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Olympic Daily News - Monday, July 30

Missy Franklin rested her head against the side of the pool, beaming ear-to-ear.

There were smiles, too, for Matthew Grevers and France's Yannick Agnel.

Not so for Ryan Lochte, who finished out of a medal for the first time in his Olympic swimming career.

Franklin, the 17-year-old rising star, won her first Olympic gold medal Monday night in the 100-meter backstroke, doing so after swimming in a semifinal for another race.

She has two medals in her first Olympics after getting a bronze as part of the women's 400 freestyle relay on Saturday.

"It is exceeding the expectations one hundred billion times over," said Franklin, who trains in Aurora, Colo., location of the fatal "Dark Knight Rises" theater shooting less than two weeks ago.

Franklin set an American record with a time of 58.33 seconds, touching .35 seconds ahead of Emily Seebohm of Australia with Japan's Aya Terakawa third. Less than 15 minutes earlier, Franklin barely qualified for the 200 free, squeaking in with the eighth and final spot by .13 seconds.

"Missy showed she is incredibly tough out there," said Michael Phelps. "You usually need around a half an hour to recover, so to have that fast a turnaround was incredible."

Grevers improved on the silver he won behind Aaron Peirsol in Beijing four years ago, smashing his retired teammate's Olympic record in the men's 100 back.

His time of 52.16 seconds shaved .38 seconds off the record, giving him the gold in front of U.S. teammate Nick Thoman and Ryosuke Irie of Japan.

"It feels incredible," said Grevers. "I came so close back in 2008 and when Aaron retired I knew I stood a chance."

In the last of four straight medal races at the Aquatics Centre, 15-year-old Ruta Meilutyte earned Lithuania's first Olympic swimming medal by winning the women's 100 breaststroke in 1 minute, 5.47 seconds -- just .08 ahead of the American Rebecca Soni, with Japan's Satomi Suzuki in third.

Of four medals won by Americans in four finals at the Aquatics Centre, none came from Lochte.

Agnel, the hero for France a night before, got his second gold in two days after leading the men's 200 free wire-to-wire.

China's Sun Yang and South Korea's Park Tae-hwan tied for the silver, with Lochte coming in fourth -- the first time in nine career Olympic races that he failed to medal.

Agnel, of course, is the swimmer who closed the gap on Lochte after the final turn Sunday night to rally the French to a gold over the U.S. in the men's 400-meter free relay.

Lochte was running second behind the Frenchman after 150 meters but said he might have started too fast.

"I knew if I wanted to be in the race I had to go out a little," said Lochte. "Next time I won't make that same mistake. This is one of the deepest fields I've ever seen. First to eighth (place) is like a second difference."

Agnel finished in 1 minute, 43.14 seconds -- 1.79 seconds ahead of Sun, the 400 free champion, and 2008 silver medalist Park. World record holder Paul Biedermann of Germany was fifth.

The 200 was the race Phelps dropped from his London schedule after U.S. trials and one of the eight he won in Beijing four years ago.

Phelps was in the pool Monday night for semifinals of the 200 butterfly. The two-time reigning Olympic champion qualified fourth-fastest, one spot ahead of Tyler Clary, the teammate who questioned his training habits in a newspaper article.

Grevers parlayed an overflow of confidence into a record-breaking race and Thoman gave the U.S. a 1-2 finish, touching .76 seconds after his teammate and .05 ahead of Irie.

"I don't think it's hit me yet," said Grevers.

PHELPS, FRANKLIN BACK IN POOL FOR HEATS

London, England (Sports Network) - Michael Phelps was back in the pool Monday morning barely 13 hours after France rallied to beat the U.S. in the 400-meter freestyle relay with a surge in the last 50 meters.

Phelps had the fifth-fastest time in heats for the 200 butterfly, an event he has won in each of the last two Olympics.

Tyler Clary, the teammate who called out Phelps for his training habits, swam the second-fastest time behind Austria's Dinko Jukic.

Allison Schmitt and Missy Franklin were second and third behind world record holder and reigning Olympic champion Federica Pellegrini in heats for the women's 200 free.

Franklin, 17, will swim in the final of the women's 100 backstroke Monday night just 20 minutes after the semifinals of the 200 free.

