Well, who would have thought we'd reach our fourteenth and final London Olympic Timetable worried that a fluffed handover in the women's 4x100m relay might let the Russians chase Britain down in the overall medal table? The good news is Team GB could yet strike more gold in the final 48 hours of the game and one man in prime position to achieve just that is West London middleweight boxer James DeGale who defied a 1-4 record against Irish opponent Darren Sutherland with a flawless performance that takes him to today's final showdown in the Beijing Workers' Gymnasium (pictured above) with accomplished Cuban Emilio Correa, handily timed for lunch at 1:45pm (all times BST).
Another man with a genuine medal chance is diver Peter Waterfield who lies fourth in the Tom Daley Appreciation 10m Platform Diving competition. Waterfield's achievement is not so surprising when you remember his silver medal in synchronised diving in Athens four years ago, but it veers back towards the noteworthy when you realise that to take part this time he needed a cortisone injection in a shoulder he injured three days ago. Tom himself will, of course, feature in the semi-final which starts at 3am, but will need to improve on twelfth place to make the final at 1pm.
Back in the Bird's Nest, we've just about managed to unclasp our fingers from our eyes at the renewed handover horror in the sprint relays. The previously all conquering Jamaican ladies fumbled and swerved into the British lane to suggest that this epidemic is capable of striking anyone, but by then Emily Freeman had run beyond her own designated zone with Buckhurst Hill's Montell Douglas still frantically trying to press the all important baton into her beckoning hand. We were impressed that their first reaction was to, quite understandably, jump up and down in horror, but then immediately to embrace in consolation rather than seek recriminations.
Over in the pit Jade Johnson in the long jump equalled Larry Achike's feat of the previous day in the triple jump by finishing seventh, but was deeply unhappy that nobody could overhaul the Brazilian winner who five years ago failed a test for an anabolic steroid and served a two year suspension.
I was hoping anyone would beat her... I didn't give my best today but if I was the girl in fourth place I would be really angry right now.
Picture via Marc van der Chijs's Flickr stream.
Daniel Awde did indeed finish his first senior international decathlon and moved up five places on day two to 21st. The 4x400m relay girls were comfortable in their semi-final until Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu almost failed to notice a late German challenge. She recovered just in time and will lead the team in today's final at 1:40pm, just before Mr DeGale gets going.
And now, dear readers, a drum roll if you please for the entry of London's final 2008 Olympian, Mr Liam Killeen, who, at 8am this morning will start and finish his Games in the cross country mountain biking over a 4.5km circuit around Laoshan Mountain out by the velodrome. Cycling Weekly explains that "the course includes both natural and man-made obstacles that will test the riders to the full." The folks at Mountain Bike Rider have gone one further and given the course a full reccie. They rate the first third of the circuit as uninspiring but fast, but then things get interesting in the remaining 66.67%:
The majority of this is singletrack, with plenty of loose ascents, including one thigh-burning switchback medley, a handful of specially-built rock gardens and a fair selection of chutes, drop-offs and steps that's sure to have the less-skilled riders sweating in the heat of battle. Expect some tumbles throughout... Like a tough UK trail centre, with the temperate feel of a Kiwi rainforest, it punches above its weight and makes the most of its limited resources.
Killeen, born in London but now living in Malvern, is the reigning Commonwealth champion and managed a creditable fifth in his first Olympics four years ago, so has a fighting chance of a medal this time round. Unfortunately, that moment has passed for our hockey teams and yesterday our women succumbed 2-0 to the Australian squad in their final match which still gives them a sixth place finish that bucks the world rankings somewhat. The men play South Korea in a tussle over the same positions at 4am.
Given that our research indicates an absence of London competitors in Sunday's events, this is indeed our last Timetable for Beijing 2008. If you've been following the series thanks for staying with us. We hope you picked up on some interesting bits of info that you hadn't discovered elsewhere and had a smile or two along the way. We're already looking forward to London 2012 and the many lead-up events that we'll be reporting on over the next four years, but for now we'll leave the last word on our turn in the world sporting spotlight to Mountain Bike Rider:
There's something like 70,000 of these blue-shirted volunteers for the Games. In fact when the London 2012 team starts looking at the main issues they face over the next four years, high on their list of concerns, along with the construction, transport and security fears should be the question of where in the UK they hope to find tens of thousands of smiling, multilingual teenagers willing to work long hours for a free t-shirt and a cup of water.
Answers on a postcard to the Mayor. And Boris, pleeeeeease don't drop anything tomorrow, mate...