Changing China

Giant on the move

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Relay bad mistakes from United States, Britain

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Gay misses outOn another miserable day for Tyson Gay, the United States failed to make it to the final of the 4×100 metres relay after their latest case of baton bungling.

Britain, the defending Olympic champions, followed them out of the event when a messed up changeover led to their disqualification from a later heat.

The U.S. in particular have been plagued by problems in this area over recent Olympics. You could say they only have themselves to blame but it was impossible not to feel sorry for Gay.

It was his changeover with Darvis Patton that caused all the trouble and it means Gay, the triple world champion, will leave without a medal after failing to reach the 100 metres final, or even qualify to compete in Beijing in the 200.

Beijing podcast — day 13

Was the IOC right to criticise Usain Bolt? What is the most dangerous sport at the Games? And what’s the worst horse joke you could possibly imagine?

Tune in to the latest podcast as I’m joined by Julian Linden, Simon Evans, Ossian Shine and Paul Majendie for a figurative stroll around the Olympic green. 

Beijing Games: picture of the day

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First gold

Russell Boyce writes: A big celebration for a first medal win for Afghanistan gets the picture of the day nomination.

New Delhi based Reuters News Pictures photographer Desmond Boylan captured this special moment as Afghanistan’s Rohullah Nikpai celebrated beating Spain’s Juan Antonio Ramos to win a bronze medal during the men’s -58kg taekwando bronze medal competition at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

Lightning Bolt strikes again — your views

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Bolt gesturesJamaica’s Usain Bolt completed a breathtaking sprint double at the Beijing Games on Wednesday, breaking the 200 metres world record that many had thought unbreakable to take his second Olympic gold medal.

The contrast between this and his winning run in the 100 could hardly have been more marked, as this time he gave it everything he had to go under the old best mark, Michael Johnson’s 19.32, by two hundredths of a second.

Beijing podcast — day 12

Tune in to the unfortunately timed day 12 podcast from Beijing, recorded shortly before Usain Bolt’s crack at the 200 metres, to learn about:

The alternative alternative Olympics medals table

The great gold medal con trick

The ping pong bong

Who could resist? It’s eight minutes of nonsense, with an old joke at the end, and features Julian Linden, Belinda Goldsmith, Padraic Halpin, Karolos Grohmann and me.

Have the British peaked too soon?

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A British feeding poleThere was a joke going around the Olympics (until yesterday evening) about how none of Britain’s gold medals had been won by people standing up. Perfect for the British, no? We do like a nice sit down and a cup of tea after all.

Christine Ohuruogu ended that odd little sequence when she followed the sailors, swimmers, cyclists and rowers on to the podium to collect her gold for the women’s 400 metres.

Beijing Games: picture of the day

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Weightlifting grimaces

Russell Boyce writes: The men’s +105kg weightlifting produced grunts and groans, strains and shouts as men lifted weights up to 258kg.

It also produced an amazing series of portraits as these heavyweight giants battled it out for the gold medal, ferocious and hard faced giants every one of them, or at least so it seemed.

Beijing podcast — day 11

Tune in to the latest podcast hear about Yelena Isinbaeva’s pole vault magic, open water swimming’s dirty little secret and why you should never let an Australian come home with souvenirs for the kids.

I’m joined by Julian Linden, Belinda Goldsmith, Simon Evans and John “David Gedge” Chalmers for seven minutes of sunshine from grey Beijing. Enjoy…

Who’s top of the medals table?

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Phelps with the great eightAmericans looking at the medals table to the right of this blog, or on the official Games website, might be surprised to see the host country topping the chart with 39 gold medals and 68 in total.

The New York Times website, meanwhile, has the United States on top with a chart-leading 73 medals in total, 23 of them gold.

Beijing podcast — day 10

I’m joined by Simon Evans, Julian Linden, Belinda Goldsmith and Ossian Shine for a short talk about the sport here in Beijing. Tune in to find out about china’s unluckiest man, the power of the yam and why Michael Phelps wouldn’t touch a dram.

A few technical gremlins delayed this but … better kate than trevor.

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