"It's definitely going to be fun tonight," she said. "I need to try and keep my energy up as much as possible and do the best I can ... but it's going to be tough, for sure."

Monday night's most anticipated race is the men's 200-meter freestyle final with Ryan Lochte, 400 meter champion Sun Yang of China, South Korea's Park Tae-hwan and world record holder Paul Biedermann of Germany.

Yannick Agnel, who ran down Lochte to win the 400 freestyle relay Sunday night, is also in the field.

Matthew Grevers will swim in the 100-meter backstroke final in the evening after qualifying fastest while 2008 silver medalist Rebecca Soni and Breeja Larson give the U.S. a shot to medal in the women's 100-meter breaststroke.

Ye Shiwen had the fastest time in heats for the women's 200 individual medley while Kirsty Coventry was second. Americans Caitlin Leverenz and Ariana Kukors also made the semis.

CHINA CONTINUES OLYMPIC DIVING DOMINANCE

London, England (Sports Network) - China's Cao Yuan and Zhang Yanquan won the men's 10-meter synchronized platform Monday, making their country 2-for-2 in diving events at the London Olympics.

Nicholas McCrory and David Boudia finished third, giving the United States two diving medals here after Americans had gone 12 years without making an Olympic podium.

Cao and Zhang finished with 486.78 points to beat silver medalists German Sanchez Sanchez and Ivan Garcia Navarro of Mexico by 17.88 points. Their gold medal came a day after Wu Minxia and He Zi captured the women's synchronized 3-meter springboard.

The Chinese entered the London Games having won all eight events at the world championships in February and 13 of the last 16 Olympic gold medals, including seven of eight at Beijing four years ago.

McCrory and Boudia finished 23.31 points back of the Chinese but added to the medal haul of Abigail Johnston and Kelci Bryant, who won silver Sunday for the U.S.'s first Olympic diving medal since Laura Wilkinson's platform gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Thomas Daley and Peter Waterfield of Great Britain placed fourth.

U.S. PLACES 5TH, BRITAIN SNAPS 100-YEAR DROUGHT IN GYMNASTICS

London, England (Sports Network) - The United States men's gymnastics team failed to turn a strong qualifying effort into a medal.

For host Great Britain, it experienced success in this event not seen in 100 years.

As China rebounded from a poor showing in Saturday's qualifier to defend its 2008 Olympic gold on Monday, Britain's team grabbed a bronze for its first men's gymnastics medal since the 1912 Games. Team USA finished a disappointing fifth after posting the top score in qualifying.

Japan earned a silver for the second straight Olympics following a score inquiry, which was lodged after the event and lifted it from fourth into the second spot. That dropped Great Britain down to third and Ukraine off the podium.

The Americans came out of Saturday's event confident following a score of 275.342, getting outstanding showings from Danell Leyva and John Orozco. That put them in prime position for their first men's team gold since the boycotted 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

They took bronze in Beijing.

However, the U.S. did not finish higher than third on any of the apparatuses and had the seventh-best score on the pommel horse, with Orozco managing just a 12.733 score in the rotation due to fall. Orozco also failed to stick a vault landing and Leyva fell on the pommel horse as well.

"Things didn't go as planned today. I don't know exactly what happened. We didn't end up where we wanted but we did everything we could after what happened. We just always fight on, no matter what, that's our motto," declared Orozco.

The Americans finished with a score of 269.952, just under two points behind Great Britain.

"It is disappointing but I am really proud and super proud of the team that never gave up and fought all the way to the end," said American Jonathan Horton.

Great Britain also had an up-and-down event. Led by an event-high score of 15.966 from Louis Smith, the hosts had the top mark on the pommel horse and also saw all three of their floor exercise gymnasts -- Daniel Purvis, Kristian Thomas and Max Whitlock -- turn in great efforts to lead that event as well.

"My god it's amazing. I can't believe we've made history," Purvis said.

Britain still had to sweat a bit after posting the lowest score on the ring exercise, as well as the second-worst score on both the parallel and horizontal bars.

They ultimately ended less than a point back of Japan, which was fifth in qualifying and had its score bumped up on Monday after a complaint into Kohei Uchimura's score on the pommel horse was accepted.

