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14OLYMPIC REVIEW RESULTS BEIJING HIGHLIGHTS

OLYMPIC REVIEW RESULTS15 BEIJING HIGHLIGHTS Lipa and Britain's Sir Steve Redgrave. The recent British tradition of victories in the coxless fours, with crews containing Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent, continued in Beijing when the latest group were again coached by German Jurgen Grobler to be at their peak on the day. The medals were widely shared in the combat sports. In judo, Romania's Alina Dumitru finally ended Japan's Ryoko Tani's 12- year unbeaten international run in the semi- final of the under 48kg class and then threw Cuba's Yanet Bermoit in the final. Japan, the inventor of the sport, still had the outstandingwinner in Ayumi Tanimoto, whose deft uchimata counter on Lucie Decosse of France providedthe technical highlight of the finals. In the women's freestyle wrestling, Japan also continued to be prominent, with Saori Yoshida, five times world champion, retaining her Olympic under 55kg crown. In the boxing, there was a gritty final in the heavyweights with Rakhim Chakhkiev of Russia defeating Italy's Clemente Russo, reversing the result of the world championships last year. Amazingly no American reached the final in a sport for which they are renowned. Taekwondo provided Mexico with a gold medal in the under 58kg class through Guillermo Perez with Rohullan Nikpai finishing third, so becoming the first athlete from Afghanistan to get an Olympic medal. In the team sports, Norway defeated Russia 34- 27 in the women's handball final, reversing the loss of the previous year, while in the women's hockey, the Netherlands maintained their status in the sport with a 2- 0 victory over China. The Dutch have won medals in this event every year at the Olympic Games since 1984, except for 1992. Germany beat Spain 1- 0 in the men's final. The men's football final saw Argentina retain their title after a superb through ball from Lionel Messi provided the pass for Angel di Maria to score. The men's basketball tournament was followed with huge interest in China because of the presence of so many NBA players in the United States, including the Chinese star Yao Ming. The United States, embarrassed by losing the title in 2004, beat China in their opening game, Argentina in the semi- final and Spain in the final. However, the Americans failed to reach the final of the baseball tournament, as, also unexpectedly, did Japan. South Korea defeated Cuba 3- 2 for the gold medal. In the softball competition, Japan defeated the United States in the final. The beach volleyball final was played out, unsuitably for an event associated with the sun, in persistent rain, with the American veterans, Kerri Walsh and Misty May- Treanor, defeating China. May- Treanor said: " It's been a lot of hard work, a lot of love and a wonderful ride." The triathlon took place in the picturesque setting of the Ming Tombs reservoir, with a thoughtfully constructed circuit that allowed spectators to see much of the race. The men's event was won by Germany's Jan Frodino, who outsprinted the 2000 gold medallist, Simon Whitfield of Canada, on a scorching hot day. The favourite Javier Gomez, of Spain, finished fourth, saying: " I did not get the gold medal but sport is like that. It is not mathematics." German athletes also won the women's modern pentathlon, through Lena Schoeneborn, and both the team and individual competition in the three- day equestrian event, with Heinrich Romeike collecting two gold medals. There was added justification for the place of tennis on the programme because so many of the leading players took part before travelling to New York for the US Open. The men's singles tournament was won by Rafael Nadal, who took over as the world No. 1 during the Olympic Games from Roger Federer, another participant in Beijing. The Spaniard's delight at being in China was evident, saying: " Not in my best dreams could I have imagined this. I have had an incredible experience with all my countrymen." In canoeing, Peter and Pavol Hochschorner of Slovakia won their third successive Olympic whitewater title while in the still water events, Tim Brabants of Britain returned to the sport, after an 18th month spell devoted to his profession of being a medical doctor, to finish first in the 1000m K1. Britain's domination of the cycling, led by Chris Hoy with three titles, and also the sailing, where Finn sailor, Ben Ainslie, won his third successive gold medal, means that the interest in the Olympic sports in the 2012 host city of London has never been so high. This will be of benefit to the Olympic Movement in four years time, since sponsors and spectators are more likely to become involved in the Olympic Games, when the inhabitants of the country staging the event has become enthused with the greatest sports competition on the planet. ¦ TM LeftThe Chinese four celebrate victory in the quadruple sculls – the host's first Olympic rowing gold Right Slovakians were again dominant in the canoe slalom with the Hochschorner brothers winning a third consecutive Olympic gold