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Olympic Daily News - Tuesday, July 31

Back on top. That's where Michael Phelps was, the winningest Olympian of all time in every way possible.

"This was a good day," he said.

Well, yeah.

Phelps broke the all-time Olympic medal record set by a Soviet gymnast five decades ago with a double-stroke of silver and gold Tuesday night at London's Aquatics Centre.

In what he swears is his last Summer Games, Phelps set the record by anchoring the United States to a runaway gold in the 800-meter freestyle relay, his 19th Olympic medal.

About an hour earlier, he was out-touched at the wall in what's historically been his best event, the first one he ever swam at the Olympic level 12 years ago in Sydney.

Phelps led all the way in the 200 butterfly until South Africa's Chad le Clos caught him on the last stroke, beating the American by .05 seconds with a time of 1 minute, 52.96 seconds.

It kept Phelps from becoming the first male swimmer to win the same event in three straight Olympics.

"Phelps is my hero and I love the guy. To beat him, I can't believe it," said le Clos, who won his first Olympic medal. "You don't understand what this means to me. This is the greatest moment of my life."

The finish mirrored his razor-thin victory over Milorad Cavic in the 100 fly four years ago in Beijing, when -- caught between strokes -- he touched .01 seconds faster than the gliding Cavic for one of his record-setting eight gold medals.

This time Phelps glided to the wall, beaten by a surge. But it didn't take long to wash away the loss.

Teammates Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer and Ricky Berens built the U.S. a lead of 3.88 seconds -- several body lengths -- after the first 600 meters and Phelps took over from there.

"We all wanted to do our part, we all wanted to make sure we got the biggest lead for him so when he dove in, he didn't have to work, he knew he was set solely on gold," said Lochte. "And we're happy that we did it."

France's Yannick Agnel, the swimmer who chased down Lochte in the 400 free relay on Sunday, made a dent swimming in the lane next to Phelps, but nothing more.

The U.S. finished in 6:59.70, beating the French by 3.07 seconds and winning the relay for the 16th time in the last 24 Olympics. China came in third and Germany was fourth.

Le Close set an African record in the 200 fly with a time of 1:52.96 and Japan's Matsuda Takeshi was third.

Charlie Houchin, Matthew McLean and Davis Tarwater also won gold medals after swimming in the morning relay heats. Along with Dwyer, they qualified the U.S. with the fastest time.

Phelps now has 15 gold medals -- he already had that record -- two silvers -- he won both of them here -- and two bronzes.

He is 3-for-4 in races at the London Olympics, having finished off the medal podium for the first time since he was 15 when he placed fourth in the 400 individual medley on the first night, the race Lochte won in their first head- to-head duel.

The silver and gold combo on Tuesday gave him the all-time medal record over Larisa Latynina, who won 18 in the 1950s and 60s for the Soviet Union. Phelps has won his 19 medals in three Summer Games and will swim in three more races here, including one more against Lochte.

SCHMITT WINS 200 FREE FOR 1ST GOLD

London, England (Sports Network) - Allison Schmitt took the lead after the first turn and was off.

The American swimmer won the women's 200-meter freestyle Tuesday night with an Olympic record, picking up her first career gold and third medal here in London.

Schmitt was fourth after the first 50 meters but led each of the last three touches and now has four career Olympic medals. It was the first gold after a silver and two bronze.

"I got a whole collection of them now," said Schmitt.

She easily beat Camille Muffat of France by 1.97 seconds, finishing in 1 minute, 53.61 seconds to shave more than a second off Federica Pellegrini's Olympic record from 2008. The time was also a new American record.

Australia's Bronte Barratt was third, 2.20 seconds back, while American Missy Franklin missed a bronze medal by .01 seconds after winning her first gold Monday night in the 100 backstroke.

Franklin had barely qualified for Tuesday's final, getting the last spot out of the semis just minutes before she hit the pool for the 100 back. Which meant she had to swim in lane 8.

"I am definitely not used to the outside lane," said Franklin, who had the lead at 50 meters but lost one spot at each of the last three touches. "It was difficult to bring my emotions down after last night."

CHINA'S YE WINS ANOTHER IM GOLD

London, England (Sports Network) - With another strong kick, China's Ye Shiwen won the women's 200-meter individual medley Tuesday night for her second gold medal of the London Olympics.

Ye, 16, was third at the final turn but surged on the freestyle lap to beat Australian Alicia Coutts. American Caitlin Leverenz won bronze.

Ye won the 400 IM on Saturday, smashing Stephanie Rice's world record by more than a second in a race that has been a topic of conversation here for days.

The teenager's last lap split was faster than men's 400 IM winner Ryan Lochte's, prompting an American official with the World Swimming Coaches Association to tell a London newspaper that it was "impossible" without doping. American Elizabeth Beisel won silver in the race.

FAB 5: U.S. WOMEN CLAIM GYMNASTICS TEAM GOLD

London, England (Sports Network) - The United States better get ready for another British invasion.

Only this time, instead of moppy-haired musicians captivating the nation with catchy melodies, it will come from a collection of giddy female gymnasts returning home with gold around their necks.

In a style that has become typical for this deep squad, the U.S. saw all five of its gymnasts contribute to a top score at Tuesday's women's team competition, giving the Americans their first gold medal in this event in 16 years.

