Posts Tagged ‘ Olympic ’
Wrestler Sushil Kumar today created history by becoming the first Indian to win back-to-back Olympic medals but the coveted gold medal eluded him as he lost the men’s freestyle 66kg category final to his Japanese opponent rather tamely at the ExCel Arena here today.
The 29-year-old Sushil found the Japanese Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu, a tough opponent as he carved out a 3-1 victory to shatter the his hopes of winning a gold medal.
With the addition of Sushil’s silver medal, India completed their engagements in the 30th edition of the Olympics with a record haul of six medals — two silver and four bronze — but the gold medal could not be won by any one.
In Beijing, India had won one gold and two bronze medals.
Sushil, who was cheered by the flag-waving Indian spectators, was down with dehydration when he took the mat for the final and that had a bearing on his performance.
“Í had a stomach problem just after the semi-final, because of the dehydration. I lost weight and was feeling a little weak. But we have got a silver medal and we will try for gold medal in the next Olympics,” Sushil said after the medal ceremony.
“I had said about 15 days ago that we will do well. It was a question of what will be the colour of medals. I am happy that Yogeshwar won a bronze and our performance will keep improving,” he said.
In the final, Sushil found the going tough against the japanese who just did not allow the Indian to grip him at all.
Sushil tried desperately to get a breakthroug but without much luck as the Japanese wrestled intelligently. The Japanse won the first round 1-0 and took the second round 3-1 during which he picked up Sushil on his shoulder and brought him down, effectively ending the Indian’s chance.
“It was bronze in Beijing, and now it’s a silver. So were are gradually going up and may be in the next Olympics, I will be able to win the gold medal,” Sushil said.
Sushil said he dedicated the silver medal to his coach Satpal, parents, friends and the entire support staff.
“When you see us fight, you see us alone. But there are a lot of people who work behind the scenes to keep us fit. They also work equally hard. Besides, it is the blessings of my countrymen which has brought me to this level,” he said.
On how he planned to celebrate the victory, he said,”First I will take some rest. I have been training hard for the last five or six months. So a little rest is needed,” he said.
Team Manager Raj Singh said Sushil was down with dehydration after his semi-final bout and had also hurt his shoulder.
“He was in a bad shape. He vomitted thrice and went to the toilet six times before his bout. He was very weak and was not in a position to give his rival a fight,” he said.
Earlier, Sushil demolished Akhzurek Tanatrov of Kazakistan 9-6 in an engrossing semi-final contest to achieve the memorable feat and provide the late spark to India’s Olympic campaign.
Sushil, a bronze medallist in the Beijing Games and who was the flag bearer of the Indian contingent here, kept his reputation intact with a stunning dislay of skill, stamina and power as he wriggled out of some difficult positions to fashion three victories in a row.
Backed by vociferous Indian spectators, Sushil wrapped up the first round 3-1 in the high-voltage semi-final clash against Tanatrov but lost the second manche by an identical score.
In the crucial third round, the Indian showed his class and strength as he put up a commanding show to win 6-3 and assure himself of a silver medal and make sure that the Indian contingent finished the Games on a high note.
In the dying stages of the contest, Sushil virtually lifted his Kazakh opponent and pinned him to the mat, scoring heavily in the process.
In the pre-quarter final, Sushil disposed of defending champion Ramazan Sahin of Turkey and then prevailed over Uzbekistan’s Ikhtiyor Naruzov 6-3.
The Indian appeared a little rusty in the first round of his bout against Sahin in the pre-quarter finals but found his mojo to tilt the scale in his favour from the second round onwards.
Sushil lost the first manche 0-2 and then took advantage of the click to scape past in the second round with a 1-0 scoreline. He played it safe in the third round and did not take too many risks but managed to get one point to get the better of the Beijing Olympic gold medallist.
In the quarter-final, Sushil showed his aggressive instincts a litte more as he tried to rattle the Uzbek opponent by trying out different grips.
