Olympics discussion thread

Talk about anything but keep it polite and reasonably clean.
User avatar
RAYC
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
Posts: 2060
Joined: 23:50 Tue 04 May 2010
Location: London

Olympics discussion thread

Post by RAYC » 13:21 Mon 30 Jul 2012

Watch the last 500m (from 5hrs 54mins 50secs) of the Olympic road race here here

Uran close to the hoardings as he enters the Mall.

Drifts to centre of road going into last 300m, taking a good look at Vino over his right shoulder.

Followed by an exaggerated look over his left shoulder with full body turn (why...to check on chasing group...?), then drifts back to hoardings, seemingly with total disinterest on what is going on around him.

Finally Uran "wakes up" and starts a futile sprint to the line, Vino long gone...
Last edited by RAYC on 10:47 Wed 01 Aug 2012, edited 1 time in total.
Rob C.

User avatar
DRT
Fonseca 1966
Posts: 15025
Joined: 23:51 Wed 20 Jun 2007
Location: Chesterfield, UK
Contact:

Re: Shenanigans in Olympic Road Race?

Post by DRT » 13:43 Mon 30 Jul 2012

In the time it took for these guys to reach the finish line I visited my parents in Edinburgh and drove home to Chesterfield (250 miles) in time to watch the last 25 minutes of the race. By the time the finish line was in sight I was not at my most alert. At one point I even agreed to have a coffee instead of a beer!

Perhaps the riders were also suffering a lack of clarity of thought from our exhausting day?
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

User avatar
RAYC
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
Posts: 2060
Joined: 23:50 Tue 04 May 2010
Location: London

Re: Shenanigans in Olympic Road Race?

Post by RAYC » 14:08 Mon 30 Jul 2012

Obviously it is easy to say all of this from my armchair, but it just looked unreal to me - that pause and look-around was beneath a 4th cat racer in a small village race.

The kindest interpretation i can see is that they agreed the outcome before (or at the start of) their winning break @ 7-8k from the finish - there was of course no guarantee that it would be successful and both needed to work together at their limits to make it stick, so removing the distraction of who would win by coming to a gentleman's agreement is understandable and may just have been good tactics.

(see the footage from 5hrs, 45mins and 17 secs - "next corner - I go left, you go right, we work together, if it we stay away you can take the gold but let's put on a show...")
Rob C.

User avatar
DRT
Fonseca 1966
Posts: 15025
Joined: 23:51 Wed 20 Jun 2007
Location: Chesterfield, UK
Contact:

Re: Shenanigans in Olympic Road Race?

Post by DRT » 20:35 Mon 30 Jul 2012

What puzzles me is why no one went with them. There must have been some good classy sprinters in that pack but three or four seconds after the two broke away they were all looking at each over and not chasing after them.

I was also very confused about the Bronze medal. The BBC commentator was talking about the guys at the front of the pelaton racing for 3rd place, but there had already been 20+ riders over the line! Am I missing something or was the commentator just being dim?
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

User avatar
RAYC
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
Posts: 2060
Joined: 23:50 Tue 04 May 2010
Location: London

Re: Shenanigans in Olympic Road Race?

Post by RAYC » 22:19 Mon 30 Jul 2012

DRT wrote:What puzzles me is why no one went with them. There must have been some good classy sprinters in that pack but three or four seconds after the two broke away they were all looking at each over and not chasing after them.
there was a bit of a sprint to try to keep contact with them early on, but it was a good break that was timed well.

once they had a bit of clean air, no one else wants to be the chump who spends all their energy reeling them back (since the benefit will only go to someone else). I think it would have needed a very quick decision by an "elder statesman" type to organise a chase where everyone rotated at the front, but it would have been tough call - everyone is suspicious of each other at that point, and as you say an organised chase would only benefit better sprinters like Phinney, whereas there was still a bronze at stake for anyone else who could engineer an escape from further out.

