There’s plenty to watch and read about today including Usain Bolt in the 200-meter heats and two American teams in the women’s beach volleyball semifinals. The U.S. women’s basketball team plays in the quarterfinals vs. Canada and Gabby Douglas competes for gold on the balance beam.
What else should you be watching? Consult today’s viewer guide.
TUESDAY, AUG. 7 (DAY 11)
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Track and field — qualifying races in men’s 110-meter hurdles, men’s 200 meters and women’s 5,000 meters (10 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m.)
Women’s water polo — semifinal, United States vs. Australia (Live, 10:30 a.m.)
Cycling — men’s keirin second round (11:30 a.m.), women’s omnium time trial (Live, noon); men’s keirin gold medal final (Live, 1 p.m.)
Diving — men’s 3-meter springboard semifinals (1:15 p.m.)
Women’s volleyball — quarterfinal, United States vs. Dominican Republic (Live, 2 p.m.)
Beach volleyball — men’s semifinal (Live, 4 p.m.)
Gymnastics — individual event gold medal finals in men’s parallel bars, men’s high bar, women’s balance beam and women’s floor exercise
Track and field — gold medal finals in men’s 1,500 meters and women’s 100-meter hurdles
Beach volleyball — women’s semifinal.
12:35 a.m.-1:35 a.m. (Wednesday):
Diving — men’s 3-meter springboard gold medal final
Track and field — men’s discus throw gold medal final.
NBC Sports Network
4 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Men’s field hockey — South Korea vs. Netherlands (Live, 4 a.m.)
Canoe/kayak — heats and semifinals in men’s K-4 1,000 meters, men’s C-2 1,000 meters, women’s K-1 500 meters and women’s K-2 500 meters (Live, 5 a.m., 8:30 a.m.)
Men’s triathlon (Live, 6:30 a.m.); Women’s basketball — quarterfinal, United States vs. Canada (Live, 9 a.m.), Turkey vs. Russia (4:30 p.m.), France vs. Czech Republic (Live, 5:15 p.m.)
Equestrian — team dressage final (Live, 10:45 a.m.)
Women’s handball — quarterfinal, Brazil vs. Norway (11:30 a.m.), Russia vs. South Korea (1:45 p.m.)
Men’s soccer — semifinal, Mexico vs. Japan (Live, noon); South Korea vs. Brazil (Live, 2:30 p.m.); Weightlifting — men’s superheavyweight final (7 p.m.)
9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Women’s volleyball — quarterfinal, Japan vs. China (Live, 9 a.m.), Russia vs. Brazil (Live, 10 a.m.), Italy vs. South Korea (Live, 5:30 p.m.)
Beach volleyball — women’s semifinal (Live, noon), men’s semifinal (Live, 1 p.m.)
Table tennis — women’s team gold medal match (2 p.m.)
Women’s water polo — semifinal, Hungary vs. Spain (Live, 2:40 p.m.)
Synchronized swimming — duet gold medal final (4 p.m.); Wrestling — Greco-Roman gold medal finals (4:45 p.m.).
5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Women’s volleyball — quarterfinal, Japan vs. China (Live, 9 a.m.), Russia vs. Brazil (Live, 10 a.m.), Italy vs. South Korea (Live, 5:30 p.m.)
Beach volleyball — women’s semifinal (Live, noon), men’s semifinal (Live, 1 p.m.)
Table tennis — women’s team gold medal match (2 p.m.)
Women’s water polo — semifinal, Hungary vs. Spain (Live, 2:40 p.m.)
Synchronized swimming — duet gold medal final (4 p.m.); Wrestling — Greco-Roman gold medal finals (4:45 p.m.).
NBC Olympic Basketball Channel
9 a.m.-9 p.m.:
Women’s basketball — quarterfinal, United States vs. Canada (Live, 9 a.m., Replay 1 p.m.), Australia vs. China (Live, 11:15 a.m.), Turkey vs. Russia (Live, 3 p.m.), France vs. Czech Republic (Live, 5:15 p.m.), best quarterfinal replay (7 p.m.)
NBC Olympic Soccer Channel
Noon – midnight
Men’s soccer — semifinals, Mexico vs. Japan (Live, noon, Replay 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.), South Korea vs. Brazil (Live, 2:30 p.m., Replay 6:45 p.m. and 10:15 p.m.).
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Packaged Spanish-language coverage includes men’s soccer, men’s boxing, track and field, men’s diving, women’s volleyball, synchronized swimming and beach volleyball.
Aly Raisman’s first score in the balance beam finals was 14.966. I say first score because her coach challenged the ruling — and he was right. The second score: 15.066, enough for the bronze.
Even though I had read hours ago about what happened, that was still a stressful few minutes while we awaited the appeal. And that tells you something about NBC’s surprisingly strong ratings: Even when you know the results, it’s still thrilling to watch.
And with that, I’m headed offline. It’s been fun.
That’s the width of the balance beam.
I’ve noticed that Misty May-Treanor and her partner Kerri Walsh sure do a lot thanking everyone at home. I’d normally be annoyed by athletes saying hello, via camera, to every aunt, uncle and nephew, but it’s not like beach volleyball is on TV every Sunday. So carry on.
Beach volleyball has many hassles, not least of which is sand in the eyes.
But that’s not the worst headache from all that hopping around in the sand.
“Thigh chaffing could be an environmental hazard on the beach, I guess,” Misty May-Treanor told NBC in a Q-and-A.
Natural follow up question: How does one overcome thigh chaffing?
“Staying in shape is the best way to remedy thigh chaffing,” she said. “I mean, there’s no way around working hard. You get bumps and bruises along the way with hard work. But our office is wonderful.”
For those keeping score at home: I’ve never suffered thigh chaffing at my office.
Mike Rosenwald here, your night host to whatever NBC serves up this evening. I’m just catching up with the days results, but this story on our homepage caught my eye — a lovely mini-profile of London mayor Boris Johnson, who is quite a character…brave too, having recently challenged Russia President Vladimir Putin (a noted tough guy) to a judo match.
“But his antics, observers say, belie deathly serious political ambition,” my colleague Anthony Faiola wrote. “Political insiders call Johnson the clown who would be prime minister, a lion of the Conservative Party who has deftly leveraged Britain’s overdeveloped funny bone to become the second-most-powerful man in the country behind Prime Minister David Cameron, a fellow Conservative.”
Thursday’s women’s basketball semifinals are set: the U.S. will meet Australia in one game, while Russia will face France in the other.
The U.S. routed Canada, 91-48, in Tuesday’s first quarterfinal, running its Olympic winning streak to 39 games. But the Americans face a test in the semifinals; Australia beat China, 75-60, behind 17 points from 6-foot-8 Elizabeth Cambage and 12 points from Lauren Jackson. The U.S. and Australia have met in the past three Olympic finals, with the Americans winning all three games.
Becky Hammon, an American-born guard who plays for the San Antonio Stars, scored 19 points, including the go-ahead basket with 13 seconds to play, to lead Russia past Turkey, 66-63, in the quarterfinals. Russia won the bronze in 2008.
In the final quarterfinal, France edged the Czech Republic, 71-68. The French beat Russia, 65-54, when they met in preliminary round play on Aug. 5.
Spain will meet the U.S. in the women’s water polo gold medal game after edging Hungary, 10-9, in the semifinals on Tuesday. Anni Espar Llaquet scored four goals to lead Spain, which is in the Olympic final for the first time.
The U.S., which is also seeking its first gold medal in women’s water polo, needed overtime to beat Australia, 11-9, in the other semifinal.
The gold medal match will be played Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.
South Korea rallied to defeat Italy, 18-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-18, in a women’s volleyball quarterfinal, earning a date with the U.S. in the semifinals at 10 a.m. ET on Thursday. The U.S. swept the Dominican Republic, 25-14, 25-21, 25-22, in the quarterfinals Tuesday.
