Team USA fights off Spain to win gold medal in Olympic rematch

Spain’s Marc Gasol (C) holds the ball aways from Lebron James (L) and Tyson Chandler during their men’s gold medal basketball match at the North Greenwich Arena in London during the London 2012 Olympic Games

LONDON – Somewhere in the midst of their relaxing afternoon stroll to the gold medal, Team USA looked up and found themselves in a fight. Spain rained 3-pointers over the Americans’ heads. Pau and Marc Gasol bullied the U.S. frontline. And after U.S. center Tyson Chandler became entangled with Sergio Rodriguez in the second quarter, the little Spanish point guard stepped up and jabbed his right index finger into Chandler’s face.

Rodriguez’s message was clear: For all your NBA talent, for all your American dominance, you will not push us around.

Yes, Team USA’s gold-medal rematch with Spain proved nearly as difficult as their battle in Beijing four years ago. Just like in 2008, the Americans finally separated themselves from Spain in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, holding on for a 107-100 victory that gave them their second straight Olympic gold medal.

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Ugandan Upstages Favorites to Win Marathon

LONDON, Aug 12 (Reuters) – Ugandan Stephen Kiprotich shot to the front with six kms remaining to win the men’s Olympic marathon on Sunday in two hours eight minutes 11 seconds.

It was his country’s first medal of the Games and came in the final event of the athletics programme.

Twice world gold medallist Abel Kirui was second ahead of compatriot and London marathon champion Wilson Kipsang.

Kipsang made an early break, splitting the field and passing through the halfway stage in 63 minutes 15 seconds. He was gradually reeled in and joined by Kiprotich and Kirui by the 30-km point in a three-man race for the gold.

The race, past some of London’s most notable landmarks, started and finished in the Mall near Buckingham Palace. It comprised one short and three longer circuits through the heart of the capital. (Editing by Clare Fallon)

Bolt leads 4×100 relay to world record at Olympics

Jamaican’ me craazy!

Usain Bolt and Ryan Bailey got the baton at almost exactly the same time Saturday night, then sped down the stretch for the final leg of the 4×100-meter relay.

When Bolt reached his top gear, it was over.

The World’s Fastest Man powered Jamaica to a world-record time of 36.84 seconds, making him 3 for 3 for the second straight Olympics. He also won the 100 meters and 200 in London and Beijing.

Bolt picked up another victory long after the record-breaking relay was over. After grudgingly handing the baton to an official right after he crossed the finish line, he got it back about 40 minutes later. He responded with a bow of thanks and kissed his new memento.

Bailey and the United States got the silver in 37.04, matching the old record that Bolt helped set at last year’s world championships. Trinidad and Tobago took the bronze in 38.12 after Canada, which was third across the line, was disqualified for running outside its lane.

Before Bolt and Co. took over the track, Mo Farah sent a charge through the capacity crowd at Olympic Stadium when he won the 5,000 meters to complete an Olympic long-distance double for Britain.

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U.S. smashes women’s 4×100 mark

Way to go Ladies!

LONDON — Eyeing the trackside clock as she approached the finish line, Carmelita Jeter pointed the black baton in her left hand at those bright orange numbers.

She wanted to make sure everyone saw what she saw: The United States was breaking the world record in the women’s 4×100-meter relay — and it wasn’t even close.

Allyson Felix, Tianna Madison and Bianca Knight built a big lead, and Jeter brought it home Friday night, anchoring the U.S. to its first Olympic gold medal in the sprint relay since 1996 with a time of 40.82, more than a half-second better than a record that had stood for 27 years.

“As I’m running, I’m looking at the clock and seeing this time that’s like 37, 38, 39. In my heart, I said, ‘We just did it!’ I definitely knew we ran well,” Jeter said. “When I crossed the finish line, I had so many emotions because we haven’t been able to get the gold medal back to the U.S.”

Felix collected her second gold of the London Games, along with the one she won in the 200 meters, while Jeter completed a set, adding to her silver in the 100 and bronze in the 200.

“I just knew if we had clean baton passes that we would definitely challenge the world record. Smash it like we did? We had no idea,” Madison said, “but I knew it was in us.”

The American quartet erased the old mark of 41.37 run by East Germany in October 1985. Here’s how long ago that was: Jeter was 5, Madison was a month old, and Felix and Knight weren’t even born.

