Champia loses in pre-quarters
India now identified with shooting, not hockey
Ex-CEC to probe Monika case
Britta strikes gold
Liu Chunhong of China set a world record in the snatch with 125kg, then broke that record by snatching 128kg. Her 158kg lift in the clean and jerk and her combined total of 286kg were also world records.
Chen makes it 3
Chen Ying of China won the Olympic women's 25m Pistol gold medal with a new Games record here on Wednesday, handing the hosts their third title at the shooting ranges.
Bits & Bytes
Bernard Lagat will fulfil a pledge he made to his mother and give the USA a golden payback if he wins the Olympic 1,500 metres for his adopted country. The Kenyan-born 33-year-old finished second behind Hicham El Guerrouj in Athens four years ago and received comforting words from his mum. ''She told me my time would come at the next Olympics and I would win gold,'' he told a news conference on Wednesday. ''I promised to work extra hard. If I win she will be jumping up and down and I wish I could be there to see those emotions.'' Lagat, the world 5,000 and 1,500 metres champion, is competing in both events.
Austria's Violetta Oblinger Peters, who only took up kayaking to keep an eye out for her younger brother, reached the Olympic white water kayak finals on Wednesday. Oblinger Peters went against the advice of her father, German white water canoe world champion Wolfgang Peters, in taking up the sport. "My family really didn't want me to start kayaking," Oblinger Peters said. "I started despite my father because my younger brother started and I had this feeling that I had to take care of him," world number seven Oblinger Peters said.
Olympic gold medallist Fabian Cancellara said the Great Wall of China gave him inspiration as he powered his way to two medals at Beijing. ''This wall was giving me power and the strength because when you see more than 5,000 km of this wall and the hard work they had to do this,'' the Swiss cyclist said on Wednesday, after winning his second road cycling Olympic medal.
Beijing, August 13
Though unable to match the USA in swimming or on the track, China might still top the overall medals' table. It had its gymnasts and divers to thank for the latest successes that kept the hosts in the lead with 17 golds.
But day five of the Olympics belonged to Phelps.
The 23-year-old swimmer's fifth win at Beijing's Water Cube brought his career tally to an unprecedented 11 Olympic golds. That took him past an elite group.
As well as fellow swimmer Spitz and long-jumper and sprinter Lewis, "Flying Finn" distance runner Paavo Nurmi and Soviet gymnast Larysa Latynina are the others on nine golds.
Phelps' goggles filled with water during the men's 200 metres butterfly, yet he still broke his own world record.
"Under the circumstances, it's not a bad result," was his laconic reaction. An hour later, he joined team mates to win the men's 200 freestyle relay. They knocked four seconds off the previous best.
Phelps is now within reach of Spitz's record of seven golds at one Games. With each of his golds in this Games coming in record times, he is also chasing Spitz's achievement of winning each of the 1972 titles in world best times.
The Americans have 10 Beijing golds so far but expect to come back strongly when track-and-field events start on Friday.
South Korea have five, while Italy, Australia and Germany have four.
Cheered like pop stars by flag-waving fans, China's petite young gymnasts upstaged a mistake-prone USA to take their first Olympic women's team title.
Senior U.S. team member Alicia Sacramone stumbled off the beam after fluffing her mount, then fell on her back during her floor exercise. Appalled at her mistakes, she hurried down the stairs and was close to tears. The U.S. team took silver.
"I let my nerves get to me," Sacramone said.
Suspicious that the Chinese girls may be under the age limit of 16, journalists peppered them with trick questions.
One was asked her Chinese zodiac animal, another what she did on her 15th birthday. But none of the girls tripped up.
Another six world records were broken there on Wednesday.
France's Alain Bernard briefly took Eamon Sullivan's world record in the 100 freestyle semi-finals but the Australian recaptured it less than five minutes later.
Italy's Federica Pellegrini broke the women's 200 freestyle record to take gold. Australia's Stephanie Rice won her second gold in record time in the 200 individual medley.
China's divers brought more honour to the hosts.
Wang Feng and Qin Kai scored several perfect 10s in their first jump and went on to take gold in the men's 3 metre springboard, giving China a clean sweep of synchronised diving.
