DFL

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

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Results for Sunday, August 24

Athletics: No doubt 30-year-old Atsushi Sato of Japan will be the subject of many an attempted human interest story, now that he's finished dead last in the men's marathon. He finished 76th with a time of 2:41:08, which was 34:36 behind the gold medallist. Hardly A Baser Wasiqi territory, but that won't stop the media. There were 19 DNFs and three DNSes.

Basketball: Angola was 0–5 in the preliminaries of men's basketball and, with fewer points for and more points against than Iran, finished 12th.

Handball: In men's handball, China was 0–5 and finished 12th.

Rhythmic Gymnastics: In the qualification round for the group all-around event, the team from Brazil finished 12th with a score of 29.125; it would have taken 31.45 or better to qualify.

Volleyball: In men's volleyball, both Egypt and Japan were 0–5, but Egypt won no sets, whereas Japan won four. Therefore, the DFL goes to Egypt.

Water Polo: In men's water polo, China lost its classification match with Canada on Friday to finish 12th.

Final standings: China finishes with 14 DFLs; Egypt moves into sixth place, Japan moves into ninth, and Angola and Brazil, at the last moment, jump into the top 20. Stand by for an analysis of the final standings.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Late Results for Saturday, August 23

Athletics: Women's high jump: Two competitors had an identical score of 1.8 metres, in the same number of jumps; no DFL will be awarded in this event as a result. Two athletes had no mark; the gold medallist cleared 2.05 metres. Men's javelin: Menik Janoyan of Armenia, 23, with a best throw of 64.47 metres in group B. One athlete had no mark; the gold medallist's best was 90.57 metres. Men's 800 metre: Heat four saw the slowest time in the preliminaries: 1:57.48 by 21-year-old Derek Mandell of Guam. The gold medallist's final time was 1:44.65. There were three DNSes. Women's 1,500 metre: 27-year-old Domingas Togna of Guinea-Bissau was, at 5:05.76 in heat two, substantially slower than the rest of the field: the next-to-slowest time was 45 seconds faster. And the gold medallist's time in the final was faster still: 4:00.23. Men's 5,000 metre: In heat one, Min Thu Soe of Burma (Myanmar), 19 years old, was, at 15:50.56, much slower than the rest of the field -- by more than a minute. There was one DNS in the heats. The gold medallist finished in 12:57.82 in the final. Women's 4×400-metre relay: China had the slowest time in the preliminaries (heat two); compare their time of 3:30.77 to the gold medallists' final time of 3:18.54. Men's 4×400-metre relay: In heat two, the Dominican Republic had the slowest preliminary time: 3:04.31. Compare that to the gold medallists' final time of 2:55.39.

Diving: In the men's 10-metre platform, 20-year-old North Korean diver Kim Chon Man will incur the Dear Leader's wrath with a 30th-place finish; his score of 328.85 was about 90 points lower than he would have needed to qualify for the next round.

Baseball: Two teams finished the competition with 1–6 records; with some reluctance, I'm awarding the DFL to the team with the most runs against: China.

Basketball: Mali finished 12th in women's basketball with a record of 0–5.

Field Hockey: In the men's event, the team from South Africa lost its classification match and finished 12th.

Rhythmic Gymnastics: Wania Monteiro of Cape Verde repeats her 2004 DFL in the individual all-around event. Now 22, she finished 24th (again) in the qualifying round with a score of 49.050. The lowest qualifying score was 66.825.

Volleyball: Both Algeria and Venezuela are ranked 11th in women's volleyball, but using the win-loss ratio from the preliminary round to break the tie, I'll award the DFL to Algeria.

Standings to date: As the results for the team sports and events come in, two trends occur. First, the host country, which might not otherwise qualify for events but enters them anyway as the host, racks up a few DFLs, as China has with a total of four today. Its hold on first place is unassailable: Canada simply can't catch up. Second, you also see a few last-place finishes from African countries, who qualify on a continental basis (i.e., they're the best African team) but go on to get slaughtered at the Olympics. (Note that Egypt and South Africa are now both in the top 10.)

