The Chinese divers came close, but they couldn’t match Michael Phelps’ feat of going 8-for-8 at the Water Cube.
With seven down, all they needed was the men’s 10-meter platform. But Matthew Mitcham of Australia earned four perfect 10s on his last dive to send this title Down Under for the first time. Zhou Luxin earned the silver for China.
In going 7-for-8, China claimed 11 of the 24 medals awarded in the sport that has produced the host nation’s most Olympic medals.
The Americans, meanwhile, went 0-for-8 — not a single medal. For the second straight Olympics, too. The best the U.S. could muster in this event was David Boudia getting 10th; Thomas Finchum was 12th.
Cuba’s Angel Matos was winning 3-2, with 1:02 in the second round, when he fell to the mat after being hit by his opponent, Kazakhstan’s Arman Chilmanov. He was sitting there, awaiting medical attention, when he was disqualified for exceeding the one minute he’s allowed.
Matos angrily questioned the call, pushed a judge, then pushed and kicked referee Chakir Chelbat of Sweden. Matos then spat on the floor and was escorted out.
“He was too strict,” said his coach, Leudis Gonzalez, referring to the decision to disqualify Matos. Afterward, he charged the match was fixed, accusing the Kazakhs of offering the referee money.
Then came this release from the World Taekwondo Federation: “Lifetime ban of the coach and athlete in all championships sanctioned by the (federation) and at the same time, all records of this athlete at the Beijing Games will immediately be erased.”
Earlier, a women’s match was overturned, the first time that’s happened since taekwondo became an official Olympic sport in 1990.
South Korea’s Cha Dong-min won the men’s over 80-kilogram class, bringing the fourth gold to his country in its native sport. Mexico’s Maria del Rosario Espinoza, the 2007 world champion, won the women’s over 67-kilogram class.
The Chinese pair were the first to get to the finish line. Then, before they could totally cross it, their boat was upside down.
While other crews laughed, Meng Guanliang and Yang Wenjun emerged to claim their second straight gold medal in the men’s 500-meter canoe double (C-2).
The big upset of the final day of medal races came in the men’s 500-meter K-2, with Spain’s Saul Craviotto and Carlos Perez beating a German pair who were the defending gold medalists and who have been the world champions since 2001.
Other winners: Australia’s Ken Wallace in the men’s 500 K-1; Russia’s Maxim Opalev in men’s 500 C-1; Ukraine’s Inna Osypenko-Radomska in women’s 500 K-1; the two-time world champions from Hungary in women’s 500 K-2; and a pair from Poland won the women’s 500 K-2.
Russian heavyweight Rakhim Chakhkiev and British middleweight James Degale were among the winners of the first five gold medals.
So was Ukrainian featherweight Vasyl Lomachenko, who was so dominant that the referee mercifully stopped his title bout with nine seconds left in the opening round and Lomachenko already up 9-1.
“I made very precise hits,” Lomachenko said.
Also, Thai flyweight Somjit Jongjohor won his first gold at age 33, and light welterweight Felix Diaz claimed the Dominican Republic’s first boxing title with an upset of defending Olympic champion Manus Boonjumnong of Thailand.
Six more golds will be decided Sunday.
Norway got its first gold medal in this sport, taking an 8-1 lead on the way to a 34-27 victory over Russia. South Korea beat Hungary to claim the bronze.
Men’s field hockey
They’re busting out the beers in Munich: Germany beat Spain 1-0 to reclaim gold for the first time since 1992.
In the bronze match, Australia beat the Netherlands, just as it did in the 2004 gold-medal competition.