Sunday, August 31, 2008

GRAMBLING DROPS SEASON OPENER 49-13 TO FBS FOE NEVADA

RENO, NEVADA (August 31, 2008) Grambling State came up on the short end during its 2008 season opener as the Tigers dropped a 49-13 decision to the University of Nevada Wolf Pack before a crowd of 20,078 at Mackay Stadium in Reno.

Grambling fell behind early as the Football Bowl Subdivision member Wolf Pack took advantage of a Greg Dillon interception and had little field to go as quarterback Colin Kaepernick ran it in for a 7-yard run. The Tigers regrouped on their next possession and recorded their first big play of the night when Dillon connected with a wide-open Dante Cheek for a 40-yard pass reception. Unfortunately, the promising drive fell short on fourth down after a blocked field goal.

Both teams traded possessions after the block but Nevada found its scoring touch as Kaepernick led the Wolf Pack on a four-play, 40-yard drive that was capped off by a 19-yard run by Kaepernick. However, Grambling once again began to move the ball as Dillon found Nick Lewis for a 26-yard strike and freshman Van Phillips recorded an 11-yard reverse to the UNR 28. But in similar fashion to the last drive that ended deep in UNR territory, the Tigers were stopped on fourth down and were forced to turn the ball over on downs.

The offensive highlights came to a halt as the second quarter began but midway through the quarter, Nevada's Vai Taua broke free for a 62-yard scamper to move the Wolf Pack to GSU's 3. Three plays later on third down, Taua rewarded himself for the run with a 1-yard touchdown rush up the middle of the GSU defense. The PAT was good by Brett Jaekle and the Wolf Pack moved ahead 21-0 with 6:55 left in the first half.

Grambling had its moments as the first half came to an end as a
Derrick Johnson sack led to a UNR fumble. Kendall Robinson picked up the ball
and scampered 46 yards downfield but the drive once again stalled on the
offensive end. Nevada made a big splash towards the end of the half and drove
the length of the field but the defense held ground and kept them from
attempting a field goal to close out the half.

The second half didn't begin on a positive note as the Wolf Pack drove 73 yards in nine plays to up their lead to 28-0. GSU was forced to punt on its opening possession but redeemed itself defensively when Desmond Lenard picked off a pass and returned it 61 yards for GSU's first touchdown of the 2008 season. Luis Leal's PAT was good and drew the Tigers to within three touchdowns at 28-7 but the momentum didn't last long as Nevada marched down the field once again behind the strength of its rushing attack. The Wolf Pack needed only five plays to score their fifth touchdown of the night en route to a 35-7 margin midway in the third quarter.

After the score, GSU managed to make things interesting on its next two possessions as Dillon eluded the Wolf Pack rush and connected with redshirt freshman Kenneth Batiste for a 59-yard pass reception on 3rd-and-long that ended at the 2-yard line. Unfortunately, GSU didn't get the result it was looking for as Nevada held its ground and completed the goalline stand by stopping GSU at the one on fourth-and-goal. Several plays later, UNR fumbled at its own 20 but the Tiger offense couldn't capitalize as they turned the ball over on downs.

With offense the highlight of the night, the fourth quarter didn't disappoint as UNR added two touchdowns to GSU's one. In the final stanza, Dillon drove the Tigers 66 yards in five plays and concluded the drive with his first career touchdown pass as he found Batiste for a successful 21-yard reception.

For the game, UNR finished with 629 (426 R, 206 P) total yards offensively while GSU amassed 230 (225 P, 5 R) yards. In his first-ever start, Dillon passed for 225 yards and one touchdown on 13-of-25 passing. Cornelius Walker led all GSU rushers with 14 yards on eight carries while Batiste caught six passes for 95 yards.

Taua eclipsed the 100-yard mark for UNR as he rushed for 103 yards on 12 carries.
Kaepernick passed for 122 yards on 10-of-17 passing while Mike McCoy caught six passes for 67 yards.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cougars beat Bearkats in 2008 SHSU home-opener

HUNTSVILLE, TEXAS (August 30, 2008) Sam Houston State Freshman Britni Martin scored the first goalof her college career Friday night in a 3-1 home-opening loss to Universityof Houston at Pritchett Field.

Martin, a freshman from Conroe, found the back of the net early in thesecond half to cut the Cougar lead to 2-1. She took a pass from Deanna Longand buried it in the back of the net in the 56th minute. The Kats had twoother chances to even the scored before the Cougars went up 3-1 in the 69th minute on a goal by Riley Canfield.

Houston scored a pair of goals in quick succession in the first half. Afterplaying 20minutes of scoreless soccer, Christine Nieva broke the ice withgoal in the 21st minute. Three minutes later, Jessica Zavalza scored to put Houston up 2-0. The Cougars outshot SHSU 25-13.

In the 82nd minute Zavalza was given a yellow card and three minutes laterwas sent off the pitch with a red. Lynn Baker was also yellow carded in the34th minute for Houston.

The Bearkats will be back in action Sunday when they take on Prairie View A&M at 1 p.m. at Pritchett.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Rice VB Takes Care of Business

HOUSTON, TEXAS (August 29, 2008) The Rice Owls volleyball team sports a 2-0 record after cruising to identical 3-0 set wins over UT-San Antonio and Louisiana-Lafayette in the Owls' Mizuno Invitational.

In the first match of the day, Rice cruised over UTSA 25-13, 25-15, 25-18 and had a balance attack as Karyn McCord and Ashleigh McCord each had 9 kills, while Natalie Bogan had 8 kills and Jessica Holderness pounded 7 kills. Setter Meredith Schamun was smooth in running the offense with 35 assists. Tracey Lam led Rice with 20 digs.

Against the Ragin' Cajuns, Rice won 25-13, 25-16, and 25-14. Bogan led the Owls with 13 kills and Karyn Morgan followed with 10 kills. Morgan also had 10 digs as Lam again led all with 16 digs.

"Being 2-0 and 6-0 in sets is a great way to start the season," commented Rice head coach Genny Volpe. "The execution was certainly evident. I thought that Ashleigh McCord, though a freshman, was physical and aggressive and that's a great way to start your career."

The senior leadership of Morgan and Holderness was prevalent in the day's first two matches.

"The seniors' leadership and composure was key in today's two wins," said Volpe. "Also, our sophomore setter Meredith Schamun did a great job leading and running the offense efficiently."

In other action at the Mizuno Invitational, Michigan defeated Lousiana-Lafayette 3-0 (25-10, 25-22, 25-17). Beth Karpiak had 10 kills for the Wolverines (1-0), while setter Lexi Zimmerman had 27 assists.

The Owls next play Michigan at 7 p.m. on Saturday night in Fox Gym. Admission is free.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Ever Multiplatform Broadcast of Paralympic Games Coming to U.S. via Universal Sports

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO (August 28, 2008) U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, is pleased to announce that Universal Sports, a multiplatform destination for amateur sports programming, will provide the first-ever multiplatform broadcast coverage of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, presented by GE in the United States. Daily video highlights will also be webcast on the official site of the U.S. Paralympic Team, usparalympics.org.

The groundbreaking broadcast will premiere on Sept. 6, on UniversalSports.com and Oct. 8, on Universal Sports TV, followed by a special presentation of the events on NBC, Oct. 18.

"The U.S. Olympic Committee is making a tremendous investment in building the Paralympic movement in the United States. That commitment has helped significantly raise the awareness of Paralympic programs since 2004, and this broadcast agreement is clear evidence of the growing interest nationally in Paralympic sport," said Charlie Huebner, Chief of Paralympics, U.S. Olympic Committee. "The amazing platform provides an exceptional opportunity to showcase the talents of the 2008 U.S. Paralympic Team, introduce more individuals with physical disabilities to the Paralympic movement and inspire all Americans."

Viewers will have the opportunity to watch the Paralympic Games, Sept. 6-17, with daily live and delayed highlight shows on UniversalSports.com and usparalympics.org. The official U.S. Paralympic Team site will also host daily video blogs from U.S. athletes and delegation members. Beginning in 2009, the U.S. Olympic Network will re-air portions of the 2008 Paralympic Games.

The Paralympic Games are an elite sporting event for persons with physical disabilities. In Beijing, a total of 4,000 athletes from around 150 countries will be competing in 20 sports and the U.S. will be represented by 213 athletes.

For current Universal Sports scheduling information for the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, please visit UniversalSports.com.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

USA records best Olympic gymnastics finish since 1984 with 10 medals

BEIJING, CHINA (August 27, 2008) At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the United States amassed with its greatest medal haul since the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The medal tally of 10 – two gold, six silver and two bronze – is the most earned by the USA in gymnastics in a non-boycotted Olympic Games.

“We are very proud of our gymnasts’ accomplishments,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “Our athletes were outstanding, not only on the field of play but also in how they represented both our sport and our country. The combination of team and individual medals is an indication of USA Gymnastics' commitment to remaining among the best gymnastics countries in the world.”

Here’s the medal breakdown by discipline and event.
Men Team – bronze medal
Horizontal bar – Jonathan Horton, silver medal
Women Team – silver medal
All-around – Nastia Liukin, gold medal; Shawn Johnson, silver medal
Uneven bars – Nastia Liukin, silver medal
Balance beam – Shawn Johnson, gold medal; Nastia Liukin, silver medal
Floor exercise – Shawn Johnson, silver medal; Nastia Liukin, bronze medal

In addition to the overall medal count, the U.S. gymnasts also established some noteworthy milestones.
 It is the first time the United States has won team medals at consecutive Olympic Games for both men and women. The women earned their second straight silver medal, and the men also were repeat medalists, this time taking home the bronze.
 The U.S. women won eight total medals (two gold, five silver and one bronze), topping China’s six (two gold and four bronze). Romania was third with two (one gold and one bronze).
 The women’s all-around set two USA firsts: Nastia Liukin of Parker, Texas, and Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines, Iowa, became the first U.S. women to go one-two in the all-around; and the first time the USA has won the all-around title for two consecutive Games.
 Liukin joins Mary Lou Retton (1984) and Carly Patterson (2004) as the only U.S. women to win an Olympic all-around title.
 Liukin tied the U.S. gymnastics record of five Olympic medals at one Olympics set by Mary Lou Retton, who earned one gold, two silver and two bronze, at the 1984 Olympic Games, and matched by Shannon Miller, who claimed two silver and three bronze at the 1992 Olympic Games. Liukin’s Olympic medal haul includes one gold (all-around); three silver (team, balance beam and uneven bars); and one bronze (floor exercise). Liukin also surpassed the four medals won by her father, Valeri, at the 1988 Olympic Games (two gold and two silver).
 Johnson is only the second U.S. gymnast to win an Olympic gold medal on the balance beam (Miller, 1996). Liukin finished second, making this the first time the USA has won two medals in this event at the same Games.
 Johnson earned four medals at the 2008 Olympic Games: gold on the balance beam, and silver in the team competition, all-around and floor exercise.
 Liukin garnered the most medals of any female gymnast at the 2008 Olympics with five. Johnson was second with four medals, followed by China’s Cheng Fei and Yang Yilin at three (one gold, two bronze).
 Jonathan Horton of Houston captured the silver medal on the horizontal bar.

