Sunday, August 10, 2008
Roundup: In favored discipline, China picks up first diving gold
Michael Phelps isn't the only one at the pool aiming for eight golds. The Chinese divers are, too.
And, like Phelps, they're 1-for-1 after world champions Guo Jingjing and Wu Minxia won the women's 3-meter synchronized springboard title.
A Russian duo took silver and a pair of Germans got bronze, just ahead of Americans Kelci Bryant and Ariel Rittenhouse.
The United States hasn't won a diving medal since 2000.
Britain's Nicole Cooke won the women's road cycling race, held in torrential rain on a course that started in Beijing and ended at the Great Wall. Emma Johansson of Sweden got silver and Tatiana Guderzo of Italy the bronze. Americans finished 25th, 33rd and 52nd.
One rider in the center of the main pack appeared to skid on the wet surface and brought down others around her. All the riders were able to get back on their bikes and continue, but several lost time. South Korea's Gu Sungeon fell into a ditch and was the last to remount.
"We were prepared for heat and humidity," said Amber Neben, the 33rd-place finisher, "and all of a sudden, it's just cold and wet and treacherous."
Thailand's Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon set an Olympic record -- for amount of weight lifted in the women's 117-pound class, not for the number of letters in her name, although that might be up there, too.
Her haul was 486.2 pounds. South Korea's Yoon Jinhee finished in second place and Natassia Novikava of Belarus got the bronze.
Melanie Roach set an American record with 424.6 pounds, but it was only good for sixth.
The winner came up with her long name last year, after a fortune teller suggested a name change for better luck. The 21-letter surname, which was only "J" on the scoreboard, means "prosperous."
The first name roughly translates to "good girl," said Boosaba Yodbangtoey, the president of the Thai weightlifting federation.
In men's 123-pound division, 17-year-old Long Qingquan of China picked up the gold. Despite his youth, Long was the favorite.
Nobody beats the South Korean in women's archery.
Seriously, it's never happened. The South Koreans won their sixth straight gold medal, every single one since the event's inception in 1988. China got the silver and France took bronze.
"We came to the Olympics with high hopes and expectations," Park Sung-hyun said. "I believe we were able to achieve this medal because of the people around us who helped us."
David Kostelecky of the Czech Republic hit all 25 trap shooting targets to take gold. Giovanni Pellielo of Italy won the silver and Alexey Alipov of Russia won a shoot-off for bronze. World record-holder Karsten Bindrich of Germany was seventh. Bret Erickson, the top American, finished 22nd.
China's Guo Wenjun won the women's 10-meter air pistol with an Olympic-record score. Natalia Paderina of Russia, who set an Olympic record in qualifying, won the silver.
China's Ren Jie, the world record holder in the event, failed to qualify for the final.
Reigning Olympic champion Xian Dongmei of China was golden again in the women's 114-pound division, beating An Kum Ae of North Korea.
Japan's Masato Uchishiba won his second straight Olympic gold medal, pinning France's Benjamin Darbelet just seconds into their final match in the men's 145-pound division.
Italy's Matteo Tagliariol topped France's Fabrice Jeannet for gold in a battle of representatives from two of the world's top fencing nations. Spain's Jose Luis Abajo took the bronze.
Americans went 1-1 in the ring, with Demetrius Andrade beating Georgia's Kakhaber Juania 11-9 and Javier Molina getting clobbered 14-1 by Bulgarias Boris Georgiev.
Afterward, U.S. coach Dan Campbell revealed that Molina, who at 18 is the youngest American boxer, wasn't cleared to fight until late Saturday after doctors discovered a hole in his lung had leaked air into his body.
Men's water polo
The U.S. men beat host China 8-4, giving former Olympian Terry Schroeder a victory in his Olympic coaching debut, albeit over a team that may not win a game.
Hungary's bid for a third consecutive gold medal got off to a shaky start, needing a goal with 32 seconds left to tie Montenegro 10-10.
Also, Spain beat Canada 16-6, Australia knocked off Greece 12-8, Serbia upended Germany 11-7 and world No. 1 Croatia -- with the entire team sporting mustaches -- beat Italy 11-7.
In their first Olympics appearance since 1996, the Americans dug out of a 2-0 hole and tied Argentina, the worlds No. 2-ranked team, at 2-2.
American Zach Railey, ranked only 18th in the world, hauled in first place overall in Finn class, ahead of three-time Olympic medalist Ben Ainslie of Britain.
"I definitely have to say it is an honor to be the lead," Railey said. "But we are just four races into this and it's a long regatta. We're not even halfway."
Three more Chinese crews finished first in their heats, boosting the total to five top spots in the first two days of Olympic competition and increasing the host nation's chances of winning its first rowing gold. Rain postponed the second day of competition right before the two biggest events -- the women's eight and the men's eight. They'll be held Monday afternoon.