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Day 16: Leaving the idiots till last

Great moments in Olympic fashionWhat is it about the marathon that attracts serial pests? It was bad enough in 2000 when Peter Hore ran onto the course, but at least he didn't get to do anything. Neil Horan went one better at Athens, by charging onto the course at about the 35km stage and tackling Brazil's Vanderlei de Lima, who was the leader at the time. De Lima managed to carry on but faded away to third place.

Horan's previous claim to fame was running onto the track during the 2003 British Formula One Grand Prix to, in his words, "promote the Bible". Personally, I think Horan should have shown a bit more flair and did his thing, not at the marathon, but during the swimming leg of the triathlon. Go and swim out and drag the leader underwater. Good advertisement for the baptism segments of the Bible, that one.

Italy's Stefano Baldini finished in first place. He said afterwards that he would have run de Lima down regardless of the incident. Reports on the race from La Gazzetta dello Sport, Jornal do Brasil, and the Sydney Morning Herald. Plus the UCLA's coverage of Meb Keflezighi's silver.

Marcel Matinin of Slovakia was last of the 81 to finish, with a time of 2:50:26. Timor Leste's Gil da Cruz Trinidade was one of 20 runners who didn't complete the race.

Earlier in the day, Denmark won a ripper of a women's handball final over South Korea. It was 29-29 at full-time and 34-34 after extra time before the Danes won the penalty shootout 4-2. Handball is a wonderfully fast sport that is virtually unknown in Australia, and the screening of the game live in the early evening on SBS would have really opened some viewers eyes I suspect. Here's the play-by-play of the game, a report from Reuters, and a Danish report from Politiken. Croatia beat Germany in the men's final, 26-24.

For what it's worth, here is the Australian Handball Federation website.

In the men's volleyball, Brazil beat Italy 25-15, 24-26, 25-20, 25-22. Reports from Xinhua, and once again, Jornal do Brasil and La Gazzetta dello Sport. Tournament MVP was Brazil's Gilberto Godoy Filho. And yes he has a personal web site.

Hungary dominated the men's water polo yet again with an 8-7 win over Serbia and Montenegro.

Great Moments in Socialism Update: Chinese track gold medallists Liu Xiang and Xing Huina will be given a million yuan each by a Beijing real-estate agent.

Finally, Bimbo Report: Let's go shopping in Athens with Jennie Finch (Windows media video.)

Final wrap of Athens 2004 to come (as if I can restrain myself to one wrap, yeah right).