Sunday, August 10, 2008

Greatest Race of all time

If any of you have been watching the swimming over the last 3 days you may have seen some pretty special things. If you have understand swimming, you may have seen some astoundingly spectacular things!

I just watched the final of the men's 4x100m freestyle relay and am convinced that I just saw one of the greatest races of any sport of all time! My heart is still trying to recover! Basically, in the heats last night, USA set a new World Record with a half strength team. This morning they put in Michael Phelps (you will all know that name) and Jason Lezak (probably less familiar with some of you, but a legend nether-the-less), while the French team also replaced two of their swimmers to include one Alain Bernard (fastest man ever over 100m and second fastest over 50m - also a beast of a man!). Australia also upped their chances by putting in the famous Eamon Sullivan to lead off their pack. And so the race began, Sullivan for Australia out fast in lane three with Phelpsy USA next door in lane 4 followed closely by Canada and France respectively. Sullivan touched the wall first in a new Individual World Record for 100m, but that small seemingly insignificant moment was surpassed by the fact that the tussle now was between USA and France. Now, If I were a betting Woman, I would have put my money on France to win; they could have four men in the 100m free final if they were allowed to have so many entries, and I would have been happy with that bet watching the final swimmers enter the water, with France leading, USA almost a second behind and Australia now certain to retain third place. Alain Bernard (remember - fastest man ever until about 2 mins previous over this distance) looked incredible as he flew down the first 50 in 21.2 seconds (faster than the 50m world record but doesnt count as one because its form a relay start) and Jason Lezak USA, behind by 0.7 of a second at the turn was also a body length behind the Frenchman who stands at almost 7 ft tall. The results looked certain until about 30m to go, when Lezak began to dig in really deep and with 7.5m to go it was down to the wire and almost a photo finish as USA took the gold. Lezak's time over the final 100m was 46.06 seconds - 1.18 seconds faster than the individual world record and responsible for team USA breaking the relay World Record by 4 seconds. This gold medal for USA adds to Phelps' potential 8 Golds at these Olympics and was probably the hardest one for him. This is definately a race I will watch again and again and be amazed every single time!

In other news, It rained a lot yesterday and alot of the paths and temporary buildings experienced a bit of flooding. There doesn't seem to be much of a drainage system here, all the floors and stuff are flat as a pancake so that was interesting. The Boy's freestyle relay team broke the national record last night by 2 seconds and did some astounding swims. We are all ridiculously proud of them! Melissa and Liz both did PB's last night in the 100m backstroke, with Liz breaking the NZ record which had stood since 2006 Commonwealth Games and making it to the semi's this morning. I then did an electronic time-trial for the 100m free after the session finished against a girl from Brazil, and broke the National Record became the first NZ woman under that special 55 second mark. I went 54.85 and the time has been approved as official by the techinical officials on pooldeck. So, all in all, last night was a pretty good one! We now have Moss and Helen tonight int he 200fly and 200free respectively so it should be exciting to watch. I also realised that i havn't yet written about the opening ceremony so that will come int he next few days along with pictures once i get them off everyone else.

14 comments:

Mum said...

I presume you mean 54.85?

Claire Thomas said...

OH MY GOODNESS!! THE BEST RACE I HAVE EVER SEEN! This will go down as one of my favorite moments in sports ever! Hope all is going well...

Dad said...

Fabulous!!

Sarah said...

54.85 Woohoo Hayley Palmer, you just might be fast!!!!

Hannah said...

Um... BTW is it 'nevertheless' not 'nether-the-less'. And congrats, Hayley, on your swim.

Nicole said...

I saw it too... I am completely in awe of them, how did they pull it off?!?!?!?! Haha so I was talking to my friend today and he said that if you see michael phelps he would love an autograph :)ooo xciting, im just watching moss' semi n so far it's good stuff!! good luck hayley, iv been raving bout you to anyone who will listen :P

bizaoui's said...

Good Luck Hayley on your race, I hope they show it on tv here...luv Alvina

The Palmers said...

We are so excited for you, Haley!! We keep watching our American TV every night hoping to see you soon. All the best! Our thoughts and prayers are with you!!

Ken and Sherry and Baby Jill

Sarah said...

Hayley, just saw you swim, you were AMAZING and your time 1.59, INCREDIBLE. well done!!!!
I was cheering you on and I think I saw you walk on, although the BBC for some inexplicable reason kept banging on about the GB team!!!
Really really proud of you

WesWigginton said...

Yeah Hayley!!! Great swim this morning. Wished we could of seen it live in the U.S. I know you're proud of your accomplishments.

Wes

Anonymous said...

Hi, Hayley! We're watching the events closely and reading your blog daily. You are a lucky girl.
We recorded the opening ceremony. I will go back and check the New Zealand group during the "parade of athletes."
P.S. I posted a longer comment on your "uniform modeling" page. Continue to enjoy your Beijing experience.
Betsy McCord (Liz's mom, from the U.S. and St. Edward's)

Kelly-Anne said...

OMYGOODNESS HAYLEY YOU SO TOTALLY ROCKED LAST NIGHT!! and on your new record YAYAYA!!! when you were swimming they were talking about you and how you are so great!!
I saw the mens relay race too that was really really awesome..lucky you arent a betting woman! lol

The Palmers said...

Hayley: We are watching you swim the 800M--at least we think it is you!! Way to go!! We love you!!

Ken, Sherry and Baby Jill

Kiz said...

Hi Hayley great swim i got to have lollies because of you thank you. Also teach me to swim. Miss ya Love from Kiri