“I am tied with her (Shannon) for world medals too,” said Liukin, who owns nine world medals. “I guess it is meant to be that we are tied. I think I won the most medals of any woman (in gymnastics in Beijing). That is something neat. I will remember this time for rest of life. I am glad I got to do it with my dad. The Olympics has been harder but better than any Worlds. Nine Olympic medals in our family is not too bad.”

Along with Johnson and Liukin, the members of the U.S. Olympic Team for women’s gymnastics are: Chellsie Memmel of West Allis, Wis./M&M Gymnastics; Samantha Peszek of Indianapolis, Ind./DeVeau’s; Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass./Brestyan’s; and Bridget Sloan of Pittsboro, Ind./Sharp’s. Johnson trains at Chow’s Gymnastics, and Liukin’s gym is WOGA. The three replacement athletes are: Jana Bieger of Coconut Creek, Fla./Bieger International Gymnastics; Ivana Hong of Blue Springs, Mo./GAGE; and Corrie Lothrop of Gaithersburg, Md./Hill’s. Liang Qiao of Chow’s gymnastics was head coach, with Valeri Liukin of WOGA serving as assistant coach.

The members of the bronze-medal team are: Alexander Artemev of Highlands Ranch, Colo.; Raj Bhavsar of Houston; Joseph Hagerty of Rio Rancho, N.M.; Horton; Justin Spring of Burke, Va.; and Kevin Tan of Fremont, Calif. David Durante of Garwood, N.J., was the replacement athlete, and Paul and Morgan Hamm of Waukesha, Wis., withdrew from the team due to injuries. All nine men are members of Team Chevron. Kevin Mazeika of Houston Gymnastics Academy was the head coach, and Miles Avery of Ohio State University was the assistant coach.

Erin Blanchard of Lafayette, La., and Chris Estrada of Colorado Springs, Colo., were members of the U.S. Olympic Team for trampoline. Both train at the U.S. Olympic Training Center with Dmitri Poliaroush, who was the Olympic coach.

Women’s gymnastics
Team
The U.S. women went head-to-head with China in the team competition in one of the most dramatic and exciting team finals in history. When the chalk dust had settled, the USA earned its second consecutive Olympic team silver medal with 186.525 points. China won the gold medal with 188.900 points, and Romania claimed the bronze medal with 181.525 points.

“The fight was extremely close,” said Martha Karolyi, women’s national team coordinator. “We fought equal to equal. We were two very strong teams.”

“I feel proud of the USA and our team,” Johnson said. “We are proud of each other no matter what. I think that we represented USA very well.”

“My goal was to come out and know that at the end of the competition, I’d have no regrets,” Liukin said. “I definitely have no regrets. I’m happy with how everything went and to say that you have an Olympic medal is just amazing.”

The USA was paired with China in the same rotation and opened the team finals on vault. Johnson earned a 16.000 for her Yurchenko 2.5 vault, and Sacramone scored a 15.675 for her Rudi vault. Sloan performed a Yurchenko double and posted a 15.200. Russia, who began the competition on uneven bars, led the competition after one rotation with 46.950 points, followed closely by the USA in second with 46.875 points. China was third at 46.350.

Memmel, who only competed on one event in the team finals, was the first U.S. woman up on uneven bars and scored a 15.725 for her routine that included a jam to invert to a double front dismount. Johnson kept the momentum going with a 15.350. Liukin’s pirouette work in her difficult routine with a 7.7 start value earned a 16.900, the highest score of the day on any event. The USA’s aggregate bars score 47.975. China moved into the lead after posting a 49.625 on the uneven bars for a two-rotation score of 95.975. The USA was second at 94.850 and Russia dropped to third with a 91.850.

The USA posted a score of 47.250 on balance beam. Johnson posted a 16.175 for her routine that included a full-in dismount. Liukin earned a 15.975 and Sacramone scored a 15.100.

Heading into the final rotation, China led the USA, 143.100 to 142.100. Romania was third with 136.250 points.

Liukin led the USA on floor exercise with a 15.200, with Johnson scoring a 15.100 and Sacramone earning a 14.125 for a total of 44.425. China sealed its victory with a 45.800 on floor exercise to win its first-ever women’s Olympic team gold medal.

“I’m definitely happy with silver,” said Memmel, who injured her ankle during training before the qualification round. “It’s the Olympic Games and we have a silver medal. The Chinese were the better team today. We had a few mistakes. The only disappointment for me was that I couldn’t contribute more to the team.”

“Leaving Beijing with a silver medal is such an honor,” said Peszek. “To have a medal hanging around my neck from the Olympics is remarkable. We’re all so proud of everyone.”

“You have good days and bad days, and I just wish that today was a good day for me,” Sacramone said. “My teammates were amazing today, but I just wish that my performance was a little better.”

“It’s amazing and having any medal is remarkable,” Sloan said. “We gave it our hearts, but China was just having a really good day today.”

All-around
Liukin joins Retton (1984) and Carly Patterson (2004) as the only U.S. women’s gymnasts to win an Olympic all-around title. Johnson’s second place finish also gave the USA another first – finishing one-two in the all-around. Liukin finished with a score of 63.325, followed by Johnson with a 62.725 and China’s Yang Yilin, who earned the bronze with a 62.650.

“Just to be here at the Olympic Games is amazing,” Liukin said. “To stand on the podium and hear ‘Olympic champion’ next to my name was a dream come true. I knew it was a close fight and I knew I’d done all I could do.”

“It’s been a really long road and I’m just so proud to be here,” Johnson said. “I’m honored to be representing the USA. I had a great meet today and finishing on floor was probably my favorite moment because I knew I’d given it my all.”

Liukin is coached by her father, Valeri, who won four medals, including two gold, at the 1988 Olympic Games. Liukin trains at WOGA in Plano, Texas, where Patterson trained until winning her Olympic all-around title in 2004.

Because they finished 1-2 in the qualification round, Johnson and Liukin competed in the Olympic order (vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise) in the finals. Johnson scored a 15.875 for her Yurchenko 2.5 vault, and Liukin earned a 15.025 for her Yurchenko 1.5. After one rotation, Romania’s Steliana Nistor was first with a 15.975, followed by Johnson in second and Italy’s Vanessa Ferrari in third with a 15.600. Liukin was 10th.

Moving to the uneven bars where she has a 7.7 start value, Liukin posted a 16.650 for her routine that includes intricate pirouette work. Johnson stuck her layout double double dismount for a score of 15.275. Yang moved into first place after the second rotation with a score of 31.900 with Liukin in second with a 31.675 and Nistor in third with a 31.525. Johnson dropped to fifth with a 31.150.

Liukin opened her beam routine with a front aerial to flip flop layout and posted a 16.125 to take the lead with a score of 47.800 heading into the fourth and final rotation. With a score of 16.050 for her balance beam routine that includes full in dismount, Johnson moved into third place with a 47.200. Yang dropped to second with a 47.650.

Johnson and Liukin scored identical 15.525s on floor exercise in the final rotation to secure gold and silver. Yang, who scored a 15.000 on floor, fell one spot to third place.

Individual events
The U.S. women won five medals in three individual event finals. Liukin captured three medals, silver in the uneven bars and balance beam and a bronze in the floor exercise; and Johnson won the gold medal in the balance beam, as well as a silver medal in the floor exercise.

Vault. Sacramone scored a 15.750 on her first vault, a Rudi, and followed with a 15.325 for her Yurchenko double, averaging a score of 15.537. Korea’s Hong Un Jong won the gold medal with a 15.650. Germany’s Oksana Chusovitina won the silver medal with a 15.575 and China’s Cheng Fei claimed the bronze medal with a 15.562. Sacramone finished fourth.

“I’m disappointed that I didn’t at least place, but all the girls had higher start values that I did,” Sacramone said. “I went out there and finished my Olympic Games, and I did the best I could.”

Uneven bars. Liukin and China’s He Kexin both posted scores of 16.725, but He was awarded the gold medal over Liukin due to a tiebreaker based on deductions. Both women performed difficult routines, He’s punctuated with her intricate handwork and Liukin’s featuring her trademark pirouettes. China’s Yang earned the bronze medal with a score of 16.650.

“I don’t have any regrets in my training plan or in the routine that I performed today,” Liukin said. “Missing out on the gold medal today is a little hard to take, but when I look back at this week, I couldn’t be more proud of my accomplishments.”

Balance beam. Johnson and Liukin won the gold and silver medals, respectively, on the balance beam. Johnson ended her balance beam routine with a full-in dismount and scored a 16.225. Liukin was second at 16.025. China’s Cheng, the first competitor on balance beam, scored a 15.950, which held up for the bronze medal.

“It’s the Olympics and I just wanted to finish it off the best that I could,” Johnson said. “Beam is my favorite event and I’ve been working so hard on it at home. I just put everything toward the beam. To finally get the gold for my beam coach (Liwen Zhuang) and for me on my very last routine, it meant the world.”

Floor exercise. Johnson was the first to take the floor and scored a 15.500 for her routine that includes a tuck double double on her first pass. Liukin scored a 15.425 after ending her routine with a two-and-a-half twisting back. Romania’s Sandra Izbasa won the gold medal with a score of 15.650.

“I wasn’t sure how things were going to hold up today, but I didn’t really care about scores,” said Johnson. “I didn’t care about placements. I just wanted to go out and have a good time. Sitting there and watching seven other girls compete was the most nerve-wracking experience.”

“I felt so calm, and I had to get that adrenaline going,” Liukin said. “I think just because I know floor isn’t my best event, I wasn’t as nervous. I just felt that whatever happens, I’m just going to try my best.”

