Live: Day 5: Men’s gymnastics all-around, Mariel Zagunis competes

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U.S. gymnast Danell Leyva stages a dramatic rally to claim a bronze medal in the men’s all-around competition. Fencer Mariel Zagunis, the U.S. flag-bearer and two-time defending gold medalist, fails to medal in women’s sabre.

Miss anything? Read past live blogs: Opening Ceremonies | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

Join in the conversation.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1 (DAY 5)

NBC

10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Men’s cycling — individual time trials (Live, JIP, 10 a.m.)
Swimming — qualifying heats (11:05 a.m., 12:30 p.m.)
Men’s beach volleyball — Americans Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal in a qualifying-round match against Latvia (Live, 11:30 a.m.)
Women’s water polo – United States vs. Spain (Live, 1:20 p.m.)
Men’s canoe/kayak – K-1 whitewater final (2:30 p.m.)
Women’s volleyball — United States vs. China (Live, 3 p.m.)
Rowing – gold medal finals in women’s pair and quadruple sculls and men’s eight (4:45 p.m.)
8 p.m. – midnight
Swimming – gold medal finals in men’s 200-meter breaststroke, men’s 100-meter freestyle, women’s 200-meter
butterfly and women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay
Men’s gymnastics — all-around final
Men’s diving — synchronized springboard gold medal final
Beach volleyball — a qualifying-round match
Women’s diving — synchronized platform gold medal final
12:35 a.m. – 1:35 a.m.
Swimming — women’s 200-meter breaststroke semifinals
Women’s cycling – individual time trials

NBC Sports Network

4 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Men’s field hockey – Spain vs. Australia (Live, 4 a.m.)
Women’s volleyball — Dominican Republic vs. Japan (Live, 5 a.m.)
Men’s table tennis – a quarterfinal singles match (Live, 6 a.m.)
Badminton – a qualifying-round match (7 a.m.)
Women’s cycling – individual time trial (Live, 7:30 a.m.)
Women’s fencing – round-of-32 women’s sabre (Live, 8:45 a.m.)
Men’s soccer – Brazil vs. New Zealand (Live, 9:30 a.m.)
Women’s water polo – Hungary vs. China (11:15 a.m.)
Men’s soccer – Mexico vs. Switzerland (Live, noon)
Women’s beach volleyball – Brazil vs. Czech Republic (1:45 p.m.)
Archery – elimination matches (2:15 p.m.)
Men’s soccer – Britain vs. Uruguay (Live, 2:45 p.m.)
Men’s beach volleyball – Germany vs. Switzerland (Live, JIP, 4:30 p.m.)
Women’s basketball – United States vs. Turkey (Live, 5 p.m.)

MSNBC

9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Men’s boxing – elimination bouts in bantamweight, heavyweight and super heavyweight divisions (Live 9 a.m.)
Women’s fencing – sabre quarterfinals (Live, 10:30 a.m.)
Women’s table tennis – singles final (11 a.m.)
Men’s soccer — Spain vs. Morocco (Live, noon)
Women’s fencing — sabre semifinals and bronze medal match (Live, 1:45 p.m.)
Weightlifting — gold medal finals in women’s 69 kg and men’s 77 kg weight classes (3 p.m.)
Women’s fencing — sabre gold medal final (Live, 3:30 p.m.)
Men’s soccer – Senegal vs. United Arab Emirates (Live, JIP, 3:50 p.m.)
Women’s handball – Spain vs. Denmark (4:30 p.m.)
Women’s beach volleyball — Czech Republic vs. Australia (Live, 5 p.m.)

CNBC

5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Men’s boxing – elimination bouts in bantamweight, heavyweight and super heavyweight divisions.

Bravo

7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Tennis – round-of-16 matches in men’s and women’s singles and opening-round mixed doubles matches (Live)

NBC Olympic Basketball Channel

4 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Women’s basketball:
Canada vs. France (Live, 4 a.m., Replay, 8 a.m.)
China vs. Angola (Live, 6:15 a.m.)
Australia vs. Brazil (Live, 9:30 a.m., Replay 1:30 p.m.)
Britain vs. Russia (Live, 11:45 a.m.)
Croatia vs. Czech Republic (Live, 3 p.m.)
United States vs. Turkey (Live, 5:15 p.m.)

NBC Olympic Soccer Channel

9:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Men’s soccer:
Brazil vs. New Zealand (Live, 9:30 a.m.)
Spain vs. Morocco (Live, 11:45 a.m.)
Britain vs. Uruguay (Live, 2:15 p.m.)
Egypt vs. Belarus (4:30 p.m.)
Mexico vs. Switzerland (6 p.m.)
Japan vs. Honduras (7:45 p.m.)
South Korea vs. Gabon (9:15 p.m.)
Senegal vs. United Arab Emirates (10:45 p.m.)

Telemundo

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Packaged Spanish-language coverage includes men’s soccer, tennis and boxing.

Night 5 ends with one last medal

Watching Danell Leyva take home a much sought-after medal for the men’s gymnastics team is the perfect way to cap off our night. Check back in tomorrow as we follow the results for the women’s gymnastics all-around and what’s sure to be an epic show-down between Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte in the 200-m individual medley.

Underwater views at the aquatics center

Watching swimming from overhead is sooo 2008. Even if it is Allison Schmitt anchoring the women’s 4×400-meter to gold.

Luckily, the L2012 Pool Cam has its own Twitter feed, supplying a steady stream of enchanting underwater pictures.

A few gems include:

 

 

 

Looking for Jair Lynch's parallel bars performance?

I love seeing the interaction between Danell Levya and his dad, particularly because it feels so comforting to hear someone on television with a Miami accent (living there was one of the best parts of my life).

But there was another interaction of sorts between a male gymnast and his parents that I’m longing to act. I distinctly remember when Jair Lynch, who lives in Washington, competed in the event finals on the parallel bars in the 1996 Olympics. After he nailed his silver medal-winning routine, NBC zoomed to his parents who, in their Caribbean lilts, screamed out “Mi Baby!”

My family is from Jamaica and seeing Caribbean gymnastics parents was a great thrill. But I can’t find this performance for the life of me. Does anyone else remember this?

Looking for a come back? Think Paul Hamm.

The U.S. men’s team has had a rough go during these games. Many were hoping the all-around would provide a chance for redemption after a fifth place finish Monday.

John Orozco and Danell Leyva struggled on the pommel horse again, much the same way they did in the team competition. Both men faltered on their dismounts, failing to get their hips around the horse and into a full handstand.

But a miraculous come back is not unheard of in U.S. men’s gymnastics. Paul Hamm did the unthinkable only eight years ago in Athens. The Post’s Liz Clarke recounted the gold medalists’ rebound following that historic night:

The most glorious achievement in U.S. men’s gymnastics history was nearly derailed by a disastrous landing on the vault, which sent Paul Hamm crashing into the scorer’s table and plunged him from first to 12th in the standings. It ended with Hamm performing the best routine of his life, whipping around the high bar with ethereal grace and confidence, to make up what seemed an impossible deficit and become the first American man to win Olympic gold in the prestigious all-around event.

Hamm scored a 9.837 (this was pre scoring changes in 2005 when all scores were out of a 10.0) on parallel bars and another 9.837 on high bar to close out the night and seize the gold medal for the first time in U.S. history.

Watch his historic high bar routine below.

Adrian and Grevers: Olympic Village's most adorable roommates

What’s the best congratulatory present you can give your room mate for winning a gold medal? I don’t really know. But Matt Grevers made his roommate Nathan Adrian’s bed after his first place in the 100-m freestyle.

 

Later Adrian laid out their combined winnings on his freshly smoothed sheets: Adrian’s gold and silver (from the 4×100-meter free relay) and Grever’s gold from the 100-meter backstroke.

 

#ADORBS

Gymnastics men against the music?

One thing that’s always thrown me off is the difference between men’s and women’s floor exercise routines: Why don’t the men use any music?

It’s all tumbling, no tango.

But Dvora Myers notices something very apt in women’s gymnastics.. All of a sudden, they aren’t so good at dancing. In fact, it’s like some are not hearing the music at all.  Myers problematizes this, but it makes me wonder if no music shows the next evolution of the sport. Maybe women’s competition is becoming so tumble heavy it shouldn’t use music at all.

What do you think? Would men’s floor exercise be more interesting if there was music? Has women’s gymnastics outgrown the need for choreography?

And who else is holding their breath for the pommel horse?

