DFL

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

Saturday, August 23, 2008

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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Friday, August 22, 2008

Results for Friday, August 22

Athletics: Men's 50-km walk: 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): Men's 1,000-metre kayak single (K1): Alcino Gomes da Silva, 17, S?o Tomé and Príncipe, 9th in heat two with a time of 4:28.057. Men's 1,000-metre canoe single (C1): Sean Pangelinan, 21, Guam, 8th in heat two with a time of 4:49.284. Women's 500-metre kayak four (K4): Canada, fourth in the semifinal with a time of 1:38.366. Men's 1,000-metre K2: José Ramos, 25, and Gabriel Rodriguez, 29, Venezuela, seventh in the semifinal with a time of 3:27.423. Men's 1,000-metre C2: José Everardo Cristobal, 22, and Dimas Camilo, 18, Mexico, seventh in the semifinal with a time of 3:49.695. Men's 1,000-metre K4: 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 men's madison, the U.S. team of Michael Friedman, 25, and Bobby Lea, 24, finished 16th with four laps down and three points. In the women's sprint, Sakie Tsukuda of Japan, 22, was last in the final for 9th–12th places. In the men's sprint, 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 men's triathlon, 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 women's points race 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 women's triathlon, 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 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

Evening Results for Saturday, August 16

Athletics: In the women's shot put, the lowest result was put in by Lee Miyoung in group A of the qualifying round. The 29-year-old South Korean's best put was 15.1 metres; the gold medallist's best was 20.56 metres. Two athletes had no mark. In the staggering women's heptathlon, 19-year-old Yana Maksimava of Belarus finished 35th with 4,806 points -- 1,927 points behind the gold medallist. There were eight DNFs. The slowest time in the men's 100-metre heats came in heat five, where Shanahan Sanitoa of American Samoa, 19, ran a time of 12.6 seconds -- which I think is the only 12-second-plus time in the heats. Still, not bad for a non-Jamaican.

Cycling: In the men's keirin, 34-year-old Roberto Chiappa of Italy was relegated in his heat and finished 25th. In the qualifying round of the men's individual pursuit, Jenning Huizinga, 24, of the Netherlands had the slowest speed: 51.967 km/h. The gold medallist's average speed exceeded 56 km/h.

Weightlifting: 23-year-old Cristina Cornejo of Peru finished 10th with a total combined lift of 225 kg in the women's +75 kg; the gold medallist's total was 326 kg. There was one DNF.

Standings to date: Italy moves into 6th place, South Korea into 16th.

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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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Friday, August 15, 2008

Late Results for Friday, August 15

Athletics: In the men's shot put, where either a top-12 finish or a minimum throw of 20.4 metres was needed to qualify for the final, the shortest throw came in group B of the qualifying round: Chang Ming-Huang, 26, representing Chinese Taipei -- i.e., Taiwan -- had a best throw of 17.43 metres. The gold medallist's best throw in the final was 21.51 metres. Four shot putters had no mark in the qualifying round, and there was one DNS. Isabel Checha of Spain, 26, finished 29th in the women's 10,000 metre. There were two DNFs and one DNS. Checha's time was 33:17.88; the gold medallist's time was 29:44.66.

Cycling: In the qualifying round of the men's team sprint, the Polish team of Maciej Bielecki, 21, Kamil Kuczynski, 23, and ?ukasz Kwiatkowski, 26, were relegated -- i.e., pushed to last place, something akin to but not as severe as a disqualification -- after Kuczynski fell. As a result, they finished 13th.

Weightlifting: In the women's 75 kg, 20-year-old Elizabeth Poblete of Chile finished 12th with a score of 197; the gold medallist's final score was 282. And in the men's 85 kg, where there were five DNF, the Seychelles added their second DFL with Terrence Dixie, 24, putting up a score of 255; the gold medallist's score was 394.

Standings to date: The Seychelles and Poland add their second last-place finishes, moving into 7th and 11th place, respectively; Chile, Taiwan and Spain get their first 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 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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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Results for Sunday, August 10

Cycling: The women's road race had a lot fewer DNFs than the men's race did yesterday: 4 vs. 53. I wonder if that means conditions were better today. But then there were also fewer competitors over a shorter distance (126 km). In any event, 21-year-old Aurelie Halbwachs of Mauritius came 62nd with a time of 3:52:11 -- nearly 20 minutes behind the winner, and 20 seconds behind the penultimate cyclist.

