The viewing plan today was to watch on line, in chronological order, live as everything plays out, the events NBC is showing tonight on tape delay in primetime. We’ve already watched the diving. Predictably a Chinese duo won the 10 Meter Men’s Sychro Diving. But the good news is Americans David Boudia and Nick McCrory earned themselves a Bronze Medal. The upshot there is after being shutout of the medals in all diving competitions since 2000, Team USA Diving has now earned 2 medals in just two events during the London Games. The British duo of Daley/Waterfield actually led half way through the 6-dive finals, but they really fell apart during the higher degree of difficulty portion of the meet and fell out of the medals. The Mexican duo of Navarro/Sanchez finished with the Silver in between the Chinese and Americans, forcing researchers into the record books to see if this is the first Mexican diving medal in any event that didnt involve a cliff.
The mens team gymnastics competition is already underway, but my plans to watch have been torpedeod by a busy rush here at the office the last couple of hours. Presumably, we’re half way this event, and I havent even thought about firing up the online feed. At this point, we are going into No Spoiler mode in this one and will just watch tonight. We had been looking forward to watching the live, uniterupted live feed. We’ll try that plan of viewing attack tomorrow.
This live array of sports while sitting at the office desk was going to be capped off by the day’s swimming meet. But if we’re going to put our head in the sand (and also avoid twitter and facebook), we’ll go all in and wait for these events tonight as well. The hardest part about the no spoiler is avoiding the news while at work. If I can make it until 4pm, then we’ll be good. In the meantime, maybe I will get the computer feed going on some of the less publized sports. I have a ton of indoor vball, beach vball, womens hoops and boxing waiting for me on the DVR when i get home which is more than enough Olympic sports to get me to primetime and even beyond.
But enough about the soap opera that is how I will watch these Olympics. Lets get back to today’s swim meet. There will be four gold medals on the line and American stars are everywhere in the pool. That meet begins at 2:30 pm with Michael Phelps swimming in the semifinals of the 200 Butterfly. The meets ends with Allison Schmitt and Australia’s Stephanie Rice swimming their semifinal races in the Womens 200 IM. In between, there will be four gold medal races and, in each, one of Team USA’s heavy hitters will be in the thick of the competition. If you watch live online, then enjoy the races. If you’re now waiting for the tape delay coverage, I’ll see you tonight. Either way, here are how the the odds stack up on all 4 championship races less than an hour before the first starting gun.
Mens 200 Meter Freestyle……I might have spoken way to soon when I just gave the Americans gold in every individual race swum by either Lochte or Phelps. Lochte will be in a dogfight, not only for gold, but also for just a spot on the medal podium in this one. This is a deep, lights out talented field. In addition to Lochte, the field includes China’s Sun Yang, whose already won Gold in the 400 free, expects to win gold in the 1500 free and with a win today really could lay his own claim to best swimmer in the world; Park Tae-Hwan, from South Korea, who won silver in the 400 already and has a host of golden Olympic hardware from past games; and France’s Yannick Agnell, who we all saw yesterday crush America’s heart as well as Lochte by dominating him in the final leg of the 4 x 100 Free Relay en route to French gold and revenge from the same 2008 race. Agnell and Yang are favored by the bookies more than Lochte is. Here is what 5Dimes is offering on the race: Sun Yang +105 to win vs the Field, +125; Agnell to win +200 vs the Field -240; and Lochte +370 to win vs the Field -470. Translation: Oddsmakers figure this is Yang’s race to lose and Lochte may have to fight hard just to make it onto the podium.
Womens 100 Meter Backstroke…….the next great American superstar is supposed to be 17-year-old Missy Franklin. In this event, she swims for her first individual gold medal after earning a bronze on Saturday in the 4×100 freestyle relay. She breezed in her semifinal heat, but her time was bested by Australian Emily Seebohm by 0.73 seconds in the next semifinal heat. Thats an eternity in swimming. Can she close the gap swimming in side-by-side lanes? Oddsmakers doubt it. Seebohm is -700 to win the race against the Field which pays out at +500. You can bet on Franklin as 5Dimes has her listed at +600 to win the race. The Seebohm and Franklin props are the only two bets available at 5Dimes on this race.
Mens 100 Meter Backstroke…..On a day when Lochte, Franklin and Soni are racing for gold, its important to note that America’s surest thing today appears to be Matt Grevers taking this backstroke race. He’s a 14-time international medalist and he’s expected to dominate this race. He’s -575 to win the race at 5Dimes with a bet against him and on the field paying out at +435. Also listed at that online is France’s Camille Lacourt at +600 and hometown Brit Liam Tancock at +2300. Those might look like longshot odds for both swimmers but they also qualified with the two fastest times afters Grevers
Womens 100M Breaststroke….USA’s Rebecca Soni won the only American individual goal for the women in 2008. She’s expected to bring home double gold in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes, although the 200 later in the meet is her true specialty. Her swim to the gold is suddenly in doubt, however, thanks to some eye-opening efforts from South African teen Ruta Meilutyte. The upstart shattered her personal best in a qualifying heat. Then she repeated the accomplishment in the semifinals, giving her the top seed and top lane for the finals. And her emergence has shifted the betting lines. Before the meet began, Soni was -150 to win this event. Today at 5Dimes, one of the two bets listed for this swim is the South African Meilutyte -135 (down from -220 last night!!) to win while taking the field pays out at +115. You can get Soni at +150 vs the Field -130, which represents nearly a 180 on her odds in this race a couple days ago. This is the last final of the day and suddenly its a huge grudge match as Soni’s title of best breaststroker in the world is under seige from an unexpected place.
Enjoy it if you’re watching live. I am not. And to pass time while still grabbing some Olympic Fever fix, I’ll just sink my teeth into some judo or fencing replays.