Men’s competition
Team
Despite last minute team changes, the U.S. Olympic Team for men’s gymnastics went out and showed their stuff, winning the team bronze medal with a total score of 275.850. China won the gold medal with 286.125 points with Japan taking second at 278.875 points.

“The whole way through, we focused on one event at a time, one routine at a time,” said Kevin Mazeika, head coach of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team for men’s gymnastics. “It’s just unbelievable considering everything we’ve been through. It’s been a roller coaster ride. I couldn’t be prouder of these guys, of all the coaches and this whole collective, collaborative effort.”

“I think the most important thing for us was to be on that podium, which we knew that we could do,” said Horton. “Bronze, silver, gold, it doesn’t matter. We’re excited because nobody thought we’d be close.”

The USA began the competition on still rings, posting a score of 46.375. Horton earned the team’s highest score with a 15.625, followed by Tan and Bhavsar with a 15.425 and a 15.325, respectively.

Horton again led the USA with a 16.200 on his stuck handspring double front vault. Bhavsar posted a 16.125 on his handspring double full vault with Spring earning a 15.900 on his Kasamatsu one-and-a-half for a total team score of 48.225.

On parallel bars, the USA earned a total of 47.050. Spring posted a 15.850 to top the USA’s scores, followed by Horton with a 15.625 and Bhavsar with a 15.575. The USA was in first place halfway through the competition with 141.650. China was second at 140.825 and France was third with 140.025 points.

With high-flying release moves and chants of “USA” from the crowd, the U.S. men posted a score of 46.925 on horizontal bar. Horton and Spring earned a 15.700 and a 15.675, respectively, with each sticking his dismount, a laid-out triple double for Horton and a triple back for Spring. Hagerty earned a 15.550.

With a score of 49.325 on vault, China moved into the lead after the fourth rotation with a four-event score of 190.150. The USA dropped to second with 188.575 points and Japan was third with a 185.200.

Horton led the USA on floor exercise with a score of 15.575 after nailing all of his tumbling passes, including his tucked full in dismount. Spring posted a 15.200 for his routine that included a triple full dismount. Hagerty rounded out the USA’s scoring with a 14.625. The team earned a total of 45.400 on floor exercise.

Heading into the sixth and final rotation, China was in the lead with 239.175 points, followed by the USA with a 233.975 and Japan with a 232.275. Artemev’s full Kehr into his flare sequence on the pommel horse had the crowd cheering, and he earned the USA’s highest score on that event with a 15.350. Bhavsar posted a 13.750 and Tan earned a 12.775. The USA’s total pommel horse score was 41.875.

“It’s been an up-and-down roller coaster,” Artemev said. “For me personally, I usually get excited about things too quickly and then if I have a let down, I get pretty angry about it. So I taught myself not to handle situations like that, to take it a little bit more professionally. I learned that from Dave with the way he handled things (being an alternate). This is a nine-man team. Paul, Morgan and Dave, this is for them, too.”

“It’s a dream come true, and dreams can come true,” said Bhavsar. “I’m a firm believer that in life, when you have nothing left to give, you have to dig down deep and find it within you to keep going. I hope that my message carries into the spirit of other people that if I can do it, so can you.”

“I’d characterize this medal as a nine-man team,” said Hagerty. “This was for our country. This was for Dave, Paul and Morgan. This is for everybody, our friends and family.”

“I think the medal was somewhat unexpected, but we knew that we had this potential,” said Spring. “I know a lot of people doubted that we would make the second day (team finals), but this team never doubted ourselves. We had two last-minute replacements and anything you threw at this team, we rolled with it with smiles on our faces.”

“We pulled together,” said Tan. “We had that support from everyone. We went out there and showed what we could do today. My day didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, but I was focused, I stayed on and I fought as hard as I could. I believe I left it all out there, heart and soul.”

All-around
Horton and Artemev finished ninth and 12th, respectively, in the men’s all-around at the 2008 Olympic Games. China’s Yang Wei won the all-around title with a score of 94.575. Japan’s Kohei Uchimura earned the silver medal with a 91.975 and France’s Benoit Caranobe claimed the bronze medal with a 91.925. Horton’s score of 91.575 was just four-tenths of a point shy from the silver-medal-winning score. Artemev posted a 90.675.

“There were a lot of incredible competitors out there who had a great meet,” Horton said. “Hopefully with some more time and experience in this sport, I’ll learn how to put together two incredible meets instead of just one (men’s team final). Today I was really calm and just stayed relaxed in my gymnastics. I definitely didn’t have that fired-up feeling that I had with the team, but I’m really happy with how I did. I don’t have any regrets with my competition today.”

“I had a bobble on floor that lowered my B score (execution score), but other than that, it was pretty good,” Artemev said about his performance. “I didn’t really hold back on anything. (Pommel) horse is getting better every day, so hopefully in finals, it’s even better.”

Artemev and Horton opened the competition on still rings and pommel horse, respectively, and posted scores of 14.275 and 13.675.

In the second rotation, Artemev jumped to 12th after scoring a 15.975 on his Yurchenko 2.5 vault. On still rings, Horton posted a 15.575 for his routine that included a full twisting, double layout dismount and moved into 19th place.

Artemev scored a 15.200 on parallel bars and remained in 12th place with 45.450 points. Horton jumped five spots to 14th with 45.350 points after earning a 16.100 on his handspring double front vault.

Korea’s Yang Tae Young led the field halfway through the competition with 47.325 points, followed by Yang in second and Caranobe in third with a 47.150 and a 46.650, respectively.

After four rotations, Horton was 12th with a 60.625 after scoring a 15.275 on parallel bars. Artemev stuck his stretched double double dismount on horizontal bar and scored a 15.075 to move into 14th place at 60.525.

In the fifth rotation, Horton earned a 15.350 on horizontal bar for a score of 75.975, and Artemev posted a 14.625 on floor exercise for a score of 75.150. Horton ended the competition on floor exercise, scoring a 15.600. Artemev’s crowd-pleasing pommel horse routine that includes a full Kehr to flair sequence earned a 15.525.

Individual events
Horton won the silver medal on the horizontal bar. Artemev competed in the pommel horse finals, and Tan was the first reserve athlete for the still rings finals, with Hagerty the third reserve gymnast for high bar.

In the horizontal bar finals, Horton took a chance and performed a new, more difficult routine that he had never completed, even in practice. His routine had a 6.9 start value, up five-tenths of a point from his routine in the team finals. He earned a score of 16.175, just 0.025 points behind the 16.200 of gold-medal-winner Zou Kai of China. Germany’s Fabian Hambuechen, the 2007 horizontal bar world champion, finished third with a score of 15.875.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever done that routine,” said Horton. “I’m not going to sit here and say it’s luck because I’ve done every one of those skills millions of times. But it was maybe a little bit of luck to put it together in the same routine at once and do it as well as I did. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, right? I hit the floor and looked at Mark (Williams) and said, ‘Can you believe that just happened?’ Instantly, I knew I was going to medal with that routine. I kind of wish I had stuck my landing because I’d be gold.”

On pommel horse, Artemev scored a 14.975 after falling toward the end of his routine. China’s Xiao Qin won the gold medal with a 15.875. Croatia’s Filip Ude and Great Britain’s Louis Smith both posted scores of 15.725, but Ude claimed the silver medal through a tiebreaker, giving Smith the bronze.

“I wish I walked away with a medal (on pommel horse), but I’m happy that the team got a medal and that’s the most important thing to me,” said Artemev. “With my set, I laid out a hard routine and I wasn’t ready.”

The other individual event gold medalists were: China’s Li Xiaopeng , parallel bars; China’s Chen Yibing, still rings; Poland’s Leszek Blanik, vault; and China’s Zou Kai, floor exercise.

Trampoline

Blanchard finished 13th for the women and Chris Estrada placed 15th for the men in the trampoline at the 2008 Olympic Games, also held at the National Indoor Stadium. In men’s trampoline, China’s Lu Chunlong won the gold medal with a score of 41.00. Canada’s Jason Burnett earned the silver medal with a 40.70, and China’s Dong Dong claimed the bronze medal with a 40.60. For the women, China’s He Wenna won the gold medal with a score of 37.80, followed by Canada’s Karen Cockburn in second with a 37.00 and Uzbekistan’s Ekaterina Khilko in third with a 36.90.

Blanchard earned a total score of 60.90 after posting a 27.10 for her compulsory routine and a 33.80 for her optional routine.

“I was happy that I made it and that I did both of my routines,” Blanchard said. “It wasn’t good, but I did it and stayed on my feet. I did all ten skills and did the best I could. I was really, really nervous because I wasn’t expecting the stands to be filled like this. It was a lot crazier than I thought it would be.”

Estrada’s 28.50 for his compulsory routine and his 37.40 for his optional routine earned a total of 65.90.

“I did okay, but I could have done better,” Estrada said. “I did the best I could today, so I’m happy with that. Being in front of the crowd was amazing because it was a new experience for me (to jump in front of a large audience). I want to thank my coaches for getting me this far.”

This was the first Olympic Games for both Blanchard and Estrada. The USA competed in the Olympic Games in women’s trampoline for the third straight Olympiad and in men’s trampoline for the first time.

Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport. Its disciplines include men's and women's artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, and acrobatic gymnastics. For more information, log on to www.usa-gymnastics.org.

