Day 2: Women’s gymnastics, men’s basketball, Phelps swims again

This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.This is the short link.

Dana Vollmer sets world record in the 100 butterfly. The U.S. women lead in gymnastics despite Jordyn Wieber’s struggles. The American men beat France in basketball. And Ryan Lochte loses lead in final leg as Americans lose gold medal to France in 4×100 freestyle relay.

Miss anything? Read past live blogs: Opening Ceremony | Day 1

Join in the conversation.

SUNDAY, JULY 29 (DAY 2)

NBC

7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Women’s cycling – road race (Live, 7 a.m.)
Swimming – qualifying heats (11 a.m., 1:30 p.m.)
Men’s volleyball – United States vs. Serbia (Live, 11:45 a.m.)
Women’s gymnastics – team competition (2 p.m.)
Men’s water polo – United States vs. Montenegro (Live, 2:40 p.m.)
Rowing – qualifying heats and repechages (3:40 p.m.)
Beach volleyball – Americans Jennifer Kessy and April Ross in a women’s qualifying match followed by Americans Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser in a men’s qualifying match (Live, 4 p.m.).
7 p.m. – midnight
Women’s gymnastics – team competition
Swimming – gold medal finals in women’s 100-meter butterfly, women’s 400-meter freestyle, men’s 100-meter breaststroke and men’s 4×100 freestyle relay
Women’s diving – gold medal final in synchronized springboard.
12:35 a.m. – 1:35 a.m.
Women’s gymnastics – team competition
Canoe/Kayak – whitewater qualifying heats.

NBC Sports Network

4 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Women’s beach volleyball – Italians Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti vs. Russians Evgeniya Ukolova and Ekaterina
Khomyakova (Live, 4 a.m.)
Men’s basketball — Brazil vs. Australia (Live, 6 a.m.)
Men’s beach volleyball – Brazilians Alison and Emanuel vs. Austrians Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst (8 a.m.)
Women’s field hockey – New Zealand vs. Australia (Highlights, 9 a.m.)
Men’s basketball – United States vs. France (Live, 9:30 a.m.)
Men’s basketball – Spain vs. China (Live, 11:30 a.m.)
Shooting – women’s skeet gold medal final (1:30 p.m.)
Men’s badminton – Americans Tony Gunawan and Howard Bach vs. Malaysia (1:50 p.m.)
Equestrian – eventing dressage (2:15 p.m.)
Women’s beach volleyball – Brazilians Talita and Antonelli vs. Madelein Meppelink and Sophie Van Gestel of the Netherlands (Live, 3 p.m.)
Archery – women’s team gold medal final (3:45 p.m.)
Women’s field hockey – United States vs. Germany (Live, 4:15 p.m.); Men’s basketball – Argentina vs. Lithuania (Live, JIP, 5:45 p.m.)

MSNBC

7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Men’s volleyball – Russia vs. Germany (Live, 7 a.m.)
Men’s handball – Croatia vs. South Korea (8:15 a.m.)
Men’s soccer – Brazil vs. Belarus (Live, 10 a.m.)
Men’s soccer – Senegal vs. Uruguay (Live, noon)
Men’s water polo – Hungary vs. Serbia (2 p.m.)
Men’s soccer – Britain vs. United Arab Emirates (Live, 2:45 p.m.)
Men’s volleyball – Italy vs. Poland (Live, JIP, 4:30 p.m.)

CNBC

8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Men’s boxing — round-of-32 lightweight and welterweight elimination bouts (Live)
3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Men’s boxing – round-of-32 lightweight and welterweight elimination bouts (Live)

Bravo

7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Tennis – first-round matches in men’s and women’s singles and doubles (Live)

NBC Olympic Basketball Channel

4 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Men’s basketball:
Nigeria vs. Tunisia (Live, 4 a.m.)
Brazil vs. Australia (Live, 6:15 a.m., Replay 8 a.m.)
United States vs. France (Live, 9:30 a.m., Replay 1:30 p.m.)
Spain vs. China (Live, 11:45 a.m.)
Russia vs. Britain (Live, 3 p.m.)
Argentina vs. Lithuania (Live, 5:15 p.m.)

NBC Olympic Soccer Channel

7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Men’s soccer:
Egypt vs. New Zealand (Live, 7 a.m.)
Brazil vs. Belarus (Live, 9:15 a.m.)
Senegal vs. Uruguay (Live, 11:30 a.m.)
Britain vs. United Arab Emirates (Live, 2 p.m.)
Mexico vs. Gabon (4:30 p.m.)
Japan vs. Morocco (6:15 p.m.)
South Korea vs. Switzerland (7:45 p.m.)
Spain vs. Honduras (9:15 p.m.)

Telemundo

7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Packaged Spanish-language coverage includes men’s soccer (Mexico vs. Gabon, Spain vs. Honduras and Senegal vs. Uruguay), swimming, men’s basketball, beach volleyball, volleyball, tennis and boxing.

Day 2 latest and sign-off

The live blog today has brought you the latest in live sports news, and then the latest in taped sports news. We’re the most with the latest. It’s 11:30 p.m. Eastern, though, and they’ve still got a ways to go in gymnastics, which can’t be good for all the pre-teen gymnasts watching in our part of the world.

Tune in again tomorrow, when Post reporters are here live from London, posting from the venues with the most and the latest. .Ryan Lochte will be swimming in the 200 freestyle final,  the men’s gymnastics team finals, Brazil vs. the U.S. squad in women’s volleyball, judo and much more. Get a full rundown in our viewer’s guide.

A painful moment, in full view

Jordyn Wieber suffered the most devastating blow of her life today. There is no sugar-coating it. In a sport where athletes have a shelf-life of century plants, the pain of one single mistake is expounded by the fact that it is once in a lifetime.

To add insult to injury, NBC’s cameras were there, up close, to document it all. As Wieber weeps, digesting the knowledge that she will not even have the opportunity to medal in the all-around competition that most thought she would sweep, producers are interviewing the girl who narrowly bumped her out of the running. Instead of focusing on Aly Raisman’s face, camera angles showed Wieber standing immediately in the background, sheer agony reading across her body. Wiping her tears on the sleeves of her leotard, she looks every bit her 17 years, and we’re reminded she is a young girl under pressures that most adults wouldn’t be mature enough to handle.

The scene amounted to what my colleague Tom Jackman described as “one of the most painful things I’ve ever watched.”

The footage begs a lot of questions. When do athletes deserve a moment of privacy to cope with the emotional strain of carrying a nation’s expectations? Or is it part of the package that they should be interview-ready following every competition? Tell us your thoughts.

 

Ryan Lochte: Forgive, forget or move on?

Ryan Lochte has borne the brunt of criticism about the 400-meter free relay team’s second place finish. From rumors about a late bedtime, to coaching decisions about using Lochte despite inexperience in the event, his name has been both praised for bringing home the first gold and failing to secure a second.

 

As Post-ing pointed out in our comments, Lochte said “I mean, the 100 free, I don’t really swim it — haven’t swum it in a long time, so I think I was really excited. I think I over-swam the first 50, which kinda hurt me the last 50.”

But Michael Phelps, ever the true sportsman, was positive, telling NBC they “knew it was going to be hard.”

Has Lochte’s hype been tarnished? Or can we look forward to the 200-meter free and his other chance for gold? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Top 10 Best Slams of NBC on Twitter

We scan the Tweeter so you don’t have to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gabby Douglas lives up to her nickname

Gabby Douglas’ incredible ability to soar over the uneven bars has given her one of the crowning achievements of the 2012 competition — well before any of the gymnastics medal ceremonies have taken place. Her nickname, the Flying Squirrel, is arguably one of the best monickers of the Games. It is all the more apropos when watching her most substantial release move, that with legs glued perfectly together, helped her earn a 15.333.

Douglas’ performance during the U.S. team qualifiers stunned me, and begged the question of whether she would emerge as a young star, despite the expectation that Jordyn Wieber would be the standout.

 

One reason Wieber has been favored over Douglas and the freshman competitors is her experience and ability to handle the pressure of international competition. Even Bela Karolyi, the godfather of American gymnastics, picked Wieber for all-around, citing her solid performance style.

Which makes her wobbles on balance beam all the more disconcerting, and Douglas’ confidence that much more promising. Douglas seems poised to place in the all-around competition. And as her self-assurance becomes even more obvious, I’d say a gold is certainly in the realm of possibilities.

 

Overall medal count after Day 2 (not a spoiler)

Here’s the overall medal count after two days. China has a slight lead, Russia ain’t what it used to be, and here comes North Korea on the outside. North Korea? Well, you know they’re hungry.

Country Total
 China 6 4 2 12
 United States 3 5 3 11
 Italy 2 3 2 7
 South Korea 2 1 2 5
 Japan 0 2 3 5
 France 2 1 1 4
 Russia 1 0 3 4
 North Korea 2 0 1 3
 Australia 1 1 1 3
 Brazil 1 1 1 3
 Hungary 1 1 1 3

McKayla Maroney is a stud

The pint-sized vaulting phenom ‘Air Maroney’, a.k.a. McKayla Maroney, earned a 15.8 on her second vault. But if her first attempt had a perfect landing, it surely would have been higher.

NBC pulled out one of its most impressive graphics of the night, freezing Maroney’s flight off the horse, which looked like it was feet higher than the rest of the American’s vaults.

Needless to say, Maroney is an impressive competitor. Even with a team that is overall very strong in the event, Maroney was brought in specifically for her vault, which earned her a gold at the world competition.

