Stranger Fruit


Irish boxer Kenny Egan is in the light heavyweight final against Xiaoping Zhang as I type. Naturally, I can’t see it live in this country … instead I get to see a bunch of overpaid millionaires play basketball against Spain. Here’s hoping the Spaniards win.

Best I can do is follow the fight round by round on RTE (video not allowed outside Ireland, damn it!). We’ve two bronze medals already this Olympics (for boxing). A gold would be nice, given that it’s only the fifth time in Olympic history that an Irish boy has made a boxing final.

Update: End of round 1 … Egan is down 2-0.

Update: End of round 2 … Egan down 5-3.

Update: End of round three … he’s down 7-5. There’s still hope but he’s going to have to give it everything. A win here would be Ireland’s first gold since 1992.

Update: And it’s over. 11-7. No doubt the home crowd is going wild.

That last round clearly didn’t help. Maybe I’ll get to see it sometime tomorrow.

A silver is good. Over the years we’ve won nine gold, twenty-two silver, and 16 bronze (not including the ones when we were, ahem, “Great Britain & Ireland”), so the extra medals wont hurt.

And while I’m at it …

The IOC ranks nations by the number of gold medals won. The US ranks by number of medals. I wonder why? Sorry folks … China is winning, and by a long shot.


  1. #1 Bob O'H
    August 24, 2008

    You might want to read the BBC’s live coverage. To give you an indication of their views on the fight, this is the comment on the following bout:

    To the boxing again, and Italy’s world champion Roberto Cammarelle is 11-3 up against China’s Zhang Zhilei after round two. Not sure what Cammarelle’s done to achieve that, I can only assume Zhang’s been knocked out, spent a few hours in hospital, and been allowed to carry on on his return to the Workers’ Gymnasium.

    I think the lack of coverage might have been a blessing in disguise.

    Being British, I don’t mind which way they score the medals: we’re still above the Aussies.

  2. #2 Idlethought
    August 24, 2008

    You could try the Channel 4 (GB) alternative orders.

    Order by population, GDP, Human rights, Olympic or US style.

  3. #3 Lassi Hippeläinen
    August 24, 2008

    @Bob: Really? See what Snowflake writes about it…

  4. #4 Bob O'H
    August 24, 2008

    Yes, Lassi, I saw that. You see he has to fudge the figures. And also see where Estonia is (and they keep on winning the wife-carrying).

  5. #5 j a higginbotham
    August 24, 2008

    As far back as I can recall, the US as always done total medals.
    Why is China so far out of balance on gold medals?

  6. #6 Thony C.
    August 25, 2008

    German television quotes Egan as having said; “The only way I could have won this fight was to knock out the points judge!”

  7. #7 DLC
    August 28, 2008

    Once upon a time I held out the hope that nations would send their best amateurs to compete in the Olympics out of a spirit of friendly competition. Once upon a time I thought that differences between nations could be set aside for a brief space of time. And then I saw the tragic ending of the 1972 Munich games. Are the Olympics really anything more than hype and merchandising anymore ?

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