Day 4: Franklin, Phelps seek gold, gymnastics and skeet shooting

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The U.S. women’s gymnastics team’s gold medal and Michael Phelps’s record 19th Olympic medal are the highlights of Day 4. Phelps wins a silver medal in the 200 butterfly and then anchors the 4×200 freestyle relay team to gold, while Missy Franklin comes up short of the medal stand in the 200 freestyle. Several big names take to the tennis courts. Get a full rundown in our viewer’s guide.

Miss anything? Read past live blogs: Opening Ceremony | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

Join in the conversation.

TUESDAY, JULY 31 (DAY 4)

NBC

10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Men’s canoe/kayak – canoe single whitewater gold medal final (Live, 10
a.m.)
Swimming – qualifying heats including Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte in the
4×200 freestyle relay (10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m.)
Rowing – men’s and women’s single sculls quarterfinals and men’s double
sculls and lightweight four semifinals (11:15 a.m., 2:15 p.m.)
Men’s volleyball- United States vs. Germany (Live, 11:45 a.m.)
Men’s water polo – United States vs. Romania (Live, 2:40 p.m.)
Men’s beach volleyball – Americans Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser against
Spain in a qualifying-round match (Live, 4 p.m.)
8 p.m. – midnight
Women’s gymnastics – team competition gold medal final
Swimming – gold medal finals include Michael Phelps in 200-meter butterfly,
4×200 freestyle relay, women’s 200-meter freestyle and women’s 200-meter
individual medley
Women’s diving – synchronized platform gold medal final
12:35 a.m. – 1:35 a.m.
Swimming – semifinal heats
Women’s beach volleyball – qualifying-round matches

NBC Sports Network

4 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Men’s basketball – China vs. Russia (Live, 4 a.m.)
Equestrian – eventing team jumping gold medal final (Live, 5:45 a.m.)
Men’s water polo – Hungary vs. Montenegro (8:15 a.m.)
Equestrian – eventing individual jumping gold medal final (Live, 9:15 a.m.)
Beach volleyball – Brazil vs. Switzerland in a men’s match followed by
Brazil vs. Germany in a women’s match (10:35 a.m.)
Women’s soccer – United States vs. North Korea (Live, 12:15 p.m.)
Men’s boxing – round-of-32 light flyweight and light welterweight
elimination bouts (Live, 2 p.m.)
Men’s basketball – France vs. Argentina (Live, 3 p.m.)
Men’s shooting – skeet gold medal final (4:45 p.m.)
Men’s basketball – United States vs. Tunisia (Live, 5:15 p.m.)
Men’s volleyball – Brazil vs. Russia (7:15 p.m.).

MSNBC

9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Women’s table tennis – a quarterfinal match (9 a.m.)
Women’s soccer – Canada vs. Sweden (Live, 9:30 a.m.)
Men’s badminton – a qualifying-round match (11:15 a.m.)
Women’s soccer – France vs. Colombia (Live, 12:15 p.m.)
Women’s field hockey – United States vs. Argentina (Live, 2 p.m.)
Women’s soccer – Britain vs. Brazil (Live, 3:30 p.m.)
Women’s table tennis – a semifinal match (4:30 p.m.)
Archery – individual eliminations (5 p.m.)
Weightlifting – women’s 63 kg men’s 69 kg gold medal finals (5:30 p.m.)

CNBC

5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Boxing – round-of-32 light flyweight and light welterweight elimination
bouts.

Bravo

7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Tennis – second-round singles matches and quarterfinal-round doubles
matches (Live).

NBC Olympic Basketball Channel

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

NBC Olympic Soccer Channel

9:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Women’s soccer:
Canada vs. Sweden (Live, 9:30 a.m.)
United States vs. North Korea (Live, Noon)
Britain vs. Brazil (Live, 2:30 p.m.)
Japan vs. South Africa (4:30 p.m.)
France vs. Colombia (6 p.m.)
New Zealand vs. Cameroon (7:45 p.m.)

Telemundo

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Packaged Spanish-language coverage includes men’s basketball, men’s
volleyball, swimming and boxing.

Blogging Team -- Out

We’re signing off now — got to go hydrate and rest up. The Olympics: a marathon, not a sprint. Besides, we know how this night ends.

Thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow when Tom Jackman, Cara Kelly and Robert Samuels will be helming this space.

Ryan Seacrest: What are you doing here?

“American Idol.” A top-40 radio show. New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. E! News. Why does he need the Olympics too? Why did his hollow interview with Michael Phelps take the place of the opening-ceremony tribute to the victims of the 7/7 terrorist attacks? Let us have the Olympics to ourselves, RyRy. Seacrest: (Get) OUT.

Gabby Douglas aka The Flying Squirrel

Just for the record, flying squirrels don’t actually fly, they glide. Based on this video, do we feel like Gabby Douglas’s nickname is accurate?

Leaky goggles: Curses!

While Michael Phelps and his coach are waxing about his leaky goggles, an excuse to re-post Monica’s 2008 ode to the chlorinated wardrobe malfunction.

Why do we watch when we know the outcome?

[Spoilers ahead!] NBC just played a gauzy montage that dramatized gymnast Jordyn Wieber’s dreams — to follow in the footsteps of all-around champions Carly Patterson and Nastia Liukin — against her failure to make the all-around finals. Wieber, in scripted narration, said that she wants to be remembered for something else, something more. We all know that she won the team gold earlier today (“something else, something more”) and yet NBC insists on this masquerade of suspense. What does everyone think of this? Why are we all watching now? Have any of you willfully ignored today’s news in order to watch this telecast in a virgin state? (If so, I apologize for the spoiler.)

Sidebar: What do you think they do with Bob Costas between Olympics? And does it involve embalming fluid and a cool, dry place?

Nadia's Perfect 10

As the American women compete on the uneven bar, here’s a glance at what Nadia Comaneci’s perfect 10 routine looked like in the 1976 Olympics.

Will you throw things at us if we suggest it wouldn’t get that today?

So you won a gold medal: Where do you put it?

Now what? According to the “Today” show, a handful of Olympic athletes keep their medals in their sock drawers.

The Nicest Athletes

Based on absolutely no empirical evidence and solely on the smile hugginess occurring post-race, Monica would like to postulate that swimmers are the friendliest competitors of all of the athletes.

Discuss.

U.S. swimmer Missy Franklin, right, hugs Japan's Aya Terakawa after the 100 backstroke preliminaries.

Difficulty + execution = total

Confused about gymnastics scoring? Check out this step-by-step interactive. It’s as easy as A-B-C er D and E.

Can we give extra points for hair glitter?

Toni L. Sandys / The Washington Post

One more reason to love Gabby Douglas

This is the dance Gabby Douglas did when she qualified for the team. We think this says it all.

Take a moment to look at James Magnussen

About 15 minutes ago (on TV anyway) Australian swimmer James Magnussen got first in his semifinal heat for the 100m freestyle. Here’s what he looks like when he’s not chlorinated and out of breath. (More attractive than Lochte? Than Camille Lacourt?)

Matt Dunham/The Associated Press

The Magnificent Seven: Where are they now?

The Fabulous Five? Pffft. Watching them only makes us nostalgic for the Magnificent Seven gymnasts of our younger Olympics.

Team USA's Kerri Strug is carried by her coach, Bela Karolyi. (John Gaps III / AP)

Where are those former gold medalists now? In Washington! Or two of them, anyway.

Dominique Dawes lives in Rockville, works for the Presidents Fitness Council, coaches gymnastics and does motivational speaking. Kerri Strug, she of the inspirational vault, also lives in Washington.

