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Buckeye Nation still waiting on Ohio State Olympians to deliver 1st medal of London Olympics

Andrew Holleran / Photo editor

Eleven current or former Ohio State athletes have competed or will compete at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, but Buckeye Nation is still waiting on the first medal, with 10 Buckeyes already eliminated from competition.

Athletes with OSU ties competed in fencing, swimming, rowing, rifle and soccer, and one remaining athlete will compete in diving, but no athlete with OSU ties has medaled as of Tuesday. A current diver for the Buckeyes is the only remaining hope for stopping OSU’s medal drought.

Four current or former OSU fencers qualified for individual Olympic competition, but none made it past the second round of their competitions.

A pair of siblings -current OSU athletes Zain and Mona Shaito – represented Lebanon in the men’s and women’s foil competitions. Zain Shaito, a junior, lost his first-round bout to China’s Jun Zhu. His sister, sophomore Mona Shaito, had slightly better success. Mona Shaito won her first-round bout versus Egypt’s Shaimaa Elgammal, but lost in the second round to Italy’s Elisa Di Francisca, who went on to win the event’s gold medal.

Former OSU fencers Margarita Tschomakova and Louise Bond-Williams both competed in the women’s sabre competition, but lost their first-round bouts. Tschomakova, representing Bulgaria, was defeated by Ukraine’s Olga Kharlan, the event’s eventual bronze medalist, while Bond-Williams lost to Greece’s Vassiliki Vougiouka.

Two former OSU swimmers competed for their native countries. Canadian swimmer Samantha Cheverton was eliminated in the semifinals of the women’s 200-meter freestyle, placing 11th with a time of one minute, 57.98 seconds. Serbian swimmer Dorde Markovic was eliminated in heats of the men’s 400-meter freestyle, placing 23rd with a time of 3:55.35.

Two former OSU rowers also participated in Olympic competition. Margot Shumway, representing the United States, qualified for the double sculls final along with teammate Sarah Trowbridge, but the pair only finished sixth with a time of 7:10.54. Claudia Wurzel represented Italy along with her teammate Sara Bertolasi, but they finished last out of 10 teams in the final with a time of 8:06.14.

Two other athletes with OSU ties have also completed competition at the Olympic Games. Amanda Furrer, a current OSU senior, finished 15th in the 50-meter rifle competition. Former OSU men’s soccer player Roger Espinoza scored a goal for Honduras in their quarterfinal match versus Brazil, but his team was eliminated with a 3-2 loss in that game. Espinoza also tallied an assist in Honduras’ 1-0 group-stage win against Spain.

The final Buckeye to compete at this year’s Games will be former OSU diver Katie Bell, who will represent the United States in the women’s 10-meter platform competition, which begins with preliminary round competition Wednesday.  

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