9-10 Classification (Women) Japan 2-1 South Africa
7-8 Classification (Women) S Korea 1-5 Germany
Basketball Arena - Handball
1/4 Final (Men) Croatia 25-23 Tunisia
With the football season just about to begin I am just starting to think about my groundhopping for the coming season but before all that starts there was another small sporting event taking place in London that warranted some interest, the London 2012 Olympic Games.
As we had an early session at the Riverbank Arena the other end of the Park we made our way straight there to take our seats for the first of two matches that were included in the session, Japan vs S Africa in the 9-10 classification match for the Womens competition.
The Riverbank Arena is a temporary Arena and is made up of 4 scaffolding stands holding around 20,000 spectators and as such looked very basic. There is no covered seating apart from the very centre of the West Stand which is reserved for VIPs, so we were hoping that the dark clouds that were looming would not produce any rain.
The match was a very close game which was eventually won with a penalty stroke (not a Penalty Corner) by Japan in Golden goal extra time. The match finishing 2-1.
|Japan score there first goal with a Penalty Corner (Not Penalty Stroke)|
|Olympic Stadium and Orbit as seen from the river|
that runs through the Park
The Basketball Arena is also a temporary Arena which I believe is to be reused at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 and possibly again at the next Olympics in Rio. The Arena was used originally for the Basketball Group matches, the games were then moved to the O2 (sorry North Greenwich Arena) once they reached the Knockout phase of the competition. The Handball was moved to the Arena for their Knockout Phase. The court was transformed from Basketball to Handball in under 24 hours.
Although it just looks like a big tent from the outside the Arena looks rather impressive on the inside.
I had never watched a Handball match before and had no idea what to expect. The sport is very minor in this country but in the rest of Europe it has a massive following and the supporters of both Croatia and Tunisia were very vocal and created a fantastic atmosphere within Stadium.
This sport may just be one of my new favourites. A cross between Football, Basketball and Rugby this is a full contact sport and both teams, especially Tunisia didn't hold back, with one of their players even being suspended from the rest of the game just before half time after kicking an opponent at least 3 foot in the air. The game was fast and action packed.
Croatia came in as favourites but found themselves behind at half time but in the end there ability shone through and they managed to make it through to the semi final winning by 25 (goals,points,runs I have know idea) to 23.
I have no photos of match action as flash photography during play is forbidden but trust me if you ever get a chance to go to a game do it you wont be disappointed.
Finally a massive thanks should go to all the Volunteers and Military personnel who have worked on the Olympic Park during the games they would not have happened without them.
I had a great time at the Olympic Park and can't wait to go back for the Paralympics where I will be blogging on the Opening Ceremony,Athletics and Swimming as well as Goalball.
After that I will be back to the usual football grounds for the 2012/13 season.