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

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Late Results for Saturday, February 18

Short Track Speed Skating: This is always a complicated event to report, especially when the slowest athlete in the heats nevertheless qualifies (and then puts in a faster time in the semis) and others with faster times are eliminated -- that's heats-based sport for you. So, especially in the case of the men's 1,000 metre, I've had to go with the slowest nonqualifying time in the heats (which took place on Wednesday), to wit, that of 19-year-old Russian skater Vyacheslav Kurginian. His time of 1:36.070 was not the slowest, but everyone who had a slower time qualified out of their heats and then put in a faster time in the quarterfinals, so I've had to go with Kurginian for an admittedly arbitrary DFL.

In the women's 1,500 metre, it was a good deal more straightforward: Chinese skater Cheng Xiaolei, 24, had the slowest time in the heats: 2:50.017.

Ski Jumping: In the individual large hill (K120) event, Canadian Graeme Gorham, 18, finished 50th with a score of 61.1 and did not advance past the first round. Here's a profile of Gorham from the Sun media chain. [I made an error in these results; see correction.]

Lu Zhuo (China)Speed Skating: In the men's 1,000-metre, Chinese skater Lu Zhuo, 25, finished 38th with a time of 1:12.69 -- less that four seconds off the gold-medal pace. It's marked as a reskate in the results; presumably something happened the first time around that resulted in the skater he was paired against being disqualified and him being allowed a do-over.

Standings to date: The law of averages almost requires that large teams -- like Russia's and Canada's -- will have multiple last-place finishes: your team has more depth, and there are more opportunities for things to go awry. The same goes, to a lesser extent, for medium-sized teams like China's -- and there aren't many countries with more than 80 athletes. Anyway, the upshot of this is that Russia takes the lead -- briefly held since this morning by Chile -- with four last-place finishes despite its large contingent. China is now sixth, and Canada -- with one of the largest delegations here -- is at the back of the single-last-place-finisher pack.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Early Results for Thursday, February 16

Veronica Isbej (Chile)Biathlon: Chilean competitor Veronica Isbej adds another last-place finish (see previous entry) with her 83rd-place result in the women's 7.5-km sprint. She had a total of four faults -- not by any means the worst result in shooting -- and a final time of 33:52, which was 11:20.6 behind the gold medallist. There was one DNS. There's some coverage of Isbej's previous last-place finish in the Chilean media here and here, if you read Spanish (I don't).

(Note: Multiple last-place finishes by an athlete simply means that they're tough, courageous and qualified enough to enter more than one event. Kudos to them that are even capable of finishing last more than once.)

Cross-country Skiing: In the women's 10-kilometre classical, 20-year-old Vedrana Vučićević of Bosnia-Herzegovina finished 70th with a time of 42:45.8 -- nearly 15 minutes behind the gold medallist and nearly nine minutes behind the 69th-place finisher. There was one disqualification (Beckie!) and one DNF.

Nordic Combined: In the team event, the Russian team of Ivan Fesenko, Anton Kamenev, Dimitry Matveev and Sergej Maslennikov, sixth after jumping, were less successful in the cross-country ski relay and finished ninth. Two teams withdrew during the jumping portion.

Alex Kupprion (Germany)Snowboarding: In the men's snowboard cross -- it's basically motocross on snowboards, quite neat actually -- there are heats, just like short track. Once you get into the 1/8-finals the events don't appear to be timed, but, after the two qualifying runs, German boarder Alex Kupprion, 27, had the slowest combined time: 1:24.66 -- 4.73 seconds behind the leader after the qualifying round. Kupprion was in 36th position; the top 32 advanced to the 1/8-finals.

Standings to date: Russia moves into third place, Chile moves into fifth, and Bosnia and Germany join the race.

Later today: women's skeleton, women's and men's team pursuit in speed skating, and men's figure skating.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Results for Wednesday, February 15

Alpine Skiing: Algeria sent two athletes to Torino; one of them, Christelle Laura Douibi, 20, finished 40th in the women's downhill today. Her time of 2:09.68 was 13.19 seconds behind the gold medallist's time. There was one DNS and four DNFs.

