Olympic action: July 28
The Games were in full swing Saturday with soccer, swimming, tennis, and volleyball all getting underway. The day has brought upsets, disappointments, and drama so far, but it’s not over yet. Here are a few highlights from the day’s competition so far.
38-year-old wins cycling road race
Alexander Vinokourov of Kazakhstan took gold in the cycling road race today in dramatic fashion. He finished the race in a sprint to the finish. He had been away from the sport for two years after testing positive for blood doping in 2007, and at 38, London will be Vinokourov’s last Olympics. Great Britain was heavily favorited in the race, but did not medal. They’ll have another chance for gold Wednesday in the time trail.
U.S. upsets in archery for their first medal
The U.S. archery team picked up the country’s first medal of the 2012 games earlier today when they upset South Korea in the semifinals and took silver after a one point loss to Italy in the finals. U.S. finished their round against South Korea with three consecutive bullseyes. The team is led by world No. 1 archer Brady Ellison who is favored to win gold in the individual event.
Phelps’ disappointing performance
Michael Phelps swam in the qualifier for the 400-m. individual medley today, and nearly missed the cut off. His 4:13.33 was good enough to win his heat, but put him in last place in tonight’s final. Phelps described his swim as “terrible”, and his results put him in the eighth lane, rather than in the middle of the pool next to rival and U.S. teammate Ryan Lochte where he was expected to land.
Update: Lochte brought the U.S. its first gold medal earlier today when he took first place in the men’s 400-m. individual medley. Phelps shockingly just missed the podium, coming in fourth place. Brazil’s Thiago Pereira won the silver and Japan’s Kosuke Hagino took the bronze.
Elizabeth Beisel grabbed silver for the U.S. in the women’s 400-m. individual medley. She finished behind Ye Shiwen, who set a world record with a time of 4:28.43. The Rhode Island native had the fastest time in this morning’s preliminary round. Also in women’s swimming, the U.S. 400-m. relay team took bronze behind the Australians and the Netherlands. Natalie Coughlin only swam the relay in the preliminary round, but despite being absent from the final she still gets a medal, making her one of the most decorated U.S. female Olympians of all time. She is tied with Dara Torres and Jenny Thompson with 12 medals each.
U.S. women’s soccer team takes second win
The U.S. women’s soccer team is 2-0 in Olympic play after their 3-0 win over Colombia. The match was chippy, with an early punch landing on Abby Wambach‘s eye. Wambach went on to score the U.S.’s second goal, and taunted the crowd by gesturing to her injured eye. Megan Rapinoe took the time to give a shout out to injured teammate Ali Krieger when she scored in the 33rd minute, fishing a piece of paper from her shin guard and holding it up with a birthday message for Krieger, who turned 28.
Back and better than ever?
Beach volleyball sweethearts Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings took to the sand Saturday night, looking as good as they ever have. The pair are trying for their third gold medal, but without age on their side and after losing at Worlds, they are not the heavy favorite. They defeated Australians Tasmin Hinchley and Natalie Cook (five-time Olympian) 21-18, 21-19 Saturday night.
U.S. men’s gymnastics comes out on top
The U.S. men’s gymnastics team is the No. 1 qualifier entering Monday’s final. The team’s final score of 275.342 was nearly three points ahead of second-place Russia. Great Britain hasn’t had a full men’s gymnastics team at the Games since 1992, but they held on for a third place finish, while Germany, Japan, China, Ukraine, and France made out the top eight.
On deck for Sunday:
U.S. men’s basketball faces off against France Sunday morning, while Jordyn Wieber and the U.S. women’s gymnastics team make their debut in the qualifying round. The men’s 4×100 free relay final and the women’s synchronized springboard event will be the highlights at the pool.