LONDON–The London Olympics closed Sunday night, leaving lingering memories of many smiles and tears. Athletes who fulfilled their dreams, and those who couldn’t do so, gazed at the disappearing Olympic flame with bright smiles.
Japan won 38 medals, the nation’s largest Olympic haul. In particular, female competitors performed well at these Games. Judoka Kaori Matsumoto won Japan’s first gold medal in London, and soccer, table tennis and badminton players won Japan’s first-ever medals in those events.
The Japanese delegation entered the Olympic Stadium as about 80,000 spectators looked on. They smiled at the stands, waving Japanese and British flags.
Saori Yoshida, who won a third-straight gold in the women’s 55 kilogram freestyle wrestling division, carried the national flag at the closing ceremony. She had a spring in her step, perhaps because she felt freed from the heavy pressure to win that had been on her shoulders.
Members of the women’s volleyball team, which won a medal for the first time in 28 years, gleefully waved as they entered the stadium. Saori Kimura, a 25-year-old volleyball player, jumped up and down as music played.
Wrestler Kyoko Hamaguchi cried when she was stunningly defeated in her first match, but she flashed a lovely smile at the closing ceremony. Javelin thrower Genki Dean, who has a British father and a Japanese mother, was asked by many people to have photos taken with them.
As the ceremony drew to a close, the mayor of London handed the Olympic flag to the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, where the 2016 Games will be held. Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, declared the Games closed, saying: “The 17 days of the Olympics have been unforgettable. Thank you, London.”
With those words, 204 flames that represented participating countries and regions gently went out. Fireworks exploded above the stadium to mark the end of the sporting spectacle.
WA’s favourite beach girl Jessica Gomes has been tasked with spearheading Mambo’s international swimwear campaign.
The Sports Illustrated model, who has reached superstar status in Asia – she recently whipped South Korean fans into a frenzy on their version of Dancing with the Stars – is the driving force for Mambo in international markets, Mambo CEO Angus Kingsmill said.
“We have a five-times Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition goddess who was dubbed in the USA as the world’s leading swimsuit model and who is a major celebrity in South Korea,” he said.
“She has certainly opened doors for Mambo in both these global markets.”
Gomes shot Mambo’s new swimwear collection in California last month with the latest Godess to join Mambo’s ranks, Jess Hart.
“It was a road trip in the desert style shoot, with lots of cut-off denim shorts and bikinis,” Gomes said. The LA-based model said to expect an edgier Mambo than we are used to.
“They have definitely gotten stronger in their womenswear. They’re becoming more fashion oriented. They’ve come a long way,” she said. Gomes will share the runway with Miranda Kerr for the launch of the David Jones spring-summer collections this month.
2012 London Olympics – Beach Volleyball: Xue Chen and Zhang Xi see bronze medal slip from their grasp
China’s Xue Chen and Zhang Xi were left to nurse keen disappointment after losing out in the women’s beach volleyball bronze medal match despite having been only two points from victory.
Bidding to defend the bronze medal they won in Beijing four years ago, Xue and Zhang stormed into an early lead by comfortably winning the first set 21-11 against Brazil’s Juliana Silva and Larissa Franca.
China went 19-16 up in the second set, taking them to within two points of the podium, only for the Brazilians to battle back and win the set 21-19 before prevailing 15-12 in the decider at London’s Horse Guards Parade.
“In the second set we always had a two-point advantage, but we lost it,” said a disappointed Xue.
“The third set was very disappointing, but we have to take it. We lost the second set because we could not come back at the right points.
“It’s something that can always happen in beach volleyball. One point can change the entire match. We could not find the right points when it mattered.”
Despite the duo finishing one place lower than they did in Beijing, Xue believes she and Zhang have made progress since their bronze-medal success at the 2008 Games.
Aug 10 (Reuters) – There were plenty of multi-coloured ribbons and florescent clubs flying through the air at Wembley Arena on Friday but when South Korean rhythmic gymnast Son Yeon-jae was out to impress the judges with her juggling act, a UFO was suddenly spotted.
Was it a piece of confetti, or a small bouquet of flowers thrown in by an admirer in the audience? No it was Son’s ballet shoe that had gone flying off her feet as she performed a fast-paced pirouette during her crowd-pleasing Olympic clubs routine.
Looking rather sheepish, she reclaimed the runaway shoe at the end of her performance and a score of 26.350 made sure she stayed in the running for a medal as she made the cut for Saturday’s final, which will feature the top 10 qualifiers.
“I was very embarrassed as it’s never happened to me before,” the 18-year-old, still a little red-faced from the episode, told reporters after finishing sixth.
“I got a little tense and started sweating and the shoe simply slipped off.”
Leading the way was 2008 champion
Japanese sprinter Maya Nakanishi published a calendar featuring her posing semi-nude with her prosthetic leg to help fund her training and trip to the London Paralympic Games. Nakanishi lost her right leg below the knee in a workplace accident when she was 21, then became a sprinter with her prosthetic limb. She is the Asian record holder in the T44 (one leg amputated below the knee) 200 meter and long jump and she was the first Japanese woman to be at the starting line in a 100 meter final race in the 2008 Beijing Paralympic.
She had wanted to end it with some good old-fashioned give-and-take wrestling. Instead, Carol Huynh got two trips to the magic tiebreaker cylinder.
Both times after scoreless rounds, she reached in and pulled out a round container that secretly held a blue ball. Wearing the blue singlet, it meant she got to choose her opponent’s weak spot and go after it like Butcher Vachon on an unsuspecting Harley Race. She did – she won the bronze medal.
Huynh may have celebrated Olympic gold four years ago by crying at the playing of O Canada, but she was no less thrilled Wednesday to have captured a second medal. She grabbed her head in amazement after winning the bronze and waved happily to her family and friends inside the ExCeL Centre.
The only thing that bothered her was facing an opponent – Senegal’s Isabelle Sambou – who wanted to stay clear of Huynh’s moves and counters. Sambou’s tactics produced four scoreless minutes, hence the two trips to the magic tiebreaker cylinder, which worked to Huynh’s advantage.
“It was frustrating and I…
2012 London Olympics – TaeKwonDo: Chinese taekwondoka Hou Yuzhuo falls short on history-making in Gold medal match lost to Jade Jones
LONDON, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) — Twice world champion Hou Yuzhuo was one step from creating a new piece of history for Chinese taekwondo for being the first woman to win the -57kg title at an Olympics but nerves stopped her from being excellent to great.
In Thursday’s final, Hou fell to host athlete Jade Jones 6-4 in their rematch after last year’s world championship where injured Hou overcame Jones to become the first Chinese taekwondoka to defend a world title.
“It is the first time I competed at an Olympics so I was nervous. My coach arranged tactics for me but I only displayed half of it,” Hou said.