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2008 Olympic Games
National Indoor Stadium
Beijing, China
Aug. 9-19, 2008

Women’s gymnastics
Team
1. China, 188.900
2. USA, 186.525
3. Romania, 181.525
4. Russia, 180.625
5. Japan, 176.700
6. Australia, 176.525
7. France, 175.275
8. Brazil, 174.875

All-around
1. Nastia Liukin, USA, 63.325
2. Shawn Johnson, USA, 62.725
3. Yang Yilin, China, 62.650
4. Ksenia Semenova, Russia, 61.925
5. Steliana Nistor, Romania, 61.050
6. Jiang Yuyuan, China, 60.900
7. Anna Pavlova, Russia, 60.825
8. Sandra Izbasa, Romania, 60.750
9. Oksana Chusovitina, Germany, 60.125
10. Jade Barbosa, Brazil, 59.550
11. Vanessa Ferrari, Italy, 59.450
12. Becky Downie, Great Britain, 59.450
13. Georgia Bonora, Australia, 58.950
14. Lia Parolari, Italy, 58.925
15. Shona Morgan, Australia, 58.800
16. Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs, Canada, 58.375
17. Koko Tsurumi, Japan, 58.100
18. Ariella Kaslin, Switzerland, 58.000
19. Marine Petit, France, 57.975
20. Kyoko Oshima, Japan, 57.625
21. Kristyna Palesova, Czech Republic, 56.975
22. Ana Silva, Brazil, 56.875
23. Laetitia Dugain, France, 56.775
24. Gaelle Mys, Belgium, 53.950

Vault
1. Hong Un Jong, North Korea, 15.650
2. Oksana Chusovitina, Germany, 15.575
3. Cheng Fei, China, 15.562
4. Alicia Sacramone, USA, 15.537
5. Ariella Kaslin, Switzerland, 15.050
6. Carlotta Giovannini, Italy, 14.550
7. Jade Barbosa, Brazil, 14.487
8. Anna Pavlova, Russia, 7.812

Uneven bars
1. He Kexin, China, 16.725
2. Nastia Liukin, USA, 16.725
3. Yang Yilin, China, 16.650
4. Beth Tweddle, Great Britain, 16.625
5. Anastasiia Koval, Ukraine, 16.375
6. Ksenia Semenova, Russia, 16.325
7. Steliana Nistor, Romania, 15.575
8. Dariya Zgoba, Ukraine, 14.875

Balance beam
1. Shawn Johnson, USA, 16.225
2. Nastia Liukin, USA, 16.025
3. Cheng Fei, China, 15.950
4. Anna Pavlova, Russia, 15.900
5. Gabriela Dragoi, Romania, 15.625
6. Li Shanshan, China, 15.300
7. Ksenia Afanasyeva, Russia, 14.825
8. Koko Tsurumi, Japan, 14.450

Floor exercise
1. Sandra Izbasa, Romania, 15.650
2. Shawn Johnson, USA, 15.500
3. Nastia Liukin, USA, 15.425
4. Jiang Yuyuan, China, 15.350
5. Ekaterina Kramarenko, Russia, 15.025
6. Daiane Santos, Brazil, 14.975
7. Cheng Fei, China, 14.550
8. Anna Pavlova, Russia, 14.125

Men’s gymnastics
Team
1. China, 286.125
2. Japan, 278.875
3. USA, 275.800
4. Germany, 274.600
5. South Korea, 274.375
6. Russia, 274.300
7. Romania, 274.175
8. France, 272.875

All-around
1. Yang Wei, China, 94.575
2. Kohei Uchimura, Japan, 91.975
3. Benoit Caranobe, France, 91.925
4. Hiroyuki Tomita, Japan, 91.750
5. Sergey Khorokhordin, Russia, 91.700
6. Maxim Devyatovskiy, Russia, 91.700
7. Fabian Hambuechen, Germany, 91.675
8. Yang Taeyoung, Korea, 91.600
9. Jonathan Horton, USA, 91.575
10. Rafael Martinez, Spain, 91.500
11. Kim Daeeun, Korea, 90.775
12. Alexander Artemev, USA, 90.675
13. Philipp Boy, Germany, 90.675
14. Luis Rivera, Puerto Rico, 90.175
15. Adam Wong, Canada, 89.800
16. Anton Fokin, Uzbekistan, 89.750
17. Nathan Gafuik, Canada, 89.625
18. Flavius Koczi, Romania, 89.575
19. Enrico Pozzo, Italy, 89.375
20. Daniel Keatings, Great Britain, 89.000
21. Thomas Bouhail, France, 87.000
22. Luis Fuentes Bustamante, Venezuela, 86.300
23. Dmitry Savitski, Belarus, 82.175
24. Chen Yibing, China, 74.225

Floor exercise
1. Zou Kai, China, 16.050
2. Gervasio Deferr, Spain, 15.775
3. Anton Golotsutskov, Russia, 15.725
4. Fabian Hambuechen, Germany, 15.650
5. Kohei Uchimura, Japan, 15.575
6. Diego Hypolito, Brazil, 15.200
7. Marian Dragulescu, Romania, 14.850
8. Alexandr Shatilov, Israel, 14.125

Pommel horse
1. Xiao Qin, China, 15.875
2. Filip Ude, Croatia, 15.725
3. Louis Smith, Great Britain, 15.725
4. Yang Wei, China, 15.450
5. Hiroyuki Tomita, Japan, 15.375
6. Kim Jihoon, Korea, 15.175
7. Alexander Artemev, USA, 14.975
8. Fuentes Bustamonte Luis, Venezuela, 14.650

Still rings
1. Chen Yibing, China, 16.600
2. Yang Wei, China, 16.425
3. Oleksandr Vorobiov, Ukraine, 16.325
4. Andrea Coppolino, Italy, 16.225
5. Danny Pinheiro Rodrigues, France, 16.225
6. Matteo Morandi, Italy, 16.200
7. Robert Stanescu, Romania, 15.825
8. Jordan Jovtchev, Bulgaria, 15.525

Vault
1. Leszek Blanik, Poland, 16.537
2. Thomas Bouhail, France, 16.537
3. Anton Golotsutskov, Russia, 16.475
4. Marian Dragulescu, Romania, 16.225
5. Benoit Caranobe, France, 16.062
6. Dmitry Kasperovich, Belarus, 16.050
7. Flavius Koczi, Romania, 15.925
8. Isaac Botella, Spain, 15.737

Parallel bars
1. Li Xiaopeng, China, 16.450
2. Yoo Wonchul, Korea, 16.250
3. Anton Fokin, Uzbekistan, 16.200
4. Fabian Hambuechen, Germany, 15.975
5. Mitja Petkovsek, Slovenia, 15.725
6. Huang Xu, China, 15.700
7. Yang Taeyoung, Korea, 15.650
8. Nikolay Kryukov, Russia, 15.150

Horizontal bar
1. Zou Kai, China, 16.200
2. Jonathan Horton, USA, 16.175
3. Fabian Hambuechen, Germany, 15.875
4. Igor Cassina, Italy, 15.675
5. Takuya Nakase, Japan, 15.450
6. Hiroyuki Tomita, Japan, 15.225
7. Epke Zonderland, Netherlands, 15.000
8. Yann Cucherat, France, 14.825


Trampoline
Men
1. Lu Chunlong, China, 41.00
2. Jason Burnett, Canada, 40.70
3. Dong Dong, China, 40.60
4. Yuriy Nikitin, Ukraine, 39.80
4. Tetsuya Sotomura, Japan, 39.80
6. Dmitry Ushakov, Russia, 38.80
7. Alexander Rusakov, Russia, 38.50
8. Mikalai Kazak, Belarus, 38.10
From preliminary round
15. Chris Estrada , USA, 65.90

Women
1. He Wenna, China, 37.80
2. Karen Cockburn, Canada, 370
3. Ekaterina Khilko, Uzbekistan, 36.90
4. Olena Movchan, Ukraine, 36.60
5. Irina Karavaeva, Russia, 36.20
6. Luba Golovina, Georgia, 36.10
7. Rosannagh Maclennan, Canada, 35.50
8. Anna Dogonadze, Germany, 18.90
From preliminary round
13. Erin Blanchard, USA, 60.90

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

UP-AND-DOWN DAY FOR U.S IN TEAM EVENT AT MEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

BANGKOK, THAILAND (August 26, 2008) After and up-and-down morning Tuesday, Team USA finds itself tied for fourth place halfway through preliminaries in the team event at the 2008 World Tenpin Bowling Association Men's World Championships.

Team USA's five-player lineup - Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., Bill Hoffman of Columbus, Ohio, Patrick Allen of Wesley Chapel, Fla., Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, and Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C. - posted 3,010 in three games on the low-scoring long oil pattern.

Norway holds the lead with 3,198, followed by Finland in second with 3,046 and England in third with 3,027. Korea, also at 3,010, shares fourth place with the United States.

The top four teams after six preliminary games advance to the one-game semifinals at 7 p.m. Wednesday (8 a.m. EDT), with the winners meeting in the one-game finals at 8:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. EDT). The semifinal losers will each receive bronze medals.

Team USA put together games of 1,032, 991 and 987 - the last of which featured a late flurry of strikes by each player to avoid a disastrous finish.

"The event wasn't going to be won today, but you definitely could've lost it today," said Jones, who shot 597 Tuesday. "It was challenging obviously. We didn't get off to a very good start, but the troops rallied at the end. We made a lot of good shots at the end to right the day."

Hoffman led Team USA with 639, followed by Williams at 608, Allen with 585 and Barnes with 582.

Team competition continues Wednesday with the final three preliminary games on the short oil pattern. Rhino Page of Topeka, Kan., joins the five-player lineup on the short oil pattern with Allen, Barnes, Jones and Hoffman, while Williams will pace for his all-events total in the second squad at 2 p.m. local time (3 a.m. EDT).

"We need to make some good shots," said Jones, who is averaging 223.5 over 10 games on the short pattern at the World Championships. "We put ourselves a little bit behind today by not getting as many pins as we wanted, when we knew other teams would struggle. A lot more teams are going to bowl good tomorrow."

In all-events, Allen is currently fourth after 15 of 24 games with 3,282 (218.8 avg.), trailing leader Alejandro Cruz of Mexico by 75 pins. Norway's Tore Torgersen and the United Arab Emirates' Mahmood Ahmad Al Attar are tied for second with 3,295.

Page, who entered the day second in all-events, shot 533 as a pacer to move to 3,273, dropping to seventh place.

Jones is 18th with 3,223 in the all-events standings, from which the top 16 after 24 games will advance to the best-of-five, single-elimination Masters event.

The 2008 Men's World Championships marks the much anticipated first appearance of professionals in major WTBA competition thanks to a change in legislation last August.

The Men's World Championships, which is being held at SF Strike Bowl Ngamwonwan and continues through Saturday, features more than 300 athletes from 57 countries competing in six disciplines - doubles, trios, team, singles, all-events and Masters.

Visit bowl.com for complete coverage of the 2008 WTBA Men's World Championships, including videos, photos, stories, results and blogs.

United States Bowling Congress
The United States Bowling Congress, as the national governing body, ensures the integrity and protects the future of the sport, provides programs and services to more than 2.6 million adult and youth members and enhances the bowling experience.

