Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Greatest Olympian of all Time!

Michael Phelps: 'Greatest Olympian of All Time!'

US swimmer Michael Phelps broke the record for Olympic gold medals won by taking his 10th and 11th in a double victory on Wednesday.

Phelps, 23, won his fourth gold of the Beijing Olympics and 10th of all time with victory in the 200m butterfly.

And he claimed yet another gold as part of the US 4x200m freestyle team.

Phelps has now surpassed the nine golds won by Paavo Nurmi, Carl Lewis, Mark Spitz and Larysa Latynina to cement his place in Olympic history.

He is also bidding to beat Spitz's record of seven gold medals in a single Olympic games and has moved to within three of that achievement.

The US star came a step closer to gold number six when he eased through to the semi-finals of the 200m individual medley, winning his heat in a time of one minute 58.65secs

He has the 100m butterfly and the 4x100m medley relay later in the week.

"There is still something left in the tank," he said. "I've got three races left, so there had better be something left in the tank."

Phelps began proceedings in the Water Cube on Wednesday in typical fashion, beating Hungary's Laszlo Cseh and Japan's Takeshi Matsuda in a world record time of 1:52.03 to claim 200m butterfly gold.

He looked slightly underwhelmed following the victory, despite the magnitude of his achievement, and revealed that a pair of leaky goggles almost scuppered his chances of glory.

But he battled on despite the fault to shave 0.06secs of his own 200m butterfly world record.

"My goggles kept filling up with water during the race," he said.

"I wanted a world record, I wanted 1:51 or better, but in the circumstances it's not too bad I guess."

And along with US team-mates Ryan Lochte, Ricky Berens and Peter Vanderkaay, Phelps later claimed relay gold in the 4x200m freestyle in another world record time of 6:58.56secs.

Russia took the silver and Australia the bronze, while Great Britain's four came in sixth.

"I'm pumped about our relay," said Phelps. "It's the most fun thing to be in a team environment and be part of a relay.

"It's cool when you get four Americans who all swim well together. Everyone has to play their part or it's just not going to happen.

"We've been lucky that we've been able to do that."

Phelps Diet

He eats a 12,000-calorie-a-day diet of pasta and pizza.
His message is basically: eat like a pregnant woman, and you’ll win Olympic gold.

Source: BBCnews

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Records Say Chinese Gymnasts May Be Under Age

China named its Olympic women’s gymnastics team on Friday, and the inclusion of at least two athletes has further raised questions, widespread in the sport, about whether the host nation for the Beijing Games is using under-age competitors.

Chinese officials responded immediately, providing The New York Times with copies of passports indicating that both athletes in question — He Kexin, a gold-medal favorite in the uneven parallel bars, and Jiang Yuyuan — are 16, the minimum age for Olympic eligibility since 1997.

Officials with the International Gymnastics Federation said that questions about He’s age had been raised by Chinese news media reports, USA Gymnastics and fans of the sport, but that Chinese authorities presented passport information to show that He is 16.
Online records listing Chinese gymnasts and their ages that were posted on official Web sites in China, along with ages given in the official Chinese news media, however, seem to contradict the passport information, indicating that He and Jiang may be as young as 14 — two years below the Olympic limit.

Mary Lou Retton, the Olympic all-around gymnastics champion at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, recently watched a competition video of He and other Chinese gymnasts on the uneven bars.
“The girls are so little, so young,” Retton said. Speaking of He, Retton rolled her eyes and laughed, saying, “They said she was 16, but I don’t know.”

An advantage for younger gymnasts is that they are lighter and, often, more fearless when they perform difficult maneuvers, said Nellie Kim, a five-time Olympic gold medalist for the former Soviet Union who is now the president of the women’s technical committee for the Swiss-based International Gymnastics Federation.

“It’s easier to do tricks,” Kim said. “And psychologically, I think they worry less.”
The women’s gymnastics competition at the Beijing Games, which begin Aug. 8, is expected to be a dramatic battle for the team gold medal between the United States and China. At the 2007 world championships, the Americans prevailed by 95-hundredths of a point.
On the uneven bars, He and Nastia Liukin of the United States are expected to challenge for the individual gold medal.

In Chinese newspaper profiles this year, He was listed as 14, too young for the Beijing Games.
The Times found two online records of official registration lists of Chinese gymnasts that list He’s birthday as Jan. 1, 1994, which would make her 14. A 2007 national registry of Chinese gymnasts — now blocked in China but viewable through Google cache — shows He’s age as “1994.1.1.”

