Rio Roundup: Day Eight
Michael Phelps goes out on top
On the final night of swimming at the Aquatic Center Saturday night, the most decorated athlete in Olympics history in this era or any era for that matter–Michael Phelps helped win gold medal number 23 in the 4 x 100 meter relay. This event the Americans have won in every Olympics they have competed since this even was established in Rome 1960.
Ryan Murphy, Cody Miller and Nathan Adrian helped earn Team USA yet another Olympic record clocking in at 3:27.95. For Murphy, he shattered Aaron Peirsol’s former record that lasted since 2010 in the 100 meter backstroke
The American squad raced to an Olympic record time of three minutes, 27.95 seconds. Murphy broke Aaron Peirsol’s 6-year-old world record in the 100m backstroke during his lead-off leg, timed at 51.85 seconds better by 0.09 of a second. Great Britain took the silver and Australia had to settle for the bronze.
Phelps said earlier Saturday afternoon on a Facebook Live broadcast that this race would be the last of his remarkable career. After conquering most of his personal demons shortly after helping win gold during London 2012, Phelps joins the likes of Bill Russell in basketball, Ray Bourque in hockey, and John Elway in football to leave with a title.
More cool history for the women
Simone Manuel earned a silver at 9:03 p.m. Eastern time in the women’s 50 meter freestyle. About 47 minutes later at 9:50 p.m., she helped anchor the 4 x 100 meter relay to another gold medal in a time of 3:53.13.
More importantly, this was the 1,000th Summer Olympics gold medal in the long, storied history of the United States. Joining Manuel was the 100 meter backstroke silver medalist Kathleen Baker, 100 meter breaststroke gold medalist Lilly King and 100 meter butterfly bronze medalist and long time veteran swimmer Dana Vollmer. Australia finished .001 ahead of Denmark for the silver with a time of 3 minutes, 55 seconds flat.
Usain Bolt begins run for history in track
The anticipation of the crowd was so amazing, you could hear a pin drop.
He started a bit slow, but picked things up big time in the final 50 meters as he earned a spot Saturday afternoon in the 100 meter race slated for Sunday night in primetime on NBC.
Men’s volleyball does it again
Needing six points to stay in medal contention, Team USA pulled out another nice victory on Saturday afternoon over a gutsy team from France. The final scores were 25-22, 25-22 again, 14-25, and 25-22 once more.
Yes, things are indeed looking up in Pool A as far as America’s chances to reach the medal round are concerned. Led by Matt Anderson and Aaron Russell (each with 18 points), they came up huge with a team total of 71 blocks to only 39 for the French.
France certainly has their backs to the wall for Monday’s final preliminary match.
With the U.S. and France currently tied with six points in Pool A, Team USA will play Mexico (which has lost 12 of 13 sets it has played thus far), while France will lock horns with the top-ranked team in the world the host country of Brazil.
Team USA smells blood and I surely hope and wish they take full advantage.
Like the old adage says,
“The third time is always the charm.”
See you all on Sunday. Please have a good night and let us all congratulate Michael Phelps on one simply marvelous run of legendary feats over this 16 year period that we will probably never see again. His record of 23 gold medals will never be broken.