The U.S. is in great shape after the first rotation.

 

Lots of empty seats at Olympic venues

The Post’s Karla Adam has just posted a real interesting story about the large swaths of empty seats at supposedly sold-out venues for gymnastics, swimming and tennis. Lots of finger-pointing: Sponsors not using their tickets, sports federations, news media. London organizers investigating, and trying to rush “troops and schoolchildren” into the empty seats. The Daily Mail has a good story with lots of jaw-dropping photos. Here’s one of our photos:

Empty seats at high-profile venues such as swimming and gymnastics are baffling the London organizers.

Elsewhere on the networks of NBC

On the NBC Sports Network, there’s LIVE soccer. MLS Soccer. Still, got live if you want it.

On the Olympics Basketball Channel, the US-France game is being replayed. Tony Parker is wearing goggles, setting up his lawsuit damages from the glass-throwing-rappers brawl. 

The Olympic Soccer Channel is showing Japan vs. Morocco. Won’t ruin this thriller for you.

CNBC has “How I Made My Millions,” and Bravo has “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” in which “Melissa learns some moves from choreographer Chris Judd.” Don’t want to counterprogram the Olympics too hard.

Tony Parker's stylish goggles couldn't stop America's hoops team. But will they stop Chris Brown and Drake?

Please hold your Tweets

In addition to spoiling the endings of some tight races, the tidal waves of Tweets and text messages coming from London have been wreaking havoc on the GPS satellite navigation tracking cyclists. Reuters is reporting an Olympic Committee spokesperson has asked ticket holders to refrain from sending messages if it is not urgent.

Frankly, I’m shocked anyone has service in the Olympic venues. As anyone who has a smartphone knows, it is impossible to text when there are more than approximately 10 people in a five-foot radius.

So for now that Instagram pic of the world’s largest McDonalds will have to wait.

 

Don't talk about the Olympics around me!

In anticipation of the thrill of live-blogging a series of pre-recorded events, I stayed away from the Olympic coverage today, other than to check in on the men’s hoops. But in the all-electronic world of today, it was impossible not to know that very big stuff happened in women’s gymnastics and one of the men’s swimming relays — it just floats through the air into your brain.

And now, as primetime coverage begins, we are greeted with synchronized diving. No doubt we must endure untold hours of other events we don’t care about. It’s a tough call for NBC: Do they acknowledge what is already known and not insult our intelligence, or act like we’ve all stayed away from all sources of information. Guessing the latter. We are at their mercy.

Bob Costas looking a little rough. It’s 1 am there. Not sure his body clock has adjusted. Or else he was out with Ryan Lochte last night.

NBC Night 2: Any surprises left?

NBC’s decision to delay airing some of the most popular sports has angered many Olympic enthusiasts — who have naturally taken to Twitter to express their dismay — and has made it challenging to watch the games without knowing the most shocking outcomes. (We still love you Lochte!)

 

 

Primetime coverage seems to be dividing viewers into two camps: the purists, who have hidden from their iPads and Facebook feeds, and the instant consumers who have gobbled up the headlines about men’s swimming and the hopes of the U.S. gymnastics team. Where do you fall? Have you spent your Sunday in digital sequestration or glued to your Olympics app? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

The best photos from today's Olympics

Every Olympics produces great images, and we’ve done our best to round them up. Check them out in our gallery:

olympic mascots

 

GALLERY: Click on the image for photos from today.

Britain's Giggs, 38, is oldest to score Olympic goal

Ryan Giggs, right, gets a hug from Craig Bellamy after scoring. (Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)

Ryan Giggs, 38, scored in the 16th minute to become the oldest goal scorer ever at the Olympic Games. His strike came during Britain’s 3-1 victory over the United Arab Emirates.

According to the Associated Press, Giggs broke an 88-year-old record. Egypt’s Hussein Hegazi scored at age 37.

Read the full account here.

Germans beat U.S. women, 2-1

Katelyn Falgowski attempts to poke the ball away from Germany's Kristina Hillmann. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

Germany defeated the U.S. women’s field hockey team, 2-1, in the Group B opener for both teams Sunday at Riverbank Arena.

Midfielder Katharina Otte and forward Maike Stoeckel scored for the Germans. Lauren Crandall, the captain, had the only goal for the United States.

In other Group B games, Argentina crushed South Africa, 7-1, and New Zealand edged Australia, 1-0. In Group A play, there were three shutouts: Britain, 4-0, over Japan, China, 4-0, over Korea; and the Netherlands, 3-0, over Belgium.

The Americans’ next game is Tuesday against Argentina.

Dalhausser, Rogers cruise in beach volleyball

Kentaro Asahi of Japan attempts to block Phil Dalhausser. (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Defending gold medalists Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers of the United States took little time in winning their opening match, 21-15, 21-16, over Kentaro Asahi and Katsuhiro Shiratori of Japan.

The Americans outblocked their opponents, 9-0, en route to victory. They’ll face Adrian Gavira Collado and Pablo Herrera Allepuz of Spain on Tuesday at Horse Guards Parade.

Spence keeps U.S. boxing unbeaten

Errol Spence, right, faces Myke Ribeiro de Carvalho of Brazil. (Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

Welterweight Errol Spence gave the U.S. men’s boxing team its fourth victory in as many bouts Sunday, beating Myke Ribeiro de Carvalho of Brazil on points, 16-10.

After a disheartening performance four years ago in Beijing, where the U.S. team collected just one medal, the early start in London has been impressive. The skill and maturity of the U.S. fighters, some very young, have been as noteworthy as the results.

Spence, 22, a native of Texas, will face a much stiffer challenge in Friday’s round of 16, where he’ll take on Krishan Vikas of India.  Teammate Rau’shee Warren, who drew a first-round bye, also fights Friday in the flyweight class.

Spence’s victory came less than an hour after teammate Jose Ramirez, 19, defeated Frenchman Rachid Azzedine, 21-20, in a lightweight match. Ramirez will face Fazliddin Gaibnazarov of Uzbekistan in a round of 16 match on Thursday.

On Saturday, Americans Joseph Diaz Jr. (bantamweight) and Terrell Gausha (middleweight) won their openers.

Hsing's table tennis run ends in third round

American Ariel Hsing found herself outmatched. (Sergei Grits/Associated Press)

Sixteen-year-old Ariel Hsing’s Olympic run came to an end in the third round when she fell, four games to two, to Xiaoxia Li of China.

Li won, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9.

Hsing is a student at Evergreen Valley High School in San Jose who has received support from billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, whom she calls “Uncle Bill.”

Solo won't be disciplined for Twitter rant

Hope Solo met with her coach and team captains following a Twitter outburst. (Graham Stuart/AFP/Getty Images)

Pia Sundhage, coach of the U.S. women’s national soccer team, said Hope Solo won’t be disciplined for tweets critical of former U.S. standout Brandi Chastain.

“On the field, it’s okay to make a mistake,” Sundhage told the Associated Press. “There’s no such thing as a perfect game. And sometimes you make a mistake outside the field as well. Myself as well. I’ve regretted that I’ve said that or whatever.”

Read the full account here.

Ross, Kessy relax on the beach

Jennifer Kessy and April Ross enjoy a quick victory. (Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Americans April Ross and Jennifer Kessy needed just 36 minutes to defeat Maria Virginia Zonta and Ana Gallay of Argentina, 21-11, 21-18, in a preliminary match at Horse Guards Parade Ground.

It was the first appearance in the main draw by an Argentinian women’s team in Olympic history.

Ramirez gives U.S. boxing its third win

Rachid Azzedine of France and American Jose Ramirez square off. (Morry Gash/Associated Press)

Jose Ramirez, a 19-year-old student at Fresno State, outpunched Rachid Azzedine of France in a lightweight bout Sunday at ExCel South Arena.

Ramirez led, 13-11, going into the final round but despite aggressive punching by both fighters, the judges gave the final round to Azzedine, who is 10 years older than the American. When the decision was announced, the score was given before the winner’s name, leading the crowd to boo before the reaction changed to cheers. It was clear the youngster had beaten the Frenchman who was 10 years his senior.

“I had no doubt I had won,” Ramirez said of what he was thinking when he heard the score. “I was a little tense, a little nervous.”

Ramirez — who gave the U.S. team its third victory here — didn’t qualify for the Olympics until May. A three-time national champion with 143 amateur wins, Ramirez won two fights at the Americans Continental tournament in Rio de Janeiro to earn a spot on the U.S. team.

France overcomes Lochte, U.S. men in 4x100 relay

Michael Phelps, left, and Ryan Lochte react following the relay. (Leon Nealleon/AFP)

The French 4×100-meter relay team, devastated after throwing away an apparent gold medal four years ago, delivered a resounding answer Saturday night, taking the gold medal over an American team that had been handed a three-quarters of a second lead by Michael Phelps.

Ryan Lochte, fresh off his dominant gold medal-winning performance in Saturday night’s 400-meter individual medley, was overtaken in the final leg by Frenchman Yannick Agnel. Four years ago in Beijing, it was American anchor man Jason Lezak who stormed from behind to out-touch the French at the wall, giving Phelps one of his record eight gold medals.

“I’m kinda bummed because when we go up on the blocks, we always want to win,” said Lochte. “But it’s an honor to be serving our country and no one can be mad over that.”

This race started beautifully for the American team. Nathan Adrian handed a small lead to Phelps, who normally leads off but swam second Saturday. Phelps then crushed the competition, extending the U.S. advantage to 0.76 of a second.