Another registration list that is unblocked, dated Jan. 27, 2006, and regarding an “intercity” competition in Chengdu, China, also lists He’s birthday as Jan. 1, 1994. That date differs by two years from the birth date of Jan. 1, 1992, listed on He’s passport, which was issued Feb. 14, 2008.

There has been considerable talk about the ages of Chinese gymnasts on Web sites devoted to the sport. And there has been frequent editing of He’s Wikipedia entry, although it could not be determined by whom. One paragraph that discusses the controversy of her age kept disappearing and reappearing on He’s entry. As of Friday, a different version of the paragraph had been restored to the page.

The other gymnast, Jiang, is listed on her passport — issued March 2, 2006 — as having been born on Nov. 1, 1991, which would make her 16 and thus eligible to compete at the Beijing Games.

A different birth date, indicating Jiang is not yet 15, appears on a list of junior competitors from the Zhejiang Province sports administration. The list of athletes includes national identification card numbers into which birth dates are embedded. Jiang’s national card number as it appears on this list shows her birth date as Oct. 1, 1993, which indicates that she will turn 15 in the fall, and would thus be ineligible to compete in the Beijing Games.
Zhang Hongliang, an official with the Chinese gymnastics federation, said Friday that perhaps Chinese reporters and provincial sports authorities made mistakes in listing He’s and Jiang’s birth dates differently from the dates given on their passports.

“The two athletes have attended international sports competitions before, and I’m sure the information is correct,” Zhang said of the athletes’ passports.
Matthias Rietschel/Associated Press
He Kexin is 16, the minimum age for
Olympic eligibility, according to
her passport.
The International Gymnastics Federation said it had contacted Chinese officials in May about the gymnasts’ ages after receiving inquiries from fans and reading newspaper accounts, including one in The China Daily, the country’s official English-language paper, stating that He was 14.

“We heard these rumors, and we immediately wrote to the Chinese gymnastics federation” about He, said André Gueisbuhler, the secretary general of the international federation. “They immediately sent a copy of the passport, showing the age, and everything is O.K. That’s all we can check.”

If someone provided proof that any gymnast was under age, or filed a formal complaint, Gueisbuhler said, he would be “quite happy to check and ask again.”
“As long as we have no official complaint, there is no reason to act, if we get a passport that obviously is in order,” he said.

Steve Penny, the president of USA Gymnastics, said he had asked Kim of the international federation about He’s age after receiving e-mail messages referring to newspaper accounts and comments made on blogs and in Internet chat rooms that said she was 14. But Penny said he was not really concerned.

“If they have valid passports, bring ’em on,” Penny said. “If they say they’re good, we’re going to beat them.

“You can’t worry about it. You do your job, and you expect other people are doing theirs and you expect it’s a fair field of play.”

Privately, some gymnastics officials said that even if other countries had real concerns about the Chinese, they might be reluctant to make accusations for fear of reprisals by judges at the Beijing Games.

If it is true that under-age gymnasts are competing, Kim said: “It’s a bad thing. It should not be acceptable.”

Yang Yun of China won individual and team bronze medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and later said in an interview on state-run television that she had been 14 at the time of those Games. A Hunan Province sports administration report also said later that she had been 14 when she competed in Sydney.

Bela Karolyi, who coached Retton of the United States and Nadia Comaneci of Romania to their Olympic gold-medal triumphs, said the problem of under-age gymnasts had been around for years. Age is an easy thing to alter in an authoritarian country, he said, because the government has such strict control of official paperwork.

He recalled Kim Gwang Suk, a North Korean gymnast who showed up at the 1991 world championships with two missing front teeth. Karolyi, who said he thought Kim must have been younger than 11 at the time, and others contended that those front teeth had been baby teeth and that permanent teeth had not yet replaced them. Her coaches said she had lost them years before, during an accident on the uneven bars.

At those world championships, Kim was 4 feet 4 inches and about 62 pounds, and she claimed to be 16. At one point, the North Korean Gymnastics Federation listed her at 15 for three straight years; the federation was later barred from the 1993 world championships for falsifying ages.

“Oh, come on, she was just in diapers and everyone could see that, just like some of the Chinese girls are now,” Karolyi said. “If you look close, you can see they still have their baby teeth. Little tiny teeth!”