Gambling on the Olympics -- fun?

England has long had legalized gambling, and you’ve always been able to bet on what color the Queen’s frock will be tomorrow. But the bookies have had to learn a lot in a short time about the Olympics, and be creative in the bets they offer to a veteran gambling people.

Here are some of the interesting wagers available from Ladbroke’s, William Hill and Coral (shown above), three of the major houses cited in Rick Maese’s piece from London on how there’s a gambling parlor on every corner (and mall). Sometimes two to a corner. They also have full betting on all U.S. sports.

The following information is offered strictly for entertainment purposes only. (But wouldn’t it be entertaining if you found someone who didn’t know about the tape-delay thing…)

Rain to fall in stadium during men’s100m dash final: Even money

Adverse weather to delay the start of any athletics track final? 4:1

Temperature to reach 100f in London during the Olympics? 25:1

To win mens 200IM swimming final: Ryan Lochte, 2:5; Michael Phelps, 9:4

To win women’s 100M free swimming final: Ranomi Kromowidjojo, 1:5; Missy Franklin, 14-1

Men’s basketball: Spain -18.5 over Great Britain

Men’s basketball: USA -41.5 over Nigeria

Men’s trampoline: Logan Dooley, USA, 100-1

Men’s team table tennis: China, 1-14

Women ‘s team table tennis: China, 1-20 (that is really heavily favored, I should note)

Men’s 100 m dash: Usain Bolt, 8-11: Yohan Blake, 6-4; Tyson Gay, 14-1

Will the 100 m record be broken: Yes, 10-3; No, 1-5

Jamaican 1-2-3 in the Mens 100m Final: 10-3

Ryan Lochte's hardware

Ryan Lochte placed first in the 200-meter backstroke semifinal, which leaves him in a great position for medal contention in the final tomorrow night. But perhaps the real question: Will Lochte wear his American flag grill again? Or, better yet, will he pull out a new one? Perhaps another pair of high-tops designed for Speedo will make their debut?

After winning his first gold in the Games in the 400-meter individual medley, Lochte popped in a diamond studded, blue and white stripped mouth guard (or grill/grillz, take your pick) which the New York Times reports was created for him by rapper Paul Wall and jeweler Johnny Dang. The price tag? Around $25,000.

Not all viewers were fans of the bling. What’s your take? Tell us in the comments.

Here’s a gallery that looks at Lochte’s unique style away from the pool:

olympic mascots

 

GALLERY: Click on the image above to see the bold style of Ryan Lochte.

 

What are the best Olympic athlete names?

I think  I’m in love. In the 100m freestyle, I was introduced to the Olympic record-setting Dutchwoman with the most awesome name of an Olympic athlete so far: Ranomi Kromowdijojo (Pronounced on the air oas: Kro-ROM-O-DEE-CHOY-YO).

The Olympic web site tells us the 21-year-old might be made for an upcoming Ryan Seacreast segment about overcoming: She suffered viral meningitis in 2010 while training in the Canary Islands. Did she not remember to wear her shower slippers?

What’s in a name? For a casual sports fan, it’s everything. It is the way you show off to your co-workers at the vending machine to demonstrate your intense knowleldge of the sport. You become an instant fan because of the way the name rolls off your tongue. When you go to bed and have that dream where you have taken the body of another person who is a chance for being a gold medallist, it is the name Bob Costas calls you on his couch. But maybe that’s just me.

Or maybe not. What athletes have you fallen in love with on name alone?

Hey I just found out about you. This is crazy. But if we get married, I’d gladly take your name. Call me maybe?

Gratuitous post of an awesome video

Beach volleyball gets no respect!

Is saying you like watching beach volleyball for the athletics like saying you read Playboy for the articles?

I’ve met so many people who profess their love for the sport watching because they like seeing leggy women jump around in skimpy clothing. And no doubt, they were a little sad when they saw Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings running and jumping to sand in, what was that, capris?! In beach volleyball terms, they might as well be in potato sacks.

But here’s the thing: Beach volleyball is hard! Have you ever tried running in sand? Jumping in sand? Running and jumping and hitting a ball….in sand?

Dear friends, let’s learn to appreciate how difficult the sport is and not just giggle boyishly when commentators say things like “there is more of a chest game” or “facial.” That means  you, Dave Barry.

Fierce as ever and still clothed, because it’s cold in London:

.Misty May-Treanor (L) and Kerri Walsh Jennings of the U.S. celebrate after defeating Austria's Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger during their wom

The best diving pick-up line ever?

NBC viewers just watched the U.S. team capture the bronze medal in the men’s springboard synchronized diving competitions. Americans Kristian Ipsen and Troy Dumais squeaked by the Ukrainian team after the last dives.

Great Britain’s Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield were in a similar position Monday night, ending up in fourth behind the Americanss Patrick Hausding and Sascha Klein in the synchronized platform competition.

But Daley got an unexpected conciliatory prize in what may be the best (or only) diving pick-up line. British pop star Cheryl Cole tweeted her admiration for the Olympian, asking if he would teach her how to dive.


@CherylCole
 @TomDaley1994 I think you are amazing! Will you teach me how to swan dive?

Daley said absolutely, pending a Twitter follow, of course.

How do you dive without splash?

I just don’t get diving (and apparently neither Castillo and Sanchez, who have been cannonballing). How is it that these people do these dives so little splash? Is there a physicist in the house?! What is the perfect angle to hit the water to produce the least amount of splash?

Does it have something to do with vectors?!

 

I don't know the results. Like lots of people.

Coming in cold, I know nothing about today. That probably makes me more like a typical (perhaps older) NBC primetime viewer, of which NBC has been piling up 36 million or more a night, the AP reports.

It’s possible to just be so busy you don’t see the results. And for many many previous Olympics, the primetime broadcasts were taped because they were in different time zones. But we didn’t complain because we didn’t have the expectation of instant, all-encompassing knowledge. And video. Now we have that expectation. And we have Twitter.

Welcome to TV coverage!

And now, another day of riveting television coverage of competitions that were finished hours ago!

Yes, there has been lots of talk about the tape delays of these games, which seems frustrating in the days of twitter and status updates.  Yet, NBC, I’m not mad at cha. I understand that you offer riveting analysis and carefully curated information that makes watching this program worth it, hours after the news is known by everyone. As a person who works at a newspaper, I get where you are coming  from. Solidarity.

I am super-excited about the men’s all-around competition. Will the U.S. men avenge themselves after falling apart in the optionals? I consider myself a gymnast (I took six classes at a warehouse in Alexandria last year). I am from the Bronx, like John Orozco. I lived in Miami, like Danell Levya.

Swimming? Ha! I learned how to dog paddle at 24. So I have some unique analysis to add to this blog.

And let’s not forget everyone’s favorite spectator sport: beach volleyball! Va-va-va-voom.

 

May-Treanor, Walsh Jennings remain undefeated

Kerri Walsh Jennings reacts after beating Austria on Wednesday. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings dropped their first set of the London Olympics, but rallied to beat Austria’s Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger, 17-21, 21-8, 15-10. The two-time defending gold medalists are the only undefeated team in Pool C.

Sally Jenkins weighs in on the badminton scandal

“Who knew badminton, that game of the bored-silly rich and backyard dads, could be so … bad? The first serve went into the net, and then the next serve went into the net. There was a return, and it went under the net. So now the shuttlecock contingent has rewritten the Olympic motto, Swifter, Higher, Stronger. It’s become Swifter, Higher, Don’t Lift A Finger,” writes Sally Jenkins. Read the rest of her column here.

May-Treanor, Walsh Jennings win second set

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings needed 16 minutes to even their preliminary round beach volleyball match at one set apiece against Austria’s Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger. The Americans won the second set, 21-8, and are now headed to the decisive third set.

U.S. women's basketball beats Turkey, 89-58

Angel McCoughtry (right) leads all scorers with 18 points against Turkey. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The U.S. women’s basketball team put together its most complete performance of the Olympics so far in its 89-58 victory over Turkey. Angel McCoughtry had 18 points and seven rebounds, Tina Charles recorded 16 points and seven rebounds, and Lindsay Whalen had 14 points, seven rebounds and two assists to lead the Americans to their third straight win.

The U.S. faces the Czech Republic on Friday and plays China, which is also 3-0 in Group A, on Sunday.

U.S. women drop first set in beach volleyball

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings lost the first set of their preliminary round matchup with Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger, a pair of sisters from Austria, 21-17. The Americans, who are the two-time defending Olympic champions, began the day as the only undefeated team in Pool C and had yet to lose a set.

