(Jon is still out of his mind, and will keep writing about the Olympics until they end or he's dragged away in a white jacket. Feel free to chat about tonight's primetime coverage, or the state of mental care in Oklahoma, whatever works.)
Today's Olympic WTF?: "WTF is a repechage?" I'm so glad you asked. In some events, the competition is effectively double-elimination at certain stages. A repechage is the term in pretty much every Olympic sport for "you lost, but here's another chance." In rowing, for example, the results of the qualifying heats are that the top finishers advance directly to the next round, while everyone else will fight it out for some number of other open slots in that next round (as opposed to swimming or track, where the top X finishers advance period). The relative excess of events in swimming and track, creating massive scheduling difficulties if those sports tried to operate in the same fashion, is the most obvious reason why they don't do it this way. Rowing, conversely, has a fairly limited schedule.
Having completed today's wonderful educational diversion, on to the recap of Day 3, and your guide to day 4:
Archery: American Miranda Leek got through her 1/32 elimination contest, beating Ukrainian Kateryna Palekha 6-2, but was ousted 6-4 by Pia Lionette of Italy in the 1/16 eliminations. The Americans aren't done, though, as the 1/32 and 1/16 rounds continue tomorrow.
Badminton: I missed an American on the schedule yesterday, but American Rena Wang was destroyed 21-8/21-6 in her only scheduled group play match by China's Wang Xin. Howard Bach and Tony Gunawan were handled 21-15/21-15 by Japan's Naoki Kawamae and Shoji Sato in men's doubles, and finish their Olympic experience 0-3. That puts an end to a winless trip to London for the entire American badminton team.
Basketball: In group China crunched Croatia 83-58, Turkey beat the Czechs 61-57, and Team USA destroyed Angola 90-38. In group B, France took down Australia 74-70 in overtime, Russia notched a 69-59 win over Brazil, and Canada dispatched Great Britain 73-65.
Beach Volleyball: The Misty May-Treanor/Kerri Walsh-Jennings death machine churns on, as they took straight sets from Czechs Kristyna Kolocova and Marketa Slukova. A stunner closed men's play for the day as Jason Gibb and Sean Rosenthal were taken out in straight sets by Poland's Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel.
Boxing: It's rare for an American to exit the boxing competition this early, but here we are. Britain's Damien Hooper outpointed Marcus Browne 13-11 in their light heavyweight bout. There was no American flyweight in the round of 32.
Canoe/Kayak: The French duo of Gauthier Klauss and Matthieu Peche hit the best run of the day on their first run, making their horrible second run completely irrelevant as they took first place in the men's C2 qualification. Americans Eric Hurd and Jeff Larimer failed to qualify for the final, finishing 12th. Spain's Maialen Chourraut had the best run in the women's K1 slalom; like her male counterparts, Caroline Queen failed to qualify, finishing 17th. (tape delay: NBC 10-10:30am; NBC Late Night 11:35am-12:35am)
Cycling: off day.
Diving: China's Cao Yuan and Zhang Yanquan took the gold in the men's synchronized 10m platform event. Mexico's Ivan Garcia Navarro and German Sanchez Sanchez took the silver, while David Boudia and Nicholas McCrory earned USA bronze. (tape delay: NBC Primetime 6-11pm)
Equestrian: For the uninitiated, the best possible score in the cross country event is "zero", which means you completed the course within the allotted time without penalties. That's precisely what Germany's Ingrid Klimke atop Butts Abraxas and Sweden's Sara Algotsson Ostholt aboard Wega did today, allowing them to claim first place in the individual event after the three riders above them in the standings took penalties. Phillip Dutton and Mystery Whisper lead the Americans in 12th place, followed by Karen O'Connor and Mr Medicott in 24th, Boyd Martin and Otis Barbotiere in 26th, Tiana Coudray and Ringwood Magister in 42nd, and William Coleman and Twizzel in 46th. In the team standings, the Americans jumped from seventh to a relatively comfortable fifth; there's a lot of room between Team USA and both fourth and sixth.