Brazil meets Japan in the other semifinal at 2:30 p.m. ET at Earls Court. Both teams needed five sets to win their respective quarterfinals Tuesday; Brazil beat Russia, 24-26, 25-22, 19-25, 25-22, 21-19; and Japan edged China, 28-26, 23-25, 25-23, 23-25, 18-16.
GALLERY: Click on the image above to see some of the photos from today at the Olympics.
Welterweight Errol Spence, the last remaining American boxer in the men’s draw, lost his quarterfinal bout against Russia’s Andrey Zamkovoy on points, 16-11.
Spence thought he was eliminated from tournament last Friday after falling to India’s Krishan Vikas on points. But amateur boxing’s governing body overturned that decision, ruling later that night that Vikas was not properly penalized for several infractions, and Spence got another chance.
The U.S. is guaranteed a third straight gold medal in women’s beach volleyball after the team of April Ross and Jennifer Kessy won their semifinal, 15-21, 21-19, 15-12, against Brazil’s Juliana Silva and Larissa Franca. Ross and Kessy will meet Americans Misty May-Treanor and Kerry Walsh Jennings, the two-time defending Olympic champions, in the gold medal match on Wednesday.
Ross and Kessy dropped the first set on a rainy night at Horse Guards Parade. In the third, they failed to convert their first two match points, but a Kessy kill gave them the win and a berth in the final.
In his first Olympic appearance, Matthew Centrowitz (Broadneck High) charged toward down the final straightaway in the men’s 1,500 meter, finishing in 3:35.17, just four-tenths of a second away from a medal.
“I wouldn’t do anything differently,” he said. “I put myself in position to win it. That’s what I wanted to do.”
In one of the most strategic track and field events, it’s easy to see a hundred different ways Tuesday’s race exciting race could’ve unfolded. It’s impossible to ignore the obvious, though: If the International Association of Athletics Federations didn’t reinstate the race’s winner, Algerian Taoufik Makhloufi, one day earlier, there would’ve been one fewer runner to cross the finish line ahead of Centrowitz.
“You look at it now,” Centrowitz said, “it’s like, one more spot and I would’ve been a medalist.”
He wasn’t in the mood for excuses following the race, though, adding: “Whoever’s in the field, I have to compete with.”
Just one day after he was ousted from the Olympics – and then reinstated — Makhloufi crushed the field, winning the race in a time of 3:34.08. He crossed the finish line 0.71 seconds of the next-fastest runner, American Leonel Manzano, who was able to pull away from Centrowitz down the stretch.
“Right now, trying to swallow it right, it’s not a good feeling right now,” Centrowitz said. “Can’t be too mad at myself; it wasn’t like a terrible race. At the same time, I was so close to that medal.”
Centrowitz is only 22 years old. He won bronze at last year’s world championships and looks to be a threat in the 1,500 for years to come. That was hardly any consolation, though, Tuesday night.
“It doesn’t matter if I’m 18 or whatever… You want to take advantage of every opportunity,” Centrowitz said. “I was in good shape coming in here, everything was going well leading up to here. Everything was lined up for me.”
“It’s great that potentially I’ll have a couple more Olympic experiences. Like I said earlier, you never know what the future’s going to bring. I know I was in good shape coming in here, and I didn’t want to look past this Olympics just yet.”
Americans April Ross and Jennifer Kessy rallied to force a third and decisive set in their women’s beach volleyball semifinal. The Americans won the second set, 21-19, after dropping the first, 21-15, to Juliana Silva and Larissa Franca of Brazil.
The winner of this match will meet two-time defending Olympic champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings in the final on Wednesday. The loser will meet China’s Xue Chen and Zhang Xi in the bronze medal match.
Leandro Damiao scored a pair of second-half goals and Brazil cruised past South Korea and into the men’s soccer gold medal match with a 3-0 win at Old Trafford.
After a tight opening 35 minutes, Romulo put the Brazilians on top with his 38th-minute strike. And in the second half, it was all Brazil.
Damiao twice found himself all alone in the box with the ball on his foot and both times he fired it into the left side of the net. His 64th-minute tally gave him the tournament lead in goals scored with six.
Brazil – which has never won Olympic gold – will face Mexico in Saturday’s final at Wembley. Mexico clinched its first-ever Olympic soccer medal with a 3-1 victory over Japan earlier in the day.
Robert Harting of Germany, the reigning world champion, won the Olympic discus title and then ripped off his shirt in celebration. Harting’s throw of 68.27 meters (223 feet 11 inches) bested Ehsan Hadadi of Iran (68.18 meters) and Estonia’s Gerd Kanter (68.03 meters). The German extended his unbeaten streak, which dates back to August 2010.
Lolo Jones was visibly upset following Tuesday’s 100 meter hurdle race, in which the popular hurdler had to settle for a fourth-place finish, just one-tenth of a second away from a medal.
“It’s my season best, so it’s the best I can do this year,” Jones said. “But obviously I’m crushed.”
Jones’s finishing time of 12.58 seconds her best of the season. And the result is still better than the 2008 Games, when Jones hit the 10th hurdle after leading for the entire race.
“I’m pleased to say at least I can lift my head up a little bit higher and when I tell my kids about when their mom ran at the Olympics, it won’t be a bittersweet memory,” she said. “At least this time it was a clean smooth race. I just wish that I would’ve had a better result.”
Australia’s Sally Pearson had a nice lead, but Jones was still within breathing distance of the field. But the medalists pulled away late and Jones had no chance of catching them.
“I got a little bit too upright and didn’t keep it together,” she said. “That’s when the other girls started to pull away was the last… four or five hurdles.”
Algerian Taoufik Makhloufi won the gold medal in the men’s 1,500 meters in 3 minutes 34.08 seconds. The two Americans in the race — Leonel Manzano and Matthew Centrowitz (Broadneck High) — made late charges down the stretch; Manzano’s was good enough to win a silver medal (3:34.79, his season’s best time) but Centrowitz finished fourth in 3:35.17. Morocco’s Abdalaati Iguider edged Centrowitz for bronze by .04 seconds.
Americans Janay DeLoach and Brittney Reese advanced to the final round of the women’s long jump, which will take place on Wednesday. DeLoach had the second-longest leap of the qualifying round, 6.81 meters (22 feet 4 1/4 inches). Reese, the reigning world champion, was ninth with a leap of 6.57 meters (21 feet 6 3/4 inches).
Britain’s Shara Proctor was the top qualifier with a a jump of 6.83 meters (22 feet 5 inches).
American Chelsea Hayes, who leapt 6.37 meters (20 feet 10 3/4 inches), failed to advance to the final.
Leandro Damiao is officially the leading male goal scorer of the London Games.
Only minutes after scoring his first goal of the night, the Brazilian midfielder gave his team a 3-0 advantage with his sixth goal of the tournament.
Once again Damiao was in the right place at the right time in the 64th minute when a loose ball in the South Korean box found his feet. He calmly knocked it into the left side of the goal, past a helpless Bumyoung Lee.
There’s still time for South Korea to mount a comeback, but overcoming a three-goal deficit in 25 minutes may be too tall a task.
Australia’s Sally Pearson set a new Olympic record in the women’s 100 meter hurdles, winning gold with her time of 12.35 seconds.
The United States claimed the race’s next three positions. Dawn Harper was just two-hundredths of a second away from successfully defending her Olympic title. She took silver, finishing in 12.37 seconds.
Kellie Wells took bronze, crossing the finish line in a personal-best 12.48.
Lolo Jones was fourth, finishing in 12.58, her best time of the season.
Pearson was the reigning world champion and had lost just once this year. Harper won the event at the Beijing Games with a time of 12.54 seconds.
