Day 13 Review: Ton-up Chen cheers China to seven heaven

Updated: 2008-08-22 02:27:06

Ton-up Chen cheers China to seven heaven
Robles poses with his medal. (Photo credit:Xinhua)

(BEIJING, August 21) — There were damp skies over Beijing on Day Thirteen of Beijing 2008 and barely a dry eye on the house as China‘s Chen Roulin produced a last-gasp dive to clinch the host’s seventh diving gold of the Games.

Ton-up Chen cheers China to seven heaven
Chen Ruolin competes. (Photo credit: Xinhua)

Elsewhere, the United States displayed the value of team work, by taking two team sport titles and a one, two, three on the track…just don’t mention the words “baton” and “drop” to them though.

But where else can we start Day Thirteen’s review than the National Aquatics Centre where 15 year-old Chen Roulin produced one of the stellar displays of Beijing 2008 by not just by winning the Women’s 10m Platform gold medal to keep China’s indomitable quest for eight gold medals on track, but by showing the true mark of a champion – by performing best when it mattered most – under pressure.

Chen may be World No. 1 with an Olympic Team gold medal safely tucked inside her kitbag, but when Emilie Heymans of Canada put in a remarkable fourth round dive worth 95.20, it was looking like as if Day Thirteen would prove unlucky for Chen and for China –this was the very same gold medal that evaded the country’s clutches at Athens in 2004.

That is when Chen responded like a great. A dive of 89.10 left her behind, going into the final round behind Heymans, who couldn’t quite repeat the magic of her previous effort. But it still looked good enough to win, that is, until Chen produced a near perfect dive with the last leap of the competition.

Despite the almost intolerable pressure mounted on such young shoulders, Chen’s final dive earned an amazing 100.30 points – enough to take the title with ease.

Disappointed Haymens could only look on with frustration – she leaves with yet another silver medal while Chen’s teammate Wang Xin took bronze…….so now it is China all down the Men’s 10m platform on Saturday (August 23). Surely they won’t miss out now, will they?

Another great story also happened in water today – this time, of human triumph over adversity – with a major surprise as Maarten van der Weijden of the Netherlands took the Men’s 10km Marathon Swimming gold medal at a rainy Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park.

The Dutch swimmer, who returned to competitive swimming after beating a battle with leukaemia, diagnosed seven years ago, overtook medal favorites David Davies of Great Britain and Thomas Lurz of Germany to win in a time of 1:51:51.6. Davies, the Athens 2004 Olympic 1500m bronze medalist, held on for the silver medal in a time of 1:51:53.1 and Lurz finished strongly to win the bronze medal in a time of 1:51:53.6. Pre-race favorite Russia‘s Vladimir Dyatchin, world champion in 2007 and 2008, was disqualified.

Ton-up Chen cheers China to seven heaven
Maarten van der Weijden swims. (Photo credit: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Also in the briney sea, the Beijing 2008 Sailing regatta came to a close at Qingdao with Great Britain collecting its third event gold medal thanks to Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson in the Star (Men’s Keelboat) boat class. Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada of Brazil earned silver with Fredrik Loof and Anders Ekstrom of Sweden, taking the bronze medal.

The Tornado (Multihull Mixed) race which was being staged for the final time, (it isn’t being contested at London 2012), went to Spaniards Fernando Echavarri and Anton Paz, who finished ahead of World No. 1 Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby of Australia, who took silver. The last podium place went to Santiago Lange and Carlos Espinola of Argentina .

Crawling up onto the sand, (well, Chaoyang Park in Beijing actually, but stick with the analogy), defending champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh of the United States retained the Olympic Women’s Beach Volleyball title by beating Tian Jia and Wang Jie of China in straight sets, 21-18, 21-18 in a final played in heavy rain. The bronze medal went to fellow Chinese duo Zhang Xi and Xue Chen, who beat Renata Ribeiro and Talita Rocha of Brazil in straight sets.

That was just one of four team sport finals contested by Team USA, or should it be, Teams USA?

The US women’s Football team made it three tournament wins in four Olympic Games after a 1-0 win against Brazil in the Women’s Football final after extra time. Carli Lloyd scored the all-important goal to give the US team back-to-back tournament victories. Germany beat Japan 2-0 to take the bronze medal with both goals scored by second-half substitute Fatmire Bajramaj.

The USA didn’t do too badly in two of the day’s women’s team sports semifinals either…

As expected, Team USA are through to the Women’s Basketball final, although their win against Russia by 67-52 wasn’t quite the romp of their other matches at Beijing 2008. Australia crushed China 90-56 in the other semifinal.

The US will also contest the Women’s Volleyball final after reversing its defeat to Cuba in the preliminary rounds. They will meet World No.1 Brazil who stormed into the final with a straight sets win against defending champions, China.

The Olympic Games bid Softball au revoir as Japan beat the United States 3-1 to win the last ever gold medal. Australia took bronze. Softball will not be on the Olympic roster at London 2012.

And not so good for the US Women’s Water Polo team either. Four goals in the opening four minutes helped the Netherlands defeat them 9-8 to win the gold medal at the Yingdong Natatorium. Although the United States fought back, bringing the score to 4-2 after the first quarter and 5-5 at half time, the Netherlands took back their lead in the third, and held on to win. Australia took the bronze medal by beating Hungary 12-11 after double extra time and a penalty shoot-out.

