London 2012 Olympics: Day 5 Recap.

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WATER POLO: The battle for supremacy continued in the women’s Water Polo competition as Russia threw down the gauntlet, while the USA and Spain could not be separated.

Russia overcame Italy to announce their intentions for a medal. After a cagey first half, the World Championships bronze medallists pulled ahead in the third quarter and a late Italian fightback was not enough to bother them. They now have a 100 per cent record in Group B, after beating Great Britain narrowly in their last game.

Hungary snatched victory from China in a thrilling clash, edging ahead for the first time with less than two minutes to go before clinging on to win 11-10. In the final game of the day, Australia recorded a big win, 16-3 against Great Britain.

HOCKEY: Australia recorded another healthy win in the men’s Hockey competition, but it was a disappointing day for India as they were beaten by New Zealand.

Australia eased to their second successive victory, taking their goal tally into double figures with a 5-0 victory over Pool A opponents Spain.

New Zealand’s first win of the Olympics severely dented the medal hopes of eight-time champions India after their second successive defeat.

Andrew Hayward was the key man in the Black Sticks’ 3-1 win as he scored one penalty corner, created another from a set-piece and also hit the post on one routine. New Zealand’s first points put them back in touch with the upper reaches of the group, although they remain three behind leaders the Netherlands, who overcame Belgium 3-1, in Pool B.

Great Britain escaped with a late 2-2 draw against South Africa after it seemed they would pay dearly for not making the most of their early advantage. Pakistan moved to third in Pool A – though only on goal difference – after recording their first win of the tournament against Argentina and Germany continued their steady progress in Pool B with a narrow 1-0 victory over the Republic of Korea.

BADMINTON: Japan’s Sayaka Sato left the Wembley Arena Badminton court in disappointment tonight after being forced to pull out of the London 2012 competition due to injury.

The 12th seed held a 15-11 advantage in the first game of her women’s Singles match against Denmark’s fifth seed Tine Baun but then badly twisted her ankle. She tried to play on after receiving lengthy treatment but found it too difficult and was forced to accept her bid was over with the score at 15-14.

The headlining men’s Singles showdown between the past two Olympic Games champions, Beijing 2008 winner Lin Dan and Athens 2004 gold medallist Taufik Hidayat, went the way of form.

Lin, the Chinese second seed and hot tournament favourite, was too strong for the Indonesian and won 21-9 21-12 in 46 minutes.

Meanwhile, the schedule was revised after eight players were disqualified from the women’s Doubles competition.

The Republic of Korea pairings of Jung Kyung Eun/Kim Ha Na and Ha Jung Eun/Kim Min Jung, the number one seeds and gold medal favourites Wang Xiaoli/Yu Yang of China, and the Indonesian duo Greysia Polii/Meiliana Jauhari were all charged with ‘not using one’s best efforts to win a match’ and ‘conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly abusive or detrimental to the sport’.

BASKETBALL: The quarter-finals of the women’s Basketball competition are starting to take shape after several of the big guns booked their place in the last eight on Day 5.

The United States pulled away down the stretch to see off Turkey and extend their Olympic Games winning streak to 36 games with an 89-58 win.

Geno Auriemma’s squad, seeking a fifth straight gold medal for the USA, still looked a way off their best but were nevertheless too strong for Turkey.

Earlier in the day, China stormed past Angola with a convincing display.

What was a two-point game at half-time was far more one-sided at the end of the third quarter, with China outscoring the Africans 24-7 in the period to lead 57-37.

France were another team to make it through as they held off Canada down the stretch for their third straight win.

Although France had led most of the way, Canada got the gap back to just two points in the final seconds before Les Bleus’ experienced guard Celine Dumerc wrapped it up from the free-throw line.

Australia bounced back from their upset defeat at the hands of France on Monday, but only just as they edged out Brazil and European champions Russia were given a thorough examination by Great Britain but eventually came through.

HANDBALL: The Copper Box witnessed a day of thrilling Handball action in the women’s tournament as Norway and Republic of Korea set the tone, before Spain and others followed suit.

The crowd did not take long to wake up this morning as Republic of Korea earned a last-gasp draw with reigning gold medallists Norway in a thrilling Group B encounter.

The Scandinavians had been on course for a second win of the tournament after 11 goals from Linn Jorum Sulland had inspired them to a 27-26 lead going into the final moments.
But Republic of Korea, who had come in to the game with a 100 per cent record, ensured they remained unbeaten thanks to Ryu Eun Hee’s goal with 15 seconds to go, which left Norway with no chance to respond.

That set the standard for what was to come, and later on Spain held off a comeback by Denmark to register their first victory. Spain scored twice in the final two minutes to give them a four-goal cushion and they saw it out to move above Denmark in the table.

Elsewhere, Montenegro sent themselves to the verge of quarter-final qualification with victory over Angola in Group A. France maintained their unbeaten record as they defeated Sweden in Group B, 29-17. Brazil proved too strong for Hosts Great Britain, whose women’s team produced their best display of the Olympic Games so far, but still went down to a 30-17 defeat.

In the final game of the night, Croatia took a huge stride towards quarter-final qualification with an impressive 30-28 win over reigning silver medallists Russia.

FOOTBALL: Brazil showcased their flair and ability with a comfortable 3-0 Group C victory over New Zealand as the quarter-final line-up for the men’s Football competition was decided today.

Striker Leandro Damiao set up midfielder Danilo to open the scoring and then claimed his second of the tournament before the break.

Tottenham’s Sandro added a third in the second half to cement the win which will see his side take on Honduras in the last eight.

Neymar should have made it 4-0, only to sky over an empty goal from Rafael de Silva’s cross, but Alex Sandro’s afternoon took a turn for the worse 15 minutes from time when, having been booked earlier for a foul, he was yellow-carded for a second time.

Great Britain’s men followed the women into the quarter-finals as Daniel Sturridge netted the only goal against Uruguay at the Millennium Stadium.

The win has set up a last-eight meeting with the Republic of Korea in Cardiff on Saturday evening.

Meanwhile, Senegal joined GB in the last eight after leading striker Moussa Konate rescued a point against UAE.

Konate scored his fourth goal in three Group A matches early in the second half to cancel out Matar Ismaeil’s opener. It meant that Senegal finished in second spot on five points – behind GB – and they will face Mexico in the quarter-finals.

Egypt qualified for the last eight, where they will face Japan, with a deserved 3-1 win over Belarus at Hampden Park.

Japan and Honduras both qualified for the last quarter-finals after fighting out a goalless draw, while Republic of Korea progessed despite a disappointing draw against Gabon at Wembley.

Pre-tournament favourites Spain bowed out of the competition without a goal to their name following a goalless draw with Morocco, while Oribe Peralta’s second-half strike saw Mexico top Group B with victory over Switzerland at the Millennium Stadium.



Quo non Ascendam. Writer. E-mail:

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