In weightlifting, Liu Chunhong broke several world records on her way to bringing China gold in the women's 69kg class.
After her victory, she gave a clue as to the rigours of China's Soviet-style training system for sportsmen.
"What I want to do most is spend time with my parents, because since the last Olympics until now I've only spent six days with them," she said.
China was criticised for going too far in efforts to stage a successful Games after organisers said they used a pretty stand-in to lip-synch the voice of a less photogenic 7-year-old girl singer at the opening ceremony.
Yang Peiyi's voice but not face were used for an angelic rendition of "Ode to the Motherland" at Friday's opening extravaganza "because of her external appearance," ceremony director Chen Qigang told state television.
"It was for the national interest," he said of a technique well practised in Hollywood and elsewhere. Also striking a jarring note, two doping cases came to light. — Reuters
Beijing, August 13
While US star Michael Phelps is dominating the Water Cube's pool, China are sweeping aside all rivals next door in the diving and now have four golds from the competition's eight events.
This was China's most comprehensive diving victory of the games so far.
The Chinese won by a staggering margin of 469.08 points compared to the 421.98 of Russian silver medalists Sautin Dmitry and Yuriy Kunakov while Ukrainian pair Illya Kvasha and Oleksiy Prygorov took bronze with 415.05.
In front of packed crowds of passionate fans, the Chinese have led all four dive competitions this week from start to finish.
Schoolgirls Wang Xin and Chen Roulin won the women's synchronised 10-metre platform yesterday, teenagers Lin Yue and Huo Liang took the men's synchronised 10-metre platform gold on Monday.
And Guo Jingjing and Wu Minxia cleaned up Sunday's women's 3m synchronised springboard event last Sunday, China's dive queen Guo is expected to claim another gold in Sunday's women's 3m individual springboard final.
Today, Qin and Wang made up for the disappointment of their last place in the same competition four years ago when the hot favourites in Athens came last.
And the gold had an extra sparkle for Wang who finished fourth in the men's individual 3m springboard in Athens.
Just as their compatriots had done, Wang and Qin led from the first of their six dives and built up a commanding lead.
Having claimed gold in the FINA World Cup in February, the pair started with a hiss and a roar at the Water Cube by scoring three perfect ten marks from the nine judges for their opening back pike.
With four rounds gone it was all over as the Chinese enjoyed a clear 20 point lead which they only extended.
Despite US pair Chris Colwill and Jevon Tarantino stumbling on their fourth round dive which put them sixth, the Americans recovered to claim fourth.
Canada's Alexandre Despatie, who made Commonwealth Games history as the competition's youngest gold medal winner at Kuala Lumpur in 1998 aged just 13, finished a disappointing fifth with partner Arturo Miranda. — AFP
Beijing, August 13
“We were satisfied with some of the things we set out to do, but obviously we never get so excited by a score like that as it tends to mask things that you don’t do that well,” Australia captain Bevan George told Reuters.
“We are definitely happy with the guys’ performance but we will go back tonight and look at what we did and what we can improve on for the next game.” They play Pakistan on Friday.
Australia, who scored five goals in each half, had 22 attempts on goal, apart from four penalty corners, and George said he was not happy at the conversion rate.
Australia were all over South Africa with Eli Matheson leading the way with three goals and Jamie Dwyer and David Guest scoring two each.
It was South Africa’s second big defeat following the 5-0 loss to Netherlands, one of the favourites. — Reuters
Beijing, August 13
The seventh seeded Indians played compact tennis to defeat Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa of Brazil 6-4, 6-2 in just over an hour.
In the quarterfinals, they will take on the winners of the second round match that pits fourth seeded Swiss pair of Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka against the mercurial Russian duo of Dmitry Tursunov and Mikhail Youzhny.
Paes and Bhupathi were in perfect sync and they combined well to negate the Brazilians. Breaking Sa early in the third game put them ahead and the duo subsequently did not relax their grip over the proceedings as they sealed the first set without much ado.
At a time when games tend to go with the serve, squandering break points is a luxury that a pair can hardly afford and Paes and Bhupathi put themselves right in the driver's seat by breaking Melo in the first game of the second set.
Again in the seventh game, a couple of double faults by Sa handed the Indians a golden opportunity to take the match away from the Brazilians and they did just that, courtesy a scorching Bhupathi winner.
