Friday 27 January 2023 Dublin: 5°C
INPHO/Dan Sheridan Michael Conlan celebrates with his corner.
As it happened: London 2012 Olympics, day 11
Michael Conlan took top billing… and the little Belfast fighter didn’t disappoint.

Who wants more medals? John Joe and Katie already have bronze in the bag at a minimum — can Michael Conlan join them on day 11? We’ll be in the ring, on the track, and everywhere else for the whole day.

As always, we’d love to hear from you, so send us your thoughts and comments on all the action.

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Main headlines:

This time next week we’ll be looking back wistfully, wishing that we could pop over to BBC Olympics 17 for a spot of dressage or some synchronised swimming. But for now, it’s still only day 11 of 16 (for those of you following the Olympic calendar) and there’s plenty to look forward to.

I’m Niall Kelly and it’s my pleasure to kick off this Tuesday morning of sport. As always, we’ll be here all day to keep you in the loop on everything you need to know from London. Who knows, come 9.30pm tonight we might even be celebrating medal number three.

Before we go any further, here’s your Team Ireland line up for today:

  • Women’s 5,000m: Fionnuala Britton, heats, 10.55am
  • Men’s 200m: Paul Hession, heats, 11.50am
  • Men’s triathlon: Gavin Noble, 11.30am
  • 470 sailing: Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan, races 9 & 10, 12pm & 1.15pm
  • Women’s 100m hurdles: Derval O’Rourke, 7.15pm
  • Men’s flyweight boxing: Michael Conlan v Nordine Oubaali, 9pm

Looking beyond the men and women in green, there’s plenty of top-class action to get excited about this morning. We’ll be focusing on the track where the heats of the men’s 110m hurdles and the men’s 200m start. You know what that means? Yup, it’s time for Bolt v Blake Part II.

The 110m hurdles get underway in just under five minutes. Defending champion Dayron Robles, heir to the throne Aries Merritt and Chinese star Liu Xiang will all be in action.

Team GB’s Holly Bleasdale looked a little disappointed when she crashed out of the pole vault final in sixth place but I’m guessing her day picked up noticeably afterwards.

I mean, who doesn’t want to marry an Olympian / star of a Subway ad campaign?

We’ve just had heat one of the 110m hurdles, won by Sergey Shubenkov of Russia in 13.26 seconds.

FYI, the bookies have this one priced up as follows: Aries Merritt evens; Liu Xiang, 17/10; Jason Richardson 15/2; Dayron Robles 9/1; Bar 25/1.

Before we get too wrapped up in today, let’s take one last moment to savour yesterday. Not because I don’t think that Katie won’t blow everyone away again tomorrow but because I’m still absolutely buzzing. So too are the international media. A global superstar is born and not a second too soon.

Reports in Irish media have – understandably – glowed in praise of her win, but Taylor’s success has also won praise in international Olympic coverage, particularly in terms of her promotion of the sport at the Games.

The Associated Press post-match report simply opens: “Women’s boxing already had a star. She just needed a stage.”

Rival wire service Reuters notes Taylor’s Irish support from “boisterous fans who raised the loudest roars of the Games”, writing that an Olympic official has confirmed that the decibel level at Katie’s match hit 113.7 – the highest yet of London 2012.

Read the article in full here >

The most elusive man in British sports has entered the building. Wonder how that leg is feeling?

World champion Jason Richardson is up and running. He wins heat two in a time of 13.33 ahead of Team GB’s Lawrence Clarke while Orlando Ortega wins the third in 13.26.

Robles is up next, then Merritt, then Xiang.

They tell me Dayron Robles is injured. That he’s a washed-up shadow of his former self. That he hasn’t got a chance. I tell them they’re wrong.

The Cuban looks just fine as he takes heat four in 13.33 ahead of Lehann Fourie of South Africa and America’s Jeff Porter. It’ll be interesting to see how he holds up through the semi-finals tomorrow night.

More celeb spotting for Team Ireland this morning. With Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and others in his back pocket, I still think Paddy is shading the competition.