Vitaly Glushchenko (Russia)Freestyle Skiing: In men's moguls, Russian skier Vitaly Glushchenko, 28, finished 35th in the qualifying round, with a total score of 12.75, and did not advance to the final; the gold medallist's score in the final was 26.77.

Luge: A pair of 18-year-olds from Romania, Cosmin Chetroiu and Ionuţ Ţăran, finished 18th in the luge doubles; their time after two runs was 1:39.593, about five seconds behind the gold medallists. Three teams did not finish.

Nordic Combined: The remainder of the team event has been postponed until tomorrow. Bad weather.

Rózsa Darázs (Hungary)Short Track Speed Skating: The women's 500-metre final was run today, but the heats were run on Sunday. The slowest heat time was put in by Hungarian skater Rózsa Darázs, whose time of 1:10.558 was considerably behind the rest -- the gold medallist's time in the final, for example, was 0:44.345. The 18-year-old Darázs was Hungary's flag-bearer during the Opening Ceremonies; I haven't been able to find any news that indicated a fall or crash, but it's almost certainly something along those lines.

Standings to date: Additional last-place finishes move Romania and Russia up the standings, Romania into first place -- overtaking South Korea! -- and Russia into fifth. Algeria, with only two athletes at these Games (more on small delegations from Runner-Up) slides into sixth.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Late Results for Tuesday, February 14

Alpine Skiing: With a total of three DNSes, 19 DNFs, and three DQs, I'm amazed that anyone managed to finish the men's combined. But 35 of them did, and in 35th place was Romanian skier Florentin-Daniel Nicolae, who we last saw finishing last in the men's downhill (see previous entry). He wasn't dead last in either the downhill or the slalom portions, but those who were behind him in the downhill were ahead of him in the slalom, and vice versa. His total combined time was 3:31.89 -- 22.54 seconds behind the gold medallist.

Michelle Despain (Argentina)Luge: In the women's event, which saw a total of five DNFs (due to crashes during a run) and one DNS, Argentine sledder Michelle Despain -- a 21-year-old dual citizen from Utah -- finished 24th with a time, after four runs, of 3:27.141 -- just over 19 seconds behind the gold medallist.

Speed Skating: In the women's 500-metre event, Yulia Nemaya, 28, of Russia finished 29th, thanks to a fall during her second race; she had been in 19th place after her first race. Her total time was 112.39 seconds, or nearly 36 seconds behind the gold medallist and nearly 32 seconds behind the next-to-last-place finisher. In other words, that fall cost her more than half a minute. There was one disqualification.

Standings to date: Russia and Argentina enter the standings, and Romania, by adding its second last-place finish, moves into third place behind South Korea and Turkey.

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Sunday, August 29, 2004

Results for Saturday, August 28

Athletics: Women's high jump: Australia's Petrina Price and one other athlete cleared 1.80 metres, but she finishes last because she took more attempts to do it. The winner's final height was 2.06 metres. Women's 1,500 metre: Sumaira Zahoor of Pakistan had the slowest heat time of 4:49.33, about five seconds behind the next-slowest time; the winner's time in the final was 3:57.90. Men's javelin: Edi Ponos of Croatia -- his best throw was 71.43 metres; the winner's best in the final was 86.50 metres. Men's 800 metre: Cornelius Sibe of Surinam had a heat time of 2:00.06, the only result above two minutes; the winner's final time was 1:44.45. Men's 5,000-metre: Sergiy Lebid of Ukraine with a heat time of 14:10.23; the winner's final time was 13:14.39. There was one DNF. Men's 4×100-metre relay: The only result above 39 seconds came from the relay team from Russia: 39.19 seconds, which they put in in the heats. The winner's final time was 38.07 seconds. Doesn't that seem close to you? Women's 4×400-metre relay: Greece had a bad run in the final, finishing at 3:45.70, but they did make it there; the slowest heat time was put in by Senegal at 3:35.18. The fastest final time was 3:19.01. Men's 4×400-metre relay: Spain had, at 3:05.03, the slowest heat time; the winning final time was 2:55.91. And that's it for track and field except for one event -- the marathon today.