Diving: We start with synchronized diving, where, in the women's three-metre springboard, the British team of Tandi Gerrard, 30, and Hayley Sage, 22, finished eighth. The fact that there are only eight teams should give you an idea of what it's like even to qualify for this event. Their score of 278.25 was 65.25 points behind the gold medallists.

Shooting: Carolina Lozado, 37, of Uruguay finished 43rd in the qualifying round of the women's 10-metre air pistol event, with a score of 367. It took a score of 384 or better to make it to the final. There was one DNF. In men's trap shooting, Filipino Eric Ang, also 37, finished 35th with a score of 106; those who advanced to the finals has scores between 119 and 121.

Swimming: Four swimming events had their finals today, but for my purposes I have to go back to yesterday's heats to find my last-place finishers, who I will somewhat arbitrarily define as the person putting in the slowest time in the heats. (This is a little problematic if the slowest time in the event is in a semifinal or final, but I have to pick something, if I can.) In the men's 400-metre individual medley, the slowest time was produced in heat one by 22-year-old Hocine Haciane Constatin of Andorra: 4:32.00. (The gold medallist, you may have heard, put a time in of 4:03.84 in the final.) Heat one is also where the slowest time came in the men's 400-metre freestyle (this does not appear to be an accident); Kazakh Oleg Rabota, 18, put in a time of 4:02.16. (For comparison, the gold medallist's final time was 3:41.86.) There was one DNS in another heat. In the women's 400-metre individual medley, it was heat one again, where 18-year-old Thai swimmer Nimitta Thaveesupsoonthorn's time was 5:02.18. (The gold medallist's time was 4:29.45 in the final.) There was one DNS in Nimitta's heat. And finally, the women's 4×100 freestyle relay, which had only two heats: in the second heat, the South African team of Melissa Corfe, Wendy Trott, Mandy Loots and Katheryn Meaklim finished seventh (there was a DNS) with a time of 3:51.14; the gold medal team's time in the final was 3:33.76.

Weightlifting: 22-year-old Venezuelan Judith Andrea Chacon finished ninth in a field of nine in the women's 53-kg event; she had a score of 181, compared to the gold medallist's 221. In the men's 56-kg event, Moldovan Igor Grabucea, 32, finished 15th with a score of 239; the gold medallist's score was 292, and there were four DNFs.

A medal was awarded in archery, but it does not appear that I'll be able to award a last place in that sport -- at least not in the team events.

Standings to date: No country has more than one last-place finish at this point, but since Andorra has fewer athletes at the Games than the others, it displaces Nicaragua for the nominal lead.

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Results for Saturday, August 9

Fewer medals are awarded today than on any other day of these Games, which means not very many last-place finishes to report on yet.

Cycling: In the men's road race, 30-year-old Luciano Pagliarini Mendon?a of Brazil came 90th with a time of 7 hours, 8 minutes and 27 seconds. That's 44 minutes, 38 seconds behind the first group across the finish line (and two and a half minutes behind the 89th-place finisher), and if that seems like a lot, consider that the race is 245 kilometres (152 miles) long, and that Pagliarini's average speed was around 34 km/h (21 mph) over that distance and time, versus 38 km/h (23 mph) for the winner. There were also 53 DNFs, seven of whom were lapped. Pagliarini is a cyclist of some note: he has a Web site and a Wikipedia entry, which calls him "one of the best of his country."

Shooting: In the women's 10-metre air rifle, Turkmenistan's Yekaterina Arabova, who turns 25 tomorrow, received a score of 376 in the qualification round and finished 47th. Competition was tough: the eventual gold medallist shot a perfect 400 in the qualification round, and the lowest advancing score was a mere 396. In the men's 10-metre air pistol, 38-year-old Sri Lankan Edirisinghe Senanayake came 48th in the preliminary round with a score of 561; a score of 581 was needed to advance, and the eventual gold medallist got 586.

Weightlifting: In the women's 48-kg event, Karla Moreno, 20, of Nicaragua came 11th in a field of 14; there were three DNFs (who couldn't perform a successful lift). Her score of 150 was well behind the gold medallist's score of 212.

Medals were also awarded in judo and fencing, but from what I can tell it's not possible to determine a last-place finisher in these sports.

Standings: I still have some work to do before I start recording the standings, but it's still too early for anything interesting. Nicaragua is nominally ahead in the last-place race because it has the smallest delegation.

