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Olympic 2012 latest update

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1104 GMT: A few hours into today’s action, here are some of the highlights so far:

+ New Zealand’s Nathan Cohen and Jospeh Sullivan took rowing gold in the men’s heavyweight double sculls;

+ British swimmer Rebecca Adlington qualified fastest for the women’s 800m freestyle final Friday;

+ US record-breaker Michael Phelps is on track for another gold in the pool after reaching the semis of the 100m butterfly.

1058 GMT: That was very tight at the end in the rowing but New Zealand’s Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan pushed Italy into silver at the last minute. Slovenia take bronze.

1056 GMT: NEW ZEALAND WIN GOLD IN ROWING MEN’S HEAVYWEIGHT DOUBLE SCULLS

1053 GMT: It’s Slovenia then Argentina then Britain at the halfway mark.

1051 GMT: ROWING: The men’s heavyweight double sculls final has just got under way. Slovenia are the early leaders.

1047 GMT: CYCLING: Britain’s Bradley Wiggins, who won time trial gold Wednesday, has called for his country to introduce a law making it compulsory for cyclists to wear helmets.

This came after a man on a bicycle was killed Wednesday in a collision with a media shuttle bus just outside the Olympic Park.

The bus driver was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving but has been bailed.

1040 GMT: “Michael Phelps is closing on another medal after reaching the semi-finals of the 100m butterfly,” Rob adds.

“Defending champion Phelps, who has an all-time best 19 Olympic medals, was second fastest in the opening heats behind his 200m butterfly conqueror South Africa’s Chad le Clos (51.54secs) by 0.18secs.

“Phelps again beat Serbia’s Milorad Cavic, who was touched out by the American superstar by one-hundredth of a second in the Beijing final four years ago? this time Phelps beat the Serb by 0.18secs.”

1022 GMT: SWIMMING: Rob Smith has been watching the women’s 800m freestyle semis, where Britain’s Rebecca Adlington qualified fastest.

“The popular Adlington, who took out the 400-800m distance double in Beijing, clocked 8:21.78 to head into Friday’s final just 0.11secs ahead of Denmark’s Lotte Friis with American Katie Ledecky in third,” Rob says.

Patriotic Adlington was sporting fingernails painted with the British flag in interviews after her semi.

1016 GMT: BOXING: Good news for Japan’s Satoshi Shimizu — he has been reinstated in competition after winning an appeal over his controversial defeat to Magomed Abdulhamidov Wednesday.

Azerbaijan’s Abdulhamidov was awarded a 22-17 decision in the bout despite slumping to the canvas five times in the final round, but the result has now been changed to a third round stoppage win for Shimizu.

1008 GMT: ROWING: The semi-finals for the men’s lightweight double sculls have just finished. Countries through to Saturday’s final include Britain and France after a tough battle between them in the second semi which was just won by Britain.

0958 GMT: BASKETBALL: Tony Parker has finished with 27 points as France beat Lithuania 82-74 in the preliminary round, AFP’s Jim Slater reports.

“It’s a big win for France, now 2-1 with Olympic last-qualifier Nigeria and winless Tunisia remaining in round-robin Group A play,” Jim adds.

“Lithuania fell to 1-2 and must face the USA NBA stars (Dream Team) next. I still like them to get into the last eight knockout rounds but it could be tight.”

He adds that Linas Kleiza of the NBA Toronto Raptors led Lithuania with 17 points in today’s game.

0948 GMT: ROWING: We’ve just had both semi-finals of the women’s lightweight double sculls. Those through to the final include China, Britain and Australia.

0933 GMT: SWIMMING: It’s the men’s 50m freestyle heats — and Australia’s James Magnussen has struggled after his silver last night as Trinidad’s George Bovell beat Brazil’s world record holder Cesar Cielo into tonight’s semis.

“Bovell, ranked 12th fastest going into the Games, clocked 21.80secs — two-hundredths of a second quicker than Cielo,” AFP’s Rob Smith reports.

“Cielo’s teammate Bruno Fratus was third-fastest ahead of experienced speedsters Antony Ervin of the United States and South Africa’s Roland Schoeman.

“But Australia’s big two, James Magnussen and Eamon Sullivan, struggled into the semis — the Missile, down by one-hundredth of a second by Nathan Adrian in the 100m freestyle final last night, finishing 10th fastest and Sullivan right on the borderline in 16th?”

Magnussen’s silver last night just behind Adrian has been described as heart-breaking by Australian media today.

0926 GMT: It’s USA then Greece and Germany in third after the Germans faded in the second half of that men’s fours semi-final.

0921 GMT: We’re into the second semi of the men’s fours now, with Germany well ahead.

0916 GMT: Britain win it right at the end of the race after a surge in the final seconds. They will take a psychological advantage into the final. The Netherlands come in third.

0913 GMT: At the halfway mark, Australia are leading Britain by half a length.

0911 GMT: ROWING: The first men’s four semi-final has just got under way at Eton Dorney, outside London. Britain and Australia are battling it out for the lead.

0908 GMT: BASKETBALL: The USA’s “dream team” will be back on court later on, facing Nigeria from 2115 GMT.

Likely to be another big win for the American superstars as the preliminary rounds continue.

0855 GMT: Let’s take a look at the medal table going into today’s action.

China are in the lead with 17 gold, nine silver and four bronze — a total of 30.

Then comes the USA on 12 gold, eight silver and nine bronze — a total of 29.

Third are South Korea on 12 in total — six gold, two silver and four bronze.

0836 GMT: JUDO: Russian President Vladimir Putin will be among those visiting the Olympic Park today to watch the judo with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Putin, himself a judo black belt, is well known for his action man image, once posing bare-chested while riding a horse.

He is in London for talks with Cameron — whose main sporting interest is tennis — on issues including the Syrian conflict and trade ties.

0830 GMT: Despite that sign-off from Yu, the players seem to have drawn little sympathy in their own countries.

Some media in Asia suggested that the new round-robin format motivated players to lose although most agreed that nothing excused match-throwing, colleagues in AFP’s Beijing bureau say.

South Korea’s major newspaper JoongAng Ilbo said: “Korean women’s badminton players have disgraced the Olympic spirit and embarrassed the country”.

0825 GMT: BADMINTON: Much of yesterday’s action was overshadowed by the controversy over match-throwing which implicated Chinese, South Korean and Indonesian female players.

And overnight we got the news that one of the players involved, China’s Yu Yang, is now set to retire from the game.

“Goodbye my beloved badminton,” she posted on Chinese microblog Weibo. “After working hard and dealing with injuries to prepare, (you) say we’re disqualified and we’re disqualified. You have heartlessly shattered our dreams.”

0816 GMT: More details on the main events to look out for today and when they are coming up:

+ US swimmer Michael Phelps goes for a 20th Olympic medal in the 200m individual medley up against Ryan Lochte (swimming events from 1830 GMT, IM expected around 1920 GMT);

+ The track cycling gets under way in the Olympic velodrome from 1500 GMT with medals up for grabs in the team pursuits. Britain won seven out of 10 golds in the competition in 2008 and will be hoping for more after Bradley Wiggins’s victory in Tuesday’s road race time trial;

+ The tennis continues at Wimbledon from 1030 GMT, with the men’s and women’s singles quarter-finals, the men’s and women’s doubles semi-finals and the mixed doubles quarter-finals.

WELCOME to AFP’s Live Report on the London Olympics on Thursday August 2.

Highlights today include Michael Phelps going head-to-head with US teammate Ryan Lochte in the swimming pool, the start of the track cycling competition plus more rowing and table tennis.

Stay with us for all the action.

AFP