“I think I need to change my style. I should learn from Xiao Yu,” she added.
The person Hou referred to is Wu Jingyu who successfully defended her -49kg title on Wednesday. Wu was always on attack on her way to the final victory while Hou is more of a defence-and-counter-attack type in her game.
2012 London Olympics – Diving: Malaysian Pandelela Rinong plucks a bronze from 10m platform, China’s Chen Roulin wins Gold
LONDON, Aug 9 (Bernama) — The country’s flag bearer in the London Olympics, Pandelela Rinong, lived to expectations by winning a bronze medal in the women’s 10m Platform at the London Aquatic Centre here today, a first for diving.
The 19-year-old Sarawakian who had a poor start managed to claw her way back to accumulate 359.20 points behind Australian Brittany Broben (366.50) and Chen Ruolin of China who ‘ran away’ with the gold after collecting 422.30 points.
Pandelela’s first dive, a Forward 3 1/12 somersault netted only 58.50 points and put her in 10th spot after the first round but subsequent dives of 64.00 (Armstand Back double somersault 1 1/2 twist), 81.60 (Inward 3 1/2 somersault) and 76.80 (Back 1/2 Somersault 1 1/2 twist) saw her back in contention.
After the mistake in the first dive coach Yang Zhuliang told me to forget the mistake and concentrate on the following dive, she said after winning a first ever medal in diving.
“I dedicate this bronze medal to the diving squad because they have supported me all the way. In fact I did not expect to win a bronze,” she said.
The bronze from Pandelela which is worth RM150,000 under the Youth and Sports Ministry’s (Shakam) incentive scheme, added to a silver medal won by shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei.
The Sarawakian who hoped her win would inspire other young divers, will also receive a monthly pension of RM2,000.
2012 London Olympics – Wrestling: Asian women sweeps the 63kg class, Japanese celebrate as Kaori Icho wins third wrestling gold
Kaori Icho became the first woman to win three Olympic wrestling titles on Wednesday, while her teammate Hitomi Obara also claimed gold as Japan cemented their dominance of the women’s sport within 30 triumphant minutes at the London Games.
The packed arena turned into a roaring sea of red and white Japanese flags after seven-time world champion Icho swept aside China’s Jing Ruixue in the final of the second-heaviest 63kg class in freestyle wrestling.
Mongolia’s Battsetseg Soronzonbold got the bronze.
Her weeping compatriot Obara held her head in her hands and fell to her knees after coming from behind to beat Azerbaijan’s Mariya Stadnyk in Wednesday’s other final, the 48kg lightest weight division.
Japan have ruled the mat since women first began competing in Olympic wrestling in Athens in 2004, winning six out of a possible 10 golds.
They were expected to add at least one more gold on the second and final day of the women’s competition yesterday when two-time gold medal winner Saori Yoshida defended her 55kg title.
LONDON (AP) — The coach of the Chinese Olympic track cycling team said Friday that Guo Shuang and Gong Jinjie were “robbed” of a gold medal when they were disqualified for a rule violation.
Coach Daniel Morelon told The Associated Press that China cannot appeal the decision in the team sprint final.
Guo and Gong twice improved on the world record Thursday and posted the best time in the final against their German rivals before they were disqualified for an illegal relay. Germany was awarded gold and China silver.
“The race jury decision was not clear at all,” said Morelon, a 1972 Olympic champion in the individual sprint who has been working with the Chinese team since the Beijing Olympics.
He said Guo and Gong had ridden exactly the same in qualifying and the first round and logically should have been disqualified then if they did anything wrong.
“This is an injustice,” Morelon said. “They robbed us of the gold medal. A gold medal which was really important for the Chinese people because they are still looking for their first gold in cycling. They would have made history.”…
2012 London Olympics – Beach Volleyball: Cheerful Chinese Xue Chen and Zhang Xi get Russian revenge, head to semi-finals against the Americans
LONDON (Reuters) – Chinese women’s beach volleyball pair Xue Chen and Zhang Xi powered into the Olympic quarter finals on Saturday with an easy win over a Russian pair that soothed the pain of their shock defeat to another Russian team in their first pool match.
Surprise bronze medalists in Beijing in 2008, the Chinese women came to London with high expectations but under-performed on the first day. They have recovered their poise, as Evgenia Ukolova and Ekaterina Khomyakova learnt to their cost.
“We found our own style and our own tactics. We didn’t change the way we play for the Russians, we just played our own way,” said Xue after the pair won by two sets to nil, with the emphatic score of 21-12 21-11.
There was disappointment for Hong Kong swimmer Stephanie Au at the London Olympics. She came last in her heats in 100 metres backstroke, with a time of one minute 4.31 seconds. That’s three seconds behind her own Hong Kong record. Au said she felt good in the warm-ups but her performance after the turn was far worse than she expected. She said she hoped to bounce back in the 200 metres backstroke.
2012 London Olympics – Field Hockey: Kayla Bashore-Smedley s competing in the Olympics for the U.S. women’s field hockey team
Kayla Bashore-Smedley is competing at the Olympics for the second time as a member of the U.S. Olympic Field Hockey Team. In the 2008 Olympics, the U.S. Women’s team finished in 8th place. Bashore-Smedley is the only Big Ten player representing the U.S. in field hockey in London. She has been competing with the U.S. National Team since 2006.
Women’s field hockey competition begins with a preliminary phase: the 12 teams are divided into two pools of six, and each team plays every other in their pool. The top two teams in each pool qualify for the semi-finals, the winners of which go head-to-head for the gold. The other teams in the two groups play each other to determine final placings.
Li Xuerui beats world champ Wang Yihan and China teammate Wang Yihan to win badminton women’s gold – The Washington Post
LONDON — Li Xuerui left no doubt who was the best women’s badminton player in the world when she beat world champion Wang Yihan in the all-Chinese final at the London Olympics on Saturday.
Li won 21-15, 21-23, 21-17 in a 78-minute match of attrition that left both women bent over gasping for air at times.
The top-ranked Wang saved two match points in the second game but Li secured the win on her third in the decider. She tossed her racket and raised her arms, then saluted the crowd in Wembley Arena…
UFC On Fox 4: Round by round coverage of “Shogun vs. Vera” event, Brandon Vera is defeated with knockout
ROUND ONE: Brandon Vera threw a couple of early kicks to the body on Shogun Rua. Shogun caught a kick from Vera and took him to the ground quickly. He dragged him from the cage as Vera tried to post up. Shogun tried to pass but Vera held him in half guard for a time. Shogun managed to edge to side control, but Vera made him work for it. Vera scrambled and Shogun grabbed for a guillotine. He landed a hard knee to the body, but Vera got to his feet and threw a couple of kicks high. Shogun grabbed a clinch. Vera grabbed for a guillotine and dropped down. Shogun finally worked out and landed an elbow in Vera’s guard….