Basketball: On the women's side, South Korea finished 12th with an 0-6 record. It was the same result for Angola on the men's side: they too finished 0-6 and 12th.

Canoe/Kayak (Flatwater Racing): Men's 500-metre K1: For some reason the Athens 2004 site isn't covering the results of heat four, where Steven Ferguson (see previous entries: New Zealand Kayaking Controversy, Steven Ferguson Update) finished last with the slowest time of 2:06.937. He had to work at it to finish last, though, because the next slowest kayaker was only four seconds ahead of him, and though that kayaker was a good 15 seconds behind everyone else, he qualified for the semifinal. Ferguson was the only one not to do so -- which is, of course, what he wanted. Men's 500-metre C1: This one's tricky, because everybody made it out of the prelims and posted different results in the semis -- i.e., the person with the slowest time in the prelims was not the same as the one slowest in the semis. To square this circle, I'm going to go to the slowest semifinal time, which was put in by Emanuel Horvaticek of Croatia and which was the slowest time overall: 2:06.347. Women's 500-metre K1: Thi Cach Doan of Vietnam had the slowest heat time, 2:06.126, but Indonesia's Sarce Aronggear was the only competitor not to advance from the prelims, so the last-place finish goes to her rather than Thi. (I'm really having to split hairs in these events!) Men's 500-metre K2: The Chinese twosome of Yijun Yin and Lei Wang had the slowest time in the prelims, made the semis, and finished last there. They were about eight seconds behind the winner in each case. Men's 500-metre C2: Americans Jordan Malloch and Nathan Johnson finished last in the repechage here, too. Women's 500-metre K2: Paula Harvey and Susan Tegg of Australia also finished last in their repechage.

Cycling: In the men's mountain bike event, Emmanouil Kotoulas of Greece placed 45th, three laps back, with no time recorded. There were five DNFs.

Diving: In the prelims for the men's 10-metre platform, Andras Hajnal of Hungary finished 33rd with a score of 305.79 -- 207.27 points behind the leader in the preliminaries (who went on to win silver). No diving accidents, just low marks.

Football: Serbia-Montenegro finished 16th.

Rhythmic Gymnastics: Poland finished 10th in the group all-around qualification with a total score of 41.775; qualifiers had scores of between 44.600 and 49.875.

Sailing: In the tornado class, Mauricio Santa Cruz Oliveira and Joao Carlos Jordao finished 17th with 172 total points and 155 net points -- the winners had 48 and 34 points, respectively. And in the star class, Mark Mansfield and Killian Collins finished 17th (142 total, 125 net; the winners had 60 total, 42 net).

Volleyball: Kenya was 0-5 and had less good results than the other 0-5 team, so instead of awarding an 11th-place tie to both, I'm assigning the last-place finish to Kenya.

Standings to date: More than half the countries at these Games now have at least one last-place finish. Australia moves into third place and China moves past Uzbekistan and France to make the top five.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Results for Wednesday, August 25

Athletics: Surprisingly few results to report here today: lots of heats, few finals. Women's 400-metre hurdles: Klodiana Shala of Albania had the slowest result in the heats with the improbable time of 1:00.00 -- one minute even. The winner's final time was 52.82 seconds. Women's hammer throw: Marina Lapina of Azerbaijan had the lowest result in the qualifying rounds, with a best throw of 55.34. The winner's best throw in the final was 75.02 metres. Women's 200-metre: Gladys Thompson of Liberia had a heat time of 27.51 seconds, about 5½ seconds behind the winning final time of 22.05 seconds.

Baseball: Both Italy and Greece finished the prelims with a 1-6 record, but Italy takes last place because it had fewer runs scored and more runs scored against.

Cycling wrapped up today. In the women's points race, Lyudmyla Vypyraylo of Ukraine finished 18th; the bottom three finishers and one DNF each lost a lap after a sprint and finished with negative points. In the men's madison, Oleg Grishkin and Alexey Shmidt finished 17th with one lap point (compared to the winners' 22); there was one DNF. I'm not sure it's possible to figure out a last-place finisher in the men's keirin -- or am I mistaken?

