Yesterday, Michael Phelps put on another fantastic performance, winning the 200 free, and smashing his own world record. He took over the lead early, and blew the race open with his amazing turns. That makes him three for three, breaking the world record in all three records. With his two toughest races behind him, most expect him to win the next five. He deserves to be favored in all of these, but you definately can't sleep on world record holder Ian Crocker in the 100 fly. He may be a little past his prime, but people should at least give him a shot to win it. Congrats to the two top backstrokers on the US team. Aaron Peirsol put in yet another terrific performance, breaking his own world record, and dominating the competition. Natalie Coughlin, after having her world record broken earlier in the event, pulled out to a great lead in her race, and finished it up by barely hanging on to become the first women to ever repeat as Olympic gold medalist in the event. Also give credit to Peter Vanderkaay, winning the bronze behind Phelps in the 200 free. Even though I expected him to finish second, he still had a great race, and you have to applaud him for getting onto the medal stand.
Now the men's gymnastic team was great. After the loss of the Hamm twins, I didn't see anyway that they would get onto the medal stand in the team competition. Halfway through the competition, they were in first place. They were amazing on the high bars, good enough, I thought, to keep them in the silver slot for the competition. The Chinese were amazing on their signature apparatus, the vault. Not one of the three gymnasts was weak. They did a great job winning the gold, so you have to give them credit. While the US team may have fallen to third, the fact that they even made the medal stand was not only a huge surprise, but it was an amazing display of guts that got them there. This team looks like it could grab a couple of individual medals. Jonathon Horton and Justin Springs were both brilliant, and they could definately challenge on those high bars.
Misty May and Kerri Walsh certainly look ready to grab a second straight gold medal. They dominated the fourteenth seeded Cuban team last night to remain undefeated, without giving up a set, in pool play. While it is early, it is hard to believe that the greatest women's beach volleyball team of all time will not win the gold here in Beijing.
The USA basketball team did not look great today. Angola is not a great team, and I would have expected the so-called Redeem Team to beat them by more than they beat China. That didn't happen, and they never really put the team away. Team China lost again. Now, Spain isn't a bad team, but I really think that China needed to beat them. I really don't see any way that they can win a medal now.
I'll be back tomorrow with updates on the two finals coming up for Phelps, as well as the women's gymnastics team competition and other events.