Following Uchimura's score of 13.466, Japan's coach handed his inquiry to the Superior Jury, who reviewed the routine and raised it by 0.700 points.

"I wasn't credited with the full difficulty start value for my routine. My coach lodged a protest and that's why the score was raised," explained Uchimura.

The Japanese still couldn't catch China, which logged a score of 275.997 on Monday after qualifying sixth. The Chinese became the first country to win consecutive gold medals in men's team event since Japan won five straight from 1960-1976. They have won three of the last four golds in this event overall.

Chinese replacement Guo Weiyang, added to the team because Teng Haibin tore a muscle in his left forearm in mid-July, made numerous missteps on Saturday, but was much more solid on Monday. That also goes for Feng Zhe and Zhang Chenglong, who also had a miscue on the pommel horse in qualifying.

"After getting out from bed this morning, I knew we were going to win it because in qualifications we didn't do very well," said China's Chen Yibing.

But the big surprise was Great Britain, which had won only one previous medal in men's team gymnastics. That was a bronze that came in the 1912 Stockholm Games.

Not even a drop from second to third could damper the good spirits.

"The whole situation hasn't sunk in. Despite that protest and the score change, for us, this is a dream come true," said Smith. "To get a bronze medal is a miracle. Silver, bronze, it doesn't matter. We really look up to the Japanese and they deserved the silver medal. We were still happy and still clapping. It was nice to see Japan winning a medal. We have the bronze medal on our necks, who cares about silver?"

MOLDOVEANU CLAIMS AIR RIFLE GOLD FOR ROMANIA

London, England (Sports Network) - Alin George Moldoveanu of Romania won the men's 10-meter air rifle gold Monday at the London Games, edging favorite Niccolo Campriani of Italy in the final round.

Moldoveanu and Campriani, who is ranked No. 1 in the world, equaled the Olympic record by each posting scores of 599 in the qualification round. However, the Romanian outshot Campriani in the finals 103.1 to 102.5 over the final 10 shots to win his first Olympic medal. Moldoveanu finished fourth in this event at the 2008 Beijing Games.

The gold marked the first for Romania in shooting since Sorin Babi won the men's 50m pistol at the 1998 Seoul Games.

The 24-year-old Campriani, who trains in Morgantown, W.Va, also picked up his first-ever medal at the Summer Games. India's Gagan Narang won bronze, finishing the competition with a total score of 701.1 -- 0.4 points behind Campriani.

American Matt Emmons failed to qualify for the final round and finished in 35th place. Emmons' best event is the 50m rifle, prone position, having won a gold in Athens and a silver in Beijing in that discipline. The 31-year-old has battled cancer since the last Summer Games and had to have his thyroid removed as a result of that diagnosis.

Emmons, who is married to Czech shooter Katerina Emmons, is also dealing with back problems that will force him to skip the prone event at the 2012 Olympics, but he will have another chance to medal in London in the 50m rifle, 3 positions event. The New Jersey native infamously fired at the wrong target on his last shot in the 3 positions competition in Athens, costing him a gold medal and causing him to finish eighth.

"I am not too worried about the men's 50m rifle 3 positions event because the gun is more adjustable and there are fewer shots," said Emmons.

Jonathan Hall of the U.S. placed 27th in Monday's competition.

AMERICAN MALLOY WINS JUDO BRONZE

London, England (Sports Network) - Marti Malloy picked up a bronze medal on Monday in the women's 57kg judo competition.

Malloy won by ippon at the 2:34 mark of her match with Italian Giulia Quintavalle, a 2008 gold medal winner in Beijing. The 26-year-old and former two-time world cup winner was making her Olympic debut.

"It's been a very long day. I had a couple of ippon and I felt really focused. I peaked for this tournament. It's my first Olympics and I feel fantastic to be leaving with the bronze," she said after grabbing only the second Olympic medal for a female U.S. judoka.

Malloy was denied a chance at gold due to a semifinals loss to Romanian Corina Caprioriu, who in turn dropped her finals match to Kaori Matsumoto of Japan. Matsumoto, a 2010 world champion, was also partaking in her first Olympics.

