DFL

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

Friday, August 22, 2008

Results for Friday, August 22

Athletics: : 36-year-old Kazimir Verkin of Slovakia finished 47th; his time of 4:21:26 was 44:17 behind the gold medallist. There were seven DNFs, five disqualifications, and two DNSes. Women's long jump: In qualifying Tuesday, Tricia Flores of Belize, 28, had the shortest best jump: 5.25 metres in group A; the gold medallist got 7.04 metres in the final. Three athletes had no mark; one was disqualified for being bad. Women's 5,000 metre: 30-year-old Celma da Graca Soares Bonfim of S?o Tomé and Príncipe finished heat one with a time of 17:25.99 on Tuesday; the gold medallist's time was 15:41.40. One DNF and one DNS apiece in the heats. Women's 4×100-metre relay: Never mind the final, the heats Thursday saw three disqualifications and two DNFs, leaving the team from Thailand with the slowest finishing time of 44.38 seconds. The gold medal time in the final was 42.31 seconds. Men's 4×100-metre relay: The men's side saw two disqualifications and four DNFs; the slowest team left standing was that of France, with 39.53 seconds. The gold medallists in the final did it in 37.1 seconds. Men's pole vault: Three athletes cleared 5.3 metres (the gold medallist did 5.96 metres); I'm unable to break the tie. No DFL will be awarded. Men's decathlon: There were 14 DNFs in this event -- 35 percent of all athletes entered. Of the 26 capable of attempting all 10 events, Mikko Halvari of Finland, 25, was 26th with a score of 6,486 -- 2,305 points behind the gold medallist. Mikko got zero in the pole vault; he and one other athlete continued nonetheless, while two athletes did not start the following event. I don't know the circumstances for all 14 DNFs; I wonder how many were the result of giving up when zeroing out on a specific discipline.

Canoe/Kayak (Flatwater Racing): : Alcino Gomes da Silva, 17, S?o Tomé and Príncipe, 9th in heat two with a time of 4:28.057. : Sean Pangelinan, 21, Guam, 8th in heat two with a time of 4:49.284. : Canada, fourth in the semifinal with a time of 1:38.366. : José Ramos, 25, and Gabriel Rodriguez, 29, Venezuela, seventh in the semifinal with a time of 3:27.423. : José Everardo Cristobal, 22, and Dimas Camilo, 18, Mexico, seventh in the semifinal with a time of 3:49.695. : Australia, fourth in the semifinal with a time of 3:02.743.

Cycling (BMX): In the men's BMX event, Latvian
Ivo Lakucs, 29, had the lowest score of the four heats of the quarterfinal round. On the women's side, Australian Tanya Bailey, 27, had the worst score in the semifinals.

Field Hockey: New Zealand lost its classification match in women's field hockey to finish 12th.

Modern Pentathlon: All the female athletes in the modern pentathlon were able to complete the equestrian portion; insert cliché about women and horses here. Lada Jienbalanova of Kazakhstan, 38, was already 36th after the equestrian portion and did not start the final 3,000-metre cross country run. Her final score was 3,736 points; the gold medallist's score was 5,792.

Standings to date: Canada retakes the lead with its eighth DFL; Australia moves into fifth place with its sixth last-place finish. With their third DFLs each, Venezuela, Kazakhstan, New Zealand and France move into 14th, 15th, 18th and 23rd places, respectively. With two last-place finishes and only three athletes, S?o Tomé and Príncipe jumps into 24th place.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Early Results for Tuesday, August 19

Cycling: In the , the U.S. team of Michael Friedman, 25, and Bobby Lea, 24, finished 16th with four laps down and three points. In the , Sakie Tsukuda of Japan, 22, was last in the final for 9th–12th places. In the , Estonian Daniel Novikov, 19, was 21st in the qualifying round and did not advance.

Sailing: In the laser radial, 20-year-old Cathrine Margrethe Gjerpen of Norway was 28th. In the laser, Gregory Douglas, 18, sailing for Barbados, was 43rd.

Triathlon: In the , Canadian Colin Jenkins, 25, finished 50th with a time of 1:56:50.85 -- nearly eight minutes behind the winner. Don't feel too bad for my country; a Canadian made it to the podium, too. There were three lapped competitors and two DNFs.