Amanda Borden owns a gym in Tempe; Jaycie Phelps owns one in Indianapolis.  Amy Chow is a doctor living in California. Beam Queen Shannon Miller became the president of Shannon Miller Lifestyle, and recovered from ovarian cancer in 2011.

And if you haven’t read this story about Dominique Moceanu, you must. Years after the 1996 Olympics, Moceanu learned she had a long-lost sister, Jennifer Bricker, who was born with no legs but who became a power tumbler, winning able-bodied gymnastics competitions throughout high school.

Ed. — An early version of this post incorrectly identified Kim Zmeskal as a member of the 1996 team. She, as any gymnastics fan worth her salt knows, competed in the 1992 Olympics.

Who will be our new Kerri Strug?

As we prepare to watch the fab five fight for the gold, let’s take a few minutes to watch what #winning looks like.

and then there’s this…

Divers give good (bad) face

Synchronized diving, which NBC is broadcasting right now, is elegant. Divers’ faces in mid-dive? Not elegant. Rather: Hilaaarious. View a gallery of the ugly plummet by clicking on this photo:

Germany's Patrick Hausding and Sascha Klein are captured in a moment of intense concentration during the men's synchronized 10-meter platform diving final. (Christophe Simon/AFP)

So you want to know about Ann Romney and horses

Ann Romney with her horse, Super Hit, in a 2006 photo. (Terri Miller/Handout)

NBC just aired a spot on Rafalca, the 15-year-old Oldenburg mare partly owned by the Romneys, and his 53-year-old Brit rider, Jan Ebeling. Our colleague Ned Martel wrote about Ann Romney’s connection to dressage:

“Should she become first lady, Romney told Parade magazine last fall, she would certainly bring horses to the White House lawn. She even ‘slipped away’ on the day of the Michigan primary to ride, telling Fox News that ‘some people have lovers in every port. I have horses in every port.’”

Apparently there will be skeet shooting tonight.

It might interest you to know that “skeet shooting” was originally known as “inanimate bird shooting,” which sounds vaguely horrifying, so we applaud this change.

It might further interest you to know that shooters shoots “clay pigeons” (still horrifying; less horrifying than “inanimate birds.”), which can be purchased in Great Britain through companies like The Clay Pigeon Company. They sell seven different varieties of clay pigeons. We like the one called the “manual rabbit.”

The Telegraph has a very useful skeet shooting guide.

I would like to be a silver-haired silver medalist

Good evening. It’s prime time, kids, which means the Olympics are on! Forget that the events happened hours and hours ago. Monica Hesse and I are eating Thai takeout and cookies, and drinking (Arnold Palmers) around the TV, pretending that the past hasn’t passed. Item No. 1 up for conversation: How can we get me a medal?

After seeing Dan Jansen finally win gold in speed-skating in 1994 — or maybe it was after blubbering through his Visa commercial two years ago — I decided that at some point in my life I would win an Olympic medal (and get a Visa endorsement contract). I am currently 28 years old, of average athletic means and untrained in any sport. What are my options as my youth continues to wane? Archery, shooting, curling? There’s a 71-year-old Japanese man ( Hiroshi Hoketsu) competing in equestrian this year, but horses scare me.

Monica informs me that we have a magic “Are you over the hill for Olympic sports?” calculator, which says that at 28 I would not be out-of-place in most summer events (except trampoline; sigh). But let’s say it takes me at least eight years of consistent training to make an Olympic team. At 36, according to our calculator, I could still be physiologically competitive in 13 of 30 events, including soccer, which is the only Olympic sport in which I participate regularly (albeit at a grossly amateur level). Soccer just ain’t gonna happen for me (bad back, bad knees, bad dribbling, bad shooting), but table tennis seems doable. Shall I go for that? Who wants to sponsor me? (Visa?) I need a nickname. King Pong? Paddleboy Wonder? Look for me on the medal stand in 2020 in Istanbul, Tokyo or Madrid. YOU READ IT HERE FIRST.

The best photos from today's competition

olympic mascots

 

GALLERY: Click on the image above to see some of the photos from today at the Olympics.

U.S. routs Tunisia, 110-63, in men's basketball

Kevin Durant and Kevin Love each scored 16 points as the U.S. men’s basketball team crushed Tunisia, 110-63. Kevin Durant had 13 points as the Americans shot 61 percent from the floor. The U.S. moved to 2-0 in Group A pool play; its next game is Thursday against Nigeria (1-1).

U.S. men's basketball in control against Tunisia

At the end of three quarters, the U.S. men’s basketball team is well on its way to another easy victory. The U.S. held Tunisia scoreless for the first two and a half minutes of the second half and leads 85-47.

U.S. leads Tunisia at halftime, 46-33

LeBron James goes up for a dunk over Mohamed Hadidane in the second quarter. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

When Marouan Kechrid, a 5-foot-9 guard for Tunisia, sank a three-pointer from the top of the key with 3 minutes 23 seconds left in the second quarter, he cut the heavily favored U.S. men’s basketball team’s lead to just five points, 35-30. But the African champions went scoreless for the next three minutes and the U.S. seized control.

LeBron James provided a handful of highlights in the second quarter: he flew past 6-foot-9 Mohamed Hadidane for a one-handed slam with around six minutes left in the period, and later he tossed a no-look behind the back pass to a cutting Kevin Durant for the Americans’ final points of the half. Durant leads the U.S. team with nine points; Carmelo Anthony has seven.

Twitter apologizes for notifying NBC about journalist’s tweet

In a blog Post Tuesday, Twitter apologized for an employee in their partnership division notifying NBC of British correspondent Guy Adams’s tweet. Twitter also confirmed that the employee encouraged the television network to notify a separate division within the company that handles violations of the company’s policies and procedures.

Adams, a correspondent for the Independent, had his Twitter account suspended after tweeting out the e-mail address of Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics and encouraging others to message Zenkel with their complaints about NBC’s coverage.

Read the full story here.

Rogers/Dalhausser remain unbeaten in beach volleyball

Defending gold medalists Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser struggled in their Pool B match Tuesday at Horse Guards Parade before prevailing over Pablo Herrera Allepuz and Adrian Gavira Collado of Spain, 19-21, 21-16, 15-13.

Rogers and Dalhausser seemed sluggish at times against the Spaniards, who were inventive and energetic throughout. The Americans built a 5-1 lead in the third set but Spain fought back and cut the U.S. lead to 6-5.

Both teams made some excellent saves. Rogers made a dig save in the third set and Dalhausser softly planted it just across and along the Spanish side of the net for a 10-6 lead.

Rogers and Dalhausser face Premvsi Kubala and Petr Benes of the Czech Republic on Thursday in the final match of pool play before the lucky loser and knockout games begin.

The Americans are 2-0 in Pool B; Herrera Allepuz and Gavira Collado are 1-1.

U.S. men's basketball leads Tunisia after one quarter

Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant each scored four points and the U.S. men’s basketball team leads Tunisia, 21-15, at the end of the first quarter in a Group A preliminary round game.

Tunisia, the African champion, is ranked 32nd in the world and has no NBA players on its roster; it lost its Olympic opener to Nigeria, 60-56.

The two countries have met only once before in men’s basketball, with the U.S. winning easily, 92-57, in the 2010 world championships in Istanbul. The Americans only led by six points at halftime of that game.

Quarterfinals set for women's soccer

Britain's Casey Stoney battles for the ball with Brazil's Marta. Both teams advanced to the knockout stage. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Preliminary play in women’s soccer is finished, and Friday’s quarterfinals are set:
France vs. Sweden, 7 a.m. ET, Hampden Park
U.S. vs. New Zealand, 9:30 a.m., St. James’ Park
Brazil vs. Japan, noon, Millennium Stadium
Britain vs. Canada, 2:30 p.m., City of Coventry Stadium

The U.S. and Britain, who were the only teams to post 3-0 records in pool play, are on the same side of the bracket.