U.S. women's basketball leads after three quarters

The U.S. women’s basketball team is up, 63-47, after three quarters, but the Americans needed a strong finish to the period to stay in control of the game.

With 2 minutes 18 seconds left in the third quarter, Turkey’s Quanitra Hollingsworth, who plays for the New York Liberty, scored inside to cut the U.S. lead to six, 53-47. But the Americans scored the final 10 points of the quarter; Lindsay Whalen had six of those points.

U.S. women's basketball team in control against Turkey

Diana Taurasi drives to the basket against Turkey. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The U.S. women’s basketball team has taken control of its preliminary round game against Turkey and leads, 41-26, at halftime. Angel McCoughtry has 11 points and four rebounds to lead the Americans; Sue Bird has eight points.

McCoughtry is one of six players on the American roster who currently play or have played professionally in Turkey in the offseason.

U.S. women's basketball leads Turkey, 19-16

Angel McCoughtry scored seven points as the U.S. women’s basketball team opened up a 19-16 lead against Turkey through one quarter in a Group A preliminary round game.

Both teams are 2-0 heading into the game; Turkey has beaten Angola (72-50) and the Czech Republic (61-57).

LeBron James is in the arena watching the game; he posted a photo on Instagram.

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.

Quarterfinals set for men's soccer

Britain's Daniel Sturridge celebrates with Aaron Ramsey after scoring the lone goal in a 1-0 win over Uruguay Wednesday. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The quarterfinals are set for men’s soccer, and few would have predicted this lineup. Spain and Uruguay? Out. D.C. United’s Andy Najar and Honduras? In. Here are the pairings for Saturday’s games:

Japan vs. Egypt, 7 a.m. at Old Trafford

Mexico vs. Senegal, 9:30 a.m., at Wembley Stadium

Brazil vs. Honduras, noon, at St. James’ Park

Britain vs. South Korea, 2:30 p.m. ET, at Millennium Stadium

The Britain-South Korea winner will meet the Brazil-Honduras winner in one semifinal; Mexico, Senegal, Japan and Egypt are on the other side of the bracket.

U.S. beats China in women's volleyball

The U.S. women outlasted China in an epic third set, 31-29, to claim the match and remain the lone undefeated team in Group B. Megan Hodge (18 kills) and Destinee Hooker (17 kills) led the Americans, who had five match points before finally finishing off the Chinese, 26-24, 25-16, 31-29.

The Americans have two games remaining in pool play: against Serbia on Friday and against Turkey on Sunday.

U.S. sets Olympic record in women's 4x200 freestyle relay

Allison Schmitt, Shannon Vreeland, Dana Vollmer and Missy Franklin celebrate their gold medal in the 4x200 freestyle relay. (AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS)

A brilliant anchor leg swim by Allison Schmitt lifted the U.S. women to a comeback victory in the 4×200 freestyle relay. The American team of Missy Franklin, Dana Vollmer, Shannon Vreeland and Schmitt set an Olympic record of 7 minutes 42.92 seconds, finishing ahead of Australia (7:44.41) and France (7:47.49).

The U.S. was in third place following Franklin’s opening leg, but Vollmer and Vreeland brought the Americans back into second by the time Schmitt hit the water. Then Schmitt, who won the 200 freestyle in Olympic record time on Tuesday, coolly chased down Australia’s Alicia Coutts.

“I knew Allison was going to pull off something amazing, and the rest of us needed to be even with everyone else,” Vollmer said.

Franklin and Schmitt now have two gold medals apiece.

The performance drew this reaction from women’s soccer star Abby Wambach:

 

U.S. women's volleyball up 2-0 on China

After a rocky opening set, the Americans settled themselves to take the second in convincing fashion, 25-16.

Megan Hodge (8 kills) and Foluke Akinradewo (6 kills, 2 blocks) lead the offense. The winner will be the lone unbeaten team atop in Group B.

South Korea's Kim wins women's sabre gold medal

Kim Ji Yeon celebrates her victory over Mariel Zagunis in a semifinal bout. (Alberto Pizzoli/GettyImages)


Kim Ji Yeon, the woman who dethroned two-time American Olympic gold medalist Mariel Zagunis, won the gold medal for South Korea in the women’s individual sabre competition Wednesday night.

She beat defending world champion Sofya Velikaya of Russia, 15-9, to cap off the biggest surprise of the night at the fencing venue in Hyde Park.

Kim, seeded fifth, knocked off the Nos. 1 and 2 fencers in the world in the sabre. Her comeback against Zagunis was monumental. Down 12-5, she reeled off 10 of the next 11 points to stun Zagunis, who finished without a medal after losing the bronze-medal bout.

Lochte, Phelps finish 1-2 in 200 IM semifinal heat

Ryan Lochte finished first in his semifinal heat of the 200-meter individual medley, nearly a second faster than Michael Phelps. Lochte’s time was 1 minute 56.13 seconds; Phelps was second in 1:57.11.

Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh won the second semifinal heat in 1:56.74. South Africa’s Chad le Clos, who edged Phelps in the 200 butterfly on Tuesday, claimed the final slot in Thursday’s final with a time of 1:58.49.

Austria’s Markus Rogan, who was named the All-Met Swimmer of the Year in 2000 while competing for Mount Vernon, was disqualified from the first semifinal.

Soni sets world record in 200 breaststroke semifinal

(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

American Rebecca Soni broke the world record in the women’s 200-meter breaststroke, winning her semifinal heat in 2 minutes 20 seconds. The previous mark was 2:20.12, set by Canada’s Annamay Pierse in 2009. Soni held the previous Olympic record of 2:20.22, which she set in winning the gold medal in Beijing in 2008.

Denmark’s Rikke Pedersen won the other semifinal heat in 2:22.23, the second-fastest time of the day. Also qualifying for Thursday’s final was American Micah Lawrence, who finished third in heat 1 in 2:23.39.

Volleyball: U.S. women win opening set vs. China

Foluke Akinradewo helped key a late push as the U.S. took the opening set. (Elsa/Getty Images)

The United States rallied late to grab the opening set in a key Group B match against China, 26-24.

China’s servers repeatedly went after Logan Tom, as the Americans struggled with their serve receive. But with China leading 23-20, the U.S. rallied with four straight points, highlighted by Foluke Akrinradewo’s stuff block, to get back into the set.

The U.S. and China are the lone unbeaten teams in their group.

Nathan Adrian wins men's 100 freestyle

Nathan Adrian smiles after winning the 100 freestyle. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

American Nathan Adrian won the men’s 100 meter freestyle in thrilling fashion, out-touching Australia’s James Magnussen. Adrian’s time of 47.52 seconds was .01 faster than Magnussen, the world champion who’s known as “the Missile.” Brent Hayden of Canada was third in 47.80 and Yannick Agnel, the Frenchman who won the 200 freestyle, was fourth in 47.84.

“It was pretty unbelievable,” he said.

Adrian is the first American to win this event since Matt Biondi did so in 1988. He is not one of the bigger names on the U.S. men’s team, but doesn’t think of himself as being overlooked.

“That’s not motivation,” he said. “That’s kind of comforting to be honest. I like being the chaser.”

Fencer wins Venezuela's first gold medal since 1968

Ruben Limardo Gascon of Venezuela celebrates his victory. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)

Ruben Gascon Limardo defeated Norway’s Bartosz Piasecki in the individual epee event, becoming Venezuela’s first gold medalist since the 1968 Mexico City Games.

Gascon Limardo won 15-10. He immediately began sprinting across the stage and eventually wound up holding up the Venezuelan flag and parading it around a packed arena as Queen’s “We Are The Champions” (of the World) blared throughout the place. Pretty cool, actually, to see.

China's Jiao wins women's 200 butterfly

China’s Jiao Liuyang set an Olympic record in winning the women’s 200 butterfly in 2 minutes 4.06 seconds. Mireia Belmonte Garcia of Spain won silver (2:05.25) and Japan’s Natsumi Hoshi took bronze (2:05.48). The two Americans in the race, Kathleen Hersey and Cammile Adams, finished fourth and fifth, respectively in 2:05.78 and 2:06.78.

 

Japan women's soccer coach won't be disciplined

Norio Sasaki, coach of the Japan women's soccer team (REUTERS/Francois Lenoir)

Norio Sasaki, the coach of the Japan women’s soccer team, won’t be disciplined by FIFA for telling his players to try not to win their preliminary round match against South Africa on Tuesday. According to this Associated Press story, soccer’s governing body ruled that “there are no sufficient elements to start disciplinary proceedings” for corruption.

