Bush calls Phelps to congratulate (Olympic side-lights)

August 18th, 2008 - 5:23 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Rafael Nadal

Beijing, Aug 18 (IANS) Michael Phelps’ eight Olympic gold medals record earned him a call from US President George W. Bush. Bush telephoned Phelps Sunday and told the American swimming sensation: “if you can handle eight gold medals, you can handle anything.”

“Laura and I are proud of you. Our family is proud of you, but most importantly, America is proud of you,” Bush, who was on his Texas ranch, was quoted as saying in China Daily.

“We’re excited for you. You handled yourself with humility. Give your mom a big hug for me,” Bush said.

Phelps, competing in his third Olympics, took his total of Olympic titles to a record 14, including six from Athens 2004, where he also claimed two bronze.


Staying in the Olympic village helped: Nadal

Rafael Nadal, who won the first Olympic gold medal in tennis for his country, said his stay at the Olympic Village helped him accomplish the feat Sunday.

According to reports, the Spaniard told the press that during his stay at the village he was constantly backed by the Spanish athletes that goaded him to put his best show in the event.

“Spanish athletes cheered me up every day. It has not been as it is usually, in a hotel. All of them have helped me a lot, although they don’t know it. Thanks to them I have a medal,” he said.

Nadal defeated Chilean Fernando Gonzalez 6-3, 7-6 (2) and 6-3 at the men’s singles tennis final.

This is the 11th Olympic tennis medal for Spain, but it is the country’s first gold.


Beijing police catch 221 Olympic ticket touts

Police here have caught 221 illegal ticket brokers and 569 tickets for the ongoing Olympic Games, after a crackdown on the illegal business.

Among them, 71 people have been arrested by the police. Others were released after being given warnings, the Beijing police was quoted as saying in China Daily.

A total of 31 foreigners were found involved in the illegal business, among whom three were detained, and 14 people’s visa duration in China were shortened.

All confiscated tickets would be held as evidence of the cases, the police said.

Beijing police launched crackdowns on ticket scalping near various Olympic venues and subway stations Friday and Saturday, amid the boom of the illegal business as sports enthusiasts have been frantically looking for tickets since the Games opened Aug 8.

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