Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Happy Hamsa

And there's a winner.

Not a medalist. Still, this is a winner. You want to see sheer, complete, Olympic joy? Then you have a winner with Princeton's Mohamed Hamsa:

That's Hamsa, a rising Princeton junior who is competing at the Olympic Games for the second time. Hamsa won two individual foil matches to reach the quarterfinals, and the photo came after he won his Round of 16 match over Andrea Cassara of Italy. 

That is a tremendous, tremendous picture. 

Hamsa might not have won a medal in the individual foil, but he certainly had an impressive run.

What else can TB tell you today about the Summer Games? Well, there's this. You know who would be very helpful to have around during the Olympics?

Former Princeton men's lacrosse player Sam Bonafede. And why is that, other than he's one of the nicer people ever to wear a Tiger uniform?

Well, the answer is that Bonafede can identify the flag of every country on Earth. And so when the Olympic results are listed with the competitors name and the flag of the country, Bonafede could simply tell you which one it is without having to look it up.

For instance, he'd be able to tell you the flag with the solid red stripe over the solid white stripe over the solid blue stripe is the Netherlands. He could tell you the flag with the solid red over solid white over solid red is Austria.

And that would have been very helpful to know when it came to the women's cycling road race.

Did you see this story, the one about the women's cyclist who thought she won the gold medal and started to celebrate?

It turns out that she was actually second, not first. She said she felt "gutted" to find out she hadn't won. TigerBlog will get back to that.

The rider's name is Annemiek van Vleuten, from the Netherlands. TB had to look up the flag, because Bonafede – who by the way is a recent honors graduate of the University of Chicago law school – wasn't around to simply point to it and say "the Netherlands."

The winner was Anna Kiesenhofer, from Austria (again, same flag issue). She was one of five riders who broke away early and then never stopped breaking away, so much so that nobody in the field even noticed that she wasn't around anymore. 

The race was 87 miles long, and Kiesenhofer won by 75 seconds. That left van Vleuten in second, as opposed to first, even though she thought she'd caught all of the riders who had left the pack.

The person you really feel for is Lotte Kopecky of Belgium, who finished fourth, as opposed to third, if she thought van Vleuten had won. If that wasn't bad enough, Kopecky finished that 87 mile race a mere a mere tenth of a second behind bronze medalist Elisa Longo Borghini. 

Kiesenhofer, by the way, can relate to numbers big and small, as she has a doctoral degree in mathematics (after earning her master's at Cambridge). Her dissertation was entitled: Integrable systems on b-symplectic manifolds. TB has no idea what that means.

It wasn't as busy a day at the Olympics for the Princeton contingent there as it has been so far. 

Ashleigh Johnson and the women's water polo team from the U.S. made it two straight wins with a 12-7 victory over China. That game was played when it was still Monday in Princeton. 

There was also the women's epee fencing team event and a U.S. team that includes Princeton grads Kat Holmes and Anna van Brummen. As you recall, van Brummen defeated Holmes in the NCAA epee final in 2017 after both had been teammates on the 2013 NCAA team championship team.

The Americans fell to the Republic of Korea in the quarterfinal round. 

Today is a very busy day for Princeton's Olympic rowers, with six of them on the water. Fred Vystavel, Class of 2016, rows in the A semifinal for Denmark's pairs. 

And then there is Gevvie Stone, a 2016 silver medalist in single sculls who goes for a medal in the double sculls final. Stone's race is at 8:18 pm Eastern time tonight, so Wednesday morning in Tokyo.

And once again, you can follow all of Princeton's Olympians HERE.

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