Leandro Damiao has given Brazil a 2-0 lead on South Korea midway through the second half of their men’s soccer semifinal.
Neymar created the opportunity by streaking down the left side of the box and cutting the ball back toward the middle. The Koreans failed to clear and Damiao pounced on the ball and booted into the left side of the net to double his team’s advantage.
The goal was the fifth of the Games for Damiao, who is now tied with Senegal’s Moussa Konate for the tournament lead.
Via Sports Illustrated writer Grant Wahl:
83,000 tickets now sold for USA-Japan Olympic women’s soccer final Thursday. Will break previous Olympic women’s record of 76,481 (1996).
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) August 7, 2012
Ivan Ukhov of Russia won the men’s high jump with a leap of 2.38 meters, or 7 feet 9 3/4 inches. American Erik Kynard took silver with 2.33 meters (7 feet 7 3/4 inches).
American Jesse Williams, the reigning world champion, was eliminated earlier in the competition.
Sanya Richards-Ross, who won gold in the women’s 400 meters on Sunday, qualified for the finals of the 200 meters. She won the third and final semifinal heat in 22.30 seconds, just ahead of Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (22.34), the two-time champion in the 100 meters.
“I feel pretty good,” Richards-Ross said. “I’ve been preparing for this mentally and physically since I made the team. It’s going to be tough, but tomorrow I hope to be tougher.”
All three Americans advanced to the final, which will be held Wednesday. Richards-Ross was the top qualifier, followed by Allyson Felix (22.31). Carmelita Jeter had the fifth-fastest time of the semifinals (22.39).
Also qualifying for the final: Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown (22.32), Fraser-Pryce, Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast (22.49), Semoy Hackett of Trinidad and Tobago (22.55) and France’s Myriam Soumare (22.56).
The Americans booked a place in the women’s volleyball semifinals, defeating the Dominican Republic, 25-14, 25-21, 25-22, in the quarterfinals at Earl Court.
Destinee Hooker had 38 spikes for the U.S. team and Logan Tom added 18.
Prisilla Altagracia Rivera Brens led the Dominican Republic with 38 spikes.
Allyson Felix had no problem winning her 200-meter semifinal heat, cruising for the final 50 meters or so and still posting a 22.31-second finish. She advances to the finals in the event where gold has eluded her. Felix won silver at the 2004 Games and again in Beijing.
“I felt good, excited,” Felix said. “It’s been a long time waiting for this moment.”
Murielle Ahoure, of the Ivory Coast, was second, finishing the race in 22.49 seconds.
Brazil is 45 minutes away from its first men’s Olympic soccer final since the 1988 Seoul Games.
With their tremendous success at the World Cup and in other marquee tournaments it’s hard to believe the Brazilians have never won gold at an Olympics – but they haven’t.
Now they must hold down a South Korean side that controlled possession for 58 percent of the opening half but failed to find the back of the net despite multiple quality chances.
Rumoulo scored the game’s lone goal in the 38th minute when he sprung free on the right side of the box and tucked a right-footed shot under Korean goalkeeper Bumyoung Lee.
Anna Meares of Australia beat Britain’s Victoria Pendleton in best-of-three racing to win the women’s sprint Tuesday at the Velodrome.
Gold must have seemed like the natural progression to Meares, who won bronze in this event in Athens and silver four years ago in Beijing.
Shuang Duo of China won the bronze, defeating Kristina Vogel in the other head-to-head match.
China’s chokehold on Olympic diving gold ended Tuesday at the Aquatics Centre when Russian Ilya Zakharov took the gold medal in the springboard, knocking Kai Qin off the top spot on his final dive.
China won every gold medal in diving at the Beijing Games and had won every one at these Games before Tuesday’s final. Qin had only one dive remaining to keep that streak alive.
Just 1.25 points separated Qin and Zakharov going into the sixth and final round of dives. Qin’s program called for a reverse 2 ½ somersault with 1½ twists – a degree of difficulty of 3.3. Zakharov, however, would perform a forward 4½ somersault – a dive with a 3.8 degree of difficulty.
Qin scored 89.10 and could only look on as Zakharov executed a perfect dive, scoring 104.5 to raise his final score to 555.90 and relegating Qin (541.75) to silver.
China’s Chong He had an amazing day that was eclipsed by the performances of Kakharov and Qin. He was in eighth place after the first round of diving and moved his way into the bronze medal with 524.15 points.
Through four rounds, it looked like the upset of China was going to come from Mexican Yahel Castillo Huerta. Huerta’s fifth dive, however, had a low degree of difficulty and needed to be perfect, which it was not. He scored just a 72.00, and suddenly Qin was at the top of the standings and Huerta was third. When he scored just 64.75 on his final dive, he fell to sixth place.
Patrick Hausding of Germany was fourth and American Troy Dumais, who won a bronze here in synchronized springboard, finished fifth.
There were early signs that Zakharaov could pull the upset. He was the top qualifier on Monday, and in the semifinals earlier Tuesday, he was second, sandwiched between He and Qin.
Zakharov, 21, also won the silver medal in the synchronized springboard event.
Qin won gold in the synchronized springboard event here and four years ago in Beijing. He also won bronze in this event in Beijing.
Carmelita Jeter will have a chance at a second Olympic medal at these Summer Games. She finished second in her women’s 200-meter semifinal heat with a time of 22.39 seconds, advancing into Wednesday’s finals. Jeter won the silver medal in the women’s 100 on Saturday.
Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown, the bronze medalist in the 100, won the first 200 heat in a time of 22.32, her best finish of the year.
Brazil has never won Olympic gold in men’s soccer, but this just might be the team to change that.
Romulo slotted a right-footed shot past South Korean goalkeeper Bumyoung Lee at the near post to give the Brazilians a 1-0 lead in the 38th minute.
South Korea had dominated possession early and narrowly missed on a couple headers deep inside Brazil’s box. But Brazil is picking up its play and Romulo’s tally could open things up on both ends.
The winner of this match will face Mexico, which advanced to its first gold medal game by beating Japan 3-1 earlier in the day.
Nick Symmonds and Duane Solomon both failed to finish top-2 in their respective semifinal heats in the men’s 800 meters Tuesday, but the two American middle-distance runners each posted times fast enough to advance to the finals. The two locked up the seventh and eighth spots in Wednesday’s final.
Symmonds ran in the second semifinal race, in which world record-holder David Rudisha set a quick pace; Rudisha won in 1:44.35 and Symmonds was third in in 1:44.87. Solomon also finished third in his race, finishing in 1:44.93.
The best time of the semis was posted by Ethiopian Mohammed Aman, who crossed the finish line in 1:44.34.
The American women’s volleyball won the second set, 25-21, in their quarterfinal matchup with the Dominican Republic. Nicole Davis has 14 digs for the U.S. team.
The winner will play in Thursday’s semifinals.
High jumper Jesse Williams entered these Olympics as a favorite. He was the defending world champion and had posted the third-best jump of the year. But his Olympics are over early after Williams failed to clear 7 feet, 6 inches.
Williams missed all three attempts and was clearly distraught, lying motionless on the mat for several seconds.
It’s not a particularly difficult height for Williams. He’d cleared it at least four times this year in competitions. His personal best is 7-9 1/4.
Americans Erik Kynard, who’s cleared 7-7 3/4, and Jamie Nieto, who’s cleared 7-6, are still competing.
Mike Wise caught up with American pole vaulter Jenn Suhr Tuesday on her way to claim her gold medal.
Suhr placed first on Monday, supplanting two-time gold medalist Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia atop the podium. Her winning pole vault was 15 feet, 7 inches (4.75 meters).
The U.S. women’s volleyball team got off to a strong start against the Dominican Republic, winning the first set, 25-14, at Earls Court. The winner will advance to Thursday’s semifinals.
