Beijing 08

News and results from 2008 Olympic Games and 2008 Paralympic Games

Go Swim

Go Swim

Video interview with Janet Evans and Becky Adlington at the Speedo athletes party. (3m 33s flashplayer required to view)

Beijing Paralympics 2008

Swimming events of the 13th Paralympic Games in Beijing.

Beijing proves to be step forward for British Swimming

The Beijing Olympics has seen British Swimming emerge as a major swimming nation after seeing six medals won by swimmers on their way to sixth in the swimming medal table. With a target of three medals set for swimming by UK Sport, the British contingent in Beijing doubled that aim as they smashed one world, six European and 25 British records. The British team can return home now for a well earned rest before they begin their build up towards the London 2012 Olympics.

National Performance Director Michael Scott has been encouraged by the team’s development but acknowledges that the team need to continue to build momentum towards London 2012. “The performance by the British squad in Beijing has been a very positive step forward but we need to take another significant step forward as we work towards London 2012,” Scott said.

Beijing 2008 Diving - Daley seventh in Men's 10m Platform Final

Plymouth Diving's Thomas Daley showed his potential in his first individual Olympic final in Beijing, finishing in 7th place in the men’s 10m individual platform event.

With everything set up for a Chinese Grand Slam of the eight gold medals at stake in the Olympic diving competition, the unexpected happened. At the end of the penultimate round, Chinese Luxin Zhou was almost 23 points ahead of Australian Matthew Mitcham. For the last round, Zhou had chosen a dive with 3.4 degree of difficulty (reverse 3 ½ somersault tuck), while Mitcham was supposed to perform a DD 3.8 (back 2 ½ somersault 2 ½ twists, pike). Zhou missed his entry scoring between 6.0/8.0 and the thousands of spectators suddenly sensed that the gold medal was in danger.

Mitcham produced superb dive scoring between 9.0/10, to total 537.95. Zhou finished with 533.15 for silver. Russia’s Gleb Galperin had already completed his final dive and scored a total of 525.80 and was pushed into third place.

Britain’s second youngest Olympian ever, Daley improved on his list throughout the competition and after a shaky beginning to both his prelim and his semi-final, he went into the final looking for a sharper start. The European Champion looked more confident lining up for his first dive, back 2 ½ somersaults 1 ½ twist piked, and executed the dive excellently and after nailing his entry he scored 8s to put himself in a good position.

His new-found confidence continued into the second and third round and after scoring well on both his front 3 ½ somersaults piked and his inward 3 ½ somersaults tucked he sat in 8th position overall.

Beijing 2008 Water Polo - Hungary make it three successive Men's Olympics titles

Men's Gold Medal Match - Match 43
Hungary 14 : 10 United States of America ( 6:4, 3:4, 2:1, 3:1 )

Water polo giants Hungary won their third successive and ninth Olympic men's water polo gold medal with a thrilling 14-10 victory over the United States who produced their best Olympic performance since 1988 in Seoul.

The two teams were almost inseparable until the final quarter. Tied 9 all at the end of the first half, Hungary edged ahead in the third period through Tamas Molnar. USA shots hit the woodwork or were wide of the target. Tony Azevedo put four goals past a solid Hungarian defence. Hungary were swift to counter attack and Daniel Rudolf Varga's two goals put the match beyond USA.

"It was painful to lose like that," U.S. coach Terry Schroeder said. "The team has been great. No one expected them to do this here. They [have] so much to be proud of." "Nobody wants to be second place, nobody likes losing their last game," said Peter Varellas. "We had a great run in this tournament and we just didn't finish the deal."

Men's Bronze Medal Match - Match 43
Montenegro 4 : 6 Serbia ( 0:2, 1:2, 1:2, 2:0 )

In a battle of two countries that were previously one, Serbia beat Montenegro 6-4 without starting goalkeeper Denis Sefik and leading scorer Aleksandar Sapic, a four-time Olympian considered by many to be the best player in the world.

According to Germany's Welt Online, Sapic and Sefik got into a fight following Serbia's semi-final loss to USA. Sapic is reported to have sustained a severe leg injury and Sefik broken a hand. Dejan Savic's two goals helped open up a 6-1 lead for the Serbs.

Beijing 2008 Water Polo - Women's Final and Semi-Final

Women's Gold Medal Match - Match 20

United States 8 : 9 Netherlands (2:4, 3:1, 1:2, 2:2)

Danielle de Bruijn produced one of the performances of a lifetime on the final day of women's Olympic water polo. She scored the winning goal in the gold-medal match with just 29 seconds left on the clock, as well as six others to secure a Netherlands 9-8 victory over USA, the tournament favourites and world ranked number one team,

"I don't think I've ever quite seen that," said U.S. coach Guy Baker of de Bruijn's effort. "It is up there with some of the great performances, especially because she did it at the Olympics. We were trying to get her stopped, but she's always been a good scorer."

de Bruijn scored the first two goals and added a pair early in the second half to extend the Dutch lead to 7-5. Her final two scores came on the power play. USA still had several chances to draw level in the dying moments, but Elsie Windes missed an outside shot and Brenda Villa misfired on the rebound.

"I like the way we came back," said Baker. "I don't think we ever panicked down 4-0. We just could never get over the hump."

Beijing 2008 Diving - Men's 10m Platform Preliminary and Semifinal

Plymouth Diving's Tom Daley has qualified for the final of the Men’s 10m Individual Platform event in 8th place.