Oooh, that’s fast — and that’s also why Aries Merritt is the favourite to take this 110m hurdles title. He win heat five in 13.07 with Ryan Brathwaite of Barbados running a season’s best 13.23 to follow him home in second.

DRAMA! Absolute carnage in heat six of the men’s 110m hurdles. 2004 gold medallist and 2007 world champion Liu Xiang of China is out after crashing through the first hurdle. It won’t be of any consolation to him that Shane Brathwaite and Moussa Dembele (this one, not that one) also fell and Artur Noga pulled up before the first jump. That’s four non-finishers out of a nine-man field.

Great Britain’s Andrew Turner takes advantage to win the heat.

Actually now that I think about it, that 110m hurdles heat reminds me a lot of my efforts at this morning’s Google doodle. I can assure you that it wasn’t as good as the clip below.

Let’s hope Liu Xiang is okay after that. After missing Beijing through injury, it’s heartbreaking to see one of the greatest hurdlers of all time not get his shot on the big stage once again.

(Anja Niedringhaus/AP/Press Association Images)

NEW PB FOR FIONNUALA: Ireland’s Fionnuala Britton has finished 10th in the first heat of the women’s 5,000m and it’s a new personal best of 15:12.97 for the Kilcoole runner.

It still might not to be enough to see her through to the final though with only the top five plus five fastest losers progressing. She needs all the runners placed sixth to tenth in the second heat to go slower than her.

That second heat of the women’s 5000m is up and running. Only eight of the runners have PBs faster than Fionnuala’s new time so we’ll cling on to that glimmer of optimism.

They’re at the start line in Hyde Park for the triathlon where we’ll be keeping a very close eye on the progress of Ireland’s Gavin Noble.

One thing to note is that the competitors are all wearing wetsuits. As the resident triathlon expert in the office Miguel has just informed me, that’s bad news for Spanish hope Javier Gomez as well as Team GB’s Brownlee brothers who won’t be able to open up as much of a gap on the field during the swim.

For the record, Miguel has also informed me that 22-year-old Mario Mola will be a future world champion so get your money on now.

Phillips Idowu is out: Who knows what was really wrong with the Beijing silver medallist and the 2009 world champion? I’m sure we’ll find out further down the road but what matters for now is this — Phillips Idowu is out of the triple jump having failed to clear the qualifying mark.

NO FINAL FOR FIONNUALA as a host of faster losers come home ahead of her time in that second 5,000m heat. It’s won by Gelete Burka of Ethiopia in 15:01.44.

Still, a wonderful achievement to run such a huge personal best and Fionnuala can be rightly proud.

NOBLE 12th AFTER SWIM: Great start for Ireland’s Gavin Noble who is in 12th place after the swim and first transition in the triathlon. He’s timed at 18:01 as he gets on his bike, 25 seconds behind Javier Gomez of Spain. Richard Varga and Jonathan Brownlee are second and third.

Usain Bolt is a ridiculous human being. Simply ridiculous. He doesn’t even try in heat one of the men’s 200m and still canters home to win in 20.39.

Da Silva Junior of Brazil is second and Isiah Young in third.

Great pic from the London 2012 stadium cam.

That’s a great first bike lap by Gavin Noble. He’s up to seventh place overall and leads the chasing pack. About 20 seconds between the five-man leading group and his time of 26:24.

After skipping the 100m to concentrate on the 200m, Christophe Lemaitre has won this morning’s second heat in 20.34. It’s a faster time than Bolt but the Frenchman actually had to work to beat Anaso Jobodwana and Aaron Brown. Unlike Bolt, who never looks like he’s working.

Gavin Noble has dropped back a few places to eighth after lap two on the bike but more importantly, that chasing pack have closed the gap on the leaders to nine or 10 seconds.

Fabian, Gomez, the Brownlees and Varga are the five-man leading group.

All the Ms in heat three of the 200m — it’s Mitchell, Malcolm and Mathieu who cross the line in that order.