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Early Results for Saturday, August 23

Canoe/Kayak (Flatwater Racing): Men's 500-metre K1: Koutoua Francis Abia, 43, C?te d'Ivoire, 9th in heat three with a time of 2:00.716. Men's 500-metre C1: Fortunato Luis Pacavira, 30, Angola, 8th in heat one with a time of 2:13.265. Women's 500-metre K1: Khathia Ba, 17, Senegal, 9th in heat one with a time of 2:17.74. Men's 500-metre K2: Shen Je, 21, and Huang Zhipeng, 24, China, eighth in heat one with a time of 1:34.432. Men's 500-metre C2: José Everardo Cristobal, 22, and Dimas Camilo, 18, Mexico, 9th in the semifinal with a time of 1:48.853. This is this team's second DFL of these Games. Women's 500-metre K2: Xu Linbei, 24, and Wang Feng, 22, China, eighth in heat two with a time of 1:47.645.

Cycling (Mountain Bike): On the women's side, Dellys Starr of Australia, 31, was lapped with two laps remaining; on the men's side, Antipass Kwari of Zimbabwe, 33, was lapped with six laps remaining. Four women and two men did not finish; a total of eight women and 20 men finished their races by being lapped; they were still ranked.

Football (Soccer): With an 0–3 record and five goals against, Honduras finished 16th in men's football.

Handball: With a record of 0–1–4 and one point, Angola finished 12th in women's handball.

Synchronized Swimming: Egypt sweeps this sport with a DFL in the team event; their nine swimmers finished with 80.833 points, 18.667 behind the gold medallists. And before these Games I bet you didn't even know Egypt had a synchronized swimming team.

Standings to date: African countries are making a strong showing so far today, thanks to canoe/kayak and team sports: four countries make their first appearance, and Egypt moves into the top 10 with its 4th last-place finish. China adds two DFLs to take the lead with 10 -- as the host country, this is very nearly expected. Australia adds a seventh to move into third place. Honduras and Mexico add their third each to move into 12th and 15th place, respectively.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

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 women's 10-metre platform 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 men's event 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 women's 20-km race walk. 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 women's soccer; 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 women's softball tournament in eighth place, with a record of 1–6.

Swimming: In the men's 10-km marathon, 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 women's water polo, 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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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 men's 10,000 metre, 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: Women's double sculls: 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. Women's quadruple sculls: Rachelle de Jong, 29, Anna-Marie de Zwager, 31, Janine Hanson, 25, and Krista Guloien, 28, Canada, second in the B final. Men's quadruple sculls: 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. Women's eight: the German team did not make it out of the repechage. Men's eight: 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 men's 94 kg 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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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Afternoon Results for Saturday, August 16

Cycling: In the men's points race, French cyclist Christophe Riblon, 27, lost 20 lap points and finished 21st with a score of –17, compared with the gold medallist's score of 60. There were two DNFs.

Rowing: Women's single sculls: Homa Hosseini, 19, Iran, fourth in the E final. Men's single sculls: Norberto Bernardez Avila, 21, Honduras, second in the F final; one DNS. Women's pairs: Kim Crow, 23, and Sarah Cook, 23, Australia, fourth in the B final. Men's pairs: Piotr Hojka, 24, and Jaros?aw Godek, 27, Poland, second in the C final. Women's double sculls: Laura Schiavone, 21, and Elisabetta Sancassani, 25, Italy, fourth in the B final. Men's double sculls: Haidar Nozad, 25, and Hussein Jebur, 32, Iraq, second in the C final; one exclusion. Men's four: the Chinese team of Zhang Xingbo, 27, Zhao Linquan, 21, Guo Kang, 20, and Song Kai, 24, did not make it out of the repechage.

Shooting: In the men's 25-metre rapid-fire pistol, Hong Kong's Wong Fai, 38, finished 18th with a score of 558; he would have needed at least 579 to advance to the final. There was one disqualification. In the men's skeet final, Roger Dahi, 46, representing Syria, finished 41st with a score of 91; he would have needed 118 to have a shot (sorry) at advancing.

Standings to date: Poland takes the lead! Australia moves into seventh place, China into ninth.

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China Embraces John Stephen Akhwari



John Stephen Akhwari's last-place finish in the marathon in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics is almost certainly considered the greatest last-place finish of all time, and Akhwari's response as to why he forced his injured body across the finish line, long after the rest of the field had finished, is almost certainly the epitome of the DFL spirit: "My country did not send me to Mexico City to start the race. They sent me to finish the race." (That quote has been presented in several versions, paraphrased and retranslated, but you get the gist.)