Standings to date: Canada adds its seventh DFL to solidify its lead. Japan adds its fourth to move into eighth place; the U.S. adds its third to move into 12th; Estonia adds its second to move into 20th.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Early Results for Monday, August 18

Cycling: Lee Minhye of South Korea, 23, finished 19th in the with a score of –40; there were three DNFs. In the men's team pursuit, the Colombian team of Juan Esteban Arango, 21, Arles Castro, 29, Juan Pablo Forero, 25, and Jairo Perez, 35, was 10th in the qualifying round and did not advance.

Sailing: 470 women: Toh Liying, 23, and Deborah Huimin Ong, 18, representing Singapore, finished 19th. 470 men: Canadians Stéphane Locas and Oliver Bone, both 27, finished 29th.

Triathlon: In the , Lisa Mensink of the Netherlands, 31, was 29th after the 1.5-km swim, but fell to 45th place during the 40-km race. She ended up finishing 45th with a total time of 2:10:18.98 -- 11:51.32 behind the gold medallist. Five triathletes were lapped, and there were five DNFs, all during the bike portion of the race.

Standings to date: Colombia and the Netherlands add their second DFLs; South Korea's fourth moves it into fifth place; Canada's sixth solidifies its hold on first place in a non-tie-breaking manner.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Late Results for Sunday, August 17

Athletics: In Friday's qualifying round for the men's hammer throw, Juan Ignacio Cerra of Argentina, 31, had the shortest final distance in group B: 70.16 metres. Compare with the gold medallist's best in the final Sunday night: 82.02 metres. Three athletes had no mark. In heat two of the women's 3,000-metre steeplechase on Friday, China's Zhao Yanni, 21, put in a time of 10:18.60. The gold medallist's time in the final Sunday night was a world-record 8:58.81. There were four DNFs in the heats and one in the final. The lowest score in the women's triple jump came in group B of the qualifying round Friday: Irina Litvinenko of Kazakhstan, 21, had a best jump of 12.92 metres -- nearly 2½ metres shorter than the gold medallist's best jump Sunday night. Four athletes had no mark in the qualifying round. The slowest heat time in the women's 100 metre was less than a second behind the gold medallist's time of 10.78 Sunday night; that time, 11.71 seconds, was put in by 30-year-old Sasha Springer-Jones of Trinidad and Tobago in heat five. It was a competitive field: several other sprinters were within a few hundredths of a second of this last-place time. And finally, the , where 27-year-old Alejandro Suarez of Mexico finished 35th with a time of 29:24.78 -- 2:23.61 behind the gold medallist. There were three DNFs and one DNS.

Cycling: With an average speed of 45.598 km/h, El Salvadoran cyclist Evelyn Garcia, 25, was 13th in the qualifying round of the women's individual pursuit and did not advance.

Diving: Spanish diver Jenifer Benitez, 19, finished 30th in the preliminary round of the women's three-metre springboard; her score of 194.05 was 179.85 points behind the leader.

Rowing: : Ko Youngeun, 21, and Ji Yoojin, 20, South Korea, fifth in the C final. Lightweight men's double sculls: Mohamed Ryad Garidi, 30, and Kamel Ait Daoud, 23, Algeria, second in the D final. Lightweight men's four: Mike Altman, 33, Patrick Todd, 28, Will Daly, 25, and Tom Paradiso, 28, USA, fifth in the B final. : Rachelle de Jong, 29, Anna-Marie de Zwager, 31, Janine Hanson, 25, and Krista Guloien, 28, Canada, second in the B final. : the young Slovenian team of Janez Zupanc, 21, Jurnej Jurse, 20, Janez Jurse, 19, and Gaspar Fistravec, 21, did not make it out of the repechage. : the German team did not make it out of the repechage. : Germany was second in the B final.

Sailing:
Yngling: the Italian team of Chiara Calligaris, 36, Francesca Scognamillo, 26, and Giulia Pignolo, 28, finished 15th. Finn: Venezuelan Jhonny Senen Bilbao Bande, 33, finished 26th. 49er: Li Fei, 25, and Hu Xianqiang, 26, finished 19th.

Weightlifting: 26-year-old Ravi Bhollah of Mauritius lifted a total of 275 kg in the and finished 16th; the gold medallist's score was 406. There were two DNFs.

