The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 1 August 2012


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Eventing team secure silver but Phillips left in tears

Great Britain's eventing team won the silver medal at Greenwich Park yesterday, but a tearful Zara Phillips was left apologetic after her final round.

"I messed up," she said. "[The horse] must have been thinking: I wish your mum was riding."

Had Phillips managed a clear round – as she would do later in the individual competition – GB would have been celebrating a gold medal. Britain has not won an eventing gold for 40 years but the country does possess a proud record in the sport. Yesterday's silver was their fifth runners-up finish in the team event in that time, and an improvement on the bronze medal secured in Beijing in 2008.

Mary King, on Imperial Cavalier, and Tina Cook, on Miners Frolic, fell out of contention for individual gold, finishing fifth and sixth respectively. "We were hoping to overtake the Germans," King said. "But they put in a great performance and deserve it." MORE

Phelps wins record 19th Games medal

Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian of all-time last night, winning the 4x200m freestyle gold with the US for his 19th medal. The American had earlier suffered disappointment in the 200m butterfly final, losing out to South African Chad le Clos. MORE

GB women beat Brazil to top group

Steph Houghton's third goal in three matches helped Great Britain's women's football team defeat much-fancied Brazil 1-0 at Wembley to complete a 100 per cent group record. Hope Powell's side will now face Canada in Friday's quarter-final, in Coventry. MORE

Florence crashes out in semi-finals

British canoeist David Florence suffered disappointment in the men's C1 singles, exiting at the semi-final stage after hitting a gate and picking up two penalty points. The world No 1 has a further chance to win a medal when he goes in the doubles. MORE

Joshua fancied to win opening bout

British super-heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua is fancied to continue his fine year when he makes his Games debut against Cuba's Erislandy Savon tonight. "It's been a great time," he said. "Now it's down to me to make it happen." MORE

Pearce desperate to prolong GB era

GB men's football manager Stuart Pearce hopes an exit for his side would not signal the end of a unified team. "I don't believe it will happen again," he said. "[The players] would love the opportunity to do this every four years." MORE

Flower confident of improvement

Andy Flower remains confident England can recover from their first Test thrashing when they face South Africa again. "We fought hard but weren't good enough," he said. "I have confidence that we can come back and play good cricket." MORE

Appleton upbeat at struggling Pompey

Portsmouth manager Michael Appleton is remaining upbeat, despite the League One club facing the possibility of liquidation next week. "I still wake up every morning and – people might think I'm daft – can't wait to get in to work." MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

For Ye Shiwen, left, there are two most obvious questions. One has been asked solidly for two days now: is she real? The other concerns quite how tight her grip can become.