Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 6 2AM Update: Yang Wei Wins Gold For China, Surprise Medals in the Pool

On a morning when Michael Phelps wasn't the focus of competition, China certainly outshined other nations by capturing gold not only in the gymnasium, where gold was expected in the men's all-around, but at the pool, which had quite a share of surprises.

Swimming: Redemption for France's Alain Bernard in Men's 100m Free
The real highlight for swimming fans was the men's 100 meter freestyle final, where a showdown took place between several top name swimmers, including France's Alain Bernard, American Jason Luzak, Dutch swimmer Peter van den Hoogenband and Australian and world record holder Eamon Sullivan. Luczak and Bernard were swimming head-to-head for the first time since both anchored the men's 4x100 meter freestyle relay.

In the end, it was Bernard and Sullivan who fought to the end as each swimmer traded leads in the final 50 meters. In another tight finish for the Frenchman, it was Bernard who came out with the victory this time. Sullivan won silver while Luzak tied with Brazilian Cesar Cielo Filho for the bronze medal. Bernard's win is France's first swimming gold medal of these games.

Meanwhile, the host nation had something to cheer about at the Water Cube this morning. In an upset that benefited the host nation, Liu Zige and Jia Liuyang won the gold and silver medals respectively in the women's 200 meter butterfly final, upsetting favorite and world record holder Jessicah Schipper from Australia. The winning time of 2:04.18 is a new world record.

Kitajima sweeps breaststroke again
China goes 1-2 in women' 200 butterfly 10:56 pm EDT (AP)
Chinese swimmer DQ'd in women's 100 free semi 10:28 pm EDT (AP)
Bernard of France wins Olympic 100 free 11:03 pm EDT (AP)
The Frenchman doesn't choke twice 11:02 pm EDT (Yahoo! Sports)
Van den Hoogenband retires after finishing 5th 2:35 am EDT (AP)

Gymnastics: Yang Wei Wins All-Around After Sloppy Competition
For a true gymnastics fan, this morning's final was very hard to watch. Mistakes were being made everywhere, landings weren't stuck, and there were very few shining moments. Even the one shining moment that belonged to China wasn't as bright as Yang Wei would have hoped for during his routine on high bar.

But it was a shining moment nevertheless as Yang Wei captured a gold medal that has eluded him in the past. He won silver in the individual all-around in Sydney and was shut out of the medals after a devastating fall on the high bar in Athens. This morning, in front of his home crowd at National Indoor Stadium, he made few errors and was strong and consistent, taking the lead after performing a 16.625 on still rings.

Meanwhile, the race for silver and bronze was tight throughout as the standings changed often throughout the competition. Americans Jonathon Horton and Alexander "Sasha" Artemev, however, were not part of that medal mix after a tough start to the their competition. Instead, Japan's Kohei Uchimura, who was second to last after falling twice from pommel horse, and France's Benoit Caranobe won unexpected silver and bronze medals.

Yang Wei wins gold on night of 1,000 errors 1:52 am EDT (Yahoo! Sports)

Other news:
China's Du ties Olympic shooting record 12:10 am EDT (AP)
Du redeems herself, wins gold for China 2:38 am EDT (AP)

Coming Up:
3AM - Shooting, Women's Skeet Final
5:20AM - Greco-Roman Wrestling Finals
5:37AM - Archery, Women's Team Final

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