The News -
as recorded by someone who has little or no interest in what is going on in the outside world....
Sunday, 10 August 2008
U.S. Swimmer Michael Phelps demolished his own world record to take a first gold on Sunday in the quest for an unprecedented eight wins. Listening to hip-hop on headphones as he walked to the block, Phelps went on to win the 400 metres individual medley at China's futuristic and full-to-capacity Water Cube. His time was 1.41 seconds quicker than a previous best he set just six weeks ago.
After the first race of a thrilling morning at the pool, Phelps raised his arms to celebrate triumph in what he calls his weakest event. He was watched by President George Bush and cheered by flag-waving compatriots and thousands of Chinese. Even if the lanky 23-year-old with the perfect swimming physique wins only half his eight race competitions, he will hold more Olympic gold medals than any other athlete. But he looks in great shape to match his own six golds at Athens 2004 then maybe go one further than Mark Spitz's 1972 record of seven wins at one Games.
After Phelps thrilled the Water Cube, Australia's Stephanie Rice followed suit to smash the world record and win the same 400m individual medley event for women.
Park Tae-hwan won the men's 400m freestyle to give South Korea a second gold while Zhang Lin became the first Chinese man to win an Olympic swimming medal when he grabbed the silver. With 14 golds being awarded on Sunday, the hosts were well-placed to add to their first-day tally of two, with favourites in shooting, fencing, judo and diving.
Chinese diving queen Guo Jingjing, the supermodel and local airhead, steps up to the springboard to defend her 3-metre synchronized title. China dominates world diving and has a reasonable chance of winning all eight golds in the discipline. Chinese fans are also focused on Sunday's basketball blockbuster between the hosts, led by 7ft 6in NBA player Yao Ming, against a star-studded United States still smarting from their bronze in Athens 2004. It could be the most-viewed sporting contest ever in China.
Women cyclists face a tough but shorter road race on the same route between Beijing's Forbidden City and the Great Wall that the men had on Saturday. A third of the men withdrew from their race, blaming suffocating heat, humidity and pollution. The agonies endured by the men's cyclists bode ill for other endurance athletes, such as marathon runners.
This is a cheat's blog; a coward's blog. I have taken the conscious decision that it will not be about a world in chaos. The real news which has an impact on the lives of millions is that in which the Four Horsemen appear - war, famine, conquest and death - or in which the Gods have taken it upon themselves to punish folk through natural disasters and disease.... I shall leave such headlines to the BBC and Sky News. Not all my posts will be positive by any means but I readily acknowledge that I have made no attempt to give a balanced view of the news that is genuinely important in this world.
Thanks for stopping by! Would you like a cup of tea or coffee? And please, sit for a spell. If you enjoy my posts, please feel free to follow me or subscribe to my blog. This is a word verification free, family friendly blog, so everything I share here is for all ages. I am a happily married man in my late sixties who lives on the Wirral peninsula, near Liverpool, in the UK.
I'm a blogger - and nowadays that seems to be my main occupation. Rambles from My Chair is my main blog. I’m a retired local government executive - now studying how to survive a neurological disorder that gives me various problems but, hopefully, a whole new outlook on life and an increased sense of humour and perspective. There is a saying in Sweden "man måste vara frisk för att orka vara sjuk" ~ "you have to be well to cope with being ill"....
I enjoy most forms of communication and postcards are a special favourite. I used to blog as Scriptor Senex which is Latin for Old Writer but now Google only lets me post as John Edwards.
“He’s not so old. He’s just the age that he is, that’s all.” (Gerald Hammond)