Monday, 30 July 2012

Olympics Day 3: Surprise surprise

One of my favourite things about the Olympics is the way so little goes according to expectations. The world's top competitors arrive confident of adding to their already impressive collection of medals, but go home empty-handed. Sometimes this allows someone unexpected to sneak onto the top of the podium, and other times it's heartbreaking.

Over the last few days British hopes have repeatedly been dashed. In Saturday's men's road cycling race, everyone expected Mark Cavendish and recent Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins to medal in the event, but they were knocked way back in the field. Today it was the turn of the Olympics poster boy Tom Daley (right) in synchronised platform diving, but he and his partner Peter Waterfield came in an agonising fourth.

Conversely, in the women's 100m breaststroke, 15-year-old Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte shocked everyone by winning gold, beating the American world champion in the process. Her stunned face while receiving the gold medal (with the president of Lithuania cheering her on) was priceless.

Meanwhile, London's transport system has held up for three days without any severe problems. No one expected it to last that long. Yesterday, two of three trains I took went to different destinations than announced. It's not too difficult for a Londoner to get back on the right route, but tourists must find that kind of thing bewildering. Ah well, almost everyone in the Underground looks bewildered at the moment! But that's not unusual for summer time.

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