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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Day 2: What Happened

IAAF report

Men's 20km Walk: Like you care, right? A likely doped Russian won and Jefferson Perez was runner-up.

Women's 800m semis: Jelimo still is the favorite but Jepkosgei showed she won't be a complete pushover. Maria Mutola made her fifth consecutive Olympic final.

Men's 100 semis: I said Gay didn't look good, and he didn't make the final. He's healthy but short on conditioning and racing. Look for him to beat all but Bolt and maybe Powell at the World Athletics Final. Bolt is on another planet, and Dix has sharpened to where he has a shot at bronze. And what if Powell chokes again...

Women's 100m heats & quarters: As I called it in my preview, this is USA v. Jamaica and everyone else are also-rans. The Jamaicans look better right now, but tomorrow's another day.

Men's 400 Hurdle semis: All the favorites made the final, and a US medal sweep is quite possible. Angelo Taylor ran his best race in years.

Women's shot put
: Vili took the Belarussians again, but this time she did it on the first throw instead of the last, with a new national record to boot.

Heptathlon Day 2 (LJ, JT and 800m): Like I said yesterday, the long jump was the make-or-break event. Fountain fouled on her first two attempts, leaving her no choice but to play it safe on her third and got a poor (by her standards) result. Blonska did the same but big-time thrower Dobrynska got a big one off, and then increased her lead in the javelin. The only real contest in the 800 was whether or not Fountain could hold off Chernova for bronze (she did).

Men's 100m final: Oh yeah, there was this little sprint race. Too bad nobody hyped it. ;) Bolt huge WR! Powell choked again, Dix gets bronze because he still can't beat Richard Thompson. You can read the hyperbole, oh, everywhere. SI's Tim Layden has the article (and the mag has the photo) that defines the moment.

In other event qualifying:
  • Men's discus saw two of the three medal favorites--Ehsan Hadadi and Virgilius Alekna--not make it through. The final is wide-open now.
  • Men's steeple heats had every real contender make it through, and American Famiglietti set a PR after boldly taking a 40-meter lead in the last few laps.
  • Men's long jump: no Americans made it through and Saudi Mohamed Salman Al Khuwalidi also missed the cut.
  • Women's 400m heats, women's pole vault: no surprises

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