Friday, August 15, 2008

Day 1 of the Olympics--evening session

4:20 AM
--Bernard Lagat will get things underway in heat 2 of the men's 1500...60 seconds thru 400m, and 2:05 thru 800m...3:02 thru 1200...finished fourth in 3:41.98 to advance to the next round.

He did not look too happy, looking at the scoreboard in disgust as he watched the replay. Asbel Kiprop of Kenya wins it in 3:41.28.

Larry Eder of The Running Network tells us that Bernard appeared to struggle, a fact the CBC feed confirmed.

Afterwards, Lagat told USA Track & Field, "I wanted to make sure I was in good position. At the bell, I was in really good position. I had to kick from outside. At 200, I was in. I had to kick again from the outside. That's something I'm going to avoid in the semifinals. It's not that I'm going to try, I'm going to have to avoid it. I ran the way I wanted. The pace was a little slow. "

4:45 AM--The second round heats of the men's 100m are getting underway...Anson Henry will be in heat 4 of 3 in each heat and the fastest one advance to tomorrow's semis.

From the looks of heat 1, guys are not messing around...Churanday Martina ran 9.99 to win the heat...interesting to see what happens when the big guns run.

5:17 AM--Anson Henry ran 10.33 to finish fifth in his heat...he will not advance. World record holder Usain Bolt won the heat in 9.92, the fastest time so far of the evening.

Afterwards, a disappointed Henry said, "I got out well, but it just didn't happen. I'll deal with this tonight and then my focus is on the relay."

5:35 AM--A scheduling update for the Saturday morning session...Ian Waltz and Mart Israel are throwing the discus in Group B, which gets underway at 12:05 pm, Beijing time (9:05 pm Friday night in Seattle).

6:15 AM--Aretha Thurmond should be throwing in her group of the women's discus. A quick glance of the group A results has Stephanie Brown-Trafton winning the group at 62.77 (205-11). Top 12 plus anyone who throws farther than 61.50 (201-9) advance to the finals.

Thurmond threw 58.70 (192-7) in round 1. She is currently in fifth in the group.

6:45 AM--WOW! In the finals of the men's shot put, Adam Nelson just had his third foul of the competition. Maybe the problem with the rib is worse than he was letting on (see yesterday's hot links)...the USA trio of Reese Hoffa, Christian Cantwell & Nelson were projected to sweep...then again, that's why they don't throw the shot on paper!

7:05 AM--Aretha Thurmond has made it to the finals, throwing 61.90 (203-1). For Thurmond, this is significant, as this is the first time in her career that she's advanced to a final in either the World Championships or the Olympics!

In contrast to her last competition at the 2005 World Championships, and the 2004 Olympics, where she performed poorly, she was fairly pleased with her performance:

"It was a very good day. I had some great warm-ups that got me comfortable with the ring. I did it (qualified) on my second throw. It was a decent throw, it keeps me alive. That was the goal. Now we can get our eyes on the podium."

7:25 AM--On a side note, Cantwell gets the silver medal in the shot put at 21.09 (69-2 1/2)...Tomasz Mejewski of Poland is your upset winner at 21.51 (70-7), and Andrei Mikhnevich third at 21.05 (69-0 3/4).

Just want to make sure that we thank our sources in Beijing--Larry Eder from The Running Network, Parker Morse from the IAAF (check his live blog at, Walt Murphy from NBC, and of course, Jill Geer of USA Track & Field and Mathieu Gentes from Athletics Canada.

8:05 AM--Hope you're following Parker Morse's blog at the women's 10k, Kara Goucher's been dropped with the pack now down to 10 the way, in the women's steeplechase, Jenny Barringer and Anna Willard both advanced to the finals.

Shalane Flanagan (left/file photo by Paul Merca) will finish third in the 10k! Tirunesh Dibaba from Ethiopia wins in 29:54.68, with Elvan Abeylegesse of Turkey second at 29:56.34...Flanagan gets an American Record 30:22.22!

Here's Larry Eder's notes on the race:

"Running 60.29 for the last lap, Dibaba took the 10,000 meters in 29:54.68 with Abeylegesse in 29:56.34. Running an amazing race, Shalane Flanagan moved into third with 800 meters to go, and ran 30:22.22 for a new American record !"

Kara Goucher finished tenth in 30:55.16.

That's all for this morning...

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