Olympic funnies and fails



LOCHTED AND LOADED

Four American swimmers went out to celebrate the end of swimming week at the Olympics, got drunk and stopped at a local petrol garage for a bathroom break. Instead of using the bathroom Ryan Lochte, Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen went round the back and urinated against a wall. They also ripped a poster off the wall and had to be dragged away by staff before they did more damage.

The four tried to pay the staff off before eventually going back to the athletes’ village. There, they spun a story about being robbed at gunpoint but video footage of the incident and of the four arriving back at the village emerged, pouring cold water on their story.

Lochte had gone on television to repeat the lies and eventually had to do another interview in the wake of all the evidence trashing their story. His half-apology hasn’t gone down well.

PHELPS 2, LE CLOS 0

Chad le Clos went into the Olympics as the reigning 200m butterfly champion, having beaten Michael Phelps in London four years ago. The American, however, returned from retirement determined to win that title back, but the build-up of that showdown overshadowed anything that came after it that night.

In a bid to rattle his rival, Le Clos did some shadow boxing in the waiting room and cameras caught the South African hopping around while Phelps put on a death stare worthy of the gold medal itself.

Phelps won the race, Le Clos failed to medal and pictures emerged of the Durbanite looking at Phelps during the race as well. It was an epic fail.

The pair raced again a few days later and shared a silver medal with Lazslo Cseh as they all finished behind Joseph Schooling of Singapore in the 100m butterfly. The trio held hands as they stepped on the podium. Maybe that’s the end of that, but this moment will stay with us forever.

SOLO, SHARP’S SOUR GRAPES

Much is said about the Olympic spirit – goodness and kindness ahead of competitiveness – but not everyone got the memo, it seems. Goalkeeper for the American women’s football team, Hope Solo, was an ungracious loser as her side was knocked out of the competition following a penalty shootout against Sweden.

“I think we showed a lot of heart," Solo said. "We came back from a goal down. I'm very proud of this team. But I also think we played a bunch of cowards. The best team did not win today."

Solo’s teammates and coaches as well as the IOC spoke out against her comments and she’s since offered a half-hearted apology. We’re not buying it, Sour Solo.

Over the weekend it was the turn of 800m runner Lynsey Sharp of Great Britain, who finished sixth behind South Africa’s Caster Semenya in the final.

“You can see how emotional it all was. We know how each other feels. It is out of our control and how much we rely on people at the top sorting it out,” she said over tears in a trackside interview. “The public can see how difficult it is (to run against Caster) with the change of rule but all we can do is give it our best.”

Someone has to point out to sixth-place finisher Sharp that even if Semenya wasn’t in the race, she still wouldn’t have medalled. Eye-roll.

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HORROR INJURIES

Whenever athletes are competing, there a good chance that someone’s going to get hurt. But in Rio we saw the ugliest of injuries as athletes either pushed their bodies to the limit or lost focus at crucial moments of their competition.

Three injuries that stood out were weightlifter Andranik Karapetyan, who dislocated his elbow, gymnast Samir Ait Said, who snapped his leg in two places after landing badly during the vault competition, and cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten, who crashed during the road race and fractured three vertebrae and suffered a concussion.

In the javelin, meanwhile, Kenya’s Julius Yego fell on his own spike to injure his ankle and end his competition. His one big throw from the first round was enough to get him the silver medal, though.

A WELL-EXECUTED DIVE

The rule in track running is that the athlete who is able to get their torso across the finish line first is the winner. Bahamian Shaunae Miller stunned the world as she defeated 400m favourite Allyson Felix in the final, but her victory came with a dive over the finish line, putting her head and shoulders ahead of the American.

Much has been said about the dive, but at the end of the day, it was legal.

“I didn't see anyone until the last 20 metres and the only thing I was thinking was that I must get that gold medal," said Miller.

"I think (the dive) was just a reaction, my mind went blank, the next thing I knew I was lying on the ground. I've got a few cuts and bruises but I'm okay.

It’s straight 10s from us!

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RELAY DRAMA

The United States’ 4x100m sprint relay woes continued as both their teams had trouble getting their batons around the track, but they snuck a gold medal, anyway.

The women’s 4x100m at first failed to reach the final after their women’s team dropped the baton on the second changeover. They protested and, in a bizarre decision, were allowed to run a race on their own – essentially against the clock. They qualified fastest, won the final and took home gold.

The men’s side were not so lucky. They finished second in the final but were disqualified as they completed their victory lap. It was the ninth time since 1995 that a USA men’s team was disqualified from a 4x100m race at a world championships or Olympics. Ouch.

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