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More Medals Awarded at Beijing Olympics


One day after China's disappointment of losing hurdles star Liu Xiang to an injury, the host nation has continued to find success in several other events at the Beijing Olympics. VOA's Jim Stevenson has highlights from Tuesday's competition.

He Chong added to the bulging total of gold medals for China by topping the three-meter springboard diving final. Three of four events on the final day of gymnastics were also claimed by Chinese athletes.

The other went to American gymnast Shawn Johnson, who was finally a winner in Beijing after three runner-up finishes. Johnson performed a sparkling routine on the balance beam. Teammate Nastia Liukin took silver, while Cheng Fei of China was third. With five podium finishes, Liukin tied the record for most medals won by a U.S. women's gymnast at a single Olympic Games.

The United States picked up an unexpected gold medal when Henry Cejudo won the men's 55-kilogram weight class of freestyle wrestling. He scored a 2-2 and 3-0 decision over Tomohiro Matsunaga of Japan, who had reached the final by upsetting Besik Kudukhov. Cejudo had been looking forward to facing the Russian defending champion.

"I would have liked to have had the Russian," said Henry Cejudo. "But the Japanese dominated him. So I like to dominate the person that got dominated. I am the dominator [laughter]."

Russia took the day's other wrestling title. Anna Tunnicliffe came from ninth place to win a sailing gold medal in the laser radial class at the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center. She finished with 37 net points to claim the first Olympic medal awarded in the class.

Russian Andrey Silnov says he had some help clearing the bar set at 2.36 meters to win the men's high jump event.

"I was a little bit excited," said Andrey Silnov. "And that is why I had to consult with a coach after every attempt. And they had to correct my jumps to a certain extent."

Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain outlasted the field in the men's 1,500 meter race (3:32.94). Ramzi says the race was a personal challenge because of jet lag.

"Here in Beijing, there is a time difference of seven hours," said Rashid Ramzi. "And, I have problems sleeping. And, right now, in my country, it is a totally different time. And, I have not been able to get used to the time difference."

American Dawn Harper emerged the surprise winner of the women's 100-meter hurdles (12.54 seconds) after race favorite and teammate LoLo Jones bumped the second-to-last hurdle and lost her speed. But Harper says she has always known she would finish on top one day.

"It is a dream of mine," said Dawn Harper. "So, I would not take that from myself and say that I could not or is it really possible. I had to stay focused and say, 'it is possible for me.' And say that If it did not happen today, I [still] was not going to give up on my dream. And for it to happen today is so surreal. It is amazing. To actually say that, and have the world say that, is amazing."

Christine Ohuruogu of Britain crossed the line first in the women's 400-meter sprint (49.62).

"I am very proud," said Christine Ohuruogu. "I am very proud that we got a medal for athletics. I think this is the first Olympic medal we have won for this sport. So, it is always very hard getting to a championship and having to go through the rounds. I am just proud that I kept my head up."

Gerd Kanter of Estonia was the men's discus champion (68.82 meters). Germany was golden in men's triathlon and weightlifting. Britain picked up a pair of track cycling gold medals, while Argentina won the Madison team race.

In other Olympic action, Brenda Villa scored three times, including the game winner with one minute remaining to give the U.S. women's water polo team a 9-8 semifinal victory over Australia. The Americans will play for gold on Thursday.

The women's beach volleyball duo of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh won their 12th straight Olympic match, getting past a Brazilian duo (Talita Antunes and Renata Ribeiro). The Americans will play for their second consecutive Olympic gold medal.

China continues to hold a comfortable lead in the medals standings. The host nation has 43 gold medals, 14 silver and 19 bronze. The United States is a distant second with 26 gold. Britain has 16.