Finally, to round off the team sports action, how about one for the lads? World champions Germany beat the Netherlands 2-1 (on penalty strokes) in the Men’s Hockey semifinals, and will meet Spain in the final, which overturned a 2-0 deficit to defeat 2004 Athens gold medalists Australia, 3-2.

Elsewhere, the weather also put paid the day’s planned two BMX Cycling finals which have been rescheduled for Friday August 22; Eric Lamaze of Canada beat Rolf-Goran Bengtsson of Sweden in a jump-off to win gold in the Individual Jumping competition – the last Equestrian event of Beijing 2008. Show Jumping is also one of the disciplines in the five-event Modern Pentathlon too, where Andrey Moiseev of Russia succesfully defended his Men’s crown ahead of Lithuanians Edvinas Krungolcas and Andrejus Zadneprovskis who took the silver and bronze medals.

Moving indoors, the Beijing 2008 Wrestling competition closed with three Men’s Freestyle finals: at 84kg, Georgia‘s Revazi Mindorashvili clinched his country’s second wrestling gold of the Games by beating Yusup Abdusalomov, who made Olympic history by winning Tajikistan‘s first ever Olympic silver medal; Shirvani Muradov won Russia’s sixth wrestling gold of the Games at 96kg; and Artur Taymazov earned Uzbekistan‘s first gold medal at Beijing 2008 by defending his 120 kilogram crown.

Two more Taekwondo gold medals were handed out on the second day of four. Lim Su-jeong of the Republic of Korea beat Azize Tanrikulu of Turkey to claim the Women’s Taekwondo under-57kg division and Son Tae-jin of the Republic of Korea took gold in the Men’s -68kg division.

There was a shock in the Men’s Table Tennis Singles third round, when Ko Lai-chak of Hong Kong China, ranked No. 32 in the world, beat the reigning Olympic champion Ryu Seung-min of the Republic of Korea, 4-2. In the Women’s Singles quarterfinals all three Chinese contenders, Zhang Yining, Guo Yue and Wang Nan, got through but only after difficult duels with their respective opponents. The remaining semifinal spot went to Li Jiawei of Singapore

And so to the day’s athletics action ….

Well, this was supposed to be Liu Xiang’s night in the Men’s 110 Hurdles final – but he was absent due to injury. Would he have prevented world record holder Dayron Robles of Cuba from winning Olympic gold? The simple answer is we’ll never know – one thing is for sure, the 21 year-old Cuban was too good for his rivals as he won in a time of 12.93 seconds — just 0.06 seconds off the world record he set in June this year.

The silver medal went to David Payne of the United States, whose teammate David Oliver took bronze.

LeShawn Merritt enjoyed an equally emphatic victory in the Men’s 400m – leading the charge for a United States one, two, three with teammates Jeremy Wariner, the pre-race favorite, and David Neville, who literally threw himself at the line to take the bronze medal.

“Fear is not something I bring to the track,” said defending champion Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica after retaining her Women’s 200m title. Once again, Athens silver medalist Allyson Felix of the United States trailed in Campbell-Brown’s wake. Another Jamaican, Kerron Stewart, who tied for the silver in Sunday’s 100m final, took bronze.

In the Men’s Triple Jump Nelson Evora of Portugal produced a fourth round leap of 17.67m to take gold, with Great Britian’s Phillips Idowu, the event favorite and early leader, unable to respond — he couldn’t better his third round effort of 17.62, which left him collecting the silver medal, with the bronze medal going to Leevan Sands of the Bahamas.

Barbora Spotakova of Czech Republic won the Women’s Javelin Throw gold medal with a throw of 71.42 meters, while earlier in the day 23-year-old world champion Olga Kaniskina won Russia’s first Women’s 20km Walk gold medal in an Olympic best time of one hour 26.31 minutes. Norway‘s Kjersti Tysse Platzer came in second, holding off bronze medalist Elisa Rigaudo of Italy.

Athens silver medalist Bryan Clay of the United States leads the Men’s Decathlon after day one with a total of 4521 points from the first five disciplines. Belarus‘s Andrei Krauchanka stands second with 4433 points and Trey Hardee also of the USA in third on 4428 points.

Not such good news for the United States in the qualifying round of the Men’s and Women’s 4 x 100m though. Bizarrely both their teams are out after dropping the baton, with an exchange between Darvis Patton and Tyson Gay leaving the Men’s baton hurtling to the track, only for the fumble-fingered US women – Torri Edwards and Lauryn Williams the guilty parties – to do precisely the same.

In other heats, Kenya‘s Nancy Jebet Langat was the top qualifier in the Women’s 1500m semifinals. Vadims Vasilevskis of Latvia was the top qualifier in the Men’s Javelin Throw, while defending Olympic champion Elena Slesarenko of Russia and world champion Blanka Vlasic of Croatia are through to the Women’s High Jump final.

Wow, what a day that was! Unlucky Day Thirteen for some (Heymans), one of dropped batons (for the USA) and a day when China just may just have found itself a new diving diva.

Ton-up Chen cheers China to seven heaven
Veronica Campbell-Brown in jubilation (Photo credit: Guo Dayue/Xinhua)

About Bona

បណ្ដាញសម្រាប់ទំនាក់ទំនង ចែករំលែក ពិភាក្សា ពីជ្រុងមួយនៃប្រទេសកម្ពុជា

Posted on August 22, 2008, in កីឡា. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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