Fencing: NBC may regret not airing the women's individual epee after today's insanity. But first, let's talk about Murica. Susie Scanlan lost a round of 64 qualification against Ukrainian Olena Kryvytska 15-13. In the round of 32, Courtney Hurley fell 15-12 to France's Laura Flessel-Colovic, but Maya Lawrence got past Italian Mara Navarria 15-12. Lawrence fell in the round of 16, however, to another Italian, Rossella Fiamingo. The insanity struck in the semifinals, when South Korea's A Lan Shim and Germany's Britta Heidemann were tied at 5 and locked in overtime. Shim needed only to prevent Heidemann from scoring to advance to the gold medal match, and apparently did so... but there was a clock malfunction, and after the clock should have expired, Heidemann scored a touch and was declared the victor. Shim then did what all good fencers do, and I'm actually not really kidding: she sat down on the piste and refused to leave, because doing so acknowledges the result in fencing culture. After ponying up the cash for an appeal, the Koreans were still denied despite an acknowledgement that the clock malfunctions. Shin went on to lose the bronze to Sun Yujie of China; Ukraine's Yana Shemyakina then defeated Heidemann 9-8 in OT for the gold.
Feetyball: off day.
Gymnastics: Team USA was unable to maintain the momentum from the qualifications, and China was able to recover from their issues to capture the gold. Japan took silver, and Great Britain surprised pretty much everyone by pipping Ukraine for the bronze -- Britain's first men's team gymnastics medal in a century. There was some controversy, however, as initially the scoring on Kohei Uchimura's pommel horse routine had left Britain with the silver and Ukraine with the bronze; after an inquiry, Uchimura's score was adjusted, costing the Ukrainians their place on the medal stand.
Handball: Women's group A saw Croatia over Angola 28-23, Russia pounding the hapless British hosts 37-16, and Brazil edged Montenegro 27-25. In group B, Korea nipped Denmark 25-24, France and Spain battled to an 18-18 tie, and Norway got past Sweden 24-21.
Hockey, Field: In group A, Australia destroyed South Africa 6-0, Spain and Pakistan tied at 1-1, and Great Britain won the Falklands war again, beating Argentina 4-1. Group B saw South Korea beat New Zealand 2-0, the Netherlands pull off a somewhat surprising 3-2 upset of India, and Germany beat Belgium 2-1.
Judo: In the women's 57kg, Marti Malloy knocked off Telma Montero of Portugal, Colombian Yadinys Amaris, and Irina Zabludina of Russia before falling to Romania's Corina Caprioriu in the semifinals. Afterward, Molloy defeated Italy's Guilia Quintavalle to capture a USA bronze; the other bronze was awarded to France's Automne Pavia. Caprioriu won silver, losing the gold-medal match to Japan's Kaori Matsumoto. In men's -73kg, Nicholas Delpopolo defeated Chi Yip Cheung of Hong Kong and Dirk van Tichelt of Belgium before losing in the quarterfinals to South Korean Ki-Chun Wang. Delpopolo then lost in a repechage match with Nyam-Ochir Sainjargal of Mongolia. Sainjargal and Ugo LeGrand of France won the bronze medals, while Mansur Isaev of Russia defeated Japan's Riki Nakaya for the gold.
Rowing: Today saw the repechage runs for men's and women's pair, women's and men's quad sculls, and men's eight, along with the qualifying heats for men's four and men's double sculls. Team USA advanced to the final of the quad sculls, but the men were eliminated from that event, finishing last in their repechage. Silas Stafford and Thomas Peszek qualified for the semifinals of the men's pair. In the qualifying heat for women's double sculls, Sarah Trowbridge and Margot Shumway finished third in their heat, and will have a repechage ahead of them; USA men's four won their qualifier and advance directly to the semifinals.
Sailing: Erik Storck and Trevor Moore turned in finishes of 6th and 10th in the first two races of the men's 49er 16-race event, and are in sixth place overall. Rob Crane posted 35th and 42nd place finishes in the first two of eleven races of men's Laser, and is in 35th place overall. Paige Railey finished 8th and 5th in the first pair of the women's Laser Radial 11-race event; she's in fifth overall. As for the events which were already underway, Zach Railey went 12/17 in men's Finn, and is in 13th overall after four of eleven runs. In men's Star 3-4/11, Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih had a nice day, finishing fifth and third; that boosted them to sixth in the overall standings, and if not for their horrible run in race 2 they'd be in or close to the lead. Lastly, in the women's Elliott, the Americans split their two races today, beating Portugal but losing to Australia. They're tied for fifth after four runs.