Britain’s Laura Trott edged Sarah Hammer by one point to win gold in the Omnium Tuesday at the Velodrome after trailing the American throughout the six-stage event.
Trott won the final event, the time trial, while Hammer finished fourth. That made the difference in the standings, where Trott, with 18 points, knocked Hammer (19 points) down to the silver medal.
“I brought it, I brought it to the table. It just wasn’t enough,” Hammer told the Associated Press.
Annette Edmondson of Australia won the bronze with 24 points.
The Omnium consists of six events. Riders get points for each finish and they are combined to determine the winners.
American Kellie Wells won her heat in the women’s 100 meter hurdles in a time of 12.51 seconds — her best time of the year — to advance into the final, which will be held at 4 p.m. ET.
She’ll be joined there by Lolo Jones, who also advances based on her time. In the second race of the semifinal round, Jones ran a 12.71, which is just good enough — by just four-tenths of a second — to be the last qualifier in the eight-person field.
Australia’s Sally Pearson was the top qualifier (12.39), followed by American Dawn Harper (12.46), the defending Olympic champion.
Rounding out the night’s field are: Turkey’s Nevin Yanit (12.58), Canada’s Phylicia George (12.65), Canada’s Jessica Zelinka (12.66) and Austria’s Beate Schrott (12.83).
Lolo Jones now has to wait.
Needing to finish first or second in her semifinal race to automatically advance into the finals of the 100 hurdles, Jones finished third with a time of 12.71 seconds. She must now wait for the third heat to see if her time is one of the two best out of the pool of runners who didn’t automatically advance.
Australian Sally Pearson, considered the favorite in the event, shot off the blocks like a bullet, finishing the race in 12.39 seconds, just two-tenths of a second away from an Olympic record. It was Pearson’s best time of the year.
American Dawn Harper is one step closer to defending her Olympic title in the 100 meter hurdles. She set a blistering pace in the semifinals Tuesday, qualifying for the night’s finals with a personal-best time of 12.46 seconds.
The mark is faster than her 12.53 time that won her gold at the Beijing Games four years ago.
Mexico is into its first-ever gold medal soccer match after a 3-1 victory over Japan in the day’s first semifinal.
Oribe Peralta’s stunning right-footed curler from 22 yards out gave Mexico its first lead of the match in the 65th minute. Japan had never trailed in the tournament, and before Fabian Marco’s 31st minute equalizer, the Japanese had not conceded a goal in four previous matches.
With Japan frantically pressing for a late tying goal, Javier Cortes capped a momentous day for Mexico with a stoppage time goal to seal the win.
For a soccer-crazed nation Mexico has never medaled at the Olympics. Their best showing came on home soil at the 1968 Mexico City Games when they fell to Japan in bronze medal match.
Mexico now awaits the winner of the day’s second semifinal between Brazil and South Korea.
Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings will go for an unprecedented third straight gold medal in beach volleyball on Wednesday after beating the Chinese duo of Xue Chen and Zhang Xi, 22-20, 22-20, in 44 minutes. Chen and Zhang were bronze medalists in Beijing in 2008.
In the second set of Tuesday’s semifinals, the Americans fought off one set point and then won on a block by Walsh Jennings. May-Treanor celebrated by slapping high fives with the crowd at Horse Guards Parade.
May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings await the winner of Tuesday’s other semifinal, which pits Americans April Ross and Jennifer Kessy against Brazilians Larissa Franca and Juliana Silva.
If you’ve been watching the London Games, you’ve probably seen enough athletic tape to cover the British Isles. Red, green, blue, neon yellow, magenta – it comes in all colors and athletes are plastering it all over their bodies.
But the tape – called kinesiology tape – isn’t 100 percent doctor approved.
Sir Chris Hoy of Britain won the sixth gold medal of his career, taking the men’s keirin in track cycling. (Here’s an explanation of the keirin competition format.) The victory gives him the most gold medals of any British Olympian ever; the Scottish cyclist surpassed Sir Steve Redgrave, a rower who won five gold medals from 1984 to 2000.
Neil Henderson, a reporter for the Glenrothes Gazette in Scotland, tweeted: Traffic beeping horns in Edinburgh in celebration of Chris Hoys Gold medal! Incredible”.
Hoy was Britain’s flag-bearer in the Opening Ceremonies. Read more about his win in this story by the Associated Press.
American gymnast Jordyn Wieber didn’t perform as well as expected throughout the Olympics. Now we may have a reason why. From the Associated Press:
The coach of world gymnastics champion Jordyn Wieber says she may have a stress fracture in her right leg.
John Geddert said Tuesday she has been dealing with pain in the leg since the U.S. women’s pre-Olympic training camp, which began the second week of July.
Wieber came into the Olympics as a favorite to win multiple medals, but she leaves London without any individual medals after finishing seventh on floor exercise.
Oribe Peralta chipped a beautiful right-footed ball into the top right corner of the goal from 22 yards out to give Mexico a 2-1 lead against Japan in the first men’s soccer semifinal.
Japan had not conceded a goal all tournament until Fabian Marco’s 31st minute strike knotted the game at 1.
Peralta’s go-ahead goal came in the 65th minute after a Japanese defender gave the ball away just outside of the box. The 28-year-old forward took one dribble and lifted a shot that tucked just underneath the crossbar.
Mexico – which has won an Olympic soccer medal – is playing without star striker Giovani Dos Santos who was subbed out with an injury in the 46th minute.
Yuki Otsu scored in the 12th minute to give Japan an early lead in its men’s soccer semifinal against Mexico at Wembley Stadium. But Marco Fabian answered in the 31st minute, and the teams are now tied at halftime.
We’ll have more updates later. Follow live stats here.
China won another gold medal in a sport it dominates like no other, taking the women’s team table tennis title Tuesday with a 3-0 victory against Japan.
Despite the loss, Japan won the silver for its first medal of any color in table tennis at the Olympics since the sport entered in 1988.
U.S. gymnast Aly Raisman closed her Olympics with a second gold medal Tuesday, winning the floor exercise to add to the balance-beam bronze she won earlier in the day and the gold she shared with the U.S. team.
It was powerful affirmation of Raisman’s hard work and dedication after laboring so long in the shadow of her more decorated American teammates, Jordyn Wieber and Gabby Douglas. Raisman closes her Games with three medals. Douglas won a pair of golds. And Wieber, one.
After gaffes by several contenders, the only gymnast in position to bump Raisman from the top spot was Sandra Raluca Izbasa of Romania, the defending Olympic champion on the floor, who went last. But on the final tumbling pass of what had been an elegant, impressive routine, the Romanian landed short and fell face-first on the mat, clinching the gold for Raisman (15.600).
Romania’s Catalina Ponor took silver (15.200). And Russia’s Aliya Mustafina claimed bronze (14.900).
Read the full story here.
They had to work overtime, but the United States women’s water polo team is back in the gold medal game for the third time in four Olympics.
Maggie Steffens and Craig Kami scored in the first of two extra periods and the U.S. defense held Australia scoreless over six minutes to claim an 11-9 win.
The Americans led 9-8 with only one second remaining in regulation but the Australians were awarded a penalty shot when the referee ruled that the U.S. did not have possession when its coach called timeout. Ash Southern converted to force overtime.
Australia’s physical, end-to-end press took a toll on the American attack over the course of the game, but Steffens (4 goals) still had enough left in the tank to fire home what proved to be the game-winning goal midway through the first extra period.
Betsey Armstrong made 10 saves on 19 shots for the U.S. including a key tip over the crossbar moments after Steffens’ overtime goal.
The U.S. – which has never won gold – awaits the winner of today’s second semifinal between Spain and Hungary.
