Friday, August 3, 2012

Quadrennial Hot-Weather Events Descriptions III

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Here we go with Part 3 of explaining the various events that go down at Hot-Weather Events currently taking place in the UK capital. You can find Archery through Diving here, Equestrian through Shooting here, and the remaining events below. Also, remember that there are a ton of words that the average person can't use because of copyrights and trademarks, but I think you can make sense of it all below. 

Swimming is a huge area, with 34 events! 17 are for Men and 17 are for Women. Each country can send two athletes in each regular event and one team in each relay event.
For events that are 50M, 100M, and 200M, there are a bunch of heats and the top 16 swimmers do the semifinals with the top 8 going for the final. For the 400M, 800M, and 1500M events, you go straight from the heats to the finals.
There's Freestyle, which is the typical swimming stroke with which most people are familiar, and that comes in 50M, 100M, 200M, 400M, 800M, and 1500M.
There's Backstroke, which you've probably seen before, too. It comes in 100M and 200M.
There's Breaststroke, which is the one that has your head out of the water a lot, and is usually the slowest type of stroke. It comes in 100M and 200M.
There's the Butterfly, which is the one where you use the dolphin kick, and is generally considered to be the most difficult stroke. It comes in 100M and 200M.
Then there's the Individual Medley, which comes in 200M and 400M, where you switch from Butterfly to Backstroke to Breaststroke to Freestyle, with each stroke getting an equal amount of distance.
Then we have the Relay events, in 4x100 Freestyle, 4x200 Freestyle, and 4x100 Medley. The first number is the number of team members, the second is how many meters each swims, and it only comes in all-freestyle or medley.
Last, there's the 10K, known as the Marathon, where there are no heats or semis, and all male or female contenders swim together, approximately 25 in each.

Synchronized Swimming is for women only and comes in Duet (two people) and Team (eight people). If a country has competitors in both events (eight countries do), you can send nine athletes. If a country only has a Duet, and you can only send two people. The actual events are heavily choreographed to music (thankfully, they have underwater speakers), and you are scored on your difficulty, synchronization, artistic impression, music interpretation, and execution. Teams do a technical routine and a free routine, and their scores are added for their final marks. Duets have preliminaries, where they do a technical routine and a free routine, and the twelve best duets move to the final, where they do another free routine. The three scores are added together to determine final rankings.

Table Tennis has four events - Men's and Women's Singles and Teams. Each country can send three men and three women, but you can only have two contenders in each Singles event. Singles matches consist of a best-of-seven games, with each game ending when someone hits 11 points, but you have to win by a margin of two. Team matches are four singles matches and one doubles match, each played best-of-five. But you don't even have to do all five of those - if one team wins three, they win. Both are played single-elimination, with the semifinals winners vying for first and second while the semifinals losers play one another for third.

Taekwondo has four Men's and four Women's events, divided by weight class. You can only send two total men and two total women per country, and they have to be in different weight classes. Each competition is three two-minute rounds, and players wear colored padding over their uniforms. If you kick the trunk protector, you get one point (a turning-kick gets you two points). If you kick the head, you get three points (a turning-kick gets you four points). It's a single-elimination tournament to get first and second place. Any team who lost to either of those people gets to go through another round against one another, and the two winners of that repechage go against the semifinals losers, and two people are awarded third place.

Tennis has five events - Women's Singles, Women's Doubles, Men's Singles, Men's Doubles, and Mixed Doubles. Each country can send six men and six women, but only four men and four women can go for Singles, and two teams per type of Doubles. All matches are best-of-three sets, except Men's Singles, which are best-of-five. The scoring for tennis is a bit wacky, if you're not familiar with the sport. The points are counted 15, 30, 40, and then the next point wins... unless it gets to 40-40, then you have to win by two. All events are single-elimination, with the semifinal winners playing for first and the semifinal losers play for third.

Triathlon has a Men's and a Women's event, and each country can send three athletes to compete in each. It's a 1500M swim, then a 43K bike (laps, not road), then a 10K run (laps, not course). There are no breaks and the first person to cross the finish line wins.

Volleyball has a Men's and a Women's event. It is different from Beach Volleyball because it's played indoors and there are six players on a team instead of two. Plus, each country can only send one men's and one women's team. Twelve teams compete in each event, and they're divided into pools of six. After playing everyone in your pool, the top four from each pool moves on to play single-elimination through to the end. All matches are best-of-five sets, and while the first four sets go to 25 points, the fifth only goes to 15.

Water Polo has one Men's event and one Women's event, and each country can enter one team. Twelve teams compete for Men and eight for Women, and there are 13 people on a team, though only seven are in the water (2M deep) at a time. You can substitute out as often as you wish. A match has four periods of eight minutes, but the bigger point is that your team only has thirty seconds to score before the ball is given to the other team. You can't touch the sides or bottom of the pool, and you want to get as many points as possible. Competition begins with teams being divided into two groups, and you play everyone in your group. Two points are awarded for a win and one for a draw. Things progress directly into quarterfinal or semifinal rounds, and it's single-elimination onward to the end, with the semifinal losers going for third place.

Weightlifting has fifteen events - eight Men's events and seven Women's events, based on weight class. A country can send six men and four women total, with a maximum of two in any one event (weight is double-checked two hours prior to the event). Each event has two parts: Snatch is lifting the bar from the floor over your head in one movement; Clean and Jerk is lifting the bar to your shoulders first and then over your head. Each competitor is allowed three tries at each part, and their best lift in each is combined for their total score. If an athlete can't make the snatch in three attempts, they're eliminated. In a tie, the lighter athlete wins. If bodyweights are tied, it's whoever lifted first. The bar starts off light and is loaded as the stronger competitors attempt.

Wrestling has two disciplines, Freestyle (entire body) and Greco-Roman (upper bodies and arms only). Men have seven weight classes for Greco-Roman and seven for Freestyle, and Women have four weight classes for Freestyle. Each country can send one athlete per event. A bout lasts three periods of two minutes, with thirty-second breaks  between periods. You earn points for various holds and throws, and you want the most. A period can end if someone does a specific five-point move, does two three-point holds, has a six-point lead, or pins the opponent. It's best two-out-of-three, and in Freestyle wrestling, if the third period isn't decided when time is up, it can be extended until someone gets a point. There are some moves that are illegal in the Women's event but allowed for Men. It's single-elimination, but anyone who loses to a finalist, including the losing semifinalists, re-competes against one another for third. 
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