It was the last day of the Beijing Olympics 2008, and what an event it was. China was dominant, as it ended the Games with a total of 100 medals, 51 of them gold, 21 silver, and 28 bronze, to lead all the way through. The nearest competition wasn’t even close, as the USA took 2nd place honors with 110 overall medals, but with only 36 golds, 15 less than the host country. And if it wasn’t for Michael Phelps, they would be 8 golds less too, although they finished with 38 silvers, and 36 bronze medals, which was the most in terms of medal numbers under the gold. Russia was at 3rd place with 72 total medals with 23 golds, 21 silvers, and 28 bronze medals, while Great Britain ended up in 4th place with 47 total medals, 19 golds, 13 silvers, 15 bronzes. Germany rounded out the Top 5 with 41 overall medals, 16 of them gold, while having 10 silvers, and 15 bronze medals to cap their effort. And that ended a fantastic 2008 Beijing Olympics this year. The next Games will be held in London in 2012.
The Medal Day in Men’s basketball for the 2008 Olympics ended today in what was a truly great Final. But before that, the Bronze medal was up for grabs as a wounded Argentinian squad went up against the 2004 Olympics 4th placer in Lithuania. Argentina still did not have Manu Ginobili on the floor and had to tough it out without him, but Andres Nocioni suited up amidst his injury. The first quarter started off pretty close as it ended in a 24-21 lead by Argentina, but the second quarter had them pull away further as the halftime score showed 46-34 in their favor. Argentina shot 51% from the field while Lithuania shot only 42%. The difference was that the 3 NBA stars of Argentina (Delfino, Nocioni, and Scola) were very dominant and you could see that they really wanted it more. The third quarter saw Argentina pull away for good as it closed with a 19 point lead going into the 4th. Lithuania could not get any closer than 11 points as the lead was just too big to come back from. Their NBA stars, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Linas Kleiza had sub-par games, and combined for a total of only 14 points. Their counterparts, combined for a total of 50 points, as Delfino scored 20, Scola scored 16, and the very passionate Nocioni scored 14 points to pace 5 players in double figures.
The biggest difference between the two teams, in my opinion, was really the passion to win. If you watched the game, you could clearly see that Argentina wanted it more. They dove for loose balls, they played impeccable defense, and they just made life miserable for the Lithuanians. Nocioni was at the forefront of this defensive attack and his teammates followed through. They had 12 steals against just 4 for Lithuania and played much better together as they had 19 assists compared to just 8 for their rivals. The offense of Argentina combined with the defense they showed today, really gave Lithuania no chance to win this game. A much deserved bronze medal for this squad, it’s too bad they lost 2 of their players in that match against the USA. That could very well have been an upset, but they will have to wait until 2012 to try for the gold again.
MEN’S BASKETBALL GOLD/SILVER/BRONZE MEDAL RESULTS:
USA 118 – SPAIN 107
ARGENTINA 87 – LITHUANIA 75
And in the Gold medal match, the USA “Redeem Team” finally lived up to its billing and returned order back in World Basketball. A once dominant team, it had been 8 years of waiting to get back on top, and they finally did it today. The game was predicted to be a blowout, as Spain was playing without their chief point guard in Jose Calderon, but they surprised everyone as they made the Americans sweat it out until the final 2 minutes of the game. It was close all the way as the USA never led by more than 10 points at the end of each half, and with Spain coming as close as 2 points in the 4th quarter! In the end though, the talent-laden NBA veterans just had too much firepower and closed out the game.
From 1 to 12, the Redeem Team had unbelievable depth, and really no bench players or role players were in that team. Everyone was a star in their respective squads and their Sixth Man was Dwyane Wade! He top scored with 27 big points on 9 of 12 shooting, all 3 shots he missed were three’s, and he also had 4 steals. He paced 5 players in double figures as Kobe was also instrumental in the win by scoring a 4 point play in the very critical stages of the 4th quarter when Spain was as close as 4 points. The Black Mamba scored 20 points and delivered the death blows to close the game out. Spain had 6 players in double figures, led by Rudy Fernandez, who is entering his rookie year in the NBA at the end of the year. He scored 22 points to lead Spain and played awesome defense on Kobe Bryant. Gasol wound up with 21 points in another great performance while Juan Carlos Navarro finally woke up from his slumber to score 18 points. But all that was not enough as Kobe was clutch, and the combination of offense and defense from the USA squad was just too much for the Spaniards to overcome.