The Indian wrestler bagged the first round quite comfortably with a 3-1 margin but conceded two points late in the second round to lose that round 1-2.
With the round score tied at 1-1, Sushil went for an all out attack and relied on his experience to secure two points and romp into the semi-finals much to the delight of the hordes of flag-waving Indian spectators who cheered him lustily.
Sushil had defeated Leonid Spiridonov of Kazakhstan in the repechage round to win the bronze medal in the Beijing Games four years ago.
Army sharp shooter Vijay Kumar today fought a nerve-wracking battle with five other top marksmen to clinch the silver medal in the men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol event at the Olympic Games here today.
Kumar beat back the challenge of world champion Alexei Klimov of Russia, Chinese duo of Ding Feng and Zhang Jian and German Christian Reitz in the 40-shot final to finish runner-up in a thrilling finale behind Cuba’s Leuris Pupo who shot his way to the gold with a world record equalling score of 34.
The 26-year-old army subedar from Himachal Pradesh found the target 30 times out of 40 attempts in the series comprising eight rounds of five shots each.
This is India’s second medal in the ongoing quadrennial extravaganza after fellow marksman Gagan Narang’s bronze in the 10m Air Rifle event on July 30. This was also the country’s fourth medal in shooting in Olympic history.
The other medal winners are Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (silver in 2004 Athens) , Abhinav Bindra (gold in 2008 Beijing) besides Narang.
Kumar started with a bang, hitting the target all five times and kept himself in the hunt for a medal by consistently finding the target.
After a perfect five out of five at the start, Kumar, a double gold medallist in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, found the target four times in the second and third series, but missed it twice in the fourth.
He came back strongly by finding the target four times in the next three rounds and assured himself of a silver. In the last round after Pupo shot four to clinch the gold, Kumar seemed to relax a bit and missed three targets.
The bronze medal was won by Feng with a tally of 27.
In the final, Kumar was assured of a medal after the the elimination of the trio of Klimov (23), Jian (17) and Christian (13) leaving himself, Pupo and Feng in the fray.
The silver was in his bag when Feng missed twice in the seventh round and Kumar replied with four.
Kumar had earlier lifted the Indian shooting team’s spirit after the flop show by Narang, who failed to qualify for the final of the 50m Rifle Prone, by entering the finals of his event through the preliminaries.
En route to his total score of 585, Kumar became the second shooter to break the previous Olympic record of 583 to give a hint of his potential during the second stage of qualification.
Placed fourth in the list, Kumar, who had scored 293 in stage 1 of the qualification yesterday, shot a series of 98 97 97 in the second stage to take his total score to 585.
He shot a sequence of 99 96 98 at the Royal Artillery Barracks.
The Army man then successfully competed with five shooters for a medal.
Pre-Games medal favourite Ronjan Sodhi had yesterday failed to qualify for the double trap event.
Klimov had created a new world record by shooting 592 but he could not replicate that in the final.
He scored a total of 592 after Stage 2, breaking the existing world record of 591 and Olympic record of 583, with 294 points in Stage 1 and a staggering 298 out of 300 in Stage 2.
Saina Nehwal came to the Wembley arena on Thursday in her trademark black dress, amulets around her neck and the stomach to fight, the way only she can. By the time her match ended, Saina was just one more victory away from a historic Olympic medal.
The 22-year-old Indian was up against a very seasoned campaigner, 11 years older with two All England titles in her duffel bag – Tine Baun of Denmark. The head-to-head said 3-3 when play began in the afternoon. The younger Indian, seeded fourth, knew that statistics did not matter on the day.
There was no baggage when she started; no nerves, just the burning desire to get to the next station against another rival. After 39 minutes on the court, she sent a searing smash into the body of her fifth-seeded Danish opponent, raised her arms in glee, went down on her knees and banged the turf with clenched fists, twice. The scoreline read 21-15, 22-20. She had done it.
