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Jamaica, Afghanistan and Host China Score Olympic Medals Wednesday


Jamaican runners had another impressive day at the track in Beijing, as they continued to dominate the short sprint events. VOA's Jim Stevenson has more on Wednesday's Olympic results, highlighted by a new master of speed.

Usain Bolt left no doubt that he is the world's fastest man. After easily winning the 100-meter race on Saturday, Bolt again pulled away from the pack in his specialty at 200-meters. Along with another gold medal, Bolt now has the world record of 19.30 seconds and says it is a great win for Jamaica.

"It means a lot to me. And I know it means a lot to the country also because I talked to the prime minister. And he told me every inch in Jamaica is blocked off pretty much. Everybody is in the streets. It means a lot to me. I have written history. So I am happy with myself. I am really proud," he said.

Two disqualifications put Americans Shawn Crawford and Walter Dix onto the medal podium with the silver and bronze respectively.

Another Jamaican, Melanie Walker, was the winner of the women's 400-meter hurdles with an Olympic record of 52.64. Walker says all of the Jamaican runners are a close group.

"We all practice together. So we know who will perform well. But it is at the time when you are supposed to do it, hopefully some people will hold it together and do it. Because they are all good," she said.

Aksana Miankova of Belarus took home gold in women's hammer throw. Miankova says she was originally picked for a completely different sport.

"I was selected for rowing. But when I arrived to the rowing venue and I saw the ice, and I saw the rowers who were rowing in the ice, and well, I did not like it. And then my coach offered me to throw hammer. And I agreed because I like to throw hammer," she said.

Guillermo Perez of Mexico won the gold medal in the 53-kilo weight class of taekwondo, giving Yulis Gabriel Mercedes of the Dominican Republic the silver. Rohullan Nikpai took the bronze to give Afghanistan its first ever Olympic medal. And he did it by defeating world champion Juan Antonio Ramos of Spain. The women's 49-kilo division went to Wu Jingyu of China.

Yin Jian won China's first ever sailing gold medal while New Zealand also finished in front in a men's race.

Wrestling golds went to Turkey and Russia. The Russians also topped the competition in the duet free routine final of synchronized swimming. In the open water, Brazilian Ana Cunha was the first to complete the long 10-kilometer swim.

Elsewhere in men's basketball, American Kobe Bryant scored 25 points to lead five Americans in double figures as the United States scored a 116-85 quarterfinal win over Australia.

Host China has 45 gold medals overall along with 14 silver and 20 bronze to easily top the standings. The United States follows with 26 gold while Britain has 16.

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