But it is not likely that anyone could prove that the Chinese gymnasts are under age, Karolyi said.

“It’s literally impossible,” he said. “The paperwork is changed just too good. In a country like that, they’re experts at it. Nothing new.”
Source: nytimes
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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Lebron James guarantees gold in Basketball for USA

O.K., world, pin this one on your locker-room wall. LeBron James is picturing himself on the Beijing medal stand, gold draping his gargantuan chest. "It's going to be like waking up on Christmas Day," says James, the Cleveland Cavalier and global icon who led the NBA in scoring this season. "All you dreamed about this whole month was having that bike you wanted, and you get down to your living room — it's there. It's like one of the greatest things that has ever happened to you." So you're going to bring a hoops title back home to the U.S., the country that gave birth to the game, reared it and then lost the ball to more graceful global neighbors? "Absolutely," James responds. Guarantee it? "Absolutely."

Nothing gets the sports world in a tizzy quite like a guarantee. Those who deliver are divine, like Joe Namath; those who fail — and there are too many to mention — get blamed for foolishly firing up the opposition. But is LeBron's promise vintage American vanity?
After all, a constellation of the world's best players — the U.S. team features James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade — should always shine. Over the past six years, however, U.S. teams have gagged, falling to countries like Argentina and Greece; there was even a humiliation by Puerto Rico. And the world's ballers relish a chance to beat the Yanks. Yup, it's LeBron's hubris we hear.

Having been to one Olympics, James knows the frenzied forces of national pride that will oppose his team. But hoops is America's gig: the U.S. has won 12 of the 15 Olympic gold medals, excluding the one awarded during the boycotted 1980 Games. James has spent three years prepping for this moment. If this team of supremely gifted, seemingly motivated players loses in will hurt. It should hurt. "For us, it's now or never," says James. "It's the gold, or it's failure."

After the Athens embarrassment in '04, when a bickering bunch of Americans sulked their way to third place, the U.S. restructured its hoops hierarchy. One man, former Phoenix Suns owner Jerry Colangelo, now has the power to pick a coach — Duke University's Mike Krzyzewski — and the players. "We didn't respect the Olympic name," says James, a 19-year-old benchwarmer on that '04 team. "We didn't respect what Team U.S.A. meant." Colangelo required players to give up parts of three summers so the team could train for Beijing. In that first year, 2006, the experiment blew up: Greece shocked the U.S. at the world championships. Last summer the team romped through Olympic qualifying; James shot an astonishing 76% from the field and also topped the team in assists.

James is the rarest of athletes, a phenom who has actually exceeded the enormous expectations that trailed him out of an Akron, Ohio, high school. He skipped college for the pros in 2003 and guided his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, to the NBA finals last year. This season he became the youngest player in NBA history to score 10,000 career points. He has earned more than $165 million in salary and endorsements.

nly 23, James is now the voice of the U.S. team. "When you watch us play this summer, you're going to be hearing LeBron on the court, yelling and screaming, talking on defense," says Wade. "There's going to be that leadership that we need." On a team filled with All-Stars and Great Wall-size egos, James insists he can still treat Jason Kidd, a 14-year NBA vet, and Bryant, the league's reigning mvp, like green rookies if they screw up. He'll feel free to scream in their face. "I can't play unless I'm that type," he says. "There's no way I can hold back."

He's not demure off the court either. "Loud," says Wade when asked to describe James' personality. "Loud," says Bryant. "He talks sunup to sunset," says U.S. forward Carlos Boozer. Kidd is expressing the same sentiment when he stops and glances up. "Hear that?" Kidd says. "See what I mean?" James is marching down a hallway, belting out rap lyrics.
While fame seemed to trap Michael Jordan, James clearly loves the life of LeBron. The endorsement loot (Nike, Coca-Cola, Upper Deck) surely helps. But give James credit for staying playful. As the U.S. team filed onto a bus during a New York City promotional tour, James was the only one dancing. When each player was introduced to young, squealing crowds at Rockefeller Center, James was the only guy who ran into the front row, slapping high fives, nearly inciting the 8-year-olds to riot. "I got a lot of kid in me," says James, who, at 6 ft. 8 in. and 240 lb., has always looked, oh, a decade older than he is.