Three minutes separate the U.S. women’s water polo team and a return trip to the gold medal match.
Maggie Steffens gave her team a 10-9 lead on the power play midway through the first extra period with her fourth goal of the game.
On the other end American goalkeeper Betsey Armstrong made a stellar save on the ensuing possession, going full extension to tip a shot over the crossbar.
Kami Craig doubled the U.S. advantage, fighting off a defender and firing a shot past Victoria Brown to give the Americans an 11-9 lead.
Australia’s Ash Southern converted a penalty shot in the final second of regulation to tie their women’s water polo semifinal against the United States at 9 and force overtime.
Melissa Siedemann scored with less than two minutes left to give the U.S. a 9-8 lead and American goalkeeper Betsey Armstrong got a pair of assists from her crossbar in the final moments to preserve the lead. But after a timeout with one second remaining, the U.S. was whistled for a penalty, giving Southern the chance to send the game to overtime. And with a right-handed rifle into the left corner, she did just that.
The teams will play two three minute overtime periods and if the score remains tied at their conclusion, they will proceed to a penalty shootout. Oh, the drama.
The U.S. beat Australia 9-8 in the 2008 Beijing semifinals and went on to take silver.
All but two of the Americans’ games in this tournament have been decided by a single goal – and one of those two was a tie against China.
The game is being shown live on NBC (imagine that!), if your heart can handle an encore after yesterday’s wild women’s soccer semifinal.
(This post has been updated, with a sync-ing feeling.)
Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina of Russia used a sweet couple of lifts and flips to power their duet synchronized swimming routine for a gold medal in Tuesday’s 2012 Olympic finals. Their choreography propelled them to a remarkable 98.9 score, even surpassing Monday’s preliminary score of 98.2.
It wasn’t unexpected; the Russian team’s dominance is legendary. So for those scoring/gambling at home (Does anyone gamble on synchronized swimming? If so, that’s just sad), the question was: Who gets silver?
On Monday, China’s Huang Xuechen and Liu Ou were second and Spain’s Ona Carbonell Ballestero and Fuentes Fache took third. However, their standings were reversed in Tuesday’s finals, with Spain taking a silver and China in third.
Their scores were just .03 apart.
The Canadian pair of Marie-Pier Boudreau Gagnon and Elise Marcotte were fourth in prelims.
And, as expected, the U.S. duo of Mary Killman and Mariya Koroleva finished 11th in the field of 12, outscoring only Korea.
Koroleva was born in Russia and has talked often of her divided loyalties. She’s said she’d cheer a win by Russia, so surely that’s mitigating her disappointment with Tuesday’s performance.
She should not dig too deeply into the scoring. Turns out that the U.S. synchro women are actually the least-synced synchronized swimming duet in the world. Though Korea came in last place, the duet actually scored higher in synchronization with a score of 26.1. The U.S. score was 26.0.
In the men’s horizontal bar final, Americans Danell Leyva and Jonathan Horton finished fifth and sixth, respectively, with scores for 15.833 and 15.466.
The gold went to Epke Zonderland of the Netherlands. Germany’s Fabian Hambuchen took silver, and China’s Kai Zou took bronze.
The change in Aly Raisman’s balance-beam score that awarded the U.S. gymnast the bronze medal after she was initially deemed fourth in Tuesday’s final was the result of an appeal filed immediately by her coach, Mihai Brestyan.
A gymnastics routine’s score is composed of two elements: One for the difficult of the skills; another for the execution.
Only the difficulty score can be appealed. And the coach who files an appeal runs the risk of ending up with a lower score.
The moment Raisman’s score of 14.966 was posted, placing her fourth behind Romania’s Catalina Ponor, Brestyn disputed his gymnast’s difficultly score, stating that Raisman had not been given full credit for one of the skills in her beam routine.
Such reviews are conducted by a different panel than the judges who give the initial marks. And the reviews are based on an immediate, frame-by-frame video review of the routine.
Once that was done, as the balance-beam medal ceremony was held at bay, the review panel raised Raisman’s score to 15.066 — the exact score Ponor had. A tiebreak was used to award the medal, with Raisman prevailing on her higher execution marks.
In last week’s individual all-around, Raisman was bumped from bronze to fourth after a fellow gymnast’s coach successfully appealed a difficulty score.
The Russian synchro duet of Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina have, as expected, dominated the duet medal final performance. With just three teams left to perform, their score of 197.100 keeps them safely ahead of their most threatening competitor, China (192.870) and headed for the gold medal.
The U.S. women’s water polo holds a slim 7-6 lead on Australia heading into the fourth quarter.
With a physical, full-pool press (think former Arkansas basketball coach Nolan Richardson’s “40 Minutes of Hell”), the Australians are pushing the U.S. away from goal.
This should be a great final period – unless they need overtime – to decide the rematch of last year’s semifinal. The Americans won that won 9-8 and they’re headed toward a similarly tight finish.
Gabby Douglas, the dual gold medalist from Virginia Beach, pronounced her final day at the London Games “disappointing” after she fell off the balance beam to finish out of the medals in the event, but she nevertheless leaves with a sense of brilliant accomplishment.
“‘Olympic all around’ is going to be attached to my name,” she said. “I’m in the history books.”
The 16-year-old Douglas confessed that the exhilaration of winning double gold in the all-around and the arduousness of the long competition had drained her, and “I’m not gonna lie, it definitely was hard to regain my focus.”
Douglas lost her balance when she attempted a flying split atop the 4-inch wide beam. “I rushed myself, missed my footing and fell,” she said. She landed hard on her backside, and then slid sideways and hung almost upside down by one leg.
“It was a very bad ending of the chapter but the beginning was very strong,” she said. “I gave a hundred percent and put my body on the line.”
Douglas said her first order of business on returning to the United States would be to go home to Virginia Beach for the first time in two years. Douglas moved to West Des Moines, Iowa when she was 14 in order to train with world class coach Liang Chow. “I’m looking forward to enjoying life, I just want to visit my dogs and go to the beach,” she said.
The synchronized swimming duet event ends today with a “free routine” which, unlike the technical routine, has fewer requirements and can show off the swimmers’ creative side.
Americans Mary Killman and Mariya Koroleva ended their routine and their quest for a medal with a 175.67 score. Half of the dozen swimmers have now competed, and the U.S. team now stands in fourth place. Italy leads the six with a 181.42 score.
Watching the remaining six teams? Here are some things you might not know about rules and scoring:
- The routine on dry land “the deck” — doesn’t count toward the score. Nothing counts until the music starts. But the swimmers make the effort, hoping to set the mood and the theme within the 10-second allotment.
- The pool is 9.8 feet deep, and swimmers cannot touch the bottom.
- Tattoos are prohibited. Which means the Australian duet’s matching Southern Cross tattoos must be covered before the event.
- Jewelry also is not allowed. Copious amounts of gelatin, however, are permitted in the swimmers’ hair.
The United States is clinging to a 6-5 lead at halftime in a back and fourth women’s water polo semifinal against Australia.
Maggie Steffens and Lauren Wenger each have two goals for the Americans who are trying to get back to the gold medal game for the third time in the fourth Olympic Games in which women’s water polo has been played.
This is a rematch of a 2008 Beijing semifinal won by the U.S., 9-8. And the Americans are no stranger to one-goal games in London. In their three pool games they edged both Hungary and China by a single goal and tied Spain.
Hungary and Spain face off in today’s second semifinal.
Olympic officials must have a mean streak, putting the U.S. women’s quarterfinal game first on the schedule Tuesday morning.
The other six quarterfinalists got an eyeful of what might be in store for them as the Americans blew Canada off the court, 91-48, at the Basketball Arena, advancing to the semifinals.
The United States has now won 39 straight games in Olympic women’s basketball and this team is looking to run the gold medal streak in women’s basketball to five.