The World Cup champions play Brazil in the quarterfinals on Friday in Cardiff.

Four women’s badminton teams were disqualified on Wednesday for deliberately losing group matches.

Clary, Lochte 1-2 in 200 backstroke qualifying

Americans Tyler Clary and Ryan Lochte had the top times in semifinal qualifying for Thursday’s 200 backstroke final. Clary won the second heat in 1 minute 54.71 seconds, and Lochte won the first in 1:55.40.

Thursday’s final is at 2:48 p.m.

Franklin third in 100 free qualifying

Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands set an Olympic record in the 100 freestyle semifinals. (Matt Slocum -- Associated Press)

American Missy Franklin finished third in qualifying for the women’s 100 freestyle final.

In the same heat in which Franklin swam, Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands set an Olympic record, 53.05 seconds. Melanie Schlanger won the first heat in 53.38 seconds to finish second overall, Franklin came in at 53.59. American Jessica Hardy was eighth overall at 53.86 to qualify for the final.

The final is Thursday at 3:37 p.m.

Mariel Zagunis falls in sabre bronze medal match

Fencer Mariel Zagunis — who began the Olympics as the U.S. flag-bearer — fell, 15-10, to Olga Kharlan of Ukraine in the bronze medal match of women’s sabre. Zagunis was the two-time defending gold medal champion.

Gibb/Rosenthal advance in beach volleyball

Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal defeated Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Ruslans Sorokins of Latvia, 21-10, 21-16, to win their pool and advance to the knockout round.

Gibb and Rosenthal were 2-1 in Pool D but won on point differential.

John Isner reaches quarterfinals

Isner was pushed to yet another tiebreaker, but emerged victorious. (Martin Bernetti/Getty Images)

American John Isner is through to the quarterfinals of the men’s singles draw after a 7-5, 7-6 (14) victory over Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia.

The towering North Carolina native piled up 22 aces, but as is frequently the case, he struggled to put pressure on his opponent’s serve, leading to his 36th tiebreaker of the year.

Isner rallied from an early hole, but missed five match points in the tiebreaker before Tipsarevic eventually double faulted to lose the match.

Next up for Isner, a daunting matchup with Wimbledon champion and world No. 1 Roger Federer. Isner did beat Federer in a Davis Cup singles match in February, but that result came on clay. The lawns of the All England Club should present a much bigger obstacle when the 27-year-old tries to topple the master of grass.

Gyurta sets world record in 200 breaststroke

Daniel Gyurta of Hungary, left, celebrates his 200 breaststroke gold and world record. (Richard Heathcote -- Getty Images)

Daniel Gyurta of Hungary set a world record in the 200 breaststroke final Wednesday, winning the gold medal in 2 minutes 7.28 seconds. Britain’s Michael Jamieson was second in 2:07.43 and Japan’s Ryo Tateishi was third in 2:08.29.

Americans Scott Weltz and Clark Burckle finished fifth and sixth, respectively. Kosuke Kitajima, who won gold in the event at both the 2004 and 2008 Games, finished fourth, 0.06 of a second off the medal stand.

Gyurta snapped the two-year-old record of 2:07.31 held by Australia’s Christian Sprenger.

Wesley falls in bronze medal match in men's epee

Jung Jin-Sun sprinted across the mat, jumping into his coach’s arms, after having beaten American epee fencer Seth Wesley for the bronze medal in the individual competition.

Jung and Wesley needed sudden death to decide the bout, which was decided, 12-11, in favor of the South Korean. Jung bawled uncontrollably afterward he was so taken aback by his victory.

Wesley played his same cat-and-mouse game, delaying, counterattacking, never really being decisive when it mattered. He also lost a sudden-death match in the semifinals, delaying and feeling his opponent out way too much for the crowd’s liking.

Both fencers were booed before the sudden death period.

U.S. women's water polo ties Spain

Heather Petri, right, and the U.S. held a commanding lead late but Anna Espar Llaquet (3) and the Spanish stormed back. (Julio Cortez/AP)

Maica Garcia scored with 46 seconds left to cap a furious rally as Spain pulled out a 9-9 tie with the United States.

Courtney Mathewson’s goal with just under five minutes left gave the Americans a 9-6 lead, but the Spanish scored three times in the final 2:49 – including the final two by Garcia.

Kami Craig scored four goals to lead the U.S. which remains tied with Spain atop Group A with three points. The Americans conclude group play on Friday against China (0-2).

Video: Badminton players disqualified

Leyva wins bronze in men's gymnastics all-around

Danell Leyva feels good after his performance on the horizontal bar. (Harry How -- Getty Images)

American gymnast Danell Leyva staged a dramatic rally to overcome a disastrous start and claim bronze in the men’s individual all-around competition Wednesday.

After falling to 19th following the first two of the competition’s six mandatory events, Leyva was spectacular on his last two — the parallel bars and horizontal bar — to make up ground as favorites fell around him.

Read the full story here.

Mariel Zagunis falls in sabre semifinals

Mariel Zagunis (right) reacts after conceding a hit against South Korea's Kim Ji Yeon. (AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI)

South Korean fencer Kim Ji Yeon rallies to upset American Mariel Zagunis, 15-13, in the semifinals of women’s sabre. Zagunis was the two-time defending gold medalist and carried the U.S. flag in the Opening Ceremonies.

Zagunis will face Olga Kharlan of the Ukraine in the bronze medal match at 2:40 p.m. Kim will meet Russia’s Sofya Velikaya in the gold medal match.

South Korean rallies to tie Zagunis

Mariel Zagunis takes commanding lead in semifinal

Mariel Zagunis, the U.S. Olympic flag-bearer at the Opening Ceremonies and a woman who won more gold in the last two Olympics than any American fencer had since 1904, has jumped out to an 9-4 lead over South Korean Kim Ji Yeon after one session in the women’s individual sabre semifinals.

Zagunis’s attacking and counterattacking has seemed to overwhelm her South Korean opponent through the match’s first three minutes. First fencer to 15 or the leader after three sessions advances to the gold medal match.

President Obama calls U.S. women's gymnasts

The U.S. women's gymnastics team shows off their gold medals. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

The five members of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team that won the team gold medal on Tuesday night have been enjoying the attention ever since. Carmelo Anthony tweeted a photo of himself with the gold medal winners. Justin Bieber — one of gymnast Jordyn Wieber’s crushestweeted his congratulations to the team, as did the singer P!nk. New England Patriot Wes Welker tweeted, “I have a new respect for the women’s gymnastics team. those young girls are TOUGH!”

President Obama called the gymnasts this morning; according to the White House pool report, he spoke to Aly Raisman, Wieber, McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross and Gabby Douglas, in that order, and had a special message for each one. According to the report, he told Raisman, “you guys amaze us the most” out of all the Olympians.

Leyva 6th, Orozco 10th entering final event

Danell Leyva is sixth and John Orozco is 10th entering their final event — the high bar — at the men’s all-around gymnastics competition at the Olympics.

Andy Murray rallies past Marcos Baghdatis

"Come on, Andy!" (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Barely one month after he became the first Briton to reach the Wimbledon men’s singles final since 1938, Andy Murray nearly suffered a stunning premature exit Wednesday on the same court.

But after dropping the opening set against charistmatic Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, Murray rode the encouragement of a heavily partisan crowd to a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 win on Centre Court.

The third-seeded Scotsman gets Spain’s Nicolas Almagro in the quarterfinals.

U.S. men's gymnasts rally, now 11th and 13th

Danell Leyva is in somewhat better shape after the rings. (Ezra Shaw -- Getty Images)

After four of six compulsory events, U.S. gymnasts Danell Leyva and John Orozco have battled back from a disastrous start and now stand 11th and 13th, respectively, in the battle for the men’s individual all-around title.

But front-runners Kohei Uchimora of Japan (61.90 points), Kazuhito Tanaka (Japan) and Marcel Ngyuen (Germany) have such a strong lead, roughly two full points ahead of the Americans, it’s difficult to imagine either U.S. gymnast pulling himself into medal contention in the two events that remain.

The Americans, who qualified first and second, respectively, have battled to recover from a disastrous outing on the pommel horse. But the progress is incremental, and they desperately need a huge leap.