ROUND FOUR: Vera landed a hard body kick. He got clipped by a right as he walked in. He landed a couple kicks and a knee to the body. Shogun landed a hard left, then tried for another takedown, but got stuffed. Shogun landed a couple of nice knees. Vera tried to get in some knees, but Shogun had him out of position. The crowd got a little restless with the clinch. They traded a few strikes. Shogun landed a nice uppercut. They battled a bit in the clinch. They finally separated. Shogun landed a huge combination. Vera was hurt, Shogun dropped him with more strikes and finished him on the ground. Needed finish from Shogun after a grueling battle.
Destinee Hooker scored 19 points and the U.S. women’s volleyball team clinched the top spot in their pool with a preliminary-round victory over Serbia in straight sets at the London Olympics.
Former Stanford star Logan Tom, in her fourth Olympics, added 12 points for the United States in the 25-17, 25-20, 25-16 sweep. The team will wrap up the preliminary round with a match against Turkey.
The top-ranked United States has won all four of its matches in London, dropping just two sets. The team, which has never won Olympic gold in volleyball, is among the favorites to medal in London.
2012 London Olympics – Field Hockey: Team USA field hockey drops 3-2 decision to New Zealand; Amy Tran Swensen makes nine saves
New Zealand scored on a corner with 6:06 left in the game to defeat Team USA 3-2 in Pool B field hockey on Saturday afternoon.
Team USA (1-3) needed a win to stay in the mix for the medal round.
Northern Lebanon grad Amy Tran Swensen made nine saves, five of which were in the second half when the game was tied 2-2.
Team USA scored two goals with just two shots in the whole game, both in the first half.
Yi Jianlian, a 7ft tall former NBA basketball player, carried the Chinese flag into the Olympics opening ceremony.
He was the eighth successive representative of his sport to fulfil the flag-bearing role since China sent their first full team to an Olympics, in Los Angeles in 1984. It is the height that wins them the job, a symbol of how the world’s most populous nation wants to be seen standing tall in the world.
That march through the Olympic Stadium on Friday night has continued unabated through these Games. So far they have amassed 11 gold medals from diving, gymnastics, shooting, swimming and weightlifting, six silver and three bronze.
Attention has focused most specifically on the 16-year-old swimming phenomenon Ye Shiwen and how she swam the final 50 metres freestyle leg of her 400 individual medley race faster than Ryan Lochte managed in the men’s equivalent just minutes earlier. It was a performance that caused her to deny accusations of drug taking.
She was supported by Lord Coe, chairman of the London Olympics. ‘You have to be very careful jumping to the conclusion that a great breakthrough in sport is down to anything other than great coaching, hard work and formidable talent,’ he said.
‘The balance of judgment always has to be given to the athlete. I can think of times in my own career where I took big chunks of time off world records. I broke the record of Alberto Juantorena – one of the greatest 800m runners of all time – and I know people questioned that. People were saying nobody’s run the first lap that fast, nobody’s held on that well down the back straight.
‘In 1979 my personal best was a smidgeon under 1:44. By the end of the season I’d run 1:42 and I’d broken three world records. People thought I’d come out of nowhere when actually I’d been working towards that for 10 years.
‘I think you have to be careful and you have to be respectful.’
Big star: China’s Yi Jianlian (left)
Big star: Swimming sensation Ye Shiwen
Suspicions will linger about Ye but Coe is right that hard work is driving the whole Chinese machine, as well as limitless funding and a cultural structure that could not be applied in Britain.
China has what amounts to a national sports machine in the image of the old Eastern Bloc. Children as young as six are tested for their size, flexibility and skills. The sporty youngsters are then sent away to one of 3,000 schools and fed up the structure from local level to state, regional and national schools.
I stood in a table tennis hall at a school in central Beijing. There were rows of tables, minimally 100 in all. Earnest kids fine-tuned their skills. This focus is replicated in other sports. The likes of diving and gymnastics, with emphasis on suppleness and balance, are grouped together.
‘Winning pride at the Olympics’ was the name given to the project when Beijing won the right to stage the 2008 Games. So successful has it been that 28 years after the Chinese first entered as a proper delegation they are the strongest Olympic nation.
The medal table from Beijing told the story of their triumph: China won 51 gold medals, the USA 36. Some believed that the haul was a Chinese zenith, a one-off for a home Games.
All gold: Chinese gymnasts…
… and divers
That appears not to be the case, judging by how the London Olympics have begun. China have yet to scale their Everest. They still have scope to improve in other sports over the next few years: track and field, rowing, sailing and swimming. They could also turn their attention to team sports, having not sought to prioritise those because the medal rewards are fewer. For example, women’s football, a big deal to America, represents an inefficient investment with a return of one medal per squad of 18.
With a population of 1.3 billion, they can do what they like. It is essentially a numbers game.
Gold medalist: Siling Yi
Can anyone stop them? American sport lives off sponsorship rather than government subsidy, so they must find ways to be smarter: better coaching and recruitment. They could also, like China, embrace sports they largely neglect: rowing (other than the eight, which they love), shooting, canoeing, shooting, table tennis, archery, badminton. Strangely, the American public, as opposed to their Olympic Association, are blind to the emergence of China dominance.
That is partly because the American convention is to present the medal table in order of medals won rather than first counting the number of golds. On that score, they triumphed in Beijing 110 to 100.
All the while, China are being shrewd in pouring money into women’s sport because it is relatively poorly funded around the world. The majority of their Olympic team are women.
The objections to the Chinese model are obvious. They take children away from their families and factory-produce athletes.
The other side of that is that the chosen ones, usually poor, are fed and cared for. Some fame and some money is their reward for ultimate success.
Criticism of the Chinese juggernaut prompted defensive comments in the China Daily newspaper yesterday. ‘Our athletes are not medal machines,’ said one contributor.
‘They are supposed to enjoy the Games and make people want to join in sport.
‘People feel proud for them no matter what results they get as long as they did their best. No one is a failure in the Olympics.
‘China used to use gold medals to prove we are a strong nation and gain respect from others. We don’t need that any more.’
In truth, the Chinese model defies the ethos of sport as we know it in Britain. It is force feeding rather than fun. It is also, for now and the foreseeable future, the way to dominate the Olympic world.
Disqualified Chinese, Indonesian and Korean badminton players unfairly punished for throwing games, Michele Li pushed forward as replacement
“Depressing. Who wants to sit through something like that?” LOCOG chief Sebastian Coe moaned. “It is unacceptable.” It’s an unseemly thing for him to say.
Coe long ago retired from athletics, and instead switched over to a job in sales. It’s no longer within his competence to judge what is or isn’t ethically acceptable behaviour for people who still need to win in order to pay their rent.
