Bolt Sweeps Sprints, U.S. Women Win Soccer, Runner Fractures Leg
Usain Bolt completed his second straight sprint sweep, the U.S. women’s soccer team won gold by avenging a loss to Japan and relay runner Manteo Mitchell pulled off one of the most heroic acts of the London Olympics.
Nicola Adams of Britain, Katie Taylor of Ireland and Claressa Shields of the U.S. became the first Olympic champions in women’s boxing, which is making its debut. Americans won in women’s water polo, men’s triple jump and decathlon as the U.S. moved atop the standings with 39 golds and 90 medals overall.
Bolt led a 1-2-3 Jamaican finish in the 200 meters while becoming the first man to successfully defend titles at both 100 and 200 meters.
“I’m now a legend, I’m also the greatest athlete to live,” Bolt, 25, told reporters. “Jamaica has proven that we are the greatest sprint country.”
There are 17 medal events scheduled for today, including six in track and field. Heading into the final three days of the 2012 Olympics, the U.S. leads second-place China by two golds and 10 total medals.
Bolt ran a time of 19.32 seconds at the Olympic Stadium, with teammates Yohan Blake winning the silver medal in 19.44 and Warren Weir taking the bronze in 19.84. Bolt retained his 100- meter title five days ago in an Olympic-record 9.63 seconds.
The U.S. women’s soccer team won its third straight gold medal, beating world champion Japan 2-1. Carli Lloyd, 30, scored both goals for the Americans and Yuki Ogimi, 25, scored for Japan.
The victory gave the Americans revenge after Japan beat them in the 2011 Women’s World Cup final in a penalty shootout.
“My heart goes out to Carli,” U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo told reporters. “She is a big-time player who steps up when she needs to.”
World record-holder Ashton Eaton, 24, and reigning two-time world champion Trey Hardee, 28, gave the U.S. a 1-2 decathlon finish. Christian Taylor, 22, and Will Claye, 21, had an American gold-silver showing in the men’s triple jump.
Claye won bronze in the long jump earlier in the week, and is the first man to win medals in the long and triple jumps at the same Olympics since Naoto Tajima of Japan at the 1936 Berlin games.
Mitchell helped the U.S. qualify for tonight’s final of the men’s 1,600-meter relay while running with a broken leg in the heats yesterday.
“I felt it break,” Mitchell, 25, said in a statement released by USA Track and Field. “I heard it. I even put out a little war cry but the crowd was so loud you couldn’t hear it. I wanted to just lie down. It felt like somebody literally just snapped my leg in half.”
Mitchell originally hurt himself three days earlier by missing a step as he walked up a flight of stairs at the Olympic Village, according to USA Track and Field.
“Manteo has become an inspiration and a hero for his teammates,” Max Siegel, the organization’s chief executive officer, said in the statement. “Without his courage and determination to finish, Team USA would not be at the starting line in the final.”
The U.S. got gold in women’s water polo with an 8-5 win against Spain. Six of the 13 players on the U.S. roster are members of the New York Athletic Club, whose athletes have competed in every modern Olympics since the first in 1896.
Kenya’s David Rudisha set the world record in winning the men’s 800-meter gold medal. Rudisha, 23, won in a time of 1 minute, 40.91 seconds, breaking his own previous mark of 1:41.01.
In women’s boxing, Adams won the flyweight division, Taylor, 26, took the lightweight title and the 17-year-old Shields won the middleweight crown.
“I am so happy and overwhelmed with joy right now,” Adams, 29, said. “I have wanted this all my life and I have done it.”
The U.S. beat Australia 86-73 in the women’s basketball semifinals to extend its Olympic winning streak to 40 games. The Americans will face France in tomorrow’s final.
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