Bhupathi then served out for the set and match to complete the formality that put them right on course for an Olympic medal.
Paes was elated with the performance and said the key now was to sustain it.
"It was a good match. We played sharp tennis. We served well and returned well and we just need to repeat it every day," Paes told reporters.
"We had come out firing in the first match and we gained a lot of confidence today. It is tough to beat a team that plays so confidently," he added.
Sania-Sunitha duo crashes out
A half-fit Sania Mirza and rookie Sunitha Rao tried every tricks in the book but still could not avert a defeat against top seeded Russians Svetlana Kuznetsova and Dinara Safina in the second round of the women's doubles tennis event of the Beijing Olympics here tonight.
The Indian scratch pair fought tooth and nail but it was the Russian pair, which ended on the right side of the nearly one-and-half hour battle, which they won 6-4, 6-4. — PTI
Beijing, August 13
Saina won an edge-of-the-seat first game before her Indonesia counterpart Maria Kristin Yulianti drew parity to stretch the match to decider and the Indian, despite leading 11-3 at one stage, eventually went down 28-26, 14-21, 15-21 in just about an hour to bow out after an impressive show in her maiden Olympics.
The first game saw an intense battle between Saina and Maria with the Indonesian surging ahead before Saina won seven points on the trot to snatch the lead and eventually the game.
The toil, however, took a toll on Saina's verve and the Indian looked slightly jaded in the second game, allowing Maria to score seven points in a row to take a lead, which the Indonesian never lost.
With everything hinging on the third game, the pressure was on both shuttlers. Inevitably, unforced errors flowed and all that mattered was who could keep it to the minimum. Saina stepped on the gas and raced to an 11-3 lead before her world came crashing down. Tired legs and erroneous judgement unhinged Saina's gameplan and Maria won 15 of the next 16 points to snatch the lead. — PTI
Beijing, August 13
Champia, who sizzled in the ranking round to finish overall second, was pipped by Russian Bair Badenov 109-108 at the Olympic Green Archery Field.
Incidentally, Badenov had shot 658 - way below Champia's 678 - in the ranking round but when it mattered the most, it was the Russian archer who raised the level of his game and clinched the issue.
Earlier in the day, Champia had little problem in sweeping aside Vaezi Hojjatolah of Ireland 112-98.
Rowing challenge ends
There was further disappointment in rowing with Bajranglal Takhar, who is already out of reckoning for the semifinals, finishing fourth among six rowers in Men's Single Sculls classification race. Takhar will now compete for 19-24 places. The Indian clocked 7:23.00 to finish fourth, way behind the 7:15.53 of the top finisher Patrick Loliger of Mexico. Takhar was the only Indian in fray in the singles' event.
There was further disappointment in rowing with Bajranglal Takhar, who is already out of reckoning for the semifinals, finishing fourth among six rowers in Men's Single Sculls classification race. Takhar will now compete for 19-24 places.
The Indian clocked 7:23.00 to finish fourth, way behind the 7:15.53 of the top finisher Patrick Loliger of Mexico. Takhar was the only Indian in fray in the singles' event.
Wrestlers leave for Beijing today
New Delhi: The three-member Indian wrestling team of Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt and Rajiv Tomar will leave for Beijing tomorrow to present their challenge in the ongoing sporting extravaganza. Yogeshwar, an Arjuna awardee, and Sushil, a silver medallist in the Asian Wrestling Championship will rub shoulders with world class grapplers in the freestyle lightweight event in 60kg and 66kg categories respectively. Former Commonwealth gold medallist Rajiv will compete in the 120-kg freestyle heavyweight category.
New Delhi: The three-member Indian wrestling team of Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt and Rajiv Tomar will leave for Beijing tomorrow to present their challenge in the ongoing sporting extravaganza.
Yogeshwar, an Arjuna awardee, and Sushil, a silver medallist in the Asian Wrestling Championship will rub shoulders with world class grapplers in the freestyle lightweight event in 60kg and 66kg categories respectively.