"My biggest goal of my life is to win the gold medal, so I'm relieved with that," Matsumoto said. "I mean, just after I won the match, I was in great pleasure and now it changed into a relief."

Japan had never before won gold in this event.

Also taking bronze in the 57kg was France's Automne Pavia, who got the best of Hungary's Hedvig Karakas.

In a wide-open men's 76kg, Mansur Isaev knocked off a pair of favorites to claim gold. The Russian first scored a semifinals win over South Korea's Wang Ki-Chun, who had won a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Isaev then faced reigning world champion Riki Nakaya of Japan and came away with the gold.

"As soon as I started judo as a child I always knew what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be," said the Russian. "Today my coach didn't have to tell me anything. I was ready for today. It's taken a long time so I was ready for today."

Bronze medals in the men's event went to France's Ugo Legrand and Mongolia's Nyam-Ochir Sainjargal.

NORTH KOREAN WEIGHTLIFTER GETS GOLD WITH WR

London, England (Sports Network) - North Korean Kim Un Guk set a world record Monday as he won the gold medal in the 62-kilogram category in weightlifting at the London Olympics.

Kim also set an Olympic record in the snatch, lifting 153kg. After recording 174kg in the clean and jerk, he had set the world mark with a total of 327kg.

The former world champion Kim was 10kg ahead of Oscar Albeiro Figueroa Mosqueira, of Colombia, and Eko Yuli Irawan.

But because Mosqueira weighed in a fraction of a pound less than Irawan, he took silver and the Indonesian won bronze.

Zhang Jie, last year's world champion, finished just out of the medals in fourth.

GERMAN WINS FENCING SILVER AMID CONTROVERSY

London, England (Sports Network) - Ukraine's Yana Shemyakina won a controversial women's epee competition Monday at the London Games after an apparent clock error led to South Korea's Shin A Lam losing a spot in the gold medal match.

Shemyakina won the gold, beating Germany's Britta Heidemann in the final match by a 9-8 score, but her win was overshadowed by what happened in the semifinal bout between Heidemann and Shin.

Heidemann defeated Shin in the semifinals, but not before officials were forced to weigh a protest logged by Shin's team.

Heidemann and the Korean were tied at 5-5 with just one second remaining in the match and Shin, who was awarded priority before the start of extra time, would've won if the bout ended in a tie. However, when the final second was actually contested the clock became stuck, giving Heidemann a few extra seconds to record the winning point, which she did to take the match in 6-5 fashion.

"Every referee said that he understood our position, yet they have done nothing," said Shin's coach Shim Jae Sung. "It was one second left and she made three moves. The clock was set back to one second when it was already on zero."

When the match ended, a tearful Shin sat down on the piste while her team made an official protest. After 20 minutes, the tournament director declared Heidemann the winner. However, Shin and the Korean camp still refused to leave the piste and the competition was held up for over an hour before officials finally persuaded them to go.

"It was a very difficult hour," said Shin. "While I was up there (on the piste) I've been thinking of all the time that I've spent training for the Olympics."

After failing to secure a spot in the gold medal match, Shin also lost her bid for bronze, dropping a 15-11 decision to China's Sun Yujie.

Heidemann also pushed the gold medal match to extra time, but Shemyakina scored the final point to claim Ukraine's first-ever individual fencing gold.

U.S. BEATS BRAZIL IN WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL SHOWDOWN

London, England (Sports Network) - The United States defeated Brazil in women's volleyball Monday at the London Games, posting a four-set victory in a rematch of the gold medal contest from four years ago in Beijing.

The Americans posted a 25-18, 25-17, 22-25, 25-21 win over the Brazilians to improve to 2-0 in Pool B. Destinee Hooker had a game-high 23 points for the U.S.

Brazil, which needed five sets to beat Turkey in its first match of the 2012 Olympics, fell to 1-1. Also in Pool B, China beat Turkey and South Korea topped Serbia.

In Pool A action at Earls Court, Russia defeated the Dominican Republic, 25-23, 25-15, 24-26, 25-22 and Italy also downed Japan in four sets. The Russians and Italians are both 2-0 in the tournament so far.

