Saturday morning dawned early for me, at 6.45 am local time. I looked out the window of my ninth floor apartment and could see to the center of Beijing, a forty minute taxi drive away! This is unusual for Beijing in August, according to locals....
The morning session showed off the stars of walking. Jefferson Perez, the sports hero of Ecuador took the silver, medal count that dates back to the Atlanta Games! Young Jared Tallent of Australia took the bronze and Valeriy Borchin of Russia took the gold in the 20 kilometer walk this morning.
Lauryn Williams, Torri Edwards and Muna Lee all looked good this morning in the 100 meters first rounds! I still think Jenn Stuczynski of the US has a good shot at the silver in the women's pole vault if she can stay focused on the competition.
The firs round of the women's 400 meters had all three US women moving on--Sanya Richards, Mary Wineberg and Dee Dee Trotter.
In the men's steeplechase, Anthony Famiglietti of the US took a lead and lost it, but finsihed third, in a personal best of 8:17.34. Fam, as he is known, is showing some serious smarts and talent here. I smell a top six finish.
Hyleas Fountain nearly trashed her heptathlon with two fouls in the long jump. Kelly Sotherton of Great Britain was having a hard second day as well....
EME NEWS (AUG 16, 2008) OLYMPIC DAY TWO MORNING
Russian Valeriy Borchin has won the Olympic title in the 20km Walk in 1:19:01, 14 seconds ahead Ecuador's Jefferson Perez, who claimed his second Olympic medal twelve years after his title in Atlanta (1:19.15). Four years after Nathan Deakes, another Australian, Jared Tallent, completed the podium trio, clocking 1:19:42 for bronze. The best ever olympic competition with 6 1:20 times. Russian world record holder Andrey Morozov did not compete due to illness.
Heptathlon (after 5 events)
Ukraine's Nataliya Dobrynska has moved to the lead after the long jump with another personal best of 6.63m, the best result of the day, for a total of 5045 points after five events. USA's Hyleas Fountain had to secure a safety jump on her third attempt (6.38m) and is 16 points behind (5029 points ). Russian Anna Bogdanova (6.45m) and Lyudmila Blonska from Ukraine (6.48m, also third after two fouls) share the same amounts of point for third (4913 points) while Great-Britain's Kelly Sotherton has been relegated to fifth (4891 points) after jumping 6.33m.
Pole vault qualifications
World record holder Yelena Isinbaeva was the only one to clear the qualification bar of 4.60m on her opening jump as the eleven athletes to clear 4.50m made it through. 2007 Osaka silver medallist Katerina Badurova of the Czech Republic wasn't successful in her attempt to come back after injury as she failed three times at 4.00m.
Sanya Richards from the USA cruised through the 400m heats, clocking 50.54 in heat five. Jamaica's Shericka Williams just edged Russian Tatyana Firova in heat 7, 50.57 to 50.59. Libania Grenot established a new national record for Italy (50.87) in heat 2, edging African champion Amantle Monthso (50.91) who ran her second best time this season after her 49.83 set in altitude. 2007 world champion Christine Ohuruogu of Great-Britain won heat 4 in 51.00.
3000m steeple heats
The heats of the 3000m steeple were marked by the bold solo run attempt of American Anthony Famiglietti who was caught in the last bend but managed to hold on to third place of the second heat (8:17.34). Winner Yacob Jarso of Ethiopia recorded the fastest time (8:16.88). Europe will have four representatives in the final: Frenchmen Bouabdellah Tahri - winner of the first heat in 8:23.42 - and Mahiedinne Mekhissi-Benabbad (8:16:95) as well as Sweden's Mustafa Mohamed (8:17.80) and surprising Ion Luchianov who improved his Moldavian record by almost five seconds to qualify (8:18.97)
African champion Oludamola Osayomi set the fastest mark in the first round of the 100m with her win in heat 8 (11.13) ahead of Bahamas Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie (11.17) and Polish Daria Korczynska (11.22) who slashed 12 hundredths of seconds off her PB. Russian Yevgeniya Polyakova (11.24), Ivet Lalova of Bulgaria (11.33), Belgian Kim Gevaert (11.33) and France's Christine Arron (11.37) recorded wins for Europe.
Shot put qualification
Fifteen athletes achieved the 18.45m qualifying standard and thus advanced to the final. Reigning world champion Valérie Vili recorded the best performance of the morning with 19.73. But Chinese Lijia Gong (19.46) and Meiju Li (19.18) as well as 2008 world leaders Nadzeya Ostapchuk (19.08m) and Natallia Mikhnevich (19.11) of Belarus are ready to provide strong challenge. German Denise Hinrichs, Italian Assunta Legnante and Russian Irina Khudoroshkina were the biggest European casualties of the day. Also reigning olympic winner Yumileidi Cumba and former medalist Yanina Karolchik-Privalinskaya of Belarus were out.
Discus throw qualification
Poland's Piotr Malachowski recorded the best result of the day (65.94m) as only six athletes were above the qualifying mark of 64.50m. Lithuania Virgilijus Alekna followed with 65.84m and Rutger Smith of the Netherlands was the third above 65m (65.65m). Former European champion, Robert Fazekas, stripped off his title in 2004, qualified as 11th (62.64m). Great disappointment for Iran's Ehsan Hadadi and USA's Ian Waltz, respectively 4th and 5th in the world this season, who couldn't do better than 61.34m and 60.02m. Hungary's Zoltan Kovago is also out of contention (60.79m).
OTHER OLYMPIC NEWS
Adidas is recording interviews with its leading athletes and posting on their website: www.press.adidas.com. Worth to have a look.
Tirunesh Dibaba is not sure about her 5000 m entry yet.
Exactly today 10 years from tragic death of 1972 Polands shot put olympic winner Wladyslaw Komar. Tomasz Majewski just yesterday won the second Polish olympic gold in Shot Put.
Bulgarian middle distance runner Daniela Yordanova failed a doping test early July and was withdrawn from olympic team. After Russians and Romanian runners another case in the 1500 m. She was positive on testosteron. She is bronze medal winner from European Championships 2006.
Russian 20 km world record holder Andrey Morozov did not compete at the race today. Head-coach Valentin Maslakov said for All-Sport that his coach Viktor Chegin asked him to withdraw Morozov due to some health problems with legs. He even did not travel to Beijing.
Yuriy Shapsai clocked in Jerusalem on Aug 13 new national best at 300 m with 33.93.
Used with permission of Alfons Juck, Publisher of EME News.