“I felt great,” Phelps said. “I felt a lot better today than I did yesterday. I was happy I was able to put yesterday behind me and kind of move on to today.”

Cullen Jones maintained most of that lead on the third leg, and the Americans were up by 0.55 of a second when Lochte dove into the pool.

“I really pushed it through there,” Jones said. “And I was really happy with my effort… I just wanted to give Ryan as big a lead as possible.”

But Agnel, France’s best 100-meter swimmer, caught up to Lochte swiftly, and when Lochte turned for the final 50 meters, his advantage was scant. Agnel overtook him in the final 25 meters, and France celebrated a victory four years in the making, finishing in 3 minutes 9.93 seconds. The U.S. team finished in 3:10.38.

U.S. team splits: Adrian 47.89, Phelps 47.15, Jones 47.60, Lochte 47.74

French team splits: Leveaux 48.13, Gilot 47.67, Lefert 47.39, Agnel 46.74

Franklin is second qualifier in 100-meter back

American Missy Franklin qualified for the 100-backstroke final. (Michael Sohn/Associated Press)

Missy Franklin, the teen sensation from Colorado who appears poised to win multiple medals in London, qualified with the second-fastest time in the semifinals of the 100-meter backstroke Sunday night.

Franklin’s time of 59.12 in the first heat trailed only Australian Emily Seebohm, who swam a 58.39 that was just off the Olympic record Seebohm set in Sunday morning’s preliminary heats. Seebohm and Franklin will thus swim side-by-side in Monday night’s final, when Franklin could win the first Olympic medal of what is an exceptionally promising career.

U.S. eventing team is seventh after dressage

The U.S. three-day eventing team fell to seventh on the second day of the dressage phase at Greenwich Park.

The Americans are usually strong in eventing, but they trail Germany, Australia, Britain, Sweden, New Zealand and Japan going into Monday’s cross-country race, which will be televised live on NBC Sports Network at 7:30 a.m. Eastern time.

Japan’s Yoshiaki Oiwa had the best score after two days (38.10), but the Germans were able to take the team lead by placing three riders among the top 11, including Ingrid Klimke, Dirk Schrade and Michael Jung. Still, they lead Australia by just three points and the competition is far from over, with the cross-country and jumping still to come.

Phillip Dutton (Mystery Whisper) was the top scorer among American riders, at 19th. The U.S. team includes Karen O’Connor (Mr. Medicott) of The Plains, Va., as well as Martin Boyd (Otis Barbotiere), Tina Coudray (Ringwood Magister) and William Coleman (Twizzel).

The eventing team took bronze in Sydney in 2000 and silver in Atlanta in 1996.

U.S. men's water polo edges Montenegro

The defending silver medalist U.S. men’s water polo team opening their London campaign with a 8-7 win over Montenegro.

Ryan Bailey celebrates a goal during as the U.S. wins its opening match. (Julio Cortez – AP)

Peter Varellas led the way with three goals while goalie Merrill Moses and the American defense did its part, holding Montenegro to just two goals in man-up situations. But the Montenegrans didn’t go quietly. After Varellas gave the U.S. a 7-5 lead midway through the fourth quarter, Aleksandar Ivovic scored to cut the deficit to a single goal with 2 minutes remaining.

With time with the clock winding below the one-minute mark Tony Azevedo rifled a shot into the left corner, but Vladimir Gojkovic answered for Montenegro.

Montenegro regained possession with 17 seconds left but failed to get a shot off amid one final gritty defensive stand from the Americans.

“Our defense is our No. 1 game, that’s what got us to the gold medal game last year and that’s what we live by,” Azevedo said in a post-game television interview with NBC.

The U.S. moved into a tie atop Group B with Serbia and Romania, who they play Tuesday.

Britain's first swim medal; Silver for American

With the crowd roaring for British legend Rebecca Adlington, France’s Camille Muffat won a tightly contested dual with U.S. swimmer Allison Schmitt to claim the gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle relay Sunday night.

Adlington claimed Britain’s first medal in the pool, a bronze, with her finish in 4 minutes 3.01 seconds. Muffat got the gold in an Olympic record 4:01.45; Schmitt finished in 4:01.77 for the silver.

Medals standings update

Another swimming world record is set

Cameron van der Burgh celebrates his world record. (Matt Slocum/Associated Press)

South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh captured the third world record of the Olympic swimming competition on Sunday night, finishing the 100-meter breast stroke in 58.46 seconds as U.S. swimmer Brendan Hansen — who came out of retirement to compete here — claimed a bronze medal.

Van der Burgh went 0.12 of a second under the mark set in 2009 by Australia’s Brenton Rickard. Aussie Christian Sprenger got the silver in 58.93 as Hansen, competing in his first Olympic Games, snagged the bronze in 59.49.

Lochte advances to 200 free final

Ryan Lochte, center, competes in a 200-freestyle semifinal. (David J. Phillip/Associated Press)

Fewer than 90 minutes before he was scheduled to anchor the U.S. 4×100-meter relay team Sunday night, U.S. star Ryan Lochte advanced to Monday’s 200 freestyle final but posted only the fifth-best time.

Lochte, who will be seeking his second individual gold medal in the event, finished second to Germany’s Paul Biedermann in his semifinal, touching the wall in 1 minute 46.31 seconds as Biedermann got there in 1:46.10.

In the second semifinal, three swimmers went faster: China’s Sun Yang led in 1:45.61; France’s Yannick Agnel was second in 1:45.84; and South Korea’s Park Taehwan was third in 1:46.02.

Dana Vollmer sets world record in 100 butterfly

Dana Vollmer exults in her new 100-meter butterfly record. (Martin Bureau -- Agence France Presse)

U.S. swimmer Dana Vollmer set a world record in the 100-meter butterfly in the first race of Sunday’s Olympic swimming competition, exploding over the last 50 to come home in 55.98 seconds. She is the first woman to break the 56-second mark in the race.

Vollmer went 0.08 of a second under the previous mark, set by Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom at the 2009 world championships in Rome — the height of the Supersuit era.

“I’m just so excited to have gotten the world record and be the first female to go under 56,” Vollmer said. “But in the other hand, I also know that I can have a better finish than that. So I know I can go faster as well.”

Vollmer, who was third at the turn, finished with a fury, topping China’s Lu Ying, who got the silver in 56.87, and Australia’s Alicia Coutts (59.94). She shook her fist when she realized she had gone under the world mark.

“I was really calm,” Vollmer said of being third after the first 50 meters. “Normally I’m not in the lead after my start.”

Bethesda's Parsons: 'Not very competitive.'

Things didn't go as planned for Scott Parsons. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press)

More from Bethesda’s Scott Parsons, after he finished 16th in the qualifying round of the men’s single kayak Sunday. Only the top 15 advanced to Wednesday’s semifinal.

Parsons, according to USA Canoe/Kayak, said after the competition:

“The first run had a lot of good bits. I had two kind of slow sections that made the run as a whole not very competitive, which is too bad. I was happy with about 90 percent of the first run, it was just that 10 percent that really sort of pushed the time up.”

On the 50-second penalty for missing Gate 8 on the second run:
“It was a downstream on the left part of the current that I was a little late for and I kind of had to do a little maneuvering to make sure I was in.”

Vollmer sets world record, wins 100 butterfly

U.S. swimmer Dana Vollmer set a world record and won the gold medal in the 100 butterfly, finishing in 55.98 seconds. She is the first woman to break the 56-second mark in the race.

More to come shortly.

U.S. still atop women's gymnastics

After four subdivisions in women’s team gymnastics qualification, the United States still leads with 181.863 points, followed by powers Russia (180.429) and China (176.637).

Japan, Senegal win in men's soccer

Abdoulaye Ba is assessed a red card against Uruguay. Senegal still won. (Ben Curtis -- Associated Press)

Kensuke Nagai scored in the 84th minute to give Japan a 1-0 win over Morocco and a spot in the Olympic men’s soccer quarterfinals. Japan now has six points in Group D with one opening-round match remaining against Honduras.

In Group A, Moussa Konate scored in the 10th and 37th minutes and Senegal scored a 2-0 win over Uruguay. Senegal, for the moment atop Group A with four points, won despite playing with 10 men after Abdoulaye Ba was given a red card in the 30th minute.

Uruguay may have been feeling the effects of a 7 1/2-hour bus ride to London from Manchester.

Parsons fails to qualify for kayak semifinal

Bethesda’s Scott Parsons was eliminated for the second straight Olympic Games in the qualifying round of the men’s kayak, with a pair of penalties on his second run doing him in.

Parsons nicked a gate and was charged with missing a gate — which he and U.S. officials challenged unsuccessfully after the race. Those two mishaps, which added two- and 50-second penalties, rendered his second run useless. He had to stand on the time he put forward in the first run — 94.16 second. That time put him in 16th place at day’s end.

Only the top 15 advanced.

Before he learned his protest had been denied, Parsons, who also competed in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, said he would remain until the end to cheer on the rest of the U.S. team — regardless of whether he advanced.

“I wanted to do this race the way I wanted to do it — on my terms,” Parsons said by cell phone moments after his race. “If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. Sure, it might sting, but I’m just glad to be here, glad I’ve had a great experience.”

Parsons finished sixth at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens.

U.S. men's badminton duo falls to Malaysia

Howard Bach (R) and Tony Gunawan dropped to 0-2 in group play. (Adek Berry/Getty Images)

Americans Howard Bach and Tony Gunawan lost their second team badminton match in as many days, all but extinguishing their hopes of reaching the knockout stages.

