DFL

Celebrating last-place finishes at the Olympics. Because they're there, and you're not.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Synchronized Diving Torpedoed

A followup to my last post, wherein I mentioned the men's 3-metre springboard synchronized diving event. It turns out that just looking at the results doesn't give you the full story.

The last-place Chinese team was apparently the gold-medal favourite, but, according to the BBC, "a mystery spectator -- dressed in traditional Greek knickerbockers with the name of an internet betting company scrawled on his bare chest -- jumped on to one of the boards not being used for competition and bombed into the pool."

After the competition was delayed and the dorkwad was hauled off, the divers proceeded to botch their last dives. The U.S. team had a terrible landing, one of the Russians touched the board on the way down -- generating a very low score -- and one of the Chinese divers (no one seems to know who's who) hit the water on his back, generating the even lower score of zero. Leaving the expected winners in last place and the actual winners surprised.

All because some web site tried to spam the Olympics with a cannonball-diving fuckwit.

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Late Results for Monday, August 16

For this entry, think about all the teams that couldn't even qualify to be here. If eight teams are competing in an event, you can be sure it's because there were only eight spaces allocated.

Diving: So because only eight teams compete in a synchronized diving event, let's not get catty about the last-place efforts of Eftychia?Pappa-Papavasilopoulo -- say that fast ten times! -- and Florentia Sfakianou (Greece), who finished nearly 80 points behind the winner in the women's synchronized 10-metre platform. Nor should we snark at China's Peng Bo and Wang Kenan, who finished last in the men's synchronized 3-metre springboard -- nearly 70 points behind the winner. (No, instead we should snark at synchronized diving as a sport.)

Gymnastics: In the men's team event, in which, again, eight teams competed, Germany finished eighth -- at 167.372 points, they were less than 6½ points behind the winners. Gymnastics seem to be decided by fractions of fractions in any event. (Fractions of fractions -- enough about the U.S. women's gymnastic team's weight.) [Correction]

Weightlifting: Yacine Zouaki of Morocco finished 16th with a combined lift of 225 kg in the men's 62-kg category. That's nearly 3.7 times his weight; and he weighs a lot less than you. (The winner lifted 325 kg.)

Standings to date: China takes an undisputed lead -- though it also leads the medal count, so go figure. Greece moves into a four-way tie for second. Germany and Morocco join the (now) sixth-place tie.

See previous entries:

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More Results for Monday, August 16

Swimming: Heats in many events take place throughout the day, and it's the slowest time in the heats that I report here, but I wait until the finals have been run -- for comparison purposes -- to report the swimming events. (To reiterate, I compare the slowest time in the heats to the fastest -- i.e. the winner's -- time in the finals.) In the men's 200-metre freestyle, Ruslan Ismailov (Kyrgyzstan) had the slowest heat time of 2:01.53; the winner's final time was 1:44.71. From nearby Turkmenistan, Yelena Rojkova finished last in the women's 100-metre backstroke heats with a time of 1:15.48 -- nearly 15 seconds behind the winner's time. On the men's side, Omar Abu Fares of Jordan had the slowest time (1:02.36), eight seconds back. And in the women's 100-metre breaststroke, Pamela Girimbabazi Rugabira of Rwanda was well back with a time of 1:50.39; the winner's time was 1:06.78.

Standings to date: Four countries -- Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Rwanda and Turkmenistan -- join the race for fifth place.

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Early Results for Monday, August 16

Most of the finals are scheduled for the evening, but I can report a few bottom results so far.

Shooting: Chinese women's trap shooter Gao E, a world-class competitor, finished 17th with a score of 48; the leader after the qualifying round had 66. Marcel Buerge (Switzerland) finished 47th in the qualifying round of the men's 10-metre air rifle with a score of 576; the finallists had scores of 594 or more. In accordance with ISSF rules, last-place competitors will be taken out and shot.

Weightlifting: In the women's 58-kg category, Mongolia's Bayarmaa Namkhaidorj finished 14th with a combined lift of 195 kg, falling short by only lifting 3.8 times her body weight.

Standings to date: China and Switzerland pick up another point each and move into a four-way tie for first place with Algeria and Egypt, and Mongolia joins the rest in a multi-way tie for fifth.

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