So the gold goes to Team USA, and they definitely deserved it. It would have been nice to see them go up against 2 healthy squads, but that’s how it is in basketball. Argentina had no Manu and half of Nocioni, while Spain had no point guard in Calderon who was also injured. WIth how the scores went in the semis and today, those 2 teams could have had a stab at an upset, but they will have to wait until 2012 to try again. One thing’s for sure, European teams have indeed caught up in terms of talent level, and have players who are more than capable of playing in the NBA. We can look out for a nice season for Rudy Fernandez, as well as a bigger and more consistent Luis Scola for the Rockets. Who knows, Delfino might also be inspired by his play today and Nocioni will always be his passionate self in whatever uniform he ends up in. Things are definitely looking bright as we have caught a glimpse of the current stars of basketball, as well as the future.
Highlights: DAY 16: Saturday 08 24 08 (697MB)
Bronze Medal Match: Argentina vs Lithuania Game
Basketball Medal Day: Gold/Silver/Bronze Results Summary
Basketball Medal Day: Gold/Silver/Bronze Detailed Box Scores
Basketball Event: Overall Stat Leaders
Beijing Olympics 2008: Closing Ceremonies CD1 (699MB) ; CD2 (698MB)
The Semifinals of Men’s basketball for the 2008 Olympics began today, and the games were as good as predicted. In the first game, defending champion Spain went up against a very determined Lithuanian squad that looked to vie for the championship for the first time in their Olympic history. The game was very close even until the end of the game, but Spain was able to hang on to the 5 point win to move to the Finals. Pau Gasol scored 19 points while Rudy Fernandez scored 18 points to lead Spain’s attack. The game was a see-saw battle that saw the lead change 10 times with each team never leading by more than 8 points all game, and saw 9 ties. Simas Jasaitis scored 19 points and had 5 three’s to keep Lithuania at pace with the defending champs, while Sarunas Jasikevicius also had 19 points to go with 6 dimes. Lithuania hit 12 three’s, 8 more than their rivals, but the statistic that killed them was points scored in the paint. Spain had 42 big points, in large part due to Gasol, while Lithuania only had 24.
In the end, Spain dug deep to pull this one out, as Lithuania would have had a better chance if Linas Kleiza played better than he did. The Nuggets forward did not even score a single point in 11 minutes of action and missed all 4 of his shots from the field. Another thing to note here, is that Jose Calderon did not even play in the game and still Spain won. No news of an injury, so it is curious why he did not play in the game and if he will play in the Finals.
MEN’S BASKETBALL SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SPAIN 91 – LITHUANIA 86
USA 101 – ARGENTINA 81
And in the main match, Argentina tried their very best to make it a game and try to upset the powerhouse USA squad but just couldn’t do it with Manu Ginobili’s unfortunate foot injury in the first quarter. The Americans jumped to a huge 20 point lead and looked like they were going to blow Argentina out of the building with Kobe scoring 12 points while Melo scored 8 points. But as the 2nd quarter began, Argentina slowly chipped away at that huge lead and came back off the kamikaze drives of Andres Nocioni and the solid inside plays of Luis Scola. From a 20 point deficit they were able to slice the lead down to 6 points by halftime even without Manu on the floor.
But as the 3rd quarter went underway, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard dominated and started scoring at will, bumping the lead back up to 16 points by the middle of the quarter. At this point, Melo had shot 13 of 13 free throws by himself, while the whole Argentinian team was shooting 15 of 16 free throws! Andres Nocioni also got injured and did not play after the first half anymore. Losing Manu was one thing, but losing Nocioni was the backbreaker, and Argentina just couldn’t do much else without them. The 4th quarter saw Lebron James coming out to score 2 straight three’s and another bucket to stretch the lead up to 19 points. Carlos Delfino and Luis Scola tried their best to keep the Argentinians in it, but losing Manu and Nocioni was just too big a handicap to overcome. In the end, the USA beat them by 20 points, in large part due to the unfortunate handicap dealt to the Argentinians.
Luis Scola led them with 28 points and 11 rebounds off another great performance, while Carlos Delfino backed him up with 17 points. The USA was led by Carmelo Anthony who shot very poorly on the floor but shot a perfect 13 of 13 from the line, leading a charge of 7 players scoring in double figures for the Americans. It is highly doubtful that Spain will be able to upset the USA, but Sunday should be the last chance for any kind of upset.
