Peking Duck + Day Six
Beijing, China: I discovered a new
corner of the hotel breakfast buffet this morning - a gluten-free section. I was
pretty surprised, but don't know why. This buffet is super-accommodating and
filled with foods from around the world. They also have several foreign workers.
Yesterday we met a young girl from Purdue University who is doing an internship
in the hotel as part of her Hospitality major. She lives in the hotel and they
do her laundry once a week.
Today I ordered a tomato, pepper and cheese omelet from the egg
bar, hashbrown patties, grilled tomatoes with "cheese" (I do not eat this
plastic cheese), fruit and three veggie egg rolls.
We talked with Galen Rupp this morning and told him about our Peking Duck track
meet scoring game. He laughed and promised a few more points for the Peking
Ducks during the 5000m.
After breakfast, we walked over to the track for the morning session. It was a
true 3-Ring Circus this morning with the men's discus, women's high jump and
women's 5000m heats happening at the same time.
Three Americans in the women's 5000m and
only one (Nicole Tully, in the first heat) made it out
to the final. The second heat was very strange. Very.
First, a Russian girl simply jogged-off the track into
the bowels of the stadium where she had appeared from
before the race. A little later Maureen Koster of the
Netherlands fell down with 500m to go. Just dropped to
the track. Medical staff came out to aid her, but
hesitate to touch fallen racers. If a fallen competitor
gets up unaided, they can continue on and finish the
race. If they are aided, they are toast.
Koster was toast. She stood up on her
own but was staggering. It was pitiful to watch and I
was hoping the doctors would realize Koster wasn't going
to run another lap and a half. They did, and immediately
took her under the stadium for medical attention. As the
race ended, several other girls plopped down on the
track, exhausted and incoherent. Track and Field is a
There will be no American women competing in the high
jump final. Chaunte Lowe didn't even clear a height. My
Blanka Vlasic will be there (of course).
Tianna Bartoletta is the only American to qualify for
the long jump final. Current Duck Jasmine Todd's jump of
6.52 meters (21.39 feet) was not enough to get her into
the elite group of 12 jumpers to move on to the final
event. American Brittany Reese also failed to move on.
An interesting (to me) side note here: remember
England's Katarina Johnson-Thompson - the athlete who
fouled on all three long jump attempts during the
heptathlon? Guess who had one of the best long jump mark
this morning? Yep. We'll see Johnson-Thompson in the
The 100m hurdle semi-finals will be loaded with
Americans. Brianna Rollins, Dawn Harper Nelson, Kendra
Harrison and Sharika Nelvis all qualified.
There will be no American men in the discus final.
The men's 1500m semi's were loaded with fantastic
athletes. Literally any of the entrants could have won
their heat. Race organizers ran three heats. The first
six in each heat automatically qualified to move on to
the next round and the next six racers with the fastest
times also qualified - leaving a group of 24. The USA
had one entrant in each heat and they all advanced!
Matt is hip 13
Duck alum, Matthew Centrowitz, Jr.,
raced in the first heat. He ran smart and finished in
third place. Leo Manzano finished third in the second
heat. Robbie Andrews finished 7th in the last heat, but
his heat was so fast 12 of the 14 entrants moved on the
the next round.
I thought y'all may be interested in seeing the IAAF hospitality area where we
go to cool off, grab a bottle of water or a snack between races. Nothing fancy,
but always a lot of good food and like-minded folks. The glass wall to the left
looks out over the track, so we don't have to miss a second of the action if
No catered lunch for us today. We came back to the hotel, tidied
ourselves up and Ubered over to the Tuanjiehu neighborhood for Peking Duck at Da
Dong. Chef Dong is world-famous for his crispy-skinned preparation of Beijing's
The facade made me think we were
entering a very old restaurant, but inside the space is
super modern. This place has a reputation for long
lines, but early afternoon on a Thursday seemed to be a
good time to drop-in. We were seated immediately,
ordered two beers and began looking over the huge (lots
of items and about two feet tall!) menu. We looked
around at other tables to take our cue, but everyone had
the same thing on their table - Peking Duck. We jumped
a our duck was presented tableside for approval.
the our duck is being expertly carved
and sliced, we were set-up with plates, chopsticks and a
divided dish containing sauces and fresh vegetables -
and a steamed basket filled with paper-thin crepe-like
From the top: sliced white onion, pickled radish, pickled no idea, sliced
cucumber, sliced melon, garlic paste, sugar and hoisin sauce.