Standings to date: Canada, Germany and China move into first, second and third with five last-place finishes each. Italy adds its fourth to stand in sixth place, and South Korea its third to stand eighth. Argentina, Kazakhstan, Mauritius, Spain and Venezuela each add their second DFLs; the U.S. finally has its first.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Medal Nervousness

Colby Cosh in the National Post:
The medal-count panic now spreading within Canada after a week of Games has also served to teach us something about ourselves, if we should bother to introspect. We tend to think of ourselves as very soft patriots by international standards -- relaxed and rational about our reputation, convinced that other nations are very impressed with us indeed. Every single foreigner who has ever met a Canadian knows what balderdash this is: We are among the world's most hysterical nationalists. And our medal nervousness proves it. Before the Games, this newspaper printed a list of 15 projected Canadian medal winners: The number of these who have so far had a chance to win a medal and blown it is precisely zero. Yet to read the press or the Internet, or even to hang around the water cooler, one would think the sky were falling.
I shouldn't pick on my own country so much; it's just that there's so much low-hanging fruit. Are there similar examples out there from other countries? (India is usually a good candidate.)

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

In Defence of Shitty Little Countries

I've done some thinking -- that was unwise, I know -- and I think I finally figured out what the problem is when Canadians, for example, complain that Togo won a bronze medal and Canada hasn't (yet).

They think that their country is entitled to a medal. And that Togo -- and countries like it -- aren't.

Shitty little countries aren't supposed to win medals. They aren't supposed to upstage big countries. They're supposed to know their place. And their place is not the podium. They're supposed to provide comic relief, or colourful costumes during the Opening Ceremonies, not real competition. After all, they don't really deserve to be here, because they only qualified through a wild card draw. They're not real athletes.

Athletes from shitty little countries are supposed to look like Eric the Eel, not Benjamin Boukpeti. The nerve of one of them, winning a medal like that.

I can't figure out this attitude at all. We live in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with one of the highest standards of living. And when a small west African country, a country with a per capita gross national income of less than $400 per year, wins its first medal ever, we're jealous?

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The Great Canadian Choke Story

The Globe and Mail's Christie Blatchford on the Canadian press corps's predictable return to Canada-chokes-at-the-Olympics-because-it's-day-five-and-we-don't-have-a-medal-yet stories, such as this one (as predicted):
When [Benjamin] Boukpeti [of Togo] won the little West African country's first ever Olympic medal [in kayaking], the gleeful cry went up in the Canadian press corps: "Hey, we lost to Togo! Who we going to lose to next?"
Ah! Losing to a shitty little country like Togo means that the size of our national dicks is in peril. George Carlin, looking down from the big electron, is smiling. Blatchford continues:
Then came that low, familiar rumbling, plain in questions to Alexandre Despatie and Arturo Miranda, who missed out on an expected podium appearance in the synchronized three-metre springboard: Boys, what would you say to all those Canadians back home who really want a medal?
Oh, I don't know; how about this: "Hit the gym and win your own goddamn medal, fatass."

But Blatchford's point, and it's a good one, is that the Canadian media tends to jump the gun about the country's lack of medals. Every single Olympics, the medals come -- they just come later in the Games. Hardly any medals have been awarded yet. And the media ends up looking stupid, as Rosie DiManno surely did when she demanded an apology from Cindy Klassen for winning a bronze, shortly before Klassen went and won more medals than any Canadian athlete in history.

The Olympics are a crucible that reveals a nation's insecurities, and Canada -- though it's by no means alone in this regard -- has them in spades.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Results for Wednesday, August 13

Cycling: The final two road cycling events ran today. First, the , in which 24-year-old Chinese cyclist Meng Lang finished 25th. Her time of 40:51.61 was six minutes behind the gold medallist; her average speed was 34.507 km/h, compared with the gold medallist's 40.445 km/h. In the , Fumiyuki Beppu, 25, of Japan finished 39th with a time of 1:11:05.14 and an average speed of 39.923 km/h; the gold medallist's time and speed were 1:02:11.43 and 45.633 km/h, respectively. These results are all more than twice as fast as I'm able to maintain on my bike, over a much shorter distance. (The women's event is 23.5 km; the men's, 47.3 km.)

Diving: The final synchronized diving event ran today: the . Here, the Australian team of Scott Robertson, 21, and Robert Newberry, 29, finished eighth. From the detailed results, it looks like their third dive did them in.

Gymnastics: To apply the DFL for the women's team medal, I go to the lowest-scored full team in the qualification round. That was Germany, for which the total team score was 230.8; the top score in that round was 248.275. For the individual events, I have a few ideas on how to apply DFL; if I can't make them work, this will be it for artistic gymnastics.

Shooting: In a turn of events that is going to make sports columnists in my country go batshit insane, Canadian Avianna Chao, 33, finished 41st in the . Her score was 558; at least 582 was needed to make it to the final.