Bowl with US


2008 WTBA MEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
(at Bangkok, Thailand)
Tuesday's Results

TEAM
Preliminaries
(Through 3 of 6 games)

Top 10
1. Norway, 3,198; 2. Finland, 3,046; 3. England, 3,027; 4. (tie) United States, 3,010; Korea, 3,010; 6. Philippines, 2,995; 7. China, 2,987; 8. Germany, 2,985; 9. Colombia, 2,987; 10. Sweden, 2,964.


ALL-EVENTS
(Through 15 of 24 games)

Top 20
(Top 16 after 24 games advance to Masters)
1. Alejandro Cruz, Mexico, 3,357; 2. (tie) Tore Torgersen, Norway, 3,295; Mahmood Ahmad Al Attar, United Arab Emirates, 3,295; 4. Patrick Allen, United States, 3,282; 5. Choi Bok-Eum, Korea, 3,280; 6. Joe Ciach, Canada, 3,274; 7. Rhino Page, United States, 3,273; 8. Mads Sandbakken, Norway, 3,270; 9. Choi Ki-Bong, Korea, 3,265; 10. Hussain Nasir Al Suwaidi, United Arab Emirates, 3,264.

11. Martin Larsen, Sweden, 3,258; 12. Pasi Uotila, Finland, 3,256; 13. Glenn Morten Pedersen, Norway, 3,255; 14. Jason Belmonte, Australia, 3,240; 15. (tie) Andrew Frawley, Australia, 3,231; Robert Andersson, Sweden, 3,231; 17. Saed Al Hajri, Qatar, 3,229; 18. Tommy Jones, United States, 3,223; 19. Jesper Agerbo, Denmark, 3,216; 20. Jaime Monroy, Colombia, 3,215.

Other U.S. placements
30. Bill Hoffman, 3,186; 46. Walter Ray Williams Jr., 3,129; 53. Chris Barnes, 3,119.

Monday, August 25, 2008

TEAM USA TAKE TWO TRIOS BRONZE MEDALS AT MEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

BANGKOK, THAILAND (August 25, 2008) With the possibility of an all-American final, Team USA settled for a pair of bronze medals in trios competition Monday at the 2008 World Tenpin Bowling Association Men's World Championships.

Patrick Allen of Wesley Chapel, Fla., Rhino Page of Topeka, Kan., and Bill Hoffman of Columbus, Ohio - seeded second after preliminaries - lost a heartbreaker to Japan's Toshihiko Takahashi, Shota Kawazoe and Tomokatsu Yamashita, 615-614.

In the first semifinal, top seed Choi Bok-Eum, Choi Ki-Bong and Kim Tae-Young of Korea remained hot on the short oil pattern in defeating Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, and Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., 673-603, en route to the gold medal.

Korea defeated Japan, 723-553, for its second straight trios gold medal at the Men's World Championships.

Allen, Page and Hoffman started strong in their match, with Allen striking on five of his first six shots and Page on four of his first five. However, Hoffman only struck twice and opened in the final two frames, failing to convert on a 2-4-10 split in the 10th.

"We started off pretty well, but caught a little transition in the middle of the game and the ball started to do some sporadic things down the lane," said Page, who struck out in the 10th frame for a 222 to force Yamashita to convert a 1-2-8 spare on his final ball for the victory. "Hoff just didn't have a very good look on that pair.

"We gave them a good scare toward the end. Japan bowled really well and got us by a stick. That happens sometimes."

Allen led the trio with 223, while Hoffman finished with 169.

Like their Team USA brethren, Williams, Barnes and Jones - who had the front five strikes - started strong and led Korea by as many as 35 early in their semifinal. Korea, however, took over as Kim closed with seven consecutive strikes while Team USA struggled to string strikes together.

"We probably were the underdogs going in. Everybody beat us by at least 100 on the short," said Barnes, who had 194 in the semifinal. "Walter struggled on the short the whole time, which I know is hard to fathom. We didn't have great ball reaction and we haven't matched up on these patterns. We grinded our way through to qualify (for a medal), though."

Jones led the squad with 221, while Williams - who converted on two of three consecutive splits - had 188.

Earlier Monday in preliminaries, Allen, Page and Hoffman took the lead after the morning session - finishing their six-game total with 3,826 on the strength of 2,021 in three games on the short oil pattern.

Williams, Barnes and Jones moved into third place after the second squad with 3,787 - shooting 1,947 in the final three games. Japan moved into third on the final squad, finishing with 3,805.

Korea took the top spot with 3,833 on the strength of a dominating 2,109 set in the second squad. Kim converted on a 4-7-9 split in the 10th frame and struck on his fill ball to push the Koreans past Allen, Page and Hoffman.

In all-events, Page is currently second after 12 of 24 games with 2,740 (228.33 avg.), trailing Mexico's Alejandro Cruz by seven pins. The United Arab Emirates' Mahmood Ahmad Al Attar is third with 2,734, while Allen is fourth with 2,697.

Jones is 16th with 2,626 in the all-events standings, from which the top 16 after 24 games will advance to the best-of-five, single-elimination Masters event.

The 2008 Men's World Championships marks the much anticipated first appearance of professionals in major WTBA competition thanks to a change in legislation last August.

Team competition begins Tuesday with the first three of six preliminary games. Williams, Barnes, Allen, Jones and Hoffman will form the U.S. squad competing on the long oil pattern with Page pacing for his all-events total in Squad 1 at 9 a.m. local time (10 p.m. EDT Monday).

The Men's World Championships, which is being held at SF Strike Bowl Ngamwonwan and continues through Saturday, features more than 300 athletes from 57 countries competing in six disciplines - doubles, trios, team, singles, all-events and Masters.

Visit bowl.com for complete coverage of the 2008 WTBA Men's World Championships, including videos, photos, stories, results and blogs.

United States Bowling Congress
The United States Bowling Congress, as the national governing body, ensures the integrity and protects the future of the sport, provides programs and services to more than 2.6 million adult and youth members and enhances the bowling experience.

Bowl with US


2008 WTBA MEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
(at Bangkok, Thailand)
Monday's Results

TRIOS
Gold medal: Choi Bok-Eum/Choi Ki-Bong/Kim Tae-Young, Korea
Silver medal: Toshihiko Takahashi/Shota Kawazoe/Tomokatsu Yamashita, Japan
Bronze medal: Bill Hoffman/Patrick Allen/Rhino Page, United States; Walter Ray Williams Jr./Chris Barnes/Tommy Jones, United States

Semifinals
(1) Korea (Choi Bok-Eum, Choi Ki-Bong, Kim Tae-Young) def. (4) United States (Walter Ray Williams Jr., Chris Barnes, Tommy Jones), 673-603
(Choi B-E 212, Choi K-B 226, Kim 235; Williams 188, Barnes 194, Jones 221)
(3) Japan (Toshihiko Takahashi, Shota Kawazoe, Tomokatsu Yamashita) def. (2) United States States (Bill Hoffman, Patrick Allen, Rhino Page), 615-614
(Takahashi 187, Kawazoe 226, Yamashita 202; Hoffman 169, Allen 223, Page 222)

Finals
(1) Korea (Choi Bok-Eum, Choi Ki-Bong, Kim Tae-Young) def. (3) Japan (Toshihiko Takahashi, Shota Kawazoe, Tomokatsu Yamashita), 723-553
(Choi B-E 223, Choi K-B 255, Kim 245; Takahashi 155, Kawazoe 224, Yamashita 174)

Preliminaries
(6 games)

Top 10
1. Korea (Choi Bok-Eum, Choi Ki-Bong, Kim Tae-Young), 3,833.
2. United States (Bill Hoffman, Patrick Allen, Rhino Page), 3,826.
3. Japan (Toshihiko Takahashi, Shota Kawazoe, Tomokatsu Yamashita), 3,805.
4. United States (Walter Ray Williams Jr., Chris Barnes, Tommy Jones), 3,787.
5. Norway (Mads Sandbakken, Petter Hansen, Tore Torgersen), 3,780.
6. Mexico (Daniel Falconi, Benjamin Corona, Alejandro Cruz), 3,766.
7. United Arab Emirates (Hussain Nasir Al Suwaidi, Shaker Ali Al Hassan, Nayef Eqab Al Abadla), 3,750.
8. Sweden (Robert Andersson, Tomas Leandersson, Martin Larsen), 3,732.
9. Sweden (Dennis Eklund, Tobias Karlsson, Peter Ljung), 3,729.
10. Malaysia (Zulmazran Zulkifli, Mohd Nur Aiman, Alex Liew), 3,725.


ALL-EVENTS
(Through 12 of 24 games)

Top 20
(Top 16 after 24 games advance to Masters)
1. Alejandro Cruz, Mexico, 2,747; 2. Rhino Page, United States, 2,740; 3. Mahmood Ahmad Al Attar, United Arab Emirates, 2,734; 4. Patrick Allen, United States, 2,697; 5. Choi Ki-Bong, Korea, 2,693; 6. Pasi Uotila, Finland, 2,688; 7. Mads Sandbakken, Norway, 2,678; 8. (tie) Joe Ciach, Canada, 2,677; Martin Larsen, Sweden, 2,677; 10. Gery Verbruggen, Belgium, 2,672;

11. Jesper Agerbo, Denmark, 2,667; 12. Andrew Frawley, Australia, 2,660; 13. Frederick Ong, Philippines, 2,639; 14. Hussain Nasir Al Suwaidi, United Arab Emirates, 2,639; 15. Choi Bok-Eum, Korea, 2,631; 16. Tommy Jones, United States, 2,626; 17. Saed Al Hajri, Qatar, 2,624; 18. Cheng Hsing-Chao, Chinese Taipei, 2,618; 19. Jaime Conroy, Colombia, 2,616; 20. Tore Torgersen, Norway, 2,603;

Other U.S. placements
42. Bill Hoffman, 2,548; 43. Chris Barnes, 2,537; 50. Walter Ray Williams Jr., 2,521.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

IOC President Jacques Rogge Predicts Positive Legacy From Games

BEIJING CHINA (August 24, 2008) The Beijing Games raised the bar for the Olympic Movement and brought positive changes to China that are likely to continue well into the future, Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, said Sunday.

Speaking at the closing press conference of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, Rogge said the Beijing Games demonstrated the universal appeal of Olympic values. A record 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) sent athletes to China, and a record 87 NOCs joined the medal count.

The competitors established 43 world records and 132 Olympic records, although some only lasted until the next heat.