Arguably the big fail there was from the Spanish, who had three guys in the break - you'd have thought they would be able to police it a bit better to ensure that at least one of them was still in with a shout at the end.
Rob C.

User avatar
RAYC
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
Posts: 2060
Joined: 23:50 Tue 04 May 2010
Location: London

Re: Shenanigans in Olympic Road Race?

Post by RAYC » 22:25 Mon 30 Jul 2012

DRT wrote: I was also very confused about the Bronze medal. The BBC commentator was talking about the guys at the front of the pelaton racing for 3rd place, but there had already been 20+ riders over the line! Am I missing something or was the commentator just being dim?
You're right - he was talking about the sprint for 4th, but was obviously confusing himself! He admits his mistake later in the commentary (5hr, 58min, 20 sec).
Rob C.

User avatar
DRT
Fonseca 1966
Posts: 15025
Joined: 23:51 Wed 20 Jun 2007
Location: Chesterfield, UK
Contact:

Re: Shenanigans in Olympic Road Race?

Post by DRT » 22:32 Mon 30 Jul 2012

RAYC wrote:Arguably the big fail there was from the Spanish, who had three guys in the break
Or perhaps the "big fail" was from Team GB who let 20 riders, including some excellent finishers, get away from them while they stayed in the pack. I can't help thinking that was a bit of arrogance that bit them in the arse.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

User avatar
RAYC
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
Posts: 2060
Joined: 23:50 Tue 04 May 2010
Location: London

Re: Shenanigans in Olympic Road Race?

Post by RAYC » 23:15 Mon 30 Jul 2012

DRT wrote:
RAYC wrote:Arguably the big fail there was from the Spanish, who had three guys in the break
Or perhaps the "big fail" was from Team GB who let 20 riders, including some excellent finishers, get away from them while they stayed in the pack. I can't help thinking that was a bit of arrogance that bit them in the arse.
Tough call - they'd been on the front chasing the initial breakaway for the best part of 150km already by then - hard to respond to a break after that (so arguably a flawed plan from a start) and they might have gone into the red chasing that break down only to see another group try immediately after - their only option was really to keep steady and let it go, and rely on their own speed and some help from others to bring it back on the flat run-in.

But if they were guilty of misjudgement, so were an awful lot of others in the main group who were relying on them and also caught out - best hopes of the Germans and Australians were their sprinters (Greipel, Goss) so i think it would genuinely have been a surprise to GB team that they were so disinterested in maximising their own medal chances (after all, silver and bronze are still worthwhile, and Greipel has had the beating of Cav a couple of times in TdF so gold not out of question). Plus some of the other biggest pre-race favourites (Sagan, Boonen) also let the break go (when they were clearly strong enough to join) so were guilty of the same misjudgement.
Rob C.

User avatar
DRT
Fonseca 1966
Posts: 15025
Joined: 23:51 Wed 20 Jun 2007
Location: Chesterfield, UK
Contact:

Re: Shenanigans in Olympic Road Race?

Post by DRT » 23:21 Mon 30 Jul 2012

Never mind shenanigans at the cycling - there is a new scandal emerging at the Olympics this evening!

Whilst the men's gymnastic team have been off winning a well-earned bronze medal a travesty of justice is occurring on the other side of town. If I am not mistaken it is currently the height of summer. The evening air is warm and there is no rain. Why? Why, oh why!? Have we committed some sort of crime? Have we not earned our place in history as the hosts of the most spectacular games the world has ever known? Unfortunately, it seems not. As difficult as it might be to accept we must hold our heads in shame and admit that GB is the first country in the world where Beach Volleyball is being played by women in long trousers and non-bikini tops. Oh the shame of it! :( :oops:
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

User avatar
DRT
Fonseca 1966
Posts: 15025
Joined: 23:51 Wed 20 Jun 2007
Location: Chesterfield, UK
Contact:

Re: Shenanigans in Olympic Road Race?

