Monday, September 01, 2014


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Olympic Glory For Rudisha, Bolt

Iran's Mohammad Bagheri Motamed celebrates winning the silver medal in the under-68-kilogram  taekwondo competition at the London Olympic Games.
Iran's Mohammad Bagheri Motamed celebrates winning the silver medal in the under-68-kilogram taekwondo competition at the London Olympic Games.
By RFE/RL
Kenyan runner David Rudisha has become the first athlete to set a new world record on the track at the 2012 London Olympics, clocking the 800 meter run in 1:40.91 to win gold on August 9.

The 23-year-old Rudisha has now run the three fastest 800 meter races of all time and six of the eight fastest times ever over the distance.

Also in athletics, Jamaican Usain Bolt powered to victory in the 200 meters to become the first man to successfully defend both Olympic sprint titles, having retained his 100-meter crown earlier in the week.

Bolt finished in a time of 19.32 seconds ahead of compatriots Yohan Blake and Warren Weir, who made it a clean sweep of medals for Jamaica.

Also on August 9, Afghan taekwondo hero Rohullah Nekpa won bronze in the men's under-68-kilogram category, becoming the first athlete from Afghanistan to win an Olympic medal in London.

The 25-year-old Nekpa defeated Britain's Martin Stamper 5-3. He told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan he is happy he will return from London "with full hands" because his win is a victory for his entire country.

Nekpa lost his quarter finals match to Iran's eventual silver medallist Mohammad Bagheri Motamed, but he took advantage of a second chance via the repechage. Turkey's Servet Tazegul won the gold while Terrence Jennings from the United States also won bronze in the category.

Elsewhere, the U.S. women's soccer team won its third consecutive Olympic gold medal, defeating Japan 2-1 and gaining a modicum of revenge for their defeat to the same nation in last year's World Cup final.

The final on August 9 was played before more than 80,000 spectators at Wembley Stadium -- a record crowd for a women's Olympic soccer game.

Wrestling Gold For Russia

In wrestling, Russia's Natalia Vorobieva defeated Bulgaria's Stanka Hristova to win gold in the women's 72-kilogram freestyle competition.

Hristova, who has won the world championship five times, was aiming to improve on her silver medal finish at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. But the speed of Vorobieva to engineer a take down in the second round proved decisive for the Russian.

Maider Unda of Spain and Kazakhstan's repechage winner Guzel Manyurova each were awarded the bronze medal.

Olympic women's handball debutants Montenegro beat Spain 27-26, advancing to the final against the reigning champions, Norway, on August 11.

Montenegro, only officially recognized as an Olympic nation in 2007, now has a chance of winning the country's first Olympic gold medal.

Russia's hopes for an Olympic gold medal in women's basketball were dashed when France beat the them 81-64 in their semifinal match.

The United States defeated Australia 86-73 to set up a match with the French in the final on August 11.

The Russian women will compete against Australia for bronze on the same day.

Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic retained her Olympic women's javelin, winning the gold medal with a throw of 69.55 meters.

Germany's Peter Kretschmer and Kurt Kuschela won gold in the men's canoe double, finishing nearly two seconds faster than Belarusian brothers Andrei and Alyaksandr Bahdanovich, who won silver.  Russia's Aleksey Korovashkov and Ilya Pervukhin won bronze.

Pistorius Back On Track

In women's boxing, American boxer Claressa Shields defeated Russia's Nadezda Torlopova in the middleweight final to win the only pugilism medal for team USA in London.

Katie Taylor of Ireland defeated Russia's Sofya Ochigava in the lightweight final to win gold. Tajikistan's Mavzuna Chorieva and Brazil's Adriana Arauja won bronze for making it to the semifinals.

Amputee Oscar Pistorius' hopes of winning an Olympic medal were back on track after his South African team in the men's 4x400-meter relay won an appeal and was given a place in the final on August 11.

The 25-year-old Pistorius thought his Olympic dream was over when South Africa's second-leg runner Ofentse Mogawane fell on the curve after tangling with Kenya's Vincent Kiilu during a qualifying round.

But Kenya's team was subsequently disqualified, prompting an appeal by South Africa that was accepted by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa, and the BBC
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