- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Michael Phelps won the 200-meter freestyle for his third gold medal, on pace for a record eight in a single Olympics. It was his ninth career gold, tied with Mark Spitz, Carl Lewis, Soviet gymnast Larysa Latynina and Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi for most ever.


China is piling up gold medals faster than even Phelps. Through 52 events, China has 13 golds, three silvers and four bronzes, but the United States has the most total medals with 21, including seven gold. Russia finally got its first gold medals in Beijing _ both in Greco-Roman wrestling.


Americans successfully defended their titles in the women’s and men’s 100-meter backstroke: Natalie Coughlin and then Aaron Peirsol in a world-record time of 52.54.

Glenn Eller won the gold medal in double trap shooting, hitting 45 of 50 targets in the final round.

The U.S. men’s gymnastics team earned bronze _ a surprise, since few gave it any chance following key injuries.


Remember the little pigtailed girl singing the patriotic song at the opening ceremony? Turns out she was lip-synching, because the actual singer _ a 7-year-old with bangs and crooked teeth _ had a face deemed “not suitable” for the event. The chief music director, Chen Qigang, said a member of China’s Politburo asked for the change at the last minute “in the national interest.”


“I’d have bet on our country any day. We’ve got a heart of gold, and that’s what this medal is right here. It’s a team that will never give up.” _ U.S. gymnast Joey Hagerty, on winning the bronze after twins Paul and Morgan Hamm were sidelined with injuries.


The U.S. men’s basketball team dominated Angola 97-76. Next: Greece. … U.S. boxer Rau’shee Warren was upset by South Korean boxer Lee Ok-sung after the American was confused over whether he should attack late in the bout. … The U.S. softball team opened with a big win over Venezuela, and the women’s soccer team routed New Zealand to gain a spot in the quarterfinals. … Advancing in singles tennis were Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena and Venus Williams; in doubles the Williams sisters, the Bryan brothers and Lindsay Davenport and Liezel Huber. … Benjamin Boukpeti of Togo won a bronze in single kayak slalom, that country’s first-ever Summer Olympics medal.


Baseball begins what could be its last Olympics _ unless it is reinstated for the 2016 Games _ with the U.S. taking on South Korea at 6 p.m. (6 a.m. EDT).

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