August 10th, 2012


The Netherlands successfully defended their women's Hockey title tonight with a 2-0 victory over Argentina.
Olympic gold is the only medal Argentina captain Luciana Aymar has not won, and the seven-time world player of the year admitted victory in the final would give her 'eternal glory'.

However, arguably the greatest player in the history of the women's game bowed out having won two silvers and two bronzes in her four Olympic appearances.

A cagey game was settled midway through the second half as world number ones the Netherlands scored two penalty corner goals in relatively quick succession from Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel and captain Maartje Paumen.

Even the great Aymar could not inspire world champions Argentina into a fightback as the Dutch collected the third Olympic gold medal in their history.

Earlier in the day, Great Britain's women emulated the groundbreaking side of 1992 in becoming only the second team to win Olympic bronze with a 3-1 win over New Zealand.

The squad showed impressive fortitude to bounce back less than 48 hours after most of the players left the pitch emotionally distraught having lost a close semi-final to Argentina.

But the burden of expectation did not weigh heavy as, spurred on by a vociferous 16,000-strong crowd, they dominated the game against New Zealand - even if they had to wait until 10 minutes into the second half for their nerves to ease.

Reading striker Alex Danson scored her fifth of the tournament as she dived in to convert a well-practised penalty corner routine, Leicester defender Crista Cullen joined her on that tally with a set-piece of her own and Wales international Sarah Thomas rounded off the scoring from another corner move.

Stacey Michelsen scored late on for New Zealand.

August 10th, 2012


Asli Cakir Alptekin tonight won gold in the women's 1500m at the Olympic Stadium.
The Turkish athlete won a slow race in 4:10.23, finishing ahead of compatriot Gamze Bulut, with Bahrain's Maryam Yusuf Jamal third.

There was more agony for the USA's Morgan Uceny as she fell for the second major final in succession, having also hit the track at last year's World Championships in Daegu when she was one of the favourites.

Charlotte Dujardin continued her remarkable rise to the top of world Dressage today by putting Great Britain in Team gold medal position and smashing an Olympic record.
The 26-year-old's breathtaking Olympic debut with Valegro gained a standing ovation from a capacity 23,000 crowd at Greenwich Park.

Their Grand Prix score of 83.66 per cent was more than four percentage points better than the previous Olympic best of Germany's Kristina Sprehe that stood for just two hours.

The Team competition resumes and concludes next Tuesday with the Grand Prix Special test - Dujardin is world record-holder in that - with Britain having never previously won an Olympic Dressage medal.

Their current team score of 79.40 per cent - the average mark of all three riders Dujardin, Carl Hester and Laura Bechtolsheimer - is 0.56 per cent above Germany, with the Netherlands (76.80 per cent) third.

Dujardin's score was the best over two days of competition, with Dutch star Adelinde Cornelissen in second, Germany's Helen Langehanenberg third, Hester fifth and Bechtolsheimer seventh.

Barely 20 months ago, Dujardin had never ridden a competitive Grand Prix test, but today's performance has increased the prospect of double Olympic Games gold.

The Individual competition - freestyle to music - takes place next Thursday and closes the Olympic Equestrian schedule.

 The top 11 individual scores, plus all three members of the leading seven teams after today, go forward to the Grand Prix Special stage.