- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 12, 2008


From a non-U.S. view, the Water Cube highlight of the day was China making it 2-for-2 in diving. The Chinese could join Michael Phelps in winning eight golds in the water. Lin Yue and Huo Liang won the men’s 10-meter synchronized title. Americans David Boudia and Thomas Finchum were third after the fourth round but fell to fifth after their final two dives.

• In the night session of swimming, Italy’s Federica Pellegrini set a world record in the women’s 200 freestyle preliminary race. She won her heat in 1 minute, 55.45 seconds, breaking the old mark of 1:55.52 set by Laure Manaudou of France. Manaudou did not attempt to qualify for this event.

• The top two seeds in men’s tennis — Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal — started their collision course toward a gold medal match Sunday by winning their first-round matches. Federer won in straight sets, but Nadal needed a third set to defeat Italy’s Potito Starace.


• How fast was the men’s 4x100 free relay team at the Water Cube? The quartet smashed the world record, set 15 hours earlier by the U.S. B team, by nearly four seconds. The team of Michael Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones and Jason Lezak won the gold as Lezak erased a 0.59-second deficit over the final 50 meters.

• In women’s trap shooting, Corey Cogdell of Eagle River, Alaska, won a four-way shootout to win the bronze medal. Cogdell hit her last five targets of the final to make the tiebreaker. The 21-year-old was then the only shooter to hit the target in the shootout.

• Serena Williams, a gold medalist in doubles eight years ago, won her Olympic singles debut. She lost only four games in two sets.


Visit Ryan O’Halloran’s Blog of the Rings throughout the Olympics at washingtontimes.com/weblogs/blogs-rings.

The official network in China is CCTV. It shows plenty of Olympic action on a couple of channels, but there are three big problems with the coverage, two of which can be solved rather easily.

First, it’s in Chinese. Just thought I’d mention that.

Second, if there’s a score box, it depends on the sport. Make the same graphic for every sport.

Third is the most egregious one: the medal table. Let’s say China has eight medals, the United States has 10 medals and Korea has two medals. The standings would be: 1. China 8, 2. Korea 2, 3. United States 10.

What’s next: They bungle the national anthem during a medal ceremony? Yeah right, they’ve already done that.


Winners aren’t the only ones who deserve medals in Beijing. Who merited what from the Olympics.


Cullen Jones,

United States, swimming

Jones, of Irvington, N.J., became only the third black U.S. swimmer to win a medal (second gold) when he was a part of the winning 4x100 free relay team.


Libby Trickett

Australia, swimming

We always like to see victories from competitors who aspire to be journalists. Trickett won gold in the women’s 100 butterfly, narrowly missing a world record.


U.S. diving

The drought continues. It’s 0-for-2 so far during these games, brutal when combined with the 0-for in Athens. Troy Dumais (springboard) is the Americans’ best hope of the six remaining events.


Three things from Beijing that are worth following Tuesday


The team finals are Tuesday night EDT. The United States has two all-around performers in Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin. If both hit all of their routines and the young Chinese team stumbles, it could mean gold for the Americans.


The Americans won the team title at last year’s world championships. The competition starts with the tournaments at 55 and 60 kilograms.


The U.S. team needs to beat New Zealand today to advance out of pool play and keep its repeat hopes afloat. The American offense has scored only one goal in two matches (1-1).


Boxing captain Zou Shiming, 26, is a favorite in the flyweight division. He grew up in mountainous Zunyi, Guizhou, one of the country’s poorest provinces. The town has 7 million people • and no airport.


“We don’t want any luck; we just want to win the close ones.”

— U.S. men’s swimming coach Eddie Reese on the team’s 4x100 relay victory

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