DFL

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

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Late Results for Tuesday, August 19

Athletics: In the men's high jump, three athletes jumped the minimum 2.1 metres in the preliminary round on Sunday, but, as I did with the women's high jump, I'll award the DFL to the one athlete who needed three attempts rather than two: Oleksandr Nartov, 20, representing Ukraine, who did so in group A. The gold medallist cleared 2.36 metres. One jumper had no mark. In the men's discus, British Virgin Islander Eric Matthias, 24, had a best throw -- is that what you call it? -- of 53.11 metres in group B of the qualifying round on Saturday. The gold medallist's best in the final was 68.82 metres. In the women's 400 metre, 19-year-old Ghada Ali of Libya finished heat four on Saturday with a time of 1:06.19; the gold medallist's time in the final was 49.62 seconds. In heat four of the women's 100-metre hurdles, held Sunday, Honduran Jeimmy Julissa Bernardez, 21, finished in 14.29 seconds; the gold medallist's time was 12.54 seconds. There was one DNF in the heats. Heats for the men's 1,500 metre were held last Friday, which seems like forever now. The slowest time came in heat four: 21-year-old Jeffrey Riseley of Australia finished in 3:53.95. The gold medallist's time was 3:32.94; there were two DNSes in the heats.

Diving: In the preliminary round of the men's three-metre springboard, South Korean diver Son Seongchel, 21, finished 29th with a score of 353.35, 70.55 points behind the lowest qualifying score.

Equestrian: Choi Junsang, 20, also representing South Korea and riding Cinque Cento (which is Korean for "delicious with kimchi") finished 46th in the first round of the individual dressage event, with a score of 57.333 percent. There was one withdrawal and one retirement in this event.

Gymnastics: 27-year-old Henrik Stehlik of Germany finished 16th in the qualification round of the men's trampoline event. His score of 67.6 was 5.1 points behind the lowest qualifying score.

Weightlifting: The final event in this sport was the , where Tongan weightlifter Maama Lolohea, 40, finished 13th with a combined total of 313 kg. The weakling. The gold medallist's score was 461, and there was one DNF.

Standings to date: South Korea and Germany move into second and third place with six last-place finishes each; Australia's fourth DFL moves it into 9th; with three, Ukraine moves into 11th. Honduras and Libya add their second last-place finishes and now sit 22nd and 17th, respectively.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Late Results for Monday, August 18

Athletics: The qualifying rounds for the women's discus were held Friday evening; in group A, 24-year-old Tereapii Tapoki of the Cook Islands had a best distance of 48.35 metres. She was the only competitor under 50 metres. The gold medallist's final result tonight was 64.74 metres. One competitor had no mark in the heats. Next, women's pole vault, where the Friday qualifying rounds saw three women clear only four metres; two others weren't able to do even that, and had no mark. (The gold medallist cleared 5.05 metres.) To break the tie, I'm going to assign the DFL to the woman who took the most attempts to clear four metres: Cypriot Anna Foitidou, 31, who did so in group B. Qualifying for the men's long jump was held Saturday evening: 29-year-old American Miguel Pate's best jump was 7.34 metres, exactly a metre behind the gold medallist's best in the final. There were two DNSes in the qualifying round, and one athlete had no mark. Also on Saturday, heats for the men's 3,000-metre steeplechase; 23-year-old Ali Ahmad Al-Amri of Saudi Arabia finished in 9:09.73 in heat two. The gold medallist's time in the final was 8:10.34. There was one DNF and one DNS in the heats. In heat five of round one of the women's 800 metre, which was held on Friday, Aishath Reesha, 19, running for the Maldives, had a time of 2:30.14. There was one DNF and one disqualification in the heats; the gold medallist's time in the final was 1:54.87. And finally, the men's 400-metre hurdles. 22-year-old Harouna Garba of Niger ran a time of 55.14 seconds in heat one on Friday. The Monday night time put in by the gold medallist was 47.25 seconds. There was one DNF in the heats.

Equestrian: With a total of 65 penalties, New Zealand's equestrian team was 16th in the first round of team show jumping, and did not advance to the second round.

Gymnastics: Ana Rente of Portugal, 20, finished 16th in the women's trampoline qualification round; only the top eight advanced to the final. Very low marks on her second routine led to a final score of 31.60 -- something must have happened. The next-to-last competitor's score was 57.60, and the lowest score to qualify for the final was 63.90.

Weightlifting: In the men's 105 kg, 31-year-old Moreno Boer of Italy finished 18th, with a combined weight of 330 kg; the gold medallist's score was 436. There was one DNS and one DNF.

Standings to date: Italy adds its fifth last-place finish to move into second; the Cook Islands (!), Niger, New Zealand and the U.S. add their second DFLs.

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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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Friday, August 08, 2008

Cashing in on the Games

My impression is that most of the people who like this site are those who are fed up by the insipid media coverage, crass commercialism, and focus on winning a gold medal to the exclusion of all else. If that sounds like you, and I suspect it does, you will almost certainly hate this very good article from last Sunday's New York Times, which looks at agents and endorsement deals in that cesspool of commercialism, U.S. women's gymnastics. The focus is on Nastasia Liukin's agent, Evan Morgenstein, as he tries to come up with sponsorship deals during a very short athletic career.
Liukin, who before this year was virtually unknown to all but devout gymnastics fans, can be seen performing aerial magic on a Visa commercial narrated solemnly by Morgan Freeman; appearing online in the AT&T blue room; touting CoverGirl makeup and Secret deodorant; and soon smiling from billboards in ensembles from Vanilla Star jeans. Morgenstein called these endorsements his effort to "help a kid achieve a dream."

The rewards of this dream can vary, from $50,000 to $100,000 per deal before the Games to possibly millions if an athlete wins gold. Gymnastics in particular is a sponsorship bonanza. Since 1984, when the gold medalist Mary Lou Retton became the first female to land on the front of a Wheaties box, women’s gymnastics has become a national obsession, inordinately popular during the Summer Games. The opportunities to make money have therefore become both vaster and far more complicated. Technology and globalization have the capacity to turn an Olympic champion into not just a Wheaties star but also a worldwide role model. "The things we’re doing with Nastia -- we’re taking her to a higher level," Morgenstein told me in mid-June. “Of course,” he added almost as an afterthought, "she still has to do well in Beijing."
I know: women's gymnastics as practised in the U.S. is nuts. So, for that matter, is women's figure skating. Both events are so appealing to a certain demographic, and as a result draw in so much money, that they've had the shit corrupted out of them. For athletes spending a decade eating pasta, this report may as well have come in from the Cassini probe: it's utterly alien to the rest of the Olympic experience, where even gold medals can be won in comparative obscurity.

This epitomizes so much of what is wrong with the Games, and why you and I are here at the back of the field, looking for something a little closer to the purported Olympic ideal.

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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

Gymnastics Results

My mistake to have looked at only the final results for the women's and men's team events on Monday and Tuesday. There were other teams competing in the qualification rounds. This is a little confusing for a neophyte to follow. Anyway, some corrections are in order.

In the men's team event, Italy finished twelfth in qualification with 221.431 points, about five and a half points behind Germany, which qualified for the final. In the women's team event, it was North Korea that finished twelfth -- with 144.372 points, it was slightly more than three points behind Australia.

Accordingly, Australia and Germany are removed from the results table -- though they may be back. Italy and North Korea are added.

Because the individual all-around and single-apparatus events use the same qualifying round, I'll have to figure out how -- or whether -- to determine last-place finishes for some or all of those events.

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