What a day. Watching an unexpected gold medal thrills me like very little does, and Joe Clarke’s incredible effort in the kayaking, and Mears and Laugher vanquishing the unvanquishable Chinese left me an emotional wreck.
Then there was Max Whitlock. At the beginning of the day, Piers Morgan announced, with that classic combination of narcissistic bombast and intellectual vacuity which has become his relentless calling card, that a silver and bronze represents failure and should not be celebrated. A man whose bloated figure suggests a man who would get physical exhaustion from walking from his table to the all you can eat buffet, called Britain’s greatest ever gymnast a loser. Apparently he has interviewed Michael Phelps, and is therefore qualified to dismiss the efforts of the vast majority of Olympians. The truth is that Whitlock will go down in history as a man who helped transform gymnastics in Britain. Morgan will go down as a disgraced apologist for phone hacking, whose contribution to British culture was to vote through the “human saxophone” to the semi finals of BGT. Whitlock’s high bars routine, exorcising the ghosts of two previous falls, showed the balls of steel that should inspire praise, rather than smug braindead dismissal.
The bad news is that today will probably be less dramatic. Looking at the schedules, it feels very much like the calm before the storm, and it is certainly not impossible that GB will be medal less today.
Fiona Pennie is Joe Clarke’s training partner and has a decent shout in the women’s slalom. As usual it is anyone’s guess what may happen.
David Florence is hoping to put his trauma behind him, and seeks redemption in the pairs with Richard Hounslow. Once more, impossible to predict, but here’s hooping the silver medallists from 2012 can go one better.
The track cycling begins today. Both pursuit teams are hotly fancied and begin their efforts today. But the only finals today are in the men’s team sprints, in which, in stark contrast to 2012, we are very much outsiders. That is not to say that they cannot cause a shock
Probably our most likely medal today. Beat South Africa and we probably play Fiji in the final. Lose and we probably play Japan for bronze.
It’s Kath Grainger’s last hurrah in the double sculls final.The GB pair will have to improve to get a medal, but that is not beyond Grainger and Thornley.
The swimmers have been brilliant so far and have been unlucky not to come away with more medals. Today we have TWO swimmers, Molly Renshaw and Chloe Tutton going in the 200m breaststroke. Unheard of.
There is a lot on today. From a British point of view, Murray,Konta, the men’s four and women’s pair in the rowing, the pursuit teams, the dressagers, the increasingly impressive ladies hockey team, and Jazz Carlin in the 800 free, will all, hopefully , be setting up future medals.
From a neutral’s point of view, there is the Simon Biles Show, and the men’s table tennis final.
Of and the golf starts. Make what you will of that.
In the meantime, here is a photo of a better human being than Piers Morgan.