Forty years later, the organizers of the Beijing Games have brought Akhwari, now in his seventies, back into the spotlight. (Let's take it as given that he has not been replaced with a more photogenic, computer-generated nine-year-old Han Chinese girl.) Akhwari visited China over the New Year: he toured the Bird's Nest construction site, visited an elementary school and was even the subject of a music video:



And in April he ran in the torch relay when it passed through his home country of Tanzania. China's certainly earned its share of criticism for these Games, but embracing Akhwari -- even insofar as it means using him and what he represents propagandistically -- is a class act.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Results for Wednesday, August 13

Cycling: The final two road cycling events ran today. First, the women's individual time trial, 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 men's individual time trial, 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 men's three-metre platform. 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 women's 25-metre pistol. 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 women's 69-kg event, 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 men's 77 kg, 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 men's C1 heats, 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 men's K1 heats, 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 women's synchronized 10-metre platform diving. 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 men's qualification round, 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 men's 50-metre air pistol. His score in the qualifying round was 535; 559 was needed to advance to the final. In the men's double trap, 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 women's 63 kg. Her score was 141, 100 points behind the gold medallist; there were two DNFs and one DNS. Meanwhile, in the men's 69 kg, 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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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Results for Sunday, February 26

Ren Long (China)Other than the gold-medal game in men's hockey, the last event in these Winter Games is in cross-country skiing: the men's 50-km free, mass start. (At Salt Lake City it was classic; here it's free.) I awarded the DFL in hockey earlier, so the last DFL for Torino will be awarded for this event. And it goes to 17-year-old Chinese skier Ren Long, who came in 63rd with a time of two hours, 16 minutes and 15 seconds. That's a bit more than 10 minutes behind the gold medallist -- not bad over 50 kilometres. There were 16 DNFs and three DNSes in this race; I had been wondering whether anyone could be out by being lapped in this race, but it doesn't appear to be the case from the results.

Standings to date: China adds one more last-place finish, to end up one of three countries with six. Because it has 80 athletes here, it finishes second to Romania and ahead of Japan. I'll have an entry dedicated to the final tally later today.

Programming note: I'll be wrapping up the Torino Games with a number of entries that, if all goes well, will be posted throughout the day. So even though the last-place finishes are finished, I'm not. Stick around, won't you?

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Results for Tuesday, February 21

Biathlon: The ill-fated Austrian team, at the centre of a doping investigation along with their cross-country counterparts (see previous entry), came in 17th in the men's 4×7.5-km relay. The team of Daniel Mesotitsch, 29, Friedrich Pinter, 27, Ludwig Gredler, 38, and Christoph Sumann, 30, finished six and a half minutes off the pace with a time of 1:28:26.4.

Bobsled: In the women's bobsled, the Japanese team of Manami Hino, 26, and Chisato Nagaoka, 29, finished 15th with a time of 3:57.49 -- seven and a half seconds behind the gold medallists and a bit more than two seconds behind the next-to-last-place-finishing Austrians. There was one DNS.

Nordic Combined: In the last nordic combined event, the large hill/7.5-km sprint, Ukrainian Volodymyr Trachuk -- who finished last in the individual Gundersen on the 11th (see previous entry) -- was 48th.

Speed Skating: 22-year-old Li Changyu of China was 40th in the men's 1,500-metre; his time of 1:53.32 was 7.35 seconds behind the gold medallist's. There was one DNF.

Standings to date: Ukraine and China add their fifth last-place finishes apiece, and are first and second in the standings, respectively; Japan adds its third and Austria its second.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Late Results for Monday, February 20

Figure Skating: In the ice dance competition, Ukraine's second team, Julia Golovina, 23, and Oleg Voiko, 25, finished 23rd (one team had to withdraw due to injury) with a score of 128.49. The gold medallists' score was 200.64.

Ski Jumping: The last ski jumping event -- the large hill (K120) team competition -- ran today. Wherein the Chinese team of Li Yang, 25, Yang Guang, 21, Wang Jianxun, 24, and Tian Zhandong, 22, finished 16th in the first round with a score of 206.1 -- about 70 points behind the 15th-place team and nearly 270 points behind the gold medallists -- and did not advance to the final round. (Only the top eight teams did so.)

Standings to date: Both China and Ukraine edge closer to the top with their fourth last-place finishes each.