Shooting: Jonathan Hall finished 27th and Matthew Emmons 35th in the men's 10m Air Rifle qualifications; obviously, neither qualified for the final. The gold went to Romania's Alin George Moldoveanu; Italy's Niccolo Campriani took silver, and Gagan Narang of India the bronze. begin at 3am; the final will be at 6:15am. Vincent Hancock and Frank Thompson both got off to good starts in the men's skeet final, with Hancock posting a 74/75 score to lead the pack. Thompson shot 71/75. Note that while the world record for men's skeet qualification is a perfect 125, the Olympic record is only 121 so Hancock, on pace for a 123, has a fabulous chance to break it. Qualification concludes with the final 50 targets tomorrow, followed by the final.
Swimming: In the women's 200 free, Missy Franklin and Allison Schmitt cruised in the qualifying heats, but Franklin had some difficulty in the semifinals, only making the cut by .19 seconds. Still, they'll both be in the final tomorrow, and that's all that really matters in the pool. Ariana Kukors and Caitlin Leverenz both survived qualification and semifinals in the women's 200 IM, but they did finish 3rd and 4th in the same heat that China's Ye Shiwen set a new Olympic record. In the men's 200 butterfly, Tyler Clery and Michael Phelps both reached the final; South Africa's Chad le Clos set an African record in the semis. As for the medal events, the USA was shut out of the men's 200 free when South Korea's Taehwan Park and China's Sun Yang shared the silver, both edging out Ryan Lochte. The gold went to the man who humilated Lochte yesterday, France's Yannick Agnel. The remaining results, however, were much more pleasant for the Americans. Missy Franklin won USA GOLD in the women's 100 backstroke, with Australia's Emily Seebohm taking the silver and the bronze going to Japan's Aya Terakawa. In the men's 100 backstroke, we got USA GOLD and USA silver as Matt Grevers set an Olympic record with Nick Thoman in his wake; Ryosuke Irie of Japan was a mere twentieth of a second behind Thoman for the bronze. Finally, we have our ridiculous teenage star of the Olympics, it seems; in a absolutely thrilling sprint to the finish of the women's 100 breaststroke, Lithuania's fifteen-year-old sensation Ruta Meilutyte captured the gold, finishing a mere .08 seconds ahead of Rebecca Soni, who comes away with USA silver. Japan's Satomi Suzuki, almost a full second behind, won the bronze.
Table Tennis: Singles play moved into the fourth round, as all the non-Asians are methodically being whittled out of the field.
Tennis: In postponed first-round matches, Andy Roddick took care of Martin Klizan in straight sets, Varvara Lepchenko got past Colombian Veronica Cepede Royo 7-5/6-7/6-2, and Venus Williams dispatched Italian Sara Errani with ease before joining her sister to defeat the Romanian duo of Sorana Cirstea and Simona Halep 6-3/6-2. Notable postponed matches not including Americans: Lleyton Hewitt won in three sets over Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky, and though it took three sets, Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka got past Japan's Kei Nishikori and Go Soeda in men's doubles. As for schedules second-round matches, Americans John Isner and Serena Williams advanced, Isner beating Malek Jaziri of Tunisia 7-6/6-2, Williams winning 6-2/6-3 over Poland's Urszula Radwanska. Other winners included Roger Federer, Ana Ivanovic, Daniela Hantuchova, and Kim Clijsters.
Volleyball: Group A saw Russia take down the Dominican Republic 3-1, Italy beat Japan 3-1, and Great Britain required all five sets to dispose of Algeria. In group B, all three matches were 3-1 affairs; China handled Turkey, South Korea beat Serbia, and Team USA took care of Brazil. Destiny Hooker nearly won an entire game by herself, scoring 23 points on the match.
Water Polo: Women's water polo got underway, with Spain topping China 11-6 and Team USA edging Hungary 14-13 in group A while in group B Australia beat Italy 10-8 and Russia squeaked by Great Britain 7-6.
Weightlifting: In the men's 62kg event, North Korea's Kim Un Guk took gold, while Oscar Albiero Figueroa Mosquera of Colombia earned the silver and Irawan Eko Yuli of Indonesia claimed the bronze. In women's 58kg, Li Xueying earned China another gold medal; Thailand's Pimsiri Sirikaew won the silver, and the bronze went to Ukrainian Yuliya Kalina.