Facing a virtual must-win situation, the duo couldn’t claw its way back from an early deficit against the tandem of Kien Keet Koo and Boon Heong Tan and fell 21-14, 21-19.

After a strong showing in a loss to South Korea on Saturday, Bach and Gunawan battled back from an 11-4 deficit in the second game against Malaysia but could not match the consistency and aggression of Koo and Tan.

The top eight teams – including all four group winners – will advance to the knockout round.

Lochte will swim anchor on U.S. relay team

Ryan Lochte will anchor the 4x100 freestyle relay for the United States. (Adam Pretty -- Getty Images)

Ryan Lochte’s quest to surpass Michael Phelps as the dominant American swimmer will continue Sunday night in a new spot — as the anchor on the U.S. men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay team.

Lochte was tapped by his college coach from the University of Florida, Gregg Troy — who also serves as the head coach for the American men’s team — to swim the final leg. He will be preceded by Nathan Adrian, who will be followed by Phelps in the second leg and then Cullen Jones.

Jason Lezak, the 36-year-old sprinter who unforgettably came from behind to secure gold for the American team four years ago in Beijing, was left off the team in finals after he swam in the morning preliminary round.

Lochte, who already beat Phelps in the Olympics-opening 400-meter individual medley — a race in which Phelps swam poorly and finished off the podium — is now primed to become the centerpiece of the American swim team. Adrian has swam the final leg of several recent prominent meets for the U.S. team.

Sharapova doesn't let the rain stop her

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova returns a shot during her match. (Elise Amendola/Associated Press)

Maria Sharapova advanced in the first round of the women’s Olympic tennis tournament at the All England and Depressing Rain Club.

Sharapova got her match in under the roof on Centre Court, dispatching  Israel’s Shahar Peer in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0. Other less-prominent players stuck on outside courts were not as fortunate.

Memo to Wimbledon board of trustees or quorum or whoever: Build more roofs. Put them over every court at the club to keep them dry. That way you won’t have people turning in tickets for resale like today.

Andy Roddick just had his match postponed as I was typing. Numerous cancellations because of the rain. Maria Kirilenko, beau of Russian NHL star Alex Ovechkin, is still supposed to play her match on Court 16.

But that’s what they always say at Wimbledon — until another downpour and Olympic tennis is moved back to August of 2013.

Liars. All of ‘em.

South Korea wins 7th straight gold in women's archery

Ki Bo-Bae's final arrow sealed South Korea's seventh straight gold. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

South Korea added a seventh chapter to one of the most dominant dynasties in the Summer Games with yet another gold medal in the women’s team archery competition.

China, which knocked out the United States in Sunday’s quarterfinals, put the pressure on the defending champions with a total of 55 on its final end. But with the South Koreans needed a 9 to win it on their final arrow, Ki Bo-Bae delivered.

South Korea won the match 210-209 to remain the lone nation to win gold since the women’s team competition was introduced at the 1988 Games.

U.S. men's volleyball stops Serbia

The U.S. men’s volleyball team, the defending gold medalist, opened play at the London Games with a 25-17, 25-22, 25-21 win over Serbia.

Women's eight moves quickly into final

The U.S. women’s eight crew won its heat Sunday and advanced to Thursday’s final in a time that was less than a second slower than Canada, which won the other heat at Eton Dorney.

The final should prove a typically close race between these two teams. At the World Cup in Lucerne earlier this year, Canada lost to the United States by 3/100ths of a second. The Americans won gold in Beijing four years ago and at the World Cup last year.

The U.S. team consists of Mary Whipple, Caryn Davies, Caroline Lind, Eleanor Logan , Meghan Musnicki, Taylor Ritzel, Esther Lofgren, Susan Francia and Erin Cafaro.

The two boats were the only ones to advance automatically to the final. The other five — Australia, Britain, Germany, Romania and the Netherlands — will race in a repechage on Tuesday.

In the women’s lightweight double sculls, Americans Kristin Hedstrom and Julie Nichols finished third in their qualifying heat, but will get a second chance in a repechage Tuesday.

Sophie Hosking and Katherine Copeland of Britain had the fastest time in the three rounds of heats.

LeBron not worried about his scoring

LeBron James, right, isn't concerned with how many points he scores. (Eric Gay/Associated Press)

Four years ago, LeBron James opened Olympic play with an impressive 18 points. In Sunday’s opening contest of these London Games, James took only six shots and scored only nine points in Team USA’s lopsided win.

James doesn’t seem too caught up with his numbers.

“We want to play the right way,” he said following the team’s 98-71 win over France. “We want to share the ball on offense, we want to defend at a high level, we want to rebound. Whatever comes out of that, we’re happy.”

The Americans did those things well. They finished with 27 assists – 17 more than France. They outrebounded their opponents 56-40 and had twice as many offensive rebounds (18-9). And their defense stifled France, which had no player score more than 12 points. Tony Parker had only 10, including only four in the second half.

“That’s our strength,” James said. “Strength is our defense, getting out in transition and letting our scorers do what they do.”

Sharapova easily stops Peer in tennis

Maria Sharapova of Russia had few troubles with Shahar Peer of Israel, earning an easy 6-2, 6-0 win on Centre Court at the All England club, where she won her lone Wimbledon title in 2004.

U.S. rowers seize second chance

Anthony Fahden, William Newell, Nicholas La Cava and Robin Prendes represent the U.S. men's lightweight four. (Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images)

The U.S. men’s lightweight four – Anthony Fahden, Will Newell, Nick LaCava and Robin Prendes – won its repechage Sunday at Eton Dorney and qualified for semifinal A on Tuesday against the Netherlands, Switzerland, Britain, Germany and the Czech Republic.

The repechage is a second chance for crews who failed to qualify during heats.

The top three boats in each of Tuesday’s semifinals advance to final A to determine the top six places, including the medals; the last three boats advance to final B to determine places 7-12.

U.S. boxers look to advance

Later Sunday, American lightweight (60 kilograms/132 pounds) Jose Ramirez, 19, opens his Olympic boxing tournament in the round of 32 against Rachid Azzedine of France. The bell rings at 4:30 p.m.

In the welterweight division (69 kilograms/152 pounds), Errol Spence of the United States takes on Myke Ribiero de Carvalho at 5 p.m. in the round of 32.

China knocks out U.S. women's archery team

Jennifer Nichols and the U.S. fell to China in Sunday's team quarterfinals. (Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

China put an end to the U.S. women’s archery team’s bid to claim the country’s first medal since 1988.

The American team of Khatuna Lorig, Miranda Leek and Jennifer Nichols couldn’t dig themselves out of an early hole and China’s 59-point total on its final three arrows sealed their path through to the semifinals.

The Chinese outscored the U.S. in three out of four ends to win 218-213.

China will face defending champion South Korea in the gold medal match.

U.S. pair in 10th, Brazilians stars of Star class

Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Faith are in 10th place after two races in the Star class Sunday at Weymouth and Portland.

Iaian Percy and Andrew Simpson of Britain, defending gold medalists in this event, were 11th in the first race but runners-up in the second, just two seconds behind Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada of Brazil – silver medalists in  Beijing. That left the Brazilians in first place and the Brits in fourth with the next two races to be held Monday.

Peter O’Leary and David Burrows of Ireland are second.

There are 10 races in the Star. Each team receives a point corresponding to the place of his finish. At the end of 10 races, points from the team’s worst race are thrown out, the remaining points are added together and the ten lowest totals determine which teams move to the medal round.

Dane wins first two Finn races

Jonas Hogh-Christensen won the first two races in the men's Finn. (Clive Mason/Getty Images)

American Zach Railey finished 10th and 15th in the first two races in the men’s Finn Sunday at Weymouth and Portland.

Britain’s Ben Ainslie, who won the gold in this event in Athens and Beijing, was second in both races Sunday; Jonas Hogh-Christensen of Denmark won both.

There will be ten races in the Finn. Each competitor receives a point corresponding to the place of his finish – Railey has 25 points after the first two races, for instance. At the end of ten races, points from the sailor’s worst race are thrown out, the remaining points are added together and the ten lowest totals determine which sailors move to the medal round.

World champion gymnast fails to qualify in all-around

American Jordyn Wieber had a disappointing day. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

The U.S. women’s gymnasts staged an impressive showing during Sunday’s qualifications at the London Olympics, sweeping the top three positions in a  session that included Canada, France and Britain.

But the stunning development, when the final scores were tallied, is that reigning world champion Jordyn Wieber was third among them, overtaken on the final rotation by her teammate Aly Raisman, who seized the lead after a near error-free floor routine.

The upshot means that Wieber, who had been the favorite to claim the prestigious all-around title at the London Games, failed to qualify for that competition. Each country is limited to two athletes each, and Raisman and Gabby Douglas of Virginia Beach simply shone brighter on this day.

Wieber bobbled visibly during her balance beam on two occasions. She didn’t fall, but her score suffered for the glaring “balance checks.” Then, on the floor, she stepped out of bounds ever so slightly but enough to draw the official’s white flag, which meant further deductions.

Raisman, performing last among the Americans, pulled off a showstopper, scoring 15.325 to vault ahead of both Wieber and Douglas.

Raisman finished with 60.391 points; Douglas, 60.265; and Wieber, 60.032.

Wieber left the gym floor in tears, declining to speak with reporters, as did her coach, who later called the outcome “devastating.”

