- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 19, 2008


China‘s Liu Xiang, the defending gold medalist in the 110-meter hurdles, didn’t even get to run one heat Monday. Liu pulled up steps into the first round because of a right hamstring injury and immediately dropped out of the competition. Liu also is said to have a right foot injury. He is one of China’s most recognizable athletes. American medal hopeful Terrence Trammell is out of the 110 hurdles after injuring his hamstring.

• Bad luck for American Sarah Hammer in the women’s cycling points race. Hammer fell after two racers clipped wheels in front of her and caused a pileup. Hammer clutched her left shoulder when she fell to the wooden track. She was taken to a local hospital with a fractured left clavicle. The crash occurred 25 laps into the 100-lap event.

• Jamaica’s Usain Bolt easily won his quarterfinal heat in the 200 meters Monday night and is the fastest qualifier heading into the semifinals. Bolt, the world record holder and Olympic champion in the 100, is attempting to become the first man to do the 100-200 double since Carl Lewis in 1984.


Beach volleyball dominance continued for the United States. The men’s team of Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser reached the final four by beating Germany 21-13, 25-23. The Americans will face 15th-seeded Georgia next.

• Stephanie Brown Trafton won gold in discus with an opening throw of 212 feet, 5 inches that easily defeated Cuba’s Yarelys Barrios (208-9). It’s the first discus gold for the United States since Lillian Copeland at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics and the first medal of any kind since Leslie Deniz in 1984.

• The U.S. men’s water polo team defeated Germany 8-7 to clinch the top seed out of its group and moves into Thursday’s semifinal match. Jeff Powers and Adam Wright scored two goals apiece, and Merrill Moses made 14 saves. The United States will play for a medal for the first time since the 1992 Olympics.


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

The Great Laundry Experiment was a resounding success. So far.

On Saturday, Sir Scribble passed on having his laundry done by the hotel and instead went on the advice of his boys from TV Azteca who said there was a laundry/dry cleaning place across the street and up the alley.

With great trepidation and some clothes left back at his quarters just in case disaster happened, Scrib dropped off a bunch of shorts, dress shirts, T-shirts and socks. The price: 237 RMB (less than $40). Although he went ‘round and ‘round with the person behind the counter who spoke less English than the Capitals’ Alexander Semin, a receipt was procured.

On Monday morning, Scrib went across the street and got the clothes. Everything was accounted for, and the first T-shirt and dress shirt fit, so that’s good.

Meanwhile, the Official Countdown Until Scrib Gets Back to Ashburn, Va., begins tomorrow.


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


Nastia Liukin United States, gymnastics

Her score was tied for the best on the uneven bars, but a stupid rule by the IOC that prevents dual gold medalists in gymnastics meant she lost a tiebreaker to China’s He Kexin and was awarded silver.


Yoanka Gonzalez Cuba, cycling

Gonzalez won silver in a women’s points race and dedicated it to her husband, Pedro Perez, whose Olympic hopes ended when he was seriously injured in a July car crash.



It’s bad enough it is bouncing softball from the Olympic program, but a tiebreaking system to limit the number of gold medalists? This organization makes Major League Baseball look competent.


Three things from Beijing that are worth following today:


It’s time for the U.S. track team to show up. The women’s 400-meter final is contested at the Bird’s Nest. Sanya Richards is the favorite.


Workers Stadium will be rocking tonight when Argentina (led by Mesi) and Brazil (led by Ronaldinho) play a men’s soccer semifinal.


The competition ends with three event finals — the men’s high bar (Jonathan Horton) and parallel bars and the women’s balance beam (Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin).


The number of Chinese elderly is ballooning thanks to improvements in medicine and sanitation. By 2050, close to a third of China’s citizens will be over 60, three times the current proportion.


“Let me repeat: Liu Xiang will not withdraw unless the pain is unbearable.”

— Liu’s coach, Feng Shuyong, after Liu dropped out of the 110-meter hurdles

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