It's a tie! Overall, anyway, as the USA has pulled even with China at 17 medals, followed by Japan with eight, France with seven, and South Korea with six. China is still way out in the lead with nine golds, followed by the USA with five; we've got more silver than anyone else though with seven, so that's something.
Tomorrow (all times Central):
Remember, all events available live streaming if you can get it to work. The broadcast details I give here are TV-specific. They also don't necessarily imply coverage of any particular competitor or team matchup unless specified.
Archery: 1/32 eliminations, followed by their respected 1/16 rounds, continue tomorrow on the same schedule as today. Jacob Wukie shoots against India's Jayanta Talukdar at 3:13am, with the 1/16 at 3:52 if he wins. Jennifer Nichols steps to the line at 4:44 to face another Indian, Chekrovolu Swuro, with 1/16 at 5:23. (tape delay: MSNBC, 4-4:30pm)
Badminton: Group play concludes in all five events. (tape-delay: MSNBC 10:15-11:15am)
Basketball: Men's action: Group B has China-Russia, Australia-Spain, and Great Britain-Brazil. In group A, Lithuania meets Nigeria, France faces Argentina, and at 4:15pm Team USA will almost certainly tune up Tunisia on NBCSN. (All games LIVE on either NBCSN or NBC Specialty)
Beach Volleyball: Prelim rounds continue; Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser meet the Spanish team of Pablo Herrera Allepuz and Adrian Gavira Collado at 3pm, while Jennifer Kessy and April Ross face Sanne Keizer and Marleen van Iersel of the Netherlands at 5pm. (LIVE: NBC 3-4pm; tape delay: NBCSN 1-2pm, 11:35pm-12:35am)
Boxing: Tomorrow the light fly and light welterweight get under way. No American in the former, but light welterweight Jamel Herring meets Daniyar Yeleussinov of Kazakhstan at 9:30am. (LIVE: NBCSN 9:30-11:15am; tape delay: CNBC 4-7pm)
Canoe/Kayak: The men's C1 slalom semifinals are at 7:30am; the final follows. That's the only whitewater action tomorrow, and American Casey Eichfeld was already eliminated in the qualifying runs. (LIVE: men's C1 final, NBC 9-9:30am)
Cycling: off day.
Diving: The women's synchronized 10m platform final is at 9am; no Americans involved here. (tape delay: NBC Primetime 6-11pm)
Equestrian: Tomorrow, the individual eventing and team eventing medals will be awarded. The riders will compete in jumping, with the team final (incorporating the individual qualifiers) starting at 4:30am, and the individual final at 8:30am. NOTE, please, that these are the jumping finals for the combined eventing... events, as opposed to the separate jumping event which has its own medals and takes place this coming weekend. (LIVE: NBCSN, 5-7:15am; 8:15-9:30am)
Fencing: Tomorrow's event is the men's individual foil, and let's hope it's less... complicated. Three Americans are in the field. Miles Chamley-Watson takes the piste against Alaaeldin Abouelkassem of Egypt in the round of 32 at 5:50am, and Alex Massialas has a match with Canadian Etienne LaLonde Turbide at around 6:20. Race Imboden gets a walkover into the round of 16, which kicks off at 8:10. (Not televised today.)
Football: Women's action includes Japan-South Africa, Canada-Sweden, France-Colombia, New Zealand-Cameroon, Great Britain-Brazil, and at 11:15am Team USA takes on North Korea in a game North Korea's government will declare a glorious victory for the people. (All games LIVE on either NBCSN, MSNBC, or NBC Specialty, including USA-North Korea at 11am on NBCSN.)
Gymnastics: The women's team final starts at 10:30am, and let's just hope the star-spangled girls don't do what the men did today. (tape delay: unavoidable)
Handball: Men's group A features Tunisia-Iceland, Great Britain-Sweden, and Argentina-France; in group B we have South Korea-Hungary, Serbia-Croatia, and Denmark-Spain. (Not televised today.)
