Recapping Day 6 of the London Olympics [SPOILER ALERT]
The Flying Squirrel Turns Golden Jordyn Wieber started these Games at the American gymnast to watch, but it was Gabby Douglas who has turned into the star, winning the Individual All Around gold medal. Douglas won the competition by about a quarter of a point over silver medalist Viktoria Komova of Russia. Another Russian, Ailya Mustafina finished tied for third with American Alexandra Raisman. However, the tiebreaker gave the bronze to Mustafina, leaving Raisman shut out of the medals.
Still the King of the Pool Whatever struggles Michael Phelps had earlier are no more, as he defeated rival Ryan Lochte in the 200 IM. That gives Phelps his 20th Olympic medal, 16 of the gold. He then went straight from the medal ceremony to the pool again for the 100 butterfly semifinals, and all he did was set the best time of the year. The 200 IM ended a frustrating day for Lochte, who faded in the 200 backstroke to only take bronze, behind teammate Tyler Clary, who won gold. Lochte finishes these Games with 2 golds, 2 silvers, and a bronze, and a debate on how to evaluate his performance.
On the distaff side, the day's big winner was Rebecca Soni, who won the 200 breaststroke in world record time. A Dutch swimmer with a hard to spell name won the 100 freestyle. Missy Franklin may be running out of energy as she finished 5th in that final.
Absolute Beatdown If there's an Olympic basketball record, Team USA broke it today in destroying Nigeria 156-73. That is the most points ever scored in an Olympic basketball game. Carmelo Anthony scored 37, the most ever by a player in an Olympic game. Team USA hit 29 threes, most ever. It was an otherworldly shooting performance. This capped off a wild day of basketball that saw Russia nip Brazil on a late three, and Britain nearly shock Spain, getting down just one before failing to foul in the final seconds.
In other US team news, both the men's volleyball and men's water polo teams won today to each remain undefeated. The women's field hockey team, however, lost to Australia. With only the top two in each group advancing, the Americans medal hopes took a big hit.
Triumph After Tragedy Kayla Harrison was sexually abused by her original judo coach as a teenager. The coach got a 10 year prison sentence. Harrison moved to train with Olympic medalist Jimmy Pedro. Today, Harrison won the gold medal in the women's 78 kg class. Just to come out the other side after the abuse was a victory. The gold medal just makes it that much sweeter.
The US won one other gold medal today in the women's rowing eights, just as they did in 2008.
Here Comes Team GB It took them until yesterday to open their gold medal account, but hosts Brits are finally getting to sports they are good at, and the results are coming. Today they won golds in Men's Team Sprint (a track cycling event), Double Trap shooting, and in C-2 Whitewater Slalom (a 1-2 finish for Great Britain). They are up to 5 golds and 15 medals total.
Medal Count Update A big day for the United States puts them back in the overall lead with 37 medals to China's 34. Both nations have 18 golds. Japan is third with 19 medals. South Korea has the third most golds with 7.
On Tap Tomorrow Track and field gets underway, headlined by day one of the Heptathlon, the Women's 10000 meters, the men's Shot Put, and the early rounds of the women's 100 meters. Women's soccer starts the knockout rounds, highlighted by the US facing off against New Zealand. Tennis heads to the semifinals with some good matchups: Federer-Del Potro and Djokovic-Murray for the men, Azarenka-Serena and Sharapova-Kirilenko for the women. The pentultimate swimming night is highlighted by Michael Phelps in the 100 butterfly, Missy Franklin and Elizabeth Beisel in the 200 backstroke, and the controlled chaos that is the men's 50 meter freestyle final. Meanwhile, archery and judo become the first two sports to conclude their Olympic program.