Swimming: Of the four events in which medals were awarded today, three had their heats on Monday. In the women's 200-metre freestyle,
heat two had the slowest time -- 2:05.71, which was put in by South Korean swimmer Lee Keora, 19. For comparison, the gold medallist's world-record time in the final was 1:54.82. Heat two was the venue for the slowest time in the men's 200-metre butterfly as well: Indonesia's Donny Budiarto Utomo, 29, finished in 2:03.44; the gold medallist in this event set a world record as well with a time of 1:52.03. Indonesia picked up another DFL in the women's 200-metre medley: in heat one, Fibriana Ratna Marita, all of 14 years old, finished with a time of 2:28.18, nearly 20 seconds behind the gold medallist's world-record final time was 2:08.45. There was one DNS. And finally, the men's 4×200-metre freestyle relay, where there were only two heats, which ran yesterday: not every country can field a full team. And the country that fielded the slowest team in this event was Brazil; their time in heat one was 7:19.54. For comparison, the gold medal final time, a world record like the others, was 6:58.56.

Weightlifting: In the , Japanese weightlifter Rika Saito, 25, finished eighth with a score of 209; the gold medallist's score was 286. There were two DNFs. A lot more competitors in the , where Monegasque -- that means he's from Monaco -- weightlifter Romain Marchessou, 22, was 24th. His score was 250; the gold medallist's was 366. There were four DNFs.

Standings to date: Canada adds its fourth DFL, as many as Britain, but since Canada's team is larger it's in second place. Indonesia and Japan jump onto the board with two last-place finishes apiece; Brazil, Germany and China add their second last-place finishes.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Results for Tuesday, August 12

Canoe/Kayak (Slalom): In yesterday's , 23-year-old Siboniso Cele of South Africa finished 16th; only the top 12 advanced to the semifinal; only the top eight advanced to the final. Cele accumulated 50 penalty seconds in his first run, which put him well out of contention. Something similar happened to two kayakers in the , but while Ding Fuxue of China, 28, had a couple of seconds' fewer penalties, he put in a slower time; he finished 21st.

Diving: Great Britain is not having a good time at the pool: the team of Tonia Couch, 19, and Stacie Powell, 22, finished eighth with a score of 303.48 in . Their score was 60.06 points behind the gold medallists.

Equestrian: Eventing has finally wrapped up. France finished 11th in the
team event, due to the fact that they had to include the score of an eliminated horse and rider (teams are scored using the top three results, though most countries arrive with four or five riders). Individual scoring ran concurrently, and the individual jumping final is imminent. But, since the final only includes the top 25 (limited to three per country), we can safely assign a last-place result here as well, based on the results so far. Canada's Samantha Taylor, 25, riding Livewire, 10, finished 56th with 188.3 penalty points -- 134.1 points behind the leader. A total of 14 horse-and-rider pairs were either eliminated or withdrew.

Gymnastics is extremely difficult to report on, because a number of medal events are derived from the same qualifying round, as far as I can tell. In 2004 I gave up on trying to report on the individual events and limited myself to the team scores. Unless someone can hold my hand and show me how this time, I'll do the same again for 2008. So. In the , the Italian team was 12th with a total score of 355.5; the top team score in the qualification round was 374.675. Note that there were a number of individual gymnasts competing without a team in this round.

Shooting:
Nikola Saranovi?, 39, of Montenegro finished 45th in the . His score in the qualifying round was 535; 559 was needed to advance to the final. In the , Canadian Giuseppe Di Salvatore, 18, finished 19th with a qualifying score of 109; he would have needed at least 136 to have a shot a the final.

Swimming: The heats for today's finals took place on Sunday. First, the men's 200-metre freestyle, where, in heat one (of course), Emanuele Nicolini of San Marino, 24, put in a time of 1:59.47. For comparison, the gold medallist's time in the final was 1:42.96. There was one DNS in the heats. Next, the women's 100-metre backstroke, where, again in heat one, 18-year-old Panamanian swimmer Christie Marie Bodden Baca's time was 1:07.18 -- compare that to the gold medallist's time of 58.96 seconds in the final. There was one disqualification and one DNS in the heats. Now for the men's 100-metre backstroke: Mohammad Rubel Rana of Bangladesh, 25, put in a time of 1:04.82 in heat one. That's more than 12 seconds behind the gold medallist's final time. And finally, the women's 100-metre breaststroke (stop sniggering). In heat one, 24-year-old Mariam Pauline Keita of Mali had a time of 1:24.26; the gold medallist's time in the final was 1:05.17.

