Changing China

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Basketball gold would cap Spain’s superb sporting year

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Nadal on his way to number oneSpanish sport is living a golden age, a magical year or a unique two months, depending on how long a view you’re taking. But will it continue on into Beijing?

Rafael Nadal’s victory over Nicolas Lapentti in Cincinnati means the 22-year-old is now certain to depose Roger Federer as world number one in tennis by August 18 at the latest.

Nadal’s twin victories in the French Open and at Wimbledon were just two of the highlights in a remarkable sporting summer for his country.

Carlos Sastre won the Tour de France last month, giving Spain their third victory in three years. Alberto Contador, last year’s winner, followed up his triumph with success in the Giro d’Italia.

One world, one dream…

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Dallas’ Nowitzki grabs a rebound in their NBA game in Dallas, TexasDirk Nowitzki says he’s been dreaming about going to the Olympics since he saw the 1988 Games on TV as a 10-year-old boy.

He’s spent the last 10 summers in the NBA off-season working hard to help Germany qualify for the Olympics again for the first time since 1992 — and the Dallas Mavericks’ all-star from Germany looked completely shattered when his team came up heartbreakingly short in the 2003 European Championships, the qualifier for the 2004 Olympics. 

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