Day 16: Men’s basketball, men’s marathon, Closing Ceremonies

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The men’s marathon helps kick off the final day of the London Olympics, and then the U.S. men’s basketball team plays for gold against Spain at 10 a.m. ET. The Closing Ceremonies begin at 4 p.m. and will be live-streamed online and broadcast on tape-delay in the evening by NBC.

Follow our live coverage of the Closing Ceremonies here.

What else should you be watching? Consult today’s viewer’s guide.

Miss anything? Read past live blogs: Opening Ceremonies | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 | Day 12 | Day 13 | Day 14 | Day 15

Join in the conversation.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 12 (DAY 16)

NBC

6 a.m. – 9 a.m.
Track and field – Men’s marathon (Live)

10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Men’s basketball – gold medal game: United States vs. Spain (Live, 10 a.m.)
Men’s water polo – gold medal match: Croatia vs. Italy (12:30 p.m.)
Men’s wrestling – 66kg and 96kg freestyle medal bouts (2:45 p.m.)
Men’s volleyball – gold medal match: Russia vs. Brazil (4 p.m.)

7 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Closing Ceremony

NBC Sports Network

6 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Men’s basketball – bronze medal game: Russia vs. Argentina (Live, 6 a.m.)
Men’s handball – bronze medal match: Hungary vs. Croatia (7:45 a.m.)
Women’s modern pentathlon – fencing and swimming competition (9 a.m.)
Men’s water polo – bronze medal match: Montenegro vs. Serbia (Live, 9:30 a.m.)
Men’s handball – gold medal match: Sweden vs. France (10:45 a.m.)
Men’s volleyball – bronze medal match: Bulgaria vs. Italy (12:45 p.m.)
Women’s modern pentathlon – riding and combined competition (2:45 p.m.)
Men’s basketball – gold medal match: United States vs. Spain (Replay, 3:30 p.m.)

MSNBC

7 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Men’s wrestling – 66kg and 96kg freestyle qualifying bouts (7 a.m.)
Men’s cycling – cross country mountain bike race (Live, 8:30 p.m.)

CNBC

8:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Men’s boxing – gold medal bouts in flyweight, lightweight, welterweight, light heavyweight and super heavyweight classes (Live)

NBC Olympic Basketball Channel

6 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Men’s basketball – bronze medal game: Argentina vs. Russia (Live at 6 a.m., Replay at 8 a.m.); gold medal game: United States vs. Spain (Live at 10 a.m., Replays at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.)

Telemundo

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Packaged Spanish-language coverage includes gold medal competitions in men’s basketball, men’s volleyball, men’s boxing and the men’s marathon.

Thanks for reading!

Like Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana, our staff is exhausted after a busy Olympics.

With the final medal given out, this wraps up the contribution from the sports staff on our live blog. But don’t leave this url! Melissa Bell will be taking over and Style will join in at 7 p.m. for the Closing Ceremonies.

It’s been a busy couple weeks and we’ve had a blast keeping you guys posted on everything in London. Be sure to keep an eye on washingtonpost.com/sports for more from us, and reach out to us in the comment sections of blogs and articles.

Lithuanian wins final gold of Games in pentathlon

Laura Asadauskaite enjoys winning gold. (Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Laura Asadauskaite of Lithuania took the final gold medal of the London Games, in the women’s modern pentathlon, setting an Olympic record with 5,408 points.

Asadauskaite, who was third at the world championships a year ago, moved atop the standings by earning 1,180 of a possible 1,200 points in the riding competition, then held off Britain’s Samantha Murray, who won silver with 5,356 points.

Yane Marques of Brazil (5,340) took the bronze.

American Margaux Isaksen was fourth, just eight points behind Marques.

Suzanne Stettinus of Parkton, Md., finished 28th.

The modern pentathlon includes a fencing, swimming and riding competition. The athletes then start the final stage in order of their performance in the first three disciplines, with the leader going first. In the final stage, the athletes run to the shooting range, shoot at five targets, run 1,000 meters, then repeat that twice more. The first to cross the finish line in the final stage wins the gold medal.

Although the format has changed, the modern pentathlon is an original Olympic event, meant to recreate the rigors a soldier would have faced several centuries ago – running, fencing, swimming, riding and shooting.

French handball team borrows Bolt's celebration

France’s handball team strikes Usain Bolt’s signature pose after receiving their gold medals.

To read about the French handball team’s win over Sweden, check this out.

