Sport by sport
Baseball: South Korea beat Cuba, 3-2, in Saturday’s gold-medal game, the last for the sport in the Olympics unless it is reinstated after 2012.
Boxing: The first of two days of finals concluded with no U.S. participants. Somjit Jongjohor of Thailand beat Andris Laffita Hernandez of Cuba, 8-2, in the flyweight division; Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine beat Khedafi Djelkhir of France, when it was stopped in the first round of the featherweight final after he took a 9-1 lead; Felix Diaz of the Dominican Republic beat Manus Boonjumnong of Thailand, 12-4, in the light welterweight class; James Degale of Great Britain edged Emilio Correa Bayeaux of Cuba, 16-14, in the middleweight category; and Rakhim Chakhkiev of Russia beat Clemente Russo of Italy, 4-2, in the heavyweight division.
Canoe/Kayak: Suppose they held the last day of finals and no U.S. boats made it that far? Oh, wait, that happened. The winners on the last day of this sport were: Ken Wallace of Australia in the men’s 500-meter kayak single; Maxim Opalev of Russia in the men’s 500-meter canoe single; Inna Osypenko-Radomska of Ukraine in the women’s 500-meter kayak single; Spain in the men’s 500-meter kayak double; China in the men’s 500-meter canoe double; and Hungary in the women’s 500-meter kayak double.
Cycling: The U.S. team didn’t exactly turn any heads in the cross-country mountain bike races. The best it could do was a seventh-place finish by Mary McConneloug in the women’s division. Teammate Georgia Gould was eighth. The gold went to Sabine Spitz of Germany. The two U.S. men, Adam Craig and Todd Wells, were eliminated from their race when the leaders lapped them. The race was won by Julien Absalon of France.
Field Hockey: Germany won the men’s gold medal with a 1-0 win over Spain. The bronze went to Australia, which defeated the Netherlands, 6-2. In other games, Britain defeated South Korea, 5-2, for fifth place and China beat South Africa, 4-3, for 11th place.
Handball: Norway jumped out to an 8-1 lead and coasted to a 34-27 win over Russia in the women’s division. It was Norway’s first gold medal in this sport. South Korea beat Hungary, 33-28, in the bronze game. France topped China, 31-23, for fifth place and Romania beat Sweden, 34-30, for seventh.
Rhythmic Gymnastics: It was a cavalcade of rhythmic apparatus as the competition concluded with the individual all-around. When it was over, Evgeniya Kanaeva of Russia had the gold.
Soccer: It became two gold medals in a row when Angel di Maria scored in the 58th minute for Argentina’s only score against Nigeria. The men’s final was played in the National Stadium in front of nearly 90,000 fans. It was so hot that the referee stopped play twice to allow players to hydrate themselves. Brazil won the bronze Friday over Belgium.
Synchronized Swimming: Russia closed out the team competition with a gold, followed by Spain and China. The U.S. team was fifth going into the finals and did not move up any positions. Japan also finished fifth.
Table Tennis: The men’s singles tournament was a 1-2-3 sweep for China. In the gold-medal game, Ma Lin beat Wang Hao, 4-1. Wang Liqin beat Jorgen Persson of Sweden, 4-0, in the bronze-medal game.
Taekwondo: Sure, you could talk about the gold-medal winner, but it’s more interesting to mention Cuban athlete Angel Matos, who kicked the referee in the face after his disqualification in the men’s 80-kg bronze-medal game. Upset at a call, he pushed a judge, spit on the floor and stormed out. Afterward, the sport’s international governing body recommended that Matos and his coach be banned for life. The winner in the class was Cha Dongmin of South Korea. In the women’s 67-kg class, Maria del Rosario Espinoza of Mexico took gold.
Track and Field: The highlight of the final full day of track and field was the U.S. double gold-medal-winning performance in the men’s and women’s 1,600-meter relays. In other events, Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia won the gold medal in the men’s 5,000 meters, with Bernard Lagat of the U.S. finishing ninth. Wilfred Bungei of Kenya won the men’s 800 meters, and Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway won the men’s javelin. Tia Hellebaut of Belgium won the women’s high jump, with Chaunte Howard of the U.S. finishing sixth. Nancy Jebet Langat of Kenya won the women’s 1,500 meters. The top U.S. finisher was Shannon Rowbury in seventh.