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

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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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Results for Wednesday, August 20

A comparatively quiet day, medals-wise.

Athletics: In the women's hammer throw qualifying round on Monday, 17-year-old Galina Mityaeva of Tajikistan met her Dr. Horrible in group A, with a best throw of 51.38 metres. Only one other competitor was under 60 metres; the gold medallist's best result in the final was 76.34. Three athletes had no mark. In round one of the men's 200 metre, the slowest time came in heat five: Juan Zeledon of Nicaragua, 22, had a time of 23.39 seconds; the gold medallist's freaky-fast record time in the final was 19.3 seconds. There were three DNSes and one DNF in the heats. The first round of the women's 400-metre hurdles was held on Sunday. Galina Pedan had the only time in excess of a minute; the 25-year-old Krygyz athlete's time was 1:00.31, compared to the 52.64 second-time put in by the gold medallist in the final.

Sailing: In the men's RS:X, Colombian sailor Santiago Grillo, 21, was 35th. In the women's RS:X, 34-year-old Sedef Koktenturk of Turkey was 27th.

Swimming: In the women's 10-km marathon, 16-year-old Antonella Bogarin of Argentina finished 24th. Her time of 2:11:35.9 was 12:08.2 behind the gold medallist; she and one other swimmer were considerably behind the main pack. There was also one DNF, who I really hope was fished out.

Synchronized swimming: In the duet event, the Egyptian team of Dalia El Gebaly, 26, and Reem Abdalazem, 25, was 24th in both the preliminary and technical rounds, and did not advance to the final.

Standings to date: Colombia, Turkey, Egypt and Argentina add their third DFLs, Nicaragua and Tajikistan their second.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Early Results for Friday, August 15

Archery: In the men's individual event, Joseph Walter Muaausa of Samoa, 46, was 64th in the ranking round and had the lowest score of the round of 64. Fortunately, at least for me, this result is unambiguous; it was entirely possible for the person with the lowest score in the round of 64 to have been ranked higher, or vice versa; someone who set an Olympic record in the round of 16 ended up finishing only 14th.

Canoe/Kayak (Slalom): In the heats of the men's C2, the South African duo of Cyprian Ngidi, 25, and Cameron McIntosh, 32, finished 12th. Their combined time after two runs was 277.2, including a total of 54 penalty seconds. It was the slowest time overall, though the top three times in the heats were faster than the gold medal time in the final, for whatever reason. This was also the case in the women's K1, where, thanks to two and a half minutes in penalties each, two competitors in the finals had slower times than the slowest time in the heats. But, applying my own vague rules as to who gets the DFL, the slowest time in the heats prevails, because these two put in a better score earlier to make it to the final. As a result, the DFL goes to 19-year-old Luuka Jones of New Zealand, with a time of 272.36.

Shooting: Hazem Mohamed of Egypt, 38, finished 56th in the men's 50-metre rifle, prone position; his score of 576 was 18 points behind what would have been needed to qualify for the final.

Swimming: Heats for today's swimming medals were held Wednesday. In heat one of the women's 200-metre breaststroke, Tatiane Sakemi of Brazil, 22, finished with a time of 2:39.13. The gold medallist's world-record time in the final was 2:20.22. There was one DNS in the heats. For once, heat two had the slowest time in an event -- in the men's 200-metre backstroke: Estonia's Andres Olvik, 22, whose time of 2:03.66 was nearly 10 seconds behind the gold medallist's time in the final, which was another world record. There were two DNSes in the heats. Danil Bugakov of Uzbekistan, 20, finished heat one of the men's 200-metre individual medley with a time of 2:10.04; the gold medallist, some nobody, put in a world-record time of 1:54.23 in the final. There was one DNS in the heats. And finally, in the women's 100-metre freestyle, 16-year-old Olga Hachatryan of Turkmenistan, where I'm not sure there is any standing water, finished with a rather slow time of 1:14.77 in heat one; the gold medallist's time in the final was 53.12 seconds. There was one DNS in the heats.