The celebration begins for U.S. basketball team

U.S. men's basketball team celebrates

 

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

Lithuanian grabs pentathlon lead

Laura Asadauskaite of Lithuania moved into a tie for the lead after the riding portion of the modern pentathlon.

Asadauskaite, who was third at the world championships a year ago, earned 1,180 of a possible 1,200 points in the riding competition, vaulting her to the top of the standings with 3,268 points, matching the total of Yane Marques of Brazil.

Adrienn Toth of Hungary, who had led after two stages, fell to fifth.

In the riding stage, athletes draw a horse at random and are given 1,200 points. They ride a course and points are deducted at various levels for mistakes.

The final stage, the combined event, begins at 1 p.m. Eastern time.

American Margaux Isaksen dropped from sixth to seventh with 3,188 points.

Suzanne Stettinius of Parkton, Md., moved up to 29th in the field of 36.

The modern pentathlon includes a fencing, swimming and riding competition. The athletes then start the final stage in order of their performance in the first three disciplines, with the leader going first. In the final stage, the athletes run to the shooting range, shoot at five targets, run 1,000 meters, then repeat that twice more. The first to cross the finish line in the final stage wins the gold medal.

Although the format has changed, the modern pentathlon is an original Olympic event, meant to re-create the rigors a soldier would have faced several centuries ago – running, fencing, swimming, riding and shooting.

Croatian water polo team takes historic gold

Goalkeeper Josip Pavic of Croatia makes a save during the gold medal match. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

Croatia’s men’s water polo team won its first gold medal and only its second Olympic medal since gaining its independence, defeating Italy, 8-6.

Maro Jokovic scored three goals for Croatia, which won a silver in Atlanta in 1996.

Italy won bronze at those Games and hadn’t been on the podium since until the silver at these Games.

Earlier in the day, Serbia defeated Montenegro for the bronze medal.

U.S. men have to fight, but win gold

Kevin Durant lets out a scream. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Spain has a talented, seasoned men’s basketball team, one that might some day win a gold medal. But in the Olympic basketball tournament that concluded Sunday — on the final day of the London Games — the United States had just a little too much, from too many areas, and the Americans took a 107-100 victory for the gold medal.

Kevin Durant led the United States with 30 points, and in the final minute, when stars Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Durant came out of the game, each embraced Coach Mike Krzyzewski. James added 19 despite foul trouble and made several key plays down the stretch, and Bryant had 18.

“A lot of teams have won gold easy. We didn’t want it that way,” LeBron James told the AP. “We’re a competitive team and we love when it gets tight. That’s when our will and determination kind of shows. It was the same way in ‘08.”

The gold medal was the Americans’ fifth in the six Olympic tournaments since NBA players began participating. But it was perhaps the hardest fight, because Spain — a 118-107 loser to the United States four years ago in Beijing — has improved.

Even as Spain — down by just one at the half and one after three quarters — pushed the Americans, their record since their bronze-medal finish at the 2004 Athens Games is stunning. The United States last lost in 2006 to Greece, and it is now 62-1 under Krzyzewski, who has said he will step down from his position as coach following the London Olympics.

Point guard Chris Paul helped the Americans establish something of a lead with a three-pointer and a drive down the lane on consecutive possessions early in the fourth, providing a 90-84 advantge. That was part of a 12-3 American run that put the United States up 97-87.

With less than three minutes remaining, the Americans made plays at both ends of the court that all but sealed the gold. LeBron James first drove the lane for a powerful dunk, then hit a three-pointer from the left wing to push the lead to 102-93. On Spain’s next possession, Paul drew a foul on Spain’s Pau Gasol, who set an illegal screen, and with 1:52 left the Americans had the ball and a nine-point lead.

Paul then finished things off with a driving layup that beat the shot clock with juts under a minute left, and the Americans were on the verge of celebrating.

Pistorius to carry flag at Closing Ceremonies

Oscar Pistorius takes the baton. (Matt Slocum/Associated Press)

From the Associated Press:

Oscar Pistorius has been chosen to carry South Africa’s flag at the closing ceremony for the London Olympics.

Pistorius wrote on Twitter on Sunday: “Really feel honoured … What a great ending to the games it’ll be!”

The double-amputee runner competed in the men’s 400 meters and 4×400 relay, and ran the anchor leg for the South Africans on his carbon-fiber blades in Friday night’s relay final.

Read the full account here.