Next up: it’s bigger than Blake v Bolt. It’s Blake v… Paul Hession!

FIFTH FOR HESSION: He gets in on the dip ahead of Zhenye Xie but it’s only good enough for fifth place in a time of 20.69, a good bit off his Irish record of 20.30.

Needless to say, Blake wins in 20.38 ahead of Bruno de Barros and Jaysuma Saidy Ndure.

Savour this. For a second — if only a brief second — Ireland’s Gavin Noble led the triathlon as he took his turn at the head of the leading group. After four laps on the bike, he’s at the head of the field in ninth place.

He’s having a cracking race so far. There are 22 riders in that leading group, with a gap of about 1:20 back to the rest of the field.

What do they feed these lads in Jamaica? We’ve had a guy called Bolt and another no-hoper called Blake… and now their fellow countryman Warren Weir has sent out a message by running faster than both of them. He wins the fifth heat in 20.29 from Antoine Adams and Kamil Krynski.

The row between Phillips Idowu and UK doesn’t look like dying down any time soon. The disappointed triple jumper has been speaking to BBC Five Live:

There is no association between me and UKAA, if you can find a form that I have signed that says I received money from UKAA then hold me accountable but over the last three years I have been out there and won world titles, world silver medals, Olympic silver medals and I have done that out of my own pocket.

Fun Triathlon fact: The winner of the Olympic test event has never gone on to win Olympic gold so that doesn’t augur well for Alistair Brownlee, although he is looking strong in that leading group at present. His brother Jonathan has been handed a 15-point penalty for transitioning on to his bike too quickly so he’ll have to take that at some time before the finish line.

Gavin Noble is 11th out of the second transition following a cracking swim and bike. He’s three seconds down as the run begins behind Vincent Luis and the brothers Brownlee.

Gavin Noble seems to be struggling with the pace on lap one of the run. He’s dropped back back to 21st, almost a full minute behind the leading trio of the Brownlees and Javier Gomez. He does still have a 30-second advantage over the next man behind him though.

At the midway point in the urn, Noble has broken back into the top 20. He’s 19th overall but Maik Petzold of Germany is just over his shoulder three seconds back.

It looks like a two-horse race for gold at this point between Alistair Brownlee and Javier Gomez. Jonny Brownlee has tailed off a bit into third and he still has that 15-second penalty to take.

They say you should never meet your heroes. Well, Bradley Wiggins did just that when he bumped into Paul Weller last night and he doesn’t look too upset.

(Lewis Whyld/PA Wire/Press Association Images)

Jonny Brownlee takes his penalty as the leaders begin their final 2.5km lap. Alistair Brownlee leads Javier Gomez by five seconds. Jonny B is a further 27 seconds back, and he in turn has a 13 second lead over the French pair of Vidal and Hauss.

And Gavin Noble is 20th as he sets off on his last lap. He’s nine seconds ahead of Steffen Justus. If he can hold on for that top 20 finish, it will be a brilliant achievement.

Alistair Brownlee wins the triathlon, grabbing a Union Jack from the crowd and slowing down to a walk as he crosses the finish line. Gomez splits the Brownlee bros on the podium, 10 seconds behind Alistair and 20 ahead of Jonny, who tries to hug his brother but really just looks like he needs help standing.

It’s 23rd for Gavin Noble, 3:22 behind Alistair Brownlee. A cracking performance by the first-ever Irishman to run an Olympic triathlon.

“What next?” I hear you ask. What next indeed, dear friends. If you’ve recovered from Annalise Murphy’s heartbreak yesterday, how about a spot of sailing? Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan are just about to start the 10th and final race of the men’s 470 class. Earlier today, they finished 16th in the penultimate race, leaving them in 25th overall.

And that is why I won’t be doing a triathlon any time soon. Not at the same pace as Jonny Brownlee anyway.

But this is how you celebrate. Alistair Brownlee drapes himself in the union flag as he crosses the finish line to a marvellous reception.

