Olympic Village: Day One, wrap

A round-up of the weird, wonderful and woeful of the first day of medal-winning action at London 2012.

Ryan Lochte reacts after finishing first in the men's 400-meter individual medley final.
Ryan Lochte reacts after finishing first in the men's 400-meter individual medley final.
Image: AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa De Olza

THE FIRST OLYMPIC medals have been awarded and Team Great Britain has been chastened after the bombast and club beats of the spectacular opening ceremony. was up with the cock’s crow to catch the action and we have a round-up of all the action that unfolded on Day One of the 30th Olympiad.

Feel free to let us know what caught your eye and tugged your heartstrings on the first day of the world’s biggest festival of sport.

Headline of the day

Manx for Nothing! Mark Cavendish, from the Isle on Man, and his Team GB colleagues, including Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, are powerless to haul in a series of breakaways as Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakhstan wins road race cycling gold.

What we learned today?

  • Michael Phelps’ aura of invincibility has faded somewhat.

The American, who won eight golds at Beijing 2008, could only finish fourth in his first head-to-head with compatriot Ryan Lochte in the final of the 400m individual medley. Laid-back Lochte claimed after that ‘my time is now’.

  • The Irish boxing team have a good chance of claiming medals.

Both John Joe Nevin and Darren O’Neill got their campaigns off to comfortable starts and may yet prove Bernard ‘they can win six medals’ Dunne right.

  • Team GB are not going to get any medals easily.

Today was never the day that Great Britain were going to start piling up medals – that will come later with rowing, sailing and cycling – but there were disappointments for big names such as Cavendish, Hannah Miley and Andy Murray.

Highlights from Team Ireland

Sanita Puspure had a good day on the water at Eton Dorney. (©INPHO/Photosport/Andrew Cornaga)

A new friend we made today

Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi came to London 2012 ready to compete. She also arrived eight months pregnant, with a baby due in September. The Malaysian did not let her sizeable bump distract her from finishing 34th in a field of 56 competitors in the 10m air rifle event. Speaking after her elimination (only the top eight qualified for the final) she said she was proud that she had the opportunity to represent her country.

Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi of Malaysia. (Credit: BBC News)

Mohd Taibi, who only had to alter her uniform once, said she was never once in discomfort during her 75-minute finals showing. She only feels it, she said, ‘when I forget that I’m pregnant and I’ve done a really rough job, like climbing’. What a legend.

Lost in translation

Westfield shopping centre in Stratford came out with an apology today over a sign in Arabic that effectively said ‘Welcome to London’ backwards.

“It was through the printing procedure that something went awry,” said a Westfield spokesperson. ”We’ve replaced it and everything is correct in it (and was) ready in time for Friday.”

You said what?

Stop asking stupid questions. Do you know about cycling?

- Mark Cavendish’s reaction to a BBC reporter who asked if Tour de France fatigue was a factor in his 29th road race finish.

You need the endurance of a Siberian husky, the strength of a cage fighter, and the reactions of a fighter pilot — although I wouldn’t rate my chances against a cage fighter.

- United States national champion Timmy Duggan explains what it takes to be a top road race cyclist.

This is bourgeois snobbery … classic liberal hysteria about very nutritious, delicious, food – extremely good for you I’m told. Not that I eat a lot of it myself.

- Boris Johnson leaps, or clambers, to the defence of one of the main Olympic sponsors, fast-food chain McDonalds.

The best thing we read today

Olympic dictionary

“Ippon”: A clean throw, or connecting blow, that can immediately bring an end to a judoka fight. Lisa Kearney of Team Ireland was on the receiving end of the ‘golden score’ when she was defeated by Shugen Wu of China.

Medal table

(Medal count correct as of 10pm on Saturday, 28 July)

As it happened: London 2012 Olympics, day 1

In pictures: Day 1 of London 2012

About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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