French beat Sweden for handball gold

France’s team celebrates after their win. (Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images)

France, led by five goals from Michael Guigou, fought off a late flurry from Sweden to win the gold medal in men’s team handball.

Croatia defeated Hungary for the bronze medal earlier this morning.

U.S. men with slight edge after three quarters

Kevin Love vies for the ball with Pau Gasol. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

The U.S. men’s basketball team has one more quarter of work to win its second straight gold medal. But against a game team from Spain, that’s exactly what it will be: work.

The United States leads Spain 83-82 after three quarters, getting all it can handle from Pau Gasol and company. Gasol has 23 points to lead Spain, which played the entire quarter without Pau’s brother Marc, who was in foul trouble. Kevin Durant scored 10 in the third quarter and leads the Americans with 27 points.

Gasol twice gave Spain the lead early and midway through the quarter, first with a jam to go up 65-64, then with a bucket in the lane on which he drew a foul for a three-point play and a 71-70 advantage.

But Kobe Bryant, Gasol’s teammate on the Los Angeles Lakers, responded immediately with a three-pointer to stabilize the U.S. team. Serge Ibaka’s move in the lane with less than two minutes remaining in the quarter tied the game at 80, but on the very next possession Durant nailed a three-pointer from the right wing to put the Americans up by three again.

Ibaka’s two free throws closed the scoring in the quarter. The U.S. men’s national team hasn’t lost a game since 2006.

Spain vs. U.S. team brings out bold-faced names

Arnold Schwarzenegger and London Mayor Boris Johnson take in the game. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

David Beckham watches the action with his sons, Cruz, middle, and Romeo. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Actor Jesse Eisenberg is on hand for Spain vs. the U.S. team. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

NBA Commissioner David Stern watches the game. (Matt Slocum/Associated Press)

Check out live stats from the men’s basketball gold medal game here.

Spain within one of U.S. team at halftime

LeBron James dunks in the gold medal game. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

If the United States is going to blow out Spain in the Olympic gold medal men’s basketball game, it will have to happen in the second half. Spain showed resilience in the second quarter and trails only 59-58 at halftime.

Kevin Durant leads the United States with 17 points. But after hitting 7 of 10 three-pointers in the first quarter, the Americans made only 1 of 9 in the second.

After trailing by as many as nine points three times in the first quarter, Spain opened the second period with seven straight points, including a three-pointer from Rudy Fernandez. When Sergio Rodriguez nailed a three from the left wing, Spain had a 12-2 run to start the quarter and a 39-37 lead.

One key spot for the United States: midway through the quarter, Spain big man Marc Gasol, Pau’s brother, scrambled for an offensive rebound and was called for a foul on Kevin Love. The foul was Gasol’s fourth, and his departure lessened perhaps Spain’s most significant advantage: size.

From there, the United States took advantage of Love’s size, getting him to the line. Derron Williams’s three-pointer with just under two mintues remaining pushed the U.S. advantage to 58-51, and the Spanish coaching staff and crowd began to get frustrated with the officiating crew.

Follow live stats here.

Serbia wins water polo bronze

Serbia’s Filip Filipovic reacts after scoring. (Julio Cortez/Associated Press)

Trailing by three, Serbia scored four unanswered goals in the fourth period to defeat Montenegro, 12-11, and win the bronze medal in men’s water polo.

Filip Filipovic had three of Serbia’s goals, including two in the fourth period.

Britain's Joshua wins gold in dramatic boxing finale

Anthony Joshua enjoys his victory. (Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

The Olympic boxing tournament saved the best for last.

In the final fight on the card, Britain’s Anthony Joshua won the super heavyweight gold on a countback over defending gold medalist Roberto Cammarelle of Italy.

Joshua trailed after two rounds, 13-10, but with the British crowd urging him on, Joshua found new life. At the end, the fight was even at 18.

In that event, the first tiebreaker is a countback of the total punches landed, with the top and bottom scores thrown out. When those were tallied, Joshua was the winner.

U.S. men take command against Spain

Marc Gasol of Spain fights for the ball with Kobe Bryant. (Matt Slocum/Associated Press)

Kevin Durant scored 12 points to lead another American three-point barrage as the United States took a 35-27 lead after one quarter of its gold medal game against Spain.

The Americans, who entered the game hitting a tournament-high 45 percent from three-point range, buried 7 of 10 three-pointers in the opening quarter. Durant finished the period by swatting away a three-pointer from Spain’s Pau Gasol.