Hockey, Field: Women's group A action: Netherlands-Japan, Belgium-China, and Great Britain-South Korea. In group B, Team USA now faces a must-win against Argentina at 1pm, while South Africa takes on New Zealand and Germany meets Australia. (LIVE: MSNBC USA-ARG 1-2:30pm)
Judo: At 4:19am, Steven Travis will take on Aljaz Sedej of Slovenia in the round of 32 in the men's -81kg. The women's -63kg will also take place, but there is no American entrant. (Not televised today.)
Rowing: Men's single sculls quarterfinals at 5am, with Ken Jurkowski representing the US in the third QF run, probably around 3:40 or so. (Don't hold me to this. The official schedule on the website shows the semifinals at 3:30 and quarterfinals at 5am; obviously, that's wrong, and I'm just making the logical assumption here.) Six repechages are on the schedule, including women's double sculls (Shumway/Trowbridge at 3:50), men's four, women's light double sculls (Hedstrom/Nichols at 4:10), men's light double sculls, and women's eight. Genevra Stone races in quarterfinal 2 of the women's single sculls at about 5:50; the American-less men's double sculls semifinal follows at 6:20, and then Team USA competes in race one of the men's light four semis at 6:40. (tape delay highlights: NBC, 10:15-10:30am; 1-1:30pm)
Sailing: Everything that's been going on continues happening, with the addition of the men's and women's RS-X class events. (Not televised today.)
Shooting: Vince Hancock's pursuit of the Olympic record continues as the men's skeet qualification concludes, starting at 3am; the final commences at 8am. (tape delay highlights: NBCSN, 3:45-4:15pm)
Swimming: Heats and semis for the men's 100 free (Nathan Adrian and Cullen Jones; 4am and 1:30pm), women's 200 fly (Cammile Adams and Kathleen Hersey; 4:23am and 1:57pm), and men's 200 breaststroke (Scott Weltz and Clark Burckle; 4:40am and 2:20pm). Heats and finals for the men's 4x200 free relay (Matt McLean, Conor Dwyer, Davis Tarwater, Ryan Lochte, Ricky Berens, and Charlie Houchin available; 5:02am and final at 2:51pm). Three other finals on the afternoon slate; at 1:41pm, Allison Schmitt and Missy Franklin chase the women's 200 free gold, Tyler Clary and Michael Phelps compete in the men's 200 fly at 1:49, and at 2:43 Caitlin Leverenz and Ariana Kukors race the women's 200 IM. (tape delay heats highlights: NBC 9:30-10:15am and 12:30-1pm; tape delay finals: NBC Primetime)
Table Tennis: Women's singles quarterfinals start at 4am; all eight quarterfinalists are Chinese, Japanese, South Korean, or Singaporean with the exception of a sole survivor from the Netherlands: Li Jiao. Semifinals follow at 10am. Men's singles quarterfinals get underway at 2pm, and we actually have a German, a Dane, and a Romanian involved. (tape delay highlights: MSNBC, 8-8:30am and 3:30-4pm)
Tennis: At 6am, Venus Williams faces Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak. Confirmed times for the remaining matches here aren't set yet, but we'll see Andy Roddick against Novak Djokovic, Varvara Lepchenko and Julia Goerges, the Williams sisters against Germans Angelique Kerber and Sabine Lisicki, Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond against the Polish pair of Agnieszka and Urszula Radawanska, and the Bryan brothers against Russians Nikolay Davydenko and Mikhail Youzhny. Non-American highlights include Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka facing Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram of Israel, Lleyton Hewitt facing Marin Cilic, and Maria Sharapova against England's Laura Robson. (LIVE: Bravo, 6am-2pm)
Volleyball: Men's group A action: Poland-Bulgaria, Italy-Argentina, Great Britain-Australia. In group B, we get Serbia-Tunisia, Brazil-Russia, and at 10:45am USA-Germany. (LIVE: USA-Germany, NBC 10:45am)
Water Polo: Men's group A sees Croatia-Spain, Australia-Kazakhstan, and Greece-Italy; in group B we get Hungary-Montenegro, Serbia-Great Britain, and USA-Romania. (LIVE: USA-Romania, NBC 1:30pm; tape delay: Hungary-Montenegro, NBCSN 7:15-8:15am)
Weightlifting: Men's 69kg starts at 4am, with the second flight at 1pm. There's only a single group for women's 63kg, and they'll start at 9:30am. (tape delay highlights MSNBC 4:30-5pm)