Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 6 RECAP: China Shines At the Gym and At the Pool

Okay, so lately I've been more of a news feed that I have been a blogger and that's not good. So in trying to achieve so balance in this mega-Olympic blogosphere that does take a toll on an East Coast viewer that needs sleep, let's take a risk and reformat this recap.

Let's start by looking back at some highlights of the day, briefly:
- Men's 100 meter freestyle: Bernard Redeems Himself for France
The most exciting event at the pool today was the men's 100 meter freestyle final, and Michael Phelps wasn't even swimming in it. Instead, it looked to be sort of a rematch of the final leg of the men's 4x100 meter freestyle relay between American Jason Lezak and France's Alain Bernard. In the end was also more of a showdown between two world record holders of this event, former holder Bernard, and current record holder from Australia Eamon Sullivan.

Like the 400m relay, it came down to the last touch and this time, it was Alain Bernard who came out in front and beats the world record.

- Gymnastics: Yang Wei's moment of glory
It may not have been the dramatic final of Athens 2004. It may not have ev
en been a great final period, given the number of errors and deductions made. But it was Yang Wei's final, his Olympic championship and his moment of triumph. It took him eight years of heartbreak for his Olympic dream to be realized, after a silver medal in Sydney and disappointment in Athens. And for that moment to come in Beijing must be truly special for the 30-year-old gymnast.

There were special moments for both the silver and bronze medalists as well: Kohe
i Uchimura of Japan, who fell twice off the pommel horse, and Benoit Caranobe of France, who has never had this type of success in his life.


- Tennis: Down Goes Roger Federer and the potential of a Fed-Nadal Final
This just simply hasn't been Roger Federer's year. After going 0-3 for Grand Slam titles, he came into the
Olympic tournament looking for a moment of redemption at an event that only happens every four years. Yet, despite his five Wimbledon titles, Federer will not join the special list of Olympic gold medalists in his sport after being ousted by American James Blake in the quarterfinals earlier tonight in straight sets. He made 56 unforced errors, unheard of from Roger Federer until now.

When Federer's shot went long on Blake's match point, the Am
erican from Fairfield, Connecticut screamed out, "Yes!" knowing that he's done what many others have tried to do in their career and what may be worth more than a gold medal to some: to beat Roger Federer. Blake now moves on to the semifinals and will face defending Olympic champion, Fernando Gonzalez of Chile.

Nadal moved on from the quarterfinals and will face Djokovic in the semifinals. Meanwhile there were huge upsets in the women's draw. Both Williams sisters, including Venus who won this year's Wimbledon title, were ousted from the quarterfinals earlier today. Serena lost to Elena Dementieva in three sets while Venus fell to Li Na of China.

Other Olympic Medals awarded:

Germany wins team dressage over Dutch 11:57 am EDT (AP)
Golden day for Asia in Beijing 12:19 pm EDT (Reuters)
Khushtov's throws give Russia 3rd Greco gold 11:50 am EDT (AP)
Cuba's Lopez tops Baroev for Greco 120 kg gold 11:45 am EDT (AP)
Italy's Cainero tops American, German in shoot-off 11:41 am EDT (AP)
Ukraine rallies past China for women's saber gold 11:39 am EDT (AP)
Judo-Ex-wrestler gives Mongolia its first gold 10:53 am EDT (Reuters)

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