Spain got off to a fine start behind captain Juan-Carlos Navarro, a sharp-shooting guard. Navarro opened the scoring for Spain by drilling one three-pointer on which he was fouled, then burying two more in the game’s first four minutes. That helped Spain build a 12-7 lead.

But the defining characteristic of this tournament has been the Americans’ astonishing number of weapons, scorers who beat opponents from all angles and seem to have no lack of range. Kobe Bryant pulled the United States ahead with a pair of three-pointers sandwiched around Kevin Durant’s two free throws, and then Carmelo Anthony — who somehow doesn’t start — came off the bench to hit a three-pointer, then a jumper after an up-fake, then another three.

Just like that, the United States built a 25-16 lead.

Russians rally past Brazil for men's volleyball gold

After trailing by two sets, Russia rallied to defeat Brazil for the gold medal in men’s volleyball Sunday at Earls Court.

Brazil won the first two sets, 25-19 and 25-20, but the Russians fought back, taking the hard-fought-third, 29-27, before closing out the Brazilians, 25-22, 15-9.

Brazil, the host country for the 2016, had hoped to sweep the volleyball golds after the women’s team won Saturday.

Italy won the men’s bronze medal earlier Sunday.

Russia wins team gold in rhythmic gymnastics

Russia celebrates its gold medal. (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

No surprises in the team competition of rhythmic gymnastics as Russia won the gold medal Sunday at Wembley Arena.

Belarus took the silver, 1.5 points behind Russia, and Italy the bronze, just .05 of a point behind Belarus.

Czech riders takes mountain bike gold

Jaroslav Kulhavy goes for the gold. (Sergey Ponomarev/Associated Press)

Jaroslav Kulhavy of the Czech Republic won the men’s mountain biking gold medal Sunday, holding the lead much of the day and holding off a number of challenges.

Nino Schurter of Switzerland took silver and Marco Aurelio Fontana of Italy won the bronze.

American Todd Wells finished 10th and Samuel Schultz 15th.

The men rode seven laps over a three-mile course at Hadleigh Farm, located in Essex on land owned by the Salvation Army.

Light heavyweight gold to Russian on judges' decision

Egor Mekhontcev of Russia won the light heavyweight gold medal in a bout that was almost literally too close to call.

The silver went to Adilbek Niyazymbetov of Kazakhstan.

After three rounds, the fight was scored a tie, 15-15. The tiebreaker then moves to a countback: The fighters’ high and low scores on punches are removed and the rest are totaled.

That, too, ended in a tie.

At that point it’s a judges’ decision. They simply hit a red or blue button – each Olympic fighter is clad in red or blue, no matter his country’s colors – and that determines the winner.

In this fight, they chose the red corner of Mekhontcev.

American Varner wrestles to gold in 96-kilogram division

Jacob Varner, feeling good. (Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images)

Jacob Varner won a single point in each of two periods against Valeri Andriitsev of Ukraine in the 96-kilogram division of freestyle wrestling, good enough to take the Olympic gold medal.

Varner celebrated with an American flag, then hugged his coach – who lifted the 212-pounder over his shoulder and in the air. Of course, his coach is former wrestler Cael Sanderson, a gold medalist himself in 2004, so he could handle the task.

Varner won his first three matches by 3-1 scores – over Kurban Kurbanov of Uzbekistan in the first elimination bout, Khetag Pliev of Canada in the quarterfinals and George Gogshelidze of Georgia in the semifinals.

Kazakhstan continues gold streak in welterweight

Serik Sapiyev of Kazakhstan quieted the crowd by dominating Britain’s Freddie Evans from start to finish to win the welterweight gold medal, 17-9.

Kazakhstan has won gold in this division in three straight Olympics.

U.S., Spain set for tip-off of gold medal game

So it comes to this: a coronation or a catastrophe. The U.S. men’s basketball team, undefeated and all but unchallenged in the Olympic tournament, faces Spain at 10 a.m. Eastern time for the gold medal, a rematch of the 2008 Olympic title game that the Americans are heavily favored to win.

What’s going against the Spaniards: The United States has won all 10 previous games  in the Olympics against Spain, including the final four years ago in Beijing, a 118-107 American victory. The only time the United States has lost a final was the epic upset in 1972 at the hands of the Soviet Union.

Spain is led by Pau Gasol, the Los Angeles Laker, who is averaging 18.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. The Americans’ come-at-you-from-all-angles attack is nominally led by Kevin Durant at 18.0 points per game, with Carmelo Anthony just behind at 17.4 points per game. The Americans are shooting a remarkable 53 percent from the floor and 45 percent on three-pointers.