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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Late Results for Saturday, February 18

Short Track Speed Skating: This is always a complicated event to report, especially when the slowest athlete in the heats nevertheless qualifies (and then puts in a faster time in the semis) and others with faster times are eliminated -- that's heats-based sport for you. So, especially in the case of the men's 1,000 metre, I've had to go with the slowest nonqualifying time in the heats (which took place on Wednesday), to wit, that of 19-year-old Russian skater Vyacheslav Kurginian. His time of 1:36.070 was not the slowest, but everyone who had a slower time qualified out of their heats and then put in a faster time in the quarterfinals, so I've had to go with Kurginian for an admittedly arbitrary DFL.

In the women's 1,500 metre, it was a good deal more straightforward: Chinese skater Cheng Xiaolei, 24, had the slowest time in the heats: 2:50.017.

Ski Jumping: In the individual large hill (K120) event, Canadian Graeme Gorham, 18, finished 50th with a score of 61.1 and did not advance past the first round. Here's a profile of Gorham from the Sun media chain. [I made an error in these results; see correction.]

Lu Zhuo (China)Speed Skating: In the men's 1,000-metre, Chinese skater Lu Zhuo, 25, finished 38th with a time of 1:12.69 -- less that four seconds off the gold-medal pace. It's marked as a reskate in the results; presumably something happened the first time around that resulted in the skater he was paired against being disqualified and him being allowed a do-over.

Standings to date: The law of averages almost requires that large teams -- like Russia's and Canada's -- will have multiple last-place finishes: your team has more depth, and there are more opportunities for things to go awry. The same goes, to a lesser extent, for medium-sized teams like China's -- and there aren't many countries with more than 80 athletes. Anyway, the upshot of this is that Russia takes the lead -- briefly held since this morning by Chile -- with four last-place finishes despite its large contingent. China is now sixth, and Canada -- with one of the largest delegations here -- is at the back of the single-last-place-finisher pack.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Late Results for Thursday, February 16

Han Jong In (North Korea)
Monika Wołowiec (Poland)
Figure Skating: Of 30 skaters to enter the men's singles competition, 24 qualified for the free skate. Of the six that didn't make it out of the short program, 27-year-old Han Jong In of North Korea was 30th with a score of 42.11. Qualifying skaters had between 55 and 90 points.

Skeleton: Of 15 athletes entered in the women's skeleton, Polish sledder Monika Wołowiec, who turned 30 on Tuesday, finished 15th with a combined time after two runs of 2:05.30 -- about 5½ seconds behind the gold medallist. Wołowiec currently lives and trains in Park City, Utah; here's an article about her from the local paper, The Park Record.

Speed Skating: The team pursuit finals for both men and women ran today. Only eight teams were in each event, and all teams made it to a final of some sort. The last-place finishers will be the ones who placed second in the D final. On the women's side, that was China; on the men's side, that was Japan.

Standings to date: China and North Korea enter the standings, Poland moves into sixth place and Japan moves into eighth. Romania still leads, followed by South Korea and Russia. Remember that the standings can be found via the sidebar at right.

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Chinese Figure Skating Coach: DFL in 1984

Nancy Toby points to the story of Chinese figure skating coach Yao Bin. Right now he coaches powerhouse figure skaters Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo, but in the early 1980s he was one half of the China's first-ever pairs figure skating team. As might be expected, it didn't go very well for Yao. From the NBC Olympics site's bio of Shen Xue:
Shen and Zhao's coach, Yao Bin, was a member of the first-ever pair that China entered in international competition. Bin and his partner, Luan Bo, made their international debut at the 1980 World Championships, where they finished 15th and last, and Yao says he remembers the audience laughing at their performance. Luan and Yao were also last at the 1981 and 1982 World Championships, and last at the 1984 Sarajevo Games. Since then, however, Yao has developed a powerhouse Chinese pairs program.
Laughing at the performance -- good Lord, how bad was it?