Absent Wieber’s heartbreak, it was a good day for the Americans, who finished with 181.863 points to claim a hefty lead in the standings. But 2008 Olympic gold-medal winners China had yet to compete, nor had perennial powers Russia and Romania.

A kayaking photo you need to see

Scott Parsons of the U.S. team competes at the Lee Valley White Water Centre.

We’re keeping an eye out for the best photos coming out of London. Thanks to Mitch Rubin for finding this one.

 

Not your grandfather's Wimbledon

Bernard Tomic gets colorful at Wimbledon. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

First time at Wimbledon. Lucky I eschewed the white polo shirt, white trousers, white shoes and white undies, because I would have looked like the biggest oddball on the planet.

Who knew the all-white dress code would be shunned for bursts of color and individuality befitting the Olympic Games?

Yesterday on Henman Hill, about 50 kids performed a flash-mob dance lasting 15 minutes. Then the Pet Shop Boys took over for three songs. At Wimbledon, people!

It just feels wrong. This isn’t your great grandfather’s Wimbledon. It’s not even your dad’s Wimbledon. The great All England club has either gone to hell or Project Runway, which is about the same.

Now on Centre Court, Maria Sharapova is facing off against Israel’s Shahar Peer, with Sharapova up 2-1 early in the first set.

Brazil men's soccer beats Belarus 3-1

After falling behind in the opening minutes, Brazil’s young guns stormed back with a second-half onslaught to top Belarus 3-1.

Oscar's late goal sealed Brazil's second straight win. (Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images)

Neymar gave the heavily-favored Brazilians their first lead with a curling free kick into the left corner in the 65th minute. Then, after absorbing a brutal tackle in the box, the 20-year-old star flicked a nifty back-heel pass to a streaking Oscar, who tucked home the final tally.

Brazil, which barely held off Egypt’s furious rally in their Group C opener, concludes pool play on Wednesday against New Zealand.

Eichfeld misses canoe semifinals

Casey Eichfeld just missed the semifinals. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press)

American Casey Eichfeld just missed qualifying for the semifinals in men’s single canoe Sunday at the Lee Valley Whitewater Centre.

Eichfield first run ranked 10th and his second was 12th. He finished the heats in 14th, two spots out of the field for the semifinals.

Michal Martikan of Slovakia had the top score in the heats, 90.56. It came on his second run; his first run score ranked 16th among the field of 17 competitors. Benjamin Savsek of Slovenia and Takuya Haneda of Japan were second and third among qualifiers.

Britain’s David Florence was the last man to compete and he made a leap from 13th after the first run to fourth and qualifying for the semifinals to the delight of the fans.

Jordyn Wieber misses gymnastics all-around final

American gymnast Jordyn Wieber, considered a medal favorite entering the London Games, will miss the all-around final after finishing third behind teammates Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas.

Wieber, who was edged by Douglas at the U.S. trials in June, left the floor in tears Sunday.

More updates soon.

An Kum Ae, Lasha Shavdatuashvili win judo gold

An Kum Ae of North Korea won gold in women’s 52-kilogram judo, defeating Yanet Bermoy Acosta of Cuba. An won silver in 2008 in Beijing.

Lasha Shavdatuashvili of Georgia defeated Miklos Ungvari of Hungary for the gold medal in the men’s 66-kilogram final.

Murray advances; Sharapova up next

Andy Murray walks onto Centre Court under a closed roof. (Elise Amendola/Associated Press)

Andy Murray, the pride of Britain (well, until he loses again and bawls his eyes out), has advanced in the first round of the Olympic tennis tournament at Wimbledon.

He beat some Swiss dude in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. No, it wasn’t Roger Federer. It was Stanislas Wawrinka, who can stay and watch Maria Sharapova on Centre Court next if he wants. I will.

In other news from the All England and Torrential Downpour Club, a bunch of the late afternoon matches were postponed — including the Williams’s sisters doubles match against Romania’s Sorana Cirstea and Simona Halep.

Not much else to report except every time the sun comes out it’s a 20-minute tease. Then it becomes overcast again, it rains and everybody scurries for overpriced pizza and Champagne.

Somewhere I will find the beauty and tradition of this soggy land. Oh, the latrine actually has an old-school cloth towel dispenser that gets used and re-used. It’s actually clean. I don’t know if some ballboy changes it every time a person wipes their hands on it, but no problems thus far in the latrine.

16-year-old advances in table tennis

Ariel Hsing keeps her eyes on the ball. (Sergei Grits -- Associated Press)

Sixteen-year-old Ariel Hsing won her second-round match against Xia Lian Ni, 49, of Luxembourg, 4-2 (11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 11-5, 10-12, 12-10) at  ExCel Arena.

Hsing is just your average student at Evergreen Valley High School in San Jose – who happens to have met First Lady Michelle Obama and received support from billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, whom she calls “Uncle Bill.”

Hsing won her first-round match against Yadira Silva in four straight games Saturday after meeting Obama, who “was really nice and gave me a hug.”

Hsing takes on her third-round foe, Xiaoxia Li of China, Sunday afternoon at 4.

Vos wins cycling gold

Marianne Vos celebrates her cycling gold medal. (Bryn Lennon -- Getty Images)

Marianne Vos of the Netherlands won gold in the women’s road race, holding off Britain’s Elizabeth Armitstead, who won silver to earn the host nation’s first medal of the Olympics. Olga Zabelinskaya of Russia won bronze.

 

Team USA wins opener in blowout fashion

Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, right, celebrate after a basket. (Mark Ralstonmark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)


The U.S. men’s basketball team had few problems in its first Olympic game, disposing of France, 98-71, Sunday afternoon.

Making his Olympic debut, Kevin Durant led all scorers with 22 points.  Kevin Love had 14, Kobe Bryant 10 and Carmelo Anthony and  LeBron James both added nine. James also had a team-high eight assists and five rebounds for Team USA.

The game was sloppy at times, featured poor shooting and some bad passes. But it gets the United States rolling in the right direction in Group A’s preliminary round of action.

The United States will next play Tunisia on Tuesday night. Tunisia lost its opener, 60-56, to Nigeria Sunday, shooting only 40 percent from the field in the process.

The 27-point win certainly looks good on paper for the U.S. team. For the sake of comparison, the gold medal-winning American team at the 2008 Games won its opener by 29 points.  And at the 1992 Olympics, the Dream Team won its opener over Angola by 68.

The U.S. coaches will surely see a lot of things they like. The Americans out-rebounded France (56-40) and held Tony Parker to only 10 points. Plus, Team USA had no problem sharing the ball.

All 12 U.S. players reached the scoring column. Even Anthony Davis came off the bench and dunked an alley-oop pass from Deron Williams midway through the final quarter.

 

Neymar's curling free kick gives Brazil 2-1 lead

It was only a matter of time. Brazilian star Neymar capped a 20-minute siege on the Belarusian goal with a brilliant bending free kick strike to give heavily-favored Brazil a 2-1 lead.

Neymar and Brazil are 20 minutes away from a second-straight win. (Francois Lenoir/Reuters)

Neymar’s 65th-minute tally is his second in two games.

Renan Bardini Bressan’s header gave Belarus the opener only eight minutes in, but Pato answered quickly for the boys in yellow and blue.

It’s hard to see Belarus, which did well to hold onto the tie as long as it did, coming back to earn a point in the final 20 minutes.

Gymnastics standings after three subdivisions

The United States leads the team women’s gymnastics standings after three subdivisions with 181.863 points, with Britain in second (170.656 points) and Italy in third (168.397).

China, Russia and Romania have yet to compete.

'Call Me Maybe' is everywhere

Carly Rae Jepsen’s omnipresent pop hit is the new anthem of the USA swim team.

By now, you’ve likely seen the video of Missy Franklin, Ryan Lochte and company lip-syncing it up on a plane, on a bus, in the pool and down a waterslide.

If not (or if you just can’t get enough), watch it here.

U.S. hoops team building big lead

Kevin Durant dunks on France. (Rob Carr -- Getty Images)

The U.S. men’s basketball team is just 10 minutes away from its first win at these Olympics. Entering the final quarter, the Americans held a sizable 78-51 lead over France.

Even though the shooting (43 percent) has been less than stellar, they’ve spread the ball around, as 10 of the 11 players who’ve entered the game have scored. Only Kevin Durant, Kevin Love and Kobe Bryant have reached double digits, and the team has 21 assists.

Durant continues to lead in scoring with 20 points, while Love has 12 and Bryant has chipped in 10.

Wizards big man Kevin Seraphin scored his first points of the Olympics with a short jumper that cut the Americans’ lead to 16 late in the third quarter.

Raisman's floor exercise overtakes Douglas for top honors

What had been a dazzling showing by Virginia Beach’s Gabby Douglas in Sunday’s gymnastics qualifications took an unfortunate turn on the day’s final rotation, the floor exercise, in which Douglas lost her footing and stepped beyond the mat’s boundaries with both feet.

Immediately, the officials’ white flag went up to signal the infraction, which cost her 0.300 in the total score. Douglas ended up with a 13.766 — still slightly better than the 13.733 scored by the Americans’ first gymnast on the floor, Kyla Ross.

Jordyn Wieber was up next and displayed great power and a solid performance that the U.S. needed, scoring 14.666. That helped Wieber close the gap on Douglas for top scorer in the session, but it wasn’t enough to overtake her teammate.

That left closing honors to Aly Raisman, who pulled off a showstopper, scoring 15.325 to overtake Douglas in the overall standings.