This marks the last game for U.S. Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who coached the 2008 team to gold and says he will return full-time to his job coaching Duke University once the games end.

Ukraine's Lomachenko wins second Olympic gold

Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine completely dominated the lightweight gold medal final, beating Soonchul Han of South Korea, 19-9, and adding to his country’s boxing medal haul.

Lomachenko hasn’t lost a fight since the 2007 world championships and won a gold medal in Beijing in the featherweight division, which no longer exists.

Ukraine finishes the Games with five boxing medals, two gold, a silver and two bronze medals.

Ramirez Carrazana wins Cuba's second boxing gold

Cuba’s Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana, in blue, fights Tugstsogt Nyambayar of Mongolia.

Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana of Cuba won the flyweight gold medal Sunday, defeating Tugstsogt Nyambayar of Mongolia, 17-14.

The gold for Ramirez Carrazana gives Cuba two in boxing at these Games after being shut out of golds in Beijing.

The 18-year-old nicknamed “Fly” danced, spun around and did a few pushups in celebration.

Hungary's Toth swims into pentathlon lead

Hungary’s Adrienn Toth competes in the swim of the modern pentathlon. (Toby Melville/Reuters)

Adrienn Toth of Hungary moved up one spot and into the lead after the second stage – swimming – of the modern pentathlon.

Yane Marques of Brazil moved into second place, 16 points behind Toth’s pace of 2,132.

Britain’s Samantha Murray is in third (2,096).

American Margaux Isaksen dropped from fourth to sixth after earning 1,140 points in the swimming.

Another Hungary, Sarolta Kovacs, set an Olympic record in the swimming stage, earning 1,264. That left her in 22nd place.

Suzanne Stettinius of Parkton, Md., is 33rd in the field of 36.

The third stage is riding at Greenwich Park. The athletes draw a horse at random and are given 1,200 points. They ride a course and points are deducted at various levels for mistakes.

The modern pentathlon includes a fencing, swimming and riding competition. The athletes then start the final stage in order of their performance in the first three disciplines, with the leader going first. In the final stage, the athletes run to the shooting range, shoot at five targets, run 1000 meters, then repeat that twice more. The first to cross the finish line in the final stage wins the gold medal.

Although the format has changed, the modern pentathlon is an original Olympic event, meant to re-create the rigors a soldier would have faced several centuries ago – running, fencing, swimming, riding and shooting.

Russia wins historic Olympic bronze in basketball

Russia’s Alexey Shved and Vitaliy Fridzon celebrate the win. (Brian Snyder/ Reuters)

Russia won its first Olympic men’s basketball medal since the breakup of the Soviet Union, defeated Argentina, 81-77, for the bronze medal.

“For my players to be part of history, to be role model for Russian basketball, it is a proud, proud moment,” said American David Blatt, who coached the Russian team.

Argentina took a 77-76 lead with 43 seconds remaining when Manu Ginobili hit two free throws. After a Russian timeout, Alexey Shved hit a three-pointer with 37 seconds left. Vitaliy Fridzon added two free throws with five seconds remaining to seal the win.

“We are very angry right now,” said Ginobili, who led Argentina with 21 points. “We feel a lot of remorse because we didn’t do things as good as we were supposed to. We made a lot of mistakes. We let Russia stay in the game and then Shved hit three three-pointers and he decided the game.”

Shved finished with 25 points and Andrei Kirilenko had 20 for Russia. Fridzon added 19.

Uganda's Kiprotich wins men's marathon

Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich crosses the finish line. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

Stephen Kiprotich won the men’s marathon Saturday, earning Uganda its first Olympic medal since 1996 and only its second gold.

He won with a time of 2 hours 8 minutes 1 second, well ahead of silver medalist Abel Kirui (2:08:27) and third-place finisher Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich (2:09:37), both of Kenya.

The lone American to finish the race was 37-year old Meb Keflezighi, who finished in fourth and posted a time of 2:11:06. His U.S. teammates Ryan Hall and Abdihakem Abdirahman both dropped out of the marathon less than halfway through Sunday’s race.

Kenya’s Kiprotich led the race by nearly 20 seconds in the first half of Sunday’s marathon. But after 16 1/2 miles, he was caught by Kirui and Uganda’s Kiprotich, and the trio ran neck and neck.