Equestrian: In individual dressage, Gerta Lehmann, riding "Louis" for Greece, finished 51st in the grand prix and did not advance to the grand prix special. Her score was an even 60 per cent; the winner's average after the grand prix freestyle was 79.278 per cent.

Sailing: The last races in the mistral categories were run today. On the men's side, Martin Lapos of Slovakia was 34th after 11 races; on the women's side, Karla Barrera of Puerto Rico was 26th.

Synchronized Swimming: Australia's Amanda Laird and Leonie Nichols finished 24th in the preliminaries; only the top 12 advanced to the finals. If I'm reading the scores right, their score of 38.834 was 10.75 points behind the leaders' score at that stage.

Triathlon: In the women's triathlon, Delphine Pelletier of France finished 44th with a time of 2:22:39.28. That's about a minute behind the next-to-last-place finisher and 17:55.83 behind the winner. Four competitors did not finish after completing the swimming leg, one did not finish after completing the cycling leg, and one was overlapped during the cycling.

Weightlifting: The final weightlifting event was the +105 kg men's category, where Itte Detenamo of Nauru lifted a mere 347.5 kg. The winner's combined total was 472.5 kg. There were three DNFs.

Standings to date: (You all know about the number of athletes being recalibrated, right?) Greece leapfrogs Poland to move into second place, threatening China's lead. Australia and France make the top 5, while Slovakia and Ukraine make big jumps up the standings.

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Monday, August 23, 2004

Results for Sunday, August 22

Athletics: Women's marathon: Luvsanlkhundeg Otgonbayar of Mongolia finished 66th with a time of 3:48:42 -- half an hour behind the 65th-place finisher and over an hour and twenty minutes behind the winner. Sixteen competitors did not finish. Men's high jump: Liu Yang (China) and Alfredo Deza (Peru) both finished at the bottom of their qualifying heats with jumps of 2.10 metres, the minimum required, so I'll award them a last-place tie. Two jumpers received no mark; the gold-medal jump was 2.36 metres. Men's triple jump: Armen Martirosyan of Armenia had the shortest distance in the heats at 15.05 metres; the winning jump in the final was 17.79 metres. Men's 1,500-metre wheelchair: The wheelchair athletes weren't allowed to march with the athletes during the opening ceremonies. Screw that; I'm including them here. Joel Jeannot of France finished 7th with a time of 3:22.14, a little less than 12 seconds off the winning pace. There was one DNF. Women's 800-metre wheelchair: British athlete Tanni Grey Thompson finished 8th with a time of 1:56.87; this was a much closer race, with a bit more than three seconds separating all finishers. Men's hammer throw: Alfred Kruger of the USA had a best throw of 69.38 metres in the qualifying; the winner's best in the final was 83.19 metres. Two tossers received no mark. Men's 100-metre: In the Games' marquee event, the slowest time put in in the heats was by Sultan Saeed of the Maldives at 11.72 seconds; the winner's time was 9.85 seconds.

Cycling: Evelyn Garcia of El Salvador had the 12th-slowest speed in the qualifying rounds of the women's individual pursuit. Her speed was 45.752 km/h; the top eight speeds (you needed a top eight finish to advance to the next round) were between 50.191 and 52.325 km/h in the qualifying round.

Diving: South Africa's Jenna Dreyer finished 34th in the preliminary round of the women's 10-metre platform event. Her score of 186.90 was 184.20 points behind the leader in that round.

Rowing: Whether the last-place finisher is determined in the repechage, the semifinals, or one of the finals seems to depend on the number of entrants. Women's lightweight double sculls: Pham Thi Hien and Nguyen Thi Thi, Vietnam (C final). Men's lightweight double sculls: Three teams did not make it out of the C/D semifinal, but of those three, the Uzbek squad of Sergey Bogdanov and Ruslan Naurzaliyev had the slowest time: 6:45.47. Men's lightweight four: The foursome from Great Britain didn't make it out of the repechage. Women's quadruple sculls: Belarus (B final); only eight teams competed. Men's quadruple sculls: The foursome from France didn't make it out of the repechage. Women's eight: Canada (woe! alack!) didn't make it out of the repechage. Men's eight: Great Britain (B final). And that wraps up rowing.

