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Germany reaches its goal at Beijing Olympics
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22:08, August 24, 2008

Germany rebounded from a slump in the Athens Games to match its Sydney feat of the fifth-place medal finish at the Beijing Games.

German athletes fuelled their medal drive on the traditional disciplines, winning 16 golds, 10 silvers and 15 bronzes.

The country finished fifth on the medal table in Sydney, with 57 medals including 14 golds. But in Athens, they were overtaken by the resurgent Japan, taking home 49 medals, 13 of which were golds.

The Beijing medal haul came as another harvest for Germany after it topped the medal table at the 2006 Turin Winter Games as the "ice and snow kings".

The equestrian events became the Germans' biggest victory this summer. German riders consolidated their reputation in the saddle with three gold medals, one silver and one bronze, topping the medal table at the 11-day competitions. The success in team eventing, individual eventing and team dressage showed Gemany's overall strength and fortified their dominance in the sport.

German's dominance on the water met the challenges in Beijing following the retirement of 46-year-old ace kayaker Birgit Fisher. However, the 21-year-old Fanny Fischer, who picked up two golds in the 2007 World Championships, led the German paddlers to win the women's Kayak Four class, defending their status in this traditionally dominant event. Alexander Grimm, Martin Hollstein and Andreas Ihle respectively clinched the golds in Men's kayak 1 and 2 class, gifting Germany the other two golds.

Britta Steffen, the former world holder of women's 100-meter freestyle, took two golds in 50 meters and 100 meters, reinstating herself the new leader in the pool for Germany.

In the weightlifting arena, Matthias Steiner not only won the super-heavyweight gold, but also moved the world.

The 6-foot, 321-pound strong man will be remembered for standing on the podium with tears welling up in his eyes and clutching a photo of his wife Susann, who was killed in a car accident last year.

Sabine Spitz, the Athen bronze medallist, gave her nation a surprise as she claimed the women's mountain bike cross country title. The German veteran led the race from the first lap to the last.

In team sports, after wining the 2007 World Cup in China, Germany's women footballers didn't make it to the final. Their perfect defence record was shattered 4-1 in a five-star show from the Brazilian squad led by superstar Marta.

On the hockey field, Germany showed its supremacy and defeated Spain 1-0 to regain their dominance in the world. It was also the Germany's first hockey gold since the 1992 Games.

Source: Xinhua

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1 China 51 21 28 100
2 USA 36 38 36 110
3 Russia 23 21 28 72
4 Great Britain 19 13 15 47
5 Germany 16 10 15 41
6 Australia 14 15 17 46
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