U.S. Gets Basketball Gold, Tops Medals; Kiprotich Wins Marathon
Kevin Durant scored a game-high 30 points as the U.S. beat Spain 107-100 to retain its Olympic men’s basketball title. Marathon runner Stephen Kiprotich won Uganda’s first gold in the games for 40 years.
The U.S. topped the medal standings with 46 golds and 104 in total. China was second with 38 golds among its 87 medals. Gold medals were awarded in 15 events yesterday, the last to Lithuania’s Laura Asadauskaite in the women’s modern pentathlon.
LeBron James of the National Basketball Association- champion Miami Heat added 19 points and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers had 17 for the U.S. against Spain. Pau Gasol of the Lakers led the silver medalists with 24 points on the final day of the London games.
Spain led late in the third quarter and trailed by one point as the final period began. The U.S. outscored Spain 24-18 in the final 10 minutes to put the game away. The Americans have won 14 gold medals in the 17 Olympic tournaments they’ve entered and were undefeated in London. Russia beat Argentina 81-77 for the bronze medal.
It was the U.S.’s second straight win over Spain in the Olympic final.
“We have an incredible team, we love when it gets tight,” James said. “That’s when our will and determination shows. It was the same in 2008 when we played against those guys, who are a great team and much respect to them.”
Kiprotich’s victory in the marathon was Uganda’s first Olympic gold since John Akii-Bua in the men’s 400-meter hurdles at the 1972 games in Munich, and just its second in history.
Kiprotich, 23, covered the 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) race in 2 hours, 8 minutes, 1 second. Kenyans Abel Kirui, the world champion, and Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich were second and third.
“It means a lot,” Kiprotich said in a televised interview, having taken a Ugandan flag from a spectator and draped it over his shoulders in the closing meters. “I’m very happy to become the second Ugandan to win an Olympic gold medal.”
Kiprotich broke away from Kirui and Kipsang Kiprotich about three miles from the end and never looked like he would relinquish the advantage, finishing 26 seconds ahead. Kipsang Kiprotich, this year’s London Marathon winner, had taken the lead earlier but dropped back to finish 1:36 behind.
Thousands of spectators thronged the side of the course, which began and ended on the Mall near Buckingham Palace and included landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London.
Britain’s Anthony Joshua won the gold medal in the men’s super-heavyweight boxing class, beating defending champion Roberto Cammarelle of Italy after making up a three-point deficit in the final round. Joshua kept the verdict after an appeal by the Italian.
“There are no easy fights in these Olympics and I’ve pulled it out of the bag,” Joshua told the British Broadcasting Corp. “That medal represents my journey and the support from the team. It’s much more than just a gold medal, it’s a life experience and I’m just proud to have it round my neck.”
Britain finished third with 29 gold medals and 65 in all, its best total since 1908.
Cuba’s Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana won the flyweight gold, beating Tugstsogt Nyambayar of Mongolia on points. Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine took the lightweight gold, beating Soonchul Han of South Korea.
Kazakhstan’s Serik Sapiyev defeated Britain’s Freddie Evans in the welterweight event. Russia’s Egor Mekhontcev beat Kazakhstan’s Adilbek Niyazymbetov in the light-heavyweight category.
Russia’s Got Rhythm
In rhythmic gymnastics, Russia beat Belarus and Italy to win the gold medal.
Japan’s Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu won the wrestling gold medal in the men’s 66-kilogram freestyle category. Jake Varner of the U.S. won the 96kg division.
Russia beat Brazil 3-2 for the men’s volleyball gold medal, and Jaroslav Kulhavy of the Czech Republic won the men’s mountain bike competition.
France beat Sweden 22-21 in the men’s handball final and Croatia beat Italy 8-6 in water polo.
Asadauskaite won the women’s modern pentathlon to close the competition. Samantha Murray of Britain was second and Yane Marques of Brazil third.
The next summer Olympic Games are in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
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