The final match of the night featured Great Britain beating Tunisia in five sets.

MISTY, KERRI WIN AGAIN IN BEACH VOLLEYBALL

London, England (Sports Network) - Two-time defending gold medalists Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh remained unbeaten in preliminary action of the women's beach volleyball tournament at the London Games, winning in straight sets on Monday.

On what was May-Treanor's 35th birthday, the Americans posted a 21-14, 21-19 win over Marketa Slukova and Kristyna Kolocova of the Czech Republic to improve to 2-0 in Pool C play. The U.S. duo have won 31 straight sets without a loss in Olympic play.

Zhanh Xi and Xue Chen, who won bronze in the women's tournament four years ago in Beijing, rebounded from a loss in their opening game to defeat the Swiss team of Simone Kuhn and Nadine Zumkehr in three sets.

On the men's side, the U.S. team of Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal were handed a two-set loss by the Polish duo of Grzegorz Fijalek and Mariusz Prudel.

Group play continues for both men and women on Tuesday at Horse Guards Parade.

BRITISH PAIR SETS OR IN WOMEN'S DOUBLE SCULLS

London, England (Sports Network) - Great Britain's Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins roared into the women's double sculls final on Monday, setting an Olympic record to win their heat.

Grainger is one of the most successful rowers in British history, but is chasing her first gold. She has silvered three times in her Olympic career and is undefeated since teaming with Watkins three years ago.

The duo crossed the finish line in 6:44.33 on Monday on Dorney Lake. That bested the previous mark of six minutes, 49 seconds set by Germans Kerstin Koppen and Kathrin Boron at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

Australia's Brooke Pratley and Kim Crow, who is also rowing in the women's singles sculls, won their heat to advance as well, while the U.S. finished third and failed to qualify for the final. The pair of Margot Shumway and Sarah Trowbridge will get another chance to move on in the repechage.

Teams from Great Britain and Canada advanced to the men's eight final, with the Netherlands and Australia also moving on following the repechage. The United States, along with Germany, had already qualified for the final.

In other repechages on Monday, Romania and Germany advanced to the final of the women's pair, while the U.S. was one of four boats to move on in the women's quadruple sculls.

The Americans also put a boat into the final of the men's pair, but failed to advance out of the repechage in men's quadruple sculls.

Heats in the men's four took place as well. The U.S. was one of nine teams to advance to the semifinal, winning the third heat with a time of 5:54.88.

SLOVAKIAN TWINS ADAVNCE TO SEMIS IN CANOE DOUBLES

London, England (Spvorts Network) - Slovakian twin brothers Peter and Pavol Hochschorner got off to a good start in their push for a fourth consecutive gold medal in the men's double canoe event, posting the second-best time after two heats at the London Olympics.

The Hochschorners, who won their first Olympic gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Games, turned in a time of 97.52 seconds. France's team of Gauthier Klauss and Matthieu Peche recorded the best time of the day, finishing the course at Lee Valley White Water Centre in 96.98 seconds.

Eight other teams advanaced to the semifinals, but not the United States, whose team of Eric Hurd and Jeff Larimer finished in 12th place.

Fifteen women qualified for the semifinals in the kayak single with Spain's Maialen Chourraut, who is ranked No. 2 in the world, logging the best time at 98.75 seconds. Great Britain's Lizzie Neave was 0.17 seconds behind in second.

Caroline Queen of the U.S. failed to advance to the semis, finishing in 17th place.

BLIND ARCHER CONTINUES LONDON SUCCESS, MOVES ON IN MEN'S DRAW

London, England (Sports Network) - South Korea's Im Dong-Hyun, three days after setting a world record in the ranking round, advanced into the 1/8 eliminations in the men's individual tournament following a pair of victories Monday at Lord's Cricket Ground.

The top-ranked Im, who broke his own 216-arrow record in the ranking round by shooting a 699, is legally blind in his left eye with just 20/200 vision. The Korean won five of his eight total sets Monday while managing a tie in two others.

Fourth-ranked Larry Godfrey of Great Britain also won a pair of matches to advance and, like Im, will try to move into the quarterfinals on Friday.