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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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Saturday, August 28, 2004

Results for Friday, August 27

Athletics: Men's 50-km walk: Janos Toth of Hungary finished 41st with a time of 4:29:33, nearly 51 minutes behind the winning time of 3:38:46 and a bit more than 9 minutes behind finisher number 40. There were eight DNFs and five DQs for breaking into a run. Men's pole vault: Several vaulters only cleared the opening height of 5.30 metres and no more, but the last-place finish goes, in a tie, to Kim Yoo-Suk (pun not intended) of Korea and Marios Evaggelou of Greece, because they only cleared 5.30 metres on their third attempt. The winner cleared 5.95 metres in the final. Five vaulters received no mark. Women's long jump: Svetlana Pessova of Turkmenistan's best jump in the prelims was 5.64 metres; the winner's best jump in the final was 7.07 metres. Two jumpers received no mark. Women's javelin: Samoan Patsy Selafina Akeli had a best throw of 45.93 metres; the winner's best final throw was 71.53 metres. One athlete received no mark. Men's 110-metre hurdles: Edy Jakariya of Indonesia had the slowest heat time of 14.11 seconds; the winner's final time was 12.91 seconds. Women's 10,000 metre: Natalia Cherches (mais elle ne le trouve pas) of Moldova finished 27th with a time of 34:04.97; the winner's time was 30:24.36. Four DNFs (including Paula Radcliffe, since some of you are probably wondering). Women's 4×100 relay: Greece widens its lead with a reasonably respectable (it seems to me) 44.45-second result in the prelims; the winning time in the final was 41.73 seconds, and there were three DNFs, two in the heats and one in the final.

Canoe/Kayak (Flatwater Racing): I'm guessing that wind was a factor in these events, because in many cases the slowest times were in the final -- everyone, including the winners, was slower. In many cases I'm going to have to go to place rather than time. Men's 1,000-metre K1: Tony Lespoir (Seychelles) had the slowest time in the prelims at 4:17.128, at least half a minute behind anyone else; the winner's final time was 3:25.897. Men's 1,000-metre C1: Paddling for Croatia, Emanuel Horvaticek's time of 4:27.115 was just marginally slower than the next-slowest preliminary result, but both of them were well back; the winner's time in the final was 3:46.201. Women's 500-metre K4: The foursome from the United States were the only team not to advance to the final. Men's 1,000-metre K2: Danila Turchin and Michail Tarasov (Uzbekistan) were the only team not to advance from the first round. Men's 1,000-metre C2: Jordan Malloch and Nathan Johnson (United States) finished last in the repechage. Men's 1,000-metre K4: The foursome from Uzbekistan did not make it out of the repechage. (I'm not sure they call it a repechage, but it functions as one: top finishers in the prelims get a bye to the final, where the bottom end competes in a semifinal where one or more may be eliminated.)

Cycling: In the women's mountain bike event, Cypriot Elina Sofocleous finished 24th. No time was recorded; she was two laps back. Six riders did not finish.

Equestrian: Argentina's Federico Sztyrle finished 77th; he and his horsie, "Who Knows Lilly", retired after the first qualifier.

Field Hockey: After an 0-5 record in the pool matches and losses to South Africa and Argentina in the classification round, Egypt finished 12th in men's field hockey. George Brink wrote in with the following commentary about Egypt's feat in qualifying for the Games:
The automatic qualifiers for the Games are the Continental Champions so while the other game features the European Champions and the Oceania Champions the last place game had the Pan American Champions, Argentina, and the African Champions, Egypt, in it. Egypt won the African Championships as a complete surprise by beating African powerhouse South Africa so it would have been difficult to get a decent bet on them coming last in the Games. Egypt happily fulfilled expectations by losing the 11th/12th place playoff to Argentina, who for most were complete surprise contenders for this position. Still congratulations to Egypt for getting to their first Olympic Games ever.
Indeed.

Modern Pentathlon: Thanks to a DNF in the equestrian portion, Federica Foghetti of Italy finished 32nd with 4,228 points and was 5:05 behind the winner, who had 5,448 points. Due to the horsey problems in both modern pentathlon events, competitors will be given a choice of mounts in 2008: (1) horse; (2) camel; (3) yak; and (4) Komodo dragon -- cloned velociraptors are not likely to be ready by that time.

Synchronized Swimming: Only eight entrants in the team synchronized swimming event, and Greece finished eighth; their score of 92.750 was 6.751 points behind that of the winners.