Leyva dropped to 19th and Orozco to dead-last 24th after committing several mistakes on the pommel horse. But they helped themselves with solid, if unspectacular, performances on the rings.

Leyva earned 14.733, which nudged into a tie for 17th.

Orozco, who considers rings among his specialties, managed 15.200 after a more ambitious routine. And elevated him to 20th in the standings.

Next came the vault, which tends to raise all gymnasts’ scores because the marks on the apparatus are invariably higher than those for other events.

Leyva got 15.566 and Orozco, who fell on his vault during Monday’s team final, did far better today. He took just one step forward on his landing to earn his 15.900, his best mark yet.

The Americans will close the competition on the parallel bars and horizontal bar, at which both excel. So count on another late-stage American rally, but unless a half-dozen others stumble badly, it likely won’t be enough.

Kelsey loses in men's epee heartbreaker

Ruben Limardo Gascon of Venezuela celebrates his win over Seth Kelsey of the United States. (Hannah Johnston -- Getty Images)

Seth Kelsey was crestfallen Wednesday after he lost in sudden death to Venezuelan Ruben Gascon Limardo in the semifinals of the men’s epee semifinals.

Gascon Limardo beat the American from Santa Monica, Calif., 6-5, in the lowest-scoring match of the tournament. Twice, as both fencers cautiously felt each other out, time was collapsed for passivity purposes by the official.

They resembled two boxers afraid to mix it up for much of the bout — until Kelsey began pressing the action.

Finally, as the two faced off in sudden death, Gascon Limardo slipped underneath Kelsey’s last attack and touched his opponent solidly with his lance. Gyrating his hips, running across the platform, the Venezuela went absolutely berserk

He moved onto the gold medal match, while Kelsey will await the loser between Jinsun Jung from South Korea and Norwegian Bartosz Piasecki in the bronze medal match at 2:10 p.m.

Mariel Zagunis, the two-time gold medalist, is scheduled to face South Korea’s Jiyeon Kim in the women’s individual sabre semifinals at 1:30 p.m.

Venus Williams double faults her way to defeat

The two-time gold medalist crashed out in the round of 16. (Elise Amendola/AP)

German Angelique Kerber bounced American Venus Williams from the singles draw with an impressive 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) win at the All England Club.

Williams did herself no favors as she committed seven double-faults – including one that gave Kerber match point.

Williams led 5-2 in the first-set tiebreaker but the seventh-seeded Kerber stormed back with five unanswered points to grab the set and control of the match. The five-time Wimbledon singles champion more than doubled Kerber’s winners (43-24), but she couldn’t overcome 36 unforced errors, including those critical double-faults.

Kerber was 3 for 3 on break point chances. She advances to face top-seeded Victoria Azarenka – a 7-6, 6-4 winner over Nadia Petrova – in the quarterfinals.

Earlier in the day, Serena Williams blitzed Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 6-0 to reach the quarters. The two sisters are also still alive in the women’s doubles draw where they’re looking to claim their third straight gold medal.

No money back in badminton

Paul Deighton, chief executive of the London organizing committee, said no refunds would be offered to spectators who had to sit through the tanking Badminton festival. Read the full story here.

Eight badminton players that were disqualified Wednesday in a match-fixing scandal at the Olympic badminton tournament in London. (Top Row L-R) South Korea's Kim Ha Na, Ha Jung-Eun, Kim Min-Jung, Jung Kyung-Eun. (Bottom Row L-R) Indonesia's Greysia Polii, Meiliana Jauhari and China's Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang. (AFP)

U.S. gymnasts 19th, 24th after two events

John Orozco was last among 24 competitors in the men's individual all-around after two events. (Harry How -- Getty Images)

Americans Danell Leyva and John Orozco have a huge mountain to climb, standing 19th and 24th among 24 competitors in the men’s individual all-around competition after two of six compulsory events at London’s North Greenwich Arena.

The Americans qualified for the all-around final first and second, respectively, which made them medal favorites. But both stumbled badly two days later in the team competition, casting doubt on their ability to deliver a consistent performance Wednesday.

The Americans opened on the floor. It’s not Orozco’s best event, but his tumbling was clean and his landings solid, earning an impressive 15.433. Leyva was nearly as good (15.366). They stood fourth and sixth overall, respectively, after floor.

Then came the pommel horse, the weakness of both American gymnasts, in which they faltered badly in Monday’s team final. Up first, Orozco brushed against the apparatus with his legs multiple times and was credited with just 12.566 points. He bowed his head and appeared to weep, fully aware the low mark could scuttle his medal hopes.

Leyva managed to stay on but had a glaring break in continuity late in this routine, earning 13.500.

They plunged dramatically in the standings but should climb as they move on the events better suited to their skills.

Attendance was spotty at the 20,000-seat venue widely known as the O2. But those on hand cheered wildly for Britain’s best medal hope, Kristian Thomas, who was first up on the floor.

Up next for the Americans: Rings and vault.

Jackson sets Olympic basketball record

Lauren Jackson hits a free throw to break Lisa Leslie's all-time Olympic scoring record. (Charles Krupa -- Associated Press)

Australian Lauren Jackson became the all-time leading scorer in Olympic women’s basketball history during her team’s 67-61 victory over Brazil on Wednesday.

Jackson broke Lisa Leslie’s record of 488 points on a free throw with 53 seconds left in the third quarter. She finished with 18 points.

This is the fourth Olympics for Jackson, 31. Australia has lost to the United States in the gold medal game in her three previous appearances.

U.S. men eliminated in archery

Brady Ellison lost his second elimination match Wednesday at Lord’s Cricket Ground and is out of the archery competition.

Ellison defeated Mark Javier of the Philippines in his first match, shooting six 10s in a 7-1 victory, but fell 7-1 to Taylor Worth of Australia in the next round.

His teammate, Jake Kaminski, lost to Dan Olaru of the Republic of Moldova in a shootoff, 9-7, in his first match.

Badminton match-fixing update

The Badminton World Federation has rejected an appeal by South Korea over its women’s doubles team’s disqualification from the Olympic tournament for match-fixing, the Associated Press reports. Indonesia, which also had one team disqualified, withdrew its appeal. China, which had two teams disqualified, accepted the decision.

The badminton quarterfinals have begun, with replacement teams. Reports the Associated Press: “Russian pair Valeria Sorokina and Nina Vislova and Canadian team Alex Bruce and Michele Li now advance from Group A. Australian pair Leanne Choo and Renuga Veeran and South African duo Michelle Edwards and Annari Viljoen go through from Group C.”

Boris Johnson's zipper

As we discussed earlier, London Mayor Boris Johnson is a great promoter of his hometown games, and now he has achieved a whole new stature by becoming stuck on a zip line above Victoria Park while clutching two Union Jack flags.

Johnson makes news almost daily, from claiming that Englishmen invented ping pong to extolling the virtues of beach volleyball players competing in the rain like “wet otters.” The man has no vanity, as you can see.

Johnson strapped himself into a harness and rode the contraption, a steel cable suspended in the treetops and operated by a pulley, until it came to a halt above cheerful Londoners strolling and picnicking in the park neighboring the main Olympic grounds.

“Can you get me a rope?” he asked.

Breazeale out, but not down

Boxer Dominic Breazeale hopes his second go-around as a professional athlete lasts longer than the first. Read about his plans here.

Italian Molmenti takes kayak gold

Daniele Molmenti exults after his gold medal in single kayak. (Phil Walter -- Getty Images)

Daniele Molmenti of Italy won gold in the kayak Wednesday at the Lee Valley Whitewater Center. Vavrinec Hradilek of the Czech Republic took the silver and Germany’s Hannes Aigner bronze.

Molmenti was 10th in this event four years ago in Beijing, but won the world championship two years ago.

No American made the final field of 10.

Chinese women go 1-2 in table tennis

Xiaoxia Li of China beat countrywoman Ning Ding for the singles table tennis gold medal at ExCeL North Arena.

Tienwei Feng of Singapore won the bronze, defeating Kasumi Ishikawa of Japan, 4-0.

U.S. women's quad sculls celebrates medal

Everybody in the U.S. boat broke down in tears when the medal was secure. Americans Natalie Dell, Kara Kohler, Megan Kalmoe and Adrienne Martelli won the bronze in Wednesday’s women’s quadruple sculls by 1.04 seconds, edging a hard-charging Australian team. The medal was the first for the the United States in the event in the Summer Games.

