August 6, 2012
Congrats to Jamaica’s Usain Bolt (100 meters) and Britain’s Andy Murray (Tennis)
Bolt, who became a household name with his gold medal win in the 2008 Beijing Games, is the first sprinter since U.S. Olympic legend Carl Lewis to defend an Olympic 100-meter title.
Yohan Blake of Jamaica took the silver medal and Justin Gatlin of the United States won the bronze.
Earlier in the day, Andy Murray (below) bested Roger Federer to win gold in men’s tennis.Three times prior, Murray had played Federer in an important tennis final, and three times he had failed.
In front of an enthusiastic home crowd, Murray turned the tables on the world’s top-ranked player.Murray cruised to the gold medal in the men’s singles final, beating Federer in straight sets with a commanding performance.
“I’ve had a lot of tough losses in my career, this is the best way to come back from the Wimbledon final,” he told a BBC interviewer. “I was a little tired after Wimbledon, but I felt fresh on the court today.”
Murray said he had expected a tough match from Federer, who just four weeks ago beat Murray for his seventh Wimbledon title on Centre Court, also the site of the Olympic final.
But after winning the first set 6-2, he broke Federer to take a 2-0 lead. He grew in confidence at that point, he said, and the rout was on.He lost only five more games in the three-set match against the man who has won three of his 17 Grand Slam titles by beating Murray.
Just hours after his win, the Brit added to his medal count by taking silver in mixed doubles alongside Laura Robson. The pair narrowly lost to Belarus’ Max Mirnyi and Victoria Azarenka, 2-6, 6-3 , 10-8.
Also on Sunday, at the North Greenwich Arena where the gymnastics competition is being held, there was a stunning result in the women’s vault.
After her first attempt, world champion McKayla Maroney looked like a sure gold medal winner. But her second vault turned into heartbreak as she did something she rarely does.She came up short on her landing and fell.
“I’m really disappointed with myself,” she said. “I fell on the second vault, and I don’t think I’ve ever even fallen in warmup here at all. It’s a big shock, and it’s really sad.”Maroney, who had nailed her first effort and scored 15.866, received only a 14.300 on her second.
“I was praying there was still a chance, but I didn’t make my vault,’ she said, “and a gold medal vaulter doesn’t deserve to fall.”
She tried to look on the bright side.”All I can look forward to is the next competition coming up, and I just have to accept that I have a silver medal and that’s not too bad,” she said.
Romania’s Sandra Izbasa won the gold with a two-vault average of 15.191.In the women’s marathon, Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia (above) won the gold in 2:23.07. Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya was the silver medalist, and Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova of Russia was third. The race kicked off under a heavy downpour as the runners snaked around wet London streets.
“It was a great race. I really loved it. The rain makes it very interesting,” Gelana said. “I love running in the rain, I have been doing that since I was a small child. I slipped in the middle of the race, and my elbow is still injured. But I didn’t feel any pain during the race.”
Noticeably absent from the race was world record holder Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain, who withdrew citing a recent injury.
Women’s boxing made its Olympic debut Sunday with a round of 16 matches in each of the three weight divisions.
Overall, China leads the gold medal count with 30 and the total medal count with 61. The United States trails with 27 gold and 56 total.
But history on Saturday also favored the United States, as the most decorated Olympian of all time tallied another win with his American teammates in the 4×100-meter medley relay, handing Michael Phelps his 18th gold medal in the last race of his storied swimming career.
The U.S. win put an already unsurpassed Phelps at 22 total medals over four Olympic Games: 18 golds, two silvers and two bronzes. Japan placed second in Saturday’s race, while Australia finished third.
In the last day of London’s swimming competition, the American women won the 4×100-meter medley relay race, setting a world record with a time of 3:52.05. Australia netted silver.
Sun Yang also added to China’s growing gold tally with a win in the men’s 1,500-meter freestyle. Ryan Cochrane of Canada finished second, while Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia took bronze.
But on the hardwood Saturday, U.S. Olympic command seemed far less convincing.Team USA squeaked past Lithuania in a preliminary-round basketball contest, winning by just five points after trailing by two in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter — the first scare for the favored American squad after a series of dominating performances that had bolstered an aura of invincibility.
Elsewhere in London, Serena Williams completed a career golden slam at the 2012 Games, adding for the United States an Olympic women’s singles tennis gold medal to her four tennis major titles. On Sunday, she and her sister Venus added a third women’s doubles title by beating Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic.
Also on the track, double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius, who runs on special carbon fiber blades and is nicknamed The Blade Runner, came in an impressive second in his heat of the men’s individual 400-meter race, thus qualifying for Sunday’s semifinals.
He is the first person to compete in the able-bodied Olympics using prosthetic legs, and he will also compete in the Paralympics later this summer.