HOCKEY: Day 10 saw the semi-final line-up for the women’s Hockey competition confirmed, with New Zealand and Argentina leading the contenders into the last four.
The Black Sticks booked their place in the knockout stages in the first game of the day, but a goalless draw ended Athens 2004 champions Germany’s chances of a medal.
The Netherlands edged out Great Britain 2-1 at the Riverbank Arena, but with semi-final qualification already secured for both by then they were only playing for position.
Had the Host Nation beaten the Dutch they would have topped Group A and faced the second-placed side in the other group, but now they will take on Argentina, who claimed the last semi-final spot on offer in the late game as an unconvincing 0-0 draw put Australia out of contention.
The South Americans required only a point to win Group B and they achieved that but the Hockeyroos, who had to win to make the last four, made life difficult for them.
Earlier, China’s 1-0 defeat to Japan ended their chance of making the semi-finals while South Africa stunned the USA with a 7-0 victory to lift themselves off the bottom of Group B.
Republic of Korea secured fourth spot in Group A with a 3-1 win over Belgium which means they will play off for seventh place on Wednesday.
BOXING: Anthony Ogogo admitted shedding tears over Mo Farah’s epic 10,000m triumph on Saturday night and said the exploits of his fellow Great Britain Olympians inspired him to guarantee a medal of his own at ExCeL.
Ogogo saw off Germany’s tough Stefan Hartel 15-10 to set up a semi-final showdown against the excellent Brazilian Esquiva Falcao, who beat him 17-12 in the last 16 of last year’s World Championships.
Ogogo said: ‘I watched Mo Farah the other night and I’m a big tough boxer but I’m not scared of saying I had a tear in my eye. Seeing Mo and Jess Ennis do well inspired me and hopefully I will have inspired another athlete to do well tomorrow.’
Anthony Joshua also served up a powerful performance to dispatch China’s Beijing silver medallist Zhang Zhilei and become the fourth GB fighter to guarantee a place on the podium with a 15-11 points win.
Joshua said: ‘My medal represents the hard work and the journey, but it’s going to get tougher and I’ve just got to keep my head on my shoulders and try to change the colour of that medal.’
Beijing bronze medallist Virender Singh lost to Abbos Atoev 17-13 in the quarter-finals of the men’s Middle Weight category.
The Indians are now relying on Devendro Singh to guarantee the country a medal in men’s Boxing.
Devendro fights Irish boxer Paddy Barnes in the quarter-finals of the men’s Light Fly Weight division on Wednesday.
Unseeded Evaldas Petrauskas defeated Italian Domenico Valentino 16-14, guaranteeing Lithuania a medal in the men’s Light Weight category.
Reigning world champion Magomedrasul Medzhidov booked a seat in the semis after scoring a comfortable win over Russian Magomed Omarov in the men’s Super Heavyweight category.
Meanwhile, Mary Kom guaranteed India an Olympic Fly Weight medal as she booked her place in the semi-finals by defeating Tunisia’s Maroua Rahali.
Kom, who will face Britain’s Nicola Adams next on Wednesday, had the lead from the opening round as she manoeuvred her way around her opponent, winning the approval of the crowd.
China’s world champion Ren Cancan also proceeded to the semis after defeating Russian Elena Savelyeva 12-7.
The USA’s Claressa Shields was off to a slow start as she lost her first two rounds to Swedish Anna Laurell in the Middle Weight quarter-finals, but Shields fought back to clinch a semi-final berth.
BASKETBALL: The leading contenders in the men’s Basketball competition warmed up for the quarter-finals on Day 10.
The tone for a dramatic day was set early, as Patrick Mills hit a three-pointer on the buzzer as Australia snatched an 82-80 victory to end Russia’s unbeaten run.
Russia had their first lead since midway through the fourth quarter when Vitaliy Fridzon went to the line and hit two free throws to make it 80-79 with 4.1 seconds left.
But Australia coach Brett Brown drew up one final play and they made it pay as Joe Ingles fed Mills at the top of the key and he shot the three to win it.
‘I had the mindset that if I was open I had to shoot, time was running down and I was glad that it went in,‘ Mills said.
Russia had already sealed top spot in the group while Australia knew they could not improve on fourth place, with both teams advancing to the quarter-finals.
And they were joined there by Lithuania, who booked their last-eight place after overcoming Tunisia 76-63.
The Europeans, who have reached the semi-finals of every Olympic Games since they gained independence, winning three bronze medals, risked elimination as Tunisia led most of the game and were up by double digits late in the third quarter.
Elsewhere, favourites the USA wore down battling Argentina in the second half to seal top spot in Group A with a 5-0 record, following a 126-97 win.
Argentina matched the Americans blow-for-blow in a pulsating first half, trailing 60-59 at half-time.
But the Americans outscored them 42-17 in an incredible third quarter in which the red-hot Kevin Durant hit five three-pointers from increasing distance.
In Group A, France quelled the threat of a second-half fightback from Nigeria to secure the second seed with a 79-73 win.
Nicolas Batum scored 23 points and Mickael Gelabale added 11 but France did not have it all their own way with Tony Parker largely quiet and Chamberlain Oguchi going off for 35 points for Nigeria.
Great Britain recorded their first Olympic Games victory in Basketball since 1948 as they beat China 90-58 in their final Group B game.