Weightlifting: Bolivia's Maria Teresa Monasterio, 38, finished 17th in the . Her score was 141, 100 points behind the gold medallist; there were two DNFs and one DNS. Meanwhile, in the , Nizom Sangov of Tajikistan, 25, finished 24th with a score of 250 -- 98 points behind the gold medallist; there were six DNFs.

Standings to date: Now things are starting to get interesting. Britain, home of Eddie the Eagle, maintains its hold atop the DFL standings with four, but Canada adds two to move into second place. San Marino and South Africa add their second DFLs.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

If You're Not a Winner, You're . . .

From an article in today's Globe and Mail about athletes adjusting to life after the Olympics:
Dave Steen had barely hoisted a hose in a new career as a firefighter when his past life hit him like a wall of flames.

"Hey, aren't you the guy who lost at the Olympics?" a colleague remarked on his first day on the job at an Ottawa fire hall.

From that day forward, the former decathlete -- who clinched a bronze medal in the 1988 Seoul Olympics -- was endearingly dubbed "loser" by his co-workers.
Now I know some hazing in a job like this is inevitable, but my response would have been a little less magnanimous than Steen's: Let's see you win a bronze in the decathlon, fatass.

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Results for Monday, August 11

Archery: I've been able to figure out last-place results for the team archery events. The scores in the ranking round won't work because, in the men's team event, the team with the lowest score in the ranking round went on to win a medal. So it's the lowest score in the 1/8 round that is meaningful for our purposes. In the , which ran yesterday, that meant the Colombian team of Ana Maria Rendon, 22, Sigrid Romero, 19, and Natalia Sanchez, 25. They had a score of 199; the highest score in the event was 231, a world record, which came in the semi-finals. In today's , the lowest score -- 210 -- was put in by the British team of Laurence Godfrey, 32, Simon Terry, 34, and Alan Wills, 27. The gold medallists' score in the final was 227, an Olympic record.

Diving: The results from the event are in; British divers Blake Aldridge, 26, and Thomas Daley, 14 -- that's right, this kid -- finished eighth with a score of 408.48 -- 59.7 points behind. I have to see some footage of this: how a 14-year-old and a 26-year-old can stay in sync is something I want to see.

Shooting: In the , 21-year-old Saso Nestorov of Macedonia finished 51st with a qualifying-round score of 558; it took at least 595 to make it to the final. In the , Namibian Gaby Diana Ahrens, 27, was 20th. Her qualifying-round score was 52; the lowest score to qualify for the final was 67.

Swimming: Four more swimming medals today, but we go back to Saturday and Sunday for the lowest heat times in these events. In heat one (naturally) of the women's 100-metre butterfly, the slowest time was that of 24-year-old Simona Muccioli of San Marino. Her heat time of 1:04.91 was eight seconds behind the gold medallist's final time. In heat one of the men's 100-metre breaststroke, a rather slow performance of 1:20.20 -- more than 21 seconds behind the gold medallist's final time -- was put in by Petero Okatai, 27, of the Cook Islands. The heats had one DNS and one disqualification. In the women's 400-metre freestyle, it's heat one again: 19-year-old Shrone Austin, swimming for the Seychelles, with a time of 4:35.86 -- more than 32 seconds behind the gold medallist's final time, but keep in mind that this event is four times as long as the previous two. Think of it as eight seconds per hundred metres. And finally, the men's 4×100-metre freestyle relay. Relays are by nature more competitive, since the basic requirement is at least four good athletes per country -- Bhutan won't have a relay team, for example. There were two heats in this relay; the slowest time came in heat one from the German quad of Steffen Deibler, 21, Jens Schreiber, 25 , Benjamin Starke, 22, and Paul Biedermann, 22. Their time of 3:17.99 was 9.75 seconds behind the gold medallists' final, but that was a world record -- and in their own heat, they were only 5.76 seconds behind that same gold medal team. There was one disqualification.

Weightlifting: In the , 20-year-old Wendy Hale of the Solomon Islands came 12th with a score of 173; the gold medallist's score was 244. My own country, Canada, gets its first DFL in the : Jasvir Singh, 31, finished 12th with a score of 266; the gold medallist's score was 319, and there were five DNFs.