Seraphin strong for France men's basketball team

Washington Wizards forward Kevin Seraphin had 10 points and seven rebounds as France defeated Argentina, 71-64, in pool play Tuesday evening.

Tony Parker led the French team with 17 points.

Manu Ginobili (San Antonio) and Luis Scola (Phoenix) had 26 and 16 points, respectively, for Argentina.

Both teams are 1-1 in Group A, in which the Americans also play.

Brazil men's basketball struggles with Britain

Britain's Pops Mensah-Bonsu goes up for a shot against Brazil. (REUTERS/Christian Petersen/POOL)

Britain’s men’s team — behind former George Washington star Pops Mensah-Bonsu — gave Brazil an unexpectedly low-scoring game Tuesday and nearly won its first Olympic basketball game since 1948.

Brazil pulled out a 67-62 victory to remain unbeaten in pool play. Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs) had 21 for Brazil; Nene (Wizards) had four points.

Mensah-Bonsu and Nate Reinking each had 13 points for Britain.

U.S. field hockey stuns Argentina, again

Shannon Taylor (down) scores the lone goal as the U.S. upsets Argentina in field hockey. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

The U.S. women’s field hockey team shocked Argentina, 1-0, in a pool play match Tuesday at Riverbank Arena, on a goal by Shannon Taylor.

The Americans got into the tournament by upsetting Argentina at last year’s Pan American Games, 4-2, considered by many to be the biggest upset in women’s field hockey history.

Argentina, the second-ranked team in the world, and the United States are now both 1-1 in Group B.

Phelps gets historic medal as U.S. wins 4x200 freestyle relay

Michael Phelps smiles and flashes the 15th gold medal of his Olympic career. (Matt Slocum/Associated Press)

Michael Phelps won his 19th medal, setting an all-time record for Olympic athletes, as the U.S. men claimed gold in the 4×200 freestyle relay with a time of 6:59.70. The first three swimmers — Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer and Ricky Berens — gave Phelps a substantial lead heading into the final leg, and he was able to easily hold off France (7:02.77) and China (7:06.30).

The previous record for all-time Olympic medals was 18, held by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina. Phelps has 15 gold medals in his career.

Read Amy Shipley’s story here.

Ye Shiwen sets Olympic record in 200 IM

China's Ye Shiwen (center) is congratulated by Caitlin Leverenz, Alicia Coutts (top) and Katinka Hosszu (right) after winning the 200 IM. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

China’s Ye Shiwen claimed her second gold medal of these Games, winning the women’s 200 individual medley in an Olympic-record time of 2:05.57. Australia’s Alicia Coutts took silver in 2:08.15 and American Caitlin Leverenz won bronze in 2:08.95.

Shiwen, 16, was so impressive in winning the 400 IM — she set a world record and her freestyle leg was faster than that of men’s gold medal winner Ryan Lochte — that she’s faced accusations that she’s using performance-enhancing drugs, despite not having flunked a drug test.

U.S. men's water polo wins second match

Behind strong defense and three goals apiece from Ryan Bailey and Peter Varellas, the U.S. men’s water polo team won its second match of the tournament, topping Romania 10-8 Tuesday.

In goal, Merrill Moses held Romania scoreless for a crucial 12-minute stretch, allowing the U.S. to score four straight goals and take a second-half lead that they would not give up. Adam Wright added two goals to help the Americans, and the United States’ defense allowed only three second-half goals.

The United States and Serbia are the only two of the six teams in Group B to win both their matches.

The Americans next play Thursday against Britain, which has dropped both its matches here, scoring a total of just 11 goals in the process.

Big crowd watches women's soccer at Wembley

A large crowd is on hand at Wembley to watch host Britain face Brazil in women's soccer. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Much has been made of the disappointing crowds at some of the early Olympic events as well as Britain’s indifference toward the men’s soccer competition, but there’s a big crowd at Wembley today to watch Britain’s women’s soccer team face Brazil. After the British took an early 1-0 lead, Paul Logothetis of the Associated Press tweeted, “Wow, what a roar as 57,146 fans at #Wembley come to feet after #ENG scores after just 90 seconds vs #BRA!” And longtime Sports Illustrated soccer scribe Grant Wahl remarked, “Cool to see Wembley nearly full for women’s soccer” and passed along this picture.

UPDATE: The official attendance at Wembley was actually 70,584.

Bailey scores twice as U.S. men's water polo pulls ahead

Ryan Bailey had two goals in the third quarter and Merrill Moses was perfect in goal, as the U.S. men’s water polo team took a 7-5 lead over Romania.

The Americans took advantage of an extra man situation, as Bailey’s shot from the 2-meter line with 1:56 remaining in the quarter gave the Americans their first lead of the match, a 6-5 advantage. Less than a minute later, Peter Varellas scored his second goal of the game to extend the U.S. lead.

The Americans entered the third trailing by one but two minutes into the half, Bailey’s backhanded shot tied the score at 2-apiece.

William, Kate, Harry visit British Olympians

Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, watch the equestrian competition with Prince Harry. (REUTERS/Luke Macgregor)

Prince William and his wife Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, visited the British Olympic team’s official residence on Tuesday along with Prince Harry. According to the Associated Press, the royal trio admired swimmer Rebecca Adlington’s bronze medal and toured the quarters of the women’s handball team.

Tsonga does his best Isner impression

Took you long enough, Jo-Willy. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga outlasted Milos Raonic in the longest set in Olympic tennis history — a three-hour marathon that invoked memories of John Isner’s epic 2010 Wimbledon clash with Nicolas Mahut.

Tsonga won the second-round match 6-3, 3-6, 25-23, but without drama. Read the full story here.

One-goal deficit for U.S. men's water polo

The U.S. men’s water polo team enters the second half of its contest against Romania trailing 5-4.

While the Romanians added a pair of goals midway through the second quarter, the U.S. team was scoreless until Adam Wright fired in a goal with 1:25 remaining in the first half to cut the Romania lead to one.

The Americans had four goals on 12 shots in the opening half, compared with Romania’s 5 goals on 15 shots.

U.S. men's water polo tied after one

The U.S. men’s water polo team was tied with Romania, 3-3, after one quarter of play.

Romania got on the scoreboard first but the two teams traded goals after that. The Americans saw successful shots from Tony Azevedo, Peter Varellas and John Mann in the opening quarter.

The United States is looking for its second win of the tournament after beating Montenegro, 8-7, on Sunday.

Le Clos wins 200 butterfly, Phelps second

Chad le Clos exults after winning gold in the 200 butterfly, just ahead of Michael Phelps. (Odd Andersen -- AFP/Getty Images)

Chad le Clos of South Africa won the men’s 200 butterfly, out-touching Michael Phelps of the United States at the very end. Phelps, who owns both the world and Olympic record in this event, led for almost the entire race but took silver for his 18th medal all-time, tying the all-time Olympic record previously held by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina.

Le Clos’s time was 1 minute 52.96 seconds, .05 of a second better than Phelps. Takeshi Matsuda of Japan won bronze.

“It’s been a dream of mine ever since I was a little boy,” Le Clos said. “I just wanted to race Phelps in a final, and I’ve beaten him. I can’t believe it. To beat him, I can’t believe it. You don’t understand what this means to me. This is the greatest moment of my life.”

Schmitt wins gold in 200 freestyle

Allison Schmitt is all smiles after winning the 200 freestyle. (Fabrice Coffrini -- AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. swimmer Allison Schmitt won the 200-meter freestyle in an Olympic-record 1 minute 53.61 seconds. Missy Franklin finished fourth, just .01 of a second off the bronze medal pace set by Bronte Barratt of Australia. Camille Muffat of France took silver.