Hours later, the discipline’s governing body cravenly capitulated to public opinion (most of that public presumably having never watched a game of badminton before in their lives).
Four teams, including the defending world champions, were tossed from the badminton competition for the sin of playing the long game instead of the short one.
What’s not at issue here is that games were thrown.
The four pairs — two from South Korea, and one each from China and Indonesia — embarked on an amusing journey into true amateurism Tuesday night.
Over and over, they smashed the shuttlecock into the net. They put easy shots well wide. No rally lasted more than four returns.
How would you look competing in the Olympics? Now you know.
All four pairs were trying to ease their draw going into the knockout round, where lesser teams play each other before they meet the powerhouses. The Chinese, who have used this strategy for years on the world badminton stage, wanted to ensure their entrants could not meet before the gold-medal match.
They’re out now. Four inferior teams, including a Canadian pair, were pushed forward as replacement cannon fodder. Problem not quite solved.
That’s the silver lining to this thing — playing another surprise entrant, Australia, Canadians Alex Bruce and Michele Li advanced to Thursday’s semis. They’re one win from a medal. You’re happy for them, but just because it broke right for us doesn’t make it fair.
If anyone’s to blame, it is organizers who decided to make this competition a round robin instead of a straight elimination. You want maximum effort? You make every match count. Otherwise, you introduce gamesmanship into the mix.
The ticket-buying public was upset. Vocally so inside
After conducting a thorough investigation, we are led to believe that this picture was taken during a Bronze Medal quarter-final match from the Women’s 48kg Judo competition at ExCel Arena on Saturday. The women who is flashing a little more than we’d probable like to see is Urantsetseg Munkhbat of Mongolia. As for the woman playing Justin Timberlake to Munkhbat’s Janet Jackson, that would be Paula Pareto of Argentina.
For those who are interested, Pareto would go on to win the match, but would fall short of earning the bronze medal after losing her following match to Charline van Snick of Belgium.
LONDON – The doping suspicions surrounding Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen aren’t going away anytime soon — and that’s a good and a bad thing.
It’s good because it means the 16-year-old is winning more and more medals in these Games. Her latest? The women’s 200-meter individual medley, which she won Tuesday night in 2:07.57, an Olympic record. The performance comes on the heels of her women’s 400 individual medley gold Saturday, in which she set a world record of 4:28.43. She dropped five seconds off her previous personal best, which she swam at 14.
More gold, though, brought more doping suspicions. The 400 IM raised eyebrows because she swam her final 50 meters of freestyle faster than the men’s 400 IM gold medalist, Ryan Lochte, did. Ye has never tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
The suspicions have arisen largely because of Chinese swimming’s tainted past. ”People who are reacting (negatively to Ye) went through the ’90s when there definitely was an issue, and it was proven,” U.S. coach Bob Bowman said. “So that’s something the (Chinese) are going to have to overcome.”
Bowman said the suspicions were taking away from what otherwise would be a dazzling young swimmer taking over the Games.
Ye defended herself Tuesday, calling the attacks “a little unfair.” A news reporter asked her if she agreed with China’s anti-doping chief, who said that critics were biased and raising doubts about Ye simply because she was Chinese.
“I also feel the same way,” Ye said. “How come they criticize me just because I have multiple medals?”
Olympic organizers also came to Ye’s defense Tuesday.
2012 London Olympics – Gymnastics: Kyla Ross and U.S. Womens Gymnastics Team Reclaims Glory With an Olympic Gold
The U.S. womens gymnastics team recaptured Olympic glory Tuesday after winning its first gold medal since the Magnificent Sevens reign at the 1996 Atlanta Games.The five women in bright red, bedazzled leotards covered their mouths in disbelief as the results flashed on the scoreboard, revealing their massive lead over the top-notch Russians.Team USAs Jordyn Wieber, Kyla Ross, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney earned a combined score of 183.596 over second-place Russia, which earned 178.530.
Romania came in third with 176.414 points and reigning Olympic champions, China, came in a disappointing fourth.
2012 London Olympics – Fencing: Controversy forces Korean to sit on piste for ages, eventually costs her medal
The Olympic fencing tournament was thrown into an incredibly emotional, dramatic and elongated controversy when a semifinal bout of the women’s individual epee competition was won on a final touch with 1 second remaining and the losing fencer launched an appeal of the decision which eventually cost her a place on the podium.
Yet it was the appeal of the decision itself which led to incredibly acrimony and one of the lengthiest delays in recent Olympic memory. Here’s how everything unfolded:
With time running out in one of the two semifinal matches for the women’s individual epee competition, South Korea’s Shin A Lam led Germany’s Britta Heidermann by a single point. Officially, Heidermann had just one second to launch an attack and score a touch, which would advance her on to the gold medal match to face the Ukraine’s Yana Shemyakina, a lack of time which all but ensured that Shin would advance.
Instead, the timing mechanism on the piste became stuck, giving Heidermann extra time to complete her attack and win the bout, which earned her the spot in the gold medal bout. Officials, unsure what to do without a true, official protocol to follow, eventually decided to award the victory to Heidermann.
As one might expect, Shin and her coaches were enraged with the decision, and launched an immediate appeal. Yet the appeal itself proved to be incredibly lengthy and also contained a unique bylaw that required Shin to remain on the piste throughout its duration. Unable to leave the playing surface, Shin bawled uncontrollably for the first 10-15 minutes, often shading her head in a towel while occasionally looking out to the crowd before rubbing her eyes again.
At long last, after more than 30 minutes of a delay that included the Korean federation having to expedite a payment for the use in the official appeal, Shin’s attempt to overturn the result failed. That brought a crushing end to a ridiculously long period marked by piquant discussion between Olympic and Korean officials and occasional announcements trying to explain what was going on to the spectators in the crowd.
Clearly, Shin should have had a chance for the gold medal; if the timing mechanism didn’t get stuck, the clock would have run out and she would have advanced. Yet denying Heidermann a shot without some kind of a playoff-style bout might have been equally cruel.
2012 London Olympics – Table Tennis: Ariel Hsing, 16, Nearly Upsets World’s Second Best In Table Tennis
At just 16, U.S. table tennis player Ariel Hsing has already made her Olympic debut a smash success. After winning her first two matches, she just narrowly lost to China’s Li Xiaoxia, the second-seeded player in the tournament. Despite the near upset, Hsing is only ranked number 115 in the world, according to the New York Times.
She matched Xiaoxia shot for shot until the 24-year-old just barely won. In the best-of-seven match, the scores were 11-4, 9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9, the Associated Press reports.
“This was my third match and I just really went for it. I really wanted this match. I learned I just need to go for my shots,” Hsing told ESPN. “If I just let go and play the way I should play, them I’m pretty close with her [Li].”
Her efforts did not go unnoticed. Fan and friend “Uncle Bill” — that’s Bill Gates to the rest of us — watched proudly from the bleachers. “Nothing short of phenomenal,” he said after the game.
