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Rio 2016 round-up – Day Two: Peaty wins swimming gold, Carlin takes silver on another day of incident and drama

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Adam Peaty and Jazz Carlin kick-started Great Britain’s medal campaign at the Rio Olympics in exceptional style on a dismal day for Lizzie Armistead, tennis stars and the Brazil football team.

Find out all about the events that happened, plus a few that did not, in our daily Rio 2016 round-up.

Day Two Review

Moment of the Day

The headline Britain wanted, and half-expected, to hear has materialised after Peaty continued his untouchable streak all the way to 100m breaststroke gold in an unprecedented time of 57.13 seconds, his second world record of the weekend. In doing so, he secured Team GB’s first medal of the Games and became the first British man to win an Olympic swimming title since Adrian Moorhouse at Seoul 1988. You never forget your first time.

Highlights

Quick-kicking Carlin made the night even more memorable for Britain in the pool, earning silver in the 400m freestyle moments after watching Peaty’s victory, as Katie Ledecky, the most dominant female freestyler of all time aged just 19, won in world-record speed. Another US superstar, Michael Phelps, claimed a record 19th Olympic gold, storming through the second leg of the 4x100m freestyle relay.

British road race world champion Lizzie Armitstead admitted that only a miracle could have helped her prevail on a gruesome mountainous course near the Copacabana after the Dutch cyclist Anna van der Breggen caught American Mara Abbott within 100m of the line to claim gold. Marred by Annemiek van Vleuten’s crash, the breakneck final descent delivered the same menace of the men’s road race.

More hot favourites crashed out at the Olympic Tennis Centre. World number one Novak Djokovic burst into tears after two tiebreaks handed the resurgent Argentinian Juan Martín Del Potro the victory. Three-time doubles champions Serena Williams and Venus Williams also suffered a surprise exit, losing an Olympic match together for the first time. Plus, Andy Murray went down with his brother Jamie Murray, although the Team GB flagbearer began his defence of the Olympic singles title, as well as his ‘Sports Personality of the Year’ campaign, with a strong straight-sets win against Serbia’s Viktor Troicki.

Brit Watch

The tough girls of Great Britain women’s rugby are a game away from winning the first ever sevens medals, having cruised through the group competition before dispatching Fiji 26-7 in the semi-finals. Embracing the chance to display their talent on a unique global stage, the team will take on New Zealand in the last four this evening (7pm).

For half an hour at least, the nation became die-hard fencing fans as Richard Kruse saw his bid to win Team GB’s first medal foiled by Russia’s Timur Safin. Competing at his fourth Olympics, the Londoner lost 15-13 in the bronze medal showdown despite a spectacular comeback from 12-5 down. Kruse had scored three stunning wins along the way.

Meanwhile, judoka Colin Oates cursed his luck and his future after losing on a golden score in the opening round of the -66kg competition. The Commonwealth champion finished scoreless against France’s Kilian Le Blouch and was penalised for a false attack in sudden death. Aged 33, he fears that Rio 2016 may have been his last Olympic opportunity.

World Watch

The US gymnastics team reigned supreme on women’s qualification day. With their high difficulty and superb execution scores, the ‘fierce five’ wrote the prelude to a second straight Olympic team gold medal and left China and Russia in their shadow. Competing at her seventh Olympics at age 41, Uzbekistan's Oksana Chusovitina proved that age is just a number by winning herself a place in the vault final. 

China’s Wu Minxia was already the greatest champion in Olympic diving history. Now, she has extended her record to four gold medals in a row by storming to in the 3m springboard title. The 30-year-old is also the oldest female diving medallist.

South Korea’s archers, led by London 2012 individual champion Ki Bo Bae, earned their eighth women’s team title in a row, beating Russia by five sets to one in the deciding game. The Korean ladies have still never lost a match at the Games.

Off the Beaten Path

Majlinda Kelmendi became Kosovo's first Olympic medallist as she took gold in the women's -52kg judo. The world number one, who won bronze four years ago while representing Albania, finally got the chance to represent her homeland in Rio after the IOC formally recognised the disputed region.

Alternative Olympics

Gold Medal for… Non-Events

More tempestuous winds at the Lagoa Stadium made rowing a source of fun and games for the second day running – except, this time, without the Games. The extreme conditions forced organisers to postpone the entire race schedule with forecasters warning that worse is to come. Forget the calm before the storm; this was the storm about the storm.

Underdog of the Day

Croatia’s men went into their group game against the Qatar handball team expecting a walkover. As you may have guessed from the subheading, however, what followed was anything but: the Doha-based side dominated the match and claimed a comfortable 30-23 victory. If the Qataris progress deeper into the tournament, there could be controversy as the squad contains only three native players.

Day Three Preview

Slip on your Speedos and prepare for the first sighting of Tom Daley and his partner Dan Goodfellow at Rio 2016 in the 10m synchronised diving contest (7pm). Although Daley, plunging into his third Olympics at the age of just 22, is a more accomplished individual competitor, the European silver medal-winning pairing will be hoping to give the virtually death-defying Chinese favourites more than a run for their money.

At the other end of the Aquatics Centre, James Guy has a great chance of striking gold in the 200m freestyle (2.21am, Tuesday). Bury’s swimming star is a world champion from 2015 and a strong finisher, so it could be a thrilling end to the race.

The first Olympic rugby sevens final will take place late on Day Three (11pm) as the women’s competition reaches its climax. All Blacks inspiration Sonny Bill Williams will be prominent at the Games, but today he could be upstaged by his sister, Niall Williams, if New Zealand manage to take home the gold medal.

Best Bet

Gamblers going down to the betting shop for a wager on the artistic gymnastics may be a long shot, but the Great Britain men’s gymnasts (8/1) are worth supporting. Louis Smith, Max Whitlock and other future reality TV stars narrowly missed out on a silver medal at London 2012 and the team have an outside chance of once again gracing the podium.

Statistics Show…

One of the trendiest sports at Rio 2016, windsurfing (5pm) was almost accidentally dropped from the Games programme in 2012. Organisers announced plans to introduce ‘kitesurfing’ before quickly realising their translation error. A bombshell, I know.

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