Former Commonwealth gold medallist Rajiv will compete in the 120-kg freestyle heavyweight category. — PTI
India now identified with shooting, not hockey
Beijing, August 13
Intriguingly, ever since I arrived here on August 5, no one - either from the hosts China or any member of the Olympic family - has even mentioned hockey to me or any of my fellow colleagues.
In the previous four Olympics, only identity Indians had was their association or supremacy in field hockey. Sad, as it may sound, the golden past of India that never missed an Olympic medal from 1928 to 1972 has quietly slid back into oblivion. Glories and awards, they say, have short lives and moment someone else wins an award or is crowned with glory, the earlier recipient gracefully slips back into history.
A visit to hockey venue where top 12 teams each, both in men and womens’ sections are vying with each other for honours, does not even suggest that eight-times Olympic champions are being missed. Except for a couple of Indian journalists writing on field hockey and an Indian umpire - Satinder Sharma from Chandigarh - there is no link between India and Olympic hockey any more.
The only pleasure Indians in general, and Punjabis in particular, can derive from the hockey event is that four of Canadian players, including Ranjeev Deol, Sukhwinder Singh and Bindi Kular, have roots in India. Interestingly, while India is not represented here, Sansarpur, the great little nursery of Indian hockey, is still represented in Olympics, this time through Bindi Kular.
Bindi's father, P.S. Kular, had migrated to Canada in late 70s. But that is no consolation for a country that won eight Olympic hockey crowns between 1928 and 1980. Perhaps Moscow marked the end of road for India in hockey in general and team sports in particular. From a team game, India knew its survival and continuation in medals tally can only be in individual sports.
After 1976 - first time when India missed an Olympic medal after its debut in the Games in 1928, India returned home empty handed from the 1984, 1988 and 1992 editions of the games before Leander Paes ended the medal drought with a bronze in men’s singles in Atlanta in 1996.
Since then individual events had been giving this nation of a billion people atleast a medal. From Paes’ bronze (1996) and Malleshwari (2000), India graduated to silver in 2004 in shooting and Abhinav has changed the silver lining into gold.
India’s good showing in shooting ever since Jaspal Rana shot country’s first gold in Asian Games in Hiroshima has shown consistent improvement, culminating into a gold medal win here.
And what else could be recognition for India and its new sporting icon Abhinav Bindra, as Omega, one of major sponsors of the Olympic movement, today invited the Chandigarh lad for endorsements. True, sponsors, eyeing India as a nation of the future as well as a future market, are trying to grab Abhinav as their Ambassador as a part of their new Unique Selling Point (USP). They realise, Shooting has taken over from where hockey left 28 years ago. In future, if India can hope for yet another Olympic medal, shooting will and hockey may not be a definite possibility.
New Delhi, August 13
Krishnamurthy has been asked to submit his report within a week, sources in the Sports Ministry said.
"On return from Beijing this morning, I have been briefed on matters related to Monika Devi, one of our weightlifters. Questions arose about her dope testing and the timing and release of the reports, which led to her not being sent to Beijing Olympics," Gill said in a statement here. He said he had discussed all aspects of "this unfortunate incident" and decided to appoint an immediate inquiry under Krishnamurthy to go "into all aspects of this matter. — PTI
Beijing, August 13
In a battle of the two top-ranked fencers in the event, world number one Heidemann quickly built a comfortable 6-2 lead.
Hovering like a cobra over her opponent, Heidemann, a one-time Playboy model, kept left-hander Branza at bay and never let the gap get closer than two points in the final period.
"I'm really happy it was the number one fencing the number two, it was the best final ever," the 25-year-old Heidemann told reporters. "I'm happy that it worked out for me."
Heidemann, also the 2007 world champion, said she still had not completely processed the fact that she had won.