Hsing’s table tennis career is wrapped up in a precarious deal she struck with her parents: If her grades slip below straight A’s, the sport will be withheld. With the 2016 Olympics weighing on her mind as a real possibility, the rising high school senior will soon be forced to choose between attending college immediately following high school or postponing to focus on her athletic career.
Gold medalist Kaori Matsumoto of Japan, Silver medalist Corina Caprioriu of Romania, Bronze medalist B Automne Pavia of France, Bronze medalist A Marti Malloy of the United States the Women’s -57 kg Judo on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 30, 2012 in London, England.
Kazakhstan’s teenage prodigy Zulfiya Chinshanlo powered her way to weightlifting gold in the 53kg category on Sunday, breaking her own world record in the clean and jerk.
The 19-year-old posted a snatch of 95kg before making history with 131kg in the clean and jerk, one kilogram more than her effort at last year’s world championships.
The total of 226kg gave a six kilo winning margin ahead of Hsu Shu-Ching of Chinese Taipei, who took the silver, and Moldova’s Cristina Iovu.
Hsu was awarded the silver over Iovu due to a lesser bodyweight.
China’s 17-year-old prodigy Zhou Jun, one of the favorites for gold, was a surprise early casualty, failing to snatch 95kg after being entered by Chinese officials in the weaker “b” group.
The medal-competing, or the final round, includes the eight best athletes in each event. The Vietnamese gymnasts have so far been trained only to win a place in the Olympics, rather than to reach a higher target, insiders say.
In October 2011 Ha Thanh was left without a coach after she secured a spot in London as the Chinese expert had to return home to look after his ill mother, while local coach Thuy Giang also quit the job to take care of her child.
While the training equipment at the Hanoi Sports Training Center has become aged and deteriorated, the athletes have little chance to practice abroad with standardized equipment. Their Korean training trip last April was only enough to practice some difficult moves, one of the team’s coaches revealed.
Meanwhile, coach Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy said the gymnasts only had two practice sessions with the standardized equipment during the trip. “That is the equipment that will be used at the Olympics, but unfortunately we failed to use it enough,” she said.
Thanh will compete in Group 5, which includes famous athletes from Slovakia, Chile, the Netherlands, and Egypt, and will start their competition on July 29…
2012 London Olympics – Swimming: Satomi Suzuki, Ryosuke Irie, Aya Terakawa, haul in bronze medals from the pool
LONDON — The bronze age arrived for Japanese swimming on Monday as Ryosuke Irie, Aya Terakawa and Satomi Suzuki all took third in their respective events at the London Olympics.
It was the first Olympic medal for the three swimmers.
Irie took home his bronze in the men’s 100-meter backstroke in 52.97 seconds while Terakawa, 27, became the oldest Japanese female swimmer to medal at the Summer Games with an Asian record 58.83 in the women’s 100 backstroke.
Suzuki reached the podium in the women’s 100 breaststroke with 1 minute, 6.46 seconds in her Olympic debut to cap a fruitful day for Japan, which has yet to strike gold in the pool in London.
The 22-year-old Irie was also third at last year’s world championships. He came in fifth in the 200 at the last Olympics in Beijing but did not race in the 100 then.
Irie said not only did he want to avenge his loss from four years ago when he was billed as the new face of Japanese swimming, but also wanted to race for Kosuke Kitajima, who finished out of the medals the previous day in the men’s 100 breaststroke final.
“Four years ago, I wasn’t in the 100 but I couldn’t win a medal and let myself down,” said Irie, who finished 0.81 second off the pace of American Matthew Grevers’ new Olympic record.
“One of my goals was to medal in the first race so I could get myself going. But I also wanted to win a medal for Kosuke — not just me but the whole team.”
Irie had a typically slow first half, coming off the turn in sixth, but roared back from that point on. His 27.15 over the last 50 was second fastest to Grevers’ 26.80.
“At the last Olympics, there was all this hype about me being the next ace of Japanese swimming and all that, but I couldn’t win a gold medal and step up when it mattered,” Irie said.
“So to reach the podium means a lot. I want to cherish this bronze medal. A lot of the other swimmers were frontrunners but I like to come from behind. I was confident I could make up ground.”
“I was pretty calm today.”
Like Irie, Terakawa, who was in tears after the race, came on late as she was fifth at the far wall. Only winner Missy Franklin’s 29.51 was better than Terakawa’s 29.87 in the second half.
Terakawa had not seen much international success previously as she was eighth in the 200 backstroke at the 2004 Athens Olympics and failed to even make the team for Beijing. She was fifth in the 100 at the worlds last year, when she was second in the 50, a non-Olympic event.
Terakawa said the national championships in April, which served as the Olympic trials, gave her confidence for the Olympics.
“The national championships were my test for the Olympics,” she said. “That’s where I gained a pretty good feeling for what to do in London.”
“It wasn’t the color of medal I was wishing for, but I’m happy. Just before the wall, I thought about how my coach had told me, ‘Get that touch down.’”
The 21-year-old Suzuki was not expecting to be on the medal stand after qualifying with the seventh best time for the final, in which she finished almost a full second behind the 15-year-old winner from Lithuania, Ruta Meilutyte.
“I’m so happy,” Suzuki said. “I was thrilled just to be a part of this party, but I managed to get through the heats, then the semifinals and now this.”
“Honestly, I never imagined I could win a medal from the first lane. I was completely locked in on my own race, and I think that’s what drove me to a medal.”
Wu cemented her place as one of the greatest female divers of all time as she also drew level with former synchro partner Guo Jingjing, who she teamed up with to win the past two Olympic crowns, with a record six medals at the Games.
The 26-year-old is set to surpass that mark next week, when she and He go head-to-head in the individual springboard.
2012 London Olympics – Badminton: Asians representing non-Asian countries. Japan’s Reiko Shiota and Shintaro Ikeda beats Canadians Toby Ng and Grace Gao
LONDON, July 29 (Reuters) – Mixed badminton doubles Group B. Shintaro Ikeda/Reiko Shiota (Japan) beat Toby Ng/Grace Gao
(Canada) 21-10 11-21 21-15
P W D L F A Pts
1. Fischer/Pedersen (Denmark) 1 1 0 0 2 0 1
2. Mateusiak/Zieba (Poland) 1 1 0 0 2 0 1
3. Ikeda/Shiota (Japan) 2 1 0 1 2 3 1
4. Ng/Gao (Canada) 2 0 0 2 1 4 0
Toby Ng and Grace Gao
Stephanie Au Hoi-shun will participate in 100m and 200m backstroke events in London, Sze Hang-yu in the 200m freestyle, Natasha Tang Wing- yung in the women’s marathon swmming (10km) and Hannah Wilson in the 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly.