(Darron Cummings/AP/Press Association Images)

How cool would it have been to have been in the Olympic Stadium on “Super Saturday” night? Pretty cool if you’re a normal sports fan, mind-blowing if you’re a Jess Ennis/Mo Farah/Team GB fan boy or girl. The crowd gave “All You Need Is Love” some bash.

Speaking of Team GB fan boys/girls, it’s probably worth noting that Alistair Brownlee’s triathlon gold was their 19th of the Olympics, equalling their modern record set in Beijing four years ago. Whoever wins the next will have a special little bit of history to hold for another four years at least.

Just think, Cav, if you’d upheld your part of the bargain it would all be over already…

Hi folks. Niall has gone to grab some lunch before he wastes away so Ben Blake with you for the next while.

Gavin Noble has been talking to our man Will Downing about his 23rd-place finish in the triathlon. Read what he had to say here:

I’m happy enough. It’s nice to give people something to shout about and be interested in.”

GOLD - China’s Feng Zhe wins gold in the men’s parallel bars. Marcel Nguyen of Germany is runner-up and Hamilton Sabot of France claims bronze.

Irish pair Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan are competing in the final race of the 470 class at Weymouth. They are looking to finish strongly are currently lie in fifth place of that one.

Over in North Greenwich Arena, the women’s beam final has started, meaning ‘The flying squirrel’ Gabrielle Douglas of Team USA is in the house.

After three athletes, China’s Linlin Deng leads with a score of 15.600.

OWENS AND FLANIGAN FINISH FIFTH IN RACE 10 OF THE 470 CLASS No medal race for the duo but they end their Olympic campaign on a high and take 23rd spot overall.

GOLD – Deng holds on to win the women’s beam as Douglas slips up to finish seventh and fellow American Alexandra Raisman can only score 14.966 to leave her in fourth.

China take silver too through Lu Sui, while Catalina Ponor of Romania earns bronze.

Is it wrong/ignorant that I still chuckle when the dressage comes on? Maybe. But look, it’s a dancing horse!

The BBC have turned their focus to the Velodrome, where there are several medals up for grabs later this evening in the men’s keirin, the women’s omnium and the women’s sprint. It’s also the last time you will see either Chris Hoy or Victoria Pendleton compete at an Olympic Games.

Along with 20-year-old Laura Trott, they will be challenging for gold for Team GB.

That Canada v Team USA basketball game has ended in an overwhelming win for the Americans. 91-48. Next up, Australia face China.

Interested to see what the medal count is looking like? Here you are…


BRITAIN WINS GOLD NO20 Team GB claim top spot in dressage for the first time.

Just like four years ago, it will be Victoria Pendleton v Australia’s Anna Meares in the women’s sprint final later on as both come through their semi-finals. That will begin around 5.30pm.

36-year-old cyclist Chris Hoy is aiming to become Britain’s most decorated Olympian with gold in the keirin today and he remains on course after earning a place in the final with a win in Heat 1.

Read the story of the missing athletes in full here:

SEVEN ATHLETES FROM Cameroon have gone missing from the athletes’ village, an official from the African nation has revealed.

Five boxers, one swimmer and a footballer have all disappeared from the athletes’ village in Stratford, east London, Team Cameroon’s head of mission David Ojong told reporters.

The men’s football semi-finals are both being held tonight. Mexico and Japan are ten minutes into the first one at Wembley. At 7.45pm, favourites Brazil meet South Korea.

And Japan have scored a cracking opening goal through Borussia Monghengladbach striker Yuki Otsu!

YouTube credit:

GOLD - China’s Yue Guo and Xiaoxia Li win the women’s team table tennis gold.

GOLD – Laura Trott, competing in the women’s omnium, wins a second gold medal of the London Games.

You may have noticed that we’ve haven’t mentioned any Irish involvement in a few hours. Don’t worry folks, still to come:

  • Derval O’Rourke runs in the women’s 100m hurdles semi-final at 7.15pm
  • Michael Conlan fights Nordine Oubaali of France in a men’s flyweight semi-final at 9pm

Pendleton v Meara is off and already there has been both excitement and controversy. The Brit looks to have taken Round 1 in a best of three by the narrowest of margins when she pips her opponent to the line by one thousand of a second.