“It’s an absolutely unreal feeling. It just feels like for so long, we looked at women’s sprints and the records were so out of reach. To look up and see we had a world record, it was just crazy,” said Felix, who gets a shot at a third gold in the 4×400 final Saturday. “I didn’t think that was going to happen.”

Jamaica won the silver medal in a national record of 41.41 seconds, with a team of 100 champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, 100 bronze medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown, Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart.

“All their girls are in top shape this year. You can’t say they didn’t deserve it. They prepared for it and they came out here and they delivered,” Fraser-Pryce said. “For us, it’s back to the drawing board.”


Ashton Eaton, Trey Hardee give USA its first gold-silver in decathlon since 1956

LONDON – Ashton Eaton is the world’s greatest athlete. And Trey Hardeeisn’t far behind.

Eaton took gold in the Olympic decathlon – the event bestowed the title of “world’s greatest athlete” – holding off his U.S. teammate Hardee on the final day of competition. The world-record holder in the event, Eaton accumulated 8,869 points for the win. Hardee finished second with 8,671 points. The 1-2 finish is the first time in 56 years that the United States has won gold and silver in the event, matching the feat of Milt Campbell and Rafer Johnson in the 1956 Melbourne Games.

And on a day when Usain Bolt was calling himself the “greatest athlete to ever live,” Eaton’s traditional title was echoed by his top competitor.

“So Ashton doesn’t have to sound selfish or self-centered, Ashton is the best athlete to ever walk the planet – hands down,” Hardee said. “The title bestowed upon the Olympic champion in the decathlon is ‘world’s greatest athlete.’ Ashton is the world-record holder in that event. The same [reason] Usain Bolt can be the fastest man on the planet – because that’s the title that’s bestowed upon those event winners.”

Scored by the cumulative point totals in 10 events, Eaton won three – the 100 meters, long jump and the 400 meters. He also finished second in the high jump and third in the pole vault. That was more than enough to put Eaton in position to coast in his final event, the 1,500, which saw him ease his way around the track en route to a seventh-place finish and more than enough points to claim the United States‘ 13th gold medal in Olympic decathlon.

Only 24 years old and just hitting his prime in the event, the gold was Eaton’s first Olympic medal. And while his dominance in decathlon is just beginning, he’s in no hurry to duke it out with Bolt over who is the world’s best athlete.

“There’s no fight,” Ashton said of his title versus Bolt’s. “Usain is clearly awesome in his own right. He’s an icon of the sport and whatever. Titles are for, I don’t know, books and stuff. I just like what I’m doing.”

And Bolt?

“I’m a great athlete, but to do 10 events, especially the 1,500, I’ve got to give it to him,” the 100 and 200-meter gold medalist said.

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Lloyd leads U.S. women past Japan to defend title and win Olympic soccer gold

Carli Lloyd of the U.S. (sitting center) celebrates with her teammates after scoring against Japan. (Reuters)

LONDON – The United States gained sweet revenge on Thursday for one of the most painful women’s soccer defeats, beating Japan2-1 to take the Olympic Games gold medal before a record crowd of 80,203 at Wembley Stadium.

A pair of outstanding goals from midfielder Carli Lloyd was enough to ensure the Americans avenged their defeat by the same opponent on penalty kicks in last year’s Women’s World Cup final. The U.S. still had to weather a late comeback by Japan, which applied constant pressure after Yuki Ogimi‘s 63rd-minute goal.

Lloyd missed the Americans’ first penalty in the shootout on that fateful night in Frankfurt, Germany, but the 30-year-old midfielder was the difference maker here, scoring with an opportunistic header after seven minutes, then smashing home the second just after halftime. Thursday’s victory was redemption for the U.S., but Lloyd downplayed that factor for her personally.

“The penalty shot wasn’t in my mind one bit – it happens,” said Lloyd, who scored the extra-time winner against Brazil in the 2008 Olympic final in Beijing. “To be honest, it was just another game. We obviously lost to them at the World Cup, but this was just another game and another opportunity to show that we’re the No. 1 team in the world.”

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Russian synchronized swimming’s tribute to the King of Pop

During Sunday’s technical duets in the synchronized swimming, the Russian pair of Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina had the best costumes of the day. At first peek, it looks like their bathing suits are just regular black and silver shapes. Perhaps that’s a hat?



And then you see it.


My goodness, that’s Michael Jackson. The Russian pair did their routine to a mix of the King of Pop’s songs, so the costumes are perfect. He brought them luck, too. They won the technical round with a score of 98.200. They will have another qualification round on Monday before Tuesday’s duet final.