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Morning Briefing

August 21, 2008|Grahame L. Jones | Times Staff Writer

This guy is not horsing around in his writing

"By anyone's reckoning, these Olympics have been a disaster for Australia."

So wrote Aaron Timms on Wednesday in the Sydney Morning Herald.

"Most galling of all has been our complete and unmitigated failure in the equestrian competition. If there's one Olympic sport that captures the spirit of open-minded, egalitarian Australia, it's dressage -- a competition in which pampered, tights-wearing nobodies get to dress up in tails and sit down for a few minutes to boss around their horses.

"If the . . . government has any sense, it will make investment in this most watchable of sports a first-order priority for the next 12 months."

Send the e-mails his way, not mine.

Trivia time

The death Monday of the great filly Genuine Risk at age 32 leaves which horse as the oldest living Kentucky Derby winner?

What, no tanks?

For those wondering what sort of atmosphere U.S. soccer teams encounter when they play World Cup qualifying games in Central America, Steven Goff of the Washington Post was in Guatemala City for Wednesday night's Guatemala-U.S. game and gave this pre-game rundown:

"Estadio Mateo Flores will be protected by 100 special forces agents, 1,200 police officers, 1,000 soldiers, 250 transit police, 180 private security guards and one anti-riot squad."

Fast and faster

Trinidad and Tobago's Ato Boldon was a pretty fair sprinter in his day and has four Olympic medals to prove it -- one silver and three bronze.

Now a television commentator, Boldon is astounded by what Usain Bolt accomplished in Beijing, where the Jamaican on Wednesday won the 200 meters in a world-record 19.30 seconds four days after winning the 100 meters in a world-record 9.69.

"Swimming has their LZR suits and their deeper pools," Boldon told the International Herald Tribune. "We have a 6-foot-5-inch guy that's running 9.6s and beating the rest of the Olympic field by two-tenths of a second.

"He's our new technology."

Trivia answer

Alysheba, who won at Churchill Downs in 1987 and is now 24.

And finally

David Thomas of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has his own take on Bolt's 100-meter dash.

"The only thing open for debate," he wrote, "is how much lower the time could have been had the Jamaican runner not spent the final 15 meters thumping his chest, waving to competitors, signing autographs and doing the Hokey Pokey."

--

grahame.jones@latimes.com

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