However, it is announced minutes later that Pendleton has been relegated from the first heat and the Australia instead takes the lead.

It’s now Mexico 1-1 Japan. A Giovani Dos Santo corner is nodded on and Marco Fabian directs it home with his head.

Can’t wait for Michael Conlan’s fight tonight? Why not watch the last time he came up against Oubaali – at the World Championships in Baku last October. The Belfast boxer won 20-17 in case you’re wondering.

YouTube credit: AIBABoxing

(h/t: Kevin Byrne)

ANNA MEARES BEATS VICTORIA PENDLETON TO GOLD The Australian takes the second heat to win 2-0 as Pendleton bows out of the Olympics with a silver.

In Earl’s Court, Russia and Brazil are playing out an entertaining women’s volleyball quarter-final. After being tied at two sets all, it’s now 3-1 in Set 5.

CHRIS HOY WINS THE MEN’S KEIRIN The Scot picks up his sixth Olympic gold at the Velodrome.

Germany’s Mazimillian Levy is silver and it looks like both Simon van Velthooven of Australia and the Netherlands’ Teun Mulder have been award bronze.

After taking an early lead, Japan are now 2-1 down to Mexico. Oribe Peralta is the latest scorer.

Right, let’s do this. Adrian here, strapped in for the evening’s Olympic action. Mexico have just booked their place in the Olympic men’s soccer tournament with a 3-1 win over Japan. Later, we’ll have Michael Conlon in the ring and Derval O’Rourke on the track for her semi-final in the hurldes. Are we feeling optimistic out there? Here’s what Derval’s training partner Ailis McSweeney reckons.

What do you get the man who has everything? Well, gold and diamond-encrusted razors, if you’re Ryan Lochte.

Andy Lee is currently on RTE talking to Bill O’Herlihy about Michael Conlon’s fight this evening. One of the most interesting things about the interview? Some 900,000 people watched Katie Taylor on RTE yesterday, according to the veteran presenter. Lee reckons Conlon will win tonight and we should have a national holiday if Katie takes the gold. I’m not going to argue with that.

Boxing, Shmoxing! But it’s all about the athletics for the next couple of hours, baby. Derval — we’re on first name terms — will go in the second semi-final in about 10 minutes’ time. So let’s all chill and watch the first one, shall we?

FALSE START France’s Reina-Flor Okori jumps the gun and is disqualified in heat 1 of women’s 100m hurldes. As I type, the Olympic champion Dawn Harper storms to an impressive win moments later. Here’s the run down:

And here comes Derval…

Fifth for Derval — in a time of 12.91 — and that’s the end of her hopes in the 100m hurldes. She stormed out of the blocks once again and looked good over the first 50m but was reeled in. Aussie favourite Sally Pearson took first in 12.39, fastest in the world this year. Canada’s Jessica Zelinka came in second and Lolo Jones trotted home next.

Bill O’Herlihy must have just thought he was back in the euro 2012 studio with the two boys; Jerry Kiernan actually just said: Derval had a good Games, not a great Games.  Our own Ailis McSweeney reckons it’s time for some other athletes to take up the mantle. “Sometimes it comes down to one athlete, and we expect it out of Derval and sometimes Gillick and like Jerry said it can’t be the same person every championships,” she said.

Niall Kelly may be off the clock and at home in his Kenny Dalglish pyjamas, but he’s still tweeting away. “Harper, Zelinka, Pearson, Schrott, Wells, Yanit, George, Jones. That is one hell of a lineup for the 100m hurdles final. Wow.” Quite right.

There’s three semi-finals in the men’s 800m, I hope you realise. There was no hanging around in the first one with Kaki the Iraqi winning- in a time of 1.44.51m. David Lekuta Rushida wins the second ahead of GB’s Andrew Osagie. The men’s high jump and discus throw are in full flow too.