The consecutive wins streak was in no jeopardy Tuesday as the U.S. team – with LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and other members of the men’s team looking on — jumped to a 19-8 lead and just kept going. Five players finished in double figures, with Diana Taurasi leading the way with 15 points. Candace Parker and Sylvia Fowles each had 12.
The U.S. team won all five of its Group A games by an average of nearly 37 points, and if the Canada game is any indication, the knockout round may be aptly named.
The Americans will play the winner of the Australia-China game in Thursday’s semifinals. The Aussies used to be the U.S. team’s biggest nemesis in the gold medal game – they’ve been runners-up to the Americans three times — but they did not win Group B, finishing second to France, which beat them in overtime during pool play.
In a final dramatic twist to a day filled with triumph and heartbreak, American Aly Raisman was elevated from fourth to a bronze-medal finish in Tuesday’s balance beam final.
But it was a heartbreaking day for American Gabby Douglas, whose Olympics ended in disappointment as the normally rock-solid gymnast fell during her balance-beam routine and finished seventh among eight.
Raisman, who competed last, held her nerves and form but was originally scored with 14.966 points. That was just below veteran Catalina Ponor, who was credited with bronze.
But an appeal apparently was filed and upheld. And the crowd cheered when the new result was posted, with Raisman, part of the U.S. gold-medal winning team, shown third, with 15.066 points.
China took gold and silver, with Linlin Deng overtaking her countrywoman Lu Sui to move into first, with five gymnasts remaining. Deng’s final score was 15.600.
Douglas, 16, who won the team and individual all-around gold, finished eighth in Monday’s uneven bars finals and said later that she was tired from the rigor of the extended practice and competition.
Competing on the beam, with a chance for a third medal, Douglas had one pronounced balance check. Then, during a leap in which she performs the splits and changes directions, she caught only the end of the beam with her left foot. Her leg slid off the four-inch wide beam, and she followed with it.
Russian’s Viktoria Komova, also a medal favorite, performed after Douglas. With a clear opening for a top finish, Komova fell, as well.
What will the judges look for as the pairs of synchronized swimmers compete for medals in the duet routine today? No splashing. No grunting.
Yes, it’s a pool full of water. And your legs might feel like they’re going to catch fire. So these rules may seem quite unreasonable. But splashing and overt displays of pain can show a lack of control, and synchronized swimming is all about control.
And besides, no one could see your, uh, amazing makeup and hair artistry through all the splashing and frowning.
Here’s what else judges will look for during today’s medal round:
Height. Especially during the “rocket” where swimmers’ legs shoot up from underwater. Just above the knees is mediocre. Nearly to the waist is awesome.
Spin. The swimmers will spin while in that upside-down rocket position. Looks really cool on the new “twin cam” that stitches the image above and below water, simultaneously.
Travel. Swimmers should cover a broad expanse of the pool during the routine.
Leg form. Should be super-straight, and the feet should be curled into a foot-fist. Try it. It hurts. No frowning, though.
American Sarah Hammer retained her lead in the Omnium after the fourth event, the individual pursuit, Tuesday at the Velodrome.
Britain’s Laura Trott finished second to Hammer in the pursuit and is second in the standings of the six-stage event.
Hammer has 13 points and Trott 14 points, setting up a tight competition in the final two events of the Omnium, the scratch race and time trial, which will be contested later today.
Tara Whitten of Canada and Annette Edmondson of Australia are well back with 21 points.
The Omnium consists of six events. Riders get points for each finish and they are combined to determine the winners.
Gabby Douglas, the double-gold medalist in the all-around, has completed her last gymnastics routine in the London Games. The exhausted 16-year-old slipped off the balance beam during a split with a change of direction and landed hard on the narrow wooden apparatus. The normally magnetic teenager completed the rest of her moves without incident, and then grimly awaited her score, her eyes slightly puffy with fatique and mouth downturned. The judges awarded her a 13.63. China’s Linlin Deng leads with a 15.6.
China’s Lu Sui is considered the gymnast to beat in today’s balance beam final, as the top qualifier on the apparatus and the reigning world balance-beam champion.
Sui went first in a competition that just got under way. She wasn’t perfect, with a wobble here and there, but set a high bar with a score of 15.000 (6.5 difficulty; 9.000 execution).
Still, there’s room for other gymnasts to overtake her.
American Gabby Douglas, who qualified third, is up sixth and looked poised and on point during warm-ups in a white, sparkly leotard.
She’ll be followed by Russia’s Viktoria Komova, the third-place qualifier, whom Douglas beat out for gold in the prestigious individual all-around title.
Just moment ago, China claimed the first of four gold medals to be awarded on the final day of artistic gymnastics competition, with Zhe Feng winning the parallel bars with a highly ambitious and well-executed routine that was awarded 15.966 points.
Germany’s Marcel Nguyen took silver (15.800). And Hamilton Sabot of France, who qualified last, emerged as the surprise bronze medallist (15.666), turning in a clean routine that was refreshing in its originality.
Medal favorites Kazuhito and Yusuke Tanaka of Japan competed back-to-back but finished out of the running. Yusuka, 22, the younger Tanaka brother, had qualified first but had an awkward pause early in his routine and finished eighth.
Marina Alabau Neira of Spain won the medal race and the gold in the RS-X Tuesday at Weymouth and Portland.
Alabau Neira’s net of 26 was 20 points better than her nearest competitor.
Tuuli Petaja of Finland was fourth in the medal race but that was enough for the silver medal. Petaja had a net total of 46, just one fewer than Zofia Noceti-Klepacka of Poland, who won the bronze.
Competitors in the RS-X sail in 10 races, accumulating points for each finish. The worst finish of the 10 is thrown out and then total is used to determine the top 10 sailors, who compete in one medal race. Points from that race are doubled, added to the points from the previous races, and the winner determined.
Justin Lester lost to Hungary’s Tamas Lorincz, 3-1, in the quarterfinals Tuesday in the 66-kilogram division of Greco-Roman wrestling.
Lester had won his round of eight match earlier in the day against Tsutomu Fujimura of Japan.
Lester is not necessarily eliminated from the competition. It’s a single elimination tournament, but any wrestler who loses to one of the two eventual finalists moves into one of two repechage groups. The repechage group winners will square off for the two bronze medals awarded in this sport.
Yuegu Wang and Jiawei Li of Singapore won the bronze medal in women’s table tennis doubles Tuesday morning, 11-9, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5, over Korea.
The gold medal match between China and Japan is later Tuesday morning.
Three days ago before Liu Xiang was scheduled to race, his coach told Chinese reporters he was worried the injury that forced Liu to withdraw from the Beijing Games had flared up again. After Liu crashed into a hurdle Tuesday, eventually leaving the track in a wheelchair, China’s head track and field coach said it was the same Achilles injury that has ruined a second straight Olympics for one of China’s biggest stars.
“We think it’s probably like what happened four years ago,” Feng Shuyong, China’s top track coach, said through an interpreter. “The same thing occurred again. But we are waiting for more diagnosis.”
The Achilles injury forced Liu, the 2004 gold medalist in the 110-meter hurdles, to miss the Beijing Games and the 2009 season, including the world championships. Though Liu’s personal coach was worried about the Achilles entering the Olympics, Feng said he thought the hurdler looked okay prior to Tuesday’s first round heat.
“I think that during warming up, at the time I was sure there wouldn’t be any big problem for him to go through the first heat,” Feng said. “What I saw, especially on the slow motion big screen, was that he couldn’t take off.”
Liu is 29 years old, and it’s not clear what his track future might now hold. The track coach said he would be evaluated by doctors to determine the exact diagnosis and proper course of action.
