God save our gracious Queen
Long live our noble Queen
God save the Queen
Na na na na
Send her victorious
Happy and glorious
Long to reign over us
God save the Queen
- traditional song performed eight times at the London Olympics so far. The unofficial but equally traditional fourth line transcribed by me.
Only the first verse is performed at Great Britain gold medal ceremonies, thank goodness. The Telegraph helpfully published all five verses during the Diamond Jubilee. Memo America - the words "My Country Tis Of Thee" appear nowhere.
GSTQ made its seventh and eighth outings at Eton Dorney and the Velodrome respectively on Friday. Anna Watkins and Kathryn Grainger held out Australia's Kim Crow and Brooke Pratley to win the women's double sculls, while Victoria Pendleton (official website here) is champion of the women's keirin. Australia's Anna Meares finished fifth, and there's a great report on the race by Sam Lane for The Age.
But are Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and successors, being excessively biased towards the home team when she is reigning monarch over sixteen nations? Here's a medal count as a stumps Friday night for Her Majesty's Dominions:
Great Britain 8 gold 6 silver 8 bronze; New Zealand 3-0-3; Australia 1-9-4; and Canada 0-2-5. Yet to open their account: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and The Grenadines, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu. Jamaica's moment is coming.
And there's no more reassuring moment for me at any Olympic Games than the first sight on television of the athletics competition on the first Friday morning. The highlight of Friday evening, the women's 10000 metres, won by Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba. This preview of the race from Capital FM in Nairobi highlights Dibaba's rivalry with Vivian Cheruiyot, but in the end the Kenyan finished third with Sally Kipyego also giving Kenya a silver. Here's BBC's report of the race.
On a day when Dong Dong won the men's trampoline gold medal for China, the judo competition reached its business end. The men's 100 kilogram plus gold medallist is France's Teddy Riner, who defeated Russia's Alexander Mikhaylin in the final. As L'Equipe says (in French): C'était Teddyland....
Honourable mention in the 100kg+ judo, however, goes to Guam's Ricardo Blas Jr, who carried his 218 kilograms as far as the round of 16. Ricardo Blas Sr was a judoka for Guam at Seoul 1988. I have no information on his size.
Finally, to take us out, here's Neil Young and Crazy Horse with "God Save The Queen":