Isinbayeva breaks world record

Beijing, August 18:

China reaped another four gold medals at the Beijing Olympics today, three in gymastics and the men’s team table tennis, while the USA won two in athletics and one in equestrian.

After a series of athletics setbacks here, the United States fortunes turned when Angelo Taylor led home Kerron Clement and Bershawn Jackson to sweep the 400m hurdles final and Stephanie Brown-Trafton won the women’s discus.

China head the medal table with 39 gold, four more than their previous best of 32 in Athens and well ahead of the USA on 22 and Britain on 12. But the star performance at the track belonged to reigning Olympic and world champion Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia who broke her own world record in the women’s pole vault. Isinbayeva cleared 5.05m, 1cm hi-gher than her own world record of 5.04m set in Monaco last month.

Brimin Kipruto continued Kenya’s dominance of the 3000m steeplechase, winning their seventh consecutive title, while Pamela Jelimo became the first Kenyan woman to win an Olympic track gold when she won the 800m. Jamaica’s Usain Bolt continued his quest for an elusive sprint double, cruising into the semi-finals of the men’s 200m in another effortless display of sprinting.

Australia won three gold medals on the day starting with the wo-men’s triathlon where triple world champion Emma Snowsill won by more than a minute from Vanessa Fernandes of Portugal. Australia also won both the men’s and women’s yachting 470 class.

Great Britain ended a 100-year drought in cycling’s team pursuit, racing away with the title for the first time since 1908 and smashing their own world record on the way in 3min 53.314sec.

In women’s football, Brazil came from a goal down to beat Germany 4-1 in the semi-final, avenging their defeat in last year’s World Cup final, and setting up a match against the United States who beat Japan 4-2.

Bista draws tough opponent

Kathmandu: Medal hopeful Nepali taekwondo player Deepak Bista was drawn against Iranian player Hadi Saei in the Welterweight category first-round bout at the Beijing Olympics.

At the draw ceremony today, Bista drew the two-time Olympian Hadi in the round of 16 bout slated for August 22. Hadi is the same opponent who defeated Bista

in the semi-finals of the WTF Asian Qualifying Tournament for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where the Nepali player was named the best fighter of the tournament.

Hadi went on to win the gold in Vietnam in November last year, while Bista bagged bronze beating a Syrian opponent to qualify for the Olympics. Bista, only the second Nepali player to qualify for the Olympics after Sangina Baidhya (2002 Athens), finished 17th in the World Championship in Beijing last year and was fifth in the Asian Championships in Zhengzhou earlier this year.

Hadi, the Featherweight gold medallist at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and bronze medallist at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, is the seven-time World champion. The Irani won the best player award by the international taekwondo body recently.

Hadi also won the Lightweight gold at the 2002 Busan Asian Games and bronze in the 2006 Doha Asiad. In Asian Championships, he bagged gold medal in 2006 in Bangkok and silver in 2002 in Amman.

If Bista wins the first-round match against Hadi, he will play the winner of the match between Honduras’ Miguel Ferrera Rodriguez China’s Guo Zhu in the quarter-finals. — HNS