Thursday, August 21, 2014


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Isinbayeva Cedes Pole Vault Title In Another Busy Night Of Olympic Action

Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva could only manage to clear 4.70 meters, 5 centimeters less than the gold medal winner Jennifer Suhr of the United States.
Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva could only manage to clear 4.70 meters, 5 centimeters less than the gold medal winner Jennifer Suhr of the United States.
By RFE/RL
Jennifer Suhr of the United States has won the Olympic gold medal in the women's pole vault -- denying Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva the chance to be the first women to win three gold medals in the same individual event at three successive Olympics.

Suhr didn't miss a single attempt in the rainy weather at Olympic Stadium in London on August 6 until her winning vault of 4.75 meters -- which she cleared on her second attempt.

The winning height was the same as silver medalist Yarisley Silva of Cuba. But Silva had missed more earlier attempts.

Isinbayeva won bronze by clearing the bar at 4.70 meters.

Correspondents say Isinbayeva left the track not with tears, but with sighs of relief and kisses for the crowd of 80,000 as if a weight finally fell off her shoulders.

But Russia still managed to claim gold on the track on August 6 when Yuliya Zaripova won the women's 3000 meter steeplechase in a race that marked the second time women have run the event in the Olympics.

The 26-year-old Zaripova led from the start, storming across the finish line well ahead of the other competitors in 9 minutes 6.72 seconds.

Second place went to Habiba Ghribi of Tunisia, who set a new national record of 9 minutes 8.37 seconds. Sofia Assefa of Ethiopia took bronze in 9 minutes 09.84 seconds.

The defending champion from Russia, Gulnara Galkina, pulled off the track with an injury and failed to finish.

Also in track and field events on August 6, Belarusian athlete Nadzeya Ostapchuk won the Olympic gold medal in the women's shot put with a winning throw of 21.36 meters.

Valerie Adams of New Zealand, who had won the gold medal at Beijing in 2008, took the silver medal with her best effort of 20.70 meters.

The bronze medal went to Russia's Evgeniia Kolodko after she threw a personal best of 20.48 meters on her final attempt.

Russian Gymnastics Gold

Away from the track, Russia's Aliya Mustafina won gold in the women's uneven parallel bars during the gymnastics' competition on August 6. Her victory comes just 18 months after she had seriously injured her knee.

The win also gives Mustafina a full set of London Olympics medals, following a silver medal she won in the team competition and a bronze medal in the all-round competition.

China's He Kexin won the silver medal for the uneven parallel bars while Beth Tweddle of Britain won the bronze.

In the equestrian competitions, Great Britain captured its first Olympic show-jumping gold medal in 60 years, winning a dramatic jump-off against the Netherlands.

It was Britain's first Olympic show-jumping medal since 1984 and their first gold since the Helsinki 1952 Games.

Britain and the Netherlands were tied on eight penalty points after the team competition, sending the event into a tie breaker over a shortened course.

While two Dutch riders faltered in the tie breaker, Britons Nick Skelton, Ben Maher and Peter Charles all went clear to secure the gold.

Overnight leaders Saudi Arabia won the bronze medal with a score of 14 penalty points.

In basketball, Britain won its first men's basketball game at the Olympics since the 1948 London Games, beating China 90-58 on August 6.
   
Britain had not qualified for the Olympics since 1948, but received a berth as the host this year.

Lithuania's basketball team won against Tunisia 76-63 on August 6.

The victory lifted Lithuania to the fourth seed place in Group A, setting up a quarter-final showdown against Russia on August 8.

Also on August 6, Croatia's Giovanni Cernogoraz won the men's trap shooting Olympic gold medal ahead of Italian Massimo Fabbrizi and Kuwaiti Fehaid al-Deehani.

Japan won against 2-1 against France 2-1 in the Olympic women's football tournament.

Japan advanced to a final showdown with the United States, who beat Canada 4-3 after a thrilling match that went to extra time.

Iranian Wrestling Victory

Iranian Greco-Roman wrestler Omid Noroozi won the gold medal in the men's 60-kilogram weight class by defeating Georgian wrestler Revaz Lashki.

The bronze medals in the event went to Russia's Zaur Kuramagomedov and Japan's Ryutaro Matsumoto.

Meanwhile, a teenager from Grenada, Kirani James, won the gold medal in the men's 400 meter run on August 6 -- the first Olympic medal of any kind for an athlete from his country and the first non-American winner of the event since 1980.  The 19-year-old James ran the race in 43.94 seconds.

Away from the competition, Italy's Alex Schwazer, who won the 50-kilometer walk at Beijing 2008, admitted on August 6 that he had use a banned substance and said his career was over after he was disqualified from the Olympics for failing a drug test.

With reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters
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