Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Day 12 RECAP: Lightning Strikes Twice for Bolt

EDITOR'S NOTE: Sorry for the late posting and the random posts and the lack of updates. Currently, I'm going through that once in a lifetime move to college as a freshman so I haven't been able to spend as much time on the blog as I should be. This also explains why I have condensed today's post to mainly links, with the exception of the Olympic Highlight of the Day. And as for Day 13, I may or may not release a preview or recap the day's events. Keep checking out the site and I'll do my best to update you when I can. Meanwhile, check out Fourth-Place Medal from Yahoo Sports!. That blog has really inspired me to work harder in covering global sports events.

Only 11 sets of medals were awarded on Day 12 of competition, but there were plenty of highlights to go around as many of the team sports approach the medal rounds.

Olympic Highlight (and Dominating Performance) of the Day
Last night (earlier this morning), viewers around the world and in the Bird's Nest witnessed Olympic track and field history when Usain Bolt of Jamaica completed the elusive sprint double that has not been accomplished since 1984.
Bolt won the 200 meter final in world record time after running around the turn like a sling shot to surge into the lead. He led from start to finish and there really was never any doubt that Usain Bolt could win this race. The 200 meters was the event that Bolt has been training for and he only picked up the 100 meters event earlier this year. After winning the 100 meter final on Saturday night in world record time, the stage was set for Olympic glory to be achieved.

The gold medal won by Bolt in a time of 19.30 accomplished the first Olympic sprint double since Carl Lewis achieved that feat in 1984 in Los Angeles. And the time of 19.30 breaks the world record previously held by Michael Johnson when he ran a 19.32 in the 200 meters in the Atlanta Olympics of 1996. This is the first time ever that a man accomplishes the sprint double and breaks world records in both events. Neither Carl Lewis nor Jesse Owens have done that. Bolt ran a 9.69, though he could have gone faster, in the 100 meters.

The victory also continued Jamaica's success in the sprints. After winning both the men's and women's 100 meter events, including a Jamaican sweep in the women's 100 meters, Usain Bolt has become the face of success that has been found in Jamaican sprinting. That success continued when Melanie Walker won gold in the women's 400 meter hurdles in Olympic record time in another dominating performance.

Confusion of the Day...
I never planned to have this section and I hope I never have to use this section of the recap again, but it was worth noting that while it was very clear that Usain Bolt won the gold medal in the 200 meters, the silver and bronze medalists changed multiple times before Shawn Crawford and Walter Dix were given silver and bronze respectively.

It was originally thought that Churandy Martina of Netherlands Antilles and Wallace Spearmon of the United States captured silver and bronze. Then as Spearmon was celebrating, he was notified that he had ran outside of his lane, a violation of an IAAF rule. That disqualification moved Shawn Crawford up to bronze medal position. He was later upgraded to silver medal position when video evidence showed that Martina had traveled outside of his lane as well. Meanwhile, Walter Dix won his second medal of these games by being bumped up to the bronze medal position due to the disqualifications.

Team Performances of the Day...
US softball survives scare, beats Japan
US men's volleyball rallies into semis

Feel Good Moment of the Day...
Afghanistan wins first Olympic medal

Close Finish of the Day...
Argentina nips Greece

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