Au, who took bronze in the 4x100m relay along with Sze and Wilson at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, said she is confident of breaking her own records during the Olympics. Au also won four medals – including a bronze in the 400m freestyle – at the 2009 East Asian Games.
Tang, who is ranked No 1 in Asia, said: “I hope that I will reach another height at the London Olympics.”
2012 London Olympics: China Wins Two Gold Medals in Swimming, Sun Yang gold in 400m Freestyle to become first Chinese man to win title, Korea’s Park Taehwan gets silver
LONDON — It was a rough opening night in the pool for defending Olympic champions, above all a certain Michael Phelps, but it was a historic night for the Chinese.
Sun Yang became the first Chinese man to win an Olympic swimming title by pulling away from Park Tae-hwan on the final two laps to secure the 400-meter freestyle in an Olympic record time. Then, 16-year-old Ye Shiwen smashed the world record in the women’s 400 individual medley by more than a second: all the more remarkable because she swam the last 50 meters in a faster time than the new men’s 400 I.M. champion Ryan Lochte swam his last 50 meters.
That is surely an Olympic first. “I honestly didn’t realize how far ahead I was,” said Ye, a short-haired teenager from the Chinese city of Hangzhou, which, until now at least, was more famous…
July 14th, 2012 – Ruby Renegade(1-0) made her MMA debut this month in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Cafe against RawDog (1 win, 4 losses) in a two round bout. Ruby won by unanimous decision. She improves her record at 1 win 0 losses.
Ruby also does modeling
When you’re the “world’s hottest swimsuit model” like Jessica Gomes, hanging out in a bikini is pretty much par for the course, wardrobe wise. Her bikini is our jeans.
So when the model headed south to make an appearance at Mercedes Benz Miami Beach Swim Week, she obviously took some time off and hit the beach, stripping down to nearly nothing to catch some rays.
Maxim readers voted Jessica, 27, the “world’s hottest swimsuit model” back in 2011, and by the looks of things, she’s still wearing that black bikini like a boss. The Australian beauty also channeled Miley Cyrus (with her flannel coverup) and Marc Jacobs (with her Chanel bag toted along to the shore).
In her Maxim interview, Gomes revealed that she wasn’t always happy with her 36D breasts: “I’m very skinny on the bottom, but then I have these big boobs. When my body started changing I would go to castings and and call my agent, very upset, saying, My boobs are growing, and they’re not fitting into the sample-size tops!’ But I was very lucky that, as I was becoming a mature woman, other people were digging it, and I was able to be a swimsuit model.”
Jess may have a hot bod that she often bares in the likes of Sports Illustrated, but she also models with her clothes on: she’s appeared in Vogue, Teen Vogue, Glamour and GQ.
It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Grantville native Amy Swensen – or so she thought.
Huddled in a tunnel with America’s best athletes, Swensen stood seconds away from being introduced to the world.
“We waited around all day, moving to different holding areas – bored, tired, hungry and hot,” she recalled of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. “It was dark when we got to walk into the Bird’s Nest, and a slow chant of U-S-A started and grew really loud. I don’t think anyone’s ever felt that much adrenaline.
“It’s really what you think about when you think of the Olympics. You’re there with all the other American athletes – proud and patriotic.”
Now 31, Swensen, maiden name of Tran, will be turning it into a twice-in-a-lifetime experience when she heads to London next month for the 2012 Games. The 1998 Northern Lebanon graduate will once again be the last line of defense for the United States field hockey team, which is ranked 10th in the world.
Korean rhythmic gymnast Son Yeon-jae was placed ninth overall in the individual World Rhythmic Gymnastics Cup at the Minsk Sports Palace, Belarus, Saturday.
Son earned a total of 109.725 points, scoring 28.050 using the hoop, 26.300 for the ball, 27.250 with the club and 28.125 in the ribbon. Although she failed to reach the final for the all-around competition, contested by just the top eight, the 18-year-old made it to the final for the individual hoop and ribbon events finishing sixth and seventh in those categories respectively.
Russia’s Yevgeniya Kanayeva was the overall leader with 118.650 points and the 2008 Beijing Olympics individual gold medallist is the favorite for the London Olympics.
Despite impressive performances in the hoop and ribbon, Son dropped the ball when trying to catch it behind her back and ended awkwardly, out of sync with the music after picking it up off the mat. Her club display wasn’t good enough to offset the mistake.
“Although Son didn’t reach the final due to the Russians’ dominance, her rank is practically eighth regarding the fact that only two from each country will participate in the Olympics,” an official from IB Sports, the Korean gymnast’s agency, said in a media interview.
The result means a lot to Son just before she heads to the London Olympics. Reducing potential mistakes will be critical if she is to vie for a medal. At the Summer Games, 24 gymnasts will participate in the all-round section and only half will make it to the finals.
In April, Son impressed local fans by winning the nation’s first bronze medal at a World Cup gymnastics meet in Penza, Russia, raising hopes for a medal at the Summer Games.
Son, who qualified for the Olympics by finishing 11th in the individual all-around at last year’s World Championships, will compete for the nation’s first medal in the gymnastics in London.
BEIJING, June 11 (Xinhua) — Following is a list of points of interest to Chinese during the London Olympic Games:
July 27 – Open ceremony
The Olympic Stadium will be the focus of world attention when it hosts the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games at 2100 GMT on July 27. The ceremony, whose most expensive tickets cost 2012 pounds, will provide an opportunity for the world to view the culture of the host city and the UK and the artistic expression of the artistic director – Danny Boyle, an Oscar-winning director of Slumdog Millionaire. The 27 million pounds opening ceremony named the “Isles of Wonder”is inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
July 28 – First gold
A guessing game has already started in the country about who will be the first Chinese Olympic winner in London. The first gold medalist of the London Olympics is set to emerge from the shooting range around 1600 GMT when both the women’s 10m air rifle final and the men’s 10m air pistol final conclude. Chinese shooters are good at both shooting events.
Olympic debutantes Yi Siling and Yu Dan will vie for the 10m rifle gold while defending Olympic champion Pang Wei and veteran Tan Zongliang fight for the 10m air pistol. Shooting results are hard to predict, just as in the 2000 Olympics where China’s top hope for the Games’ first gold medal, Zhao Yinghui, ended up miserably.
The 48kg class competition in women’s weightlifting will close at 1700 GMT with Chinese Tian Yuan as a shoo-in.
China’s top swimmer Sun Yang will make his first appearance in the Olympic Aquatic Center as he competes in the men’s 400m freestyle. At 1900 GMT, the women’s archery final will begin, with Chinese expected to mount serious challenge to South Koreans.
July 29 – China’s basketball opener
Four years ago in Beijing, the Chinese men’s basketball team put up an unforgettable game against Spain in which the host team had led by 14 points going into the fourth quarter but ended up by losing 10 points after overtime. In London, China will open against Spain.