Sailing: In the women's Europe class, Natalia Ivanova of Russia finished 25th; and Sami Kooheji of Bahrain finished 42nd in the mixed laser class.

Shooting: In the men's 50-metre rifle, three positions, Alexsander Babchenko of Kyrgyzstan finished 40th with a score of 1130; the scores were fairly close together in this event, but you needed a score of 1164 to advance to the final round. And in the men's skeet, Syrian Roger Dahi finished 41st with a score of 106 (those advancing to the final had scores of 122 or better).

Standings to date: China solidifies its hold on first place, France and Kyrgyzstan make a run for the "top", Great Britain makes a "strong" debut, and even more countries get added to the list.

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Sunday, August 22, 2004

Results for August 20-21

Archery: In the women's team event, Poland finished fourth in the ranking round but ended up 15th and last in the 1/8 eliminations. On the men's side, the archers from Greece stayed in 13th place in both rounds.

Athletics: Lots of heats going on in some events but, as with swimming, I'll wait until the final results before reporting the slowest heat times. Men's 20-km walk: Park Chil Sung of South Korea finished 41st with a time of 1:32:41, 13:01 behind the winner. Men's 10,000 metre: David Galvan of Mexico finished 21st with a time of 29:38.05, more than 2½ minutes behind the winner. Women's discus: Tsvetanka Khristova of Bulgaria threw the shortest final distance -- 43.25 metres -- in the qualifying rounds; the winner's distance in the final was 67.02 m. Women's 100 metre: Somali sprinter Fartun Abukar Omar had the slowest heat time of 14.29 seconds; the winner's final time was 10.93 seconds. Women's heptathlon: In this gruelling two-day event, Shen Shengfei of China finished last with 4949 points [Correction]; the winner had 6952 points.

Canoe/Kayak (Slalom Racing): In the men's C2, Australia's Mark Bellofiore and Lachie Milne finished 12th in the heats with a combined time of 278.36 seconds, more than 77 seconds behind the fastest heat time. In the men's K1, Jens Ewald of Germany finished 25th in the heats with a combined time of 250.09 seconds, more than 63 seconds behind the fastest heat time.

Cycling: Tamilla Abassova of Russia finished 12th in the women's 500-metre time trial with a speed of 51.213 km/h; the winner's speed was 53.016 km/h. In the men's 1-kilometre time trial, Radoslav Konstantinov of Bulgaria's speed of 54.327 km/h earned him 17th place; the winner's speed was 59.297 km/h. In the men's individual pursuit, Hossein Askari of Iran did not advance to the heats after his 15th-place result in the qualifiers (there was one DNS). Nor did the team from Slovakia advance after their 12th-place finish in the qualifying round of the men's team sprint.

Equestrian: In the team dressage event, Switzerland finished 10th with a score of 65.653 per cent; the winning team's score was 74.653 per cent.

Gymnastics: In the complicated event of jumping up and down on a trampoline, very low scores on the second routine during the qualifying round (indicating an incomplete routine on account of bouncing off the damn thing, presumably) pushed the following competitors into last place. Tatiana Petrenia finished 16th with a score of 32.90 (the highest qualifying score was 66.80); on the men's side, it was Peter Jensen of Denmark with a score of 32.70 (the highest score during that round was 69.10).

