Changing China

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A costly kick to the head

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A kick to the head

Cuba’s Angel Valodia Matos was banned for life from taekwondo on Saturday after he kicked the match referee in the head in his bronze medal bout.

Matos’s coach was also banned for the behaviour that the official said was in “strong violation of the spirit of taekwondo and the Olympic Games”.

That would be putting it mildly, one might say.

PHOTO: Angel Valodia Matos of Cuba kicks out at referee Chakir Chelbat of Sweden during the men’s +80kg bronze medal taekwondo competition against Arman Chilmanov of Kazakhstan at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 23, 2008. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Snapshot Beijing, 1: Matt Emmons

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Emmons reacts to a costly mistake

So much goes on in such a short space of time at the Olympics that for many of us it all tends to blur into one. You’re lucky if you can come away from the Games with one indelible image in your mind, a moment you’ll always remember for the drama, the colour or the sheer brilliance of the performance.

We’re almost at the end now, so I’ve asked Reuters correspondents to share a favourite golden moment from the Games. Here’s the first from Erik Kirschbaum, who watched aghast as history repeated itself at the shooting. Erik writes:

Beijing podcast — day 15

Join us on the penultimate podcast from the Games for a look at Argentina’s win in the football, mixed feelings for Jamaica in the 4x100m relays and the prospect of Pearly Kings and Queens taking over the Bird’s Nest stadium.

Paul Radford, Al Himmer, Robert Woodward, Julian Linden and Paul Majendie join me around the laptop. Sorry about the end-of-term feel.

China assured of first place in medals table

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Zhang YiningThere’s been a lively discussion, here and elsewhere, about which version of the medals table is a better way of ranking countries’ achievements at the Olympics.

Reuters goes with the “gold standard”, if you like, which has put China out in front almost from the start. Other, mainly American outlets go with the “total number of medals” tally that puts the U.S. on top.

Beijing Games: picture of the day

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combo shot

Rickey Rogers writes: A combination photograph as Germans Christian Gille and Thomasz Wylenzek crash into a buoy after winning silver in the C2 1000 m final, gets the vote of Picture of the Day.

What seems like good fun as one team member drags another into the water, suddenly appears to be a real-life drama judging by their situation as they are saved by a rescue boat.

Three golds, three world records

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Relay goldOK, it’s not Michael Phelps territory, but Usain Bolt clinched his third gold medal and third world record from three events when Jamaica won the 4x100m relay on Friday.

Bolt teamed up with Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Asafa Powell to clock a time of 37.10 seconds and take 0.30 seconds off the 15-year-old record set by the United States at the 1993 world championships.

Beijing podcast — day 14

Join us for an eight-minute whirl around the Games, taking in baton bungling from the relay favourites, the joys of synchronised swimming and the upcoming closing ceremony. Find out why:

1. The Brits were in a Monty Python training camp

2. Tyson Gay is not a happy man

3. David Beckham may become the first footballer in space

I’m joined by Julian Linden, Simon Evans, Paul Majendie and the debut-making Robert Woodward. Go on, dip a toe in. 

Is this the most fun you can have on two legs?

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Bolt fliesJamaica’s sprinters have pulled off a remarkable trick at the Beijing Games by making running look like the most enjoyable thing you can do standing up.

While speedsters from other nations have looked tense on the track at the Bird’s Nest, Usain Bolt and the women who swept the medals in the 100 metres have clearly been enjoying themselves.

Beijing Games: picture of the day

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Heavy horse

This is one of those pictures that really makes you wish we had a caption competition.

Hang on a minute … Why don’t we have a caption competition just for once? No prizes, I’m afraid, but if you feel inspired send in your ideas in the comments. The serious caption we sent out with the pic is below, but I’m sure you can do better…

Clean sweep in the sprints — it’s the Jamaica Olympics

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Vampbell-Brown celebrates clean sweep

Congratulations to Jamaica for completing a clean sweep in the men’s and women’s sprints at the Beijing Games on Thursday.

Veronica Campbell-Brown surged to 200 metres victory on Thursday, making it four golds from the four individual events and shutting out the U.S. for the first time since they boycotted the Moscow Olympics in 1980.

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