Schmitt led by a body length into the final turn and fought off her pursuers the last 50 meters.

Japan plays for draw in women's soccer, avoids U.S.

Japan's players walk onto the pitch for the start of their game against South Africa. (GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

Japan’s women’s soccer team tied South Africa, 0-0, in the final Group F opening round game — a somewhat surprising result considering that the Japanese are the World Cup champions and the South Africans were outscored 7-1 in losses to Sweden and Canada.

After the game, however, Japan Coach Norio Sasaki said that was the result his team was playing for in order to avoid traveling to Scotland for the knockout round of the tournament.

According to this Associated Press story,

Sasaki said he made tactical substitutions in the second half and gave the players instructions to keep possession rather than trying to attack, based on how the other match in Group F was going. In that match, Canada drew 2-2 with Sweden, meaning Sweden topped the group.

As a result, Japan, the second-place team in Group F, will play either Britain or Brazil in Cardiff on Friday. If Japan had won its group, it would have faced either the U.S., which it beat in the 2011 World Cup final, or France, a World Cup semifinalist, in Glasgow in the first elimination game on Friday.

“It was the coach’s instruction that we wanted to stay in Cardiff and come second in the group, so I knew that the bench were getting information about the other match and I had been told,” defender Azusa Iwashimizu told reporters after the game, according to a quote sheet. “So it was difficult to play, but I understood his idea because it is something we needed to do in order to get a medal.”

Missy Franklin's parents ponder daughter's future

Will Missy Franklin turn pro after these Games? (David J. Phillip -- Associated Press)

When three sponsors came after Missy Franklin at age 15, it seemed too soon to think about turning pro, her mother said Tuesday. Even when she won $70,000 in three days on the world cup circuit last fall but was unable to claim the money because of her amateur status, her parents did not bat an eye.

But after these Olympics, things could change.

The family will reconsider the issue of turning professional, which would mean she could attend college but not compete for her collegiate team, according to D.A. and Dick Franklin. The couple met with reporters outside the Aquatic Center before the evening’s Olympic swimming event.

This fall, Franklin, 17, will be a senior at Regis Jesuit High in Aurora, Colo.

“Our advice is going to be taking a look at all of the options and considering what it all means,” Franklin said. “She is going to college, but the point is does she swim on her college team and compete with them or is she going to practice with them and have the coach as her coach?

“I don’t know how [the Olympics] changes things. I don’t know who wants her, what they want her for and what she would get. It’s all unfamiliar territory.”

Said Dick Franklin: “All things being the same, she will go to college and swim in college. But none of us is naive enough to think if something really silly happens there’s not a financial consideration — but it would have to be pretty silly.”

On Monday, Franklin claimed an Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter backstroke. On Saturday, she got a bronze in the 4×100 relay. Tuesday, she has a chance for another medal in the 200 freestyle and she could win  seven here.

D.A. Franklin also said that the family had some connections to the shooting victims in the recent movie theater attacks in Aurora, but had never been to the theater and did not directly know any victims.

U.S. defeats North Korea, wins group in women's soccer

U.S. players celebrate Abby Wambach's goal in their 1-0 win over North Korea. (Stanley Chou/Getty Images)

Abby Wambach’s 25th minute goal holds up as the U.S. women beat North Korea, 1-0, and finish on top of Group G with three wins. Sports Illustrated soccer writer Grant Wahl points out that this is the first time the U.S. women’s national team has won every group game in five Olympic tournaments, and the first time it’s done so in any major tournament since the 2003 World Cup. You can read the full game story here.

 

Vince Hancock comes close to perfection in skeet shooting

Vince Hancock reacts after competing in the men's skeet shooting final round. (Lars Baron/Getty Images)

For Vince Hancock, the reward is gold, but that’s not necessarily the goal. The skilled shooter aims much higher: for perfection.

He came pretty close to that Tuesday, hitting 148 out of 150 targets in the men’s skeet competition, becoming the first Olympian to win back-to-back gold medals in the event. Still, 150 would’ve been nice, he said.

“All I know is I want to be perfect every time,” Hancock said. “It’s just something inside of me. I’m a competitor through and through. … My wife gets onto me all the time. Even if we’re playing tic-tac-toe, I will get competitive about it.”

Hancock broke his own Olympic record by hitting 123 of 125 targets in qualifying. He shot all 25 in the finals.

“I try to better myself every single time,” Hancock said. “I think that’s where the perfectionism comes into play. In my sport, you almost have to be perfect in order to win a medal. Over the last three years, the score that I shot today wouldn’t have won a gold medal.”

Hancock is only 23 years old and says he hopes to compete for the U.S. team at least through the 2020 Games.

“I have every expectation of coming back and doing better every single time,” he said. “I can already tell you, if you ask me again in four years what you expect to shoot, I’m going to tell you 125 out of 125. That’s just how it goes.”

U.S. men down Germany in volleyball

Marcus Bohme and Sebastian Schwarz of Germany go up to block a shot by Clayton Stanley of the United States. (Elsa -- Getty Images)

The U.S. men’s volleyball team won its second consecutive match in straight sets, 25-23, 25-16, 25-20, over Germany on Tuesday at Earls Court, and needs one more win to clinch a spot in the quarterfinals.

The Germans made the third set close at the end, forcing six match points before the United States, defending gold medalist, put the game away.

Clay Stanley had 16 points won and four digs for the Americans, who are 2-0 in Pool B play but face more daunting opponents in Brazil and Russia in their next two games. Their match against Brazil is  Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.

“It’s a long tournament, it’s a grind,” captain Richard Lambourne said. “You have to take it one game at a time. It’s a cliche but it’s true in this case.”

The U.S. team is far more experienced than the Germans — the average age of the American starters Tuesday was 32, compared with 26 for the Germans. The oldest starter for the U.S. team is Lambourne; the oldest member of the German squad is 31.

U.S. women's gymnasts win gold medal

Gabby Douglas on the uneven bars. (Ronald Martinez -- Getty Images)

The U.S. women’s gymnastics team won its first Olympic team gold medal since 1996 and only its second in history at the London Games, as Russia, its closest competitor, imploded on its final event.

With it, this group of American women — some are already hailing them as the Fab Five — takes its place alongside the Magnificent Seven, who won the prestigious team gold at the 1996 Atlanta Games, thanks in large part to a gutsy vault by the injured Kerri Strug.

But in similar fashion, this year’s U.S. women’s gymnastics team didn’t lack for heroines.

The United States was helped throughout by a courageous performances from Gabby Douglas of Virginia Beach and a solid, selfless showing by Michigan’s Jordyn Wieber, who shook off her heartache over missing the finals for the all-around title two days earlier to deliver key scores on vault, uneven bars and floor.

The women’s triumph was a welcome boon for U.S. gymnastics following the sub-par showing by the U.S. men, who had been favored to win gold in Monday’s team competition but stumbled their way to a fifth.

The U.S. women seized the lead after the first of four mandatory events at London’s North Greenwich Arena, delivering three spectacular Amanar vaults. And they never relinquished it, acquitting themselves on the weakest event, the uneven bars, doing well on the beam and electrifying the crowd on the floor.

That was Russia’s undoing, with two of its three gymnasts falling during tumbling sequences and breaking down in tears. Russia’s gaffes took tremendous pressure off the Americans entering their final rotation, needing only 40.300 points — or a score of 13.500 each — to clinch gold.

And in turn, Douglas, Wieber and Aly Raisman delivered far more. And chants of “USA! USA!” rang out as the gymnasts jumped and huddled in a circle waiting for the scores that confirmed the obvious.

China, the defending Olympic champion, finished out of the medals, overtaken by Romania.

