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Snatching victory from jaws of defeat

MORNING BRIEFING

August 12, 2008|Grahame L. Jones | Times Staff Writer

The Olympics bring out the best in athletes, and sometimes in sportswriters too. Consider this by Robert Kitson in the Guardian newspaper after Britain's Rebecca Adlington had beaten U.S. swimmer Katie Hoff to win the gold in the 400-meter freestyle.

"It is so long since Anita Lonsbrough came home first in the breaststroke at the 1960 Games in Rome that even Adlington herself looked slightly dazed as she stood on the podium, about to become the first teenager from Mansfield to be kissed on both cheeks by Prince Albert of Monaco.

"This event is not supposed to be Adlington's specialty, but the 19-year-old's finishing strength saw her sneak past the American favorite Katie Hoff in a blur of foaming water and rubber suit. It was like watching a shark sneaking up on an unsuspecting bather at Amity Island."

Nice.

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Trivia time

A South Korean women's team Sunday won its sixth consecutive gold medal in what Olympic event?

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Small but slow

Unlike Chicago teammate Jeff Samardzija, Cubs utilityman Mark DeRosa said he didn't have to choose between baseball and football.

"There's no room in the NFL for 6-foot-1, 200-pound guys with no mobility," DeRosa told Gordon Edes of Yahoo! Sports.

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Practice makes perfect

Ireland's Padraig Harrington has added the PGA Championship to the British Open championship he won last month, and his coach, Bob Torrance, knows why.

"Padraig is the hardest worker I've ever been involved with," he said. "I was with him in Ireland two weeks before the Open last month. We went to the range at 10:30 a.m. It was raining heavily. Padraig told me to watch him hit 'half a dozen' shots so that we could work out any problems.

"We went back inside at 10 p.m."

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Time lapse

It will take more than two weeks for sportswriters to get their heads around the U.S.-China time difference.

"If I have it figured correctly," wrote David Thomas of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "when it's noon here, it's 1 a.m. tomorrow at the Olympics and sometime last night on NBC."

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Trivia answer

Archery.

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And finally

Greg Cote of the Miami Herald sees Jason Williams' move away from the Miami Heat as "filling the Clippers' need for an injury-prone, broken-down point guard in severe career decline."

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grahame.jones@latimes.com

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