The United States' Jacob Wukie will play his first match on Tuesday, while fellow Americans Brady Ellison and Jake Kaminski don't go until the following day. That trio managed to win silver in team competition on Saturday.

On the women's side, No. 3 Tan Ya-Ting of Chinese Taipei was the highest seed to get underway on Monday and she advanced all the way to the 1/8 elimination. It wasn't a roll, as she survived a five-set scare from 62nd- seeded Swiss Nathalie Dielen.

American Miranda Leek won her opening-round match, but was bested by Italy's Pia Lionetti in the 1/16 elimination.

Jennifer Nichols of the U.S. is in action on Tuesday.

CHINESE WEIGHTLIFTER WINS GOLD WITH ORs

London, England (Sports Network) - China's Li Xueying set two Olympic records Monday to win a weightlifting gold medal in the 58-kilogram category.

Li had the best lift in the snatch (108kg) and the clean and jerk (138kg), setting new Olympic marks in both.

Her total of 246kg was far ahead of Thailand's Pimsiri Sirikaew, who earned silver with 236kg. Ukrainian Yuliya Kalina took bronze after finishing one kilogram behind Sirikaew, and one kilogram in front of Rattikan Gulnoi of Thailand.

Belarus' Nastassia Novikava, the reigning world champion, finished a distant seventh.

OLYMPIC CAULDRON MOVED INSIDE STADIUM

London, England (Sports Network) - The Olympic cauldron has been relocated to the south end of the stadium in London to accommodate track and field events, organizers of the games said.

Now the cauldron sits in the same spot the bell occupied during the opening ceremony, though it is still not visible to those outside the stadium.

The cauldron, made up of 204 steel pipes with copper petals at the end, had been centered in the Olympic stadium when it was lit at Friday's opening ceremony.

But to accommodate track and field events, the cauldron was moved during the stadium's 80-hour transformation, which turned it from a venue for Danny Boyle's theatrics into one for athletics.

The relocation was a multi-step process. First, the Olympic flame was transferred to a miner's lantern Sunday and remained there overnight. After the cauldron was relocated to its new position, Austin Playfoot -- a torchbearer at the London Games in 1948 and again this year -- transferred the flame from the lantern to the cauldron.

SWISS SOCCER PLAYER SENT HOME FOR RACIST TWEET

London, England (Sports Network) - Swiss soccer player Michel Morganella has been expelled from the London Olympics for posting a racially charged tweet.

Following Switzerland's 2-1 loss to South Korea on Sunday, Morganella directed an offensive tweet at Koreans and was subsequently sent home by the Swiss Olympic Committee.

"Michel Morganella has discriminated against, insulted and violated the dignity of the South Korean football team as well as the South Korean people," said Swiss chef de mission Gian Gilli.

Morganella's Twitter account has been deleted.

"The Swiss Olympic Committee would like to apologize here and now, especially to the South Korean Olympic Committee and the South Korean Football Association for the behavior of our player," Gilli added.

Morganella, who plays professional soccer for the Italian club Palermo, is the second athlete to be kicked out of the London Olympics for a racial tweet. Last week, Greek triple jumper Paraskevi Papachristou mocked African immigrants living in Greece.

Switzerland, which is 1-1 in Group B, plays its next game Wednesday against Mexico.

INJURY FORCES BRITAIN'S DIEKE OUT OF OLYMPICS

London, England (Sports Network) - Great Britain defender Ifeoma Dieke has withdrawn from the women's soccer team due to a knee injury suffered on Saturday.

Dieke was injured midway through a 3-0 win over Cameroon and is thought to have ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament. Dunia Susi is expected to be called up to replace Dieke.

Great Britain coach Hope Powell called the injury devastating news for her defender, who she noted had quickly become a key part of the club.

"I am sure she has the character to return to full fitness over time, but it is obviously a sad moment for her and for Team GB," added Powell. "I am sure the rest of the squad will want to wish her a speedy recovery."

The Brits have already qualified for the quarterfinals thanks to a pair of victories and play their final Group E match on Tuesday against Brazil.

GREAT BRITAIN'S FIELD HOCKEY CAPTAIN HAS SURGERY

London, England (Sports Network) - Kate Walsh, the captain of Great Britain's field hockey team, underwent successful surgery for a fractured jaw on Monday.