Kenya’s Kiprotich led for more than half of Sunday’s race and might have set too quick of an early pace. With about four miles remaining, he fell slightly behind the Ugandan and Kirui. Less than a mile later, Uganda’s Kiprotich pulled slightly ahead and took sole possession of the lead.

Uganda has competed in the Olympics since 1956 but had won only six medals, none since 1996. The country’s lone gold came in the men’s 400-meter hurdles in 1972.

Croatia take team handball bronze

Ivan Cupic scored eight goals for Croatia as it won the bronze medal in men’s team handball, 33-26, over Hungary.

Sweden plays France for the gold medal later this morning (8 a.m. Eastern time).

Two Kenyans among leaders at men's marathon

At the 20-mile mark, the Olympic men’s marathon appeared to be a three-man race.

Kenyan Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich was in front for most of the race’s first half, leading at one point by nearly 20 seconds. But about 16 ½ miles in, as he approached Big Ben on the race course, Kiprotich was joined by fellow Kenyan Abel Kirui and Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich.

The trio was running about 35 seconds ahead of the fourth-place runner.

The lone American remaining in the race, Meb Keflezighi, was running about two minutes behind the race’s leaders.

Two Americans out of Olympic marathon race

Americans Ryan Hall and Abdihakem Abdirahman both dropped out of the men’s marathon less than halfway through Sunday’s race.

Both Hall and Abdirahman, a four-time Olympian, made it about 10 miles through the course before pulling out of the race. Hall, the 10th-place finisher at the Beijing Games, appeared to grab the back of his leg as he left the course and later said he’d hurt his hamstring.

“It’s a real bummer to have such a bad day when it’s such an amazing atmosphere out there,” Hall said.  “There was the potential to do something really special today.”

Kenyan Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich set the early pace and led a small chase group of seven runners by about 15 seconds at the 10-mile mark.

The lone American remaining in the race was Meb Keflezighi, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist who was about 30 seconds behind the leader through 10 miles.

Racing under a warm sun, six runners had dropped out before the race reached its midpoint.

U.S. pentathlete Isaksen tied for fourth after fencing

American Margaux Isaksen is tied for fourth after the first stage of the modern pentathlon, the fencing competition.

Isaksen, 20, has 928 points, well behind leader Elena Rublevska of Latvia (1,000).

Adrienn Toth of Hungary is second (976) and Laura Asadauskaite of Lithuania third (952).

Suzanne Stettinius of Parkton, Md. is tied for 32nd in the field of 36.

After the fencing, the competitors headed to the Aquatics Centre to swim heats of a 200-meter race (7:35 a.m. ET). They are awarded points based on their times.

The modern pentathlon includes a fencing, swimming and riding competition. The athletes then start the final stage in order of their performance in the first three disciplines, with the leader going first. In the final stage, the athletes run to the shooting range, shoot at five targets, run 1000 meters, then repeat that twice more. The first to cross the finish line in the final stage wins the gold medal.

Although the format has changed, the modern pentathlon is an original Olympic event, meant to re-create the rigors a soldier would have faced several centuries ago – running, fencing, swimming, riding and shooting.

Italy wins men's volleyball bronze

The Italian team enjoys its victory. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images)

Italy took the bronze medal in men’s volleyball with a 25-19, 23-25, 25-22, 26-21 victory over Bulgaria at Earls Court.

Russia takes on Brazil for the gold medal later Sunday morning (8 a.m. ET).

U.S. men's water polo sinks to eighth place

The U.S. men’s water polo team lost to Australia, 10-9, in the match for seventh place.

The U.S. men returned 10 players from the team that won silver in Beijing four years ago and had high hopes that they could win their first gold in this sport since 1904. Instead. They return home in eighth place.

American Varner will grapple for gold

Jacob Varner wrestled his way to the gold medal bout in the 96-kilogram division of freestyle wrestling Sunday, where he’ll face Valeri Andriitsev of Ukraine.

The match is scheduled for about 9:48 a.m. Eastern time.

Varner won his first three matches by 3-1 scores – over Kurban Kurbanov of Uzbekistan in the first elimination bout, Khetag Pliev of Canada in the quarterfinals and George Gogshelidze of Georgia in the semifinals.

Fellow American Jared Frayer lost his first elimination match in the 66kg division to Ali Shabanau of Belarus, 3-0. When Shabanau lost in the quarterfinals, that ended Frayer’s chances of returning for the repechage for a chance at a bronze medal.

By Lindsay Applebaum August 12, 2012

By Melissa Bell August 12, 2012