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Olympics2012Olympic Hot Sheet: Let the Games begin again

Posted: Friday, August 3, 2012 | 01:26 PM

Categories: Olympics2012

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Canada's Brianne Theisen, left, Britain's Jessica Ennis, centre, and Canada's Jessica Zelinka compete in a 200-metre event in the heptathlon in London on Friday. (Anja Niedringhaus/Associated Press) Canada's Brianne Theisen, left, Britain's Jessica Ennis, centre, and Canada's Jessica Zelinka compete in a 200-metre event in the heptathlon in London on Friday. (Anja Niedringhaus/Associated Press)

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Some say the Summer Games aren't truly underway until the start of the track and field events, so if that's the case, the London Games "officially" started on Friday.

It's too bad for Dylan Armstrong of Kamloops, B.C., that the start of the Games was also the finish, and it came without a medal. The burly shot putter failed to make the podium but placed top five in his event.

A guide to what happened on Friday and what to look for on Saturday at the Olympic Games in London:

Track athletes take, leave the field

Some say the Summer Games aren't truly underway until the start of the track and field events, so if that's the case, the London Games "officially" started on Friday.

It's too bad for Dylan Armstrong of Kamloops, B.C., that the start of the Games was also the finish, and it came without a medal. The burly shot putter failed to make the podium but placed top 5 in his event.

Meanwhile, it was a better day for Calgary's Jessica Zelinka, who finished an impressive third overall (3,903 points) after four events in the women's heptathlon, overcoming a nearly disastrous result in the high jump. Brittany Thiesen of Humboldt, Sask., isn't far back with a 15th place showing (3,763 points), setting up for a big finale on Saturday with the long jump, javelin and 800-metre events on tap.

Canadians in the hunt for aquatics medals

In the pool, Ryan Cochrane of Victoria, B.C., is set for Saturday's final, while Emilie Heymans of St. Lambert, Que. and Jennifer Abel of Laval, Que., all booked their spots in the final on Sunday. Divers Heymans (6th in qualifying) and Abel (4th in qualifying) try for a medal in the women's 3-metre individual springboard while swimmer Cochrane placed second in qualifying in the men's 1,500-metre, an event he took bronze in at the Beijing games.

Sinead Russell of Burlington, Ont., wasn't able to reach the podium in the women's 200-metre backstroke - Missy Franklin of the United States (she of the Canadian-born parents) stole all the glory setting a new world record on the way to her third gold medal.

And the reigning king of the pool, American Michael Phelps, said goodbye to the Olympics with a gold medal in the 100-metre butterfly.

Women's teams show their mettle

Christine Sinclair scored another highlight reel goal off a free kick to help lift the Canadian women's soccer team past Great Britain and into the semis, where they'll face the powerhouse American squad on Monday.

The Canadian women's basketball team held on against Brazil to secure a berth in the quarter-finals, but have one big group stage game remaining. That contest against Australia will feature the first woman to dunk in the Olympic tournament, Liz Cambage, who stuffed on Russia on Friday.

Pounding his way to the top

Custio Clayton continued to make his mark in the men's boxing tournament. The 24-year-old out of Dartmouth, N.S. had won Canada's first match in 8 years on Sunday and followed that up with a win in the round of 16 of the men's 69kg class - booking a spot in the quarters.

Fellow Canadian Simon Kean is already in the quarters in his 91 kg class. The U.S. team, meanwhile, saw their last remaining fighter eliminated. No medals for the former powerhouse.

Key Canadian events on Saturday, Day 8:

  • Zelinka and Theisen continue their search for a medal when heptathlon continues at 5 a.m. ET.
  • Toronto's Michele Li and Alex Bruce look to make good on their second chance shot in the badminton tournament in the bronze medal match against Russia.
  • Edmonton's Paula Findley will compete in the women's triathlon which kicks off at 4 a.m. ET.
  • Cochrane goes in the men's 1,500 free final around 2:30 p.m. ET.
  • In women's trampoline, Karen Cockburn of Stouffville, Ont., will begin the qualifying round at 9 a.m. ET.
  • The women's 100 metre semis and final take place. Seven women went under 11 seconds in the heats, only one had done so at the same stage in Beijing.
  • And last, but certainly not least, the marquee event of the Summer Games starts as the Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Tyson Gay compete in preliminary heats of the men's 100.

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