Who had Ghasem Gholamreza Rezaei in the office sweepstakes for the Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling 96kg? Come on down, the price is right! The Iranian Ghasem Gholamreza Rezaei took gold this evening, beating Russian Rustam Totrov 3-0 in the final. Bronze medals went to Armenian Artur Aleksanyan and Sweden’s Jimmy Lidberg.

Our man in London, Will Downing caught up with Derval O’Rourke in the past 30 minutes or so. And she’s been candid as ever.

“I can’t see myself going to Rio. So that’s why I would have liked to have finished the Olympics on a PB, because it’s the only Championship that I haven’t PB’d or gotten a national record at. I think 12.71 made it in – I think I’m good enough to run that, but I didn’t,”

Read more here

Most of us reckoned Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown and American Carmelita Jeter would go through from the first women’s 200m semi. And they weren’t wrong. VCB wins in a season’s best of 22.32.

This image is dropping into plenty of inboxes today:

Back on the track, a very smooth and stylish Allyson Felix — in a bright red, shiny onesie, cruises through the second semi final in 22.32.

Meanwhile in the men’s high jump… Russian Ivan Ukhov has just flopped over 2.38m and surely pocketed himself a nice gold medal. American Erik Kynard will have to top that which isn’t likely I’m told.

We’re back in the studio in RTÉ, after Sanya Richards-Ross wins the third 200m semi in the fastest time of the day, 22.30. Fraser-Pryce is second in 22.34 and that’ll be some final. Not long to the boxing now though.

So, boxing pundits Mick Dowling, Kenny ‘Kenneth’ Egan and Bernard Dunne have joined Billo in the studio ahead of Michael Conlan’s. So what’s the story? The Belfast man takes on Nordine Oubaali of France in the flyweight quarter-final, having beaten him in their previous two meetings. A win, of course, will guarantee a medal, our third of the games after John Joe Nevin and Katie Taylor.

Do you fancy him to do it?

Here we go…

Spoiler alert: if you plan on watching the women’s hurdles after the boxing, look away now, as they say on the BBC news. Sally Pearson is the Olympic champion after a great race. New OR for the Aussie in 12.35, Dawn Harper is second and Kellie Wells takes bronze. Heartache for Lolo again, who’s in fourth.

As I type, Conlan is back in his corner – and it’s 5-5 after the first.

‘Still level’, sighs Jimmy Magee. The judges had that one at 7-7; making it 12-all, maths fans. It’s there for the taking now… for both fighters.

What a great fight – I’m no expert but I’d have Conlan shading it…

And the Belfast man gets it done!

The judges made it 22-18 over all and Jimmy went off on one about a magical medal swap shop or something as Conlan jumped into the arms of Billy Walsh in the Irish corner. That’s some going from the boxers this week.

Phew! That was exhausting from my perspective here at the desk with a cup of tea and some cake. Elsewhere, Algerian Taoufik Makhloufi has just won the men’s 1500m and earlier Robert Harting won the men’s discus Olympic title.

There was some prettay, prettay big wheels at the fight earlier. John Delaney and his buddies, Minister Michael Ring and OCI chief, Pat Hickey are hitting Chinawhite after this one.

Pic: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

There was a little bit of football on tonight you know. Brazil and Mexico will line out at Wembley on Saturday. Here’s why.

“I’m not a bronze medalist yet because I’m not a medalist until I get a medal around my neck. And now I just have to change the colour, that’s all I have to do. There’s more in the tank definitely, this is only me warming up. You haven’t seen the best of Michael Conlan yet.”

- Michael Conlan, an hour ago

And that’s where we’ll leave it, as all the best newsreaders say. Here’s your Olympic Village wrap, in case you haven’t followed our every word all day for some reason. We’ll be back in a few short hours.

Olympic Breakfast: Conlan seeks to continue Irish success in the ring

Roundup: Katie Taylor’s Olympic debut wins international praise

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