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Wednesday’s Olympic Highlights
Highlights of Wednesday’s action at the Olympics:
– The Badminton World Federation, under pressure from the IOC and sports fans around the world, expelled eight players from the Olympic tournament for trying to manipulate the quarterfinal bracket in the women’s doubles tournament. The first and third-ranked doubles teams in the world were booted from the Games after they did their best to lose their final match in group play. All four doubles teams in those matches had already clinched a spot in the quarterfinals and they attempted to set up the pairings to their liking.
– The assault on the integrity of the Olympics took the spotlight away from some of the action, but there was no loss of focus for British fans. They cheered their first two gold medals and particularly went wild along the cycling time trial course near Hampton Court Palace, where cycling hero and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins won the fourth gold medal of his Olympic career. He has seven medals overall, most of any British competitor.
– Two of the badminton players disqualified from the Olympics were from China, but that gloomy news did not slow down the Chinese gold medal juggernaut. They added four to their total, which has reached 17. One the wins came in diving, where China is halfway to a sweep of the eight golds that will be awarded in that sport.
– American Kristin Armstrong won the women’s cycling road time trial in Beijing and then retired from the sport. After having a son, she decided it would be perfect if she could win the event again and hold her child in her arms on the top step of the Olympic podium. She did just that Wednesday and, with soon to be 2-year-old Jacob staring at the gold medal his mother had just won, Armstrong said she was retiring for good.
– Venezuela won its first gold medal in 44 years, with a victory in the individual epee, Spain won only its second swimming medal ever and Singapore managed a bronze in table tennis, only the third Olympic medal in its country’s history.
– Nathan Adrian rallied in the final 25 meters to win the men’s 100-meter freestyle by a fingernail. He defeated James Magnussen by .01 of a second, the smallest difference that can be recorded by the automatic timing equipment in the swimming pool.
– Kohei Uchimura won the first men’s all-around gymnastics title for Japan in 28 years and American Danell Leyva staged a tremendous rally to get a bronze. Leyva’s medal hopes seemed gone before he turned in the best performances among those who made the finals in his last two exercises.
– It is usually agreed that the worst place to finish at the Olympics is fourth since that means a medal was tantalizingly out of reach. The United States had five such finishes Wednesday — two in rowing, one in the men’s cycling time trial and two in fencing.
Copyright 2012 by United Press International