Badminton had a medal today, but it -- like other sports involving rackets or paddles -- is not something for which I can figure out a last place.

Still to come later today: athletics (men's shot put, women's 10,000 metre), cycling (team sprint) and weightlifting.

Standings to date: Egypt and Turkmenistan each add their second DFLs; South Africa and Brazil each add their third, moving into third and fourth place, respectively.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Results for Thursday, August 14

Archery: In the women's individual event, Khadija Abbouda of Morocco, 40, was ranked 64th: she had the lowest score in the ranking round, and the lowest score in the round of 64, where she and 32 other competitors were eliminated.

Equestrian: Japan finished 10th in team dressage; another team was eliminated. The humans involved were Yuko Kitai, 35, Mieko Yagi, 58, and Hiroshi Hoketsu, 67. Their average score was 60.653 percent, compared to the gold medallists' 72.917 percent; their average age is 53?.

Shooting: Two women's events today. In the women's 50-metre air rifle, three positions, Australian Susan McCready, 27, finished 43rd with a score of 550; athletes making the final had scores of 585 or better. In women's skeet shooting, where a score if 69 was needed to advance to the final, Egyptian shooter Mona Elhawary, 46, had a score of 50, and finished 19th.

Swimming: All is right in the world: heat one produces the slowest times in the swimming events. First, to the men's 200-metre breaststroke, where, in heat one, 31-year-old Sergio Andres Ferreyra of Argentina put in a time of 2:20.10 -- nearly 12½ seconds behind the gold medallist's final time. There was one DNS in the heats. Kristina Lennox-Silva of Puerto Rico, 23, finished with a time of 2:17.27 in heat one of the women's 200-metre butterfly; the gold medallist's world-record time in the final was 2:04.18. There were two DNSes in the heats. Heat one of the men's 100-metre freestyle saw 16-year-old Sofyan El Gadi finish with a time of 57.89 seconds, 10.68 seconds behind the gold medallist's time in the final. And, in the women's 4×200-metre freestyle relay, the slowest time in the heats was put in by the Polish team in heat one: compare their time of 8:07.40 to yet another world-record gold medal time in the final of 7:44.31. There was one disqualification in heat two.

Standings to date: A light day to report on. Japan moves into third place with its third DFL; Australia's second moves it into eighth, given its huge team. All countries in the top ten have more than one last-place finish. Meanwhile, three north African countries join the list at once, which is kind of interesting.

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Sunday, August 29, 2004

Results for Sunday, August 29

Rhythmic Gymnastics: In the qualifying rounds for the individual all-around, Wania Monteiro of Cape Verde finished 24th with a score of 71.900; qualifiers for the final had scores of 95.925 or more. She had fairly low technical marks but otherwise didn't do all that badly, from what I can tell.

Handball: The medal finals were held today. In the women's 9/10 classification match Thursday, Greece lost to Angola 38-23 and finished 10th; they were 0-4 in the preliminaries. Egypt lost 30-24 to Slovenia in the men's 11/12 classification match and finished 12th; they were 0-5 in the preliminaries.

Volleyball: In men's volleyball, Australia won fewer sets than Tunisia, so while they both finished the prelims with 0-5 records and are ranked tied for 11th, I'm awarding the last-place finish to Australia.

Water Polo: Egypt was 0-5 in the preliminary round of men's water polo and on Friday lost the 11/12 classification match to Kazakhstan 15-7, so they finished 12th.

Standings to date: Cape Verde is the 103rd (and possibly final) country to make the standings. Thanks to last-place finishes in team sports for which it was able to qualify, Egypt makes a last-minute dash for the "top", Australia slips into second place and Greece -- which, as host country, was able to enter a number of team events that it might not otherwise qualify for -- solidifies its lead with 13 last-place finishes, five more than Australia.

All that's left now is the marathon, which is in progress now.

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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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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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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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