Olympic roundup: U.S. wins a classicOn the verge of missing the gold-medal game for the first time, the U.S. women’s soccer team caught a break when the referee made a call rarely seen in the sport.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — On the verge of missing the gold-medal game for the first time, the U.S. women’s soccer team caught a break when the referee made a call rarely seen in the sport.
Then the Americans put together a final winning surge, inspired by the familiar — a pep talk from co-captain Abby Wambach.
“I know I’ve said this before,” she said she told her teammates during extra time. “But it really does just take one moment and one chance, one moment of brilliance for somebody to do something individually spectacular.”
The moment came beyond the 90 minutes of regular time, beyond the scheduled 30 minutes of extra time. In the third and final minute of injury time, with goalkeeper Hope Solo already preparing for a penalty kick shootout, Alex Morgan looped in a 6-yard header on a long cross from Heather O’Reilly, giving the U.S. a 4-3 win over Canada in the Olympic semifinals at Old Trafford.
Next comes the game the U.S. players have been eyeing for more than a year, a rematch with Japan on Thursday at Wembley Stadium with gold on the line.
Elsewhere, in men’s basketball, Kevin Durant helped the U.S. team put away Argentina with one impressive shooting burst.
Durant scored 17 of his 28 points during the Americans’ 42-point third quarter, turning a one-point game into a blowout that sent the U.S. soaring into the quarterfinals with a 126-97 victory over Argentina.
The Americans (5-0) will play Australia (3-2) in a quarterfinal game Wednesday.
Also Monday, American judo fighter Nick Delpopolo apologized after he was expelled from the Olympics for doping, blaming the disqualification on his unintentional consumption of something baked with marijuana.
Delpopolo is the first of the 10,500 London Games athletes to fail an in-competition doping test.
Defending Olympic 50K race walk champion Alex Schwazer also tested positive for doping, and the Italian Olympic Committee said he had been removed from the team. Schwazer was scheduled to compete on Saturday.
Jenn Suhr has been America’s best female pole vaulter for a while. Now she’s the best in the world.
Suhr rounded out her resume with Olympic gold, vaulting 15 feet, 7 inches to defeat Cuba’s Yarisley Silva, who cleared the same height but lost on a tiebreaker because she had one more miss in the competition.
Grenada’s Kirani James won the men’s 400 meters and 35-year-old Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic took the men’s 400-meter hurdles on a rainy night at Olympic Stadium. Other track and field winners included Belarus’ Nadzeya Ostapchuk (women’s shot put) and Russia’s Yuliya Zaripova (women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase).
Michael Tinsley was second in the 400 hurdles, but it was a disappointing session for the U.S. overall. The U.S. was without a representative in the 400 final, and it was the first time since the 1980 Moscow Games that someone other than an American won the race.
In gymnastics, Gabby Douglas was nowhere near the podium this time. The all-around champion, who also helped the United States to team gold, finished last on uneven bars. Russia’s Aliya Mustafina rallied to the victory.
“Toward the end of the Olympics, you get mentally and physically tired and you’re just like drained,” Douglas said. “I tried to fight through it as much as I could.”
Americans Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal were knocked out of the men’s tournament by Latvia.
The Americans won the first set 21-19, then dropped two straight to Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins, 21-18, 15-11. The other American men’s team, Beijing gold medalists Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser, had already been eliminated.
Flyweight Marlen Esparza and middleweight Claressa Shields clinched the U.S. team’s first two boxing medals.
Esparza patiently outboxed Venezuela’s Karlha Magliocco, and the 17-year-old Shields closed furiously in an 18-14 win over Swedish veteran Anna Laurell.
David McKienzie scored 17 points and the defending champion U.S. men’s team clinched a top tournament seed with a victory over winless Tunisia.
Matt Emmons finally made his way to the podium in the 50-meter three-position rifle event at the Olympics.
The U.S. marksman held on to win the bronze medal at the London Games. Italy’s Niccolo Campriani set Olympic marks of 1,180 in qualifying and 1,278.5 for his overall score, easily topping silver medalist Kim Jong-hyun of South Korea.
Norbert Hosnyanszky scored three times and defending champion Hungary beat the U.S. 11-6 to close out the preliminary stage of the men’s tournament.
The Americans have dropped two straight and will face undefeated Croatia in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Jason Kenny won the sprint for Britain’s fifth gold medal out of a possible seven in track cycling.
Kenny earned his first win against three-time world champion Gregory Bauge of France. The 24-year-old from Bolton, outside Manchester, made good on the British team’s decision to enter him in the event instead of defending champion Chris Hoy.
Tom Slingsby of Australia won the men’s Laser class by match-racing closest competitor Pavlos Kontides to the back of the fleet.
Kontides took the silver, the first-ever Olympic medal for Cyprus.
Ilya Zakharov of Russia led the men’s 3-meter springboard preliminaries, with He Chong of China close behind in second during a competition marked by pratfalls.
Troy Dumais of the U.S. was third at 486.60 after rallying from sixth in the fourth round.
Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina head into the duet final as top qualifiers after the preliminary free routine.
Three-time Olympic champion Australia was knocked out of the women’s tournament when it played a scoreless draw against world champion Argentina.
Argentina advanced to the semifinals with the draw in the finale of pool play.
Australia had to win, and it never looked likely.
Daniel Narcisse scored six goals and defending champion France beat Sweden 29-26 to reach the men’s quarterfinals.
France was boosted by a supportive crowd and next faces Spain, which lost 30-25 to two-time Olympic champion Croatia.
ELSEWHERE IN LONDON
Britain beat China 90-58 for its first Olympic win in men’s basketball since the 1948 London Games. “We came a long way with this program,” said Luol Deng, who plays for the Chicago Bulls. “This was a vision we’ve had from early on. We made history. You’ve got to start somewhere.” ... Britain won its first Olympic show jumping gold medal in 60 years, edging the Netherlands in a jump-off. Saudi Arabia was a surprising third in the equestrian event. ... Greco-Roman wrestling golds went to Iran’s Omid Noroozi (men’s 60-kilogram), Russia’s Alan Khugaev (men’s 84-kg) and Cuba’s Mijain Lopez (men’s 120-kg). ... Oleksiy Torokhtiy won Ukraine’s first weightlifting gold of the games. Torokhtiy lifted a total of 412 kilograms, just 1 kg more than silver medalist Navab Nasirshelal of Iran. ... Adam van Koeverden of Canada was the fastest qualifier for the final of the 1,000-meter K-1 race at the Olympic regatta. ... The men’s and women’s table tennis teams from China each advanced to their respective finals.