Friday, August 15, 2008

More Basketball & Swimming

Went out Wednesday night to see the Opals live for the first time, they easily accounted for South Korea but they really didn't have their A grade game on, sometimes when playing weaker teams you play down to their ability, I think they will need to improve to beat the USA, they are now 3 from 3.

I went for a run this thursday morning my third for the trip, I am still struggling with the heat & humidity plus my hamstrings have been a bit sore from the walking (I must be weak) after breakfast which is a great buffet put on by the hotel, this keeps me going for the day I went out to Basketball again to watch the Boomer play, they were in the first session (each session morning, afternoon and evening has 2 games)

Spain played Germany at 9am, beat them quite easily, the Germans just had too many turnovers, Boomers were on at 11.15am against Iran, my ticket was meant to be in the rafters section of the stadium but because few Spanish people left after their game, I swapped tickets and got into the A section which gives a much lower view, I ran into Patty Mills Dad and had a chat with him.

Back to the Boomers game, they looked good against Iran, Brad Newley played well, so did Patty Mills, they nailed a few 3's this time, but they will have to improve to beat Lithuania & Russia in the next 2 games to get thru to the quarters, they will at least have to beat Russia.

One thing with this trip is meeting lots of great people, got to meet Craig Stevens parents, a very nice couple, a few days ago had breakfast with this guy (people just sit anywhere and share tables) I said to somebody that guy looks like Ric Charlesworth, the ex Australian Hockey player & coach & Cricketer, sure enough it was, a lovely fellow that I have had some great conversations with. I am sharing a room with one of the fathers of an Australian Female hockey player.

Last night I went off to watch the swimming heats at the Ice cube (swimming centre) nothing really exciting but it was good to see all the heats for men's 50 freestyle, 100 butterfly (phelpestan was swimming, will explain this another time) women's 800 freestyle & 200 backstroke, go the Bus up there and back, it is in the Northern Olympic area with the Birds nest and other stadiums.

Friday morning I went to see the Opals play Latvia, I hadn't planned that, a lady from work Jing Jing who is Australian Chinese has been in Beijing for the past 2 months visiting her Mum and she had got tickets for the game, so I met her there. Latvia really pushed them early actually led 36 to 33 in the later stages of the 2nd quarter but 3 3's put Australia back in front by 3 at halftime and then really stepped up a gear that they hadn't used this tournament, Lauren Jackson was just awesome with 30 points, she must have hit 5 3 pointers, she was on song. This will give them more confidence going into Sundays game against Russia, both are undefeated in the Group, the winner should avoid USA until the Gold Medal play off (if they won all their remaining games) After the game Jing Jing and I had lunch at a local restaurant, I had pigs trotters, that might be as adventurous as I will get, off to the Boomers tomorrow morning.


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