Yao Ming has retired from the Chinese team while Spain now has world championship gold, Olympic silver and two European titles to its belt. A spectacular game is expected even though the two sides are no longer on the same par.
On the same day, Chinese divers Wu Minxia and He Zi will have two-prong assault at the gold in the women’s 3m springboard synchronized event and Chinese weightlifters are expected to dominate the men’s 56kg class and women’s 53kg class.
In the women’s 10m air pistol, Guo Wenjun and Su Yulin are heavily favored for gold. The women’s skeet final will see 30-year-old Chinese veteran Wei Ning fight for gold. Chinese fencer Zhong Man will start a defense of his Olympic gold in the individual saber event.
July 30 – Clash of gymnastics giants
A close competition is anticipated between China and Japan in the men’s gymnastics team event. Without a top all-around gymnast to spearhead the team, the Chinese squad led by Chen Yibin and Zou Kai only holds a slim advantage over Japan. It is more difficult for China to defend the team crown since the new rules score only three out of five participants from every side. In last world championships in which China claimed its fifth straight team title and then in the Asian Games in which China took the 10th straight crown, the winning team totaled less than one point more than Japan.
China will continue to reap gold in shooting and weightlifting. Zhu Qinan will open his defense of his Olympic 10m air rifle title, and the weightlifting golds in the men’s 62kg and women’s 58kg classes are set to fall into Chinese hands. China is also tipped to win the men’s 10m platform synchronized diving and heavily favored in the women’s 100m backstroke swimming.
July 31 – Chinese fencers
day will witness Chinese fencers fight for the men’s team foil top honor at Novotel London ExCeL, Royal Victoria Dock. Coached by former star fencer Wang Haibing, the Chinese team claimed the foil team title in the 2011 world championships. Ma Jianfei, Lei Sheng, Huang Liangcai and Zhang Liangliang all rank among the world top 40. The 2012 Olympics offers Chinese foil fencers the best chance to win the team gold.
The day also features women’s 10m platform synchronized diving and men’s 69kg division weightlifting, for which China is highly favored. Four Chinese swimmers who were all born after 1995 will take a shot at the 200m individual medley gold and the Chinese women’s gymnastics team will seek a medal finish in the competition scheduled to start at 1630 GMT.
August 1 – Table tennis gold
The first table tennis gold medal – from the women’s singles – will be decided on August 1. Li Xiaoxia and Ding Ning are tipped to dominate the event. Possible threats to their campaign might come from former Chinese players who switched their allegiance to other countries or regions. Chinese head coach Shi Zhihao has claimed that this gold is set to belong to Chinese players.
The most coveted gymnastics gold – from the men’s all-around – will be at stake for the day. Japanese Uchimura Kohei has become the top contender since Chinese Yang Wei retired. The day will also witness Chinese divers try to fend off challenges in the men’s 3m springboard synchronized event and the Chinese women’s basketball team open against Angola. Besides, Chinese rowers will fight for the women’s pair and quadruple sculls golds while weightlifters vie for the titles in the women’s 68kg and men’s 77kg divisions.
August 2 – Archer Fang
Four years ago in Beijing, Zhang Juanjuan won the women’s archery gold from “Invincible” South Korea. In London, Fang Yuting is good and sharp enough to upset South Koreans.
The championship final of men’s table tennis singles will very likely become a Chinese vs Chinese game. On the same day, judoka Yang Xiuli will start a defense of her 78kg class gold and the Chinese men’s basketball side will play against Australia.
August 3 – Tong Wen back
After two tumultuous years, Chinese Tong Wen will vindicate her position as the queen of judo on August 3. In the 2008 Olympics Tong Wen won the gold medal in the women’s over-78kg class. On May 10, 2010, she was banned for two years because of Clenbuterol doping and was required to give back her gold medal from the 2009 world championships. Tong subsequently contested the ban and took her case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport who ruled that a doping violation could not be proved and found in her favor ordering that she be reinstated immediately with all rights. She returned to international competition in May 2011 winning gold at the Moscow Grand Slam. “I will sweep aside all the rivals in the London Olympics,” says Tong.
The badminton mixed doubles final will be contested on August 3, the day which will also see Lu Chunlong and Dong Dong fight for the men’s trampoline gold, and Zhang Jian and Ding Feng compete in the men’s 25m rapid fire event.
August 4 – Big time for Sun Yang
The men’s 1,500m final is set to attract eyeballs. Sun Yang has grown from an eighth-place finisher four years ago to a hot contender for the gold in London. In the world championships last year, Sun shattered the 10-year-old world record with a time of 14:34.14. He is expected to become the first Chinese man to win an Olympic swimming title. The day will also see the Chinese women fight for the 4×100 medley relay gold.
The end of action in the swimming pool signals the start of track and field competition. Wang Zhen will strive for a medal in the men’s 20km race walking and Li Yanfeng will seek the women’s discus crown.
Two badminton titles will be decided in women’s singles and doubles. The women’s tennis singles final will take place, too, hopefully with 2011 French Open champion Li Na in contention. The day will also see the finals of the men’s epee team, women’s trampoline and women’s 50m rifle three position.
August 5 – Flying Man
At 2100 GMT, the electrifying men’s 100m final will be held in the Olympic Stadium with Usain Bolt, who ran the year’s best time of 9.82 seconds, as the hottest favorite. The world record holder of 9.58 seconds is notorious for breaking rules. In the world championships last year, the Jamaican was disqualified after falling foul of the one-strike-and-you’re-out false start rule.
The men’s singles and doubles badminton finals will be held in the day. It will be a perfect matchup if Lin Dan clashes with world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia.
The day will also see Wu Minxia dive for the women’s springboard gold, Chinese vie for three gymnastics golds including the men’s floor exercise, the Chinese fencing team led by Lei Sheng fight for the men’s team foil crown, and the Chinese women’s basketball team confront with the United States.
August 6 – Lord of Rings
The 28-year-old gymnast Chen Yibing will go all out for his second Olympic rings title. He has become the spiritual leader of the Chinese team even though he is never a top all-arounder like Yang Wei. As one of the most news-worthy athletes in China, Chen had dated, and broken up with “trampoline queen” He Wenna. He loves Weibo, a twitter-like blogging, and likes to interact with his fans. Chen is invincible in the rings, which is the most certain event for Chinese gymnasts in London. The day will also see He Kexin defend her uneven bars gold.
Good news might come from the sea, where Beijing Olympic bronze medalist Xu Lijia will finish her Laser Radial sails. The Chinese men’s basketball team will play its last group match against host Britain. The match is expected to decide if the Chinese basketballers will advance to the knockout stage or go home early.
