Friday, August 22, 2008

Day 8 of the Olympics--evening session...

7:45 am--Steve Hooker from Australia will win the pole vault, with a clearance of 5.96m/19-6.75. Yevgeniy Lukyanenko will get second at 5.85m/19-2.5, and Denys Yurchenko of Ukraine will get third at 5.70/18-8.5, with Derek Miles fourth at the same height.

The only question remains what height will Hooker go for? Turns out, he's done!

I've been told by someone in Beijing that Usain Bolt will
most likely run on the 4 x 400 relay team for the Jamaicans tomorrow night...stay tuned.

On that note, our coverage is done for tonight. We'll be back tomorrow for seven finals, including Bernard Lagat in the men's 5000, and the two 4 x 400 meter relays.

7:11 am--
37.10 for the Jamaicans, with Usain Bolt handing off to Asafa Powell--a world record, by 3/10th of a second!

Trinidad & Tobago gets the silver in 38.06, and Japan, running 38.15 gets the bronze.
The Canadians run 38.66, good for sixth.

Afterwards, Anson Henry said to the CBC that they thought they ran well, but "they didn't gain any ground through the zone."

The old OR and WR are both 37.40, run by USA teams in 1992 and 1993, respectively.

7:05 am--
Men's 4 x 100 relay on the the pole vault, Lukyanenko of Russia leads.

In the 4 x 100, WSU Cougar Anson Henry is running the second leg. Donovan Bailey on CBC states there's no reason for them not to get a medal.

6:50 am--
Bryan Clay (above/file photo by Paul Merca) runs 5:06 and change, but he's the Olympic champion! It's 5:06.59 for 522 points, and a final score of 8791 points.

6:40 am--
Decathlon 1500 is under way, with the first of two heats. Athletes are seeded based on current standings, with places 13-26 running now. The leaders will run in the next heat.

6:35 am--
In the pole vault, the bar's at 5.75m/18-10.25 with six athletes left.

6:25 am--
Some projections for Clay--he needs to run 4:48.04 (631 points) to get 8900, and 4:32.15 (731 points) to get 9000 points.

6:15 am--
The Jamaicans botch the second exchange in the women's 4 x 100 meter relay. Russia takes advantage, winning in a modest 42.31, with the Belgians second in 42.54, with Kim Gevaert on the anchor. Nigeria gets a gift medal in third at 43.04.

6:05 am--
In a minor upset, Maureen Maggi of Brazil wins the long jump in 7.04/23-1.25 over Russia's Tatyana Lebedeva (7.03m/23-0.75).

Taking advantage of
Lyudmila Blonska's suspension, Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare was third in a personal best of 6.91m/22-8.

Brittney Reese was fifth at 6.76m & Grace Upshaw eighth at 6.58m, with Fumni Jimoh 12th at 6.29m.

In the decathlon javelin, Bryan Clay threw 70.97m/232-10 to get 904 points. With one event to go, he has 8269 points. Krauchanka at 7790 has just thirteen points on Pogorelov of Russia (7777) and Suarez, currently tied in third. Sebrle, in fifth, has 7620.

The decathlon web site projects Clay to finish with a score of 8882, or 50 points better than his PR of 8832.

5:57 am--
With a last 800 of 2:03, and a last 400 of 59.54, Tirunesh Dibaba wins the 5000 to add to her 10000 gold medal, winning in 15:41.40. Former Ethiopian Elvan Abeylegesse, now of Turkey, gets her second silver of these Olympics, running 15:42.74, and Meseret Defar of Ethiopia gets third in 15:44.12.

Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan are 9th & 10th, in 15:49.39 & 15:50.80. Jen Rhines gets 12th in 16:34.63.

5:51 am--
Less than 2000 to go. No one really wants to commit. Twelve women still in it, and Samitova, the steeple winner is leading.

5:48 am--
2 kilos goes through in 6:45.41. We've had laps of 67, 77 & 90 seconds.

5:44 am--
This first kilometer is brutally slow--3:39.2--90 seconds for the last 400. It's playing out as a 3000 meter race, as David Moorcroft observes on CBC.

5:35 am--
Clay's thrown 68.71m/225-5 on his first attempt, which is worth 870 points. He is on a projected pace of 8848 points.

The women's 5000 runners are on the track. We are watching three different feeds right now.

5:15 am--
The Angelo Taylor anchored American squad wins their heat of the 4 x 400 meter relay, running 2:59.98.

4:55 am--The US team, with Sanya Richards on the anchor, won heat 2 of the 4 x 400 relay in 3:22.45.

On the infield, they are introducing the competitors in the men's pole vault. This is a tough one to watch, without Brad Walker.

4:05 am--
Ni hao, and welcome back to the Bird's Nest!

After eight events, Bryan Clay has extended his lead in the decathlon, with a score of 7365 points. He's followed by Andrei Krauchanka of Belarus with 7049, then Alexander Pogorelov of Russia with 6979. Outside the current medal positions is Oleksiy Kasyanov with 6874.

The first of two flights in the javelin is underway; however, the major contenders are in the second flight. Kasyanov and Maurice Smith of Jamaica (currently fifth with 6860 points) are the best-ranked decathletes in this flight.

Women's long jump will get underway in 15 minutes with Brittany Reese, Fumni Jimoh, and Grace Upshaw, while the pole vault with Derek Miles starts at 7:55 pm, local time.

First event on the track is the first semi in the women's 4 x 400, followed by the men's 4 x 400.

Other track finals include the women's 5000 with Shalane Flanagan & Kara Goucher, the two 4 x 100 relays, with Canada and ex-WSU Cougar Anson Henry, and the decathlon 1500.

In doping news, heptathlete Lyudmila Blonska, who was second in that event, has been stripped of her Olympic silver medal in the heptathlon for doping.

The Ukrainian athlete has been disqualified and kicked out of the Beijing Games by the International Olympic Committee.

Blonska tested positive for a steroid after finishing second in the heptathlon last Saturday.

Blonska was slated to compete in the long jump finals starting shortly. This marks Blonska's second doping violation, and she faces a lifetime ban.

You can read the full story here.

This will move Hyleas Fountain up to the silver medal.


DEORTMAN said...

Paul: Great Track Blog. But NBC has completely destroyed any enjoyment from watching the track and field events, particularly the decathlon. You can never tell when the track and field events are going to be on. I never did see all 10 deca events. NBC runs hours of preliminary diving in the early evening hours, then quickly dumps the track and field events near midnight. Stupid, stupid NBC. Why does USAT&F let NBC get by with this crap? Perspiring minds want to know

Mercanator said...

I hope to write something about this in my Northwest Runner article on the Olympics.

Having been on the television side of the sport, I can tell you that right or wrong, the Olympics are a 16-night reality television series.

In contrast to the major sports, the Olympics are targeted to a different demographic. The networks KNOW they will get the hard core (insert name of sport) fan--the strategy for drawing viewers is different than for the major sports.

Preliminary indications from NBC indicate that despite the 12-hour difference between the east coast of the US & China (15 on the west coast), this may be the most-viewed Olympics in history.

As for live vs. taped, the west coast has been royally screwed by the networks, as columnists like Ron Judd from the Seattle Times have written.

I hope to follow this up in my NWR piece.

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