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U.S. Women Relay Swimmers Win 2nd Gold on Day of Olympic Records

Bradley Wiggins, the first Briton to win the Tour de France, finished 42 seconds ahead of world champion Tony Martin of Germany with Tour runner-up Christopher Froome of Britain third. Photographer: Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Bradley Wiggins, the first Briton to win the Tour de France, finished 42 seconds ahead of world champion Tony Martin of Germany with Tour runner-up Christopher Froome of Britain third. Photographer: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Aug. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Missy Franklin, Dana Vollmer and Allison Schmitt won their second gold medals as the U.S. set an Olympic record while defeating Australia by almost 1.5 seconds yesterday in the 800-meter freestyle relay.

Schmitt, 22, already has four medals in London and Teri McKeever, head coach of the U.S. women’s swim team, said success has become contagious.

“Once good things start happening, you get on the bandwagon,” she said in an interview outside the Aquatics Centre. “It’s an expectation to advance to the final, to try to get on the stand. And it’s really been fun.”

Two world records were set at the pool on a day whose headlines were dominated by the disqualification of eight badminton players who deliberately performed poorly in matches.

Daniel Gyurta, 23, of Hungary won the men’s 200-meter breaststroke in 2 minutes, 7.28 seconds to break the world record. American Rebecca Soni, 25, set a world mark of 2:20.00 in the semifinals of the women’s 200-meter breaststroke.

Eighteen gold medals will be awarded today, including the women’s 200 breaststroke in which Soni will be seeking her second consecutive Olympic title.

After five full days of competition, China continues to lead the standings with 17 golds among its 30 medals. The U.S. is second with 29 medals, 12 of them gold. The Olympics opened July 27 and run through Aug. 12.

Relay Record

The U.S. women won the 800-meter freestyle relay in 7:42.92, while Australia took silver in 7:44.41. France got the bronze in 7:47.49.

It was the first relay gold medal for American women since they won the same event at the 2004 Athens Games. Vollmer, 24, also was on that relay squad eight years ago.

“We all held hands as we walked to the venue together,” Vollmer said of yesterday’s race, in which 17-year-old high school senior Franklin swam the opening leg. The fourth member of the winning squad yesterday was 20-year-old Shannon Vreeland.

Also at the pool yesterday, American Nathan Adrian won the men’s 100-meter freestyle gold by a hundredth of a second and Jiao Liuyang of China took the women’s 200-meter butterfly.

Chinese divers continue to dominate, having won all four events so far. Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, 32, took the men’s cycling time trial yesterday to become the most decorated British Olympian with seven medals.

Win, Retire

Kristin Armstrong, 38, of the U.S. successfully defended her title in the women’s cycling time trial, then announced her retirement -- again. She had retired at the end of the 2009 season to start a family, then decided to return to cycling to seek another Olympic title.

“No matter what athlete you are, you’re only as good as your last performance,” she said in a news conference.

Japan’s Kohei Uchimura, 23, won the men’s individual gymnastics gold medal over Germany’s Marcel Nguyen, with Danell Leyva of the U.S. in third place. In fencing, Ruben Limardo Gascon gave Venezuela its first medal by winning the men’s individual epee fencing and South Korea’s Kim Jiyeon won the women’s individual sabre.

To contact the reporters on this story: Danielle Rossingh at the Aquatics Centre at drossingh@bloomberg.net; or Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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