Yes, it didn't feature anyone from the United States. Yes, it probably wasn't on television very much. But what transpired was a very hearty competition between incredibly talented athletes. They did everything right, and in the end it was almost a toss-up as to who would win.
I got the chance to watch the entire competition online, and they made sure to show all six events for Japan's Kohei Uchimura and the Ukraine's Oleg Verniaiev, who were both in the same group as two of the top six qualifiers from Saturday. And they put on quite a show!
At first, everyone was wondering how amazing "King Kohei" would be throughout the competition, and if anyone could get close to his scores. By the middle, everyone was marveling at Verniaiev and wondering if Uchimura would actually get gold!
In the end, it was both athlete's performance on the high bar, their final event, that pushed the results. Uchimura went first, and put on a high bar clinic. Most importantly, he stuck the landing, and the arena erupted in cheers. He had a 15.8 in the end, and Verniaiev would need to score a 14.9 in order to win gold.
Verniaiev ended up faltering a couple of times and did a hop on his dismount, but for a starting score that was so high, it was odd that his score was just a 14.8, meaning that Uchimura would get gold after trailing for a bit.
I didn't mind if either gymnast won. I was thrilled to see top-notch gymnastics being performed by not only these two men, but also by the other men of the top ten. All of them stepped up and showed why men's gymnastics is where all the strong men are.
Event finals start on Sunday for the men. Do yourselves a favor and watch some, or DVR it if NBC ends up making it part of the late-night broadcast. While all-around medals are great at showing a gymnast's versatility, event finals show the man on his very best apparatus at his very best in ability. It will be a sight to behold!
Let's hop over to the mini blurbs...
- Today's roundup:
- men's cycling
- women's volleyball
- beach volleyball
- men's boxing
- water polo
- men's rugby
- men's shooting (pistol)
- men's shooting (trap)
- equestrian dressage
- mixed nacra sailing
- men's gymnastics
- men's diving
- women's field hockey
- I had gymnastics on one screen and diving on the other, since both take place at the same time. Diving never takes too long, since there are eight competitors (or teams in synchro) and six dives for each. This event was fabulous! It was not won by the Chinese team, instead going to the team from Great Britain after a disastrous Chinese dive in the third round. Meanwhile, the Americans were consistently good in all the rounds and ended their competition with an incredible final dive. They took silver - well earned.
- For the first time, I spotted shower shoes on the diving cool down/warm up area! Both the Russians and the Brazilians were sporting them. I guess I'd never noticed that before.
- Rugby seems like a very international sport, which is why it's perfect for the Olympics and puzzling why it didn't return sooner. There was a team from every inhabited continent, and Fiji was the #1 ranked team. I love the international appeal. Unfortunately the Americans lost and are out.
- While I didn't watch much of it, I was amazed by the sailing event today, the mixed Nacra 17. The Nacra 17 is actually the model of sailboat used by every team. It is multi-hulled, meaning more than one person is handling it. The event today was mixed, meaning one female and one male per boat. Another event with mixed gender competition! Let's add more please!
- At one time today I was watching five different events at the same time and getting my classroom ready. I was on fire!
- I, for one, enjoyed the variety of countries that won swimming medals tonight. Kazakhstan, Spain, and Australia got to hear their national anthems in the swimming arena.
- I had a busy day, so I actually was using my treadmill at 10pm, and stayed on it until the women's 4x200m relay had finished up. If I had to do my treadmill workout, I have to say the easiest way to do it was while watching Olympic swimming!
See you tomorrow!