Post by DRT » 23:24 Mon 30 Jul 2012

RAYC wrote:
DRT wrote:
RAYC wrote:Arguably the big fail there was from the Spanish, who had three guys in the break
Or perhaps the "big fail" was from Team GB who let 20 riders, including some excellent finishers, get away from them while they stayed in the pack. I can't help thinking that was a bit of arrogance that bit them in the arse.
Tough call - they'd been on the front chasing the initial breakaway for the best part of 150km already by then - hard to respond to a break after that (so arguably a flawed plan from a start) and they might have gone into the red chasing that break down only to see another group try immediately after - their only option was really to keep steady and let it go, and rely on their own speed and some help from others to bring it back on the flat run-in.

But if they were guilty of misjudgement, so were an awful lot of others in the main group who were relying on them and also caught out - best hopes of the Germans and Australians were their sprinters (Greipel, Goss) so i think it would genuinely have been a surprise to GB team that they were so disinterested in maximising their own medal chances (after all, silver and bronze are still worthwhile, and Greipel has had the beating of Cav a couple of times in TdF so gold not out of question). Plus some of the other biggest pre-race favourites (Sagan, Boonen) also let the break go (when they were clearly strong enough to join) so were guilty of the same misjudgement.
I defer to your knowledge of the sport. It seems that honour and glory are due to those who took the brave decision to break away rather than criticism of those who followed their instinct.
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

User avatar
DRT
Fonseca 1966
Posts: 15025
Joined: 23:51 Wed 20 Jun 2007
Location: Chesterfield, UK
Contact:

Re: Shenanigans in Olympic Road Race?

Post by DRT » 00:29 Tue 31 Jul 2012

I might be jumping the gun here, but the last three days suggest that this might be the Olympics where a country stood up and delivered the greatest event in history, but its athletes forgot to turn up! :?
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

User avatar
AHB
Quinta do Noval Nacional 1962
Posts: 11456
Joined: 13:41 Mon 25 Jun 2007
Location: Berkshire, UK

Re: Shenanigans in Olympic Road Race?

Post by AHB » 18:00 Tue 31 Jul 2012

DRT wrote:I might be jumping the gun here, but the last three days suggest that this might be the Olympics where a country stood up and delivered the greatest event in history, but its athletes forgot to turn up! :?
That's not fair - we are the clear leader of the losers (loser = country who has won medals of a poor quality). We have twice the number of medals of any other loser nation.

I was at the rowing today (and back again tomorrow). Team GB are performing well and have crew progressing steadily through to next rounds and A finals.
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

User avatar
RAYC
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
Posts: 2060
Joined: 23:50 Tue 04 May 2010
Location: London

Re: Shenanigans in Olympic Road Race?

Post by RAYC » 18:16 Tue 31 Jul 2012

DRT wrote:I might be jumping the gun here, but the last three days suggest that this might be the Olympics where a country stood up and delivered the greatest event in history, but its athletes forgot to turn up! :?
I think you are jumping the gun - as the Germans were about their own performance over the weekend (The Bild headline on Monday morning - "even the Kazakhs are laughing at us").

Plenty to come, and as Boris says: "I think we are showing great natural restraint and politeness as host nation in not hoarding the medals more so far"
Rob C.

User avatar
RAYC
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
Posts: 2060
Joined: 23:50 Tue 04 May 2010
Location: London

Re: Shenanigans in Olympic Road Race?

Post by RAYC » 22:12 Tue 31 Jul 2012

An interesting piece on the rather remarkable 16 yr old Chinese swimmer who has been setting tongues wagging, and whose performance caused an experienced US coach to put his head above the parapet.

Difficult to see how this debate will go away, however much the Chinese (and Lord Monyihan) protest. Pointing to the fact that she has passed the doping controls after the final will, as history demonstrates, unfortunately not be enough to settle the argument (indeed, the stipulation that blood samples will be kept for at least 8 years is an overt admission of this)
Rob C.