Standings to date: Great Britain, with three last-place finishes to date, moves into an undisputed lead. No one else has more than a single last-place finish.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Hard Bigotry of High Expectations

More than anything else, I think, this blog is opposed to the idea that anything short of a gold medal is a failure on the athlete's part. Toronto Star columnist Rosie DiManno writes the usual Canadian whinge about high medal expectations falling short -- written only four days into the Olympics! -- that includes this bit of profound offensiveness about Canadian speed skater Cindy Klassen:
For Klassen, on the weekend, there was bronze in the 3,000 metres, which is hardly failure. But it's hardly the top of the podium either, for an athlete who has become rather accustomed to stepping up there on the World Cup circuit and who had never previously exhibited any tendency toward nerves or excitability or poor judgment in a race.

The Winnipeg native can atone -- a word and concept cited far too frequently, it seems, when the subject is Canadian Olympians -- in any of the races she has left here.
Via Tart Cider. Yes, you read right: DiManno believes that Klassen has to atone for getting a bronze medal.

My default position should come as no surprise: given the stringent qualification rules imposed by the IOC, the various sport governing bodies, and national Olympic committees, I don't think that anyone who manages to get to the Olympics has anything to apologize or atone for.

Now, DiManno's point is about people whose world championships fail to translate into gold medals. To which I would respond, so what? We're talking about someone who still managed to make it to the podium. If the world champion finished 24th, yes, some questions along the lines of "What the hell happened?" might be warranted.

But if world champions were supposed to win all the time, why bother running the races? I think anyone who actually competes in a sport will tell you that, yes, there are other people in their sport who are actually good, and things can happen during competition. If you're so myopic to conclude that if someone else wins, it's because it's your guy's fault, not because somebody else was better or stronger or just plain luckier that day, then you need to pull your head out of your ass and look around at the rest of the field a bit.

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Monday, August 23, 2004

Results for Sunday, August 22

Athletics: Women's marathon: Luvsanlkhundeg Otgonbayar of Mongolia finished 66th with a time of 3:48:42 -- half an hour behind the 65th-place finisher and over an hour and twenty minutes behind the winner. Sixteen competitors did not finish. Men's high jump: Liu Yang (China) and Alfredo Deza (Peru) both finished at the bottom of their qualifying heats with jumps of 2.10 metres, the minimum required, so I'll award them a last-place tie. Two jumpers received no mark; the gold-medal jump was 2.36 metres. Men's triple jump: Armen Martirosyan of Armenia had the shortest distance in the heats at 15.05 metres; the winning jump in the final was 17.79 metres. Men's 1,500-metre wheelchair: The wheelchair athletes weren't allowed to march with the athletes during the opening ceremonies. Screw that; I'm including them here. Joel Jeannot of France finished 7th with a time of 3:22.14, a little less than 12 seconds off the winning pace. There was one DNF. Women's 800-metre wheelchair: British athlete Tanni Grey Thompson finished 8th with a time of 1:56.87; this was a much closer race, with a bit more than three seconds separating all finishers. Men's hammer throw: Alfred Kruger of the USA had a best throw of 69.38 metres in the qualifying; the winner's best in the final was 83.19 metres. Two tossers received no mark. Men's 100-metre: In the Games' marquee event, the slowest time put in in the heats was by Sultan Saeed of the Maldives at 11.72 seconds; the winner's time was 9.85 seconds.

Cycling: Evelyn Garcia of El Salvador had the 12th-slowest speed in the qualifying rounds of the women's individual pursuit. Her speed was 45.752 km/h; the top eight speeds (you needed a top eight finish to advance to the next round) were between 50.191 and 52.325 km/h in the qualifying round.

Diving: South Africa's Jenna Dreyer finished 34th in the preliminary round of the women's 10-metre platform event. Her score of 186.90 was 184.20 points behind the leader in that round.

Rowing: Whether the last-place finisher is determined in the repechage, the semifinals, or one of the finals seems to depend on the number of entrants. Women's lightweight double sculls: Pham Thi Hien and Nguyen Thi Thi, Vietnam (C final). Men's lightweight double sculls: Three teams did not make it out of the C/D semifinal, but of those three, the Uzbek squad of Sergey Bogdanov and Ruslan Naurzaliyev had the slowest time: 6:45.47. Men's lightweight four: The foursome from Great Britain didn't make it out of the repechage. Women's quadruple sculls: Belarus (B final); only eight teams competed. Men's quadruple sculls: The foursome from France didn't make it out of the repechage. Women's eight: Canada (woe! alack!) didn't make it out of the repechage. Men's eight: Great Britain (B final). And that wraps up rowing.

Sailing: In the women's Europe class, Natalia Ivanova of Russia finished 25th; and Sami Kooheji of Bahrain finished 42nd in the mixed laser class.

