Angelo Taylor became the first 400-meter hurdler since Edwin Moses to win gold medals eight years apart. He led the first sweep of the event since the U.S. did it in 1960 and lifted sagging American track and field fortunes after a disappointing start to their Beijing Olympics.
China‘s biggest star of the Beijing Games, Liu Xiang, pulled out of the Olympics before clearing his first hurdle, grimacing and clutching his right leg in pain in front of a stunned crowd at the Bird’s Nest. The 25-year-old Athens Games champion has been battling hamstring and foot problems.
AMERICAN ‘NEST’ EGG
After mostly disappointing finishes for Americans in track and field, Stephanie Brown Trafton won the women’s discus, the first gold medal of the Beijing Games for the U.S. Said Brown Trafton: “I came to the Bird’s Nest to lay a golden egg. … I hope this sets a trend.”
China edged closer to the United States for medal mastery at the Beijing Games. Through 185 events, China has 39 golds and 67 medals overall; the U.S. has 22 golds, 72 in all.
CUE ‘CHARIOTS OF FIRE’
Ed Clancy, Paul Manning, Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins won the Olympic men’s team pursuit in cycling, giving Britain its 12th gold medal of the Beijing Games. That’s the most gold medals for Britain in a single Olympics since winning 14 at the Antwerp Games in 1920.
The U.S. men’s basketball team put away Dirk Nowitzki and Germany, 106-57, completing an undefeated march through pool play. … Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia broke her own world record in winning a second consecutive Olympic pole vault gold medal. Already assured victory over rival Jenn Stuczynski of the United States, Isinbayeva set the mark of 16 feet, 6 3/4 inches on her third and final attempt. … He Kexin of China, at the center of a controversy over whether she’s too young to be eligible for the Olympics, won a tiebreaker over all-around champion Nastia Liukin of the United States for the uneven bars gold medal. … Chen Yibing won the still rings competition, making China 5-for-5 in men’s gymnastics events at the Beijing Olympics. … The U.S. softball team, with a nine-run first inning, beat China 9-0 to move within two wins of a fourth consecutive gold medal. … Bantamweight Bruno Julie of Mauritius beat Venezuela’s Hector Manzanilla in the boxing tournament quarterfinals to clinch the first medal in the Olympic history of his tiny island nation. …
“He couldn’t imagine the pain he was suffering. Let me repeat: Liu Xiang will not withdraw unless the pain is unbearable.” _ Chinese track and field coach Feng Shuyong.
TUESDAY’S SCHEDULE HIGHLIGHTS
American gymnast Shawn Johnson seeks the gold medal in the women’s beam, 6:43 p.m. (6:43 a.m. EDT).
LoLo Jones tries for a gold medal in the women’s 100-meter hurdles, 10:50 p.m. (10:50 a.m. EDT).