- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 14, 2008


China completed the gymnastics team sweep with a convincing victory over the United States (2.375 points). The Chinese ranked first or second in each event and were 1.650 points better on the uneven bars, with each score at least 15.975. The United States, which won last year’s world championship, was first in vault and balance beam but third on floor exercise.

• Dominance across the street at National Indoor Stadium, dominance at the Water Cube (diving section). The Chinese made it 4-for-4 this week with a nearly 48-point victory in the 3-meter springboard competition. Wang Feng and Qin Kai had the highest score in each of the six rounds.

• Hungarian weightlifter Janos Baranyai dislocated his right elbow while trying to snatch 326.3 pounds. As his arm lay limp and twisted out of position, Baranyai was tended to by coaches and medical personnel. He was carried off on a stretcher and taken to the hospital for evaluation.


In softball, the United States made it two wins and two no-hitters in as many days. Cat Osterman posted only the second complete game no-hitter by an American in Olympic competition, striking out 12 in a 3-0 win over Australia. Osterman walked only three batters. Natasha Watley hit an RBI single, and Crystl Bustos cranked a two-run homer.

• Kristin Armstrong won gold in the women’s road cycling individual time trial. Her time of 34 minutes, 51.72 seconds was more than 24 seconds faster than Great Britain’s Emma Pooley. A former triathlete who attended high school in Japan, Armstrong improved from an eighth-place finish in 2004.

• A day after becoming the first American badminton team to reach the quarterfinals, Bob Malaythong (of Rockville) and Howard Bach lost to the Chinese team of Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng 21-9, 21-10. The United States led 8-7 in the second game before China rallied.


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

The Water Cube crowd Wednesday morning was in a bizarre mood as Michael Phelps made it 4-for-4 with a world record in the 200 butterfly.

The pocket of U.S. fans, which included Phelps’ family and basketball players Jason Kidd, Chris Paul and LeBron James among others, was cheering and waving their flags.

But as Phelps took control of the race, there wasn’t the kind of electricity Sir Scribble expects from this kind of an event. Only when he made his final turn and was on world record pace did the crowd begin to stir.

Scrib’s take: The common fan in attendance is saying: This is great, but we’ll applaud you when the eighth gold medal is secured.


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


Natalie Coughlin

United States, swimming

Not many swimmers pick up a new event entering a third Olympics, but that’s what Coughlin did with the 200 IM … and she won a bronze for her efforts.


Eric Shanteau

United States, swimming

The 200-meter breaststroker who has testicular cancer swam a personal best in Wednesday’s semifinals, but it wasn’t enough to qualify for the final.



Women’s gymnastics

If a couple of China’s gold medal-winning performers are 16 or turn 16 this year, then there’s no smog in Beijing. They look like they’re 12 or 13.


Three things from Beijing that are worth following Thursday


It’s another early wake-up call for the ladies. On Saturday, Americans Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin were 1-2 in overall score. Their only competition comes from the Chinese.


The Bird’s Nest opens for business and the track and field folks. Heats for the men’s 100 and 1,500 and women’s 800 are Thursday night EDT.


The United States plays Cuba on Thursday night EDT. The only Good Guys vs. Commies game left after the Olympics will be Bud’s World Baseball Classic.


China produces 72 percent of the shoes bought in the United States and 80 percent of the toys.


“No one else made mistakes, so it’s kind of my fault.”

— Gymnast Alicia Sacramone after falls on the balance beam and floor exercise during team finals

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