In the end, the Americas finished 1-2-3, with Raisman (60.391), Douglas (60.265) and Wieber (60.032) outshining gymnasts from France, Canada and Britain. Still it was difficult to gauge how they’d fare overall, with two more sessions, in the afternoon and evening, to follow.

Most notably, China, Russia and Romania had yet to compete.

Brazil, Belarus tied at half

Alexandre Pato gave the Brazilians a quick equalizer after Belarus scored a stunning opening goal in a Group C match at Old Trafford.

Budding superstar Neymar showed flashes of his brilliant ball-handling in the first half, and expect him to lead the charge coming out of the half. But the team’s second-half struggles in their opening pool play match against Egypt nearly cost them the win.

Can Belarus hang around long enough to earn at least a point?

Fencers ousted in quarterfinals

Americans Daryl Homer and Timothy Morehouse advanced to the quarterfinals in men’s sabre before being eliminated.

Homer lost, 15-13, to Rares Dumitrescu of Romania. Diego Occhiuzzi of Italy defeated Morehouse, 15-9.

Dumitrescu and Occhiuzzi will face each other in one semifinal.

Gabby Douglas scores highest marks among U.S. gymnasts on beam; maintains lead

There was a wobble here and there, but the U.S. women made it through the balance beam rotation without a single fall. And once again Gabby Douglas was rewarded with the high score, a 15.266, for a routine that blended impressive difficulty and seemingly effortless execution.

Up last, Aly Raisman also performed a difficult routine that included several flips and ended with a dismount that included two somersaults. Her score: 15.100.

Jordyn Wieber, second overall among the four nation’s competing in this session heading into the beam rotation, didn’t fare as well with the judges. She got 14.700.

The Americans will close the qualifications on the floor, with Kyla Ross up first, followed by Douglas, Wieber and Raisman.

Report: Radcliffe out of Olympics

According to BBC Radio 5 Live, British marathoner Paula Radcliffe is out of the Olympics because of a foot injury. Radcliffe, 38, is the world record holder in the marathon (2 hours 15 minutes 25 seconds) but has struggled in her four previous Olympic appearances.

The women’s marathon is Aug. 5.

American pair wins diving silver

Kelci Bryant and Abigail Johnston soar (Tim Wimborne -- Reuters).

Kelci Bryant and Abigail Johnston took the silver medal Sunday in the synchronized 3-meter springboard competition at the Aquatics Centre.

Minxia Wu and Zi He of China won gold with 346.20 points. The American pair were second with 321.90. Jennifer Abel and Emilie Heymans of Canada won the bronze with 316.80 points, edging the Italian pair of Tania Cagnotto and Francesca Dallape by less than three points.

The Chinese team swept all the golds in diving in Beijing four years ago.

In this event, eight pairs of divers complete five rounds of competition. A panel of 11 judges scores the dives and the highest total wins.

Team USA basketball storms into halftime

France's Tony Parker tries to stop LeBron James of the United States. (Agence France Presse photo)

Team USA opened the second quarter with an 11-0 run and entered the half with a comfortable 52-36 advantage over France in men’s basketball.

LeBron James opened the second period with a big three-pointer – the Americans’ first of the game — and Team USA built on its lead from there.

While the game hasn’t been necessarily pretty, Team USA is dominating the stat sheet.  The Americans have 14 assists compared with France’s three. The U.S. team has outrebounded the French 30-22, including 12-5 on the offensive end.

James and Kobe Bryant were quiet early (only two combined points in the opening quarter) but entering the second half, Bryant has six points and James has six assists, five points and four rebounds, plus a pair of steals.

Kevin Durant leads all scorers with 15 points at the break.

Defensively, the Americans managed to hold Tony Parker scoreless in the second quarter.

Douglas dazzles for the U.S. on uneven bars

Douglas’s score — 15.333 — led all of her teammates and suggests she’ll be a favorite to medal on the uneven bars.

It’s customary for countries to save their best performer for last as they move through the rotations of a team gymnastics competition. And the American women’s showing on the uneven bars showed why that’s a terrific idea.

Not one of the four gymnasts chosen to compete on the uneven bars had a bad showing. But Gabby Douglas, performing last, displayed an exhilarating fearlessness. Her release moves were particularly daring, and she got tremendous height on them.

And when she stuck the dismount, she beamed, and her coach thrust his arms high, then ran to embrace her with a huge hug. Douglas’s score —  15.333 — led all of her teammates and suggests she’ll be a favorite to medal on the apparatus.

Here’s how the Americans’ scores ended up on the uneven bars: Douglas, 15.333; Kyla Ross, 14.866; Jordyn Wieber, 14.833; and Aly Raismnm 14.166.

Through two rotations, Douglas leads all gymnasts in this session, with Wieber close behind.

Next: the nerve-jarring balance beam, a four-inch wide piece of wood that gymnasts try to pretend is a big as a gym floor.

U.S. divers in sync early

The American duo of Kelci Bryant and Abigail Johnston were in second place after three rounds of the synchronized three-meter springboard competition at the Aquatics Centre.

Minxia Wu and Zi He of China led the competition with186 points. Bryant and Johnston have 179.70.

In the event, eight pairs of divers complete five rounds of competition. A panel of 11 judges scores the dives and the highest total wins.

Djokovic in scrap before rain halts play

Novak Djokovic is in a flat-out scrap in the first round of the Olympic men’s singles at Wimbledon. This Fabio Fognini cat from Italy is returning all his groundstroke lasers, many for winners.

Djokovic had to fight off a set point in the tiebreak before drawing even at 7-7. They just literally the court with a tarp as a downpour has again come to Southwest London.

Fognini fought off two set points before the tiebreak to stay alive.

The Court 1 crowd here is exhorting on the Croatian star but Fognini just keeps coming.

Andy Murray is going to play before a full house in about three seconds because everybody and their Mom is running for the only dry court at Wimbledon — Centre Court with its roof. Murray is up on Stanislav Wawrinka 4-3 in the first set.

Other than that, I’m just waiting for Alex Ovechkin, Maria Kirilenko’s boyfriend, to show up so I can ask him what he thinks of countryman and former Caps teammate Alexander Semin signing with Carolina.

NBC ratings up on first night of Olympics

Sports Business Daily reports that NBC posted an 18.0 overnight rating and a 33 share on the first night of Olympics coverage, an 8 percent increase over the same night four years ago in Beijing and a 24 percent increase over the same night eight years ago in Athens.

Soccer shocker: Belarus strikes first vs. Brazil

If there was one safe bet in the wide-open men’s soccer field, it was that Brazil’s tremendously talented youngsters would advance from a group consisting of Egypt, New Zealand and Belarus.

Renan Bardini Bressan used his noggin to provide the opening tally for the heavy underdogs. (Jon Super/AP)

They likely still will, but Belarus provided a major wake-up call this morning at Old Trafford.

On its first real possession in Brazil’s attacking end, Renan Bardini Bressan broke through the back line and found himself all alone in the box to head home a perfect cross in the 8th minute.

But the Brazilians wasted no time pulling even as Alexandre Pato timed his run into the six-yard box brilliantly and nodded home a cross to knot the score at 1 just seven minutes later.

Brazil grabbed a 3-0 first-half lead against Egypt in its opener but had to scramble to hold on for a 3-2 win.

“We made errors when trying to keep the ball in the attack and made errors with the positioning in the back,” Coach Mano Menezes said Sunday. “We will have to work to fix that before we play our next match.”

Expect much more offense before this one is through.

Strawberries and Cream Unbelievably Succulent

I gotta say, having been to this hallowed shrine of stodgy old Brits with rackets for the first time, the strawberries and cream are not overrated in the least bit.

The berries are so sweet. Shiny, almost candy-apple red, bursting with juice, it’s as if they have a glaze on them. The texture is just perfect. Big ups to those U.K. farmers and growers.

They actually pour the cream on them after you pay your 2 pounds and 50 pence at the Wimbledon concession stand.

Oddly, the pizza line was 20 people long while no one but me waited for strawberries and cream. Maybe everyone ate breakfast here already, who knows.

Scott Parsons in fourth early in kayak

Kayaker Scott Parsons of Bethesda was in fourth after his first singles kayak run at the Lee Valley Whitewater Center Sunday.

Parsons had two penalties and a score of 94.16. Eoin Rheinsch of Ireland held the early lead. After Parsons’s run, there were about eight kayakers to go in the first run.

A dark, black cloud was hanging over the course when during the run but no rain was falling.

In men’s singles canoe, also Sunday, American Casey Eichfield posted a 97.04 on his first run, ranking 10th.

 

U.S. women's impressive in opening rotation

The U.S women’s gymnasts opened qualifications on the vault, and all four performed what’s considered the world’s most difficult vault. It’s called the Amanar, and it begins with a round-off back handspring onto the vault and a flip off it that involves two and a half twists.

Aly Raisman went first and scored a 15.8. Gabby Douglas was next, and was awarded a 15.9 for slightly higher amplitude. Jordyn Wieber managed a 15.833.

Last up was McKayla Maroney, the world’s best on the apparatus, but who has been battling a broken toe that she re-injured in practice. Maroney took a step forward with her left foot on her landing, But her form was so impressive that she was awarded a 15.900.

Because Britain’s gymnasts are competing in this session, the atmosphere is terrific, with wild cheers and applause each time the host nation’s Beth Tweddle steps on the floor.