U.S. leads North Korea at halftime in women's soccer

The U.S. women’s soccer team is up 1-0 at halftime against North Korea in its final Group G opening round game. The Americans advance to the knockout stage with a win or a tie.

Men's volleyball up 2-0

After a relatively ragged opening set, the U.S. men’s volleyball team rolled past Germany 25-16 in the second to take a commanding 2-0 lead. With a win, they’ll improve to 2-0 in Group B.

U.S. women's gymnasts maintain lead

There’s a bit of a retro feel to this women’s team gymnastics championship, which is shaking out as a battle between the United States and Russia.

After three events, the U.S. women still hold the lead (138.230 points) over Russia (136.931), with China a distant third (130.164).

Britain, whose men stunned the host nation by claiming the bronze team medal Monday, is solidly out of medal contention in the women’s event.

The Americans were still out front, with Russia overtaking China for second, when they moved to the balance beam to compete on their third of four events. But a solid, yet unspectacular showing on the beam, left them vulnerable to being overtaken. Gaffes by Russia on the beam worked in the Americans’ favor.

Kyla Ross got the U.S. started with 15.133. Up next, Gabby Douglas delivered a more daring routine that included a backflip with a twist, a full layout flip and a double flip in a tuck position for her dismount. She took one step on landing and had only a minor balance check during the routine. Judges gave it a 15.233.

Aly Raisman, competing in her first event of the day, didn’t deliver her best beam performance. Her leaps were conservative. She had one glaring wobble and finished with a major step out on her dismount to earn 14.933.

Still, no American fell off the beam or took a spill on her dismount and now move to their last event, the floor.

U.S. women's soccer up 1-0

Abby Wambach celebrates scoring against North Korea. (ANDREW YATES/AFP/GettyImages)

Abby Wambach got the U.S. women’s soccer team on the board against North Korea, scoring in the 25th minute for a 1-0 lead. The Americans advance to the knockout stage with a win or a tie.

Tsonga-Raonic marathon tennis match continues

France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Canada’s Milos Raonic are in the midst of a tennis match of John Isner-length proportions.

The two men split the first two sets of their second-round match and are now engaged in a marathon third.

Tsonga, who reached the Wimbledon semifinals last month, just went up 16-15. They’re still on serve at the All England Club.

Men's volleyball takes first set vs. Germany

Matt Anderson’s sixth kill gave the United States a 25-23 win over Germany in the opening set of their Group B men’s volleyball match.

The U.S. struggled at the service line with seven errors – including two on game point – and the offense had difficulty connecting in the middle of its attack where it committed three unforced errors.

But facing a set point for the Germans, Anderson and David Lee combined for a critical point block to regain serve.

U.S. maintains lead midway through team final

Gabby Douglas competes on the uneven bars during the team final. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

We’ve already reached the halfway point of the team finals, and the U.S. women, who just finished competing on the uneven bars, are still out front,  followed by Russia and China.

Bars are the American women’s weakest event, and they didn’t dazzle but they didn’t have any major glitches, either. And China, which could have gained considerable ground, had two obvious balance checks on beam.

The Americans bolted to an impressive lead after the first rotation, in which they flaunted three impressive Amanars to take a 1.733 point lead over China. Russia was third at that stage, handicapped by a poor landing by its best vaulter, Maria Paseka, which appeared to earn a scowl from the Russian star Victoria Komova.

After having to wait through two sessions, the American resumed the competition on the uneven bars. And chants of “USA!” “USA!” broke out as Jordyn Wieber, tapped once again to go first, stepped up to the apparatus.

Wieber’s routine was solid and clean, earning 14.666.

Then came Kyla Ross, of Aliso Viejo, Calif., who moved gracefully between the bars and closed with a double flipping dismount in layout position. She scored slightly higher, 14.933.

Gabby Douglas closed with a 15.200.

The Americans now face a quick turnaround, due up immediately on the balance beam. Tapped for duty: Kyla Ross, Gabrielle Douglas and Aly Raisman, who’ll be competing in her first event of the competition.

U.S. women's soccer underway vs. N. Korea

The American women are back on the pitch for their third and final Group G match against North Korea at Old Trafford.

The two sides met last summer at the World Cup and the U.S. won that match 2-0. Afterward, the North Korea coach claimed multiple players on his team had been struck by lightning during training.

Rain is in the forecast in Manchester…

U.S. women's gymnasts off to terrific start

The U.S. didn’t waste time putting Jordyn Wieber’s emotional state to the test when the Olympic gymnastics team competition got under way here at North Greenwich Arena.

Jordyn Wieber competes on the vault during the women's team final. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The U.S. women, who are favored to win their first team gold since 1996 and only their second in Olympic history, opened the competition on vault. And Wieber was first up, performing what’s considered the world’s most difficult vault, the Amanar, just two days after she was shut out of a chance to compete for the all-around title.

The Americans’ strongest and steadiest all-around performer the last two years, Wieber was only the third best American during Sunday’s qualifying, missing the cut, and left the arena in tears.

But roughly eight hours before the all-important team final began this afternoon, she tweeted: “TEAM FINALS TODAY! Really feeling the USA spirit, and we are ready to go!!!”

The vault is among the Americans’ better events, and Wieber got them off to a terrific start, earning 15.933.

Up next was Gabby Douglas of Virginia Beach, who’ll compete for the all-around crown, along with Aly Raisman. Douglas got a bit more amplitude on her Amanar and managed 15.966.

And McKayla Maroney delivered the best Amanar of all, delivering a compact two-and-a-half flips, impressive height and a nicely stuck landing. She earned 16.233 points and was smothered in hugs by her coach and teammates.

The U.S women couldn’t be off to a better start and ought to be in first place once all eight teams complete the first rotation.

Stevens misses out on judo bronze

American Travis Stevens lost his bronze medal match against Antoine Valois-Fortier in the men’s 81 kg judo competition, pro-longing the U.S. men’s medal drought.

Travis Stevens narrowly missed out on a medal. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images)

Stevens had only 35 minutes to regroup after devastating semifinal loss to defending gold medalist Ole Bischof of Germany before returning to the mat to face the second repechage winner.

But after exhausting tremendous energy in his scoreless bout with Bischof, the three-time national champion simply ran out of gas. Valois-Fortier won the match 11-0 and when the clock ran out Stevens crumpled to the mat in despair.

U.S. men judokas have won only two medals – both bronze – in the last five Olympics.

Djokovic makes quick work of Roddick

Novak Djokovic had little problem dispatching Andy Roddick. (Luis Acosta -- AFP/Getty Images)

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, the former world No. 1 who lost that status only earlier this month to Roger Federer, looked impressive in easily dispatching American Andy Roddick in the second round of the Olympic tennis tournament Tuesday afternoon at the All England club. The 6-2, 6-1 victory took all of 54 minutes.

In what amounted to the marquee match of the day on Centre Court — which was covered by a roof as slight showers suspended play on outer courts — Roddick trailed early and never recovered. Serving to stay in the first set, he hit a fine forehand that Djokovic returned off the net. It dropped for the point that broke Roddick and handed the first set to Djokovic.

Roddick, a three-time Wimbledon finalist who played one of the epic matches in the history of Centre Court — a five-set loss to Federer in the 2008 final — did not participate in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He came here unseeded, and was a huge underdog against Djokovic.

Djokovic immediately went up a break in the second set, using a deft drop shot to secure the second game. Though Roddick enjoyed significant crowd support, Djokovic all but toyed with him, showing both power and touch. He landed a deft volley to force match point, almost crippling Roddick, and then served out the match with an ace. Roddick left the court with his head down, though he acknowledged the cheers by waving.