Walsh suffered the injury when she was accidentally hit by a stick during the host's 4-0 win over Japan on Sunday. The injury forced her out at the 66th minute of the match and she was immediately taken to the hospital for assessment.

The 32-year-old's status for the rest of the London Games will be assessed over the next coming days, though it is highly doubtful she will be ready for Tuesday's Pool A match with Korea.

Helen Richardson will serve as captain during Walsh's absence.

AUSSIE LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT HOOPER TOPS AMERICAN BROWNE

London, England (Sports Network) - Australia's Damien Hooper earned a narrow win against American Marcus Browne on Monday during opening-round boxing action in the men's light heavyweight competition at the London Olympics.

Hooper, ranked No. 2 in the world, had a tough test against Browne but passed it in a 13-11 decision. China's Meng Fanlong, the world No. 3, routed Morocco's Ahmed Barki to advance.

The men's flyweight (52kg) competition also began Monday, when Cuban Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana won against Japan's Katsuaki Susa. Carrazana was last year's Pan-American champion.

The top six seeds in the both draws have byes into the second round.

U.S. WOMEN WIN WATER POLO OPENER

London, England (Sports Network) - Maggie Steffens tied an Olympic record with seven goals Monday and the U.S. women's water polo team opened Group A with a 14-13 win over Hungary.

Coming off a disappointing silver in Beijing, the Americans never trailed in the match but had to fend off four ties and held on after letting Hungary get within a goal in the fourth quarter.

The U.S. beat Hungary in all four matches during a training session earlier this month.

Also Monday, Spain upset China with an 11-6 win in Group A while Great Britain fell 7-6 to Russia in Group B. Australia knocked off European champion Italy 10-8 in the other Group B match.

BRITISH SAILING CREW MOVES UP TO 1ST IN STAR

London, England (Sports Network) - The British pair of Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson jumped into the lead of the Star class Monday at the Olympic sailing competition.

The duo finished third and second in the two races held Monday to rebound from a sub-par opening day. The defending gold medalists, Percy and Simpson have 18 points after four races -- the same as the second-place boat from Norway.

They are in good position with six races to go. Most of the sailing events in the Olympics are, like the Star (keelboat), fleet races. Each boat participates in 10 races, where points are awarded in ascending order -- 1 for 1st, 2 for 2nd, and so on. After the 10 races, the 10 best boats advance to the medal race.

In men's Finn (heavyweight one-person dinghy), Denmark's Jonas Hogh- Christensen turned in two more strong performances. He had won the first two races Sunday, and came in second and seventh Monday to remain atop those standings with 11 points.

France's Jonathan Lobert is in second place with 19 points, while Great Britain's Ben Ainslie -- the two-time defending gold medalist -- is third with 22. American Zach Railey, the silver medalist in '08, is currently in 13th place.

In the women's Elliott 6-meter match racing -- a new sailing event comprised of 12 crews -- Australia defeated the United States and Great Britain to improve to 4-0 in the round robin stage. Russia also moved to 4-0, while the Americans lost twice.

Three other classes held their first two races Monday -- the men's Laser (one- person dinghy), the men's 49er (skiff), and women's Laser Radial (one-person dinghy).

Ireland's Annalise Murphy used two victories to take charge of the Laser Radial. She finished 25th at the world championships this year.

Australian Tom Slingsby, the reigning world champion, is atop the standings in the Laser competition. He finished 2nd and 1st in Monday's races.

The Danish team of Allan Norregaard and Peter Lang took the lead in 49er.

KLIMKE, GERMANY ON TOP AFTER CROSS COUNTRY

London, England (Sports Network) - Germany's Ingrid Klimke and Sweden's Sara Algotsson-Ostholt shared the individual eventing lead in equestrian after the cross country portion Monday.

Germany had the team lead, too, by a narrow margin over Great Britain with Sweden a close third.

Japan's Yoshiaki Oiwa, who had the individual lead after two days of dressage, was eliminated Monday after being unseated from his horse.