The U.S. now moves on to the uneven bars, which hasn’t traditionally been a strength of the team’s. Douglas is the country’s best on the apparatus and should shine

Team USA holds slim early hoops lead

The U.S. men's basketball team gets its game face on. (Christian Petersen -- Getty Images)

Kevin Durant had seven first-quarter points and the U.S. men’s basketball team led France, 22-21, after one period of play in Sunday’s opener. Yannick Bokolo hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to bring France to within one point.

The Americans’ first points of these Olympics came on a LeBron James’ lob inside, where Tyson Chandler completed the layup. Chandler drew the foul but missed from the free throw line. The first period was marked mostly by missed shots — the Americans were 0-for-6 from behind the three-point arc — and sloppy play, which could be attributable to Game 1 jitters.

The U.S. team was particularly quick in transition early, as Kevin Durant had three break-aways (two dunks, and another blocked from behind). Chandler had six points and Carmelo Anthony chipped in five, though James is still looking for his first points.

Tony Parker had six to lead the French team.

Mike Zrzyzewski used five bench players in the opening quarter, as only James Harden and Anthony Davis failed to enter the game. As for that concern about size problems underneath: Chandler, James and Kevin Love all saw time at center.

The U.S. outrebounded France, 19-13, and had 10 boards on the offensive end.

Djokovic Looks Sharp; Andy Murray Takes Centre Court

Novak Djokovic just went up 5-3 on Fabio Fognini, breaking the Italian’s serve for the first time, in the first set of their first-round match at Wimbledon, where, yes, it rained today.

It was a match that was supposed to start at noon, but a downpour suspended many of the day’s first matches. Sun is out intermittently now, so we’ll see how much tennis they get in.

Andy Murray got the loudest ovation about five minutes ago when Britain’s own stepped onto Centre Court for the first time since his Wimbledon loss to Roger Federer. He’s playing a another Swiss player today in Stanislas Wawrinka in a rematch of their fourth-round 2009 match at Wimbledon that marked the first time Centre Court used a roof.

Also today at the All England club: Venus Williams, Andy Roddick and Marie Kirilenko, Alex Ovechkin’s girlfriend, play in the first round.

No sight of Ovi yet, but I did see Dan Hellie of NBC4 in Washington milling around, probably trying to mooch off my Ovechkin interview.

Oh, by the time I finished this, Fognini just broke Djokovic back — 5-4 in first set.

U.S. women's gymnasts open Olympic quest for gold

It’s a huge day for women’s gymnastics, “Qualification Day“ at London’s North Greenwich Arena, better known as the O2 Arena. While some Olympic venues have had empty seats, the 20,000-seat O2 ought to be packed with a squealing sold-out crowd. The arena is part of a shopping and restaurant complex so huge that the Eiffel Tower, if turned on its side, would fit inside.

No medals are awarded on qualification day, but the performances will determine which countries get to compete for the team title on Tuesday and which individual gymnasts get to try for the prestigious all-around title on Thursday, as well as who get to contend for medals on individual apparatus next week.

The U.S. women are the defending world champions but were edged by China for gold at the 2008 Beijing Games. They’re expected to face the toughest challenge for team gold from the traditional powers of China, Russia and Romania.

Sunday’s competition lasts well into the evening. The U.S. women compete in the third of five subdivisions at 9:45 a.m. ET, alongside Britain, Canada and France.

Three of the U.S. team’s gymnasts hope to contend for the all-around titles: Gabby Douglas of Virginia Beach; Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich.; and Aly Raisman of Needham, Mass.

Here’s the lineup of the U.S. gymnastics who’ll compete on the four apparatus for Sunday’s qualifications:

Vault:  Raisman, Douglas, Wieber, McKayla Maroney

Uneven bars:  Raisman, Wieber, Douglas, Kyla Ross

Balance beam: Ross, Douglas, Wieber, Raisman

Floor exercise: Ross, Douglas, Wieber, Raisman

The U.S. men exceeded expectations in Saturday’s qualifying, finishing ahead of Russia, Great Britain and Germany, which should give them a huge jolt of confidence heading into Monday’s men’s team final.

Danell Leyva (Homestead, Fla.) posted the top score (91.265), making him a favorite for the all-around title. John Orozco (Bronx, N.Y.) (90.597) was fourth and should also contend for the all-around.

Kim Rhode earns record gold medal in skeet

American Kim Rhode won gold in women’s skeet, becoming the first U.S. athlete with an individual medal in five straight Olympics.

Rhode set an Olympic record by hitting 74 of 75 targets in the preliminary round.

Wimbledon Shocker: Rain

Taking cover at the All England club. (Mark Humphrey -- Associated Press)

So you show up for your first day at the All England club and a downpour makes the locals close the roof over Wimbledon’s centre court.

Day 2 of the tournament sent the grounds crew scurrying to cover up the outside courts, suspending play for a couple of hours.

Agnieszka Radwanska, the Wimbledon runner-up, takes
on Germany’s Julia Goerges in the opening match on Centre Court.

Then Britain’s Andy Murray plays Switzerland’s Stanislas
Wawrinka — a repeat of a fourth-round clash at Wimbledon in 2009
which was the first match ever to be played under the roof.

Nene, Brazil survive late scare from Aussies

Washington Wizards big man Nene and his Brazil teammates survived a nail-biter in their opening-round basketball game against Australia Sunday, pulling out a 75-71 win.

“It’s a big step,” Nene said. “The first game, you’re going to be excited, nervous. You don’t know what’s going to happen. Fortunately, we won.”

Nene scored 10 points and pulled down 7 rebounds for Brazil. Leandro Barbosa led the team with 16 points.

Nene walked with a slight limp after the game. The plantar fasciitis that bothered him at times last season has flared up, he said.

“When the ball goes up, I forget about that, though,” Nene said.

Brazil led by 13 in the third quarter, but Australia chipped away and trailed by only two points with 29 seconds left in the game. But Marcelinho Huertas hit a pair of free throws late to secure the win for Brazil.

“There’s a lot of things we need to fix, but we’re going in the right direction right now,” Nene said.

Brazil plays Britain on Tuesday.

U.S. men's basketball preps for Olympic opener

While the temperatures cool down outside and London begins to feel a bit like London, it’s about to heat up inside the Olympics Park Basketball Arena.

The U.S. men’s basketball team is on the court for pregame warmups, as the Americans prepare to open Olympic play against France. The game should be a good early test for the United States. While not as dominant as the American, France shouldn’t be a pushover, either.

At the 2011 European Championships, the French finished second to Spain, which is believed to pose the biggest challenge to Team USA here in London. France features several NBA players, most notably Spurs guard Tony Parker, who should keep U.S. defenders busy. The roster also features Wizards’ big man Kevin Seraphin.

The good news for the U.S.: France doesn’t have the size to push the United States around in the middle. Ronny Turiaf, a 6-foot-10 journeyman center who recently signed with the Los Angeles Clippers, and Seraphin, who’s 6-9, should be the biggest challenge to Tyson Chandler, the Americans’ lone 7-footer.

The starting lineup for Team USA: LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Chandler, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul.

In the United States’ Group A, Nigeria defeated Tunisia, 60-56, earlier in the day. Tony Skinn, who played at George Mason, scored seven points for Nigeria.

Troy mum on 4x100 U.S. team

Will Michael Phelps get a spot in the 4×100-meter men’s final Sunday night? Will Ryan Lochte? The coach of the U.S. team, Gregg Troy, isn’t saying. He said Sunday morning that he made his final decision after the 4×100 relay heats — a U.S. team of Jimmy Feigen (48.49 seconds), Matt Grevers (47.54), Ricky Berens (48.52), Jason Lezak (48.04) finished second to Australia — but would not reveal the Final Four.

“It’s always hard, whoever we pick,” Troy said. “We looked at all sides.”

It is hard. Nathan Adrian, who won the 100 free at the U.S. Olympic trials, is the only lock for the squad, though Troy wouldn’t even confirm his participation. Lochte, who blew away the field in the 400 medley and swam the 100 in the heats at trials, is also a virtual certainty to be included. Phelps, the team’s longtime leadoff leg, is also likely, though he did not swim the 100 at trials and did not swim well in the 400 medley final, which could jeopardize his chances.

Cullen Jones, who finished second in the 100 free at trials, has a claim. Lezak, who swam the fastest relay leg in history to rescue the U.S. team in 2008, has a claim. Grevers, who swam fastest Sunday morning, very defiantly staked a claim.

“We weren’t definite on the relay until we considered what was going on today,” Troy said.

Troy said he had dinner last night with Phelps, Phelps’s coach Bob Bowman, Lochte and two other U.S. coaches.The group discussed the Chinese female 400 medley champion who swam a faster time in her freestyle leg than did Lochte, the men’s gold medalist. The Chinese woman, Ye Shiwen, set a new world record in the race.

“All I know at the moment was that was a heckuva split last night,” Troy said.

Top-ranked Brazilian men survive in beach volleyball

Emanuel Rego, with back to camera, and Alison Cerutti celebrate during their opening match. (Ryan Pierse -- Getty Images)

Brazilians Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego, the world’s top-ranked team, survived a feisty beach volleyball challenge from Austrians Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst, losing the first set, 21-19, before rebounding to win the final two, 21-17 and 16-14.

Lezak: Phelps should swim 4x100 final

Shortly after helping the U.S. men advance to Sunday night’s final of the 4×100-meter relay in the morning’s preliminary round, longtime U.S. relay star Jason Lezak said he would put Michael Phelps in the night’s final despite his disappointing performance in the 400 medley final to open the Olympics.

