Possibility of Rain Exists For Opening Ceremonies

From News Services and Staff Reports
Monday, August 4, 2008

BEIJING, Aug. 3 -- Rain remains a possibility for the Opening Ceremonies, a team of meteorologists said in Beijing on Sunday, with overcast conditions and periodic rain showers likely Friday night.

They also forecast slightly more rain and higher temperatures than normal throughout the month of August.

"Whether we will be disappointed, that's very subjective," Wang Jienjie, deputy director of the Beijing Meteorological Bureau, said Sunday morning.

Though officials are using weather modification technology to help stave off rainstorms, they called the techniques experimental and could not guarantee a rain-free Opening Ceremonies. The weather modification techniques involve "seeding" clouds with chemicals that either bring rain or prevent it.

The officials said they would provide a more specific forecast for the Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday. They also predicted two or three typhoons could strike the eastern coast of China in August, possibly affecting Olympic competition sites in Shanghai, Qingdao and Hong Kong. They said temperatures were likely to be between 86 and 90 degrees -- slightly above normal -- throughout August.

But they said heavy rainfall during the Opening Ceremonies and temperatures in excess of 95 degrees were unlikely.

Bryant Lifts U.S. Men

Kobe Bryant provided the offense in the U.S. men's basketball team's first defensive struggle. Bryant scored 19 points, Carmelo Anthony added 17, and the Americans beat Russia, 89-68, in Shanghai in what was by far their most competitive tuneup yet for the Beijing Games.

Dwyane Wade continued his strong play off the bench with 16 points for the Americans.

"I think that's why they schedule these games," Wade said. "Russia is a team we could see in the gold medal game and a team that's been playing very well of late, so it was good competition. They made us run some sets, slow us down a little bit, but I think overall we played good defense."

Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko scored 18 points and American point guard J.R. Holden added 17 for the European champions.

The defensive tone of the game brought an early entrance of Tayshaun Prince, who had played little in the first three games. . . .

Sylvia Fowles scored eight of her 13 points during a late fourth-quarter run to lead the U.S. women's basketball team to an 84-74 victory over Latvia in the FIBA Diamond Ball tournament, a tuneup for the Olympics in Haining, China. . . .

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