Standings to date: What can I say? Greece, Greece and more Greece: Greece's lead widens with three more last-place finishes, eleven overall. The United States and Uzbekistan, with two more last-place finishes each from the canoe/kayak events, take third and fourth places. Croatia, Indonesia and the Seychelles make their first appearances. And Samoa joins Brunei and Somalia in the 100 per cent club -- with as many last-place finishes as athletes.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Results for Wednesday, August 25

Athletics: Surprisingly few results to report here today: lots of heats, few finals. Women's 400-metre hurdles: Klodiana Shala of Albania had the slowest result in the heats with the improbable time of 1:00.00 -- one minute even. The winner's final time was 52.82 seconds. Women's hammer throw: Marina Lapina of Azerbaijan had the lowest result in the qualifying rounds, with a best throw of 55.34. The winner's best throw in the final was 75.02 metres. Women's 200-metre: Gladys Thompson of Liberia had a heat time of 27.51 seconds, about 5½ seconds behind the winning final time of 22.05 seconds.

Baseball: Both Italy and Greece finished the prelims with a 1-6 record, but Italy takes last place because it had fewer runs scored and more runs scored against.

Cycling wrapped up today. In the women's points race, Lyudmyla Vypyraylo of Ukraine finished 18th; the bottom three finishers and one DNF each lost a lap after a sprint and finished with negative points. In the men's madison, Oleg Grishkin and Alexey Shmidt finished 17th with one lap point (compared to the winners' 22); there was one DNF. I'm not sure it's possible to figure out a last-place finisher in the men's keirin -- or am I mistaken?

Equestrian: In individual dressage, Gerta Lehmann, riding "Louis" for Greece, finished 51st in the grand prix and did not advance to the grand prix special. Her score was an even 60 per cent; the winner's average after the grand prix freestyle was 79.278 per cent.

Sailing: The last races in the mistral categories were run today. On the men's side, Martin Lapos of Slovakia was 34th after 11 races; on the women's side, Karla Barrera of Puerto Rico was 26th.

Synchronized Swimming: Australia's Amanda Laird and Leonie Nichols finished 24th in the preliminaries; only the top 12 advanced to the finals. If I'm reading the scores right, their score of 38.834 was 10.75 points behind the leaders' score at that stage.

Triathlon: In the women's triathlon, Delphine Pelletier of France finished 44th with a time of 2:22:39.28. That's about a minute behind the next-to-last-place finisher and 17:55.83 behind the winner. Four competitors did not finish after completing the swimming leg, one did not finish after completing the cycling leg, and one was overlapped during the cycling.

Weightlifting: The final weightlifting event was the +105 kg men's category, where Itte Detenamo of Nauru lifted a mere 347.5 kg. The winner's combined total was 472.5 kg. There were three DNFs.

Standings to date: (You all know about the number of athletes being recalibrated, right?) Greece leapfrogs Poland to move into second place, threatening China's lead. Australia and France make the top 5, while Slovakia and Ukraine make big jumps up the standings.

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Results for Tuesday, August 24

Athletics: Women's 5,000 metre: This should have been in yesterday's results, but I somehow missed it. Sonia O'Sullivan of Ireland finished 14th with a time of 16:20.90, more than a minute behind the next-to-last finisher and about 95 seconds behind the leader; she appears to have trailed badly at the end. There was one DNF. [Correction] Women's pole vault: Alejandra García of Argentina and Silke Spiegelburg of Germany tied for 13th place with a jump of 4.20 metres on the third attempt; the twelfth-place finisher also vaulted 4.20 but did so on the second attempt, and as a result was ranked higher. The winner vaulted 4.91 metres; one athlete failed to clear the minimum height and received no mark. Men's 3,000-metre steeplechase: In show jumping for humans, Polish runner Jakub Czaja's time of 8:56.24 was the slowest in the heats; the winner's final time was 8:05.81. There were two DNSes and one DNF in the heats. Women's 100-metre hurdles: Canadians may be bemoaning the result in the final (we're very good at bemoaning, actually), but the slowest time in the heats was put in by Maria Joelle Conjungo of the Central African Republic -- 14.24 seconds, compared with the winner's time of 12.37 seconds in the final. Women's 400 metre: Libyan runner Ruwita El Hubti's time of 1:03.57 was the slowest in the heats, but two other runners put in times in excess of a minute. The winner's final time was 49.41 seconds. Men's decathlon: Of 30 athletes competing, Victor Covalenko of Moldova had the lowest score, 6,543 points. The winner had 8,893 points. Victor was the only competitor to score fewer than 7,000 points, but hey, this is the decathlon, okay? Men's 1,500 metre: Despite media expectations that he would be the next Eric the Eel, Robert Caraciolo Mandje did not finish DFL in this event. I'm pleased to report that he came in third-last. (I love it when expectations are confounded.) Instead, Jimmy Anak Ahar of Brunei Darussalam put in the slowest heat time of 4:14.11. Each of the three slowest runners put in times above four minutes; the winner's final time was 3:34.18.