James has also matured. Nike-clad icons like Tiger Woods and Jordan resist politics at all costs. In 1990, when Jordan refused to back a black candidate running against Jesse Helms for a Senate seat, he famously noted that Republicans buy sneakers too. James, however, is diving in. "I'm at the point in my life where I should really start paying attention," he says. He recently met Michelle Obama at a fund raiser, and he told Time he plans to campaign for her husband, a well-known hoophead. (Call him, Senator Obama. You need Ohio for the White House, and LeBron knows how to score in the Buckeye State.)

James has already had his political baptism by fire. Last spring, Cleveland player Ira Newble asked his teammates to sign an open letter to China protesting the country's interests in Sudan, where the government has sponsored atrocities in the Darfur region. Only James and Damon Jones, a Cav with a shoe deal in China, refused. James took a ton of heat — the Chinese buy sneakers too. But he wanted time to understand these international issues, and he's grown more comfortable speaking out on Darfur. "I'm not going to get up on a panel and sit in front of a board or something like that," he says. "But if I'm asked the question, I will definitely answer it."

Right now, the U.S. needs him homed in on the international game, with its wider foul lane and emphasis on spacing, ball movement and outside shooting. So the U.S. roster is built to spread the floor and shoot, with just one true center, Dwight Howard, to bang the boards. Spain, the defending world champions, will feature Los Angeles Lakers standout Pau Gasol and Toronto Raptors point guard José Calderón. If San Antonio Spurs star Manu Ginóbili bounces back from an ankle injury, Argentina, with its beautiful brand of pass-first basketball, could repeat as Olympic champs.

The '92 Olympic hoops squad of Magic, Michael and Larry was "the Dream Team." The nickname du jour for '08: "the Redeem Team." James likes the ring of it. "I want U.S.A. basketball to be dominant again," he says emphatically. "Every time people see the red, white and blue, they fear us." But the world won't cower until LeBron comes through. That's a guarantee. Source:


Meanwhile in the UAAP, UST Tigers needed an overtime to win against the strong Adamson Falcons 86-80. Ateneo stays undefeated as they beat NU 74-62 in the first game and remain ahead of the pack.

UE filed a protest for their loss against FEU 71-69 on Saturday as they claim there was a technical error in the last minutes of the game. They said that the FEU Tamaraw Marlon Adolfo's basket should not have been counted in the final three minutes since the 24 shot clock already expired. The two teams displayed a classic battle and the Tamaraws who dedicated the game to their fallen teammate, Mac Baracael eventually won the game. Baracael is still recovering from a gunshot which is rumored to be related to game fixing syndicates in the basketball scene.

Friday, July 18, 2008

James Yap Kick and Run

Araneta Coliseum - On July 9, 2008 a brawl happened between the Purefoods TJ Giants and Talk N' Text Phonepals.

Things to look for:
- How the hot headed import threw the ball to Jondan Salvador's face.
- The infamous kick-and-run of James Yap, thus the 'Queen' tag on his name.
- Ali Peek's hulking performance in pacifying everyone even the so called 'bull', Rico Villanueva.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Green Archers Outlast Growling Tigers

The De La Salle Green Archers hammered an 85-84 win over a never-say-die UST Growling Tigers during their Thursday match-up in the 71st UAAP Men’s Basketball tournament held at the Philsports Arena (formerly Ultra).

The Archers quashed the Tigers’ thrilling late-game run by applying tight defense on UST’s veteran players.

La Salle relied on mainstay Jayvee Casio, who poured in 19 points, and Bader Malabes, who scored 16.

The Archers led by four points, 38-34, at the end of the first half.

The Tigers, however, picked up the tempo in the final quarter forcing the Archers into a neck-and-neck game in the last two minutes.

The Archers then raised their defense, prompting UST to rely on their outside shooters who could not make their mark.

Except for Dyan Ababou’s late-three pointer, the Tigers’ offense crumpled during crunch time, allowing the Archers to score their second win.
FEU routs UP

The Far Eastern University Tamaraws routed UAAP host University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons, 88-64, in the first game.

Benedict Fernandez led the Tamaraws in their second win in three games.