“I feel really sorry about this,” Feng said, “but I also feel very proud of him.” Feng said Liu exhibited the “Olympic spirit” by his actions following his fall Tuesday morning.
After crashing into the first hurdle, rather than leave the track, Liu hopped and hobbled his way down the straightaway, alongside the course. He moved back toward his lane at the final hurdle to pay his respects, kiss the hurdle and then continued on toward the finish line.
Liu is as highly-regarded as any hurdler at these Summer Games, which is why his competitors met him at the finish line, raised his hand in the air and helped him into a wheelchair.
“For that to happen to one of the greatest hurdlers of all time is a tragedy,” said American hurdler Aries Merritt.
Dorian van Rijsselberge of the Netherlands won the medal race and the gold Tuesday in the RS-X.
Nick Dempsey of Britain was third in the medal race but won silver when his points from that race were added to his points from his previous races.
Przemyslaw Miarczynski won the bronze.
Competitors in the RS-X sail in 10 races, accumulating points for each finish. The worst finish of the 10 is thrown out and then the total is used to determine the top 10 sailors, who compete in one medals race. Points from that race are doubled, added to the points from the previous races, and the winner determined.
I’ll be your live-blogger this week for the Olympics 2012 synchronized swimming medal events. Yes, I’m a big fan of an Olympic event that other people snort at. Having done a little synchro at a college with a long history in the sport, I appreciate the intense power and athletic skill behind the seemingly simple beauty.
But I also love this, which forever will be one of the best Saturday Night Live skits ever performed.
You gotta love the following video, which I hope was done as a fundraiser of some sort because otherwise they’re just embarrassing their grandkids. (What is it about pasty, out-of-shape guys and synchronized swimming?)
And watch out for those synchro swimmers at the bottom of your martini glass. Mashable’s put together a collection of nose-clipped ladies in unusual waters.
Okay, done snorting? Wipe the tears from your eyes and the milk from your nose and get serious. China and Spain will be battling each other for a silver medal and Russia will battle, well, no one, for a gold. The duets free medal competition begins at 10 on Tuesday morning; the team medal final is Friday morning.
And the U.S. team? They might as well jump into that martini glass now. They’re in 10th place after the preliminary free routine on Monday, and couldn’t even manage to pull together a team for these Olympics. So we’ll discuss their swim outfits, later.
It’s the final day of artistic gymnastics at the London Olympics, and five Americans will be in action, including individual all-around champion Gabby Douglas of Virginia Beach.
To do so, she’ll have to bounce back from her only sub-par performance of the Games, an eighth-place finish in the uneven-bars final Monday. Admittedly tired and worn down from the rigor of her first Olympics, Douglas made a rare mistake and was beaten by more experienced specialists whose routines drew higher difficulty marks.
She stands a far better chance of winning a third medal in today’s balance beam final. The event’s third-place qualifier, Douglas will face her toughest competition from China’s Lu Sui and Russia’s Viktoria Komova, who has yet to end a competition here without tears.
American Aly Raisman competes on both the beam and floor. She’s the gold-medal favorite on floor.
And reigning world all-around champion Jordyn Wieber also competes in today’s floor-exercise final. A medal of any color would go a long way toward easing Wieber’s hurt over missing the cut for the individual all-around title.
The competition gets under way at North Greenwich Arena at 2 p.m. (9 a.m. Eastern time), with the parallel-bars final. That’s followed by the balance beam (9:51 a.m. ET), horizontal bar (10:43 a.m. ET) and floor (11:31 a.m. ET).
Here’s a look at how the five Americans qualified and the order in which they’ll compete:
Gabby Douglas – qualified third; competes sixth
Aly Raisman – qualified fifth; competes eighth
Danell Leyva – qualified third; competes first
Jonathan Horton – qualified fifth; competes seventh
Jordyn Wieber – qualified sixth; competes second
Aly Raisman – qualified first; competes third
American Christian Taylor had the top jump in qualifying in the men’s triple jump Tuesday at the Olympic Stadium.
The 22-year-old from New York won the world title last year in Korea and he set the pace here with a jump of 56 feet 5 3/4 inches.
Leevan Sands of the Bahamas, the bronze medalist in Beijing, was just behind at 56-4.
Will Claye of Arizona, who already has a bronze medal in the long jump at these Games, was seventh with a jump of 55-4 1/4.
“I made it through,” Claye said. “I know what I have to do, so I just do it.”
With a slight breeze in Olympic Stadium, Claye wanted to take no chances on a bad jump.
“I was behind the board on all of my jumps,” he said. “I had a headwind. I wanted to be safe.”
Twelve athletes advanced to Thursday’s final.
Britain’s Alistair Brownlee won gold in the men’s triathlon and his younger brother Jonathan took bronze, thrilling the home crowd in Hyde Park.
The older Brownlee finished in 1 hour 46 minutes 26 seconds. Spain’s Javier Gomez finished 11 seconds back to take the silver.
The top American finisher was Hunter Kemper, who took 14th place. We’ll have more soon.
The Jamaican sprinters all cruised to wins in the men’s 200 meter first round heats, but American Wallace Spearmon doesn’t seem too concerned about the prospects of lining up against Usain Bolt & Co.
“I think I’m liking my chances right now,” said Spearmon. “I just feel good.”
Spearmon was in the race when Bolt broke the 200 record in Beijing and again when the Jamaican broke it in 2009 in Berlin. Spearmon ran a 20.47 in Tuesday’s first round heat, and surely knows he’ll have to do better than his personal best of 19.65 in order to have a chance in the Olympic finals. Bolt’s record is 19.16, and Michael Johnson is the only American to break the 19.5 barrier.
“I’m good,” said Spearmon, who finished third at the 2008 Olympics but was disqualified for going out of his lane. “No worries.”
Bolt ran a 20.39 in his first round heat but showed in Sunday’s 100-meter win that he’s capable of just about anything here. Still, his top challengers are trying to not to worry about what Bolt might do.
“I’m not really focusing on beating him,” said Yohan Blake, the silver medalist in the 100 who topped Bolt in the 200 at the Jamaican trials. “I’m concentrating on running my race.”
Ethiopians won both heats of the women’s 5,000 Tuesday morning. In fact, Ethiopian runners had three of the top six times; Kenyans had the other three.
Tirunesh Dibaba and Gelete Burka won their heats. Dibaba’s time of 14 minutes 58.48 seconds was the faster of the two. Countrywoman Meseret Defar was second to Dibaba in Heat 1 in 14:58.70.
Kenyan Viola Jelagat Kibiwot was third in 14:59.31. All three of those times were better than Burka’s winning time of 15:01.44 in the second heat.
Kenyans Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot and Sally Jepkosgei Kipyego were second and third behind Burka in Heat 2.
Americans Molly Huddle (15:02.26) and Julie Culley (15:05.38) each finished fifth in their respective heats. Teammate Kim Conley failed to advance.
Both runners from the host country — Julia Bleasdale and Joanne Pavey — advanced to Friday’s final.
To the delight of the dense, cheering crowd packing the Olympic triathlon course through Hyde Park, Britain’s Brownlee brothers entered the 6.2-mile run, the last leg of the event, among the top four triathletes.
France’s Vincent Luis, Portugal’s Joao Silva and Alistair Brownlee officially finished the 26.7-mile bike portion in 1 hour 17 minutes and 18 seconds. Jonathan Brownlee began the final leg a second behind.
The Brownlee brothers rode among the leaders throughout the bike leg, with British teammate Stuart Hayes moving up on the second loop of the seven-loop course to help push the front pack.
Jonathan Brownlee, a race favorite, had a problem entering the running leg: He had to figure out where to stop to take a 15-second penalty he was handed for mounting his bike too early during the swim-to-bike transition.