“It is clear that China has put the bar very high,” Rogge told reporters.

The IOC president also noted that the Games are likely to be the most-watched Olympic Games in history, seen by more people in more places than ever. The Beijing Games were the first to have worldwide digital coverage.

Rogge left no doubt that the IOC was pleased with its decision in 2001 to bring the Games to China for the first time, a move that gave one-fifth of the world’s population more exposure to Olympic values. He said some benefits from that decision are obvious now and that others will become more apparent in the future.

Rogge said the tangible benefits include the sports venues, a new airport terminal, new roads, improvements to mass transit and other infrastructure that was put in place for the Games. He said most of the sports venues were built near universities to ensure their use after the Olympic Games.

“That means that no white elephant has been built and the after-Games use of these venues will be optimal,” he said. “These venues will be used by the students of the universities, by the owners of the different venues, the workers’ unions. This is, I believe, a great legacy.”

He said the Games would encourage more mass participation in sports in China. He also expressed confidence that Games-related environmental improvements, which he recently reviewed with Chinese authorities, will have a lasting impact.

“The efforts on water cleaning and water remediation will be stepped up. More trees will be planted. All of this, I believe, is a legacy of the Olympic Games.”

Rogge said other benefits are harder to evaluate or will require time to fully assess. As an example, he cited the new media regulations that were put in place for the Games.

“The regulations might not be perfect, and we acknowledge that they are not perfect, but they are a sea change compared to the situation before. We hope, and we have expressed this hope, that they would continue,” he said.

While Rogge declared the Games a big success, he acknowledged issues related to Internet access, media freedom and Beijing protest zones. He said the IOC had made its position clear to Chinese authorities but cannot force changes on sovereign governments.

“We acknowledge that the situation has not been perfect,” he said, referring to the Internet issue. “But we acknowledge, at the same time, that the situation is a major change.”

He expressed hope that the Olympic experience would encourage more openness in China.

“Through the Games, China has been scrutinised by the world, it’s opened up to the world,” he said. “The world has learned about China and China has learned about the world. And I believe that this is something that will have positive effects on the long term.”

Saturday, August 23, 2008

U.S. Olympic Baseball Team Captures Bronze Medal With 8-4 Win Over Japan

BEIJING, CHINA (August 23, 2008) A four-run fifth inning highlighted by Taylor Teagarden’s (Dallas, Texas) two-run double and a two-run homer from Jason Donald (Fresno, Calif.) helped lift the U.S. Olympic Baseball Team to an 8-4 win over Japan clinching the bronze medal for Team USA. Matt LaPorta (Port Charlotte, Fla.) and Matt Brown (Bellevue, Wash.) added home runs as well as the U.S. rallied from an early three-run deficit to earn the victory. Team USA finishes Olympic competition with a 6-3 record.

Down 4-1 entering the bottom of the third inning, the U.S. mounted its rally on the back of a three-run homer by Brown. Brian Barden (Templeton, Calif.) would reach base to lead off the inning on a dropped fly by left fielder Takahiko Sato. After a walk to Jayson Nix (Dallas, Texas), Team USA tied the game as Brown launched a homer to left center. After fouling off several full count pitches from Japan starter Tsuyoshi Wada, Brown delivered with a blast to even the game at four apiece.

With the score tied 4-4 in the bottom of the fifth, the U.S. went ahead by four runs on the back of two key two-out RBI hits from Teagarden and Donald. With runners on the corners, Teagarden laced a double off the wall in right center scoring Brown and Nate Schierholtz (Danville, Calif.) giving the U.S. a two-run cushion. That lead would then extend to 8-4 as Donald ripped a two-run homer off the left field foul pole.

Starting pitcher Brett Anderson (Midland, Texas) settled in after giving up two early home runs and picked up the victory for Team USA after seven innings of work. Anderson allowed four runs on four hits with six strikeouts and three walks. Japan reliever Kenshin Kawakami suffered the loss after 2.1 innings of work, in which he allowed four runs on four hits.

“It was a great game,” said manager Davey Johnson. “Our bats woke up and Brett really pitched a great ball game. He had a little trouble in the second and third inning; I guess his rhythm was a little off. He wasn’t locating pitches like he would like to. He gave up a couple of home runs but then he settled down and really won the game for us. He was very dominant after the home run by (Japan’s) right fielder. Our big bat, Matt Brown did a heck of a job and Jason Donald has played great the whole time. He hit a two-run shot that really put the game out of reach.”

The U.S. finished with a 9-6 advantage in hits including two hits apiece from Brown, LaPorta and Donald. Brown, Teagarden and Donald drove in seven of the nine runs for the U.S. Donald finished the Olympics leading the U.S. in hitting with a .381 average (8-for-21). Brown was the team’s leading run producer with 10 RBI as well as a pair of homers. LaPorta also had two homers for the competition.

“I thought we did a great job today,” said Jason Donald. “After last night and coming into today, we could have folded really easily, especially when they got up 4-1. I think we just kept fighting and kept having great at-bats knowing that we had a good amount of time in the ball game. It was a great win. We would have liked to have won a gold (medal) but we won today and getting out of here with a medal, that is huge.”

Both teams used home runs in the early innings to get on the scoreboard. Japan’s Masahiro Araki knocked a one-out solo shot to left field in the top of the first with LaPorta answering for the U.S. with a solo homer of his own in the bottom of the second.

The home run continued to be the story of the game as Japan went ahead 4-1 on Norichika Aoki’s three-run homer in the top of the third inning. Walks issued to both Shuichi Murata and Tsuyoshi Nishioka set the stage for Aoki, who turned on a 2-0 pitch from Anderson for the second homer of the game for Japan.

That would be it for Japan though as Anderson and reliever Kevin Jepsen (Anaheim, Calif.) shut down the Japanese the rest of the way through.

The bronze medal is the second won by the United States in Olympic baseball competition. The first came at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Team USA won the gold medal in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Cougar Soccer Drops Season Opener 1-0

HOUSTON, TEXAS (August 22, 2008) The University of Houston soccer team lost 1-0 in double-overtime to UTSA, as the Cougars opened their 2008 season on Friday at Robertson Stadium.

Veronica Najera put in the game winner in the 102nd minute, scoring off Katie Dugan’s pass into the box.

“We are disappointed by the result, but we are not disappointed by the effort,” head coach Susan Bush said. “Fitness was obviously a problem for us at the end of the game. We just need to get some key players healthy. We played hard, we just didn’t get the result we wanted.”

Houston (0-1-0) out shot the Roadrunners 17 to 12, but could not find the back of the net.

The Cougars battled through the physical match despite being shorthanded. The two teams combined for 24 fouls in the contest.

Sophomore Islara Rodriguez led the team with four shots, while sophomore Lauri Byrne and senior Maegan Kiphart each ripped three.

Houston will have a week to prepare for its next match, when the Cougars travel to Huntsville to face Sam Houston State at 7 p.m. on Aug. 29.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rice's Funmi Jimoh in Olympic Long Jump Finals

BEIJING, CHINA (August 21, 2008) Former Rice Owl All-America track and field athlete Funmi Jimoh (Rice, 2007), a member of the U.S. Olympic team will compete in the women's long jump finals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics this evening at 6:20 p.m. (Central). She will be the third long jumper in the start list.

She qualified for the finals of the women's long jump at the 2008 Beijing Olympics by posting a jump of 6.61m (21-8.25) on her third and final attempt.

During qualifications, she posted a mark of 6.42 (21-0.75) on her first attempt and then she jumped 6.28 (20-7.25) on her second attempt.

All three U.S. women's long jumpers are in the finals. Brittney Reese posted the night's longest mark at 6.87 (22-6.5), while Grace Upshaw jumped 6.68 (21-11). There were 42 competitors in the women's long jump competition at the 2008 Olympics.

A graduate of Dulles High School in Sugar Land, Texas, Jimoh became the first Rice women's track and field athlete to make a U.S. squad when she jumped 6.72m/22-0.75 in front of a crowd of over 20,000 fans at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. Former Rice shot put champion Regina Cavanaugh was an alternate on both the 1984 and 1988 teams.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

2008 University of Houston Soccer Team Season Preview

HOUSTON, TEXAS (August 20, 2008) The 2008 University of Houston soccer team enters the upcoming season with high hopes and appears poised for a breakout season in Conference USA.Coming off a challenging 4-12-2 season that saw its share of struggles, one might expect the Cougars to face the upcoming season with a sense of uncertainty or reservation.

But second-year head coach Susan Bush has brought in a talented crop of exciting, young players as she continues to build what could become a powerhouse program for years to come in C-USA.

"My goal is simple," Bush said. "I want to create a positive and winning atmosphere at UH where our players continually improve their abilities on and off the field.

"The University's campus, facilities and personnel are among the best in the nation. There's no reason why this program should not compete on a national level.

"We have added depth, speed and athleticism for the 2008 campaign. We have a good mix with nine returning starters and eight returning players who could all make an immediate impact this year."

Bush looks forward to the 2008 campaign with great optimism, knowing her team will outwork their opponents each game day.

"This season, our fundamental goal is to play as a unit and outwork our opponents," Bush said. "This style of play is about mentality and a willingness to do whatever it takes to get a result."

The Defensive Third

Senior captain goalkeeper Shelby Scott returns to anchor the Cougars' defense. Scott has great reactions in goal and is a great shot stopper.

Last season, Scott posted 122 saves as she went on to break the school's all-time record with 225 career saves. Scott also tied the program's record with eight clean sheets after posting four shutouts a year ago.

Freshman Lauren Frazier will likely be the team's backup in goal. She is athletic, fearless and is excellent with her feet.

The defensive backline for Houston will be highlighted by junior Stephanie Beyelia, sophomore Jessica Rathweg and sophomore Brittany Cannon.

The trio helped lead the Cougars to four shutouts last season, including an impressive outing in which they held the mighty LSU Tigers scoreless at Robertson Stadium.

Joining them in the back are senior Maegan Kiphart and freshmen Ashlee Briggerman and Stephanie Derieg.

Kiphart is a composed distributor of the ball and has the defensive presence to win the 50/50 balls. Briggerman and Derieg are both versatile defenders who aren't afraid to move up on the attack.

The Midfield

In what appears to be one of the strengths of the club, the Cougars should have a very dynamic midfield with great speed, capable of helping lead the team's offensive attack.

