Good afternoon from the 12.47pm Southeastern Service to Stratford International.
I hope you don’t mind, but I had a bit of a lie-in this morning. It was my first sleep since Thursday night so I wanted to make the most of it and I don’t want to burn myself out two days into the Games. Plenty more to come.
Yesterday was a crazy day – though I’m sure the sleep deprivation made it seem crazier. I last left you sat in the sunshine at Eton Dorney. Well, I managed to not nod off, and enjoyed seeing a couple of superb British performances as a starter – including an Olympic record in the women’s pairs - before the main course that was Tom Ransley and the GB men’s eight, who were just edged into second by Germany.
Unfortunately the dessert left a slightly bad taste, as my hour-plus wait in the sunshine ended with Ransley being too busy to talk to me. Oh well, I guess these Olympians are pretty busy people.
One thing which struck me though was the number of people talking positively about the Opening Ceremony the night before. Everyone had a smile on their face discussing their favourite bits. While the press who had been there sat back, quietly, listening to other people’s opinions.
You could tell those who had been there, they were unshaven, a little smelly and hidden beghind huge sunglasses to protect their delicate eyes. And that was just the female reporters.
I got the bus back to the Olympic Park, and the 50+ seats were twice as busy as they had been on my way there. There were two of us passengers. Still, plenty of leg-room eh?
After getting back to Stratford my first call was to collect my ticket for tonight’s swimming finals. I had faith that Bromley’s Elly Gandy would make it, y’see. I actually applied for the pass on Wednesday last week.
Sadly my luck ran out when it came to getting into last night’s semi-final – I guess there was huge international demand for seats to see Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte go head to head. As it happens it was pretty much head-to-toe, as the last time Phelps’ head was anywhere near Lochte’s was as they dived in to begin the 400m IM.
All the while I’m sat at events and travelling round the Games venues I’m doing my best to keep up to date on how our athletes are doing around the Games. Sometimes that is easier said than done though, with mobile reception and wi-fi and computer problems all doing their best to scupper us dedicated scribes at what seems like every turn.
I managed to keep on top of the equestrian events at Greenwich Park, and at the time of writing Britain are in with a decent chance of a medal in the team event. Fingers crosed.
I also kept in touch with the women’s football, as GB managed to cruise to the quarter-finals with a 3-0 win over Cameroon in Cardiff. Unfortunately it was another game which saw Orpington’s Claire Rafferty miss out, but what a top pro she is. Moments after the match finished sh e was on twitter, praising the team and looking forward to the match against Brazil on Tuesday at Wembley. I really hope she gets a start.
So I spent Saturday night, like many of you, back at home, watching the Olympics on the box. The coverage really is amazing this year. If I wasn’t up here I could totally see myself taking two weeks off work and sitting infront of the TV all day.
It was fantastic to see Ellen Gandy’s huge reception before her semi-final of the 100m butterfly, and even better that her swim for fifth was fast enough to secure a place in the final.
It was an unusual set of races, because the pace in the first was so slow that the third placed finisher actually missed out on a spot in the final to the woman who was sixth in the second semi.
If you can find a way of explaining that succinctly I’d love to hear it!
So tonight I’ll be trying to keep track of the GB football – complete with Gillingham’s Ryan Bertrand – from my seat in the Aquatics Centre.
And earlier I’ll be trying to follow the equestrian eventing with Canterbury’s William Fox-Pitt, the GB water polo clash with Romania, featuring West Wickham’s Sean King, while having the other eye on hockey matches involving South Africa’s Jen Wilson, who plays for Canterbury, and her club teammates Nat Seymour and Abi Walker, who are reserves for GB.
Hope you enjoy the day’s action. Thanks so much for reading all my stuff. I can honestly say I’m so thrilled to have seen the number of website hits and attracted new followers on twitter.
I have a mental image of my lovely mum sat over her laptop clicking refresh on the KentOnline website to get the hits up, but I’m sure there are some more of you enjoying it too!
Don’t forget, @kentonline2012 and www.kentonline.co.uk/olympics for all your live updates.