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

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Early Results for Thursday, August 21

Athletics: 37-year-old Evelyn Nunez of Guatemala finished 43rd in the women's 20-km race walk. Her time of 1:44:13 was 17:42 behind the gold medallist, a bit more than three minutes behind the next-to-last-place finisher, and about six hours faster than I hike a 20-km mountain trail. There were three disqualifications and two DNFs.

Football (Soccer): An unresolvable two-way tie for 11th place in women's soccer; accordingly, no DFL will be awarded in this event. You can't come dead last if you're tied with somebody else.

Sailing: Star: Chinese sailors Li Hongquan and Wang He finished 16th. Tornado: American sailors Johnny Lovell and Charlie Ogletree were 15th.

Softball: The Netherlands finished the women's softball tournament in eighth place, with a record of 1–6.

Swimming: In the men's 10-km marathon, which was limited to 25 competitors, 21-year-old Chinese swimmer Xin Tong was 23rd; there was one disqualification and one DNF (did not float). His time of 2:09:13.4 was 17:21.8 behind the gold medallist.

Water Polo: In women's water polo, Greece lost its classification match 12–6 and finished eighth; they had been 0–3 in the preliminary round.

Standings to date: China moves into second place with its sixth and seventh DFL, behind Canada, which has seven but a smaller delegation. The U.S. moves into the top 10. Greece, which won the DFL race in 2004 with 13 last-place finishes, gets only its first DFL of these Games. Note, however, that Greece's delegation is only 30 percent of what it was in Athens, when it was the host country. Your delegation's a lot smaller when your athletes actually have to qualify, but you have fewer last places.

Later today: More athletics, diving, equestrian, and modern pentathlon.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Results for Monday, August 23

Athletics: Women's 20-km walk: Fumilay Fonseca of São Tomé and Príncipe finished 52nd with a time of 2:04:54, which was 35:42 behind the winner and about 15 minutes behind the next-to-last finisher. Three walkers did not finish and two were disqualified, presumably for breaking into a run. Women's triple jump: Athanasia Perra of Greece had the shortest best jump in the qualifying rounds at 13.19 metres; the winner's final jump was 15.30 metres. Men's discus: Samoan competitor Shaka Sola's result of 51.10 metres was the lowest in the qualifying rounds; the winner's final result was 70.93 metres. Women's 800 metre: With a time of 2:32.10, Sanna Abubkheet of Palestine had the slowest time in the heats, well behind the other competitors and considerably behind the winner's time of 1:56.38. There was one DNF in the heats. Men's 400 metre: Abdulla Mohamed Hussein of Somalia had the slowest heat time, 51.52 seconds. This race was a bit tighter: the winner's final time was an even 44 seconds.

Cycling: In the men's team pursuit qualifying round, New Zealand's foursome finished 10th with a speed of 57.411 km/h. The winning team's speed in the final was 60.445 km/h.

Softball: With a 1-6 record in the preliminaries, Italy ended up at the bottom of the final standings. But bear in mind that only eight teams were in the softball tournament.

Weightlifting: Aruba's Isnaro Faro finished 19th in the men's 94-kg event, lifting a combined total of 307.5 kg. I don't think he was too far off the pace, though: the winner lifted exactly 100 kg more, and those in between lifted from 320 kg on up. Six athletes received DNFs.

Standings to date: Insofar as final results in sports I can figure out a last place finisher for are concerned, this was a comparatively light day. Greece seems determined not to let the most last-place finishes crown slip through its fingers. Results from Palestinian and Somalian competitors are rather distressing: fully half of their Olympic delegations (four each) have now finished last. And it's great to see cute little islands enter the list; I bet you don't even know where São Tomé is!

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