User avatar
DRT
Fonseca 1966
Posts: 15025
Joined: 23:51 Wed 20 Jun 2007
Location: Chesterfield, UK
Contact:

Re: Shenanigans in Olympic Road Race?

Post by DRT » 22:32 Tue 31 Jul 2012

DRT wrote:Never mind shenanigans at the cycling - there is a new scandal emerging at the Olympics this evening!

Whilst the men's gymnastic team have been off winning a well-earned bronze medal a travesty of justice is occurring on the other side of town. If I am not mistaken it is currently the height of summer. The evening air is warm and there is no rain. Why? Why, oh why!? Have we committed some sort of crime? Have we not earned our place in history as the hosts of the most spectacular games the world has ever known? Unfortunately, it seems not. As difficult as it might be to accept we must hold our heads in shame and admit that GB is the first country in the world where Beach Volleyball is being played by women in long trousers and non-bikini tops. Oh the shame of it! :( :oops:
I am reliably informed that this tragedy continued today :(
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

User avatar
RAYC
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
Posts: 2060
Joined: 23:50 Tue 04 May 2010
Location: London

Re: Shenanigans in Olympic Road Race?

Post by RAYC » 22:58 Tue 31 Jul 2012

Two great last-second controversies so far in the Olympics:

1. Spain denied a (possible?) last-second equaliser in the waterpolo qualifiers. The rather telling moment comes where the Spanish coach is gesturing to the big screen TV, the crowd starts to chant in support, and the referee looks like a rabbit trapped in headlights...

2. A teary South Korean denied a certain Olympic silver by a frozen clock and dubious appeals process. As far as i can tell, there has been much mis-reporting both of the reasons for the Sth Korean appeal (for a slightly clearer account, see here) and the fencer's "sit-in" protest (in fact, were she to have left the piste, she would have apparently conceded the match: her "sit-in" was a requirement of the appeal process and it must have been a rather lonely hour).

Still, nothing yet to beat the famous controversy over the basketball final's last 3 seconds in Munich!
Rob C.

mpij
Fonseca LBV
Posts: 148
Joined: 23:58 Mon 13 Feb 2012
Location: Dundee Scotland uk

Re: Shenanigans in Olympic Road Race?

Post by mpij » 10:09 Wed 01 Aug 2012

What about the badminton? I would throw them all out!

User avatar
RAYC
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
Posts: 2060
Joined: 23:50 Tue 04 May 2010
Location: London

Re: Shenanigans in Olympic Road Race?

Post by RAYC » 10:22 Wed 01 Aug 2012

mpij wrote:What about the badminton? I would throw them all out!
I'm surprised at the amount of vitriol directed at the players and not at whoever came up with such a shoddy tournament format (first time use at London).

An interesting interview with Gail Emms this morning on BBC - apparently since the round robin format was first announced 7 or 8 months ago, there have been repeated warnings of this type of outcome which have been ignored on every occasion.

I can't be alone in thinking that it should be incumbent on the tournament organisers to design a format that removes this type of perverse incentive - i find it difficult to blame players who simply want to maximise medal chances for themselves and their country.

Plus compare with other sports - this type of thing happens all the time in tournament football when qualification is assured but teams want to avoid a good seed from another group. Likewise, plenty of heats in running / swimming / rowing where qualification is assured and individuals/teams do not try their hardest, do not race to the line, and are not too concerned by position - not exactly the same but certainly analogous. And if we're on to the "Olympic Ideals" debate, what about road cycling, where there is a long history of cyclists representing a country but doing little to conceal that they are really just riding to help out the leader of the professional team that pays their wages year-round?
Rob C.

User avatar
RAYC
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
Posts: 2060
Joined: 23:50 Tue 04 May 2010
Location: London

Re: Olympics discussion thread

Post by RAYC » 10:50 Wed 01 Aug 2012

Gail Emms wrote: 'Badminton, in the Olympics and in all tournaments across the circuit, it's never played in a group stage, it's always a straight knockout system and for some reason they decided that the Olympic Games in 2012 should be this group stages.

