Recapping Day 10 of the Olympics [SPOILER ALERT]
Game of the Olympics I couldn't possibly do justice a full recap of today's US-Canada women's soccer semifinal. Just know this, Christine Sinclair of Canada was amazing, scoring a hat trick. The US came back from 1-0 down, 2-1 down, and 3-2 down to tie the game and force extra time (which the help of some questionable calls). Then in extra time, just when it looked like it was going to penalties, an Alex Morgan header found the back of the net in the 123rd minute, and just like that, the United States advanced to the gold medal match 4-3. They will face Japan, who took out France 2-1, in a rematch of last year's World Cup final. Canada played an amazing match, and if there's any justice, they will beat France for bronze.
A New Queen of the Pole Vault The US only won two medals today, but they made those medals count. Jenn Suhr won the pole vault, denying Russian's Yelena Isinbayeva of a third straight gold medal (Isinbayevya won bronze). The Americans other medal today came in the men's 400 meter hurdles, where Michael Tinsley won the silver medal. Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic won gold in a season best 47.63, and Javier Culson gave Puetro Rico its first medal of the Games by winning bronze.
Other track winners today were Kirani James of Grenada in the men's 400 meters, Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus in the women's shot put, and Yuilya Zaripova of Russia in the women's steeplechase. The women's 200 meters first round was also today, and every big name advanced without incident.
Eh, Can't Win Them All It's been the Olympics of Gabby Douglas, but it wasn't her day in today's uneven bars final. She finished 8th and last, although the whirlwind of the last few days probably didn't help her preparation. Aliya Mustafina won gold, "20 year old" He Kexin of China won silver, and Beth Twiddle of Great Britain won bronze. On the men's side, a Brazilian dude won gold in the rings, and a Korean dude won gold in the vault (USA's Sam Mikulak finished 5th).
Onto the Medal Round USA Basketball finished group play with a white hot second half to defeated Argentina 126-97. Other games today were much more exciting, lead by Australia defeated Russia on a buzzer beater. The Aussies reward? Team USA in the quarterfinals. The other three quarterfinal matchups: Brazil-Argentina, France-Spain, and Russia-Lithuania.
In other Team USA news, the men's volleyball team had no issues with Tunisia, winning in straight sets. The US won their group and will face Italy in the quarters. The men's water polo team was not so lucky, getting beat handily by Hungary 11-6. The US did finish fourth in the group to quality for the knockout round, but will have a tough game against Croatia in the quarters.
It was a worse day though for our last men's beach volleyball team of Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal. They were eliminated in the quarterfinals by Latvia, and thus the US will not medal in men's beach volleyball.
Women's field hockey concluded its Olympics by getting thrashed by previously winless South Africa 7-0.
He Finally Got One The 50 meter three positions shooting even has been a personal house of horrors for American Matt Emmons the last two Olympics. In both Athens and Beijing, Emmons was in first place going into the last shot, but had mishaps both times to finish out of the medals. This time around, Emmons was in second place going into the last shot. Amazingly, he almost blew it again, scoring just 7.4 on the final shot. While it cost him silver, this time he held on and won the bronze. That bronze gives Emmons three Olympic medals, including a gold and a silver in other events and in previous Olympics. The Emmons story is even more than that. His blunder in 2004 lead him to meeting his wife, fellow shooter Katerina (nee) Kurkova, and in 2010 he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. After all that, it was nice to see him get that monkey off his back.
Today In Handball The men's tournament completed pool play. Advancing out of Group A were Iceland, France, Sweden, and Tunisia (eliminated were Argentina and Great Britain). Advancing out of Group B were Croatia, Denmark, Spain, and Hungary (eliminated were Serbia and South Africa).
Medal Count Update It was quiet day for Team USA, but it was a quiet day for China as well. However, China keeps the medal lead: 64-63 overall, and 31-29 in gold. Russia had a good day and moves to third overall with 42 medals. Great Brtiain remains third in golds with 18 (40 total). There were some unlikely countries that medaled today: Cyprus won a silver in sailing, Kuwait a bronze in shooting, and Saudi Arabia a bronze in team show jumping.
On Tap Tomorrow It's more of a building day in track and field. Usain Bolt takes to the track again in the first round of the 200 meters. The women, meanwhile, have the semifinals of the 200. Medals will be awarded in men's high jump, men's discus, women's 100 meter hurdles, and the men's 1500 meters.
Artistic gymnastics (i.e. not the ridiculous rhythmic version) concludes with the final four event finals. The men have the parallel bars and high bar (the latter with Daniel Levya and Jonathan Horton). The women have the balance beam (with Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman) and floor exercise (with Raisman and Jordyn Wieber).
It's quarterfinal action abound in most of the women's team sports. In order, the matchups are:
Basketball: USA-Canada (9:00 am eastern), Australia-China, Turkey-Russia, France-Czech Republic
Handball: Brazil-Norway, Spain-Croatia, Russia-South Korea, France-Montenegro
Volleyball: Japan-China, Russia-Brazil, USA-Dominican Republic (2:00 pm eastern), Italy-South Korea
Water Polo: Italy-China, USA-Australia (10:30 am eastern), Russia-Great Britain, Hungary-Spain
Men's soccer, meanwhile, will try to live up to the women's games with its semifinals, between Mexico-Japan, then Brazil-South Korea.
It's also semifinal day for women's beach volleyball. The two American pairs will try to make it and all Stars and Stripes final.
Sarah Hammer of the United States is currently tied with Laura Trott of Great Britain for first halfway through the omnium, cycling's version of the decathlon. That event concludes tomorrow. Also tomorrow are the men's springboard diving final, the men's triathlon, and the last of the weightlifting competitions.