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China, US medal competition heats up

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Editor's note: GoKunming will be crossposting content from our sister site China Sports Today throughout the Olympics.

As of 10:00 pm Beijing time, China was leading the gold medal count with 17, seven more than the US. Team USA was leading in terms of total medals, with 29 compared to China's 27. South Korea was in a distant third with six gold medals and 13 total medals.

China wins first-ever gold in men's fencing
25-year-old Zhong Man (仲满) defeated Nicolas Lopez of France 15-9 late Tuesday, becoming the first Chinese man to win Olympic fencing gold. Romanian Mihai Cavaliu took home the bronze.

Zhong's unexpected gold was the first gold in fencing in 24 years for China. Luan Jujie, who competed for Canada earlier in this Olympics, won China's first fencing gold in the 1984 Los Angeles games, becoming a national hero.

Chinese weightlifters win fifth, sixth gold medals
Hubei native Liao Hui (廖辉) won the men's weightlifting 69 kilogram division on Tuesday night, giving China its fifth gold medal in five weightlifting events. Liao lifted 348 kilograms – 10 more than silver medalist Vencelas Dabaya-Tientcheu of France. Armenian Tigran Martirosyan won the bronze.

On Wednesday, Liao's teammate Liu Hongchun (刘春红) stole the show in the women's 69 kilogram category, setting records in the snatch (128 kilograms), clean and jerk (158 kilograms) and total lift (286 kilograms).

The Shandong native and defending Olympic champion beat former snatch and clean and jerk record holder, Russian Oxana Slivenko, who earned silver lifting a total of 255 kilograms. Ukrainian Natalya Davydova lifted a total of 250 kilograms to win the bronze.

Chinese women gymnasts beat US team for gold
Going into the final floor event in women's gymnastics team competition on Wednesday, China led Team USA by a slim margin of 143.10 to 142.09. With everything on the line, the Chinese team put in three solid performances while Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin and Alicia Sacramone all stepped out of bounds, giving China an opportunity to run away with the gold, which it did.

For Chinese gymnasts Cheng Fei (程菲), Deng Linlin (邓琳琳), He Kexin (何可欣), Jiang Yuyuan (江钰源), Li Shanshan (李珊珊) and Yang Yilin (杨伊琳), the win avenged the stinging loss of the world team gymnastics championship to the US last year.

The competition was marred not only by lackluster performances by the Americans in the floor event, but also by accusations that the Chinese were fielding an illegally young team and of sloppy officiating.

Olympic rules state that gymnasts must be 16 or turning 16 in the same year of the games in which they compete. China's Deng, He, Li and Yang are all officially listed as being 16. US women's team director Martha Karolyi claimed that she could see a missing tooth in one of the girls' mouths, suggesting that her permanent teeth had yet to come in.

Karolyi also expressed suspicion about a two-minute delay before Alicia Sacramone's beam performance, during which Sacramone fell off the beam. Asked whether she thought the delay was a ploy to throw off Sacramone's concentration, Karolyi responded, "Well, it could be."

China's continues diving dominance
China won its fourth gold medal in synchronized diving competition this Olympics on Wednesday, this time in the men's synchronized 3 meter springboard. Divers Wang Feng (王峰) and Qin Kai (秦凯) edged out Russia's Dmitry Sautin and Yuriy Kunakov 469.08 points to 421.98. Illya Kvasha and Oleksiy Prygorov won bronze medals with a total of 415.05 points.

Shooter ties Olympic record
China won a gold medal for the third time during the Beijing games on Wednesday, with Chen Ying (陈颖) coming from behind to defeat Mongolia's Gundegmaa Otryad. Chen's final score of 590 points tied the existing Olympic record. Former Mongolian shooter Dorjsuren Munkhbayar, now competing for the German team, took bronze.

Images: china.org.cn

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