Our first duty today is to apologise to Bryony Shaw that we somehow neglected to mention her embarking on her quest for a medal out at Qingdao (above) in the Windsurfing event. Our slight obviously hasn't perturbed the Wandsworth native unduly as she's already manoeuvred herself into the bronze medal position after 2 races of a total of 11. Her class is listed as RS:X, but actually only one class is ever used at the Olympics, though the equipment specification changes depending on the conditions expected at the chosen venue. As in Athens this board is on the heavy side and Bryony must control a single 8.5 square metre sail on a near 5m mast, all of which is meant to work well in low to moderate wind. Races 3 and 4 take place today starting at 6am (all times BST) coming to a finish around noon and if you'd like to investigate a board's eye view of the discipline, YouTube is happy to oblige.
Someone who really is starting (and, indeed, finishing) today is London born Steve Scott in the alarmingly monikered Shotgun Double Trap event. What we admire about Steve (besides, obviously, his accuracy with high powered weaponry) is that he only got into the sport six years ago, aged 17, because "it was an Olympic sport and I felt that I could get somewhere in it with the talent I had." Putting aside for the moment all thoughts of how he discovered this aptitude we applaud his pragmatic approach which certainly hasn't done him any harm. He was a member of the team that claimed the world championship barely a year after getting started, is the current individual European Champion and is a genuine contender for a medal. He recently explained to the Times that he has been sponsored by his employer, B&Q, ever since he noticed they ran scholarships:
I walked up to the store manager and said: 'By the way, I did shooting.' He said: 'I'll see what we can do' and it all kicked off from there.
We're not sure whether they demanded evidence that he was the best in Britain at bagging a pair of clay pigeons within a second of them being launched, but we're guessing he makes a persuasive argument. Qualification begins at 2am with the final handily placed at 8am.
In other Wandsworth news, we're guessing there were plans to grant Andy Murray's house secession from the borough around yesterday lunchtime, but they may have had second thoughts later when his brother finally cajoled him out of his 'ominously predictable singles defeat' torpor long enough for him to flash his true form in despatching their Canadian opponents. The pair may well play again today, but we can find no listing of a time or opposition.
We know for a fact, however, that Britain's women's hockey players will face Argentina, second ranked in the world, as they try to recover from heavy defeat to first ranked Germany starting at 1:30am. The men, in contrast, are celebrating a fine 4-2 victory over Pakistan, though things get tougher from now on starting with a clash with the Netherlands tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the rowing continues apace, though none of the 14 events are actually decided until the weekend. Yesterday Elise Laverick reached the women's double sculls final through the repechage, as did the men's eight from their delayed first race, and Richmond's Alan Campbell reached the single scull semis. The London 7-of-9 women's eight (remember there's a cox) finished a very creditable second in their heat, but will have to negotiate the repechage to be in the weekend mix. On the start line today Hester Goodsell gets an all-repechage day underway with the women's lightweight double sculls closely followed by Mark Hunter in the men's event. The men's lightweight four featuring the Jameses Clarke and Lindsay-Fynn go at 10 with Louisa Reeve in the women's pair twenty minutes later and the women's eight rounding things off around 10:30.
Sadly, Blake Aldridge's defeat in the synchronised diving was well-documented and comprehensive. As pointed quotes were exchanged British diving's performance director Steve Foley felt it was basically a case of the glaring reality of Olympic competition causing both Blake and seemingly erstwhile partner Tom Daley to underperform, though eyebrows were raised at some of the erratic judging, especially regarding their crucial third dive, the low marks for which seemed to ignite disharmony between the duo. Wherever the percentages of blame might lie, Daley is still at school and Aldridge may have exited his last Olympics having only last year lost previous diving partner Gavin Brown at 22 to a hit-and-run accident, so we hope that both of them will be allowed to regroup in a little peace.
Picture of Qingdao beach via billmiky's Flickr stream.