AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
(From Guardian Unlimited)
Russell will be here from 1.45am...
1.56am: Good morning everyone, and welcome to day six. Five days gone and what have we learned? That a diving pool is a tough place to learn about office politics; that Australian wit is a loosely defined quality when applied by sport officials; and that swimming records now have the lifespan of a mayfly.
We return to the pool this morning, when the men's 100m freestyle world record will no doubt be lowered again, having already been broken twice in the semi-finals yesterday. Medals are also up for grabs in the men's 200m breastroke, women's 200m butterfly, women's 200m butterfly, and women's 4x200m freestyle. At the fencing, the women attempt to make a point or two in the sabre quarters and semis, with the finals later this morning. In gymnastics there'll be medals all around in the men's all around. In judo British hopes are with Peter Cousins in the men's -100kg, which will move through the preliminaries and repechage to the finals later this morning. Plus we have the women's skeet shooting final, as well as boxing, softball, volleyball and beach volleyball. Let the daze begin ...
2.12am: Let's run our eye over some British interests for today. As well as Peter Cousins in the judo, veteran Mark Foster takes one almighty breath and dives into the 50m freestyle heats, while 400m gold medallist Rebecca Adlington returns to the Water Cube in the 800m freestyle heats. In badminton, Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms are in the mixed doubles quarter-finals.
2.29am: Michael Phelps, who by now must surely have a full medal jacket in his wardrobe, isn't exactly prospecting for more gold today but the American is in action this morning in the 200m individual medley semi-finals.
3.01am: Let's go poolside now, where the men are emerging for the 200m breaststroke final. Japan's Kosuke Kitajima is the defending champion here.
3.09am: No change at the top there, then. No world record either, but Kitajima defends his title in a time of 2min 7.64sec, holding off Australia's Brenton Rickard, in second, and France's Hugues Dubosq in third. Kitajima add the 200m title to his Beijing 100m gold as he successfully defends the two titles he won in Athens.
3.20am: Sensation in the women's 100m freestyle semi-finals, where China's Pang Jiaying is disqualified for starting too early. Great Britain's Fran Halsall qualifies fourth fastest for the final. Pang won her semi-final in 53.49sec but was disqualified for flinching at the start.
3.27am: Britain's Gregor Tait now lines up in lane 3 for his 200m backstroke semi-final.
3.30am: Tait finishes fourth in his semi, and qualifies sixth fastest for the final in 1.56.72.
3.33am: But where's the green and gold? Paul from Canberra reckons any suggestion that Australian swimming is in decline is rubbish: "Yes, we're happy to acknowledge GB's improved showing in the pool, just as we're happy to acknowledge the wonderful performances of the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese swimmers and divers who all sit above or equal to the GB swimming team in the medal tally." Well, wattle you think of that?
3.51am: Still, Australia's hopes in the women's 200m butterfly decline as Jessicah Shipper is caught by Liu Zige and Jiao Liuyang in a Chinese one-two in the women's 200m butterfly. Liu takes gold and breaks the world record in 2min 4.08sec.
3.51am: Is it possible to set a blistering pace in a pool? If ever it was going to happen it's now, in the men's 100m freestyle final.
3.56am: No record, but what a finish. Alain Bernard 's fingertip wins gold for France in 47.21sec, ahead of Australia's Eamon Sullivan - who still holds the world record in 47.05 - and the US's Jason Lezak. Bernard, whose shoulders must have their own postcode, then waves to the crowd who are all hooping and hollering like baseball sluggers at a Madonna concert.
Read our full report on this morning's exciting races
4.15am: Ho-hum, Michael Phelps wins another race. The American strolls through his 200m individual medley semi-final to win in 1min 57.70sec. Britain's Liam Tancock finishes fourth in 1:59.42 and awaits the second semi to see if he makes the final. Phelps' US team-mate Ryan Lochte qualifies fastest in 1:57.69, bumping Medal Man back to second.
4.21am: Tancock qualifies seventh fastest for the final, and is joined by fellow Brit James Goddard, who finishes third in his semi, and qualifies sixth fastest for the final, in 1:58.63.