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Sunday, August 29, 2004

Results for Saturday, August 28

Athletics: Women's high jump: Australia's Petrina Price and one other athlete cleared 1.80 metres, but she finishes last because she took more attempts to do it. The winner's final height was 2.06 metres. Women's 1,500 metre: Sumaira Zahoor of Pakistan had the slowest heat time of 4:49.33, about five seconds behind the next-slowest time; the winner's time in the final was 3:57.90. Men's javelin: Edi Ponos of Croatia -- his best throw was 71.43 metres; the winner's best in the final was 86.50 metres. Men's 800 metre: Cornelius Sibe of Surinam had a heat time of 2:00.06, the only result above two minutes; the winner's final time was 1:44.45. Men's 5,000-metre: Sergiy Lebid of Ukraine with a heat time of 14:10.23; the winner's final time was 13:14.39. There was one DNF. Men's 4×100-metre relay: The only result above 39 seconds came from the relay team from Russia: 39.19 seconds, which they put in in the heats. The winner's final time was 38.07 seconds. Doesn't that seem close to you? Women's 4×400-metre relay: Greece had a bad run in the final, finishing at 3:45.70, but they did make it there; the slowest heat time was put in by Senegal at 3:35.18. The fastest final time was 3:19.01. Men's 4×400-metre relay: Spain had, at 3:05.03, the slowest heat time; the winning final time was 2:55.91. And that's it for track and field except for one event -- the marathon today.

Basketball: On the women's side, South Korea finished 12th with an 0-6 record. It was the same result for Angola on the men's side: they too finished 0-6 and 12th.

Canoe/Kayak (Flatwater Racing): Men's 500-metre K1: For some reason the Athens 2004 site isn't covering the results of heat four, where Steven Ferguson (see previous entries: New Zealand Kayaking Controversy, Steven Ferguson Update) finished last with the slowest time of 2:06.937. He had to work at it to finish last, though, because the next slowest kayaker was only four seconds ahead of him, and though that kayaker was a good 15 seconds behind everyone else, he qualified for the semifinal. Ferguson was the only one not to do so -- which is, of course, what he wanted. Men's 500-metre C1: This one's tricky, because everybody made it out of the prelims and posted different results in the semis -- i.e., the person with the slowest time in the prelims was not the same as the one slowest in the semis. To square this circle, I'm going to go to the slowest semifinal time, which was put in by Emanuel Horvaticek of Croatia and which was the slowest time overall: 2:06.347. Women's 500-metre K1: Thi Cach Doan of Vietnam had the slowest heat time, 2:06.126, but Indonesia's Sarce Aronggear was the only competitor not to advance from the prelims, so the last-place finish goes to her rather than Thi. (I'm really having to split hairs in these events!) Men's 500-metre K2: The Chinese twosome of Yijun Yin and Lei Wang had the slowest time in the prelims, made the semis, and finished last there. They were about eight seconds behind the winner in each case. Men's 500-metre C2: Americans Jordan Malloch and Nathan Johnson finished last in the repechage here, too. Women's 500-metre K2: Paula Harvey and Susan Tegg of Australia also finished last in their repechage.

Cycling: In the men's mountain bike event, Emmanouil Kotoulas of Greece placed 45th, three laps back, with no time recorded. There were five DNFs.

Diving: In the prelims for the men's 10-metre platform, Andras Hajnal of Hungary finished 33rd with a score of 305.79 -- 207.27 points behind the leader in the preliminaries (who went on to win silver). No diving accidents, just low marks.

Football: Serbia-Montenegro finished 16th.

Rhythmic Gymnastics: Poland finished 10th in the group all-around qualification with a total score of 41.775; qualifiers had scores of between 44.600 and 49.875.

Sailing: In the tornado class, Mauricio Santa Cruz Oliveira and Joao Carlos Jordao finished 17th with 172 total points and 155 net points -- the winners had 48 and 34 points, respectively. And in the star class, Mark Mansfield and Killian Collins finished 17th (142 total, 125 net; the winners had 60 total, 42 net).

Volleyball: Kenya was 0-5 and had less good results than the other 0-5 team, so instead of awarding an 11th-place tie to both, I'm assigning the last-place finish to Kenya.

Standings to date: More than half the countries at these Games now have at least one last-place finish. Australia moves into third place and China moves past Uzbekistan and France to make the top five.

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Thursday, August 26, 2004

Correction: Women's Heptathlon

More evidence that I can't read a frigging chart. Nancy Johnson writes to point out a mistake I made in the results for the women's heptathlon (reported here). I had reported the last-place finisher as Shen Shengfei of China with 4949 points, and, yet, on the same damn page, there was a listing for Yuki Nakata of Japan with 4871 points. Sorry again, everyone.

(I should apply to be a gymnastics judge.)

Anyway, as a result of this, one point is subtracted from China's total and Japan finally enters the standings. Which means that China falls to fifth fourth place, and should not have been in the lead for some time. (And with all the newspapers reporting China in the lead -- ouch!) Greece is now the undisputed leader in the standings.