Wimbledon historian John Barrett weighs in

John Barrett, the former English player, commentator, and author, has attended almost every Wimbledon championship — playing in 18 singles tournaments. He got to the third round four times, losing to such luminaries as Ken Rosewall, the Australian whose backhand was legendary.

Britain’s former Davis Cup captain, he originally wrote “100 Wimbledon Championships” in 1986 and has followed up with several more editions. He was currently updating the book through the Olympics when I caught up with him at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club this afternoon.

With all due respect to the Federer-Djokovic and Federer-Nadal recent showdowns, his most memorable men’s singles championship was Borg-McEnroe in 1980, the iconic match won by Borg that was decided with an 18-16 tiebreak in the fifth set.

“Before that, [Britain's] Virginia Wade winning the women’s championship in the Queen’s Jubilee year of 1977,” Barrett said. “What a special time for everyone that was.”

Barrett trivia: “I ran against Roger Bannister in high school. We were 17 or 18 years old. Yes, the mile. I know you will find this shocking, but I did not win.”

Frenchman wins third canoe gold

France's Tony Estanguet, center, celebrates his canoe medal with Germany's Sideris Tasiadis, left, and Slovakia's Michal Martikan. (Oliver Morin -- AFP/Getty Images)

Tony Estanguet of France won his third Olympic gold medal in single canoe Tuesday at the Lee Valley Whitewater Center in a time of 97.06 seconds with no penalties.

Estanguet also won gold medals in Sydney and Athens.

Sideris Tasiadis of Germany won silver in 98.09 and Michal Martikan of Slovakia took bronze in 98.31. Martikan won this event in Beijing and in Atlanta in 1996.

No Americans advanced to the final.

Chinese win another diving gold

Another day, another diving gold for the Chinese team.

China swept the diving gold medals in Beijing four years ago, and the country seems to be on track to repeat that performance. Tuesday at the Aquatics Centre, Ruolin Chen and Hao Wang took gold in the women’s 10-meter synchronized platform even with a score of 368.40.

That score easily bested Alejandra Orozco Loza and Paola Espinosa Sanchez of Mexico (343.32), who took silver, and Canadians Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion, who won bronze (337.62).

The United States did not have a team in the field of eight.

U.S. women's gymnastics team favored

Jordyn Wieber will have to overcome her individual disappointment to help the U.S. women win team gymnastics gold. (Brian Snyder -- Reuters)

If the U.S. women’s gymnasts compete as well as they’re capable, they should leave North Greenwich Arena on Tuesday as only the second U.S. women’s gymnastics team to win the coveted team gold.

With it, the Fab Five would take its place alongside the Magnificent Seven of the 1996 Atlanta Games.

But that’s hardly a given, as the American men demonstrated in stumbling their way to a fifth-place finish, hopelessly out of medal contention after just three of their six mandatory events.

While each of the U.S. team’s five gymnasts will have a role in today’s team competition, Jordyn Wieber will likely decide the team’s fate.

Wieber, the reigning world all-around champion, had her lifetime dreams crushed on this same gym floor in Sunday’s qualifications. She finished third among Americans and fourth among all of the world’s elite gymnasts who were vying for the right to contend for the individual all-around title. But because each country is limited to two candidates, being the third-best Americans on the day was the same as being last.

It was devastating, and Wieber, who until that point had failed to win only one individual competition in the last two years (edged by teammate Gabby Douglas in U.S. Olympic trials in July), left the arena in tears.

Nonetheless, her performance was instrumental in the U.S. women finishing first in qualifications (Russia was a close second, China a distant third), which makes the Americans the gold medal favorite today.

So it’s critical that Wieber, 17, set aside any personal anguish over getting eclipsed by Douglas and Aly Raisman on Sunday, and be her rock-solid normal self today. Wieber has been tapped to compete in three of the four mandatory events.

Russia is expected to challenge the Americans for gold. Defending Olympic champion China, as well as perennial contender Romania, are also formidable.

To recap the team competition format: Eight countries compete. Each selects three gymnasts to compete on the four mandatory apparatus: floor, balance beam, vault and uneven bars. Because all three gymnasts’ scores count, no one can falter. A blunder by one spoils the medal prospects of the team.

Here’s the lineup the U.S. will field today, with the gymnast deemed strongest on each apparatus competing last:

Vault: Jordyn Wieber, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney.

Uneven bars: Wieber, Kyla Ross, Douglas

Balance beam: Ross, Douglas, Raisman

Floor exercise: Douglas, Wieber, Raisman.

Herring loses in light welterweight bout

Kazakhstan’s Daniyar Yeleussinov had no problem with American Jamel Herring, earning a decisive 19-9 win Tuesday in a light welterweight bout. Herring, a 26-year-old electrician with the U.S. Marines who’s been deployed twice to Iraq, saw his bid for Olympic glory end in the round of 32 here at the London Games.

Herring was outskilled from the opening bell and trailed 8-5 after the first round. With a 7-3 second round, Yeleussinov held a seven-point advantage heading into the third round and was able to switch to a more conservative style.

Trailing 15-8, Herring struggled to chase Yeleussinov around the ring, scoring just one point in the final round.

Rail costs Swede gold in eventing

Sara Algotsson Ostholt was oh-so-close to eventing gold. (Cameron Spencer -- Getty Images)

Michael Jung of Germany won the gold medal in individual eventing with a second clean ride around the show jumping course in Greenwich Park Tuesday, just a few hours after the Germans also claimed team gold in eventing.

Jung rode next-to-last and finished with a score of 40.60. Sara Algotsson Ostholt of Sweden had a chance to be the first woman to win gold in individual eventing. She rode last, with a score of 39.30, and needed a clean ride to edge Jung.

It seemed she had it, but her horse Wega’s hoof clipped the final rail and after she cleared it, it wobbled and then fell, to the dismay of the Swedes and the delight of the Germans.

Germany’s Saundra Auffarth, aboard Opgun Louvo, won the bronze.

Karen O’Connor of The Plains had a second perfect ride about Mr. Medicott and finished ninth, best among the American team. O’Connor is a two-time eventing medalist in the team event and the oldest Olympian on the U.S. team at 54.

Travis Stevens falls in judo semifinals

Travis Stevens (left) matched Ole Bischof on the scoreboard but lost the judges' decision. (Franck Fifefranck/Getty Images)

Travis Stevens‘s bid to become the first American to win Olympic gold in judo is over despite a scoreless semifinal bout with defending gold medalist German Ole Bischof.

Stevens, fighting with heavy tape over the left side of his face, kept Bischof off the board through three rounds of their men’s 81 kg match and into the golden score period. But when the clock ran out, a judges decision awarded the victory to the German.

The 26-year-old Stevens crumpled to the mat and was inconsolable after the decision. Bischof ousted Stevens from the main competition in the 2008 Beijing Games.

Stevens will now face Canadian Antoine Valois-Fortier – one of two repechage contest winners – for one of the two bronze medals.

Pinkeye won't stop Kerri Walsh Jennings

Kerri Walsh Jennings lets pinkeye know that she will not be defeated. (Marcelo del Pozo -- Reuters)

Kerri Walsh Jennings, who with Misty May-Treanor has won two straight Olympic beach volleyball gold medals, is fighting a brave battle against pinkeye. She will soldier on, the Associated Press reports.

“Walsh Jennings’ left eye was red and watery and she was squinting Tuesday at a meet-and-greet arranged by the international governing body of beach volleyball. She is taking antibiotics,” the AP said.

The beach volleyball dynamos have won their first two matches at these Games and are almost a lock to advance to the knockout round.

O'Connor perfect in final jumping round

Karen O’Connor had a second perfect ride over the show jumping course Tuesday and was briefly atop the standings for the individual eventing title.