4.46am: Welcome back, Australia. The Antipodean women smash the world record in the 200m freestyle relay, slicing 5.78sec off the world record to win gold in 7:44.31. It's a third Beijing gold for Stephanie Rice. Silver to China, bronze to the US, with all three teams finishing under the old world mark. The wonders of deep, deep water and a bit of techno kit.
4.49am: Meanwhile, things are looking promising gymnastics-wise for Britain's Daniel Keatings, currently third in the men's all around final.
4.50am: A few results to keep you up to date: in the fencing women's team sabre, Poland beat Canada 45-44 and Russia beat South Africa 45-13. The Netherlands beat China 1-0 to go top of Group A in the women's hockey, while Spain account for Germany 72-59 to move to top of Group B in the men's basketball.Visit our results and schedule page.
5.05am: In another corner of the Water Cube, the Croatia water polo team have morphed into a bunch of David Wilkie lookalikes. Seems the Croatians have grown the moustaches for the Olympics for good luck. "Maybe it's working but it's too early to tell," said Igor Hinic after the team's win over Italy.
5.11am: Oooh, that's got to hurt. Japan's Hiroyuki Tomita comes apart at the rings and crashes to the mat in a heap. Ice on the neck, pain on the face. But why did the judges feel the need to watch the replay over and over and over again before awarding their marks, one wonders?
5.13am: Britain's Naomi Folkard is out of the women's archery after losing 106-97 to her Japanese opponent, Nami Hayakawa.
5.23am: Mornin' all. Alan here. Russell's toddled off to scrape Olympic images from his retinas, and the cleaners have joined the team in the office. Stick with us for news on the ultra-stacked men's gymnasts; action from the beach volleyball (where, unlike elsewhere , there are never any empty seats); and British updates as and when they filter into the Guardian bunker.
5.29am: By my reckoning, we've had four golds so far today, and there are another 13 in the offing. In the pool they've been going record-crazy, but all eyes have turned to the National Indoor Stadium, where the men's individual all-round event is taking place. Team GB's Daniel Keatings is currently languishing pretty far down - but he's only completed three disciplines, while most others are on four.
5.35am: Brazil, as you might expect from a coast-heavy country, are beating the Greeks in the beach volleyball. Meanwhile, for those who might have doubts about the merits of watching blokes in, essentially, girls' smalls twirling and spinning for the judges' delight, feast your eyes on some of the above antics...
5.42am: Team GB Gah! Our 'one to watch' for today, Peter Cousins, has been dumped out in the judo. Keatings, meanwhile, is looking pretty good on the floor, as far I can tell (basically he hasn't fallen over yet).
5.46am: Team GB gymnastics Matt 'Here's one I made earlier' Baker is all over the 'nastics, and apparently Keatings has his speciality to come - the pommel, if I heard correctly. Which is a kind of horse.
5.49am: It's the USA... no, only kidding, it's China... leading, with Yang Wei apparently some way clear at the top. I know you're waiting to hear of spectacular, high-speed, mid-air balls-ups, though, so don't fear, I've got 'em peeled.
5.55am: Emails from John Senior, Mark Webster and Al Parkes, re: Brazil's coastline. Apparently Greece has much more of it. "If coastlines really were an indicator of beach volleyball prowess then Greece (13,676km) should be comfortably ahead of Brazil (7,491km)." says Mark. "Canada (202,080km) would of course be heading for gold, though I guess ambient temperature might be an additional factor." I'm not going to argue, but I was thinking Copacabana, sun-tanned Brazilians, and all that entails... rather than the British package holiday-infested Greek sands. Fair dos?
Anyway, Brazil won.
6.01am: News on the lookey-likey thread from yesterday. I'm not sure how best to illustrate this for people, but my colleague Patrick Whyte has forwarded on a suggestion from Andrew Jolly in Australia: Michael Phelps and Quark the Ferengi from Star Trek. Have they ever been seen in a room together?
6.04am: Team GB gymnastics …