Thursday, August 21, 2008

2008 Beijing: Results Day 13

I think U.S. track star Lauryn Williams is right, somebody must have put a voodoo on the U.S. track team. I cannot remember an Olympic games where both the men's and women's 4x100m relay teams dropped the baton, and therefore neither one advanced to the finals. Tyson Gay will not only leave this Games with no medals; he will also leave without running in a finals.

The women's softball and water polo teams came up just short of gold, both finishing in silver medal position.

Women's Softball
1. Japan
2. U.S.A.
3. Australia

Women's Water Polo
1. Netherlands
2. U.S.A.
3. Australia

The women's soccer team; however, won their second consecutive Olympic gold medal.

Women's Soccer
1. U.S.A.
2. Brazil
3. Germany

Well they were dubbed the "double guarantee" by the Chinese, and they were right; Chen Ruolin and Wang Xin did not disappoint winning gold and bronze. The duo, Ruolin is sixteen and Xin is 15, will surely be a part of China's diving future for a long time to come. Emilie Heymans from Canada, and in her third Olympics captured the silver; she almost upset the Chinese, but Ruolin was diving like a seasoned pro. Laura Wilkinson dived for the last time, the 2000 Olympic champion is retiring to start a family.

Women's 10m Platform Final
1. Chen Ruolin China 447.70
2. Emilie Heymans Canada 435.05
3. Wang Xin China 429.90

Allyson Felix, the 2004 silver medalist in the 200m once again repeated as silver medalist in this games. U.S. Champion, Felix came up just short to Veronica Campbell Brown of Jamaica and was disappointed to finish where she did four years ago. As a result of Campbell Brown's win, this marks the first time in 20 years that one country has swept the men's and women's 100m and 200m races; the United States accomplished this feat in 1988. The other two Americans, Muna Lee and Marshevet Hooker finished in fourth and fifth place respectively.

Women's 200m Final
1. Veronica Campbell Brown Jamaica 21.74
2. Allyson Felix U.S.A. 21.93
3. Kerron Stewart Jamaica 22.00

Jeremy Wariner was unable to defend his 400m title losing to his biggest rival and U.S.A. teammate La Shawn Merritt. Many track & field experts did not believe this was going to be a blowout, but it was with Merritt finishing almost a full second ahead of Wariner who seemed to be in shock following the race. Some speculate his loss having to do with a change in his training regime as a result of a coaching change. But perhaps the real story here lies with the third place finisher, 24 year old David Neville who dove across the finish line to secure a third place finish and a bronze medal. Neville said, "for me, it wasn't so much about the medal; it was about the sacrifice.... the dive was sacrifice."............."I'm coming down the homestretch and I don't know where I am. But I know I have what it takes in my heart to finish well. And no matter what obstacles are ahead of you, are to the side of you, if you keep your eye on the prize, your eye on the goal, you'll get what you need. Sometimes you have to make a last-ditch effort. And that's why I have this medal around my neck right now."

Men's 400m Final
1. La Shawn Merritt U.S.A. 43.75
2. Jeremy Wariner U.S.A. 44.74
3. David Neville U.S.A. 44.80

Liu Xiang of China was supposed to win the gold in the 110m hurdles, but an injury changed everything, and so it was Dayron Robles' day. Robles, the 21 year old up and comer from Cuba actually broke Liu's nearly two year old record at a competition in June of this year. Two Americans won the silver and bronze, silver medalist David Payne has been plagued by injuries all of 2008 so his win is quite remarkable. Payne had appendicitis in February, one month after he bruised his heel, and one month and a half following that he found out that he has a stress fracture. Bronze medalist David Oliver may not have just been winning this medal for himself, but also for his mom Brenda. Brenda Chambers qualified for the 1980 Olympic Team in Moscow and was going to run the 400m hurdles, but the U.S. boycotted those games, so she never ran, and never won a medal. This is the first Olympics for all three medalists.

Men's 110m Hurdles Finals
1. Dayron Robles Cuba 12.93
2. David Payne U.S.A. 13.17
3. David Oliver U.S.A. 13.18

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