“If I’m the coach, Michael’s on that relay, 100 percent,” Lezak said. “No question about that.”

Lezak, best known for his incredible relay leg on the gold-medal winning 2008 Olympic team, anchored a U.S. team that finished second to Australia in the heats. U.S. Olympic men’s coach has not announced the team that will swim in the finals, but U.S. 100 champion Nathan Adrian, Ryan Lochte and Phelps are good bets for three of the four sports. None swam in the preliminary round Sunday morning.

“None of us know what’s going on,” Lezak said. “We’ll see what happens tonight.”

Troy might be deciding who will claim the final of four spots from among those who swam Sunday morning — Lezak, who put out a 48.04 leg, James Feigen (48.49 as the leadoff), Matt Grevers (47.54), Ricky Berens (48.52) — and Cullen Jones, who finished second in the event at the U.S. trials. Lochte only swam in the prelims of the event at trials, and Phelps did not swim the event at all.

Lezak said his disappointing fourth-place finish in the 400 medley should not cost him a place in the relay final.

“Michael went 48.4 unshaved this year,” Lezak said. “He’s been on relays, leading off every year and doing really well. I don’t think it should be a question. If I’m the coach, I’m putting him on.”

Kim Rhode sets Olympic record in women's skeet

American Kim Rhode set a new Olympic record in women’s skeet, hitting 74 of 75 targets in the preliminary round despite rainy conditions at the Royal Artillery Barracks.

Rhode has won four Olympic medals in double trap and skeet, winning gold in double trap in 1996 and 2004, silver in skeet in 2008 and bronze in double trap in 1996.

“I’m feeling really good,” Rhode said. “We always hope for better weather. It’s going to be rainy in the final round, but that’s to be expected. We practice for it and we’re ready for it.”

A fifth career shooting medal would tie Rhode for the most all-time, and a gold medal would make her the first woman to win three in her career.

The previous Olympic record was 72, set by Italy’s Chiara Canero in 2008. Rhode also set the world record of 75 in March.

Olympic medals to be handed out Sunday

A look at the Olympic medals to be handed out Sunday

ARCHERY

Women’s team bronze medal (12:33 p.m.); women’s team gold medal (1:01 p.m.)

CYCLING

Women’s road race (started at 7 a.m.)

DIVING

Women’s synchronized three-meter springboard final (10 a.m.)

FENCING

Men’s individual sabre bronze medal (1:50 p.m.); men’s individual sabre gold medal (2:10 p.m.).

JUDO

Women’s 52-kilogram bronze final (9 a.m.); men’s 66-kilogram bronze final (9:28 a.m.); women’s 52-kilogram gold final (11 a.m); men’s 66-kilogram gold final (11:10 a.m).

SWIMMING

Women’s 100-meter butterfly (2:30 p.m.); men’s 100-meter breaststroke (3:11 p.m.); women’s 400-meter freestyle (3:18 p.m.); men’s 4×100-meter freestyle (4 p.m.).

WEIGHTLIFTING

Women’s 53-kilogram (10:30 a.m.); men’s 56-kilogram (2 p.m.)

Keep tabs on all the Olympic results here.

Uzbek gymnast suspended after drug test

Uzbek gymnast Luiza Galiulina, who participated in the 2008 Summer Games, has been provisionally suspended from the Olympics after a positive test for furosemide, a diuretic that could be used to mask the use of other drugs. A decision on Galiulina’s participation will come after her “B” urine sample is tested to see if it confirms the “A” sample.

If the second test confirms the banned substance, Galiulina would be the second athlete suspended from the 2012 Games. The Olympic Committee ejected Albanian weightlifter Hysen Pulaku from the Olympic village on July 23 after his tests came back positive for a banned steroid, stanozolol.

Guo Wenjen wins another gold for China

China added to its gold medal tally as Guo Wenjun took top honors in the women’s 10-meter air pistol on Sunday. Celine Goberville of France defeated Olena Kostevych of Ukraine in a shoot-off for the sliver medal.

It’s the second shooting gold medal of the Olympics for China, after Yi Siling won the 10-meter air rifle on Sunday.

Ryan Lochte advances in 200 free, eyes 4x100 final

“The four IM kinda took a lot out of me last night," Ryan Lochte said Sunday morning. (Daniel Ochoa De Olza -- Associated Press)

A tired Ryan Lochte easily advanced in the morning heats of the 200-meter freestyle, finishing second overall to China’s Sun Yang, who topped the heats in 1 minute 46.24 seconds. Lochte came home in 1:46.45, ahead of France’s Yannick Agnel, 1:46.60.

“I just wanted to get in for tonight,” Lochte said, referring to the event’s semifinals Sunday. “The four IM kinda took a lot out of me last night.”

Lochte said he had no idea whether he would swim in the finals of the 4×100 relay Sunday night, though that seemed to be the case when Lochte’s coach Gregg Troy — also the U.S. Olympic team’s men’s coach — did not send him out to compete in the morning heats.

“At the end of the day, it’s a coach’s decision,” Lochte said. “I’ve just got to wait and see.”

Lochte was not selected to swim in the final of the 4×100 relay at the 2011 world championships, and the U.S. men’s team nabbed only the bronze.

Lochte marvels at female Chinese swimmer

Ryan Lochte said he was up until 2 a.m. after winning the gold medal in the Olympic 400-meter individual medley Saturday night. A big topic of conversation? The performance of China’s Ye Shiwen, who set a world record in the women’s 400 medley Saturday.

Ye, who topped American Elizabeth Beisel, finished her final 50 meters freestyle faster than Lochte came home in his race. She sprinted the last 50 in 28.93 seconds, faster than Lochte’s 29.10 — and the times posted by three other men in the final.

“We were all talking about that at dinner last night,” Lochte said. “That’s pretty impressive. She’s fast. If she had been right there with me, she might have beaten me.”

Ye won her race in 4 minutes 28.43 seconds, surpassing Stephanie Rice’s 2008 world record of 4:29.45; Lochte claimed his title in 4:05.18.

Missy Franklin second in backstroke heats

Missy Franklin

Missy Franklin, 17, finished more than a second behind Australian Emily Seebohm in the 100-meter backstroke heats Sunday morning, hinting that Franklin will have a battle on her hands to win her first Olympic gold medal in the finals Monday night. Franklin, who had the fastest time in the world this year in the event entering these games (58.85 seconds), touched the wall in 59.37 as Seebohm claimed a new Olympic record with her finish in 58.23.

Seebohm’s time was the third fastest in history.

“I definitely know I can be faster, but that’s faster than I’ve ever been in the prelims,” said Franklin, who will compete in the event semifinals Sunday night. “I have no control over [Seebohm], what she does. I only have control over what I do.”

Franklin claimed a bronze medal Saturday as a member of the 4×100 women’s relay team.

Saturday highlights

The first full day of competition began with a bang and ended with a spike.

olympic mascots

Brady Ellison and the archery team brought home the first medal for the U.S. on Saturday morning. (Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

China’s Yi Siling claimed the first gold medal of the London Games with her victory in the 10-meter air rifle – the first of four golds for the Chinese, who lead the overall medal count with six.

With Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish leading the way, Britain had high hopes for the morning’s men’s road race, but Kazakhstan’s Alexander Vinokourov navigated a crowded course and held off Colombia’s Rigoberto Uranclaim on the final sprint to claim gold. Meantime, the host nation was left empty-handed, as Rick Maese reported.

Maese pulled double-duty, heading across town to the Lord’s Cricket Ground in time to catch Jake Kaminski, Brady Ellison and Jacob Wukie as they upset South Korea in the team archery competition and narrowly missed out on gold, losing to Italy 219-218 in the final.

Ryan Lochte backed up his bold talk with a dominant win in the men’s 400 individual medley, leaving two-time defending gold medalist Michael Phelps in his wake and off the podium for the first time since the 200 Sydney Olympics.

Amy Shipley has the full story here.

But even in defeat, Phelps’ impact on swimming’s presence at the Games is impossible to ignore, as Sally Jenkins explains.

Elizabeth Beiser (silver, 400 IM), Peter Vanderkaay (bronze, 400 free) and the women’s 4 x 100 relay (bronze) added the U.S. haul.

In Glasgow, Megan Rapinoe’s beautiful bender sparked the U.S. women’s soccer team to a 3-0 rout of Colombia, but the win came at a cost as Abby Wambach emerged from the post-game locker room with a shiner. Barry Svurluga has the details here.

But the Colombians weren’t the only ones throwing bows. Outspoken American goalkeeper Hope Solo took to Twitter to bash former bra-bearing U.S. star Brandi Chastain for her critical commentary of the team during NBC’s broadcast.

Out on the water, the American men’s eights held off Australia to reach the final and on the beach and in the boxing ring, Terrell Gausha broke out his fists of fury in the third round to take down Andranik Hakobyan of Armenia.

The U.S. women’s basketball and volleyball teams both won and the dominant duo of Kerri Walsh and Misty-May Treanor picked up right where they left off on the beach in Beijing with a win over Australia – long sleeves and all.

What was your favorite moment from Saturday? And what memorable moments are in store today? Our fleet of reporters across the pond and in the newsroom will keep you posted with up-to-the-minute reports all day long – right here.

And if that doesn’t satisfy your Olympic fix, follow our London contingent on Twitter: @amyshipley: @RickMaese@sallyjenx@barrysvluga@lizclarketweet@MikeWiseguy.