The U.S. swept to four golds in a 35-minute span last night at the London Olympics. Along with two silvers and two bronzes in those four events, that propelled the Americans atop the total medals count ahead of China.
Allyson Felix finally got gold in the women’s 200 meters before Aries Merritt won the men’s 110-meter hurdles. Brittney Reese then placed first in the women’s long jump, and Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings completed the gold-medal burst by winning their third straight beach volleyball title.
May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings, 33, needed just 36 minutes to beat U.S. countrywomen April Ross and Jen Kessy 21-16, 21-16. May-Treanor, who said she’ll retire after these games, and Walsh Jennings have now won 21 straight Olympic matches.
“It means the world,” May-Treanor, 35, said. “We set our expectations really high as a team, as people and as players. It’s tough to play your own country, but it’s nice to have an all-U.S. final.”
Americans have a games-leading 81 total medals, four more than China, which heads the medal standings on account of having 36 golds to the U.S.’s 34.
The final of the men’s 200 meters is among 23 medal events scheduled today as the London games move into their final four days. The championship match of the women’s soccer tournament, a repeat of the 2011 World Cup final in which Japan defeated the U.S., also will be played tonight.
In the men’s 200, Usain Bolt of Jamaica will be trying to complete his second straight Olympic 100-200 sweep. Bolt, 25, won the 100 title four days ago in an Olympic-record time of
Felix, 26, ran the women’s 200 in 21.88 to take the gold after finishing second to Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown in the past two Olympics. Campbell-Brown was fourth.
Felix, a three-time world champion at 200 meters, finished ahead of Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, 25, the two-time 100-meter Olympic champion, who was second in 22.09. American Carmelita Jeter, 32, finished third in 22.14.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Felix said. “I’ve waited so long for this moment.”
Merritt, 27, and Jason Richardson then gave the U.S. a 1-2 finish in the men’s 110-meter hurdles, and Reese, 25, won the women’s long jump ahead of Russian Elena Sokolova and American Janay Deloach.
Russia’s Natalya Antyukh, 31, won the women’s 400-meter hurdles. Lashinda Demus of the U.S. got silver, and Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic was third.
Kobe Bryant of the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Lakers scored 20 points and LeBron James of the Miami Heat had a triple-double -- 11 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists -- as the U.S. defeated Australia 119-86 in men’s basketball to move into a semifinal tomorrow against Argentina, which beat Brazil 82-77. In the other quarterfinals, Russia defeated Lithuania 83-74 and Spain topped France 66-59.
China swept the table tennis competition as Ma Long, Zhang Jike and Wang Hao won the men’s team event. The Chinese also won gold in men’s singles, as well as the women’s team and singles events, and captured two silvers.
“There may be only three people in this team, but this is for the millions in China watching us,” Wang, 28, said.
The first two taekwondo medals of the games were won by China’s Wu Jingyu in the women’s 49-kilogram event and Spain’s Joel Gonzalez Bonilla in men’s 58kg competition.
Italy upset the defending-champion U.S. 3-0 in men’s volleyball and will be joined in the semifinals by Brazil, Russia and Bulgaria.
“When we play like this, anyone struggles to beat us,” Italy’s Cristian Savani said. “We played with courage and I am happy because we showed what Italy is.”