Down goes Maryland!
To Kevin, et al
Subject: Carmelo, Georgia -- last hopes
While you were busy studying Michael Phelps' favorite bedtime stories, I'm here to share with you this hidden truth: There are other Maryland athletes competing at these Olympics. At least there were. Two of them dropped out of the Games on Thursday.
First, Gao Jun, the table tennis star who won a silver medal in 1992 for China but now claims Gaithersburg as home, lost in singles competition, just one match from the medals round. In the fourth round of competition, she lost 4 games to 3 to Xue Wu, of the Dominican Republic. Wue had a 3-1 lead, before Gao came back, winning 5 and 6 and forcing a seventh game, which she lost 11-9.
"I was just trying to fight," Gao said. "I was very tired. It was just such a long match. I just couldn't move any more. I missed so many points."
Perhaps more surprising: the U.S. women's 400-meter relay team is done. A bad handoff in the prelims ousted the Americans.
Angela Williams and Maryland native Mechelle Williams got the the relay team off to a good start, but Torri Edwards and anchor Lauryn Williams couldn't make a successful handoff, and the team was DQ'd. As the baton dropped to the ground, Edwards screamed and covered her face.
Here's what Lewis had to say after the race, as provided by Olympic officials:
"Of course, things could be going better. We've had disappointments before, and we have to treat this like any other disappointment."
"We are definitely really good athletes. We're putting our hearts and souls into this. It's just not coming out the way we want it to."
"We still don't know what exactly happened. ...We don't practice those types of things to happen, but we did what we could."
Maryland still has two athletes competing: Carmelo Anthony and the U.S. basketball team take on Argentina Friday (mid-morning in the US), with a chance to advance to the medal round. And mountain biker Georgia Gould also competes Friday (also early AM in the US).