Sunday, August 10, 2008

2008 Beijing: Results Day 2

Guo Jingjing and Wu Mingxia have defended their Gold medal from the Athens '04 Games in the Women's 3m Synchronized Springboard. I began researching these two ladies out of curiosity, and I learned a lot about them. Gou began her career earning two silvers in Sydney; she hasn't looked back since remaining undefeated in major competition. Guo (and her diving partner Wu) will also compete in the individual 3m springboard, and Guo looks to defend her gold. She has announced that following these Olympics she will retire. Tabloids in China have linked her to fellow diver and gold medalist Tian Liang as well as Kenneth Fok, grandson of a Hong Kong bunsiness tycoon.

Wu Mingxia began diving at the age of seven. She was paired with Guo Jingjing in 2001 after Guo's previous partner Fu Mingxia retired. Wu admits initially being intimidated, but she says now she and Guo are friends and they are encouraging to one another. Her parents watch her compete on TV because travel is too expensive for them. Wu attends People's University in host city Beijing.

Women's 3m Sychronized Springboard
1. Guo Jingjing and Wu Mingxia China 343.50
2. Julia Pakhalina and Anastasia Pozdyakova Russia 323.61
3. Ditte Kotzian and Heike Fisher Germany 318.90

In Men's Basketball the U.S.A. "redeem team" beat China 101-70!

23 year old Libby Trickett beat out 22 year old Christine Magnuson in the women's 100m fly.

Women's 100m Butterfly
1. Libby Trickett Australia 56.73
2. Christina Magnuson U.S.A. 57.10
3. Jessicah Schipper Australia 57.25

Brendan Hansen had a dream that he would win gold in lane 2 in the 100m breast. Irony of all ironies is that he was swimming in the 100m breast finals in lane 2; all Hansen would have to do is swim well and win. Hansen got off to a bad start (finishing fourth), and instead his worst nightmare came true, Kosuke Kitajima, Hansen's rival from Japan not only won gold but shattered Hansen's old world record. It may have been the last time that we will see Brendan Hansen in an individual event in an Olympic Games. However, in an interview following his swim, Hansen said that he does not want to end his career that day, so he may be back.

Men's 100m Breast
1. Kosuke Kitajima Japan 58.91 World Record
2. Alexander Dale Oen Norway 59.20
3. Hugues Duboscq France 59.37

* Also of note is that Alexander Dale Oen won the first swimming medal ever for Norway! Congratulations Alexander!

At only 18 years old, Rebecca Adlington has won the first Gold medal for Great Britain in women's swimming since 1960. Katie Hoff led for most of the race but Adlington pulled ahead in the final seconds beating Hoff; Adlington's teammate took Bronze. Federica Pellegrini of Italy who was the favorite in this race finished fifth; sentimental favorite Laure Manaudou of France finished eighth.

Women's 400m Freestyle
1. Rebecca Adlington Great Britain 4:03:22
2. Katie Hoff U.S.A. 4:03:29
3. Joanne Jackson Great Britain 4:03:52

Alain Bernard: member of France's men's 4x100m free relay team --- "The American's, we're gonna smash them, that's what we came here to do."

Miss V.: major team U.S.A. fan: "Who's talking now?"

Not only did the U.S. team break the world record, they smashed it by four seconds; many swimming experts have already declared this the best relay in history. Jason Lezak had the best split in Olympic relay history, and in the final half lap Lezak closed in on Alain Bernard and just out-touched him at the wall!

1. U.S.A. Michael Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones, Jason Lezak 3:08:24 World Record
2. France Amaury Leveaux, Fabien Gilot, Frederick Bousquet, Alain Bernard 3:08:32
3. Australia Eamon Sullivan, Andrew Lauterstein, Ashley Callus, Matt Targett 3:09:91

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