by Xinhua writers Zhou Yan and Zhou Xiaozheng
BEIJING, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- China and the United
States took most of the spotlight in the second day of the Beijing Olympics,
with athletes from both countries reaping medals and breaking world record, and
their presidents meeting and lunching on the Games' sideline.
After the Sunday competition, China and the United States, both sending more than 600 athletes to the Games, have seen their medal collection expand by 6 and 5 pieces, respectively. The two countries now rank top and third on the medal tally, with six golds and two silvers for the Chinese, and two golds, two silvers and four bronzes for the Americans.(Gold Medalists on Day 2 of Beijing Olympics
While China has held on to its traditional strong
events by winning one gold each from shooting, diving, judo and weightlifting,
the U.S. team is contented to see their star swimmer Michael Phelps shine again
in the pool, winning men's 400m individual medley with a new world record and
getting a roaring start for his ambitious goal of sweeping 8 swimming golds.
Outside the Olympic venues, the world was also
watching with great interest a meeting followed by a lunch between Hu Jintao and
George W. Bush, presidents of the two countries, in the Chinese central
government compound of Zhongnanhai in the heart of Beijing.
Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) shakes
hands with U.S. President George W. Bush at Zhongnanhai, compound of
China's central authorities, in Beijing, China, Aug. 10, 2008. (Xinhua
Naturally, the two leaders discussed a lot about
bilateral relations and other major international issues such as the Korean
Peninsula and Iran nuclear standoffs. But the ongoing Games and the athletes'
performance also featured prominently in the leaders' talks.
Bush, whose decision to attend the Games' opening
ceremony on Friday night made him the sitting U.S. president paying the most
visits to China, first congratulated Hu on the Games' "spectacular and
successful" opening, and thanked China for its considerate arrangement of
activities relating to the Games for himself and his family.
In return, the Chinese president congratulated Bush
on the victory of Michael Phelps, whom he described as "an excellent athlete,"
and expressed his belief that Phelps will "achieve more outstanding results" in
the Olympic swimming competition.
An unexpected tragedy on Saturday, in which one
American citizen was stabbed to death and his wife injured by a Chinese man for
motives yet to be found out, didn't dampen the amicable atmosphere of the
meeting, as Hu expressed "heartfelt sympathy" to Bush and the victims family and
pledged serious investigation, and an understanding Bush thanked China for its
The American leader said he enjoyed the conservation
with his Chinese counterpart, adding that he has had "memorable experience"
every time he visited the country.
The summit was actually sandwiched by two
match-watching arrangements for Bush, who in the morning witnessed Phelps'
glorious win in the Water Cube, a nickname for the National Aquatics Center, and
enjoyed a basketball Group A qualifier featuring a clash between China and the
"To have president coming watch is pretty cool. I
looked up and saw him wave the flag. That's pretty cool to have the president
say congratulations," said Phelps.
While there has been media speculations that China
might hope to see the U.S. team tumble in its strong sports so as to get a
chance to overtake it as No.1 on the medal table, the home audience in the Water
Cube gave a negative answer with their enthusiastic support for the American
"He's so cool," said Beijing schoolboy Song Xinrong,
who is 12. "Actually, Phelps is the only swimmer I know."
Song, who failed to get a ticket to witness Phelps'
win in the 400m medley, tried hard to get an afternoon entry to cheer his
American idol on in the 200m freestyle heats.
"It's very impressive indeed," said the boy after
Phelps booked a place in the semifinal with no difficulty.
But the excitement by the pool was simply not enough
for this day, as many people, including President Bush, had looked forward to
the encounter between the two countries' basketball teams, said to be probably
"the most exciting match in the Olympic history."
Tickets of the match, which started at 22:15 Sunday
in the Wukesong Indoor Stadium in west Beijing, were sold out months before,
while almost all major sports channels across the world planned to broadcast it
"We will try our best to beat them, but it won't be
easy, as they have better skills," said the 7-foot-6 Yao Ming, backbone of the
Chinese team who plays for Houston Rockets in the NBA, before the match.
"Anyway, this is a precious experience for me, and it's a match worth
remembering for a lifetime."
And he was right. Despite assistance from teammates
Yi Jianlian and Wang Zhizhi, who also plays or played in the NBA, the valiant
Yao failed to deny the star-studded American team an easy victory of 101-70.
Anyway, the memory will always be there, so will be
his friendship with the American players, forged through six years of NBA games
on the U.S. soil. (Xinhua sportswriter Lou Chen also contributes to the
Hu meets Bush, underscoring China-U.S.
Chinese President Hu Jintao (R, front)
shakes hands with U.S. President George W. Bush during their meeting at
Zhongnanhai, compound of China's central authorities, in Beijing, China,
Aug. 10, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)
BEIJING, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- China is ready to work
together with the United States to forge ahead bilateral relations of
constructive cooperation along the right track and in a sustained, healthy and
stable manner, President Hu Jintao said here on Sunday. Full story
Day 2 Roundup: Phelps on course for
eight gold haul
BEIJING, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- U.S. swimming prodigy Michael
Phelps began with a bang his quest for an unprecedented eight-gold at an Olympic
Games, winning the men's 400m individual medley in world record time on
China picked up four gold medals in Day Two's action
to take its total to six and top the medals table. South Korea and the United
States are in second and third place respectively. Full story