Meanwhile, Spain’s medal hopes suffered another blow as they surrendered a late lead to lose 88-82 to Brazil.
World number two and European champions Spain had led virtually the entire game, often by double digits, and were still up 73-67 with 5:43 left to go after Pau Gasol split a pair of free throws.
But then the game very quickly became the Leandro Barbosa show as he took charge to lead the South Americans to the win.
BEACH VOLLEYBALL: The drama continued in the men’s Beach Volleyball competition on Day 10, as a tournament of upsets was highlighted by yet more shocks.
Latvia’s Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins scored arguably the result of the day as they ended the involvement of the USA in the men’s competition with a three-set win over Jacob Gibb and Sean Rosenthal.
On a rainy night in London, the Europeans pulled off a major upset as they reached the semi-finals at the expense of the team boasting the best record on beach volleyball’s World Tour this year.
They will now face gold medal favourites Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego of Brazil in the last four, after the South Americans came through a major test of their title credentials to beat Poland in three sets.
The Polish pair of Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel came agonisingly close to pulling off a major upset and in a dramatic final set were just a point away from their first-ever win over the Brazilian duo.
Later in the evening, German duo Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann stunned Brazil in the quarter-finals to end Ricardo Santos’ bid for a fourth Olympic Games medal.
Ricardo arrived in London eyeing more success on the biggest stage after taking silver at Sydney 2000, gold at Athens 2004 and bronze in Beijing four years ago, but the 37-year-old’s fire was extinguished as he and team-mate Pedro Cunha fell to defeat.
Germany, who came through the preliminary phase unbeaten and saw off a strong Latvian team in the last 16, came out firing with Reckermann in particular a threat at the net.
The Europeans quickly built up an advantage and when Brink’s brilliant one-handed dig and subsequent spike made it 13-6, they never looked in danger of losing the opener.
They won it 21-15 before Brink played his part again in the second to claim it 21-19.
In the late-night game, the Netherlands’ Reinder Nummerdor and Rich Schuil completed the semi-final line-up with a straight-sets victory over Italy.
The all-European encounter came down to a masterclass in all aspects of the game by the Dutch, with Schuil dominant on both defence and attack at the net and Nummerdor superb in the back court as the pair eased to a 21-16 21-18 win.
ATHLETICS: Felix Sanchez produced a brilliant display to claim gold in the 400m Hurdles on another exciting night of Athletics action at the Olympic Stadium.
The event had been billed as a battle between world number one Javier Culson and Britain’s world champion Dai Greene, but Sanchez stormed to victory in 47.63 – the same time with which he won the title in Athens in 2004.
Asked what the reaction would be back home in the Dominican Republic, 34-year-old Sanchez said: ‘It’s going to be huge. They expected the Worlds (he won the World Championship in 2001 and 2003), but no-one expected this.
‘A lot of people said I should retire but I stuck with it.’
USA’s Michael Tinsley took a surprise silver medal in a personal best of 47.91, with Culson forced to settle for bronze and Greene down in fourth.
In the men’s 400m, Grenada’s Kirani James added Olympic gold to his world title with a brilliant national record of 43.94, with Luguelin Santos winning silver for the Dominican Republic in a final which did not feature a single USA athlete.
Elsewhere, defending champion Elena Isinbaeva had to settle for bronze in the Pole Vault final.
The USA’s Jennifer Suhr claimed gold on countback from Yarisley Silva of Cuba after both had cleared 4.75m, with Isinbaeva clearing 4.70m.
Isinbaeva said: ‘I am really happy, it’s like a gold medal for me. I think this tells me “Don’t quit” as I planned to after London.’
In the women’s Shot Put, Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus won gold ahead of New Zealand’s Valerie Adams after dominating the competition with four throws over 21m.
‘I’m very happy,’ she said. ‘It’s my third Olympic Games and it’s been a long road to get to this gold medal. This is to everyone in Belarus, I would like to say a huge thank you to all of them.’
Russia’s Yuliya Zaripova won the 3000m Steeplechase in a new personal best of 9:06.72.
VOLLEYBALL: Defending champions the USA will meet Italy in the quarter-finals of the men’s Volleyball competition after the round-robin games were concluded on Day 10.
Alan Knipe’s men wrapped their round-robin campaign up with a 3-0 win against Tunisia today to top Pool B, while Italy finished fourth in Group A.
Bulgaria topped their pool after winning a straight shoot-out with Italy today and will face Germany – 3-0 losers to Brazil, although they did rest star man Gyorgy Grozer.
Poland were runners-up to Bulgaria despite losing to Australia this morning and will meet Russia, while Brazil and Argentina will also square up.
Australia, Great Britain, Serbia and Tunisia are the four sides to make an early exit.
The Host Nation went down to a 3-0 defeat against Argentina today, while Russia were straight-sets winners over Serbia.
Russia’s Maxim Mikhaylov ended the group stage as the leading scorer with 93 points, just two more than Australia’s Thomas Edgar.
Germany’s Markus Steuerwald was rated as the competition’s best libero, while Russia’s tall Marko Padrascanin returned a top-scoring 81 blocks.
CURRENT MEDAL TABLE
1. China. 31G 19S 14B
2. USA. 29G 15S 19B
3. Great Britian. 16G 11S 11B
4. Korea. 11G 5S 6B
5. France. 8G 9S 9B