“We had the gutsiest, hardest, most aggressive race ever,” Kalmoe said. “It took me a minute to get sight and consciousness back after that last stretch. It’s everything I had. … To have it finally culminate here in a medal, it’s huge.”

The heavily favored Ukrainians won in 6 minutes 35.93. Germany came home in 6:38.09 and the United States in 6:40.63.

U.S. men's eight rowing rues finish

The U.S. men's eight boat missed the medal podium by the slightest of margins. (Alexander Hassenstein -- Getty Images)

A poor start doomed the U.S. men’s eight in Wednesday’s Olympic final, and gloom hung over the group that had hoped to bring back a medal in a third straight Olympic Games. The U.S. men finished fourth, 0.3 of a second behind Britain, ending the medal streak.

“It feels horrible,” said rower Guiseppe Lanzone, a graduate of McLean High. “It’s painful. Whether you come close or not, we didn’t get a medal.”

Said David Banks, a Washington native and Churchill graduate. “It’s just tough. There aren’t too many words. I’m just sort of speechless.”

Lanzone and Banks competed together in the four at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, finishing ninth. The U.S. men’s eight got the gold in 2004 in Athens and the bronze in Beijing.

Wiggins thrills Brits with cycling gold

Bradley Wiggins followed up his Tour de France win with an Olympic gold medal. (Alex Livesey -- Getty Images)

Bradley Wiggins became the most decorated British Olympian of all time Wednesday with a gold medal performance in the road cycling time trial at Hampton Court Palace.

Wiggins, who won the Tour de France last month, finished in 50 minutes 39.54 seconds, ahead of Tony Martin of Germany (51:21.54) and countryman and Tour de France teammate Christopher Froome, who took the bronze (51:47.87).

Fabrian Cancellara, who tried to become the first road racer to win consecutive golds, was unable to win a medal, finishing seventh. Cancellara was injured and not racing at full strength and struggled to a seventh-place finish.

Wiggins had been a track cyclist before switching to the road. He has four Olympic gold medals and six overall.

American Taylor Phinney, whose parents were both Olympians, finished fourth.

U.S. gymnasts Leyva and Orozco seek redemption

John Orozco, left, and Danell Leyva will go for individual gold on Wednesday. (Dylan Martinez -- Reuters)

Redemption is a powerful motivator.

And that’s what Americans Danell Leyva and John Orozco are seeking today, when they take on 22 of the world’s best gymnasts for the coveted all-around Olympic gold at North Greenwich Arena after woefully under-performing in Monday’s team final. Read about their preparations here.

U.S. men win diving bronze

Kristian Ipsen and Troy Dumais won bronze for the United States in the men’s synchronized springboard event Wednesday at the Aquatics Centre.

Not surprisingly, the gold was claimed by the Chinese pair of Kai Qin and Yutong Luo, whose 477 points bested their next competitors by nearly 18. China won every diving gold in Beijing and are on pace to duplicate that feat in London as well.

Ilva Zakharov and Evgeny Kuznetsov of Russia took the silver.

Djokovic finishes off Hewitt to advance

It wasn't easy, but the Djoker is through to the quarterfinals. (Elise Amendola/The Associated Press)

Novak Djokovic overcame a gritty effort from veteran Lleyton Hewitt but pulled away in the third set to claim a 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 win.

The second-ranked Serbian, who lost his No. 1 spot when he fell to Roger Federer on Centre Court at Wimbledon last month, will face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Thursday’s quarterfinals. Tsonga survived the longest third set in Olympic tennis history to get past Canada’s Milos Raonic on Tuesday and bounced back to beat Feliciano Lopez of Spain, 7-6, 6-4, this afternoon.

“It’s never that easy against Lleyton, he’s one of the best returners to play the game,” Djokovic said in a post-match television interview on Bravo. “It was a great test.”

Third U.S. boxer loses bout

U.S. boxers had a poor showing in Olympic competition Wednesday, going 0 for 3 in their respective bouts.

The final American of the day was 26-year-old super heavyweight Dominic Breazeale, who was no match for Russia’s Magomed Omarov in a 19-8 loss.

The first round was about as lopsided as possible, as Omarov took a 5-0 lead and Breazeale struggled to land a punch. Breazeale was still in trouble in the second but managed to close the gap a little. Omarov won the round 8-4. Breazeale was swinging haymakers in the final round, but he was receiving them as well. Omarov took the third by a 6-4 score.

Omarov advanced to the quarterfinals Monday, when he’ll face Azerbaijan’s Magmoedrasul Medzhidov.

Two more Americans hit the ring Thursday: lightweight Jose Ramirez and middleweight Terrell Gausha.

Zagunis advances sabre semifinals

Two-time gold medalist Mariel Zagunis became the lone American to advance to the semifinals of the women’s individual sabre tournament in London. Zagunis, of Beaverton, Ore., downed China’s Zhu Min, 15-6, to reach the semifinals at 1:30 p.m. Eastern

Wozniak falls in fencing quarterfinals

American Dagmara Wozniak’s run in the Olympic individual sabre tournament ended with a 15-13 loss to defending world champion Sofya Velikaya of Russia in the quarterfinals.

Wozniak trailed by four points late in the bout and made a gallant comeback. But the Polish-born woman from Woodbridge Township, N.J., could not overcome the deficit nor the Russian’s swift and accurate placement of the sword.

Wiggins on winning pace in cycling

Tony Martin of Germany set a brisk early pace in the men’s time trial Wednesday, but when Britain’s Bradley Wiggins crossed the first timed interval, he was well behind Martin’s time.

Wiggins had hoped to follow his Tour de France victory with a gold in the team event on Saturday, but Britain failed to medal. He seems determined to make that up in this event.

Britain's Bradley Wiggins (Matt Rourke/AP)

Behind Wiggins was Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara, the defending champion, but his time was 30 seconds off Wiggins’s. There is a second timed interval before race’s end, back at Hampton Court Palace.

Luis Leon Sanchez Gil, who lost his chain at the very start of the race, suffered a puncture on the road and his chances of winning a medal are over.

Serena Williams, Federer march on

Serena Williams, on to the tennis quarterfinals. (Clive Brunskill -- Getty Images)

Serena Williams had few problems with Russia’s Vera Zvonareva, advancing to the Olympic tennis quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-0 victory that took only 51 minutes.

“I was just playing unbelievable,” Williams told the Associated Press. “I was nervous going into the match and I didn’t speak to anyone and I had a bad practice. I had no idea I would play like this.”

On the men’s side, Wimbledon champion Roger Federer also advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, 7-5, 6-3, in a match that was delayed twice by rain.

Djokovic evens match at 1 set apiece

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after defeating Lleyton Hewitt of Australia. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic is back even with fellow former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt heading into the third set of their third-round singles match at the All England Club.

After Hewitt fended off a couple break points, Djokovic finally got him with a blistering cross-court forehand winner to take the second set, 7-5. Hewitt won the first set 6-4.

Could we be in store for another marathon third? It would only seem fitting as the winner could face fatigued Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who set a record Tuesday for the longest set in Olympic tennis history with his 25-23 third-set win over Milos Raonic

Final cyclists off in men's time trial

Bradley Wiggins of Britain and Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland, the defending champion, were the final two riders to leave the ornate gate to Hampton Court Palace and head onto the course for the men’s time trial.

Cancellara is trying to become the first male to repeat as a champion in this event.

Not long after, Mouhcine Lahsaini of Morocco and Tomas Aurelio Gil Martinez of Venezuela became the first riders to cross the finish line and head to the throne seats for a rest.

Luis Leon Sanchez Gil of Spain had the worst start, losing his chain literally at the beginning of the race. He calmly waited for a replacement.

LuisLeon Sanchez Gil of Spain is helped to his spare bike after he suffers a mechanical breakdown. (Alex Livesy/Getty Images)

Michael Hunter: post-fight reaction

In 2008, American heavyweight Michael Hunter was one win shy of qualifying for the Olympics. Rather than turn professional immediately, he set his sights on the London Games and maintained his amateur status for four years. His stay at these Games didn’t last long, though, as Hunter lost a close fight Wednesday. Read about his reaction to the fight here.

Swimming's governing body defends China's Ye

FINA says China's Ye Shiwen has been cleared on all doping tests. (Martin Bureau -- AFP/Getty Images)

Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen has become one of the stars of these Olympics at age 16, winning gold in both the 200- and 400-meter individual medleys. But because Ye has dropped her times so quickly at such a young age, and because Chinese swimmers have a history of doping, her performance has been tinged with controversy.