The scores:
First Game

FEU 88—Fernandez 16, Ramos 14, Adolfo 12, Baracael 9, Barroca 8, Kave 7, Cawaling 5, Alisbo 4, Cervantes 4, Knuttel 4, Tanuan 2, Sanga 2, Macazo 1, Romero 0, Cabagnot 0.
UP 66—Agbayani 12, Reyes 11, Co 8, Sison 7, Pajela 6, Sorongon 5, Fortu 4, Gamboa 3, Marfori 2, Lopez 2, De Asis 0, Hipolito 0.Quarters: 23-14, 52-31, 67-50, 88-66

Second Game
LA SALLE 85—Casio 19, Mangahas 18, Malabes 16, Maierhofer 8, Barua 7, Revilla 6, Walsham 4, Villanueva 3, Webb 2, Atkins 2, Mendoza 0, Bagatsing 0, Ferdinand 0.
UST 84—Ababou 23, Cruz 20, Canlas 18, Allera 12, Fortuna 5, Cuan 4, Taylor 2, Fenequito 0, Camus 0, Bautista 0, Mirza 0.Quarters: 18-14, 38-34, 63-58, 85-84

Source: abs-cbnnews

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday Basketball Updates

Sunday was a big day for basketball fans. In the UAAP, Ateneo proved that they are a strong contender for the UAAP championship as they eliminated UE 64-58 in a closely fought battle of undefeated teams. Rabeh al-Hussaini had an impressive game leading the Eagles with 18 points and 17 rebounds.

Meanwhile in the PBA, Ginebra Gin Kings escaped with a come from behind win over the Sta Lucia Realtors 92-90. Junthy Valenzuela showed late heroics as he grabbed a crucial rebound of his own miss with 6 seconds left while the Kings were ahead 90-87. Earlier, he also shot two crucial three pointers. Caguioa topscored with 30 points. The Gin kings now enjoys a twice to beat advantage over the Realtors.

In the first match, Magnolia stopped the Coca-Cola tigers, 108-96 even without dynamite Danny Siegle. Lordy Tugade had a career best 15 rebounds and added 20 points as he put the beverage masters a win away from the semifinals.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Profile: Who is Brandon Vera?

Name: Brandon Michael "The Truth" Vera
Sport: Mixed Martial Arts fighter of UFC
Born: October 10, 1977
Age: 30
Race: Filipino, Italian-American

Vera is the son of a Filipino father, Ernesto, and an Italian-American mother, Amelia, and grew up in a family with seven boys and three girls. He was born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia, and attended Lake Taylor High School, where he excelled in wrestling and earned a four-year athletic scholarship to Old Dominion University. He however dropped out of Old Dominion after a year and a half when he felt college was not for him, and he enlisted in the United States Air Force.

He was however released from the air force due to medical discharge when he shred ligaments in his elbow while wrestling.

Lloyd Irvin later recruited him to join his school of mixed martial arts and eventually, also trained with Linxx Academy, and Hybrid Academy, where he received a foundation of his Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

8 wins 2 losses 0 draws. Vera made his UFC debut at Ultimate Fight Night 2 on October 3, 2005 against Fabiano Scherner. Vera won the fight via TKO mid-way through the second round. Following the Scherner bout, he faced Justin Eilers at UFC 57, winning early in the first round by knockout. At UFC 60, Vera defeated Assuerio Silva with a guillotine choke. Vera's career as a mixed martial artist flourished under the management of Mark Dion. It reached its zenith on Nov. 18, when he needed just 69 seconds to stop ex-heavyweight champion Frank Mir at UFC 65 in Sacramento, Calif.

Vera lost his most recent fight against Fabricio Werdum by TKO at UFC 85. The fight was controversially stopped by referee Dan Miragliotta as Werdum was doing some ground and pound. After the stoppage Vera was visibly upset as he felt he was defending himself effectively. Dan Miragliotta was the same referee involved a week prior in the controversial stoppage in the Kimbo Slice/James Thompson fight.

  • He has a tattoo on his back inked in the Filipino writing system called Alibata. Clockwise, it reads mundo (earth), hangin (wind), apoy (fire), and tubig (water).
  • While staying in the Philippines, he trained Filipino actor Richard Gutierrez in martial arts and has been given a role as The Assassin for Philippine primetime television show Kamandag on the GMA Network.
  • UFC is rumored to come to the Philippines some time next year 2009.
    “I kept telling them to bring the UFC to the Philippines any time soon because I know Filipinos love the UFC,” UFC President Dana White said.
    “I’m open to fighting in the Philippines,” said Vera. “It would be great if I win in front of my countrymen.”

Source: Wikipedia