Phelps Victory Helps U.S. Take Olympic Games Medals Lead
Phelps’s win took his tally of Olympic medals to 20, also a record. His victory was one of three for the U.S. in swimming and six in all sports at the London games yesterday, lifting the Americans past China in total medals. Both countries have 18 golds, with the U.S. holding a 37-34 overall advantage.
“It was hard, but it’s really nice to be able to add to my CV,” Phelps told reporters. “It hurt and I over swam the first 100 meters, but I’m not going to complain about it.”
Rebecca Soni and Tyler Clary both set records in winning gold in the pool for the U.S., while Gabrielle Douglas became the third straight American to win the women’s all-around gymnastics competition. Kayla Harrison, 22, took the women’s under-78 kilogram title for the first American judo gold, and the U.S. women’s eight rowing team defended its title.
The host nation jumped to fifth place in the medals table as cyclist Chris Hoy tied a British record with the fifth gold medal of his career, while Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott won the two-man canoe slalom, and Peter Wilson took the men’s double trap shooting.
Twenty-two gold medals will be awarded today, when Phelps swims in the 100-meter butterfly final. The 27-year-old will retire after the London games.
Phelps has won two gold medals at the 2012 games, his other coming in the 800-meter freestyle relay. In winning another yesterday, he became the first male swimmer to claim gold in the same individual event at three straight Olympics.
“He did not have it on his goal sheet but for me that was important,” Bob Bowman, Phelps’s coach, told reporters. “Just because that was cool.”
Phelps finished fourth in his first final of the games before taking silver in the 200-meter butterfly.
Track and field gets under way today, with finals in the men’s shot put and the women’s 10,000 meters. Medals will also be decided in archery, badminton, track cycling, fencing, judo, rowing, shooting, trampoline and weightlifting. Four swimming finals will be held at the Aquatics Center.
Also today, Serena Williams of the U.S. will play Victoria Azarenka of Belarus for a place in the women’s tennis final at Wimbledon, while Russians Maria Sharapova and Maria Kirilenko will contest the other semifinal.
Wimbledon champion and world No. 1 Roger Federer of Switzerland plays Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro and Serbia’s Novak Djokovic faces Britain’s Andy Murray to decide the lineup for the men’s gold-medal match.
Phelps led from the start in winning the 200-meter individual medley in 1 minute, 54.27 seconds, 0.63 seconds ahead of Lochte, who celebrates his 28th birthday today.
Lochte said the silver medal was “not the color I wanted” and that he won’t swim again in London, taking himself out of contention for the 400-meter medley relay Aug. 4.
“I’m done,” he said. “It’s my birthday and for the first time in years I don’t have to swim.”
Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands prevented a U.S. sweep of yesterday’s swimming finals. Kromowidjojo, 21, won the final swimming gold in the women’s 100-meter freestyle with an Olympic record time of 53 seconds. Aliaksandra Herasimenia of Belarus took the silver and China’s Tang Yi was third. American Missy Franklin was fifth.
Soni, 25, won the women’s 200-meter breaststroke in 2:19.59, breaking the world record of 2:20.00 she set two days ago in the semifinals. Clary, 23, then beat Japan’s Ryosuke Irie, 22, and Lochte to win the men’s 200-meter backstroke in an Olympic record 1:53.41.
Douglas finished 0.259 points ahead of Russia’s Victoria Komova to win the all-around gymnastics title. The 16-year-old from Virginia also won gold in the team event two days ago. It’s the first time the U.S. has won both competitions at the same Olympics.
Douglas had 62.232 points after finishing first in two of the four parts of the competition.
“It feels amazing to be called Olympic champion,” Douglas told reporters. “So much effort, hard work, determination and passion in the gym.”
The 17-year-old Komova, performing last in the final floor exercise, scored 15.100 when she needed 15.359 to win the gold.
Hoy, Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny set two world marks in winning the track cycling men’s team sprint. They first posted a time of 42.747 seconds in the three-lap heat, breaking Germany’s record of 42.914 set last year. The trio then broke that mark in winning the final in 42.600 seconds.
Hoy and rower Steve Redgrave share the British standard of five gold medals. They both have six total medals, one fewer than the British record set two days by Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins in the road cycling time trial.
“It’s pretty overwhelming,” Hoy, 36, said. “I thought my first win in Athens was the most memorable for me, but this is by far the greatest win.”
China’s Gong Jinjie and Guo Shuang appeared to have won gold in the women’s team sprint before being demoted to second for an overtaking infringement. That gave the gold medal to Miriam Welte and Kristina Vogel of Germany.
Zhang Jike beat Wang Hao in an all-Chinese men’s table tennis final.
South Africa won its first Olympic rowing gold in the men’s lightweight four, while Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan took the men’s double sculls for New Zealand’s first gold of the London games.
South Korea’s Ki Bo Bae won the women’s individual archery in a one-arrow shootout over Mexico’s Aida Roman. France’s Emilie Fer took gold in the women’s kayak slalom, Tagir Khaibulaev won Russia’s third judo gold medal in the men’s 100kg event and Italy took the women’s fencing team foil.
Rafalca, which the wife of Republican U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney owns with two other women, is in 13th place after the first day of equestrian’s dressage.
Ann Romney will discover today if the horse has qualified for the next stage of the competition on Aug. 7. Half of the 50 horses competed yesterday, with the rest today. The best seven teams go through.
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