O’Connor, of The Plains, Va., and the U.S. team’s oldest competitor at 54. Her earlier ride in the jumping portion of the team eventing competition was also perfect, but the Americans finished seventh.

The top 25 individual scores from team eventing take one more turn around the jumping course to determine the individual medals. O’Connor is unlikely to medal but a penalty-free round will boost her up the final list.

She was followed by Zara Phillips, granddaughter of the Queen, whose British team won silver in the team event.

Britain's Murray moves on

Andy Murray is on to the third round after beating Jarkko Nieminen. (Martin Bernetti -- AFP/Getty Images)

Scotsman Andy Murray, representing Britain at his home Olympic Games, easily advanced to the third round of the men’s tennis tournament with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Finland’s Jarrko Nieminen that took just 61 minutes Tuesday afternoon at the All England club.

Murray, who lost a stirring Wimbledon final to Roger Federer on this very same surface earlier this month, was not tested by Nieminen in the straight-set victory in front of a partisan crowd. With the roof over Centre Court closed after rain delayed several matches slated for outside courts, Murray took an early first-set lead and never relented. He played a wonderful backhand volley to force match point, then finished Nieminen with an ace.

Murray will be followed on Centre Court by unseeded Andy Roddick of the U.S. against second-seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia.

Americans fencers knocked out of foil

Two U.S. fencers failed to reach the quarterfinal round of the men’s individual foil Tuesday afternoon.

After scoring a pair of victories earlier in the day, 18-year-old Alexander Massialas lost in the round of 16 to Russia’s Alexey Cheremisinov, 15-6. Italy’s Andrea Baldini knocked out American Race Imboden, 15-9.

Hancock wins historic second gold

Vincent Hancock won his second straight Olympic gold medal. (Marwan Naamani -- AFP/Getty Images)

American Vincent Hancock won his second straight gold medal in skeet shooting, the first time anyone has done so, Tuesday at the rainy Royal Artillery Barracks.

Hancock, who set an Olympic record in qualifying, won with a score of 148. Anders Golding of Denmark won the silver with 146. Nasser Al-Attiya of Qatar won the bronze after a shootout with Valeriy Shomin of Russia.

The 23-year-old Hancock is a member of the U.S. Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, Ga.

Serena Williams won't play mixed doubles

Serena Williams will play doubles with sister Venus, but not mixed doubles. (Clive Brunskill -- Getty Images)

Serena Williams had professed a desire to play mixed doubles, which is returning to the Olympics for the first time since 1924. But when the U.S. teams were released Tuesday, she wasn’t among those slated to compete.

“We’ve already had rain delays, and we already have a ton of matches ahead of us in just a few days,” said Serena’s sister Venus, with whom she’ll play in the regular doubles tournament. “So I think it was better for us to focus on these two events.”

Serena Williams is a five-time Wimbledon champ, but she has never won an individual gold at the Olympics. She and Venus have twice won the Olympic doubles tournament.

The Bryan brothers — who make up the world’s best doubles team — will thus pair with Lisa Raymond and Leizel Huber. Mike Bryan will pair with Raymond, with whom he won the Wimbledon title earlier this month. Bob Bryan will play with Huber, reuniting a team that has won two Grand Slam championships.

“What’s most important is bringing home medals for the U.S.,” Venus Williams said, “so it was important to let them kind of bring home some medals for us.”

“What’s most important is bringing home medals for the U.S. so it was important to let them kind of bring home some medals for us.”

Meanwhile, with rain coming down at Wimbledon, the roof closed over Centre Court before Great Britain’s Andy Murray took the first set against Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen, 6-2.

Pau Gasol and Spain advance

Pau Gasol leads Spain past Australia. (Eric Gay -- Associated Press)

Pau Gasol scored 20 points to help Spain overcome a sluggish start to defeat the Australian men’s basketball team, 82-70, Tuesday afternoon.

Spain trailed 19-14 after one quarter but went on a 9-0 run early in the second and never looked back. Rudy Fernandez chipped in 17 points for Spain and Marc Gasol added 12. Spain also out-rebounded the Australians, 56-39.

Spain is now 2-0 in Group B play and faces Britain on Thursday

China scolds Ye Shiwen's doubters

Ye Shiwen won gold after a stunning world-record time in the 400 IM Saturday (David Gray -- Reuters)

One day after John Leonard, executive director of the World Swimming Coaches Association, questioned the legitimacy of Ye Shiwen’s world-record performance in the 400-meter individual medley, China’s anti-doping chief has fired back.

“I think it is not proper to single Chinese swimmers out once they produce good results. Some people are just biased,” Jiang Zhixue told the state news agency Xinhua, according to the Guardian. “We never questioned Michael Phelps when he bagged eight gold medals in Beijing.”

Earlier in the Guardian, Leonard had called Ye’s performance Saturday in the 400 IM “unbelievable,” “suspicious” and “disturbing.” Ye’s final lap was quicker than U.S. male swimmer Ryan Lochte’s in the 400-meter individual medley, and her overall time was seven seconds faster than her previous best.

U.S. men out of running in rowing

The U.S. men’s lightweight four of Anthony Fahden, Will Newell, Nick LaCava and Robin Prendes finished fifth in their semifinal Tuesday at Eton Dorney and will compete in Final B on Thursday.

Final B determines places 7-12; boats in Final A compete for medals. Britain had the fastest boat in the semifinals.

Kenneth Jurkowski was fifth in his quarterfinal heat in single sculls and will compete in semifinal D on Thursday.

Jurkowski’s time of 7 minutes 18.27 seconds was well behind the top time of the quarterfinals, turned in by Alan Campbell of Britain.

Semifinal D will determine placement.

McLean helps U.S. 4x200 team

Sterling’s Matt McLean, who attended Potomac High and the University of Virginia, put himself in position to win an Olympic medal Tuesday night by swimming in the morning heats of the 4×200-meter freestyle relay for the United States.

McLean, 24, who finished fifth in the 200 final at the U.S. Olympic trials, swam the second leg as the United States won its heat and topped all qualifiers in 7 minutes 6.75 seconds. McLean swam his leg in 1:46.68, handing off to Davis Tarwater (1:46.33) and Conor Dwyer (1:45.52).

McLean is unlikely to swim on a final squad that will include Michael Phelps, who will be seeking to become the most decorated Olympian of all-time in the race, and Ryan Lochte, but he will claim any medal the team wins for swimming in the morning.

U.S. women have rowing success

Kim Crow of Australia had the best time in the single-sculls quarterfinals. (Eric Feferberg -- AFP/Getty Images)

Genevra Stone won her quarterfinal in single-sculls rowing on Tuesday at Eton Dorney, advancing to Thursday’s semifinal B.

Kim Crow of Australia had the best time in the quarters, 7 minutes 34.29 seconds. Stone’s time was 7:39.67.

The best three boats in semifinals A and B advance to the final on Saturday.

Margot Shumway and Caroline Trowbridge finished second in the repechage for the double sculls, giving them a spot in Friday’s final.

Shumway and Trowbridge’s time of 7:10.37 was second to China’s Min Wang and Weiwei Zhu (7:09.65).

Kristin Hedstrom and Julie Nichols got a second chance as well, winning their repechage in the lightweight double sculls. They advanced to one of two six-team semifinal races on Thursday.

Venus Williams easily moves on

Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, playing on the stage where she has enjoyed the best moments of her career, crushed an overwhelmed Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak in the second round of the Olympic tennis tournament Tuesday afternoon, needing only 66 minutes to take a 6-1, 6-3 victory.