Cycling: In the men's points race, Wong Kam-Po of Hong Kong finished 20th with two points, compared to the winner's 93. Three competitors did not finish. In the women's sprint qualifying round, Evgenia Radanova of Bulgaria finished 12th with a time of 12.457 seconds and a speed of 57.798 km/h; the winner's time and speed in the qualifying were 11.291 seconds and 63.767 km/h, respectively. And in the qualifyings for the men's sprint, German cyclist Stefan Nimke finished 19th (11.338 seconds, 63.503 km/h; the winner's results were 10.177 seconds and 70.747 km/h in the qualifyings).

Diving: The men's 3-metre springboard wrapped up today; in the preliminaries yesterday, Justin Wilcock of the United States finished 32nd with a score of 225.87, 291.72 behind the leader in that round. Justin received a score of zero for his fifth dive, so something unfortunate must have happened, but he was trailing throughout.

Equestrian: They awarded the team jumping medals today; Mexico had the most penalties -- 70 -- after the first round and, like the other teams that did not make the top 10, did not advance to the second round.

Weightlifting started with little tiny people hauling giant weights; now the guys are getting much bigger. And the weights much heavier. Today it was the men's 105-kg class, and Eleei Ilalio of American Samoa was 16th, lifting a total of 295 kg. The winner lifted a combined total of 425 kg, and all but the bottom two were within a few kilos of 400. Six lifters were DNF; all of them trying to lift more weight than Eleei did -- and failing at it.

Standings to date: Poland moves into second place and Bulgaria and Germany make big moves up the board. But the big story is Brunei Darussalam, whose single athlete finished last in his single event. That means that Brunei has scored a perfect 100 per cent in the last-place sweepstakes -- though I suppose that percentages greater than 100 are theoretically possible if an athlete enters, and finishes last in, more than one event. Still!

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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Results for Monday, August 23

Athletics: Women's 20-km walk: Fumilay Fonseca of S?o Tomé and Príncipe finished 52nd with a time of 2:04:54, which was 35:42 behind the winner and about 15 minutes behind the next-to-last finisher. Three walkers did not finish and two were disqualified, presumably for breaking into a run. Women's triple jump: Athanasia Perra of Greece had the shortest best jump in the qualifying rounds at 13.19 metres; the winner's final jump was 15.30 metres. Men's discus: Samoan competitor Shaka Sola's result of 51.10 metres was the lowest in the qualifying rounds; the winner's final result was 70.93 metres. Women's 800 metre: With a time of 2:32.10, Sanna Abubkheet of Palestine had the slowest time in the heats, well behind the other competitors and considerably behind the winner's time of 1:56.38. There was one DNF in the heats. Men's 400 metre: Abdulla Mohamed Hussein of Somalia had the slowest heat time, 51.52 seconds. This race was a bit tighter: the winner's final time was an even 44 seconds.

Cycling: In the men's team pursuit qualifying round, New Zealand's foursome finished 10th with a speed of 57.411 km/h. The winning team's speed in the final was 60.445 km/h.

Softball: With a 1-6 record in the preliminaries, Italy ended up at the bottom of the final standings. But bear in mind that only eight teams were in the softball tournament.

Weightlifting: Aruba's Isnaro Faro finished 19th in the men's 94-kg event, lifting a combined total of 307.5 kg. I don't think he was too far off the pace, though: the winner lifted exactly 100 kg more, and those in between lifted from 320 kg on up. Six athletes received DNFs.

Standings to date: Insofar as final results in sports I can figure out a last place finisher for are concerned, this was a comparatively light day. Greece seems determined not to let the most last-place finishes crown slip through its fingers. Results from Palestinian and Somalian competitors are rather distressing: fully half of their Olympic delegations (four each) have now finished last. And it's great to see cute little islands enter the list; I bet you don't even know where S?o Tomé is!