Highlights: DAY 14: Thursday 08 22 08 (697MB)
Basketball Semifinals: SF Results Summary
Basketball Semifinals: SF Detailed Box Scores
Basketball Semifinals: Day 14 SF Matches Highlights (348MB)
Basketball Semifinals: Spain vs Lithuania Match Download (702MB)
Basketball Event: Overall Stat Leaders
The Quarterfinals for Men’s basketball in the Olympics finally began today. In the first game, Spain defeated Croatia by 13 points, as the Croats just couldn’t find a way to stop Pau Gasol. The Lakers center scored a game-high 20 points on 8 of 11 shooting with 10 rebounds and ZERO turnovers. Felipe Reyes and Jose Calderon scored 13 points and 10 points respectively to pace Spain’s double digit scorers. Croatia had Marko Banic score 15 points in an almost perfect game, while the Nets Zoran Planinic scored 12 points to round up the Croats double figure scorers. Spain started the game on fire as they jumped to a 10-1 lead and never looked back. They built a lead as high as 24 points midway through the 3rd quarter and that was all she wrote for Croatia. There was really no statistic that spelled their doom except for the fact that they shot only 38% from the field, while Spain shot 49%. All other stats were almost even.
In the second game of the day, Lithuania handily beat the home squad China by 26 points, and moved on to the semifinals to meet Spain. The first quarter was a close one but Lithuania pulled away in the 2nd and never looked back after that. They shot a blistering 54% compared to China’s 36% and buried 13 three’s compared to China’s 4. Yao Ming and Yi Jinlian scored 19 points and 11 points each, but that was far from enough as the Lithuanians had all guns blazing with Sarunas Jasikevicius leading the way with 23 points on 5 of 6 shooting from three point range, and 88% from the floor all game. It was just the perfect time for him to wax hot, as well as his three other teammates who also scored in double figures. It should be one heck of a matchup with Spain in the next round.
MEN’S BASKETBALL QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:
SPAIN 72 – CROATIA 59
LITHUANIA 94 – CHINA 68
USA 116 – AUSTRALIA 85
ARGENTINA 80 – GREECE 78
The third game of the day featured the juggernaut USA squad against the Aussies, and as expected, this game was over when the 2nd quarter ended. The most likely strategy the Americans wanted to employ was to get Andrew Bogut in foul trouble, and they got that easily in the first quarter. Bogut went straight to the bench with his 2 early fouls and played a total of 11 minutes all game because he also got injured and scored 4 measly points. The Aussies got pounded after that as the USA had the usual 5 players scoring double figures with Kobe leading the way with 25 points, and Lebron and Melo scoring 16 points and 15 points respectively. How scary is this US squad? Considering they utterly destroyed Australia, they shot a pathetic 58% from the free throw line, the only weakness this team actually has. Let’s see how this pans out when they play a very good free throw shooting team like Argentina in the semifinals.
And the last game of the day featured two great European squads in Argentina and Greece, and the game did not disappoint. From the start of the game until it ended, the largest lead was only 7 points, and each quarter ended with each team leading by just ONE point. The final score, Argentina winning by merely 2 points, and almost got beat by a last second three by Spanoulis too. This was probably one of the best games ever played in a men’s basketball game in the Olympics. It was so close, everytime one team went ahead, the other would immediately claw right back and tie the game. Manu Ginobili was his usual amazing self as he led Argentina with 24 big points on crisp passes to teammates and clutch threes. He buried 6 of them in the game, and finally had Carlos Delfino back him up with 5 of his own. Delfino chose the perfect time to wake up as he scored 23 points to keep apace with Manu, while Nocioni and Scola scored 12 points and 11 points respectively for Team Argentina. It was a valiant effort by the Greeks, as Fotsis and Tsartsaris played unbelievable games to make this matchup a really memorable one. Too bad someone had to lose, but I’m glad Argentina came out on top as they have the best chance, in my opinion, to keep in step with the US team. That will be an almost impossible task but if there’s any team that can do it, it’s this Argentinian squad.
The exciting Semifinal games will begin 2 days from now, and the matchups have been set. Spain will go up against Lithuania in a very intriguing match, while the powerhouse “Redeem Team” from the USA will face Argentina. It will be nothing short of a miracle if the USA didn’t win GOLD in the 2008 Olympics, but who knows, Argentina or Spain might just have one last shocker to pull off.