Shooting: In the men's 50-metre rifle, three positions, Alexsander Babchenko of Kyrgyzstan finished 40th with a score of 1130; the scores were fairly close together in this event, but you needed a score of 1164 to advance to the final round. And in the men's skeet, Syrian Roger Dahi finished 41st with a score of 106 (those advancing to the final had scores of 122 or better).

Standings to date: China solidifies its hold on first place, France and Kyrgyzstan make a run for the "top", Great Britain makes a "strong" debut, and even more countries get added to the list.

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Sunday, August 22, 2004

Results for August 20-21

Archery: In the women's team event, Poland finished fourth in the ranking round but ended up 15th and last in the 1/8 eliminations. On the men's side, the archers from Greece stayed in 13th place in both rounds.

Athletics: Lots of heats going on in some events but, as with swimming, I'll wait until the final results before reporting the slowest heat times. Men's 20-km walk: Park Chil Sung of South Korea finished 41st with a time of 1:32:41, 13:01 behind the winner. Men's 10,000 metre: David Galvan of Mexico finished 21st with a time of 29:38.05, more than 2½ minutes behind the winner. Women's discus: Tsvetanka Khristova of Bulgaria threw the shortest final distance -- 43.25 metres -- in the qualifying rounds; the winner's distance in the final was 67.02 m. Women's 100 metre: Somali sprinter Fartun Abukar Omar had the slowest heat time of 14.29 seconds; the winner's final time was 10.93 seconds. Women's heptathlon: In this gruelling two-day event, Shen Shengfei of China finished last with 4949 points [Correction]; the winner had 6952 points.

Canoe/Kayak (Slalom Racing): In the men's C2, Australia's Mark Bellofiore and Lachie Milne finished 12th in the heats with a combined time of 278.36 seconds, more than 77 seconds behind the fastest heat time. In the men's K1, Jens Ewald of Germany finished 25th in the heats with a combined time of 250.09 seconds, more than 63 seconds behind the fastest heat time.

Cycling: Tamilla Abassova of Russia finished 12th in the women's 500-metre time trial with a speed of 51.213 km/h; the winner's speed was 53.016 km/h. In the men's 1-kilometre time trial, Radoslav Konstantinov of Bulgaria's speed of 54.327 km/h earned him 17th place; the winner's speed was 59.297 km/h. In the men's individual pursuit, Hossein Askari of Iran did not advance to the heats after his 15th-place result in the qualifiers (there was one DNS). Nor did the team from Slovakia advance after their 12th-place finish in the qualifying round of the men's team sprint.

Equestrian: In the team dressage event, Switzerland finished 10th with a score of 65.653 per cent; the winning team's score was 74.653 per cent.

Gymnastics: In the complicated event of jumping up and down on a trampoline, very low scores on the second routine during the qualifying round (indicating an incomplete routine on account of bouncing off the damn thing, presumably) pushed the following competitors into last place. Tatiana Petrenia finished 16th with a score of 32.90 (the highest qualifying score was 66.80); on the men's side, it was Peter Jensen of Denmark with a score of 32.70 (the highest score during that round was 69.10).

Rowing: I wish I knew what I was doing. If I read the results right, everyone in rowing makes it to a final, it's just a matter of which. So for our purposes, it's a matter of finding the last-place finisher in the lowest (e.g., D or E) final. Women's single sculls: Doaa Moussa, Egypt (D final). Men's single sculls: Ibrahim Githaiga, Kenya (E final). Men's pairs: Czech rowers Adam Michalek and Petre Imre did not make it out of the repechage. Women's pairs: Sophie Balmary and Virginie Chauvel finished last in the B final, but their time of 7:17.94 would have placed them fifth in the A final. Women's double sculls: Ironically, the B final was faster than the A final (where the medals were awarded), but Russian rowers Olga Samulenkova and Yulya Kalinovskaya finished last there; if they had rowed that time in the A final, they'd have won the silver. Men's double sculls: Lithuanians Kestutis Keblys and Einaras Siadvytis had the slowest time in the repechage and did not advance to the semis. Men's fours: Romania did not make it out of the repechage.

Sailing: In the men's 470, Peter Czegai and Csaba Cserep of Hungary finished 27th. Elisabetta Saccheggiani and Myriam Cutolo of Italy finished 20th in the women's 470. In the men's finn class, Estonia's Imre Taveter finished 25th. And in the yngling class, the three-woman crew of Lisa Ross, Chantal Léger and Deirdre Crampton (Canada) finished 16th.