Williams, who is unseeded in this tournament and has struggled because of an autoimmune disease that causes fatigue, looked strong through the first 11 games, then appeared to tire a bit. She staved off two break points in the first game of the second set, and by the time Wozniak finally broke her in the fifth game, she was up 4-0. Wozniak broke Williams again in the seventh game of the set, when Williams was serving for the match.

Williams won the final game at love, and finished things off with an ace. She then celebrated with her familiar fans, waving to the crowd. Williams will face Angelique Kerber of Germany in the third round.

Because rain delayed her opening match on an outlying court, and because she is playing doubles with her sister Serena — whose hair spilled from under a white baseball cap as she looked on from the family box with their mother, Oracene — Venus Williams could play six straight days if she keeps advancing.

Hancock, Thompson in skeet final

Vincent Hancock set an Olympic skeet record in qualifying for Tuesday's final. (Lars Baron -- Getty Images)

American Vincent Hancock set an Olympic record in qualifying for the finals in skeet shooting at the Royal Artillery Barracks.

Hancock, the Olympic and world record holder, scored 123, giving him a one-point lead over Anders Golding of Denmark in qualifying. The top five shooters after five rounds of qualifying, which began on Monday, will take part in the final, which begins at 9 a.m. ET.

Valeriy Shomin of Russia (121), Nasser Al-Attiya of Qatar (121), Luigi Lodde of Italy (120) and Jan Sychra of the Czech Republic (120) also advanced to the final.

American Frank Thompson finished eighth with 119.

Brits take silver in eventing

Zara Phillips knocked down a rail aboard High Kingdom, but Britain still won silver in three-day eventing. (Jamie Squire -- Getty Images)

Britain won silver in the three-day eventing at Greenwich Park behind strong performances from Mary King, Kristina Cook and Zara Phillips.

Germany took the gold and New Zealand the bronze, but the Brits were the story at the royal park that was full of royals and commoners alike, cheering on Phillips — Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughter — as well as King, 51, and Cook, whose clutch performance at the end of the competition guaranteed the silver.

Sweden was fourth, Ireland fifth, Australia sixth and the United States seventh.

King and Cook are among 25 riders who qualified for the individual eventing final. King was third and Cook fourth. Phillips was 14th.

Karen O’Connor of The Plains, Va., qualified as well, at 16th, with a flawless ride in the show jumping phase.

Stevens scores judo upset

Travis Stevens, in white earlier Tuesday against Avtandil Tchrikishvili, advanced to the 81-kg judo semifinals. (Quinn Rooney -- Getty Images)

American Travis Stevens advanced to the semifinals of men’s 81kg judo, winning by waza-ari over Brazil’s Leandro Guilheiro, who entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed. Stevens will face Ole Bischof of Germany in the semifinals.

Dutton's struggles end U.S. hopes

Phillip Dutton of the United States had a rough start on Mystery Whisper, who knocked down two rails then balked at a jump in the final day of the three-day eventing competition.

Dutton had 23 penalties, giving him 70.1 overall, and that ended any slim hopes the Americans had of moving into the top three. The U.S. team needed a strong ride from Dutton after losing Boyd Martin, who withdrew his horse. The two lowest scores among the five riders are dropped, so Martin’s withdrawal left less room for error. The Americans dropped to seventh.

Massialas advances in individual foil

A familiar name in American fencing has advanced to the round of 16. Alexander Massialas, 18, topped Canada’s Etienne Lalonde Turbide, 15-6, in the individual foil Tuesday.

Massialas’s father, Greg, was a two-time Olympian and coached the U.S. fencing team four years ago in Beijing. Massialas advanced to face Russia’s Alexey Cheremisinov later in the afternoon.

Also in the round of the 32, American Miles Chamley-Watson, 22, lost to Egypt’s Alaaeldin Abouelkassem, 15-10.

Race Imboden of Brooklyn also advanced to the round of 16 with a 15-5 win over Guilherme Toldo of Brazil and will take on Andrea Baldini of Italy at 2:20 p.m.

Saudi judoka allowed headscarf

Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani of Saudi Arabia will be allowed to compete Friday in the heavyweight judo competition while wearing some form of headscarf, the Associated Press reports.

Saudi Arabia sent female athletes to the Games for the first time this year, on the condition that they adhere to the nation’s Islamic traditions, headscarf included. But judo officials worry that such a covering could be dangerous in a sport that involves so many grabs and holds.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said Tuesday that an agreement had been reached that is “safety compliant but also allows for cultural sensitivity.”

Tuesday's medals

A look at the medals to be handed out Tuesday at the London Olympics.

9 a.m. (streaming): Shooting, men’s skeet final.

10 a.m.: Diving, women’s synchronized 10-meter platform.

10:06 a.m. (NBC): Canoe, men’s single.

10:30 a.m.: Weightlifting, women’s 63kg.

11 a.m. (streaming): Judo, women’s 63kg, men’s 81kg.

11:30 a.m. (streaming): Gymnastics, women’s team final.

2 p.m.: Weightlifting, men’s 69kg.

2:40 p.m. (streaming): Fencing, men’s individual foil.

2:40 p.m. (streaming): Swimming, women’s 200 free, men’s 200 butterfly, women’s 200 IM, men’s 4×200 free relay.

Big tennis names on court Tuesday

Venus and Serena Williams will be back on the court for doubles later Tuesday morning. (Elise Amendola -- Associated Press)

Venus Williams took to a familiar spot just after noon here, ambling onto Centre Court at the All England club for her second-round match in the women’s singles tournament against Canada’s Aleksandra Wozniak.

The five-time Wimbledon champion and 2000 Olympic gold medalist opened the match by breaking Wozniak three times in the first set, which she won easily, 6-1.

Williams’s match begins a busy day for her — she’ll pair with sister Serena later this afternoon in the doubles competition — and for fans at Centre Court. Great Britain’s Andy Murray, the Scot who solidified his status as a national hero with a gallant charge to the Wimbledon final earlier this month, will face Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen next.

Perhaps the most interesting match of the day follows, with former world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, the 2011 Wimbledon champ and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist from Serbia, will face unseeded American Andy Roddick, a three-time Wimbledon finalist.

O'Connor has clean ride

Karen O'Connor, shown here aboard Mr. Medicott on Monday, is in good shape after the final eventing stage. (John MacDougall -- AFP/Getty Images)

The U.S. eventing team may be a medal long shot, especially after Boyd Martin had to withdraw his horse after the cross-country event, but Karen O’Connor did her part Tuesday morning at Greenwich Park, turning in a clean ride in the final stage of the three-day eventing competition.

O’Connor, of The Plains, Va., finished under time and with no penalties, leaving her with a score of 53.8 (the total of her penalties in the three phases of the event — dressage, cross-country and jumping).

Scores count toward the team competition as well as the individual competition, and while the Americans probably can’t make a move into the top three, O’Connor, who was in 24th going into the jumping, helped her case in the individual eventing.

O’Connor is riding Mr. Medicott, a horse purchased from the German team. She is a two-time Olympic medalist.

Earlier, Zara Phillips of Britain — granddaughter of the Queen, daughter of Princess Anne, and cousin to pretty much every royal in the country — had a solid ride aboard High Kingdom, although she took down one rail. Britain should win a medal in the team event.

Nichols, Wukie off target

American Jennifer Nichols, shown here Sunday, was upended in the round of 16. (Paul Gilham -- Getty Images)

Americans Jennifer Nichols and Jacob Wukie were eliminated in the individual archery round of 16 Tuesday morning at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

Nichols lost to Bishindee Urangtunga of Mongolia, 6-4. She had won her first match against Chekrovolu Swuro of India.

Baard Nesteng of Norway defeated Wukie, 6-2, in his round-of-16 elimination match. Like Nichols, Wukie won his first match, shutting out Jayanta Talukdar of India.