U.S.A. keeps cruisingMichael Phelps had a smile on his face after he added to his medal collection with his first individual gold medal of the London Games on Thursday.
LONDON (AP) — Michael Phelps had a smile on his face after he added to his medal collection with his first individual gold medal of the London Games on Thursday.
The U.S. star set the tone right from the start to become the first male swimmer to win the same individual event at three straight Olympics, capturing the 200-meter individual medley for his 20th career medal — and 16th gold. Teammate Ryan Lochte settled for silver and Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh took the bronze.
Americans Rebecca Soni (200 breaststroke) and Tyler Clary (200 backstroke) also won. Soni lowered her own world record with a time of 2 minutes, 19.59 seconds in the final.
Ann Romney was on hand to watch her horse in dressage at Greenwich Park, and said she was thrilled by Rafalca’s performance.
The wife of U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was in the VIP section of the stadium for Rafalca’s Olympic debut, watching literally from the edge of her seat as the 15-year-old, German-bred mare completed the 7-minute Grand Prix test.
She and Rafalca’s other two owners gave horse and rider Jan Ebeling a rousing standing ovation and a wave as they left the arena. Their score of 70.243 percent put them in 13th place with half the 50 competitors still to go.
“She was consistent and elegant,” Romney told The Associated Press. “She did not disappoint. She thrilled me to death.”
Rafalca has been the source of political jokes and Democratic ads questioning how Mitt Romney can presume to know the problems of ordinary Americans when he inhabits the rarefied world of dressage.
Ebeling, who became a U.S. citizen in 1998, said the Romneys have been great supporters of the sport and have helped boost its visibility.
“I really welcome the attention,” he said. “It’s given us a fantastic opportunity to have our sport — have visibility in our sport — and show what we’re really about, show that it is an Olympic discipline and show people how much we work to get there.”
The U.S. men’s basketball team returned to the court and put together a dominant performance in a 156-73 win against Nigeria.
Carmelo Anthony scored 37 points to set the American Olympic mark for points in a game — in less than three quarters. He made 10 of 12 3-point attempts.
The U.S. also set the Olympic record for points in a game and points in a half (78). The Americans bettered the U.S. records as well for 3-pointers (26), field goals (59) and field-goal percentage (71).
Kobe Bryant scored 16 points — 14 in the first quarter — for the Americans, who scored 49 points in the first and didn’t let up after scoring 78 in the first 20 minutes.
Ike Diogu scored 27 for Nigeria (1-2).
The Olympic badminton controversy continued for a third day, with the IOC demanding a deeper investigation into the scandal and an embattled Chinese player appearing to quit the tarnished sport.
Four doubles teams were kicked out of competition Wednesday, and the women — the top-seeded pair from China, two pairs from South Korea and one from Indonesia — were also set to have their accreditations removed by their national Olympic bodies and sent home.
Defending Olympic champion Yu Yang of China went further by apparently announcing her retirement from badminton.
“This is my last game,” read a posting on a verified account for Yu on the Tencent microblogging service. “Farewell Badminton World Federation. Farewell my dear badminton.”
Yu’s retirement could not be confirmed with Chinese badminton officials and was not referenced in an interview with state television.
Kayla Harrison tried to keep it together. Once the national anthem started, so did the tears.
Harrison defeated Britain’s Gemma Gibbons to win the United States’ first judo gold medal in Olympic history, taking the 78-kilogram title.
The 22-year-old Middletown, Ohio, native who lives in suburban Boston went to the medal podium determined not to cry. After one note of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” she succumbed.
“I’m just so honored to be America’s first gold medalist, and so happy to realize my dream,” she said.
Roger Federer is still rolling in his pursuit of his first Olympic singles medal.
Federer beat American John Isner 6-4, 7-6 (5) and will play No. 8-seeded Juan Martin del Potro in the semifinals.
Serena Williams, another reigning Wimbledon champion who is seeking her first Olympic singles medal, advanced by beating former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 6-0, 6-3. Williams’ opponent in the semifinals Friday will be top-seeded Victoria Azarenka, who beat Angelique Kerber 6-4, 7-5.
Russians Maria Sharapova and Maria Kirilenko will meet in the other women’s semi.
Novak Djokovic also advanced on the men’s side and next plays Britain’s Andy Murray.
Captain Clay Stanley scored 19 points and the U.S. men’s team defeated Brazil 3-1 in a preliminary-round rematch of the Beijing final.
The 23-25, 27-25, 25-19, 25-17 victory extends the United States’ Olympic winning streak to 11 matches.
Leandro Vissotto Neves had 15 points for No. 1 Brazil.
All four American teams — two in the men’s tournament and two in the women’s — finished the round-robin atop their pools, with defending gold medalists Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser beating the Czech Republic in the finale.
Americans Jennifer Kessy and April Ross finished 3-0 with a 21-19, 19-21, 19-17 victory over Spain. Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor finished their pool play with a No. 1 seed on Wednesday, as did Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal.
Tony Azevedo scored four goals and the U.S. men’s team beat Britain 13-7 to remain undefeated at the London Games.
The United States defended its title in the women’s eight, maintaining its six-year dominance of the high-profile event.