Olympic action: Aug. 3
The United States continues to enjoy a strong turnout at the London Olympics, as American performances in London on Friday helped the USA climb to the top of the medal table with 43 total medals and 21 gold medals. The Americans continue to dominate most in the pool, where its 14 gold medals this year already tops Beijing’s final tally of 12 gold medals (eight of which belonged to Michael Phelps). Here’s a more in-depth look at the American action in London Friday.
United States gathers more medals in penultimate day of swimming
In the second-to-last day of Olympic swimming, the American swimmers yet again owned the pool. Phelps, in perhaps the final individual race of his Olympic swimming career, went out in style, capturing gold in the 100-meter butterfly. With some members of the Team USA basketball team as well as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in attendance, Phelps fought his way to the top of the podium. He was seventh at the turn but eased his way past every swimmer to finish first at 51.21 seconds. The race for second was tight as well – two silver medals were awarded instead of a silver and a bronze with Chad le Clos of South Africa and Evgeny Korotyshkin of Russia tied for second with a 51.44 finish.
Missy Franklin set a new world record in the 200-meter backstroke, swimming it in a brisk 2:04.06. She was accompanied on the podium by Rhode Island native Elizabeth Beisel, who earned a bronze medal in the event with her 2:06.55 mark.
Elsewhere at the aquatics center, American Cullen Jones won silver in the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 21.54. Then, 15-year-old Katie Ledecky, the youngest member of Team USA, finished first in the 800-meter freestyle (that’s 16 laps) with an 8:14.63 finish.
Roger Federer, Andy Murray gear up for Wimbledon rematch
Things looked a bit familiar over at Wimbledon on Friday. Roger Federer played another lengthy match at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club, as he and Argentine Juan Del Potro played a four-hour and 26-minute match (the longest three-set men’s singles match in history) before Federer prevailed, 3-6, 7-6, 19-17. British hero and World No. 4 Andy Murray secured himself a medal on home soil and earned a chance to win gold with his 7-5, 7-5 win over World No. 2 Novak Djokovic. Murray has never beaten Djokovic in a grand slam tournament. The final between Federer and Murray will be a rematch of the duo’s epic Wimbledon final from just a month ago. Federer topped Murray back in July to win his 17th grand slam title, but he has never won an Olympic gold medal in men’s singles.
American Serena Williams will also be looking for her first singles Olympic gold medal. Williams won two Olympic golds in doubles with her sister, Venus. The American will face Russian Maria Sharapova, who also has never won a singles Olympic gold but has been one of the top female tennis players in the world for years.
Olympic repeat dream ends early for Rogers, Dalhausser
The United States suffered a shocking defeat on Friday in beach volleyball, as defending gold medalists Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser were knocked out of the competition by Italy, who had just barely snuck in to the knockout round. In contrast, the Americans went undefeated in the preliminary round. This Olympics was likely the last for 38-year-old Rogers, who has said he will retire from Olympic play after London.
US women’s soccer team prevails again:
The United States women’s soccer team will move into the semifinals thanks to a 2-0 win over New Zealand Friday. Abby Wambach scored first with a goal in the 27th minute, but the ladies had to wait quite a bit for some insurance, as Sydney Leroux scored near the end of the match (in the 87th minute) to ice the victory. The US will face North American neighbor Canada in the semifinal Monday.
Women’s basketball coasts over Czech Republic:
The US women’s basketball team also won on Friday, topping the Czech Republic, 88-61 to stand atop Group A. Team USA stands just one point ahead of both China and Turkey. The women will go head-to-head with the Chinese on Sunday to determine the group’s winner.
The final day of swimming on Saturday will feature plenty of excitement. Michael Phelps will try to win one last Olympic gold when he races in the 4×100 medley relay Saturday. Missy Franklin, who has three gold medals and four total medals, will go for a fifth medal on Saturday in the female 4×100 medley relay. The USA men’s basketball team will return to the court with a game against Lithuania. Beach volleyball tandem Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh will play a Round of 16 match against Netherlands duo Marleen van Iersel and Sanne Keizer.