Recapping an Active Day 11 at the Olympics [SPOILER ALERT]
Floor Redemption A few days ago, Aly Raisman lost the bronze medal in the gymnastics all-around on a tiebreaker. Today though, on the final day of gymnastics, she was the star. Her day started with a bronze on balance beam, won after a successful protest of her score. Her day ended with gold on the floor exercise. While it was Raisman's day, the same can not be said for Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber. Douglas fell during her balance beam routine and finished 7th, while Wieber struggled on her floor routine and also finished 7th. It wasn't a perfect Olympics for the US women, but overall it was as good as can be expected.
The balance beam gold was won by Linlin Deng of China. On the men's side, the parallel bars was won Zhe Feng of China, and the high bar was won Epke Zonderland (name of the Games) of the Netherlands (Danell Leyva was 5th, Jonathan Horton 6th for Team USA).
An Exciting Night of Track The biggest event of the day was the women's 110 meter hurdles. All three Americans made the final, including Lolo Jones. However, it was Sally Pearson of Australia who took the gold, beating the defending gold medalist Dawn Harper by .02 seconds on a lean. Harper's American teammate Kellie Wells took the bronze, while Jones, despite not being all that impressive this year, finished 4th.
Team USA won a good number of medals tonight on the track, although none of them were gold. In the men's high jump, Erik Kynard won the silver, just out jumped by Russian Ivan Ukhov. It was a tight field, as evidenced by the three bronze medals that were awarded. The men's 1500 meters though might have the most controversal winner yet. Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria won the race, just a day after he was nearly kicked out of the Olympics for blatantly tanking his 800 meter race. He only stayed in the 1500 after his coaches claimed an injury. Yeah, sure. Leo Manzano won the silver for the United States, while Matt Centrowitz's powerful finishing kick left him just .04 out of the medals. Ouch.
The other track and field winner today was Robert Harting of Germany in men's discus. The women's 200 had their semifinals as well, and everyone that mattered (Felix, Richards-Ross, Fraser-Pryce, Campbell-Brown, Jeter) qualified for the final. The men's 110 meter hurdles also began. Pat already covered the sad story of Liu Xiang.
USA! USA! We Americans love women's beach volleyball during the Olympics, and we will get a treat, as both American women's teams advanced to the gold medal final. Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings defeated China in two tight sets, while April Ross and Jen Kessy upset the top seeded Brazilians in three sets.
Team USA Update The women's water polo team advanced to the gold medal match today, defeating Australia 11-9 in the semifinals (I mistakenly called today's games the quarterfinals in yesterday's recap, my error). The match required extra time after Australia converted a penalty shot in the final second to force overtime, but the US was able to get over that disappointment quickly and get it done. Spain awaits in the final after beating Hungary 10-9.
The women's basketball team started the knockout round against Canada, and unlike the soccer match, this was no contest. Team USA ripped Canada 91-48. Australia awaits in the semifinals. The other semifinal will be France-Russia.
The women's volleyball team also had no problem in their quarterfinal match, easily dispatching the Dominican Republic in straight sets. Next up will be South Korea in the semifinals.
Men's Soccer Semifinals It wasn't nearly as exciting as the women's matches, but we do have a gold medal match in men's soccer. It will be Mexico vs. Brazil after Mexico beat Japan 3-1 and Brazil beat South Korea 3-0.
OK, This Time They're All Out Errol Spence became the last American male boxer standing after having a terrible decision against him reversed. Today though in his quarterfinal match he could not clinch a medal, losing to a Russian fighter. Team USA will not be shut out of boxing medals though, as Claressa Shields and Marlen Esparza both made the semifinals on the women's side (in boxing, there is no bronze medal fight, both semifinal losers earn medals).
This is getting long again, so time for a second page. Read on for more from London.