- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 23, 2008

DAY 14 RECAP

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt made it 3-for-3 at these Olympics — three events, three gold medals, three world records — by anchoring his country’s 4x100 relay team. The winning time of 37.10 seconds smashed the 15-year-old record of 37.40 set by the United States

Lyudmila Blonska of Ukraine was stripped of her heptathlon silver medal because of doping. She also was dropped from Friday’s long jump final. American Hyleas Fountain will inherit the silver medal and Russia’s Tatiana Chernova the bronze. This is Blonska’s second doping offense, and she faces a lifetime ban. She is the fifth athlete to test positive in the Olympics.

The U.S. gained its 100th medal of the games … through a defeat. Heavyweight boxer Deontay Wilder lost his semifinal bout but in that sport, the third- and fourth-place finishers both earn bronze medals.

FRIDAY’S BEST



Todd Rogers and Phil Delhausser completed the U.S. sweep in beach volleyball by beating Brazil in three sets. It’s the Americans’ third gold in the men’s portion of the sport, which was introduced at the 1996 Olympics. The U.S. is the first country to sweep both gold medals in a single game.

The men’s volleyball team squandered a 2-0 set lead to Russia and trailed 12-11 in the decisive fifth set but rallied to win the match thanks to a Russian service error and a spike and two block solos by David Lee. The Americans clinched its first medal since 1992 and play Brazil for the gold Sunday.

The men’s water polo team gained a spot in Sunday’s gold medal match for the first time in 20 years by defeating Serbia 10-5.

BLOG EXCERPT

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

Sir Scribble is going to miss raking the International Olympic Committee and its band of stooges and pencil pushers and blue-blooded elitists over the coals. It has filled up quite a lot of this space.

The latest softball thrown Scrib’s way came Saturday when the IOC, in its infinite wisdom, asked the International Gymnastics Federation to investigate whether China used under-aged women’s gymnasts.

Initially, this seemed like a good move by the IOC. All it took was one look at some of the athletes to get suspicious that they’re not even close to 16 years of age. This would have a huge impact on the United States. If a scandal is proved, the United States would win team gold and Nastia Liukin would win individual gold on the uneven bars.

But then the IOC stepped in it. Again.

“We believe the matter will be put to rest and there’s no question … on the eligibility,” a spokesperson said.

Why say that before the investigation had even begun? The IOC has taken all pressure off the Chinese sports officials with that statement.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

MEDAL STAND

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

GOLD MEDAL

Bryan Clay

Decathlete, U.S.

He became the first American to win the 10-discipline event in 12 years. He complied 8.791 points, winning by 220 points over Belarus’ Andrei Krauchanka.

SILVER MEDAL

The Lopez family

Taekwondo, U.S.

All three Lopez siblings — the first trio to compete for the United States in the same Olympics in more than 100 years — medaled. Mark won silver and Diana and Steven both earned bronze.

BRONZE MEDAL

Chinese gymnastics

It’s put-up-or-turn-the-medals-in time for the host country. The IOC and the gymnastics governing body are looking into shady birth certificates and passports.

DON’T MISS THIS …

Three things from Beijing that are worth following today

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

The United States goes for another gold medal when it faces Australia. The U.S. team is undefeated in the tournament and hasn’t been tested.

TRACK

The Americans try to regroup from the 4x100 relay debacles with a different set of faces in the 4x400 relays. LaShawn Merritt, Jeremy Wariner and David Neville — the gold, silver and bronze winners in the 400 meters, respectively — will lead the men’s team.

WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL

It’s not a rematch with China for the gold, but the Americans now have to contend with Brazil if they want to win their first gold medal in the sport.

CHINA FACT OF THE DAY

The manufacturer Inventec produces more than 30,000 notebook computers a day under several different brand names like Dell, Sony, Compaq and Apple.

THE CLOSING LINE

“The athletes from the United States have exceeded our goals already.”

— USOC chairman Peter Ueberroth on the team’s performance in Beijing

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