Shooting: We have a tie for last place in the women's 50-metre rifle, three positions event: both Divna Pesic of Macedonia (we've seen her before) and Kim Frazer of Australia finished 32nd with 555 points in the qualifying rounds. In the men's 50-metre rifle, prone, Reinier Estpinan of Cuba finished 46th in qualifying with 581 points. And Australia's Bruce Quick finished 17th in the men's 25-metre rapid-fire pistol: he had 571 points.

Swimming wrapped up during these two days. Women's 200-metre backstroke: It looks like something happened to Shu Zhan of China during her heat: she led at the 100-metre mark but was seventh at 150 metres. She ended up with the slowest heat time, 2:31.56, even slower than the Uzbek. For comparison, the winner's final time was 2:09.19. Men's 100-metre butterfly: Palestinian Rad Aweisat had the slowest heat time at 1:01.60; the winner's final time was 51.25 seconds. Women's 800-metre freestyle: Khadija Ciss of Senegal had the slowest heat time, at 9:20.05; the fastest time in the final was 8:24.54. Men's 50-metre freestyle: Lots of competitors in the heats here from countries that, shall we say, are not known to be swimming powerhouses. (Okay, which wiseacre said "Canada"?) But someone had to have the slowest time, and it was Yona Walesi of Malawi, at 34.11 seconds; the winner's final time was 21.93 seconds. Women's 50-metre freestyle: Ditto. Laotian swimmer Vilayphone Vongphachanh's time was 36.57 seconds; the winner's final time was 24.58 seconds. Men's 1,500-metre freestyle: Not an event for guys who've just learned to swim. The slowest time -- 16:26.52 -- was put in by Juan Carlos Miguel Mendoza of the Philippines. Compare that to the winner's time of 14:43.40. Women's 4×100-metre medley relay: It's Switzerland with a time of 4:15.54; the winning time in the final was 3:57.32. Men's 4×100-metre medley relay: Brazil's team had the slowest heat time, 3:44.41; the winning time in the final was 3:30.68. Relay team results are a lot closer, yes? And that's it for swimming.

Weightlifting: In the women's 75-kg event, Marie Jesika Dalou of Mauritius was well behind the pack, lifting a combined weight of 130 kg; the next-to-last competitor lifted 207.5 kg and the winner lifted 272.5 kg. In the womens plus-75-kg category, Ivry Shaw of Fiji lifed 185 kg; the winner lifted 305 kg -- the results were more spread out than in other categories, but then so were the competitors' body weights. And Julian McWatt of Guyana finished last in the men's 85-kg event, lifting 272.5 kg; the winner lifted 382.5 kg.

Standings to date: Remind me not to do two days at once again, would you? Anyway, all countries in the "top" 20 have more than one last-place finish. About one-third of the countries participating in Athens now have at least one last-place finish. The top five -- with four or more last-place finishes -- have large teams: their last-place finishers tend to come from their second or third entries in an event, or they're finishing last in a team event with limited entries -- Burkina Faso tends not to enter equestrian competitions -- and with pre-Olympic qualifications.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Early Results for Wednesday, August 18

Canoe/Kayak (Slalom Racing): In the men's C1 heats yesterday, Chris Ennis Jr. (USA) was 16th with a total time of 290.73 seconds, 89.29 behind the leader; the winner's final time today was 189.16. It was closer in the women's K1 heats, where Slovenia's Nada Mali finished 19th with a total time of 278.49 seconds, 66.28 behind the leader; the winner's final time today was 210.03.

Cycling: The women's individual time trial was held today, and Sweden's Susanne Ljungskog finished 25th with a time of 35:17:25 -- 4:05.72 behind the winner.

Shooting: In the women's double trap, Olympic veteran Susan Nattrass (Canada), who I recall saying that the nature of shooting was such that anyone could finish first or last at this level (or something to that effect), finished 15th today with a score of 88; those who advanced to the final had a score of 108 or more. In the women's 25-metre air pistol, Venezuela's Francis Gorrin -- who finished last in Sunday's 10-metre air pistol -- finished last again, in 37th place with a score of 534. Finalists had scores of 580 or more in that event.

Standings to date: Canada, Slovenia and Sweden enter the race in 32nd, 23rd and 26th place, respectively. Both the United States and Venezuela add their second last-place finishes, moving them into 7th and 3rd place. (Remember, rankings are based in part on the size of their Olympic delegations.)

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