Rowing: I wish I knew what I was doing. If I read the results right, everyone in rowing makes it to a final, it's just a matter of which. So for our purposes, it's a matter of finding the last-place finisher in the lowest (e.g., D or E) final. Women's single sculls: Doaa Moussa, Egypt (D final). Men's single sculls: Ibrahim Githaiga, Kenya (E final). Men's pairs: Czech rowers Adam Michalek and Petre Imre did not make it out of the repechage. Women's pairs: Sophie Balmary and Virginie Chauvel finished last in the B final, but their time of 7:17.94 would have placed them fifth in the A final. Women's double sculls: Ironically, the B final was faster than the A final (where the medals were awarded), but Russian rowers Olga Samulenkova and Yulya Kalinovskaya finished last there; if they had rowed that time in the A final, they'd have won the silver. Men's double sculls: Lithuanians Kestutis Keblys and Einaras Siadvytis had the slowest time in the repechage and did not advance to the semis. Men's fours: Romania did not make it out of the repechage.

Sailing: In the men's 470, Peter Czegai and Csaba Cserep of Hungary finished 27th. Elisabetta Saccheggiani and Myriam Cutolo of Italy finished 20th in the women's 470. In the men's finn class, Estonia's Imre Taveter finished 25th. And in the yngling class, the three-woman crew of Lisa Ross, Chantal Léger and Deirdre Crampton (Canada) finished 16th.

Shooting: We have a tie for last place in the women's 50-metre rifle, three positions event: both Divna Pesic of Macedonia (we've seen her before) and Kim Frazer of Australia finished 32nd with 555 points in the qualifying rounds. In the men's 50-metre rifle, prone, Reinier Estpinan of Cuba finished 46th in qualifying with 581 points. And Australia's Bruce Quick finished 17th in the men's 25-metre rapid-fire pistol: he had 571 points.

Swimming wrapped up during these two days. Women's 200-metre backstroke: It looks like something happened to Shu Zhan of China during her heat: she led at the 100-metre mark but was seventh at 150 metres. She ended up with the slowest heat time, 2:31.56, even slower than the Uzbek. For comparison, the winner's final time was 2:09.19. Men's 100-metre butterfly: Palestinian Rad Aweisat had the slowest heat time at 1:01.60; the winner's final time was 51.25 seconds. Women's 800-metre freestyle: Khadija Ciss of Senegal had the slowest heat time, at 9:20.05; the fastest time in the final was 8:24.54. Men's 50-metre freestyle: Lots of competitors in the heats here from countries that, shall we say, are not known to be swimming powerhouses. (Okay, which wiseacre said "Canada"?) But someone had to have the slowest time, and it was Yona Walesi of Malawi, at 34.11 seconds; the winner's final time was 21.93 seconds. Women's 50-metre freestyle: Ditto. Laotian swimmer Vilayphone Vongphachanh's time was 36.57 seconds; the winner's final time was 24.58 seconds. Men's 1,500-metre freestyle: Not an event for guys who've just learned to swim. The slowest time -- 16:26.52 -- was put in by Juan Carlos Miguel Mendoza of the Philippines. Compare that to the winner's time of 14:43.40. Women's 4×100-metre medley relay: It's Switzerland with a time of 4:15.54; the winning time in the final was 3:57.32. Men's 4×100-metre medley relay: Brazil's team had the slowest heat time, 3:44.41; the winning time in the final was 3:30.68. Relay team results are a lot closer, yes? And that's it for swimming.

Weightlifting: In the women's 75-kg event, Marie Jesika Dalou of Mauritius was well behind the pack, lifting a combined weight of 130 kg; the next-to-last competitor lifted 207.5 kg and the winner lifted 272.5 kg. In the womens plus-75-kg category, Ivry Shaw of Fiji lifed 185 kg; the winner lifted 305 kg -- the results were more spread out than in other categories, but then so were the competitors' body weights. And Julian McWatt of Guyana finished last in the men's 85-kg event, lifting 272.5 kg; the winner lifted 382.5 kg.

Standings to date: Remind me not to do two days at once again, would you? Anyway, all countries in the "top" 20 have more than one last-place finish. About one-third of the countries participating in Athens now have at least one last-place finish. The top five -- with four or more last-place finishes -- have large teams: their last-place finishers tend to come from their second or third entries in an event, or they're finishing last in a team event with limited entries -- Burkina Faso tends not to enter equestrian competitions -- and with pre-Olympic qualifications.

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