'And as soon as heard that I went 'it's going to bring up match fixing', that was my first thought, and lo and behold last night that is exactly what happened.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/olympi ... z22HpGeoqU
Rob C.

User avatar
RAYC
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
Posts: 2060
Joined: 23:50 Tue 04 May 2010
Location: London

Re: Olympics discussion thread

Post by RAYC » 13:36 Wed 01 Aug 2012

mpij wrote:What about the badminton? I would throw them all out!
You have your wish!

Personally i think it is a shame - they are the victims of a flawed tournament format and a cheap target for the media (including some experienced sportsmen and women who i'd have thought would take a more understanding view) - the heads that should roll are in the organising body. But perhaps i am the only one to think this!
Rob C.

User avatar
RAYC
Taylor Quinta de Vargellas 1987
Posts: 2060
Joined: 23:50 Tue 04 May 2010
Location: London

Re: Olympics discussion thread

Post by RAYC » 14:56 Wed 01 Aug 2012

Worth highlighting, by the by, the much-lauded tactics of some of our own British gold medallists in 1948:
Telegraph wrote:
Burnell, ever calculating, decided early upon an audacious but highly risky route to a gold medal, where the British double would deliberately lose their heat against the French to avoid meeting Denmark, their main rivals, in the semi-final. The ensuing repechage provided an extra race to reach competitive sharpness and smoothed their progress to a final where, sure enough, they encountered the Danes.
Rob C.

User avatar
AHB
Quinta do Noval Nacional 1962
Posts: 11456
Joined: 13:41 Mon 25 Jun 2007
Location: Berkshire, UK

Re: Shenanigans in Olympic Road Race?

Post by AHB » 16:34 Wed 01 Aug 2012

AHB wrote:I was at the rowing today (and back again tomorrow). Team GB are performing well and have crew progressing steadily through to next rounds and A finals.
[Looks smug icon]

It was a brilliant day to be at Eton Dorney - what a crowd and atmosphere!
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

User avatar
DRT
Fonseca 1966
Posts: 15025
Joined: 23:51 Wed 20 Jun 2007
Location: Chesterfield, UK
Contact:

Re: Olympics discussion thread

Post by DRT » 22:10 Wed 01 Aug 2012

I got up at 4am this morning to take a taxi to Gatwick, a flight to Edinburgh, a 9 hour meeting, a taxi to the airport, flight to Gatwick, train to Victoria and taxi to my hotel and turned the TV on at 22:00. Did I miss anything?

{I-picked-the-wrong-day-to-miss-the-Olympics-icon} :x :x :x
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

User avatar
AHB
Quinta do Noval Nacional 1962
Posts: 11456
Joined: 13:41 Mon 25 Jun 2007
Location: Berkshire, UK

Re: Olympics discussion thread

Post by AHB » 23:26 Wed 01 Aug 2012

At least you were back in time to see a great Beach Volleyball game between Australia and Czech Republic.

And - since you are rather at a loose end in London these evenings - have you actually been to watch any Olympic events in person? I understand that tickets for most beach volleyball sessions are available from the "gate" (ie. the box-office before the security screening).
Top Port in 2017 (so far): Graham Stone Terraces 2015 and Quinta do Vesuvio 1994
2016 Port of the year: Cockburn 1908

User avatar
DRT
Fonseca 1966
Posts: 15025
Joined: 23:51 Wed 20 Jun 2007
Location: Chesterfield, UK
Contact:

Re: Olympics discussion thread

Post by DRT » 23:49 Wed 01 Aug 2012

AHB wrote:I understand that tickets for most beach volleyball sessions are available from the "gate" (ie. the box-office before the security screening).
Does the restraining order taken out by the Brazilian team mean I need to wear a disguise?
"The first duty of Port is to be red"

Ernest H. Cockburn

Post Reply