Waterford Crystal won the 8.40 jump at Markopoulo on Friday night. The thirteen year-old gelding, ridden by C.O'Connor and trained by J.Doyle, finished a neck in front of French-born Brazilian stallion Baloubet de Rouet (R.Pessoa), who took second place in a photo over US stallion Royal Kaliber (C.Kappler).
Waterford Crystal has done what no human has been able to achieve at Athens 2004 - win a gold medal for Ireland. www.horsesport.ie attempts to give credit for the victory to the jockey.
Dividends for the trifecta of 336, 313 and 374 have yet to be declared. In other news, the Extra Double on Paula Radcliffe in the 10,000 and the US team in the women's 4x100 both failing to finish paid $1.05.
Birgit Fischer won her eighth gold medal on Friday morning in the 500 metre K4's, capping an Olympic career that began at Moscow 1980. Writing in the message board on the official Birgit Fischer website, Kevin summed up the sentiments of all of us when he said:
SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUPER BIRGIT DU BIST EINFACH KLASSE!!
nochmal herzlichen Glï¿½ckwunsch zum Gold gestern und zur Silber-medaillie heute!!!
auf nach Peking 2008!!!!!!!!
liebe grï¿½ï¿½e aus mï¿½ggelheim an die beste Kanutin der Welt!!
Another remarkable serial gold medallist was Poland's Robert Korzeniowski, who completed a three-peat in the 50km road walk. Together with the 20km road walk in Sydney, he now has four gold medals. He, too, has his own official website. Feel free to post your own "Brawo Brawo Brawo" message to his forum. Bob has his own designer label range of clothing. You can pick up one of his T-shirts for a cool 29,95 zloty (plus, I presume, postage and handling).
Friday was a tempestuous day in the taekwondo hall, with the Central African Republic's Bertrand Gbongo Liango was kicked in the head by Tuncay Caliskan of Austria in their 68kg bout. He was taken to hospital unconscious, but only after he had been counted out by the referee. His condition was reported to be stable. He was released from hospital on Saturday morning.
Technical controller Oh Young Youl (that's his name, not a song title) gave a press conference, and the Olympic News Service distributed some quotes, which I publish here without comment:
On the scoring system:
"Computers make mistakes, so far I see no mistakes."
On the number of protests by coaches:
"Maybe many coaches are too eager to win. These are the Olympics."
On Bertrand GBONGO LIANGO (CAF) being counted out while face down and unconscious before first aid was called:
"I think the referee was behind and could not see his expression (when he was kicked). Sometimes people lie before continuing. That is why he counted."
On the Italian athlete Carlo MOLFETTA, and the stoppage of his contest after receiving a head kick:
"The safety officer inspected him and said he should be inspected, therefore for safety reasons the contest was stopped."
(By the way, the gall of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). I type in "Gbongo Liango" and it asks me "Did you mean: Bingo Lingo"?)
The Saving Grace Sixty-Eight! kilo division of the men''s taekwondo was eventually won by Hadi Saei Bonehkohal of Iran, wearing bib number Was She Worth It Fifty-Six. Chih Hsiung Huang of Taiwan (Five Dozen SIX-TY!!!) took silver, with Song Myeong-Soeb (South Korea, Make Them Wait Fifty Eight) the bronze.
Italy beat Iraq 1-0 for the men''s soccer bronze medal, but the match was played in the shadow of the murder of Italian journalist Enzo Baldoni in Iraq on Thursday. Here are some comments from the FIFAÂ press conference held prior to the game.
Following up on the final day of the men''s hockey, in which Australia won their first-ever gold medal in the event, here as promised are some more reports: The Telegraph reports on Britain''s win over South Africa for ninth spot. Former Indian hockey captain Vasudevan Bhaskaran comments on India's 5-2 win over South Korea for seventh. Khalid Hussain of The News reports on Pakistan's 4-2 win over New Zealand for fifth. And I've gone back to El Mundo for a Spanish look at their 4-3 loss to Germany in the bronze medal game.
Finally, that most dubious of sports, synchronised swimming. How this got into the Games without a men's event I do not know. How this got into the Games in any case is beyond me. Still, I'm fascinated by Friday's happenings in the pool. Russia won the gold medal in the team's event (that's 8 of them) had to restart their routine after their music broke down. They still got perfect 10's for their performance. Japan took silver, and the USA bronze. US team-member Tammy Crow will be taking her bronze medal with her to jail when she gets home, to serve a 90-day sentence for vehicular manslaughter.
And in what has to be The Costume Of The Games, the Spanish team paid tribute to Salvadore Dali, whose 100th birth anniversary came up in June, by wearing cozzies featuring his photo, and performing a ballet based upon his famous clock. They came fourth.