Highlights: DAY 12: Tuesday 08 20 08 (697MB)
Basketball Quarterfinals: QF Results Summary
Basketball Quarterfinals: QF Detailed Box Scores
Basketball Event: Overall Stat Leaders
My cousins were here for the week to celebrate my grandfather’s 100th birthday, so I didn’t have any time to update the results for the past 2 days. So as it stands, we are now at Day Eleven, where China has comfortably pulled away with 39 golds compared to its closest rival the USA with 22 golds. Great Britain surged ahead to 3rd place with 12 golds mostly coming from the cycling events while Australia has 11, and Germany is 5th with 9.
The news of the day, and I promise it will be the last time I mention his name, 23-year old Michael Phelps of the USA received his record-breaking 8th gold medal of Beijing 2008, surpassing any other athlete before him and became the most decorated man in Olympic history. He beat out Michael Spitz’ 36-year old record of winning 7 golds in the Olympic Games. His overall gold medal count is 14 golds, 5 more than any of his closest rivals. And just to set it straight as to how great an achievement this was, not only did he destroy any records in terms gold medal count for an individual, he also set SEVEN new world records out of the EIGHT that he has won in these 2008 Games. Simply unbelievable.
The Tennis and Badminton events for all levels have already finished and the reviews on the medal matches can be found on the next page. Basketball is at Day 6 and today was the final day of eliminations. The top 4 countries in each group will advance to the Quarterfinals while the bottom 2 teams from both groups will say goodbye to the Olympics this year.
Read More for the Medal Results…
It was Day Seven of the Olympics yesterday, 08 14 08, as China surged ahead of the gold medal tally with 26 total golds with the USA staying at 12 golds behind with 14. The overall medal count shifted back to the USA after a very strong medal run today shooting them up to 46 overall medals as opposed to China’s 41. Germany solidified their standing in 3rd place with 8 golds, while Korea is still tied with Italy at 4th and 5th place with 6 golds each.
The Men’s Semifinals matches were all three-setters, and still had the most consistent player this year reach yet another final. 2nd seeded Rafael Nadal of Spain continued his unbelievable streak of great performances by beating 3rd seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia in 3 sets 6-4, 1-6, 6-4. Again, Djokovic fails to beat Nadal and it is beyond any doubt that this will be Rafael’s year and inevitably be able to overtake Roger Federer as the World’s number 1 in Tennis. He will be meeting 12th seeded Fernando Gonzales of Chile in the Finals, as he beat out Roger Federer’s conqueror, 8th seeded James Blake of the USA in a riveting match 4-6, 7-5, 11-9. It’s a bitter-sweet end to Blake’s inspiring performance in the Olympics as he failed to follow through on his monumental victory yesterday over the top seeded Federer. And in the lone remaining Women’s Quarterfinals match today, 7th seeded Dinara Safina of Russia upset 2nd seeded Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 to move into a Semifinal date with the tournament’s surprise, China’s Li Na, who upset Venus Williams of the USA yesterday. The other semifinals match is between two Russians, the 11th seeded Vera Zvonareva will go up against the very consistent 6th seeded Elena Dementieva.
The Semifinals of Badminton started today for the men’s and women’s singles events as well as the mixed doubles event, while the Bronze and Gold medal games for women’s doubles concluded today with two hometown pairs on top. In the Women’s semis, top seeded Xie Xingfang took 3 sets to defeat fellow Chinese and 3rd seed Lu Lan 7-21, 21-10, 21-12 to advance to the gold medal match. Her opponent will be another Chinese as 2nd seeded Zhang Ning defeated Indonesia’s Maria Kristin Yulianti 21-15, 21-15 to set up an all-Chinese gold medal matchup. And in the Men’s semis, the top two seeds will meet in the finals tomorrow night. Number 1 seed Lin Dan of China needed only 2 sets to beat his fellow countryman and 4th seed Chen Jin 21-12, 21-18. His opponent will be the favorite to win the gold, and 2nd seeded Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, who needed 3 sets to beat my darkhorse Lee Hyun-il of Korea 21-18, 13-21, 21-13
In Men’s doubles Semifinals action, my favorite pair of Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng of China beat the Korean pair of Lee Jaejin/Hwang Jiman 22-20, 21-8 to set up a gold medal match date with the top seeded pair from Indonesia. Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan fought off the determined pair from Denmark in Lars Paaske/Jonas Rasmussen 21-19, 21-17. The gold medal match will be tomorrow. In the Women’s doubles medal round, 3rd seeded Chinese pair of Wei Yili/Zhang Yawen beat the unseeded Japanese pair of Maeda Miyuki/Suetsuna Satoko 21-17, 21-10 to take the bronze. And in the gold medal match, 2nd seeded Du Jing/Yu Yang of China needed only 2 sets to beat the 4th seeded Korean team of Lee Hyojung/Lee Kyungwon 21-15, 21-13 to take the coveted gold.