Preliminary

Peter Waterfield and Tom Daley had pulled out top 12 finishes to qualify for the men’s 10m Individual Platform semi-final. Daley suffered from an unusually shaky start as he dropped his first round dive (back 2 ½ somersaults 1 ½ twists piked) and scored 68 points. The European Champion picked himself up in the second round and 8s across the board to move from 24th to 23rd. Daley showed his strength in the third round to score 9s on his inward 3 ½ somersaults tucked to move up to 13th. Daley finished in 12th overall after finishing with his reverse 3 ½ somersaults tucked and scoring 440.40 in total.

Beijing 2008 Synchronised Swimming: Team Event Technical and Free Routines

The Russians have now won gold in both the Duet and Team Event competitions for three consecutive Olympic Games. Russia has also won Team Event gold at the past five world championships.

Russia's technical routine scored 49.500, giving them an imposing 0.583 lead over second-placed Spain. Their new free routine score of 50.000 gave thme a total of 99.500 to end Spain's challenge. The Spaniards took silver with 98.251. The improving Chinese Synchronized Swimming team swam impressively to claim their country's first Olympic Synchronized Swimming medal, a bronze for 97.334, after twins Jiang Tingting and Jiang Wenwen had finished fourth in the Duet.

For some teams, the names of their routines were almost as compelling as their performances. China featured the 'Spirit of the Chinese Sword' (Team Technical), the United States created 'The Rebirth of Christ' (Duet Free) and Canada devised 'Chinese Astrology' (Team Free).

Jennifer Gray was a judge in both the Duet and Team Event Technical Routine

Beijing 2008 Diving - Chen wins Women's 10m Platform Final and Couch makes top 8

15 year old Chen Ruolin rallied on her last dive to earn four 10s and beat Canada's Emilie Heymans to the gold medal with 447.70 points in the women's 10m platform, an event China has not won since 1996. Her victory gives China seven out of seven golds with only one diving event remaining at the Beijing Olympics.

Heymans had led by 7.15 points going into Chen's last dive, taking silver with 437.05. Chen's 16-year-old teammate, Wang Xin took the bronze at 429.50. "Chen Ruolin has a better entry than me and she performed just as we expected," said Wang, the current platform world champion. "Emilie did better than her normal level. The distance between me and them is my control over my splash."

Chen stayed focussed, despite the partisan home support in the Water Cube, to earn four 10s and three 9.5s for her backward 2 1/2 somersault with 1 1/2 twists from the pike position - rated 3.4 degree of difficulty. Overall, Chen received seven 10s during the five-round final.

The first two British divers to qualify for an Olympic final, Tonia Couch and Stacie Powell, showed enormous promise. Couch, who has performed consistently throughout the competition, began excellently again. Any nerves she may have been feeling were put to one side as she started with her inward 2 ½ Somersaults piked and scored 8s to put her in 10th. Couch gained confidence through the rounds to continue to score highly and as she entered the final round she found herself lying in fifth place overall.

Beijing 2008 Open Water - Davies wins silver in Men's Marathon 10km

Britain's David Davies just missed out on Olympic gold in the Men's 10km open water swim after a brave performance at the Shunyi Rowing-Canoe Park. Davies led for most of the race but was pipped by just 1.5 seconds by Netherlands swimmer Maarten van der Weijden, who came home in 1:51:51.6.

The race was not without incident. David Davies, who competed in his first open water world championships earlier this year and was the surprise silver medalist, led from the start, from Greece's Spyridon Gianniotis, Germany's Thomas Lurz, Russian Vladimir Dyatchin and van der Weijden.

Dyatchin made a move after 90 mins but the back-to back world champion in 2007-08, was shown the red card within the last kilometre which resulted in his disqualification.

Welshman Davies made a decisive move with around 800m, but with 300m to go Davies drifted offline, swimming into the markers, which allowed the chasing pack to catch him up. Maarten van der Weijden, who recovered from leukaemia in 2001, edged ahead of Davies to win in 1:51:51.6, Davies finished second in 1:51:53.1 and Germany's Thomas Lurz taking the bronze in 1:51:53.6.

Beijing 2008 Diving - Women's 10m Platform Semifinal

World No. 1 Chen Ruolin of China dominated the semifinal of the Women's 10m Platform with a total of 444.60, She wrapped up the morning competition with a perfect somersault-twist combination dive that scored 96.90 points, the highest of the semifinal session. Chen finished more than 40 points ahead of Mexico's flag-bearer Paola Espinosa who had dropped all her 3m Springboard events to concentrate on this event. Espinosa won gold in two legs of the 2008 World Series (Sheffield and Tijuana), and her strong semifinal finish shows she may be in position to upset China in Beijing.

Chen's partner in the Synchronized Diving event, Wang Xin, enters the final in third place with 388.55 points. Canadian diver Emilie Heymans, silver medalist in Sydney, came in fourth with 374.10 points.

Both Tonia Couch and Stacie Powell have qualified for the Olympic final in their first Olympic Games. Powell had a shaky start once again but recovered quickly to make up the distance to the rest of the pack. She executed her final three dives to a much higher standard than in the preliminaries to score over 60 points on each.

Couch again showed her consistency throughout the rounds scoring nothing less than 58.00 on her first four dives but after dropping her final dive waiting to see if she made it through to this afternoon’s final proved to be tense. Couch lay in 10th position after the fourth round with her final spot looking certain but after finishing short of vertical on her reverse 2 ½ somersaults tucked she dropped marks and lay in 9th place with four divers left to compete.

Powell showed her form in the final round as she moved up from 15th to 13th place going into the final round. Her final dive was the back 2 ½ somersaults 1 ½ twists piked and she performed it excellently to score well and find herself in 11th place overall with a total score of 301.75.

Couch secured the final qualification place with a score of 297.20. The Brits are the first two British athletes to qualify for an individual final at these Olympic Games.

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