Olympic Results 2012: Most Impressive Performances in the Early Events
Day 1 of the 2012 London Olympics is underway, and the day’s early events provided everything a sports fan could want.
People in the United States had to be up before the sun to catch some of the action, but those who managed to haul themselves out of bed were treated to thrilling upsets and impressive showings.
The games should only become more exciting as they progress. If that holds true, the world is in for a fantastic couple of weeks.
Here are the athletes and teams that stood out in the early hours today.
Anastasia Vasina and Anna Vozakova, Russia, Beach Volleyball
Vasina and Vozakova were not expected to be much of a factor in the women’s beach volleyball tournament, but their opening-round opponents certainly had lofty goals.
The Russians faced the world’s top-ranked team, Zhang Xi and Xue Chen from China.
The match started off as planned for the Chinese team, although the Russians were unexpectedly spry, and the favorites took the early advantage by winning the first set 21-18.
Then the underdogs became the aggressors and shocked the Chinese by taking dominating the second set by a score of 21-14.
They used the momentum gained from the middle stanza to finish off the incredible upset with a 16-14 victory in the abbreviated final set. This will surely be the most shocking result of the day.
Mingjuan Wang, China, Weightlifting
Wang came to London as the dominant weightlifter in the 48 kilogram (106 pounds) weight class. However, she had never won a gold medal at the Olympics after missing the previous two games due to injury.
She lifted 91 kilograms (200 pounds) in the snatch, which was the best lift from the position. Then she solidified her winning effort with a 114 kilogram (251 pounds) mark in the clean and jerk.
A 4’11”, 106-pound person lifting 251 pounds is mind-boggling. This is an impressive accomplishment regardless of the circumstances, but Wang’s performance won her a gold medal, making it truly remarkable.
Her success is well-deserved and long overdue.
Alexander Vinokourov, Kazakhstan, Cycling
Which performance was the most impressive?
Vinokourov took the gold medal in the men’s cycling road race after beating out beating out Columbia’s Rigoberto Uran in the final sprint.
The two men separated from the rest of the field, but Vinokourov’s last push was too much for Uran.
The 38-year-old Kazakh was once of one of the world’s top riders, but a two-year doping ban caused an early retirement. He decided to return to competition a few years later and now claims that he will call it quits after his latest accomplishment, according to NBCOlympics.com.
It been a bumpy road for Vinokourov, but he earned the right to finish his career on top.
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