Christine Nieva, Islara Rodriguez and Nikki Echeverria will form the heart of this unit and will look to be more aggressive on the attack.

All three are crafty players who handle the ball with great precision. Their speed and vision on the field will help launch counter-attacks and set up the forwards in front of the goal.

Junior transfer Kaitlin Thulin will provide an instant offensive spark to the lineup. Expect much of the Cougar offense to go through Thulin, whether she plays in the midfield or up top at forward.

Fellow freshmen Ryan Bruz and Riley Canfield will provide some much needed depth
to the midfield with their playmaking abilities.

The Forwards

Sophomore Lauri Byrne returns up front for the Cougars. Byrne is a dynamic offensive player and, with the addition of offensively minded players around her, should be on the brink of a breakout season.

A year ago Byrne led UH in assists, total scoring and shots taken, while tying for the club lead in goals scored, earning a spot on the C-USA All-Freshman Team.

Joining Byrne up top will be freshman Jessica Zavalza. Zavalza should add speed and athleticism to the front line. She is a crafty striker who has a knack for finding a way to put the ball in the net.

Look for Zavalza to challenge for the team lead in scoring this year.Senior Lynn Baker also will challenge for playing time at forward. A goalkeeper her first two seasons at UH, Baker moved into the field last year.

Baker is a strong player who has the size to be a target in front of the goal on set pieces.

Fellow senior Brittney Pfeiffer will also see time at forward. She has great size to win 50-50 balls and brings a hard working mentality to the lineup.

The Schedule

The Cougars open their 2008 season at home against UTSA on Aug. 22 at Robertson Stadium.

From there they head to Sam Houston State on Aug. 29 before returning home to face Stephen F. Austin at the Carl Lewis International Track Complex on Aug. 31.

Houston then faces Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 5 before embarking on a tough four-game road trip where they face Texas, LSU, Texas State and Baylor.

UH returns home to open conference play when they take on Marshal and East Carolina on Sept. 26 and Sept. 28, respectively. They then face Tulsa and SMU the next weekend before leaving on the team's second four-game road swing.

The Cougars face Memphis, UAB, Southern Miss and UCF before returning to Robertson Stadium to square off against UTEP on Nov. 24.

Houston travels to face Colorado College for its last road game of the season before coming home to face crosstown rival Rice in the season finale on Nov. 31.

The C-USA Championship will be held just across town at the Rice Soccer Stadium on Nov. 5 to Nov. 9.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

2008 University of Houston Soccer Team Season Preview

HOUSTON, TEXAS (August 19, 2008) The 2008 University of Houston soccer team enters the upcoming season with high hopes and appears poised for a breakout season in Conference USA.Coming off a challenging 4-12-2 season that saw its share of struggles, one might expect the Cougars to face the upcoming season with a sense of uncertainty or reservation.

But second-year head coach Susan Bush has brought in a talented crop of exciting, young players as she continues to build what could become a powerhouse program for years to come in C-USA.

"My goal is simple," Bush said. "I want to create a positive and winning atmosphere at UH where our players continually improve their abilities on and off the field.

"The University's campus, facilities and personnel are among the best in the nation. There's no reason why this program should not compete on a national level.

"We have added depth, speed and athleticism for the 2008 campaign. We have a good mix with nine returning starters and eight returning players who could all make an immediate impact this year."

Bush looks forward to the 2008 campaign with great optimism, knowing her team will outwork their opponents each game day.

"This season, our fundamental goal is to play as a unit and outwork our opponents," Bush said. "This style of play is about mentality and a willingness to do whatever it takes to get a result."

The Defensive Third

Senior captain goalkeeper Shelby Scott returns to anchor the Cougars' defense. Scott has great reactions in goal and is a great shot stopper.

Last season, Scott posted 122 saves as she went on to break the school's all-time record with 225 career saves. Scott also tied the program's record with eight clean sheets after posting four shutouts a year ago.

Freshman Lauren Frazier will likely be the team's backup in goal. She is athletic, fearless and is excellent with her feet.

The defensive backline for Houston will be highlighted by junior Stephanie Beyelia, sophomore Jessica Rathweg and sophomore Brittany Cannon.

The trio helped lead the Cougars to four shutouts last season, including an impressive outing in which they held the mighty LSU Tigers scoreless at Robertson Stadium.

Joining them in the back are senior Maegan Kiphart and freshmen Ashlee Briggerman and Stephanie Derieg.

Kiphart is a composed distributor of the ball and has the defensive presence to win the 50/50 balls. Briggerman and Derieg are both versatile defenders who aren't afraid to move up on the attack.

The Midfield

In what appears to be one of the strengths of the club, the Cougars should have a very dynamic midfield with great speed, capable of helping lead the team's offensive attack.

Christine Nieva, Islara Rodriguez and Nikki Echeverria will form the heart of this unit and will look to be more aggressive on the attack.

All three are crafty players who handle the ball with great precision. Their speed and vision on the field will help launch counter-attacks and set up the forwards in front of the goal.

Junior transfer Kaitlin Thulin will provide an instant offensive spark to the lineup. Expect much of the Cougar offense to go through Thulin, whether she plays in the midfield or up top at forward.

Fellow freshmen Ryan Bruz and Riley Canfield will provide some much needed depth to the midfield with their playmaking abilities.

The Forwards

Sophomore Lauri Byrne returns up front for the Cougars. Byrne is a dynamic offensive player and, with the addition of offensively minded players around her, should be on the brink of a breakout season.

A year ago Byrne led UH in assists, total scoring and shots taken, while tying for the club lead in goals scored, earning a spot on the C-USA All-Freshman Team.

Joining Byrne up top will be freshman Jessica Zavalza. Zavalza should add speed and athleticism to the front line. She is a crafty striker who has a knack for finding a way to put the ball in the net.

Look for Zavalza to challenge for the team lead in scoring this year.Senior Lynn Baker also will challenge for playing time at forward. A goalkeeper her first two seasons at UH, Baker moved into the field last year.

Baker is a strong player who has the size to be a target in front of the goal on set pieces.

Fellow senior Brittney Pfeiffer will also see time at forward. She has great size to win 50-50 balls and brings a hard working mentality to the lineup.

The Schedule

The Cougars open their 2008 season at home against UTSA on Aug. 22 at Robertson
Stadium.

From there they head to Sam Houston State on Aug. 29 before returning home to face Stephen F. Austin at the Carl Lewis International Track Complex on Aug. 31.

Houston then faces Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 5 before embarking on a tough four-game road trip where they face Texas, LSU, Texas State and Baylor.

UH returns home to open conference play when they take on Marshal and East Carolina on Sept. 26 and Sept. 28, respectively. They then face Tulsa and SMU the next weekend before leaving on the team's second four-game road swing.

The Cougars face Memphis, UAB, Southern Miss and UCF before returning to Robertson Stadium to square off against UTEP on Nov. 24.

Houston travels to face Colorado College for its last road game of the season before coming home to face crosstown rival Rice in the season finale on Nov. 31.

The C-USA Championship will be held just across town at the Rice Soccer Stadium on Nov. 5 to Nov. 9.

Monday, August 18, 2008

CharlieInBeijing: August 18, 2008

BEIJING, CHINA (August 18, 2008) Today, CharlieInBeijing has a slide show, taking you to a park north of the Forbidden City where the bird cages are found.


Rice's Jimoh Long Jumps at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

BEIJING, CHINA (August 18, 2008) Former Rice Owl All-America track and field athlete Funmi Jimoh (Rice, 2007), a member of the U.S. Olympic team, begins competition Monday evening in the women's long jump at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in Beijing, China.

Jimoh has the fifth-best long jump mark in the world for 2008 at 6.91m (22-8).

Jimoh will jump sixth in Group A starting at 8:40 p.m. (Central). Her coach Jim Bevan, Rice University head women's track and field coach, accompanies her.

There are 21 competitors in Group A and in Group B and each will get three attempts to place in the top 12. The top 12 performers will then advance to the semi-finals on Aug. 22 with the top eight advancing to the finals that same day.

A graduate of Dulles High School in Sugar Land, Texas, Jimoh became the first Rice women's track and field athlete to make a U.S. squad when she jumped 6.72m/22-0.75 in front of a crowd of over 20,000 fans at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. Former Rice shot put champion Regina Cavanaugh was an alternate on both the 1984 and 1988 teams.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Continental Baseball League’s Championship Week Begins In Texarkana August 18-20

TEXARKANA, TEXAS (August 17, 2008) In a season which found all four teams in the Continental Baseball League spending time in first place during the regular season, it now comes down to the one-week playoff session to determine which team will win the coveted Ferguson Jenkins CBL Championship trophy.

The first round of the playoffs begins Monday night in Texarkana, a best 2-out-of-3 series between the host Gunslingers and the Corpus Christi Beach Dawgs, the league’s first half champion. The winner of this series advances to the league title series in Texas City to face the Bay Area Toros, which clinched a first round bye by virtue of having the best overall season record. The title series, also a best 2-out-of-3 set, will be played at Robinson Stadium in Texas City beginning on Friday night, August 22, and continuing Saturday evening and Sunday evening, if necessary.

Last season’s inaugural winner, the McKinney Blue Thunder, won’t be involved in the playoffs this time around. The team which relocated from Tarrant County to McKinney finished in fourth place during the regular 72-game season despite spending time in first place during the opening weeks of the campaign. Texarkana, which got off to starts of 0-6 and 2-9, rebounded well after Chris McKnight took over for manager Steve Trout in early June. The Gunslingers rode the offense of CBL batting leader Anthony Edwards during June, July and August. Edwards also led the CBL in RBI, runs, hits, triples and total bases.

At one point in late July, the Gunslingers had the best overall record in the league until a late season burst by the Bay Area Toros, winners of 12 of 13 games during one stretch during the past two weeks, allowed the Toros to clinch the best mark overall and a first round bye.

Despite finishing in third place after winning the first half title, Corpus Christi played well against the Gunslingers, finishing with a 14-8 mark in head-to-head competition, including a 7-5 record at George Dobson Field in Texarkana. The Gunslingers, however, did fare well overall at home, posting a 23-14 mark heading into Sunday night’s final regular season game. Texarkana also led the league in home attendance and is expected to have a good turnout for the first round playoff competition.

