Changing China

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Usain Bolt wins 100 metres — your views

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Bolt wins 100 metres gold medal

Usain Bolt of Jamaica won the Olympic 100 metres on Saturday, shattering the world record in the process with a time of 9.69 seconds.

Bolt thumped his chest in celebration as he crossed the line, after leaving Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago (silver) and American Walter Dix (bronze) trailing at the Bird’s Nest Stadium.

Asafa Powell finished out of the medals, while Tyson Gay was eliminated in the semi-finals.

Bolt had looked capable of running an extremely fast time as he ambled through the heats and so it proved in Beijing on Saturday as he pulled off a win that will live long in the memory.

Beijing podcast — day eight

How exactly did Michael Phelps manage to win that race this morning?

What is the plunge for distance competition?

And how could we make archery a bit more exciting?

I’m joined by Julian Linden and Ossian Shine on our latest podcast from Beijing. Seven minutes is all it takes. Go on … you know you want to.

Olympic luck – it’s a numbers game

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radcliffeEight could be Michael Phelps’s lucky number if he can trump Mark Spitz’s Olympic haul of of seven golds at the 100m medley relay in Beijing on Sunday.

If so, he would have something in common with many host team athletes, who are big on the number 8 because in Chinese it sounds like a word for prosperity (fa). That’s why the Olympic Games opened on the 8th day of the 8th month at 8pm.

Shooting for a good story

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shooting starsWhile talking with Matt Emmons in the “mixed zone” after he won a silver medal on Saturday, I suddenly noticed the American sharpshooter had brought his rifle with him.

Resting casually on his left foot, it was pointed up at the ceiling, presumably empty of the ammunition he used to hit a thumbnail-sized bullseye 50 metres away nine of 10 times, but still, it was a reminder of how much I hate the things.

How do you feel, George? Well, it was a speech of two halves…

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Bush pitchesJournalists don’t generally address politicians by their first name, they tend to ask them searching questions and it’s rare to see them fawning. Not so, sports reporters.

For the vacuous, how about this, heard in the handball mixed zone at the Beijing Games: “Congratulations, Anita. Fantastic match. How did you feel in the last 10 minutes?”

Heroic Phelps equals Spitz record (Update x2)

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Phelps record

Michael Phelps joined Mark Spitz at the highest peak of Olympic achievement on Saturday when his final, desperate lunge for the board brought him victory in the 100m butterfly by the thinnest possible margin and gave him his seventh gold medal at these Games — after an official protest from Serbia was rejected.

Milorad Cavic of Serbia appeared to have the gold tied up until Phelps’s perfect timing saw him home by one hundredth of a second. That is as precise as the timekeeping goes but if anything it looked less than that and shortly after the race Serbia protested the result.

Day seven at the Games: Fabulous Phelps keeps focus on the pool

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Phelps divesMichael Phelps made it six golds in six races to edge closer to the record of Mark Spitz, while the three fastest men in the world whetted the appetites of 90,000 fans at the Bird’s Nest as swimming and athletics vied for attention on Friday.

Phelps was untroubled in the men’s 200 metres individual medley, moving to within one win of Spitz’s record from the 1972 Games.

Beijing Games: picture of the day

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Judo1

We actually have two pictures of the day for Friday, on a similar theme. These two shots are truly inspirational… The Games aren’t just about perfectly toned bodies, after all!

TOP: Andreas Tolzer of Germany (L) fights Janusz Wojnarowicz of Poland during their men’s +100kg repechage judo match at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 15, 2008. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Charles in charge: speed, momentum and centrifugal force

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Charles in charge at the velodromeI’ve never met Matt Lauer from NBC but I was assured this week that I kicked his ass.

That was the consensus of several USA Cycling experts when I finally rolled off the Olympic velodrome after a gut-wrenching but exhilarating ride.

Michael Phelps — a modest American hero

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Phelps listens to the national anthemIf anyone at this Games could be forgiven for being a little bit conceited, a touch arrogant or slightly dismissive of his opponents then it surely would be Michael Phelps. Six races, six gold medals, six world records — it must be hard to keep your feet on the ground.

The reality is that having watched Phelps close-up this week, both poolside and in the press conference room, there isn’t the slightest whiff of arrogance about him. Even when provoked, by a reporter’s question about doping for example, he remains calm and respectful giving a sensible answer.

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