The Usual Suspects

Rio 2016 Review of Day 11

Christian Taylor Beijing 2015

It was a day in which the traditional powers asserted their dominance. At the top of the medal table, the United States added two more to its tally with a triple jump gold from Christian Taylor (above), and a fourth gold medal for Simone Biles, in the floor exercise.

The best hope for a new country to win gold came from Mutaz Esha Barshim of Qatar in the high jump but he was beaten into silver by world champion Derek Drouin of Canada.

On the track, Jamaica and Kenya each claimed their third titles of the Rio Olympics with victories for Omar McLeod in the 110m hurdles, and for Faith Kipyegon in the 1500m.

Team GB had another super day, in two of its best sports. Cycling’s power couple, Jason Kenny and Laura Trott, won the keirin and the omnium respectively, and have a career total of ten golds between them. Sailor Giles Scott followed Ben Ainslie as champion in the Finn class, while Hannah Mills and Saskia Clark clinched 470 gold with a race to go.

China, in the unusual place of third in the medal table, won golds in women’s team table tennis and from diver Cao Yuan. But it is struggling elsewhere – after its clean sweep in badminton at London 2012, it has only one of the finalists in the three doubles events.

After a slow start, Germany is up to fifth with three gold medals in a day, from Sebastian Brendel in 1000m C1 canoeing, Fabian Hambuchen on the high bar and Kristina Vogel in sprint cycling. Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst beat Larissa and Talita of Brazil in the semi-final at Copacabana, to guarantee themselves at least a silver in beach volleyball.

Team World

They will not face Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross, who lost to the other Brazilian pair, Agatha and Barbara. But bronze is still a possible fourth medal for Walsh Jennings.

There was also disappointment for Irish boxer, Michael Conlan, who lost a quarter-final to Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin in a controversial decision. After an even more questionable call in favour of Evgeny Tishchenko yesterday, and knowing what Russia is capable of, it is hard not to be deeply troubled. Russia’s Olympic success is the most ominous of all.


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