Not using one's best efforts to win a match. Few Americans know much about the sport of badminton, but that rule will likely be the subject of a lot of discussion over the next few days. Today, badminton officials at the London Olympics disqualified eight players for tanking. Women's doubles teams from South Korea, Indonesia and China drew boos yesterday when it looked like they deliberately lost preliminary matches to engineer more congenial match-ups later in the tournament.
Plenty To Smile About: Weightlifter Maiya Maneza of Kazakhstan celebrates on the podium with her new 400-gram gold medal, matching the feat of her compatriot Zulfiya Chinshanlo. The Kazakh Olympians will each receive a $250,000 bonus.
Weighing 400 grams, the Olympic gold medals that are being doled out at the London 2012 Summer Games are the heaviest ever, according to reports. But that doesn't mean they're the most valuable: at an estimated $620.82, they're nearly $590 short of the $1,207.86 value held by a gold medal from the Stockholm Games of 1912.
The discrepancy stems from the fact that the 2012 gold medals contain only 6 grams of gold; the rest is silver and copper. In fact, the London bling contains more copper than gold, which is only used to coat the medals with a plating layer.
The Badminton Eight: That's the media's new nickname for the Olympic athletes disqualified Wednesday in a match-fixing scandal at the London Games. They are, from top left: South Korea's Kim Ha Na, Ha Jung-Eun, Kim Min-Jung and Jung Kyung-Eun. Bottom: Indonesia's Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari, and China's Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang.
Eight Olympic badminton athletes have been thrown out of the London Games after being charged by the Badminton World Federation with "not using one's best efforts to win a match" — which is against the rules of the sport. Because even some journalists may have forgotten badminton's rules, it seemed time to take a fresh look.
British cyclist Bradley Wiggins has won the gold medal in the men's individual time trial event, beating Germany's Tony Martin by 42 seconds. He took 50 minutes and 39 seconds to cover the course of 49 kilometers (just under 30.5 miles).
Martin took silver, and the bronze went to Britain's Chris Froome, who played a vital support role as Wiggins' teammate in his Tour de France victory last month.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 10:32 am
Here's a sport you won't be seeing in London this year: Competitive eating. But if you're curious enough — and you can stomach it — you're likely to find an eating contest at your local fair or festival this summer.
Now eating contests are nothing new — they've been around since at least the 13th century, when a servant supposedly beat the Norse god Loki by eating his plate. But they've only become popular in the U.S. in the last hundred years or so.
Good morning. Things are hopping at the London Games, with 20 medal events today. And conversations are still buzzing about the scandal in Olympic badminton, over players intentionally throwing matches. Here are some highlights from this morning's news:
- The U.S. women's quadruple sculls team has won a bronze medal, ending a 28-year American medal drought in the sport. It's also only the second U.S. medal.
There are 20 medal events today — including the cycling women's time trial, which was won by American Kristin Armstrong. Here's a list of other highlights from Wednesday's action; you can also check out our full schedule. All times are EDT:
Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 1:41 pm
Kristin Armstrong has successfully defended her gold medal in the Olympic time trial, winning the race held in Surrey, England. Armstrong finished the 18-mile course in 37:34.82, nearly 16 seconds ahead of Judith Arndt of Germany, who won the silver.
Olga Zabelinskaya of Russia won bronze, seven seconds behind Arndt. American Amber Neben came in sixth, at 38:45.17. Britain's Elizabeth Armitstead, the silver medal winner in the road race, was tenth.
On a Wednesday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
At the London Olympics, the U.S. women's gymnastics team did what it was expected to do yesterday - and then some. The five Americans won the gold medal. It's the first time in 16 years that's happened for a U.S. women's team. And they did it in a big way - beating second place Russia by what team members called a huge margin. From London, NPR's Tom Goldman has the story.