August 7 – Women’s volleyball
Less fancied Chinese women’s volleyball team qualified for the Olympics through the World Cup, rekindling Chinese enthusiasm for the sport. The former Olympic champion is expected to play a quarter-final on August 7.
If it can make that far, the Chinese women’s basketball team will play in the quarter-finals, too.
The day will witness Liu Xiang run a preliminary race at 1000 GMT; He Chong and Qin Kai fight for the men’s 3m springboard title; the Chinese women’s table tennis team play for the top team honor; gymnasts fight for the golds in the men’s horizontal bar, parallel bar and women’s uneven bars.
August 8 – Flying Liu Xiang
Liu Xiang is expected to run the 110m hurdles semifinal at 1800 GMT and the final at 2100 GMT. The Shanghai native became China’s first ever Olympic track champion at Athens 2004 but four years later caused national angst when he dramatically pulled out injured in front of a packed Bird’s Nest Stadium at Beijing 2008. On his home turf in Shanghai at the Diamond League meeting, he clocked 12.97 seconds in wet conditions to beat two Americans, David Oliver and world outdoor champion Jason Richardson.
On the same day, Wu Jingyu is expected to fight for the women’s 49kg class gold in taekwondo; Wang Hao, Zhang Jike and Ma Long for the men’s table tennis team gold, and Xue Chen/Zhang Xi for the women’s beach volleyball title.
August 9 – Women’s boxing
Three gold medals of women’s boxing, an Olympic debutant event, will be decided in the 51kg, 60kg and 75kg divisions. Chinese Ren Cancan and Li Jinzi, both world champions, will fight for the 51kg and 75kg respectively, with the former standing a better chance for gold.
The women’s 10m platform final will be held in the day with Chen Ruolin and Hu Yadan as top hopefuls. Chinese female wrestlers will seek their third straight Olympic gold in the 72kg class freestyle event. The Chinese flatwater canoe/kayak team is odds-on favorite for the 1,000 pair gold.
The day also features women’s volleyball semifinals, women’s water polo final and the women’s soccer final.
August 10 – No-Gold day
The 14th competition day will very likely see Chinese return to the Athletes’ Village without a gold. Zhang Wenxiu will compete in the women’s hammer final with her personal best two meters off the Olympic champion-caliber throwers.
The women’s synchronized swimming free routine final will start at 1500 GMT. Chinese will be happy with a medal from the event.
The women’s hockey final and third-place playoff will take place on August 10. The Chinese team would accept any result as long as it makes it to the semifinals.
The day will also see the semifinals in men’s basketball, volleyball and handball and the third-place play-off in men’s soccer. These games will be close and exciting but have nothing to do with Chinese teams.
August 11- Thomas Daley
Our attention will be on 18-year-old British boy Thomas Daley even if the day’s program also includes women’s volleyball, women’s basketball and men’s soccer finals.
The “Dream Team”of Chinese divers is least certain of the men’s 10m platform gold because of the existence of Daley. The seventh-place finisher in the 2008 Olympics had beaten Chinese Qiao Bo and Zhou Luxin in the world championships and claimed two European championship titles. The most expensive tickets for Daley’s event sell for 450 pounds, much higher than other diving events.
The day will witness new champions in the men’s 50km and women’s 20km race walking events.
August 12 – Dream Team
The last day of the Olympic Games will witness men’s marathon and finals of men’s volleyball, wrestling, modern pentathlon and rhythmic gymnastics. World championship silver medalist Chen Qian will look for a medal in the women’s modern pentathlon.
Before we watch the closing ceremony, let’s enjoy “Dream Team” action. The new generation of the “Dream Team” has fallen on some tough times. First it was Chauncey Billups tearing his Achilles’ tendon, then Dwight Howard‘s back surgery and finally Derrick Rose‘s ACL tear. It will be the last Olympics for Coach Mike Krzyzewski. The “Dream Team” regained the Olympic title in Beijing and hopes to repeat glory in London. A spectacular basketball final will be a perfect end to the Olympic Games.
Taiwan’s Yang Shu-chun has high hopes for the London Olympics, which will be her last major tournament. The 27-year-old taewkwondo player is wrapping up her athletic career of nearly 20 years and plans to become a coach.
Yang, often nicknamed “pretty baby” in local media, made headlines during the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, where she was disqualified for wearing extra electronic sensors in her socks. She staged a sit-down protest and refused to leave the mat, leading the South Korea-based World Taekwondo Federation to ban her from international competition for three months.
She has moved on and is now focused on London. “I’m really looking forward to demonstrating my strengths at the Olympics…I will more actively enhance my skills and tactics in less than two months’ time,” Yang told The Wall Street Journal.
Yang’s year-to-date results also suggest she is on a promising road to winning gold this summer, after securing three golds: at a London Prepares series Test Event, Dutch Open Taekwondo Championships, and Asian Championships, and one silver medal at Spanish Open. She finished in fifth place in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Chinese Taipei taekwondo coach Sung Ching-hung, who knew Yang when she was 10 years old, said: “She wants to draw a perfect ending, and I believe in her as she is a great athlete who can always exercise high sensitivity at games.”
“I don’t care about what I cannot control, while I will never give up what I can control. I will participate in the game with joy, do my all best and enjoy the game!” — Yang
Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Sayaka Kaneshiro was involved in a practice accident on Wednesday, June 27, while preparing for the 2012 X-Games, sustaining injuries to both wrists and an ankle. Kaneshiro underwent successful surgery on Thursday June 28th, but the injuries she sustained will ultimately knock her out of the Women’s Motocross Championship for the rest of the 2012 season. Kaneshiro is currently sitting third in points after posting some of her career-best finishes this season. She finished third in moto two at Thunder Valley, and grabbed her first-ever overall podium finish at High Point with a third place finish.
The figure skating queen smiled comfortably. She said that she missed the ice and cannot give up being an athlete. Yu-na Kim, 22, said, “I will participate in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and then I will retire” Kim revealed her plan to continue her job as an athlete at a press conference at Taereung Training Center. People anticipated that Yu-na Kim would quit amateur athletic competition to skate professionally and focus on her endorsement work. Her plans to compete in Sochi were a surprise to some.
“After I won gold at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, I didn’t have a clear goal as an athlete. I didn’t prepare for the season last year and it was a relaxing break for me. I will go to Sochi as a South Korean champion. I think my fans will raise me up when I am on the ice rink. When I was little I imagined a gold medal in Vancouver as the end of my athletic career, but now that has changed. I would like to round off my long career with a complete victory in Sochi.”
Behind the difficult decision, one can see Kim’s ambition to fulfill her duty as an elite athlete. Yu-na Kim first wore skates when she was 7, became a celebrity as a world Junior grand prize final second runner up, and in 2005 became the first Korean to win a silver medal at the world championships. Kim’s success won her many fans and plenty of affection. “After I won a gold medal my fans…