I'll update the table when I write up today's results, and that should be within the next few hours.

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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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Monday, August 16, 2004

Late Results for Monday, August 16

For this entry, think about all the teams that couldn't even qualify to be here. If eight teams are competing in an event, you can be sure it's because there were only eight spaces allocated.

Diving: So because only eight teams compete in a synchronized diving event, let's not get catty about the last-place efforts of Eftychia?Pappa-Papavasilopoulo -- say that fast ten times! -- and Florentia Sfakianou (Greece), who finished nearly 80 points behind the winner in the women's synchronized 10-metre platform. Nor should we snark at China's Peng Bo and Wang Kenan, who finished last in the men's synchronized 3-metre springboard -- nearly 70 points behind the winner. (No, instead we should snark at synchronized diving as a sport.)

Gymnastics: In the men's team event, in which, again, eight teams competed, Germany finished eighth -- at 167.372 points, they were less than 6½ points behind the winners. Gymnastics seem to be decided by fractions of fractions in any event. (Fractions of fractions -- enough about the U.S. women's gymnastic team's weight.) [Correction]

Weightlifting: Yacine Zouaki of Morocco finished 16th with a combined lift of 225 kg in the men's 62-kg category. That's nearly 3.7 times his weight; and he weighs a lot less than you. (The winner lifted 325 kg.)

Standings to date: China takes an undisputed lead -- though it also leads the medal count, so go figure. Greece moves into a four-way tie for second. Germany and Morocco join the (now) sixth-place tie.

See previous entries:

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Early Results for Monday, August 16

Most of the finals are scheduled for the evening, but I can report a few bottom results so far.

Shooting: Chinese women's trap shooter Gao E, a world-class competitor, finished 17th with a score of 48; the leader after the qualifying round had 66. Marcel Buerge (Switzerland) finished 47th in the qualifying round of the men's 10-metre air rifle with a score of 576; the finallists had scores of 594 or more. In accordance with ISSF rules, last-place competitors will be taken out and shot.

Weightlifting: In the women's 58-kg category, Mongolia's Bayarmaa Namkhaidorj finished 14th with a combined lift of 195 kg, falling short by only lifting 3.8 times her body weight.

Standings to date: China and Switzerland pick up another point each and move into a four-way tie for first place with Algeria and Egypt, and Mongolia joins the rest in a multi-way tie for fifth.

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Sunday, August 15, 2004

Results for Sunday, August 15

Cycling: Today it was the women's road race, and the last to finish the 118.8-km course was Michelle Hyland of New Zealand, who, with a time of 3:40:43, finished in 56th place -- 16:19 behind the winner, according to unofficial results. Hyland appears to have brought up the rear of the final seven riders to finish.

Shooting: In the women's 10-metre air pistol, Francis Gorrin of Venezuela finished 41st with a score of 358; the top eight shooters (who made it to the final) had scores between 384 and 387. Francesco Repiso Romero of Andorra -- yes, Andorra -- finished 35th in the men's trap with a score of 106; the top six were well ahead of the rest of the field with scores above 140.

Swimming: In the women's 100-metre butterfly heats, the slowest time -- 1:07.94, slightly more than ten seconds behind the gold medallist's final time -- was put in by Natasha Sara Georgeos of St. Lucia. Nepal's Alice Shrestha finished last in the men's 100-metre breaststroke heat; his time of 1:12.25 was nearly 12 seconds off that of the winner in the final. In the women's 400-metre freestyle, Olga Beresnyeva of Ukraine finished her heat with a time of 4:26.30, well behind the winner's final time of 4:05.34. And in the men's 4×100 freestyle relay, China's team just beat out Greece for the slowest time in the heats (3:24.31, compared with the winning team's world-record time of 3:13.17).

Weightlifting: Virginie Lachaume (France) was eighth of eight in the women's 53-kg category; she lifted a total of 175 kg, compared with 222.5 kg for the winner. In the men's 56-kg category, Ahmed Saad of Egypt finished last in 11th place, lifting a total of 232.5 kg (compared with the winner's 295 kg), but six other lifters did not finish.

Standings to date: Egypt joins Algeria in a two-way tie for first, and a total of 16 countries, from the big (France, China) to the little (Andorra, St. Lucia) share third place. As more results are posted, perhaps some of these ties will be broken -- or perhaps we'll have a 37-way tie for second place! Stay tuned!

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