“This has been an exciting season in the CBL and the league was very well-balanced in that all four of our teams were in first place at some point during the summer,” said CBL league operations director Bob Ibach, who along with CBL commissioner Ron Baron started the independent league in 2007. “Last year we had a team like Bay Area which had a horrible start, yet finished strong and made it into the championship game against the Blue Thunder before they lost.

“Manager Jim Bolt and general manager Mike Pede of the Toros are to be commended for taking that franchise to another level this season, and for an exciting and strong stretch run in late July and August to finish on top and earn a bye into the championship series which they’ll host.”

The CBL is looking to add two, and perhaps four, new franchises for the 2009 season. Baron was extremely pleased by the progress made by Bay Area in its second season, and the warm enthusiasm displayed in Texarkana under the ownership of Frank Snyder. Texarkana had been without professional baseball since 1954 until the Gunslingers began playing in that city in May.

“Frank has done a first class job in promoting baseball in Texarkana, and we’re very encouraged by the response from fans in that city. After a bumpy start on the field, the Gunslingers have turned it around,” noted Baron. “It’s gonna be a fun series to watch this week with the Beach Dawgs because those two teams have gone at it pretty hard all season.”

Hall of Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins, who starred several years with the Texas Rangers and was inducted into Cooperstown in 1991 after a 284-win career, lent his name to the CBL Trophy and the league is honored by that association.

“We’re proud to have Fergie associated with our league trophy and with our independent league,” said Ibach, a former front office member of the Chicago Cubs who was with that franchise at the close of Jenkins’ career. “Fergie has always been a first class act, and he has spent a lot of his time during the past 25 years helping out youngsters through the Fergie Jenkins Foundation that he has established.

“I know he’s probably thrilled to see how our league this season has evolved into a pitcher’s league, quite a reversal from our inaugural year in 2007 when the hitters seemed to rule.”

Jenkins, born in Canada, was recognized by his native country in 2007 with the Order of Canada Award. Jenkins played for the Texas Rangers in 1974-75 and again from 1978-1981. He began his career with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1965-66, and then played for the Chicago Cubs from 1966-1973 and again in his final two seasons in the big leagues from 1982-83. He also pitched for the Boston Red Sox in 1976-77.

“Having Fergie Jenkins’ name associated with our league trophy really adds prestige and stature to our championship series,” said Baron. “Whatever team wins the title, that team will forever linked to one of the greatest pitchers in major league baseball history.”

For more information on the Continental Baseball League, visit the league’s website at www.CBLproball.com

Ferguson Jenkins Continental Baseball League
2008 Championship Series

Schedule of Games

First Round (best 2 of 3) at George Dobson Field, Texarkana

Monday, August 18: 7:05 p.m. Corpus Christi at Texarkana
Tuesday, August 19: 7:05 p.m. Corpus Christi at Texarkana
Wednesday, August 20: 7:05 p.m. Corpus Christi at Texarkana (if necessary)

Championship Series (best 2 of 3) at Robinson Stadium, Texas City

Friday, August 22: 6:35 p.m. winner of first round at Bay Area Toros
Saturday, August 23: 6:35 p.m. winner of first round at Bay Area Toros
Sunday, August 24: 6:35 p.m. winner of first round at Bay Area Toros (if necessary)

Previous CBL Champions:
2007: Tarrant County Blue Thunder (manager, Curtis Wilkerson)


Two U.S. Diver Advance to Finals in Beijing

By Olivia Dodson
Copyright 2008 TexSport Publications

BEIJING, CHINA (August 17, 2008) Conroe, Texas' Nancilea Foster and Christina Loukas of Riverwoods, Illinois advanced to today's final in the women's 3m springboard as a result of the semi-final competition which was held Saturday evening at the National Aquatics Center.

Foster was fourth with a score of 338.90, 59.65 points behind the leader, Guo Jingjing of China. Loukas was seventh with a 329.00.

Julia Pakhalina of Russia, who trains at the University of Houston under coach Jane Figueiredo was second with a 383.50, while China's Wu Minxia was third at 345.30.

The finals are scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Sunday evening, August 17.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

CharlieInBeijing: August 16, 2008

BEIJING, CHINA (August 16, 2008) In this video, CharlieInBieijing and Mooch Maus, a reporter for the Mouse Olympic Network (MON) reports live from the Olympic green with a clip from the Olympic McDonald's and one of the 100 meter finals.

Light Flyweight Luis Yanez Eliminated from 2008 Olympic Games

BEIJING, CHINA (August 16, 2008) Light flyweight Luis Yanez of Duncanville, Texas was eliminated from the 2008 Olympic Games on Saturday at the Workers Indoor Arena in Beijing, China, falling to Mongolia’s Serdamba Purevdorj in an 8-7 nail biter.

Yanez opened the bout with a commitment to his jab, popping it in Purevdorj’s face in an attempt to keep the Mongolian from coming in. Despite the active jab, both boxers remained relatively cautious, not wanting to give their opponent an opening. Yanez scored the first blow, but trailed by a 3-2 margin after two minutes of action. He was held scoreless in the second round, while Purevdorj added one scoring blow to his slim margin. Yanez came out firing in the third, throwing a furious flurry in the opening minute of the round to take a 6-5 lead. Yet Purevdorj evened the score before the round ended and the two boxers went into the final round deadlocked at six. The two boxers exchanged ties and leads during the fourth round before Purevdorj moved out to a two-point lead in the final minute. Yanez pressed the Mongolian, looking to regain his advantage, and he pulled with one late in the round, but he couldn’t even up the score and lost the 8-7 final decision.

“This is most tournament of my life. Before I came up here, I talked to my dad and he told me just go in there and do everything you can, and that I’m in his heart and I feel like I let him down,” Yanez said. “I went in there and gave it my all, and I think I should have won this fight. It was definitely an experience. I’m facing the top guys in the world. The best guys in the world, and I want to give a big thanks to God because if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be in this position today.”

“We had a game plan going into the bout. We wanted him to box, but the main thing we wanted him to do was to get up early and get up first,” Olympic Head Coach Dan Campbell said. “We wanted him to engage early. We knew he had faster hands and more power. We wanted him to engage the guy and get up by three and make the guy have to come to him.”

The loss eliminates Yanez from the Olympic Games and leaves only two U.S. boxers remaining in the tournament. Welterweight Demetrius Andrade (Providence, R.I.) and heavyweight Deontay Wilder (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) will kick off quarterfinal competition on Sunday at the Workers Indoor Arena. 2007 World Champion Andrade, who already boasts two victories at the Olympic Games will face Korea’s Jung Joo Kim at approximately 8:45 p.m. Wilder will compete in his second bout of the tournament on Sunday as well, battling Morocco’s Mohammed Arjaoui at 9:30 p.m. As there are less heavyweights in the Olympics, Wilder only had to win once to advance on to the quarterfinals. A victory in Sunday’s competition guarantees each boxer a spot in the medal rounds.

Luis Yanez Quotes

“I think I should have won the 8-7 draw. In the first two rounds, I was just trying to keep it close. That way in the last round, I will be up. In that third round, I came out firing, I thought I was maybe up by two, but they said they had it tied up. In that last round, I went in there hands up; I knew I leaned in with the straight left and he caught me with the straight hook. I give him that. I think I got him with two more punches and it should have been an 8-7 win for me.”

“He (his father) said he was going to be awake and he told me to call him as soon as I’m done. He’s having a lot of prayers around me. He’s my motivation for everything, he plays a big role. He and my coach Dennis Rodarte and Hector Beltran; all three of them are in my heart. I don’t think I could have done anything better out there.”

“Dennis just told me to go out there, have fun and be the Latin Legend that I am. I went in there, I had fun. I didn’t get tired in there. I went in there and did what I had to do.”

“They were trying to tell me to go at him, go at him, go at him. I’m not that fighter to just go out there and throw punches. If I do that, I’m going to get caught with shots and I want to go out there, play it smart and keep my hands up. I wanted to make the fight close. I went in there the last round, I know I should have the last round. That’s the way the judges see it and you can’t overrule the judges.”

“That’s the way my coach always taught me to do, everything off the jab. Throw the jab, make him throw and counter right back with the 2-3-2. Like I said, I went in there, I had my coach and everybody in my heart. When they see this fight, I know they will think I should have won this fight. I have no doubt that I shouldn’t have lost this fight.”

“That’s a big word, it’s over. I can’t consider anything being over. I’m going to go back home with my family. My little brother and sister and especially my dad are there. I don’t know how I’m going to deal with talking to him yet. I know he was really nervous before when I talked to him. I know I could have medaled. I know I could have gotten in the ring with Zou and beat him, but if I can’t beat the opponent in front of me.”

“I love you Dad, I love you Dennis and I love you Hector.”

“My teammates said that they weren’t playing it fair. A lot of World Champions have been getting beat in this tournament and that’s a big disappointment to a lot of people. I wanted to be the disappointment to Zou Shiming. I went in there and gave it my all. I did what I had to do and I guess that’s what the judges saw.”

“Dan told me that I had to throw. I felt like I was up and they told me I was down so I went in there with my hands up and obviously he was running. I went there and I couldn’t get that last point.”

“I just want to go back to my family right now.”

Dan Campbell Quotes

“He started playing the waiting game from the beginning, which we didn’t understand. We were yelling to him in between rounds. We asked him several things – to engage this guy, he has faster hands and to get his hands up. He’d throw half a punch and pull straight back. The main thing was the when he did throw a punch, he was pulling back with his hands down and those were the things that caused him problems.”

“He’s actually a very aggressive boxer until tonight. One of the things that has always helped Luis is his aggression. He didn’t exhibit that. Tonight he decided to stand back and wait and it cost him. He’s always been an aggressive fighter and that’s how he has won in the past.”

“I saw several things and I called back to my technical advisor and asked what he saw. Number one, most of those jabs weren’t landing and so they didn’t give him credit for it. I did see him throw a punch in the third round, catch the guy squarely and the other guy got a point. It is just a carryover of what’s been happening with the officiating. Lack of execution on the part of our boxers, particularly tonight, cost him the bout.”

“When guys start feeling like they are going to get robbed anyway, they revert to a safe way of boxing and to wait seems safe. Even though, they might have the better hand speed and more power, to them, it’s safer to wait because that way they can’t get hit.”

Friday, August 15, 2008

CharlieInBeijing: August 15, 2008

BEIJING, CHINA (August 15, 2008) In this video, CharlieInBieijing takes a ride around the Forbidden City and visit a hutong that is trying to hang on to its remaining bricks.