- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 17, 2008


Michael Phelps and three teammates won the 400-meter medley relay for Phelps’ eighth gold medal, eclipsing Mark Spitz’s seven-gold performance at the 1972 Munich Games. Of his five individual races and three relays, Phelps set world records in seven and an Olympic record in the eighth.


Through 153 events, China has 55 medals overall, with 31 golds. The United States has 19 golds and 63 total. Tunisia got its first Olympic gold medal in swimming when Oussama Mellouli won the 1,500-meter freestyle.


Venus and Serena Williams improved their lifetime Olympics doubles record to 10-0 by defeating Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain in straight sets to win the doubles gold. Rafael Nadal defeated Fernando Gonzalez of Chile to win the men’s tennis gold medal. Elena Dementieva defeated fellow Russian Dinara Safina to win the gold medal in women’s singles.


Beijing’s weather was a factor all right for women’s marathon gold medalist Constantina Tomescu-Dita of Romania _ just not what everybody thought. Instead of muggy, with choking pollution, it was 73 degrees. “The weather helped me a lot,” said Tomescu-Dita, who finished in 2 hours, 26 minutes, 44 seconds.


Two sailing golds for Britain: Ben Ainslie won the Finn class, and the three-woman Yngling team of Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson won in strong wind and heavy rain.


Reigning women’s 400-meter hurdles champion Fani Halkia will not defend her Olympic title after becoming the latest Greek athlete to fail a doping test. The IOC confirmed Halkia tested positive for a steroid at a training camp in Japan before coming to Beijing. She is the fourth athlete to test positive during the IOC’s Beijing anti-doping program.


China’s Zou Kai, a gold medalist in the men’s team gymnastics event, won the floor exercise, China’s third win in as many attempts. … American Matt Emmons lost a gold medal for the second straight Olympics with a stunning mistake on his final shot in the 50-meter 3-position rifle. As he was lowering his gun to focus on the target, his finger hit the trigger and it went off. China’s Qiu Jian took the gold.


“I was thinking not to blow the lead. I was really nervous.” _ Jason Lezak, swimming the anchor leg of the 400-meter medley relay, Michael Phelps’ eighth gold medal in Beijing.


Americans Angelo Taylor, Bershawn Jackson and Kerron Clement had the three top times in the men’s 400 hurdles ahead of Monday’s final at 10 p.m. (10 a.m. EDT).

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