FINA, swimming’s international governing body, came to the young star’s defense. Read the story here.

Zagunis, Wozniak advance in women's sabre

Mariel Zagunis, left, lunges into Seira Nakayama. (Toshifumi Kitamurato -- AFP/Getty Images)

Mariel Zagunis is carving up the Olympic tournament again, showing why she’s the No. 1 seed.

She beat Japan’s Seira Nakayama, 15-9, in second round of the women’s individual sabre tournament, advancing to the quarterfinals against either Russia’s Yuliya Gavrilova and China’s Min Zhu, the ninth and eighth seeds respectively.

Tenth-seeded Dagmara Wozniak won a great scrap against No. 7 seed Azza Besbes of Tunisia. Tied at 13, she scored the last points of the match to advance.

U.S. boxer Hunter loses close decision

It wasn’t always pretty, but Russian heavyweight Artur Beterbiev wasn’t looking for style points. He scored a 10-10 decision over American Michael Hunter to advance into the quarterfinal round of the Olympic tournament.

In a slow and plodding opening round, Hunter grabbed an early 4-3 lead and did nothing to lose it in a slow and steady second round. Hunter held an 8-7 advantage entering the decisive third.

The two fighters continued to clutch throughout the third round, but at one point midway through the round Beterbiev landed a shot that bloodied Hunter’s nose. Judges scored the final round 3-2 for Beterbiev and after the scorecards were even, they ultimately decided the Russian was the day’s better fighter.

Beterbiev advances to face Oleksandr Usyk of Ukraine in the quarterfinals on Sunday.

Jack Bauer sets early cycling pace (no, really)

Jack Bauer of “New Zealand” set the early lead in the men’s cycling time trials at Hampton Court Palace Wednesday.

No, he’s not carrying his usual shoulder bag. Ruins the wind resistance.

Oops, Jack Bauer just nearly crashed into a barricade. He then murdered the barricade with his bare hands. Only the first sentence is true.

If you never watched “24″, forgive me.

But I’m rooting for Jack Bauer, and if you know what’s good for you, you will root for Jack Bauer, too.

Why you really need to be into fencing

The United State's Mariel Zagunis, left, competes with Indonesia's Diah Permatasari. (Dmitry Lovetsky/AP)

One, there are swords involved. Who doesn’t like a good sword fight?

Two, the reigning, two-time gold medalist is Mariel Zagunis.

Three, the women’s sabre competition is essentially a civil “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

There is more. Much more. Read it here.

And, for the uninitiated, here are ten things you need to know about fencing.

Hewitt takes first set from Djokovic

Look who's back. (Luis Acostal/Getty Images)

Lleyton Hewitt just won’t go away.

The plucky 31-year-old Aussie, currently ranked just 159th in the world, just won the opening set against current world No. 2 Novak Djokovic, 6-4.

Hewitt won the 2001 U.S. Open and 2002 Wimbledon hasn’t won a tournament since 2010, thanks in large part to a slew of injuries. But they guy has never lacked heart and tenacity, and when you’re playing for your country, anything can happen.

Wozniak Advances, Zagunis Faces Nakayama

Dagmara Wozniak advanced to the second round of the women’s individual sabre competition with a 15-6 win over Egypt’s Saima Mahran. The Polish-born Jersey girl (Woodbridge Township, N.J.) helped the U.S. team to a bronze in the team sabre competition in Beijing.

Mariel Zagunis, the No. 1 seed in the 32-woman tournament and defending world and Olympic champion, is less than 20 minutes from her second-round match against Japan’s Seira Nakayama, the 17th seed.

Wozniak, seeded 10th, meets Azza Besbes, the No. 7 seed, of Tunisia in the second round. Quarterfinals are slated for 10:40 a.m.

(Editor’s note: Mike didn’t do his homework as well as he thought. The defending world champion is actually Russia’s Velikaya, who beat Zagunis last October.)

After loss, Diaz prepares for pro career

Joseph Diaz Jr. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

Joseph Diaz Jr. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

Joseph Diaz Jr.’s Olympic dreams hinged on a competitive and divisive middle round. His corner saw it one way. The judges saw it another. What will the pro boxer do next? Read the full story here.

American out, Korean sets Olympic pistol record

Sandra Uptagrafft finished 28th in the 25m pistol, which includes precision and rapid fire competitions, and will not advance to the final.

Uptagrafft scored 576. Jangmi Kim of Korea was the top qualifier and set an Olympic record with a score of 591. Tanyaporn Prucksakorn of Thailand was second in qualifying and Ying Cheng was third.

The finals begin at 10:30 ET at the Royal Artillery Barracks.

South Korea's KimJangmi participates in the women's 25m Air Pistol shooting qualifications. (Mike Hutchings/Retuers)

Boris Johnson stuck on a zipwire

We interrupt this day of Olympic sports to bring you a sport of another kind: London mayor Boris Johnson. Stuck on a zip wire. Crowds in Victoria Park captured the moment. Rebecca Denton shared these images on her Twitter feed:

Boris Johnson. On a zip wire. (Rebecca Denton @RebeccasBrain)

(Rebecca Denton)

The mayor appeared to lose momentum halfway through his ride down the zip line, the Telegraph reports, and he safely made his way back to earth with some assistance from the ground staff. The mayor’s spokesman told the Telegraph, “The judges will rightly be marking him down for artistic impression.”

There are more photos from the aerial act here.

U.S. rowing pair finishes fourth in semifinal

Thomas Peszek and Silas Stafford finished fourth in their semifinal heat in men’s pairs, meaning they will not advance to Final A, which determines the medals in the event. Instead, they advance to Final B, which determines placement of pairs 7-12.

The best time in both semifinals was clocked by Eric Murray and Hamish Bond of New Zealand, who set a world best of 6 minutes 8.50 seconds in qualifying.

American Kenneth Jurkowski was last in his semifinal heat in single sculls. Jurkowski is out of the medal hunt and was racing for placement.

Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic had the top time in the semifinals, 7:16.58. Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand won the other semifinal in 7:18.11.

U.S. men's eight barely misses medal

Germany celebrates its gold medal in men's eight rowing by throwing coxswain Martin Sauer into the water. (Mike Hewitt -- Getty Images)

The United States finished fourth in men’s eight rowing, missing a medal by 0.3 of a second.

Germany, the favorite and unbeaten since 2009, won gold with a time of 5 minutes 48.75 seconds. Canada was second (5:49.98) and Britain (5:51.18) crossed the finish line just ahead of the Americans (5:51.48).

It was Germany’s first win in the event since the country was unified in 1990.

The U.S. boat featured Giuseppe Lanzone, a McLean High graduate, and David Banks, who graduated from Churchill.

Kristen Armstrong defends cycling gold

Kristen Armstrong successfully defended her gold medal in the cycling time trial Wednesday at Hampton Court Palace, winning in 37 minutes 34.82 seconds.

Judith Arndt of Germany took second in 37:50.29. Olga Zabelinskaya of Russia occupied the purple velvet-covered throne for the leader until nearly the end of the race but moved to the third chair and took home a bronze instead in 37.57.35.

Kristin Armstrong (Christophe Ena/AP)

There was little doubt from the beginning that Armstrong would win. She had the fastest time at the first interval and at the second she had improved on her lead by nearly five seconds. She fell during Sunday’s road race but showed no effects of those injuries Wednesday.

Armstrong, at 38, is the oldest Olympic gold medalist in road cycling. She took time off from the sport to start a family but trained hard to come back for these Games.

American Amber Neben finished seventh.

Diaz loses decision in boxing

Joseph Diaz Jr.’s Olympic run is over.

Cuban fighter Lazaro Alvarez won a 21-15 decision over the American bantamweight Wednesday, advancing to the tournament’s quarterfinal round.

Diaz appeared to be the first-round aggressor but trailed 7-6 against the technically-sound Alvarez heading into the middle round. In the second, Diaz looked strong defensively but the judges felt otherwise, as Alvarez pulled ahead 14-10.

The judges scored the final round 7-5 in favor of Alvarez.

Zagunis Wins First-Round Match

United State's Mariel Zagunis, left, competes with Indonesia's Diah Permatasari. (Dmitry Lovetsky/AP)

Mariel Zagunis, America’s most decorated fencer ever (hey, you go back-to-back gold in Athens and Beijing, we’re allowed to call you that), beat Indonesian Diah Permatasari, 15-7, in the first round of the women’s individual sabre competition.

