Alexa

Sun shines on American beach volleyballers

Sun shines on American beach volleyballers

The weather was more like California than China, and Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser played like they were right at home Friday in the Olympic beach volleyball final.
In blazing sunshine at the Beijing Games venue several hundred kilometers away from a real beach, Rogers and Dalhausser won the gold medal by beating Fabio and Marcio of Brazil 23-21, 17-21, 15-4.
Rogers and Dalhausser must have enjoyed the warm weather. Dalhausser, although born in Switzerland, moved to Santa Barbara, California, when he was 1. Rogers was born there and lives nearby.
The closest real beach to the manmade Olympic facility is east of Beijing at Beidaihe on the Bohai Sea, which is best known as the Communist Party of China's summer retreat.
Marcio, who said "it's hard to find words to console us," paid credit to his opponents.
"They covered the court well, especially during crucial moments in the third set," Marcio said.
The American win came a day after Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor fought driving rain to win their second straight gold for the U.S. women.
"We're in good company," Rogers said.
The sunshine and high humidity posed more problems for the 50-kilometer walkers Friday, with Alex Schwazer of Italy taking men's gold ahead of Jared Tallent of Australia in 30 degree C (85 degree F) temperatures.
Schwazer finished in 3 hours, 37 minutes, 9 seconds, taking 1:20 minutes off the 20-year-old Olympic record. Denis Nizhegorodov of Russia, the silver medalist from the Athens Games and world record holder, took bronze.
With two-thirds of the race gone, pre-race favorite Yohan Diniz of France stepped out with a hamstring injury and stomach pains.
"I just cracked mentally and physically," Diniz said. "The conditions were very hard."
World champion Maris Strombergs of Latvia won the gold medal in men's BMX cycling, holding off Americans Mike Day and Donny Robinson for the title. Anne-Caroline Chausson of France took gold in the women's race.
Off the competition field, questions were again asked over the ages of three Chinese female gymnasts. But the International Olympic Committee said Friday there is still no proof anyone cheated.
"We believe the matter will be put to rest and there's no question ... on the eligibility," IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said. "The information we have received seems satisfactory in terms of the correct documentation _ including birth certificates."
If the federation had found evidence that the gymnasts were underage, it could have affected four of China's medals.
A gymnast must be 16 in an Olympic year to compete at the games. Questions about the ages of at least three of the athletes have persisted _ media reports suggest three Chinese gymnasts, He Kexin, Jiang Yuyuan and Yang Yilin, may be as young as 14.
Also, China baseball catcher and Seattle Mariners prospect Wang Wei was recovering Friday from reconstructive surgery for a torn ligament in his left knee, an injury sustained in a home-plate collision with Matt LaPorta of the United States on Monday.
Wang's operation, performed by Chinese Olympic doctors, was delayed for a few days in order to get a second opinion and do further exams.


Updated : 2021-03-03 11:35 GMT+08:00