Highlights: DAY 8: Thursday 08 15 08 (697MB)
Tennis Day Seven: Semifinals/Quarterfinals Results Summary
Tennis Event: Complete Schedule and Match Stats
Badminton Event: Olympic Seedings List
Badminton Day Seven: Semifinals and Women’s Doubles Medal Results
Badminton Event: Complete Schedule and Match Stats
It was Day Six of the Olympics yesterday, 08 13 08, and it was a day of upsets in Tennis while Basketball and Badminton saw practically all the seeded players advance. China won 5 more golds today en route to a 22 overall gold medal tally and officially becoming the number 1 country in terms of overall golds and overall medals. It surpassed the USA today with 35 while the Americans have 34. Germany has overtaken Korea for 3rd place by winning an extra gold today while Korea stayed at 6 golds in a tie with Italy for 4th and 5th spots respectively.
On Day 3 of Men’s basketball, Australia finally won a game as they slaughtered a listless Iran team by 38 points in Group A. Other matches also saw Lithuania going 3-0 after defeating Russia by 7 points and Argentina blowing out the once flawless Croatian team by 24 points. Group B action saw Spain improve to a perfect 3-0 record beating Germany by 13 points as Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman of Germany played their second straight bad game scoring 11 points and 8 points, respectively. That isn’t going to cut it as Germany dropped to a 1-2 record in the group entering the crossover matches. The USA avenged their loss to the Greeks in the last Olympics after a huge 2nd quarter spurt and blew them out by 23 points. Lebron was at his finest showcasing unbelievable athleticism on both ends of the court with a complete stat line of 13 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, and 3 blocks, along with a myriad of dunks that dazzled the Chinese crowd. And finally, China beat Angola for their first win of the tournament as Yao Ming came back to form to score 30 points to the delight of the hometown crowd.
MEN’S BASKETBALL DAY THREE RESULTS:
AUSTRALIA 106 (1-2) – IRAN 68 (0-3)
LITHUANIA 86 (3-0) – RUSSIA 79 (1-2)
ARGENTINA 77 (2-1) – CROATIA 53 (2-1)
SPAIN 72 (3-0) – GERMANY 59 (1-2)
USA 92 (3-0) – GREECE 69 (1-2)
CHINA 85 (1-2) – ANGOLA 68 (0-3)
In Tennis, the quarterfinals began today and the biggest upset yet had James Blake of the USA defeat number 1 seed Roger Federer of Switzerland. Federer has been struggling all year and his exit this early speaks volumes of the rut he is in. Blake beat him to the tune of 6-4, 7-6 (2) on probably his most impressive win of the year. It was such a monumental win that he was quoted saying “One day I’ll be able to tell my kids and grandkids that I beat the best of all time.” On the women’s side, the domination of the Williams sisters has officially ended. 4th seeded Serena Williams of the USA bowed out in 3 sets to Elena Dementieva of Russia 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, as the Russian FINALLY got a win over her rival. And her sister, 8th seeded Venus Williams of the USA bowed out to hometown favorite Li Na of China in 2 straight sets 7-5, 7-5! That was also Li Na’s biggest win of her career and couldn’t have come at a better time and place.
In line with the Tennis event above, the Quarterfinals of Badminton also started today. The bracket below shows both men’s (on the left) and women’s (on the right) sides. Number 1 seed Lin Dan of China continued his dominance as he breezed past Peter Gade of Denmark 21-13, 21-16. It’s a good thing my darkhorse of the tournament Lee Hyun-il of Korea upset 3rd seeded Bao Chunlai of China 23-21, 21-11 4th seeded Chen Jin of China crushed Yu-Hsing Hsieh of Taipei 21-8, 21-14 and 2nd seeded Malaysian Lee Chong Wei blasted 6th seed Sony Dwi Kuncoro of Indonesia 21-9, 21-11 to round up the men’s matches.
Highlights: DAY 7: Thursday 08 14 08 (697MB)
Basketball Day Six: Day 3 Results Summary
Tennis Day Six: Quarterfinals Results Summary
Tennis Event: Complete Schedule and Match Stats
Badminton Event: Olympic Seedings List
Badminton Day Six: Quarterfinals Results Summary
Badminton Event: Complete Schedule and Match Stats