The Reuters global sports blog
Safin, 29, has decided to hang up his racket at the end end of the season after 12 years as a professional and organisers of the Beijing event held a special farewell ceremony for him after his entertaining defeat to Rafa Nadal in the quarter-finals.
Nadal had found himself in the unusual position of having fans cheering for his opponent as the Russian former world number one continued to reap the dividends of being the first China Open champion back in 2004.
Safin was clearly moved by the post-match ceremony, which included a video message from Safina, and if he said thank you to the Beijing fans once, he said it a thousand times.
As mayor of Beijing for most of the period running up to the 2008 Olympics and now Vice Premier of China with responsibility for financial and economic affairs, Wang Qishan has been a very busy man over the last few years.
He has, however, made time to indulge his passion for tennis and been highly influential in the growth of the China Open tournament, now one of the top events in women’s tennis with ambitions of becoming an Asian major.
Usain Bolt versus Tyson Gay is the sort of showdown that would grace any era of athletics and with a bit of luck the world championships in Berlin should give us two takes – in the 100 and 200 metres.
The match-up between the Jamaican and the American was supposed to be the highlight of the Beijing Olympics but it wasn’t meant to be. Bolt stole the show with three golds and three world records while Gay failed even to make the 100 final. Bolt was in such crowd-pleasing form that in truth you hardly noticed the other seven runners on the track.
from The Great Debate UK:
- Hugh Robertson is the opposition Conservatives' Olympics spokesman. The views expressed are his own. -
With three years to go, it is remarkable that London 2012 is going so well.
London’s Olympics were launched with a massive government miscalculation that resulted in the budget having to be increased threefold, were based on a plan that required us to build two Terminal 5s in half the time and have had to contend with the worst economic recession in living memory.
It has always been an accepted fact that the dope cheats – much better financed and sometimes state sponsored – will always have the march on the testers.
The testers have sometimes therefore been portrayed as barely competent do-gooders blundering around in the dark, while the cheats blithely continue with their cheating.