“I’m so happy, as it’s one of my dreams to play the Olympic semifinals. Last time (in the quarterfinals of the Beijing Games) I was up 11-3 and lost… I still can’t forget that. It’s a dream come true. It’s an unbelievable feeling,” she said after becoming the first Indian to reach the semifinals of an Olympic badminton competition.
The Indian girl will now meet one of the three dangerous Wangs from China – world No. 1 and top seed Yihan – in the semifinals. Saina has never beaten her, with the head-to-head record tilting 5-0 in the Chinese girl’s favour. But given her performances here, she can dare to dream big.
Saina started with a flourish and was soon ahead 5-2, and then 9-4 as Baun tried to play catch-up. Saina’s drops were in place and the smashes incisive. Baun tried hard to get back into the game and came close to 12-8, but Saina kept pulling ahead and raced to match point at 20-12.
It was here that a small fightback began, with Baun saving three match points. Saina had had enough by now. She had left two returns alone, only to find them in! She stayed in the rally and then smashed – Baun could only come up with a feeble return into the net.
The second game was a thriller. The Danish lady in sky blue decided to make her experience count and take the challenge to the young Indian’s corner. She played close to the sidelines, keeping Saina guessing. It was a game of judgment errors as far as Saina was concerned. She let two returns go by and found herself 4-7 down.
From 7-10, she fought back, eyes focused, teeth clenched. She was suddenly on a roll as she picked five points to go 13-10 up. Baun was by now despairing, talking to herself, looking for a window to claw back. She found that and got five points in a row to be up 18-15. Saina tried to smash her way into the game but Baun seemed to have found her way with clever drops and placement. The Danish pro had got the match pint when Saina’s return hit the net and the score read 20-17.
But Saina was not ready to give up yet. She did not want to play the third game. She saved three match points and equalized at 20-20, the last point stunning Baun who was already celebrating, thinking the return was long. Saina clenched her fist and inched ahead with a delicate drop. Then, like in the first game, she killed the contest with a down-the-middle smash.
China’s Yihan, who will be meeting Saina in the semifinals, said it will be a tough match. “I’m getting closer to the medal but I never think about the future. I’m just thinking about tomorrow’s match because the competition is strong,” she said.
The loud Indian support in the crowd played a role in her win too. “I’m happy they are here. I feel like winning for them. I’m happy the Olympics are in London… there are so many Indian people here,” Saina said, while adding that Hyderabad (her hometown) will be celebrating too. “They will all be going crazy… my dad too.”
Despite recent injuries, Dawes is confident world record holder Bolt will be in peak condition as he attempts to retain both individual titles and help Jamaica keep their 4x100m crown.
“He’s back fully,” Dawes said. “He has been training very, very hard and his performance is on track.
“We expect he’ll be fully fit by the time the Olympics come around.”
Dawes believes Bolt and sprint rival Yohan Blake could reach new heights inLondon for the Jamaican team.
“Both of them are at the top of their game.
“If the conditions are ideal, then we are going to see something fantastic. We may see records go.
“They are 100% fit and 100% raring to go. They are mentally fit and they are going to be going all out.”
First up for Bolt will be the men’s 100m’s on 4 Aug in the Olympic Stadium, with his defence of the 200m title starting three days later on 7 Aug. The men’s 4 x 100m Relay starts on 10 Aug.
On a turbulent Thursday in Spain, when thousands protested throughout the country over unpopular economic reforms, this news could not have improved the national mood: Rafael Nadal, the Spanish tennis icon, will not defend his Olympic title at the London Games.
Nadal, who had been named to carry the flag for Spain at next Friday’s Opening Ceremony, announced his withdrawal from the Spanish team after a morning practice session in which he concluded, according to his uncle and coach Toni Nadal, that his recurring knee problems would not allow him to compete effectively.
“Today is one of the saddest days of my career,” Rafael Nadal said in a statement.