Zagunis started slow, falling behind 3-2. But she’s been quick with the sword and more aggressive coming out of the box the past couple minutes. A lot of scoring in the body area for Zagunis, who now faces winner of the match between Japan’s Seira Nakayama and France’s Leonore Perrus in the second round of the competition at 3:40 p.m.

The competition goes to 15 points or the person with the most points after three, three-minute periods have expired.

Armstrong builds cycling lead

Kristen Armstrong built her lead between her first and second intervals, hitting the second timed interval nearly five seconds faster than her nearest competitor in the time trial Wednesday at Hampton Court Palace.

Armstrong is the defending Olympic champion in this event and started last. At this point, fellow American Amber Amber Neben is in second place but there are several strong riders still on the course.

And there is goes! Emma Pooley just nudged Neben into third. She’s not likely to stay in the medals, but she might get to sit on one of the velvet-covered thrones at the finish line for a few minutes.

Busy day for U.S. boxers

Joseph Diaz Jr., right, stopped Pavlo Ishchenko in his Olympic boxing opener.

Three American boxers will hit the ring today, trying to continue their pursuit of Olympic gold.

Bantamweight Joseph Diaz Jr., just two days after beating the Ukraine’s Pavlo Ishchenko, will face one of the tournament’s top fighters, Cuba’s Lazaro Alvarez Estrada. If Diaz can somehow get past this round of 16, he could be pointed toward the medal podium.

Heavyweight Michael Hunter’s tournament begins with the round of 16, where he’ll face Russian fighter Artur Beterbiev. And later in the day, American super heavyweight Dominic Breazeale begins his tournament in the round of 16 against Russia’s Magomed Omarov.

Armstrong rolling in time trial

Kristen Armstrong had the fastest time at the first interval of the women’s time trial Wednesday at Hampton Court Palace.

The defending gold medalist was showing no effects of the tumble she took during Sunday’s road race as the passed the first of two intervals.

The first riders off have already finished and the top three finishers are sitting on thrones in front of the palace. They will be replaced if/when faster riders finish. Still — thrones! You have to love thrones. Olga Zabelinskaya of Russia is the early leader.

Pair wins Britain's first gold of Games

Helen Glover and Heather Stanning won Britain’s first gold medal of these Games in the women’s pair at Eton Dorney Wednesday, finishing in seven minutes 27.13 seconds.

Winning the first gold medal for the host country, Helen Glover (back) and Heather Stanning celebrate their win for Great Britain. (Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images)

Kate Hornsey and Sarah Tait of Australia of Australia took silver in 7:29.86 and Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown of New Zealand were third in 7:30.19.

The American pair of Sara Hendershot and Sarah Zelenka was barely behind the Kiwis in 7:30.39.

Badminton teams DQ'd for match-throwing

Eight doubles badminton players from China, South Korea and Indonesia have been disqualified for throwing their matches to obtain a more favorable draw.

Kim Ha Na (L) and Jung Kyung Eun of South Korea play a shot during their women's doubles badminton match on July 31. They were one of four teams to be disqualified from the Games. (Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Images)

In a match Tuesday pitting China against South Korea, the players appeared to purposely hit the shuttlecock into the net or out of bounds, drawing boos from the crowd.

The women’s doubles quarterfinals are scheduled to start at noon Wednesday.

Read the full story here.

American quad sculls wins bronze

The U.S. women’s quad sculls team took the bronze medal Wednesday morning, finishing behind Ukraine and Germany.

US team celebrates on the podium after receiving their bronze medals won in the women's quadruple sculls. (Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images)

Natalie Dell, Kara Kohler, Megan Kalmoe and Adrienne Martelli posted a time of 6 minutes 40.63 seconds. Ukraine’s winning time was more than five seconds faster, at 6:35.93.

The U.S. men’s eight team finished fourth behind Germany, Canada and Britain.

Mariel Zagunis Moments Away From Defending Gold

In just moments, Mariel Zagunis, the two-time gold medalist from Portland, Ore., goes for three in a row from the fencing complex at Excel Arena.

Zagunis takes on Diah Permatasari of Indonesia in the first round of the competition. The winner of the 32-person tournament moves onto the women’s individual sabre sweet 16.

Mariel Zagunis (Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)

Lorig advances in archery

Five-time Olympian Khatunia Lorig.

Khatuna Lorig – a five-time Olympic archer who taught Jennifer Lawrence in preparation for “The Hunger Games” – advanced Wednesday morning with a 6-0 victory over Sherab Kam of Bhutan and a 6-4 win over Louise Laursen of Denmark. A win in her next match would put her in the quarterfinals.

With the match against Laursen tied at 3, Lorig shot two 10s in a row to take the set and a 5-3 lead. In the final set, she trailed Laursen on her final arrow and needed a 10 to win. And she got it.

Lorig, who was fourth in the earlier ranking round, won a bronze medal in 1992 in Barcelona, competing for the Unified Team. She is from the Republic of Georgia and she was able to compete for her native country in 1996 in Atlanta. In 2000 she competed as Khatuna Lorigi.

She became a U.S. citizen in time for the Beijing Olympics.

Kam was Bhutan’s flag-bearer. Archery is the only sport in which Bhutan has competed in the Olympics.

During a break in the Lorig-Laursen match at Lord’s Cricket Ground, the announcer drew huge cheers from the when he announced that Britain had won its first gold medal in double sculls.

Clary, Lochte fastest in 200 backstroke heats

Ryan Lochte competes in the men's 200 IM heats. (Christophe Simon -- AFP/Getty Images)

American Ryan Lochte, who has a difficult double Wednesday with heats and semifinals in both the 200-meter backstroke and the 200-meter individual medley — but no medal races — got off to a fine start in the morning by posting the second-fastest time in the backstroke.

Lochte, who won gold in the event four years ago, swam in 1 minute, 56.36 seconds, trailing only compatriot Tyler Clary, who was 12 hundredths of a second faster.

Clary was coming off a fifth-place finish in the 200-meter butterfly on Tuesday night.

“I was still running on the high of my first Olympic final,” Clary said. “I’m starting to swim more like myself again, not the nervous wreck I was the last couple of days.”

Rebecca Soni, who won gold in Olympic-record time four years ago, posted the fastest time in the morning heats of the 200-meter breaststroke (2:21.40). Teammate Micah Lawrence was fourth-fastest, and also moves on to the semifinals.

Kelsey moves on in epee

Seth Kelsey, left, battles Estonia's Nikolai Novosjolov in men's epee.

Seth Kelsey won his round-of-32 match in men’s epee Wednesday, needing an extra period to defeat Guojie Li of China, 8-7. Kelsey then defeated Nikolai Novosjolov of Estonia to advance to the quarterfinals, where he’ll face Silvio Fernandez of Venezuela.

Joerg Fiedler eliminated American Soren Thompson in another round of 32 bout, 15-4.

Americans Mariel Zagunis and Dagmara Wozniak begin competition in the women’s sabre later in the morning in the round-of-32 elimination matches.

Quieter day at the pool under way

After the glory of Tuesday night, when Michael Phelps won his record 18th and 19th Olympic medals, Wednesday appears to be a relatively calm day at the Aquatics Center in Olympic Park.

Phelps received a tweet overnight from President Obama: “Congrats to Michael Phelps for breaking the all-time Olympic medal record. You’ve made your country proud. -bo”

Heats are underway this morning, and the Americans could have two highlights in finals tonight: Ryan Lochte is the Olympic record holder in the 200-meter backstroke, an event in which he beat legend Aaron Peirsol at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. And the women’s 4×200-meter relay, featuring gold-medal winner Allison Schmitt and teen star Missy Franklin, will look to avenge its loss to Australia at the 2008 Games — the only time the U.S. has not won gold in the event.

This morning, Americans Jessica Hardy and Franklin moved onto the semifinals of the 100-meter freestyle, posting the eighth- and 10th-fastest times in heats, respectively. Though this should be one of the most competitive events of the swimming meets, the Americans could easily be shut out of the medals, with German Britta Steffan joining Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands, Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden, Jeanette Ottesen Gray of Denmark and Fran Halsall of Great Britain as top contenders.

The U.S. women’s 4×200-meter relay team qualified second behind Australia for Wednesday night’s final. The lineup of Lauren Perdue, Shannon Vreeland, Alyssa Anderson and Dana Vollmer will definitely be shuffled tonight, with gold medalists Allison Schmitt and Missy Franklin almost certain to be added.