Thursday, August 21, 2008

Taeke Taekema blows it for Dutch!, Spain beat mighty Australia!

Men’s S-finals — Netherlands 1 Germany 1 (Germany win 4-3 on penalties); Spain 3 Australia2.
Classifications —Ninth-10th — Belgium 3 Canada 0, Seventh-Eighth: New Zealand 4 Pakistan 2.
BEIJING, Aug 21, 2008 (AFP) - Germany rode on a rare error by Dutch sharpshooter Taeke Taekema in the penalty shoot-out on Thursday to enter the Olympic men’s hockey final for the first time in 16 years.

The Germans beat the Netherlands 4-3 in the shoot-out after the European heavyweights were locked 1-1 at the end of extra-time in a tense semi-final at the Olympic Green Hockey stadium.
The shoot-out itself went into sudden death as both teams drew 3-3 after the first 10 strokes.
As Christopher Zeller made it 4-3 for Germany, Taekema, the tournament’s leading scorer with 10 goals, scooped straight and high to allow goalkeeper Max Weinhold to palm the ball over the goal post.
The Germans avenged their defeat against the Dutch in the Athens Games semi-final four years ago to make their first Olympic final since winning the gold medal at Barcelona in 1992.
In Saturday’s title clash, Germany will face the winner of Thursday’s other semi-final between defending champions Australia and Spain.
Germany should have sealed the match in the first session of extra-time when a high ball rebounded off the Dutch goalkeeper, but Philip Witte failed to connect in front of an open goal.
The rivals ended level in regulation time after a scrappy encounter sparked to life in the last four minutes.
Timme Hoyng put the Dutch ahead in the 66th minute when he diverted a penalty corner pass from Taekema into the goal.
Germany, who wasted their first penalty corner soon after, drew level two minutes before the final whistle when Philipp Zeller dived to deflect in Moritz Fuerste’s free hit.
Both sides shared the early exchanges, repeatedly raiding the rival goal, but could not convert the half chances that came their way.
Dutch veteran Teun de Nooijer and Germamn striker Florian Keller failed to give their sides the lead just before half-time when they broke through the rival defences but shot wide.
Christopher Keller wasted a similar opportunity early in the second session, his shot from the right just missing the Dutch goal.
The Netherlands earned the first penalty corner of the match in the 53rd minute, but Taekema’s high flick was warded off by the German defenders.

Singing in the Rain...

Misty May-Treanor (L) spikes.

(BEIJING, August 21) -- Today the American duo of Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor proved that they are the best-ever team in the history of the fledgling Olympic sport. By beating China's Wang Jie and Tian Jia in the final of the Women's Beach Volleyball competition, Walsh and May-Treanor won their second gold medal and remained undefeated in Olympic competition.

(BEIJING, August 21) -- Olga Kaniskina crossed the finish line to win Russia's first gold in Women's 20km Walk at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in 1 hour 26.31 minutes on August 21, breaking the previous Olympic record of 1 hour 29.05 minutes. "I haven't broken the world record because of the weather. I think my regular training is the most important factor contributing to my victory," said Kaniskina.