"I'm pretty calm for an Olympic champion," she said. "Maybe in a few hours or maybe tomorrow it will sink in." — Reuters
Women's 200m Freestyle
Gold - Federica Pellegrini (Italy)
Silver - Sara Isakovic (Slovenia)
Bronze - Pang Jiaying (China)
Men's 200m Butterfly
Gold - Michael Phelps (United States)
Silver - Laszlo Cseh (Hungary)
Bronze - Takeshi Matsuda (Japan)
Women's 200m Individual Medley
Gold - Stephanie Rice (Australia)
Silver - Kirsty Coventry (Zimbabwe)
Bronze - Natalie Coughlin (United States)
Men's 4x200 Freestyle Relay
Gold - United States
Silver - Russia
Bronze - Australia
Gold - China
Silver - United States
Bronze - Romania
Women's Individual Time Trial
Gold - Kristin Armstrong (United States)
Silver - Emma Pooley (Britain)
Bronze - Karin Thurig (Switzerland)
Men's Individual Time Trial
Gold - Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland)
Silver - Gustav Larsson (Sweden)
Bronze - Levi Leipheimer (United States)
Women's 25m Pistol
Gold - Chen Ying (China)
Silver - Gundegmaa Otryad (Mongolia)
Bronze - M Dorjsuren (Germany)
Men's Synchronised 3m Springboard
Gold - China
Silver - Russia
Bronze - Ukraine
Women's 69 Kg
Gold - Liu Chunhong (China)
Silver - Oxana Slivenko (Russia)
Bronze - Natalya Davydova (Ukraine)
Gold - Sa Jaeh-youk (South Korea)
Silver - Li Hongli (China)
Bronze - Gevorg Davtyan (Armenia)
Gold - Masae Ueno (Japan)
Silver - Anaysi Hernandez (Cuba)
Bronze - Edith Bosch (Netherlands)
Ronda Rousey (United States)
Gold - Irakli Tsirekidze (Georgia)
Silver - Amar Benikhlef (Algeria)
Bronze - Hesham Mesbah (Egypt)
Sergei Aschwanden (Switzerland)
Men's Individual Foil
Gold - Benjamin Kleibrink (Germany)
Silver - Yuki Ota (Japan)
Bronze - Salvatore Sanzo (Italy)
Women's Individual Epee
Gold - Britta Heidemann (Germany)
Silver - Ana Branza (Romania)
Bronze - Ildiko Mincza-Nebald (Hungary)
Gold - Steeve Guenot (France)
Silver - Kanatbek Begalive (Kyrgystan)
Bronze - Armen Vardanyan (Ukraine)
Darkhan Bayakhmetov (Kazakhstan)
Gold - Manuchar Kvirkelia (Georgia)
Silver - Chang Yongxiang (China)
Bronze - Yavor Yanakiev (Bulgaria)
Christophe Guenot (France)
Women's 50m rifle 3 Pos.
Anjali Bhagwat, Avneet Kaur Sidhu
50m freestyle - heat 9 - Virdhawal Khade, 100m butterfly- heat 4 - Ankur Poseria
Doubles quarterfinal Mahesh Bhupathi/Leander Paes vs Roger Federer/ Stanislas Wawrinka (Switzerland)
Singles Sculls - Bajrang Lal Takhar
Finn Race 08 - NS Johal.
Qualify for Asian Championship after 24 yrs
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 13
The win enabled India to qualify for the Asian Championship at Doha in 2011, after a gap of 24 years. Thus, the Ambedkar Stadium in Delhi proved yet again lucky for coach Bob Houghton’s boys as it was here in August last year that India won the Nehru Gold Cup International Football Tournament, defeating Syria. India and Tajikistan had played a 1-1 draw in the group match in Hyderabad, but today, the hosts put on show, their firing power to slot in four brilliant goals, though the visitors were worth more than one goal.
They were effectively blunted by the agile goalkeeping of Subrata Paul. He dived, jumped and crouched to bring off the high balls, low shots and carpet drives of the Tajik strikers.
The final was shifted to Delhi as persistent rains in Hyderabad, where the group matches were held, prevented play at the Gachhibowli stadium. Though rain chased the players to Delhi too, as it rained heavily in the morning and afternoon, it was not that severe to hold up the match.
And the hosts fully seized ideal weather conditions to set up a fast pace to go 3-0 up by the 23rd minute. India got off the mark in a somewhat controversial manner in the ninth minute when Chhetri’s shot from close was first disallowed by referee Valentin Kovalenko of Uzbekistan for being off side, but reversed his decision
after taking the opinion of linesman on the right Jaber Mohammad Dharman of Qatar. The goal materialised following a corner kick, when Pradeep Pappachan’s header came off the side post, the ball was back in play and a cross from the back saw Chhetri pounce on the ball and crack it into the net.