Peking Duck and a basket of steamed thin pancakes
Our duck was delivered, crispy skin up,
succulent meat under. We received the entire duck,
carved in half and two legs. Eating Peking Duck is like
eating a taco or burrito. You stuff a pancake with meat,
veggies and a sauce, roll it up and eat. (This
Wikipedia article is very informative about the
And stuff we did. We made many pancakes and stuffed them
into our faces. Simply perfect. They also brought us a
shallow bowl filled with huge grapes. Under the grapes
sat a layer of ice and under the ice must have been a
bit of dry ice as the bowl was "smoking". The waiter
even brought a little plum sorbet for dessert. (We only
ordered the duck, but it seemed every table received
grapes and sorbet.) I am so happy we went. With two
beers, our lunch was about $50. More than we would
usually spend on lunch and probably one of the most
expensive places for lunch in Beijing... but I was not
going to visit Beijing without eating proper Peking
Duck. Mission accomplished. We even had time for a nap
before heading back to the stadium for the evening
Usually the staff catering the hospitality carves a flower
or a bird on watermelons on the buffet table. Tonight they carved the IAAF
logo. Very cute.
The evening session was loaded with nail-biting competition
and the stands were packed with fans anticipating the smack-down between
Justin Gatlin and Usain Bolt in the 200m final. Of course, meet organizers
saved that race til last.
Aries Merrit and David Oliver qualified in the 100m hurdle semi-final and
will represent the USA in the final. Oregon Duck Jonathan Cabral (Canada)
did not qualify, but did run a personal best of 13.37.
The men's triple jump final proved much more exciting than the much-anticipated
200m final. (The triple jump is a thrilling hop, skip and jump.) American
Christian Taylor made a monster jump on his final attempt, flying 18.21
meters (nearly 60 feet!), the second longest triple in the history of the
whole entire world. He went wild and the crowd joined him in the
celebration. What a night!
No Americans made it into the women's hammer throw final. The event was won
by of Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland, with China's Wenxiu Zhang taking second
and Alexandra Tavernier of France third. The local crowd went crazy cheering
for Zhang. The Chinese crowd finally began to get more interested in track
and field tonight and less interested with the "kiss cam" shown on the
Speaking of the hammer throw, here are photos of a medal ceremony:
Zhang receives her silver medal from an important Beijing politician
Flags from the winning countries are hoisted up a flag pole. Then, somehow,
a breeze magically appears from the top of the flag poles to make the flags
flow most properly. The national anthem of the gold medal winner is played.
Besides medals, the winners in Beijing receive little mascot pillows.
Two American women qualified in the women's 200m semi-final
- Candyce McGrone and Jeneba Tarmoh. University of Oregon senior, Jenna Prandini,
racing in Pumas, finished 5th in her heat. After the race, Prandini
announced she will leave the University to turn pro. Stay in school, kids.
There will be no Americans in the women's 800m final.
America's Sweetheart, Allyson Felix, won the gold medal in the 400m final.
She ran 49.26. Duck alum Phyllis Francis ran 50.51 to finish 7th.
How races are introduced on the video board
The 200m Smack Down was the final event with Usain Bolt
beating Justin Gatlin yet again.
Until my next update, I remain, your GO PEKING DUCK correspondent.
Peking Duck scoring: No Ducks in finals for
several days, but tonight we picked up two points from Phyllis Francis placing
7th in the 400m final. Her two points brings the Peking Ducks to a total of 14
points. If the University of Oregon were a country, we would rank 14th in the
placing table. Take that, Finland!
Official Placing Table
Something I found interesting today: The
one-child policy must have been relaxed a bit. We see many families with two
Pedometer: 11,644 steps; 5.15 miles.
You may also like:
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