DFL

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

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rogge vs. Bolt

DFL is, at its most basic, a call for people to lay off the athletes. So, even though it has nothing to do with last-place finishes, I thoroughly enjoyed Dan Wetzel's tear into IOC president Jacques Rogge for Rogge's criticism of Usain Bolt's behaviour after winning his medals. He, ah, doesn't pull any punches. "Jacques Rogge is so bought, so compromised, the president of the IOC doesn’t have the courage to criticize China for telling a decade of lies to land itself these Olympic Games," Dan writes. "Instead, he has flexed his muscles by unloading on a powerless sprinter from a small island nation. ... Oh, this is richer than those bribes and kickbacks the IOC got caught taking." In a nutshell: neither Rogge nor the IOC has any business being this patronizing.

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Late Results for Thursday, August 21

Athletics: Women's javelin: Rumyana Karapetrova of Bulgaria, 26, had the shortest best throw in the qualifying round; she finished last in group B with 40.15 metres. Two competitors in the qualifying round had no mark. The gold medallist's final score was 71.42 metres. Women's 200 metre: Samia Yusuf Omar of Somalia, 17, was considerably behind the rest of the field with her time, in heat five, of 32.16 seconds. The gold medallist's time in the final was 21.74 seconds. There were two DNSes in the heats. Men's triple jump: In group B of the qualifying round, Indian Renjith Maheswary, 22, had a best jump of 15.77 metres; the gold medallist's best in the final was 17.67 metres. Two athletes had no mark in the qualifying round. Men's 400 metre: 20-year-old Liu Xiaosheng of China put in the only plus-50-second time in the heats; his time in heat two was 53.11 seconds. The gold medallist's final time was 43.75 seconds. There was one DNS in the heats. Men's 110-metre hurdles: Heat three saw Pakistani hurdler Abdul Rashid, 29, finish with a time of 14.52 seconds; the gold medallist's final time was 12.93 seconds. There were two DNFs and one DNS in the heats.

Diving: In the event, Annette Gamm of Germany, 31, finished 29th in the preliminary round with a score of 234.3; the lowest score to advance was 291.9.

Equestrian: In individual jumping, John Whitaker, 58, riding Peppersteak Peppermill for Great Britain, was 77th in the qualifying round and did not advance.

Upper-Class Twit of the Year Modern Pentathlon: Most competitors at the back of the field in this event can blame a DNF in the equestrian leg, giving them zero points. Horses is difficult. Such was the case in the run today, in which Jaime Lopez of Spain, 22, was 36th with 4,196 points and 5:59 behind the gold medallist, who had 5,632 points.

Standings to date: China adds its eighth last-place finish and its third today, taking first place from Canada, which falls to second. Germany adds a seventh to move into third, and Britain adds a fifth to move into fifth position, oddly enough. Spain's third DFL is good for 19th place, Pakistan's second for 29th.

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Early Results for Thursday, August 21

Athletics: 37-year-old Evelyn Nunez of Guatemala finished 43rd in the . Her time of 1:44:13 was 17:42 behind the gold medallist, a bit more than three minutes behind the next-to-last-place finisher, and about six hours faster than I hike a 20-km mountain trail. There were three disqualifications and two DNFs.

Football (Soccer): An unresolvable two-way tie for 11th place in
; accordingly, no DFL will be awarded in this event. You can't come dead last if you're tied with somebody else.

Sailing:
Star: Chinese sailors Li Hongquan and Wang He finished 16th. Tornado: American sailors Johnny Lovell and Charlie Ogletree were 15th.

Softball: The Netherlands finished the tournament in eighth place, with a record of 1–6.

Swimming: In the
, which was limited to 25 competitors, 21-year-old Chinese swimmer Xin Tong was 23rd; there was one disqualification and one DNF (did not float). His time of 2:09:13.4 was 17:21.8 behind the gold medallist.

Water Polo: In , Greece lost its classification match 12–6 and finished eighth; they had been 0–3 in the preliminary round.

Standings to date: China moves into second place with its sixth and seventh DFL, behind Canada, which has seven but a smaller delegation. The U.S. moves into the top 10. Greece, which won the DFL race in 2004 with 13 last-place finishes, gets only its first DFL of these Games. Note, however, that Greece's delegation is only 30 percent of what it was in Athens, when it was the host country. Your delegation's a lot smaller when your athletes actually have to qualify, but you have fewer last places.

Later today: More athletics, diving, equestrian, and modern pentathlon.

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