The Chinese ruled Day 1 of the London Games, but Day 2 went to France. With golds in the Women's 400m freestyle and a stunning winning in the Men's 400m freestyle relay, France ended the second day of competition with the fifth spot in the national medal counts. Rebecca Adlington dazzled the home crowd as she helped bring Great Britain overall count to two with a bronze medal in the 400m freestyle.
Below is a summary report of the progress made in Day 2's weightlifting and swimming individual events.
Weightlifting, Women's 53kg. China didn't continue its dominance in weightlifting today, after a surprising last place finish of Zhou Jun in the Women's 53kg event. The gold went to Kazakhstan's Zulfiya Chinshanlo with an Olympic record finish of 226kg. This is the best result since the debut gold performance of China's Xia Yang at the 2000 Sydney Games, outdoing that year's best combined lift by just 0.4%.
Weightlifting, Men's 56kg. Om Yun-Chol will take home gold for North Korea. But no man in the flyweight category has yet outdone Halil Mutlu's performance at the 2000 Games which improved on the standing Olympic record at that time by 6%. Still, this seems like a modest gain compared to the 13% jump forward achieved by Sevdalin Marinov at the 1988 Games.
Swimming, Men's 100m breaststroke. Despite a backward slip in 1980, the Men's breaststroke has been steadily improving with each Olympiad. Cameron van der Burgh of Russia continued the pattern with a 0.7% improvement on the standing Olympic record - a time of 58.46 seconds that also became the new world record.
Swimming, Women's 400m freestyle. When this event first appeared on the Olympic Programme in 1920, at the Games of Antwerp, it was only a distance of 300m. Presumably, Olympic officials at the time doubted whether women could handle the additional 100 meters that the men had to race. This summer, France's Camille Muffat not only proved that women can go the distance at a lightning pace, but, with her record-setting 4:01.4 time, she showed that her generation of swimmers could be capable of pushing their sport forward even farther.
As exciting as Muffat's accomplishment was, all eyes were on Rebecca Adlington. The host country's hope for gold didn't get the top spot on the podium, but she did capture a bronze.
Swimming, Women's 100m butterfly. 1964 was a spectacular Olympic year for the Women's 100m fly. The US' Sharon Stouder's 01:04.7 was a near 7% improvement on the standing Olympic record at that time. Dana Vollmer gave her countrywoman reason to be proud this year. Her time of 55.98 seconds was the first Olympic performance to surpass the 56.61-second time set by Inge de Bruijn at the 2000 Games.