Friday, August 15, 2008

Day 7 11AM Update: Blake Expects Gonzalez to be A Gentlemen/Crazy Badminton Atmosphere

More news and blogging here on Day 7, which is still ongoing with the men's semifinals in tennis, preliminary play in basketball and the closing minutes of women's soccer quarterfinals.

Blake Disappointed in Gonzalez after Semifinal Loss
James Blake lost to Fernando Gonzalez today in three sets after he had three match points, including an easy forehand shot that turned into an error, to gain a berth in the Olympic final. After his 4-6, 7-5, 11-9 loss to the Athens gold medalist, he decided to blame his opponent, not himself, for not being a good sportsman.

From the Associated Press report:
[Blake] accused Gonzalez of failing to fess up on a disputed point two games before the finish.

“I’ve spoken all week about how much I’ve enjoyed the Olympic experience, how much I love the spirit of it,” Blake said. “That’s a disappointing way to exit the tournament, when you not only lose the match, but you lose a little faith in your fellow competitor.”

The incident that upset Blake occurred with Gonzalez serving at 8-9 in the final set. On the first point, Blake hit a backhand passing shot long but contended the ball ticked Gonzalez’s racket before landing, as TV replays confirmed.

Blake appealed in vain to the chair umpire, and said Gonzalez should have conceded the point. Blake went on to lose the game to make it 9-all.

“Playing in the Olympics, in what’s supposed to be considered a gentleman’s sport, that’s a time to call it on yourself,” Blake said. “Fernando looked me square in the eye and didn’t call it.”

Gonzalez said he was uncertain whether the ball hit his racket.

Talk about being a good sportsman. I'd have some sympathy, but if Blake had three match points and then failed to convert either of them, and then talk smack about his opponent, then he should probably look at himself in the mirror and ask himself if he is a gentlemen.

It's alright Blake. Anyone can be frustrated after a loss. Just go out there and win the bronze for USA. (He will face the loser of the the semifinal between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.)

China IS Badminton Crazy!

I just watched the women's doubles final, where China and Korea faced off for the gold medal, and I am now thoroughly convinced that China is very crazy about badminton. In an atmosphere similar to that of an NFL playoff game, the Chinese pair of Du Jing and Yu Yang defeated Korean pair Lee Hyo-Jung and Lee Kyung-Won in two games 21-15, 21-13. Earlier, the Chinese earned a bronze medal in the same competition.

I've always known that badminton and table tennis is very popular in China, but I've never actually seen their passion. Now I'm thoroughly convinced that these sports that we find so amusing in our backyard and in our basement are not to be taken lightly in China. I can't wait to watch more of these types of sports during the rest of the Olympics, especially on tomorrow morning, when two Chinese women will play for the men's singles title.

China wins gold medal in badminton 10:38 am EDT (AP)

I Love Bela Karolyi! (see Awful Announcing)

I know I'm a little late with this, but this is still worth talking about. Bloggers everywhere are putting on a smile on their face during the gymnastics competition as we watch analysis from Bela Karolyi in the gymnastics competition. It was during the team final that we witnessed how crazy in love he is for the sport when he jumped for joy as he watched the competition unfold. Last night, or earlier this morning, he practically peed in his pants as he watched Nastia Liukin's floor exercise routine. My favorite part is watching Bob Costas just sit there and sip his coffee, his eyes rolling. He's probably saying to himself, "I can't believe the network wants me to sit with this guy." I love the chemistry between the two, too bad none of the rest of the gymnastics competition is live. Make sure you see the link above.

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