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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

Late Results for Wednesday, August 18

Athletics: Just the shot put today in track and field events. The stadium wasn't ready yet, so they made do with some older facilities in nearby Olympia. In the women's shot put, Olga Shchukina puts Uzbekistan into the lead with her last-place score of 14.44; the winner scored 21.06 in the final. It was closer on the men's side, as Bulgaria's Galin Kostadinov finished with a score of 17.75, compared with 21.16 for the winner in the final.

Cycling: In the men's individual time trial, Slawomir Kohut of Poland finished 37th; his time of 1:06:19.29 was 8:47.55 behind the winner.

Equestrian: The three-day eventing competitions wrapped up today: they're a combination of dressage, cross-country race, and show jumping. Jennifer had the cross country on last night and it looked like there were more crashes than at a NASCAR event, though according to the results only seven were eliminated at that stage. (Apparently it used to be much worse.) In the end, Margit Appelt of Austria finished 68th in the individual eventing with 271.80 penalty points; the winner finished with only 41.60 points. In the team event, Poland took 14th place with 376.40 points; the winning team had only 133.80.

Swimming: In the men's 200-metre breaststroke, the slowest heat time was put in by Anton Kramarenko of Kygrgyzstan had the slowest time, 2:28.59, nearly 20 seconds behind the winner's final time. Singapore's Christel Mei-Yen Bouvron was also 20 seconds behind the winner's final time in the women's 200-metre butterfly, with a time of 2:26.21. In the men's 100-metre freestyle, Emery Nziyunvira of Burundi finished 10 seconds behind the winner with a time of 1:09.40. And Slovenia had the slowest heat time in the women's 4×200 freestyle relay, with a time of 8:16.89; the winner's final time was 7:53.42.

Weightlifting: In the men's 69-kg event, Abdul Mohsen Al Bagir (Saudi Arabia) finished 12th with a combined pull of 287.5 kg; the winner lifted 347.5 kg. The women's 63-kg event had fewer entrants, and so Leila Françoise Lassouani (Algeria) finished seventh width a combined pull of 200 kg, compared with the winner's 242.5 kg.

Standings to date: Lots of changes at the top. China is relegated to third place as Uzbekistan and Poland move into the top two spots. Kyrgyzstan and Algeria move up to round out the top five.

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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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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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Results for Saturday, August 14

Cycling: According to the unofficial results, Dawid Krupa of Poland finished 75th in the men's road race with a time of 6:00:25 -- 18:41 behind the leader. Dozens of riders, of course, did not finish the 224.4-km race.

Diving: It was synchronized diving on Saturday. Mark Ruiz and Kyle Prandi (USA) came in eighth place in the men's synchronized 10-metre platform; their score of 325.44 was 58.44 points behind the gold medallists. In the women's synchronized 3-metre springboard, Diamantina Georgatou and Sotiria Koustopetrou (Greece) grabbed eighth and last place with a score of 270.33 -- 67.57 points behind the leaders.

Fencing: Nassim Islam Bernaoui (Algeria) placed 39th in the men's individual sabre event Saturday. [Update]

Shooting: In the women's 10-metre air rifle, Macedonia's Divna Pesic finished in 44th place with 368 points -- only 20 points behind the gold medallist. And Rudolf Knijnenburg of Bolivia finished 47th in the men's 10-metre air pistol with 548 points -- only 42 points behind. Not that I know anything about shooting, but the spread between first and last seems awfully close.

Swimming: There are no posted overall results, so I've gone by the slowest result from the heats. In the men's 400-metre individual medley, Nikita Polyakov (Uzbekistan) had the slowest time of 5:09.66 -- more than a minute behind the gold-medallist final time of 4:08.26. In the men's 400-metre freestyle, Malta's Neil Agius finished in 4:22.14; the winner's final time was 3:43.10. Sabria Dahane's (Algeria) time of 5:10.20 was nearly 45 seconds off the winner's pace of 4:34.83 in the women's 400-metre individual medley. I expect the spread in team sports to be closer generally, so it's no surprise that in the women's 4×100-metre freestyle relay, the Swiss team's last-place time of 3:47.47 is less than 12 seconds behind that of the winning team.

Weightlifting: In the women's 48-kg class, Egypt's Enga Mohamed lifted a total of 165 kg, finishing in 14th place; the gold-medal winner lifted 210 kg.

Standings to date: Algeria takes an early first-day lead with two last-place finishes! The rest of the field is in a nine-way tie for second with one last-place finish each.

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