Nadal, 26, won the Olympic singles title in Beijing and had put a high priority on this year’s Olympic tournament, which will be contested on the same grass courts where Wimbledon is played each year.
Nadal, an 11-time Grand Slam singles champion who already ranks among the greatest-ever tennis players, won Wimbledon in 2008 and 2010. But he was on the wrong side of one of the biggest upsets in tennis history at Wimbledon this year, when he was beaten in five sets in the second round by the 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol. Nadal made no mention of knee pain immediately after that defeat. He had played brilliantly to win his seventh French Open title earlier in June.
But according to Spanish newspaper El Pais, Nadal twice underwent magnetic resonance imaging scans during Wimbledon because of concern about his knees, particularly his left knee. After the loss to Rosol, El Pais reported that he consulted with his personal physician Angel Cotorro, who also works with the Spanish Tennis Federation and then returned to Vitoria to receive injections from Mikel Sanchez, the same physician who has administered platelet-rich plasma therapy to Nadal in the past to address his tendinitis.
Citing his knee problems, Nadal canceled a charity exhibition with Novak Djokovic scheduled for July 14 on grass in Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid: an exhibition that organizers hoped would attract 80,000 fans. Nadal announced he would stop training for 15 days. He eventually resumed conditioning work but playing tennis at the level required to compete for a gold medal apparently proved too difficult.
Nadal did not mention his knees directly in his statement on Thursday: only saying that he was not “in a condition” to play. “He doesn’t want to give excuses for past losses; he’s not in condition to play; that’s all he wants to say,” said his publicist Benito Perez-Barbadillo in a telephone interview. “He’s going to start practicing again. He’s just not ready to compete. He’s not competing for himself here. This is not Rome or Madrid or even the French Open. This is competing for your country. You can’t go out there when someone else can be competing at full strength.”
Nadal’s withdrawal allowed the Spanish Tennis Federation the time to name another Spanish player to fill his spot in singles and doubles. Feliciano Lopez will play in the singles; Nadal’s friend and occasional partner Marc Lopez will play in the doubles.
“I have to think about my companions,” Nadal said in his statement. “I can’t be selfish, and I have to think of what’s best for Spanish sport, especially tennis, and give up my spot to someone who has had better preparation than mine and is ready to compete.”
Perez-Barbadillo said Nadal did not expect to travel to London during the Games, and the Spanish National Olympic Committee is expected to announce his replacement as flag bearer on Friday.
“It is bad news for Spanish sport but also bad news for Nadal himself,” said Alejandro Blanco, president of Spain’s NOC in comments reported by Spanish news agency EFE.
Blanco said Nadal telephoned him directly to inform him of his decision. “I heard his voice and I could sense what he was feeling,” Blanco said in comments reported by EFE. “I believe it’s a very difficult day for him. All we can do is give him our applause and support because this decision cost him a lot.”
His decision could have a major impact at the Olympics, where Roger Federer, fresh off his victory at Wimbledon and back at No. 1 in the rankings, no longer will face the prospect of playing Nadal, who has dominated their head-to-head rivalry. It remains unclear what this decision means for Nadal’s career and what remains of his so-far fine season.
Toni Nadal told Spain’s RadioMarca that his nephew — now ranked third behind Federer and Djokovic — could certainly be back in time to play in the year’s final Grand Slam tournament, the United States Open, which begins Aug. 27.
But Toni Nadal also said that this was probably his nephew’s last chance to play in the Olympics, and his knees continue to be a major concern. They prevented him from playing at Wimbledon in 2009; they forced him to retire in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Australian Open and this season, to rest in February and later withdraw before the semifinal of the Sony Ericsson Open in March. But he roared back to dominate the clay-court season again. Clay, however, is a surface that is easier on his joints. Now, if he returns to competition for the United States Open, he will be playing on less forgiving hard courts.
"I am proud of my heart,Itz been played,cheated,stabbed,burned and broken,but it still rocking..."