Rising Above the Rain

Rio 2016 Review of Day 10

Anita Włodarczyk Berlin 2009

The evening session of athletics was disrupted by pouring rain so Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland (above) would have been glad to have been competing in the morning. She won the hammer as the de facto Olympic champion, with Tatyana Lysenko of Russia due to be disqualified for doping offences. Therefore, her gold will be the second of her career.

It became a day of winners from London 2012 coming back for more as Kenya’s David Rudisha also retained his title in the 800m. There was no defending champion taking part in the women’s 400m but Allyson Felix was hoping to add to her four gold medals. Instead, Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas dipped to beat her, even falling over the line.

The host nation has had a disappointing Games, with judoka Rafaela Silva its only gold medallist so far. That all changed when another returning champion, Renaud Lavillenie of France, was shocked by local favourite Thiago Braz de Silva, with a massive personal best and an Olympic record, in what will surely be one of the moments of these Games.

Team World

During the pole vault, Brazil was also competing against France in a vital winner-takes- all pool match for a quarter final place. The result was the same as Brazil won 3 sets to 1.

Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia beat a Chinese pair to reach the final of the mixed doubles, as did Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying of Malaysia. Having won all five badminton golds in 2012, it is possible that China will be left without any this time.

The omnium came to a conclusion with a dramatic points race. Denmark’s Lasse Hansen stole an early lap to put pressure on leaders Elia Viviani of Italy and Mark Cavendish of Great Britain and, despite an incident in which Cavendish brought down Viviani, it did not matter, as Viviani won enough of the decisive sprints to hold them both off for gold.

Fernando Gaviria stole a lap as well but it was too little too late and he finished fourth.

Arthur Zanetti Rio 2016b

As with Braz da Silva, there were high hopes for Arthur Zanetti (above), the defending champion in the rings. He did not quite retain his title but he won an impressive silver, to add to the two medals claimed by Brazilian gymnasts in the floor exercise yesterday.

The Netherlands also had a good day as Sanne Wevers won gold on the beam, following a mistake by Simone Biles which left her with a bronze medal. Sharon van Rouwendaal also won an Olympic title in the 10km marathon swimming, and there might have been a third had the Laser Radial medal race, led by Marit Bouwmeester, not been postponed.

Brazil had also hoped for Robert Scheidt to win his sixth sailing medal but was unable to compete without wind, unlike in the pole vault, where it was able to triumph in the rain.

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