whirldwind rowing and swimming session, followed by the women’s sevens semi-finals.

**

17:47: Good effort from South Africa to finish second. But a sublime race from the Kiwis who started slow and managed to catch up. Still, the South African rowers have been really impressive so far. Four out of four have directly qualified for the semis without needing to go into the repechage. We’ve got the men’s fours still to go this evening at 18:20, right before Chad le Clos is in action in the 200m fly.

**

17:46: New Zealand have pulled ahead and South Africa now fighting with China for second spot. France has fallen behind. We’ve got 500m to go.

**

17:45: Oef, New Zealand has managed to pull it back and get into the race. South Africa still in front, but not by much.  Three boats in the race now.

**

17:40: The women’s pairs are off to a flying start, neck-in-neck with France and China. It’s going to be tight. South Africa leading at 500m…but only just. 

**

17:27: South Africa finish with a time of 6.23.10 to easily go into the semis.  It was almost two seconds faster than Team GB in the end. More rowing to come from the South Africans at 17:40. It’s the  women’s pair of Lee-Ann Persse and Kate Christowitz.

**

17:22: TeamGB took an early lead and continued to go strong with the South Africans hot on their heels. They South Africans looked very comfortable for most of the race and by the three quarter mark, they started to overtake Team GB. South Africa continued to push hard and in the end won by quite some distance. The are the world champs, after all.

**

17:21: South Africa second at the first quarter mark, behind Team GB.

**

17:20: James Thompson and John Smith lining up for the men’s lightweight double sculls…

**

16:48: The women’s lightweight double sculls team will row in the semis on Wednesday. The lightweight double sculls women’s rowers was the fourth fastest time of the qualiers, but, over seven seconds slower than China who qualified top. . Big effort needed in the semis. Let’s wait to see what the men can do.

**

16:40: McCann and Grobler had a super fast start and took the lead early on – almost by a boat’s length. They were well ahead by the 500m mark, things stayed that way  right until the end. Cuba started to pick up speed towards the end, but South Africa made their strong start count and finished in first place. They could have stopped for a picnic and still won it. They finish with a time of 7:07.37 which puts them straight into the semis.

Coming up next, at 17:20, the men’s lightweight double sculls of James Thompson and John Smith

**

16:22: The water doesn’t look nearly as choppy as it did on day one – where just catching a glimpse of the screen was enough to make you seasick. Reports from the venue say that the wind is picking up and it could get tough later on when the men’s fours are set to row.

**

16:14: One of the best things about the Olympics has got to be how much interest you suddenly have in sports you’d never usually watch, especially if your country is in with a shot for a medal. My interest in rowing usually doesn’t stretch much further than giving the machine at the gym a side eye, but I’m all sorts of excited about the action we’re about to see. Coming up in three minutes: Women’s Lightweight Double sculls with South Africa’s Ursula Grobler and Kirsten McCann. That’s at 16:30

**

16:10: We’re not far off the rowing now, but in the meantime..this poor guy might miss his opportunity to compete at the Olympics. This is Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo, who is scheduled to compete in the golf.

**

14:48: While we wait, here’s a joke.

**

14:29: Here’s a reminder of what’s coming from the South Africans today:

Rowing:

16:30: Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (Heat 3): Kirsten McCann and Ursula Grobler
17:20: Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls (Heat 4): James Thompson and John Smith
17:40: Women’s Pair (Heat 2): Lee-Ann Persse and Kate Christowitz
18:20: Men’s Four (Heat 3s): David Hunt, Jonathan Smith, Vincent Breet and Jake Green

Swimming:

18:40: Men’s 200m Butterfly (Heat 2, lane 4): Chad le Clos 
18:49: 200m Butterfly (Heat 4, lane 1): Sebastien Rousseau
03:21 am (Tuesday): 200m Freestyle (Final): Chad le Clos
04:10 – 04-19 am (Tuesday): Men’s 200m Butterfly (Semi-finals): Potentially Chad le Clos and Sebastien Rousseau

**

14:00: Meanwhile, China have thrown so much shade at the Aussies. In short, Mack Horton, who won gold in the 400m freestyle, had a pop at China’s Sun Yung over the weekend. Horton accused Yang of deliberately splashing him in a training session, saying: “I ignored him, I don’t have time or respect for drug cheats.” Yang, of course, has previously served a suspension for doping.

But The Global Times newspaper, which is close to the ruling Communist Party, didn’t take kindly to Horton’s comments. In an op-ed published after the event, they say:

“In many serious essays written by Westerners, Australia is mentioned as a country at the fringes of civilisation.”

They then mention Australia having “early history as Britain’s offshore prison”. And then adds:

“This suggests that no one should be surprised at uncivilised acts emanating from the country.”

Meow.

**

13:47 Poor Nole was so upset that he cried after being eliminated. Shame. 

Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after losing against Juan Manuel del Potro of Argentina during their Men's singles match of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Tennis events at the Olympic Tennis Centre in the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 07 August 2016. EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS 

**

13:45: Let’s recap what happened yesterday:

  • Banyana Banyana face elimination after losing 2-0 against China.
  • The rowing was postponed. 
  • Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio finished tenth in the women’s road race, an exceptional effort considering how small South Africa’s cycling team is.
  • AmaGlugGlug lost 1-0 to Denmark and are also on the brink of elimination.
  • Chad le Clos qualified for the men’s 200m free final.
  • Cameron van der Burgh won South Africa’s first medal, taking silver in the 100m men’s breaststroke, behind Team GB’s sensational Adam Peaty, who broke the world record twice in the Games.
  • Katie Ledecky smashed her own world record in the women’s 400m free event.
  • Williams sisters and Murray brothers eliminated in the doubles events.
  • Novak Djokovic eliminated in the singles.

**

13:43: Afternoon. If you are joining this blog for the first time, welcome. You can keep up to date with all the South Africans at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games here as the events unfold. We’ll also bring you tidbits from here, there and everywhere as they happen. DM

Photo: Chad Le Clos of South Africa takes his goggles off after competing in the men’s 200m Freestyle Heats of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Swimming events at Olympic Aquatics Stadium at the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 07 August 2016. EPA/PATRICK B. KRAEMER

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