Klimke and Algotsson-Ostholt both have 39.30 penalty points. New Zealand's Mark Todd, chasing a third individual gold medal and first since 1988 at the age of 56, is in third place with 39.50 points and only jumping remaining Wednesday.

The granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth, Zara Phillips, was one of nine riders who finished without time penalties on the track at Greenwich Park.

Eventing combines dressage, cross-country and jumping. The individual and team competition run concurrently and medals are awarded for both.

NORWAY WINS IN HANDBALL, RUSSIA ROUTS BRITAIN

London, England (Sports Network) - After losing its opening game of the women's handball tournament, defending gold medalists Norway defeated Sweden on Monday at the London Games.

Norway lost to France on Saturday but rebounded with a 24-21 win over the Swedes. Also in Group B action, Spain and France tied 18-18 and South Korea posted a 25-24 win over Denmark.

Meanwhile, Great Britain was dealt a 37-16 blowout loss by Russia, who won the silver medal four years ago in Beijing. The Brits, who are making their Olympic debut in this event at these games, have been outscored by a combined 68-35 margin in their first two games of the tournament.

Elsewhere in Group A, Croatia beat Angola, 28-23, and Brazil edged Montenegro, 27-24.

CHINESE CONTINUE TO ROLL IN SINGLES TABLE TENNIS

London, England (Sports Network) - The top two seeds in men's singles table tennis -- China's Zhang Jike and Wang Hao -- both picked up a pair of victories on Monday, while Chinese medal hopefuls Ding Ning and Li Xiaoxia also posted wins.

As two of the top 16 seeds on the men's side, Zhang and Wang both received byes into the third round. Zhang won all four of his games to win his opening match, but needed seven to get by Singapore's Ning Gao in the fourth round.

Wang notched a pair of five-game wins to advance.

Local hopeful Paul Drinkhall failed to move out of the third round, getting swept in four games by German Dimitrij Ovtcharov.

The top-seeded Ding notched a four-games-to-one victory to beat Hong Kong's Huajun Jiang in a fourth-round matchup, while Li, seeded third, knocked off South Korea's Park Miyoung.

CHINESE WOMEN ADVANCE IN BADMINTON GROUP PLAY

London, England (Sports Network) - China's Wang Yihan and Wang Xin, the top two seeds in the badminton women's singles draw at the London Olympics, won Monday to move into the knockout stage.

Wang Yihan, the reigning world champion, needed 41 minutes to beat Canada's Michele Li and reach the round of 16. Wang Xin took just 27 minutes to defeat American Rena Wang and move on.

Also in women's singles, fourth-seeded Saina Nehwal of India won her group after defeating Belgian Lianne Tan.

Malaysian Lee Chong Wei, the No. 1 men's singles seed, beat Finland's Ville Lang to reach the round of 16 in that tournament. Lin Dan, the second seed and defending gold medalist, also won to move on. Lin beat Lee in the 2008 Olympics final.

Ha Jung Eun and Kim Min Jung, the third seed in women's doubles, won their second match. On Tuesday they will meet the Indonesian pair of Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii to decide their group's title.

China's Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei, seeded second, also improved to 2-0 in women's doubles group play.

The No. 4 seed in men's doubles, Ko Sung Hyu and Yoo Yeon Seong of Korea, lost.

In mixed doubles, two seeded pairs improved to 2-0 in their respective groups -- No. 2 Xu Chen and Ma Jin of China, and No. 4 Joachim Fischer and Christinna Pedersen of Demark.

Group play ends Tuesday.

GERMANY, AUSTRALIA WIN FIELD HOCKEY OPENERS

London, England (Sports Network) - Germany successfully began the defense of its gold medal Monday, edging Belgium during the first day of competition in men's field hockey at the London Games.

Christopher Zeller scored in the 45th minute for the Germans, who came away with a 2-1 victory in the Group B match. They topped Spain four years ago in Beijing for the gold medal.

Australia, which won bronze in Beijing, cruised to a 6-0 win against South Africa in a Group A contest. The Australians have the longest-running medal streak in the competition, having won medals in the previous five Olympic games.

In Monday's other Group A contests, Spain drew with Pakistan and Great Britain beat Argentina. South Korea beat New Zealand and the Netherlands snuck by India in Group B play.