August 20, 2008 is the 11th major day of the 2008 Olympic games, the below article lists some of the highlights.

Men’s 200 meter sprint

Jamaican Usain Bolt, who recently set the world record for the one hundred meter sprint, has set a new world record in the 200 metre sprint with his time of 19.30 seconds, 0.02 seconds quicker than the previous world record, which was set by Michael Johnson in the 1996 Summer Olympics.

“This is a dream come true. You come out every day to be a champion and I’m just happy,” said Bolt, after the race. “I’ve proved I’m a true champion and that with hard work anything is possible.”

The silver and bronze went to Americans Shawn Crawford and Walter Dix, respectively.

Women’s swimming 10km

Russian Larisa Ilchenko took home gold in the women’s marathon swim. Her final time 1:59:27.7. She beat the United Kingdom‘s Keri-Anne Payne by 1.5 seconds, and Cassandra Patten, also of Great Britain by 3.3 seconds.

Women’s hammer throw

Belarusian Aksana Miankova set a new Olympic Record and won the gold medal in the final of the women’s hammer throw with a score of 76.34.

Yipsi Moreno, who was representing Cuba, won the silver medal, while Wenxiu Zhang, from China finished in third place with a score of 74.32.

Zhang also set her new season’s best.

Women’s 400m hurdles

Jamaican Melaine Walker set a new Olympic record, national record and won the gold medal in the final of the women’s 400m hurdles with a final score of 52.64 seconds.

Sheena Tosta, who was representing United States, won the silver medal, while Tash Danvars, from Great Britain, finished in third place with a final score of 53.84, a new personal best.

Men’s Baseball

Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, and the Netherlands were eliminated in the matches leading up to the Baseball semi finals which will take place on August 21. Chinese Taipei defeated Canada in a closely matched 12 inning 6-5 game, but both failed to advance. China was defeated by Cuba 17-1, and the Netherlands was defeated by South Korea 10-0. The United States and Japan also played, with the US defeating Japan 4-2, but both were already guaranteed entry into the medal round. Japan will play South Korea in the bronze medal round, while Cuba and the United States will compete for the gold medal.

Other news

Liudmyla Blonska fails drugs test

Eckhard Pecher.

Liudmyla Blonska may be stripped of her silver medal
Image: Eckhard Pecher.

Liudmyla Blonska, who won silver in the heptathlon is suspected of using illegal substances. As a result, she faces a lifetime ban and she may be stripped of her silver medal.

Kelly Sotherton, who competed against Bloska, criticised the athlete. “I’ve been saying all along that she got caught doping when she was scoring 6300, so how can she not be doping and scoring 6800?” she said.

“I’ve not seen any of her results since early June and then she comes out here and is producing good performances, which was suspicious,” she continued. “The thing I hope is that the Russian and the American who will be upgraded get their medals in a proper presentation, otherwise they will have lost that moment forever.”

Nick Davies, a representative of the International Association of Athletics Federations also criticised Blonska. “It is fair in life to give people a second chance but now (if it is proved) she has committed an offence again, it is a life ban and good riddance quite frankly.”

Medal Table


Advertisements

Marxists.org.

Hua Guofeng, the successor of Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong, died this afternoon in Beijing at age 87 from an undisclosed disease.

Born Su Zhu in China’s Shanxi province in 1921, Guofeng became a Communist Party member at age 15. Soon after, he became known to Mao Zedong in 1954, and as a result rose quickly through the party ranks.

After he succeeded Zhou Enlai as China’s Premier, Guofeng was chosen by the dying Mao to be his successor. After becoming Premier and Chinese Communist Party Chairman, he ended the Cultural Revolution and had the Gang of Four (including Mao’s last wife, Jiang Qing) arrested.

A vain leader, Hua had the National People’s Congress, the CPC Party Congress, and all schools hang portraits of Mao side-by-side with himself in prominent positions. Hua also attempted to change the Chinese national anthem’s lyrics to incorporate Mao Zedong, however these revisions were rejected.

He was effectively ousted in 1978 as a result of Deng Xiaoping‘s increasingly strong grip on the Communist Party. Guofeng was replaced as Premier in 1980 ending four years of service.

Eric Draper.

American swimmer Michael Phelps, 23, has set a new record for the most gold medals won in one Olympic games by winning his eighth gold medal of the 2008 Olympic games, beating the previous world record of seven that was set by Mark Spitz in the 1972 Olympic Games, which took place in Munich, Germany.

Phelps’ eighth medal was won in the final of the men’s 4 x 100m medley relay. In addition to Phelps, Aaron Piersol, Brendan Hansen, and Jason Lezak were in the winning Olympic team, which had a time of 3:29.34, which was a new world record. In seven of his eight races, Phelps set or contributed to a new world record time. He set an Olympic record time in the remaining race.

“With so many people saying it couldn’t be done, all it takes is an imagination,” said Phelps after realizing he had set the new medals record. “There are so many emotions going through my head and so much excitement. I kind of just want to see my mom.”

“Without the help of my team-mates this isn’t possible,” he continued. “I was able to be a part of three relays and we were able to put up a solid team effort and we came together as one unit. For the three Olympics I’ve been a part of, this is by far the closest men’s team that we’ve ever had. I didn’t know everybody coming into this Olympics, but I feel going out I know every single person very well. The team that we had is the difference.”

Grant Hackett, an Australian swimmer, praised Phelps for achieving his goal. “Michael Phelps – you can’t put it in words what he has done here, his level of achievement is phenomenal and I don’t think it will ever be seen again.”

