London 2012: Xu Lijia wins gold in women's laser radial class

Updated: 2012-08-07
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Xu Lijia
China's Xu Lijia celebrates after winning women's laser radial race of sailing event, at London 2012 Olympic Games, London, Britain, Aug. 6, 2012. China's Xu Lijia won gold medal. [Xinhua]

China's Xu Lijia won gold in the women's laser radial class, ahead of world champion Marit Bouwmeester of the Netherlands, helping China hold onto its top position in the medals table with 64.
"I am proud of the gold, especially as I'm in Britain, because Britain and European countries are good and I want to take this experience back to China so more can experience the beauty of sailing," said Xu, who won bronze in Beijing 2008.
Double Olympic champion and world record holder Yelena Isinbayeva relinquished her Olympic pole vault crown to American Jennifer Suhr on Monday.
Isinbayeva had not looked at her best in a competition held in difficult windy conditions, failing to clear above 4.70 meters. Suhr and Cuba's Yarisley Silva both cleared 4.75m with Suhr taking gold as a result of Silva failing her first attempt at 4.45.
"I am really happy. It is like a gold medal for me," said Isbinaeva. "I am just glad the Olympics are finished as it was so stressful."
On the track Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic claimed the second gold medal of his Olympic career when he ran a controlled race to win the men's 400-meter hurdle final.
The Dominican had built his reputation on a formidable 43 race-winning streak, which took him to gold in the same event in Athens eight years ago, but that winning run has come to an end soon after his first Olympic trials and it had looked as if at 34 his best years were past him.
However, Sanchez gave hints of a return to form as his winning time of 47.63 is exactly the same time he won gold with in 2004. It was also the fastest ever time run in the UK.
"A lot of people said I should retire but I stuck with it. They'll (the people back home) be celebrating now," said Sanchez.
Russia's Yulia Zaripova ran the fastest time of the year and the third fastest in history to win the women's 3,000m steeplechase in 9 minutes 06.72 seconds.
On the 10th full day of competition, China grabbed only one gold medal, its lowest since the start of the Games. But it was enough to keep the Chinese clear of the U.S. in the medals race. The Americans have 63 medals overall, of which 29 are gold.
In table tennis, China is close to a clean sweep of all four titles for second straight Games after its men and women both reached the final of the team events.
The Chinese men defeated Germany 3-1 in the semifinals, while their women counterparts brushed aside South Korea 3-0.
China's women play Japan on Tuesday for gold, and the men face South Korea on Wednesday.
The Chinese have already won two gold and two silver medals in the singles, underlining supremacy in the sport known as ping pong.
However, Chinese gymnast Chen Yibing's bid for back-back Olympic rings title was smashed as he finished second behind Arthur Nabarrete Zanetti of Brazil.
Chen looked assured of victory after a superb opening routine in the final for 15.800 points. But Zanetti, second to Chen at the 2011 world championships, pulled off a shock by scoring 15.900 to become the first Brazilian to win Olympic gymnastics gold.
"I am surprised and I feel bitter inside," said Chen, who has won eight world championship titles in six years. "But what can I do? According to rules you cannot question the scoring for other athletes."
Bulgarian six-time Olympian Iordan Iovtchev, who finished seventh in the discipline, questioned the scoring.
"Personally, I think Chen performed the best, but I'm not the judge," said the 39-year-old veteran.
Russia's Aliya Mustafina won the uneven bars gold medal ahead of Beijing 2008 champion He Kexin of China.
Britain's Beth Tweddle finally made the podium in what should be her final Olympic appearance. She finished third in after a decade of pursuing an elusive Olympic medal.
Jason Kenny gave Britain its fifth gold medal at the Veldrome by defeating world champion Gregory Bauge in the men's sprint final.
In soccer, Japanese women's team bet France 2-1 to set up a gold medal match against the United States, who overcame Canada 4-3 after 120 minutes.
Off the field, Italy's defending 50km race walk champion Alex Schwazer was expelled from the London Games after he failed a doping test, and American judoka Nicholas Delpopolo was disqualified for testing positive for cannabis.
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