Churandy Martina of the Netherlands won the seventh and final heat of the men’s 200 Tuesday, finishing in 20.58 seconds.
To sum up the results of the 200 heats:
All three Americans, Wallace Spearmon, Maurice MItchell and Isiah Young, qualified for the semifinals.
So did all the Jamaicans — Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Warren Weir — and all three won their heats.
The fastest time posted in the heats came not from an American or a Jamaican but from Ecuador’s Alex Quinonez.
Christian Malcolm was second to Bolt in the first heat, making the British fans happy.
Sadly, Joel Redhead of Grenada did not advance.
Stay tuned for Rick Maese with more.
American Wallace Spearmon, who lost a bronze medal in Beijing when officials ruled he had stepped out of his lane during the 200 finals, finished second in his heat Tuesday in 20.47 seconds and advanced to Wednesday’s semifinals.
Alex Quinonez of Ecuador won the heat in 20.28, a national record and the fastest time of the first six heats with just one group to go.
Warren Weir and Yohan Blake of Jamaica both ran slightly faster times than countryman Usain Bolt in first-round heats of the 200 meters Tuesday.
Blake won his heat in 20.38 seconds; Weir took his in 20.29. Bolt won the first heat in 20.39. The top three finishers in each heat advance to the semifinals so time doesn’t really matter but there is some gamesmanship involved, as there always is with the sprinters.
American Maurice Mitchell won the third heat in 20.54, and Christophe Lemaitre of France took the second heat in 20.34.
Sibusiso Matsenjwa of Swaziland didn’t make it to the semifinals, but he did set a national record of 20.93.
Rick Maese is trapped in the mixed zone and will be back shortly with more details.
Carrie Johnson, the only American competing in Tuesday’s flatwater canoe/kayak events at Eton Dorney, was eliminated in her semifinal heat of the women’s 500m kayak.
Johnson has missed the finals in three straight Olympics. From London she’ll head to Cal-Davis to begin a four-year veterinary program.
The three medalists from Beijing all returned. Josefa Idem of Italy (silver) won the third semifinal heat, in which Johnson was eliminated, and Katrin Wagner-Augustin of Germany (bronze) was fourth. Inna Osypenko-Radomska of Ukraine (gold) was second in the first semifinal heat. All three advance to Thursday’s final, as does world champion Danuta Kozak of Hungary, who won the second heat.
Sergiy Bezugliy and Maksim Prokopenko of Azerbaijan and Peter Kretschmer and Kurt Kuschela of Germany advanced final in canoe doubles 1000 meters by winning their heats. In the semifinals, Ilya Pervukhin and Alexey Korovashkov of Russia had the top time.
Slovakia and Hungary won their heats in the men’s kayak four 1000 meters and automatically advanced to the final, where they will be joined by six other boats, including semifinal winner Australia.
In the kayak doubles 500 meters, Lisa Carrington and Erin Taylor of Australia had the top time going into the finals.
The finals in all four events will be Thursday.
Slovakia’s Richard Varga led the Olympic men’s triathlon after the swim portion, emerging from the water in 16 minutes 56 seconds with Spain’s Javier Gomez close behind in 17:00. Britain’s Brownlee brothers, crowd favorites, followed the leaders by just seconds.
Jonathan Brownlee, 22, stood in fourth place entering the bike portion of the race in 17:02, and Alistair Brownlee, 24, emerged in sixth in 17:04. After swimming a 1,500-meter loop in The Serpentine, the competitors undertook a seven-loop ride around Hyde Park.
On his quest to become what he calls an Olympic legend, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt easily qualified for the 200-meter semifinals, winning his first round heat in 20.39 seconds Tuesday morning at Olympic Stadium.
We’ll have more on all the 200 meter first round action shortly.
Chinese divers Chong He and Kai Qin took the first and third spots in the semifinals of the springboard event Tuesday at the Aquatics Centre.
Russian Ilya Zakharov was second; Yahel Castillo Huerta of Mexico fourth, followed by American Troy Dumais.
He, the defending champion in this event, scored 510.15 in his six dives to lead the 18 qualifiers. Twelve advance to the finals, which will be held later Tuesday (2 p.m. ET). He’s final dive, a forward 2 ½ somersault with three twists, earned a 79.95 but it was enough to clinch the top spot.
Zakharov. 21, who led after the qualifying round, was less than five points behind He at 505.60. Zakharov has won silver here already in the synchronized springboard event.
Kai Qin won gold in the synchronized springboard event here in London and four years ago in Beijing. He also won bronze in this event in Beijing. He was a little more than five points behind Zakharov at 500.35.
Castillo Huerta was just a point behind Quin.
The gap was wider between Castillo Huerta and Dumais, a bronze medalist in the synchronized springboard event here. Dumais finished with 490.55 and lacked that one score that pushed into the 90s that the top four competitors posted. In fact, Zakharov’s final dive netted a 100.70.
The semifinal scores mean nothing in the finals, however.
American Chris Colwill’s shot at the finals ended on his fifth dive, an inward 3 ½ somersault. He appeared not to complete his rotation in time and his legs were nearly parallel to the pool upon entry. His scores reflected that; the dive earned just 28.90 points. On his sixth dive, he came down on the board awkwardly and was unable to perform the dive outlined in his program, thus receiving a 0.00 for that round.
Liu Xiang’s Olympic torment continues.
While all three Americans advanced into the semifinals of the 110-meter hurdles, the biggest surprise at Olympic Stadium was again the Chinese hurdler, who for a second consecutive Olympics failed to clear a single hurdle.
Liu, the 2004 Olympic champion who’d served as the face the Beijing Games before withdrawing, at least made it out of the starting blocks this time. But he didn’t get much further.
The 29-year old hurdler crashed hard into the first hurdle in Tuesday’s first round heat, falling on the track. He briefly held his right leg before rising to his feet. As thousands looked on, Liu hopped on his left leg along the straightaway, along the track’s perimeter. Liu made his way to the 10th and final hurdle, bending over to offer a kiss, before hopping toward the finish.
There he was greeted by competitors, who lifted Liu’s hand into the offer and offered condolences. Liu left the track in a wheelchair.
“It’s a shame it happened to Liu,” said American hurdler Aries Merritt. I don’t think anything was wrong before the race. He looked okay. You made a mistake, you’re out of the game. it’s all about making the least amount of mistakes.”
Liu is one of the most popular athletes in China and entered those Beijing Games carrying the hopes of a nation. He required surgery on his injured right foot shortly after the Games but came to London with big expectations in what was shaping up to be a historic race, pitting Liu against the world record-holder, Cuba’s Dayron Robles and Merritt, who’s run the world’s fastest 110-meter hurldes race this year.
Merritt posted the best time of any hurdler in Tuesday’s first round heats, winning his race with a time of 13.07 seconds. Only three other hurdlers were even within 0.2 seconds of Merritt.
“The track is blisteringly fast,” Merritt said. “The time is going to be extremely fast.”
Robles won his heat with a time of 13.33. American Jason Richardson won his in 13.33 seconds. And Jason Porter also qualified Tuesday, running a 13.53.
“It felt very comfortable out there,” Richardson said. “Glad to get started.”
The event’s semifinals will be held on Wednesday.
Xiang Liu is out of the 110-meter hurdles for the second straight Olympics after failing to clear the first hurdle in his first-round heat and limping off the track Tuesday morning.
Liu won this event in Athens in 2004 and was the favorite to repeat as gold medalist in Beijing four years ago with withdrew after a false start by another runner in the first round. It was later revealed that Liu had been suffering from chronic inflammation in his right Achilles tendon for years.
Liu’s actions were a devastation blow for the host country, whose citizens had packed the Bird’s Nest stadium to see their hero.
Tuesday, as he sat on the track, Liu was holding his right leg.
Rick Maese will have more from the track soon.