Source : wikinews

US swimmer Michael Phelps claims his seventh gold medal Mark Spitz has no qualms about handing over his 36-year title of king of the Olympic pool to Michael Phelps, calling him the best ever.

Phelps, 23, on Saturday matched Spitz’s record of winning seven gold medals at one Olympics with a fingertip victory in the men’s 100 metre butterfly final.

This not only puts him on a par with Spitz’s record but also gives him a shot at topping that by bagging an eighth gold when he competes in his final event on Sunday, the 4×100 medley relay.

“I think that he can be called, Michael, the best Olympian of all time, more so not because he has more gold medals than anybody but in the way he’s handled himself and in the way he’s actually won under a tremendous amount of pressure,” Spitz told United States television network NBC.

Spitz, 58, said he always knew someone would eventually match the benchmark he set at 1972 Munich Games.

He called Phelps’s performance “epic” and said the Baltimore native represents “an inspiration to youngsters around the world”.

As Phelps has bagged gold after gold at Beijing, the world’s media had been hunting for Spitz to get his reaction to the swimmer attacking his record after 36 years.

There were rumours that he was in Beijing, then that he was in Hong Kong, and then that he was at home in California.

However it turned out he was in Detroit, watching one of his two sons play in a basketball tournament.

After Saturday’s race Phelps told NBC that he thought he had lost the race that earned him a extra $US1 million from sponsor Speedo, which promised him a bonus if he matched Spitz’s record.

“As soon as I took the last half stroke, to be honest, I thought I had lost the race,” he told the US network that bought exclusive broadcasting rights to the August 8-24 Games.

“And that was the difference, ’cause if I would have glided then I would have come up short. I’ve been lucky enough over the last four years to have two pretty good finishes in Olympic finals. I guess I’m blessed.”

Whether he wins an eighth gold medal or not, Phelps will leave Beijing as the most successful Olympian of all time.

By Saturday he had lifted his gold medal tally to 13, which tops the previous record of nine held jointly by Spitz, U.S. sprinter Carl Lewis, Finnish distance runner Paavo Nurmi and Soviet gymnast Larysa Latynina.

Source : abc.net.au /Reuters

Usain Bolt ... nuggets and rest key to 100m gold The world’s fastest man has revealed his secrets after breaking the world record in the Olympic 100 metres final in Beijing last night.

Twenty-one-year-old Jamaican Usain Bolt produced a stunning performance to win the blue riband event in a new world record time of 9.69 seconds, beating his own mark by 0.03 of a second.

Bolt says he made no special preparations for the Olympic final.

“Sat around, watched some TV, then I had lunch, some nuggets,” he said.

“Then I went back to my room, slept again for three more hours. Then I went back, got some more nuggets, then I came to the track.”

Source : abc.net.au

Highlights

Men’s 200-meter individual medley

Michael Phelps won his sixth gold medal of the Beijing Olympics with a world-record time of 1:54.23 in the final of the men’s 200m individual medley. The gold puts him one gold medal away from Mark Spitz‘s individual record of seven gold medals at a single Olympiad, set at the Munich Olympics in 1972. It was also his sixth world record, also one short of a single-Olympiad record set by Spitz as well.

Hungarian László Cseh won the silver medal with a time of 1:56.52, an European record. Cseh out-touched American Ryan Lochte, the bronze medal winner, by 0.01 seconds (1:56.53).

The previous world record time was 1:54.80, set by Phelps at the 2008 United States Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebrasha.

Men’s 50m freestyle

In the first semifinal of the men’s 50m freestyle, Cesar Cielo Filho set a new Olympic record with a time of 21.34 seconds, 0.12 seconds ahead of the previous Olympic record and 0.06 seconds behind the current world record.

“It was a great race. The 50m is so fast and it was my best-ever race,” said Filho after the race. ‘I’m in lane four [in the final]. I’ll just do my best and focus on my own race and will touch the wall with my best performance.”

Women’s 200m breaststroke

American Rebecca Soni net a new world record and won the gold medal in the final of the women’s 200m breaststroke with a time of 2:20.22.

Leisel Jones, who was representing Australia, took the silver medal, while Sara Nordenstam finished in third place with a time of 2:23.02, less than one second behind Jones’ time of 2:22.05.

Women’s 75kg weightlifting

The Chinese Cao Lei set a new world record and won the gold medal women’s 75kg weightlifting. Her score of 282 beat the competitor who took the silver medal by sixteen points.

“I was excited and overjoyed because I won the seventh gold medal for Chinese weightlifting,” she said, after the event.

Men’s individual pursuit

British Bradley Wiggins set a new Olympic record in qualifying round of the men’s individual pursuit with a time of 4:15.031 and an average speed of 56.463 km/h.

Hayden Roulston, who was representing New Zealand, finished in second place, while Alexei Markov finished in third place with a time of 4:21.498.

Women’s artistic gymnastics individual all-around

American Nastia Liukin won the gold medal in the women’s individual all-around in artistic gymnastics. She is the daughter of former Soviet Union gymnast Valeri Liukin, who won a gold medal at the Seoul Olympics in 1988. Her total score was 63.325: 15.025 in vault, 16.650 in uneven bars, 16.125 in balance beam and 15.525 in floor exercise. Her scores at balance beam and floor exercise were the top scores for the individual all-around competition.

Her American teammate, Shawn Johnson, won the silver medal with a total score of 62.725. Johnson had the top score in the vault, with a score of 15.875. Chinese gymnast Yang Yilin won the bronze medal with a total score of 61.925. Yang had the top score in the uneven bars, with a score of 16.725.

Medal Table


Video of the day From  Beijing 2008 Olympic Games