HPN #Rio2016: Day 1 recap

Best News of the Day

Member of the Refugee Olympic Athletes team Yusra Mardini won her first race at the Rio Olympics in a heat of the 100m Butterfly.

She is a literal hero. She saved multiple human lives, and you should see this video. She is our favourite athlete at the games.

We don’t need to add anything else here. CARN THE ROAS!

Villain of the Day

Sun Yang

Sometimes the more you read about someone, the worse it gets. Capper Towers summed it up well here:


Highlight of the Day

Men’s Road Race

This had EVERYTHING. Crashes, sprints, breakaways and broken bikes.

One of the best one day cycling races in recent memory, let alone at the Olympics. Greg Van Avermat was a deserving winner, putting a cap on a good year for him.

Results from countries that aren’t STRAYA

The first day produced some surprise winners across the board but especially in the shooting, with Virginia Thrasher in the air rifle and Hoang Xuan Vinh in the air pistol. Say this to your friends and impress them.

Beslan Mudranov produced a mild surprise in the Men’s 60kg Judo, but the women’s 48kg stuck to script with Paula Pareto winning gold. South Korea showed why they were huge favourites in the archery, destroying all before them (including the USA in the final).

Emese Szász upset Fiamingo in the women’s epee, Sopita Tanasan benefited from a few withdrawals in 48kg weightlifting and most of the favourites romped home in the swimming. The standout performance in the pool was by Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, who found enough drive to smash the 400m individual medley record, despite having nobody remotely competitive to push her along, as so often happens with record-breaking performances.

While we’re on that record, let’s just touch on the discussion of the 2012 record, which was seen as dubious or “disturbing” with muttering about doping at the time. This was based on a couple of things. Shiwen’s speed increased a lot over the previous 2 years. But that is because she was 16 at the time and the funny thing about 16-year-olds is they grow and that makes them faster. She was also reported as swmming a faster freestyle split than Ryan Lochte, but this too was misleading because she started that leg behind her rivals while Lochte was in cruise mode. Shiwen, incidentally, missed this final as she’s had health problems this year, but hopefully we’ll see her back in future.

The rowing is absolute chaos. Taking place in an utterly gorgeous open-water harbour setting has meant wind, choppy seas and tides to contend with. We’ll see if this continues when it comes time to decide medals or if predictable favouritism reasserts itself.


Everyone knows about Mack Horton and the 4x100m golds in the pool, and the archery bronze medal. But the most impressive performance might have been in the men’s basketball, with the Boomers rolling favourites France and potentially getting into medal contention. France probably had the second best starting five in the tournament,

Elsewhere, the men’s water polo and women’s hockey teams suffered body blows and will find it hard to medal from here. The top two Australian table tennis hopes were knocked out before the first round, and the beach volleyballers had a up and down day. The women’s rugby side was dominant and everyone else should be scared of their first day performance. The Opals women’s basketball side made hard work of beating a decent Brazil side, but their class shone through in the end.

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