Phelps equals Spitz’s record, rowing double for Australia (Lead)

August 16th, 2008 - 8:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 16 (DPA) Michael Phelps Saturday equalled Mark Spitz’s record of seven gold medals at one Olympics as he took the men’s 100-metre butterfly at the Beijing Games. Zimbabwean Kirsty Coventry and Britain’s Rebecca Adlington, both won golds in world record times and Cesar Cielo took a first-ever swimming gold medal for Brazil.

Australia claimed two rowing golds and there were also rowing victories for Britain, New Zealand, Romania, Norway and Bulgaria on day eight in Beijing.

On the second day of athletics, Valeriy Borchin won the men’s 20 kilometres race walk gold medal for Russia.

Further golds will come later in the day in the women’s shot put, heptathlon and the eagerly-awaited men’s 100 metres final.

There was another doping case when Bulgarian middle-distance runner Daniela Yordanova tested positive for the steroid testosterone.

Yordanova, who submitted the sample at a random test on June 13, faces a two-year-ban. The 32-year-old runner had been due to fly to China Saturday.

The International Olympic Committee meanwhile stripped Sweden’s Ara Abrahamian of his bronze medal in wrestling for unsporting behaviour.

Abrahamian, who came third in the Greco-Roman 84kg class, threw his bronze medal onto the floor during the presentation ceremony in protest at losing his semi-final match. The bronze will not be awarded to anyone else.

Elsewhere, Oleksandr Petriv of Ukraine defeated triple Olympic champion Ralf Schumann to take gold in the men’s 25-metre rapid fire pistol while American Vincent Hancock claimed victory in the men’s skeet.

A cycling gold went to to Spain where Joan Llaneras won the men’s points race, beating Roger Kluge of Germany and Britain’s Chris Newton in the first of the days’s three cycling finals.

But once again it was Phelps in the Water Cube who grabbed the headlines with his most dramatic individual gold of these games.

He looked beaten at the turn when lying seventh but somehow he managed to win on the last stroke as he beat Serbian Milorad Cavic by just one hundredth of a second.

Phelps’ time of 50.58 was an Olympic record. Bronze went to Australian Andrew Lauterstein in 51.12.

The 23-year-old said: “When I took the last stroke I thought I lost the race there, but it turns out that was the difference.

Phelps has a chance of an eighth gold medal in the 4×100m medley relay on Sunday.

“It’s not over yet. I really think the Australian team looks great for the relay. It’s going to be a tough race,” he said.

Coventry finally won Olympic gold in Beijing after earlier picking up silvers in the women’s 100m backstroke, and the 200m and 400m individual medley.

The Zimbabwean won in a world record 2:05.24, beating previous record holder American Margaret Hoelzer by 0.99 seconds. The bronze went to Japan’s Reiko Nakamura in 2:07.12.

Cielo won a first-ever Olympic swimming gold medal for Brazil as he took the men’s 50m freestyle in 21.30.

Britain’s Adlington won her second gold as she smashed the oldest existing swimming world record to win the women’s 800m freestyle in 8:14.10 seconds, beating the record of 8:16.22 set by American Janet Evans in 1989.

The 41-year-old Dara Torres, meanwhile, could become the oldest-ever swimming gold medallist after qualifying for Sunday’s women’s 50m freestyle with the fastest time.

In athletics, Borchin won the men’s 20 kilometres race walk gold medal for Russia, holding off the three-time reigning world champion Jefferson Perez of Ecuador.

Borchin, 21, shook off Perez in the closing stages on a course in Beijing’s Olympic Green to win in hot and sunny conditions in 1 hour 19 minutes 1 second.

Perez trailed by 14 seconds in 1:19:15 hours and later collapsed in the mixed zone although he recovered shortly afterwards.

World champion Valerie Vili of New Zealand dominated shot qualifying with 19.73, and the 2005 worlds winner Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus also made it to the evening decider.

Natalia Dobrynska of Ukraine snatched the heptathlon lead into the final javelin and 800m events with a long jump of 6.63m for a five-event total of 5,045 points.

In the rowing finals, Australia won golds in the men’s pairs and men’s double sculls but were pipped to a third gold by Britain in the men’s fours

For Australian Drew Ginn, who was partnered by Duncan Free, it was the second consecutive gold in the men’s double sculls.

The day’s most exciting finish came in the women’s double sculls where New Zealand twins Georgina and Caroline Evers-Swindell won by one hundredeth of a second in a photo finish against the German pair of Ann-Katrin Thiele and Christiane Huth.

Elise Laverick and Anna Bebington of Britain finished strongly to take the bronze.

Romania won the women’s pairs when they beat China in a tight race. For Georgeta Andrunache, who was partnered by Viorica Susanu, it was the third consecutive gold in the women’s pairs.

Defending champion Olaf Tufte won a first gold for Norway at the Beijing Games when he took the men’s rowing single sculls title, while Rumyana Neykova won a first gold for Bulgaria in Beijing when she took the women’s single sculls title.

Wrestling golds went to Saori Yoshida of Japan in women’s 55kg freestyle and Carol Huynh of Canada in women’s 48kg freestyle women’s while the women’s badminton singles title went to Zhang Ning of China who defeated compatriot Xie Xingfang in the final.

China moved to 27 golds after 121 events in the medal table, with the US on 16 golds.

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