DFL

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

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Early Results for Thursday, August 21

Athletics: 37-year-old Evelyn Nunez of Guatemala finished 43rd in the women's 20-km race walk. Her time of 1:44:13 was 17:42 behind the gold medallist, a bit more than three minutes behind the next-to-last-place finisher, and about six hours faster than I hike a 20-km mountain trail. There were three disqualifications and two DNFs.

Football (Soccer): An unresolvable two-way tie for 11th place in women's soccer; accordingly, no DFL will be awarded in this event. You can't come dead last if you're tied with somebody else.

Sailing: Star: Chinese sailors Li Hongquan and Wang He finished 16th. Tornado: American sailors Johnny Lovell and Charlie Ogletree were 15th.

Softball: The Netherlands finished the women's softball tournament in eighth place, with a record of 1–6.

Swimming: In the men's 10-km marathon, which was limited to 25 competitors, 21-year-old Chinese swimmer Xin Tong was 23rd; there was one disqualification and one DNF (did not float). His time of 2:09:13.4 was 17:21.8 behind the gold medallist.

Water Polo: In women's water polo, Greece lost its classification match 12–6 and finished eighth; they had been 0–3 in the preliminary round.

Standings to date: China moves into second place with its sixth and seventh DFL, behind Canada, which has seven but a smaller delegation. The U.S. moves into the top 10. Greece, which won the DFL race in 2004 with 13 last-place finishes, gets only its first DFL of these Games. Note, however, that Greece's delegation is only 30 percent of what it was in Athens, when it was the host country. Your delegation's a lot smaller when your athletes actually have to qualify, but you have fewer last places.

Later today: More athletics, diving, equestrian, and modern pentathlon.

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