Celebrating last-place finishes at the Olympics. Because they're there, and you're not.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Late Results for Saturday, August 23

Athletics: Women's high jump: Two competitors had an identical score of 1.8 metres, in the same number of jumps; no DFL will be awarded in this event as a result. Two athletes had no mark; the gold medallist cleared 2.05 metres. Men's javelin: Menik Janoyan of Armenia, 23, with a best throw of 64.47 metres in group B. One athlete had no mark; the gold medallist's best was 90.57 metres. Men's 800 metre: Heat four saw the slowest time in the preliminaries: 1:57.48 by 21-year-old Derek Mandell of Guam. The gold medallist's final time was 1:44.65. There were three DNSes. Women's 1,500 metre: 27-year-old Domingas Togna of Guinea-Bissau was, at 5:05.76 in heat two, substantially slower than the rest of the field: the next-to-slowest time was 45 seconds faster. And the gold medallist's time in the final was faster still: 4:00.23. Men's 5,000 metre: In heat one, Min Thu Soe of Burma (Myanmar), 19 years old, was, at 15:50.56, much slower than the rest of the field -- by more than a minute. There was one DNS in the heats. The gold medallist finished in 12:57.82 in the final. Women's 4×400-metre relay: China had the slowest time in the preliminaries (heat two); compare their time of 3:30.77 to the gold medallists' final time of 3:18.54. Men's 4×400-metre relay: In heat two, the Dominican Republic had the slowest preliminary time: 3:04.31. Compare that to the gold medallists' final time of 2:55.39.

Diving: In the men's 10-metre platform, 20-year-old North Korean diver Kim Chon Man will incur the Dear Leader's wrath with a 30th-place finish; his score of 328.85 was about 90 points lower than he would have needed to qualify for the next round.

Baseball: Two teams finished the competition with 1–6 records; with some reluctance, I'm awarding the DFL to the team with the most runs against: China.

Basketball: Mali finished 12th in women's basketball with a record of 0–5.

Field Hockey: In the men's event, the team from South Africa lost its classification match and finished 12th.

Rhythmic Gymnastics: Wania Monteiro of Cape Verde repeats her 2004 DFL in the individual all-around event. Now 22, she finished 24th (again) in the qualifying round with a score of 49.050. The lowest qualifying score was 66.825.

Volleyball: Both Algeria and Venezuela are ranked 11th in women's volleyball, but using the win-loss ratio from the preliminary round to break the tie, I'll award the DFL to Algeria.

Standings to date: As the results for the team sports and events come in, two trends occur. First, the host country, which might not otherwise qualify for events but enters them anyway as the host, racks up a few DFLs, as China has with a total of four today. Its hold on first place is unassailable: Canada simply can't catch up. Second, you also see a few last-place finishes from African countries, who qualify on a continental basis (i.e., they're the best African team) but go on to get slaughtered at the Olympics. (Note that Egypt and South Africa are now both in the top 10.)

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Results for Friday, August 22

Athletics: Men's 50-km walk: 36-year-old Kazimir Verkin of Slovakia finished 47th; his time of 4:21:26 was 44:17 behind the gold medallist. There were seven DNFs, five disqualifications, and two DNSes. Women's long jump: In qualifying Tuesday, Tricia Flores of Belize, 28, had the shortest best jump: 5.25 metres in group A; the gold medallist got 7.04 metres in the final. Three athletes had no mark; one was disqualified for being bad. Women's 5,000 metre: 30-year-old Celma da Graca Soares Bonfim of São Tomé and Príncipe finished heat one with a time of 17:25.99 on Tuesday; the gold medallist's time was 15:41.40. One DNF and one DNS apiece in the heats. Women's 4×100-metre relay: Never mind the final, the heats Thursday saw three disqualifications and two DNFs, leaving the team from Thailand with the slowest finishing time of 44.38 seconds. The gold medal time in the final was 42.31 seconds. Men's 4×100-metre relay: The men's side saw two disqualifications and four DNFs; the slowest team left standing was that of France, with 39.53 seconds. The gold medallists in the final did it in 37.1 seconds. Men's pole vault: Three athletes cleared 5.3 metres (the gold medallist did 5.96 metres); I'm unable to break the tie. No DFL will be awarded. Men's decathlon: There were 14 DNFs in this event -- 35 percent of all athletes entered. Of the 26 capable of attempting all 10 events, Mikko Halvari of Finland, 25, was 26th with a score of 6,486 -- 2,305 points behind the gold medallist. Mikko got zero in the pole vault; he and one other athlete continued nonetheless, while two athletes did not start the following event. I don't know the circumstances for all 14 DNFs; I wonder how many were the result of giving up when zeroing out on a specific discipline.

Canoe/Kayak (Flatwater Racing): Men's 1,000-metre kayak single (K1): Alcino Gomes da Silva, 17, São Tomé and Príncipe, 9th in heat two with a time of 4:28.057. Men's 1,000-metre canoe single (C1): Sean Pangelinan, 21, Guam, 8th in heat two with a time of 4:49.284. Women's 500-metre kayak four (K4): Canada, fourth in the semifinal with a time of 1:38.366. Men's 1,000-metre K2: José Ramos, 25, and Gabriel Rodriguez, 29, Venezuela, seventh in the semifinal with a time of 3:27.423. Men's 1,000-metre C2: José Everardo Cristobal, 22, and Dimas Camilo, 18, Mexico, seventh in the semifinal with a time of 3:49.695. Men's 1,000-metre K4: Australia, fourth in the semifinal with a time of 3:02.743.

Cycling (BMX): In the men's BMX event, Latvian Ivo Lakucs, 29, had the lowest score of the four heats of the quarterfinal round. On the women's side, Australian Tanya Bailey, 27, had the worst score in the semifinals.

Field Hockey: New Zealand lost its classification match in women's field hockey to finish 12th.

Modern Pentathlon: All the female athletes in the modern pentathlon were able to complete the equestrian portion; insert cliché about women and horses here. Lada Jienbalanova of Kazakhstan, 38, was already 36th after the equestrian portion and did not start the final 3,000-metre cross country run. Her final score was 3,736 points; the gold medallist's score was 5,792.

Standings to date: Canada retakes the lead with its eighth DFL; Australia moves into fifth place with its sixth last-place finish. With their third DFLs each, Venezuela, Kazakhstan, New Zealand and France move into 14th, 15th, 18th and 23rd places, respectively. With two last-place finishes and only three athletes, São Tomé and Príncipe jumps into 24th place.

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