Jordyn Wieber rebounded from Sunday's disappointing qualifying event, Gabby Douglas was solid on all four apparatuses and a supporting cast of Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Kyla Ross combined for a score of 183.596, five points clear of Russia, which took silver.

If you can call it a supporting cast. In the end, it was more like a dream team.

"I have so much faith in all these girls. We work so hard everyday in the gym and we're always so consistent, so I knew we would be able to come in here and do really well," said Raisman, the team's captain.

After failing to qualify for Thursday's all-around competition, Wieber got the United States off to a great start on the vault before Douglas and Maroney followed with outstanding scores of their own. Maroney continued to state her case as the world's best vaulter, notching a score of 16.233.

"No," said Maroney when asked if there was any better way the U.S. could have started. "That was just amazing how we started. It was like boom, boom, boom. We just kept getting better and better. I was just very happy I was able to stick my vault after those two. I was like, 'Thank God.'"

Things got a little closer following the second rotation, which saw the U.S. and Russia on the uneven bars. The silver medalists, behind another pair of all-around qualifiers in Aliya Mustafina and Victoria Komova, closed the deficit to within .399.

However, another solid routine on the balance beam -- an event that helped push it to the top of the standings on Sunday -- nudged the U.S. further ahead. Russia, perhaps starting to feel the pressure, saw two of its performers commit costly mistakes in the final rotation in the floor exercise. Anastasia Grishina failed to complete one of her tumbling passes and Kseniia Afanaseva, Russia's final gymnast in the event, fell to the mat at the conclusion of her routine.

By the time the United States took its turn on the floor moments after Russia, it needed to post a combined team score better than just 40.300 and had three of the top performers from Sunday's performance on deck: Douglas, Wieber and Raisman, the surprising all-around qualifier.

"Well, we tried to focus on ourselves, and we just tried to pep each other and doing our pep talks. I'm so proud of these girls. We knew we had it," noted Douglas.

Raisman, Douglas and Wieber finished 2-3-4 two days ago behind only Komova, but rules state that a country can send only two gymnasts to the all-around event. That pushed Wieber, the 2011 all-around world champion, out.

"I knew I had to hook together for the team. This is the most important competition. I'm proud of every single person on this team, we all did our job," said Wieber.

Sensing the match was locked up, the trio put up solid score after solid score to claim the United States' second women's team competition gold and first since 1996, when the "Magnificent Seven" -- led by the likes of Kerri Strug, Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu and Dominique Dawes -- captured the top prize and the hearts of the country during the Atlanta Games.

That competition, of course, featured Strug's infamous vault on a bad ankle that made her and the rest of that team stars.

There was no such drama this time around, just a five-point victory that introduced the next batch of heroes.

Russia, meanwhile, tearfully captured a silver medal thanks to a score of 178.530, while Romania was just more than two points behind to win bronze. China, the 2008 Beijing gold medalist, finished a disappointing fourth thanks to a low score on both the floor exercise and vault.

USA'S HANCOCK WINS SECOND STRAIGHT GOLD IN SKEET

London, England (Sports Network) - Vincent Hancock of the United States picked up another gold medal in men's skeet shooting, turning in a perfect final round at the London Games.

The champion of the Beijing Games missed only two targets out of 150 through the entire competition to become the first two-time winner of this event. Hancock's final score of 148 -- which broke his own Olympic record -- was two better than Denmark's Anders Golding, who grabbed the silver medal after placing 25th four years ago in Beijing.

Hancock, who holds the rank of sergeant in the U.S. Army, hit 123-of-125 targets through five rounds of qualifications to break another one of his Olympic records. That also gave him a one-point lead over Golding and Hancock's 25-of-25 performance in the final round ensured him of gold.

"It's just part of building a legacy that I want to leave for my kids and for the the youth of America, and the world for that matter," said the 23-year-old Hancock. "It's not just about medals -- it's about how big I can grow the sport and how man people I can bring into it."

Although Hancock owns the world record in this event, this Olympic title marks his first gold medal in a major competition since he won the International Shooting Sport Federation's world championship in 2009.

The bronze went to Qatar's Nasser Al-Attiya, who claimed the medal after defeating Valeriy Shomin of Russia in a shoot-off. It's the first shooting medal won by Qatar.

Frank Thompson of the U.S. finished outside of the six final spots, placing eighth.

DJOKOVIC, MURRAY ROLL; TSONGA OUTLASTS RAONIC AT LONDON GAMES

Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - Former Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic and this year's Wimbledon runner-up Andy Murray were a pair of easy second- round winners, while France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga needed a 48-game third set Tuesday to get past Canadian Milos Raonic at the London Olympics tennis event.

In a matchup of former world No. 1s, a second-seeded Djokovic dismantled previously-hot American Andy Roddick 6-2, 6-1 under the roof on Centre Court at the All England Club, where rain fell on Day 4. The 25-year-old Serbian star fired 13 aces among 33 winners and tallied a mere six unforced errors in advancing in what Djokovic called a "perfect match" for him.

The reigning Australian and U.S. Open champion went 4-for-4 on his break-point chances in the comprehensive victory over Roddick, who had won 12 of his previous 13 matches, including a grass-court title in Eastbourne and a hardcourt victory in Atlanta.

Roddick is a three-time Wimbledon runner-up to the great Roger Federer.

Djokovic, who was an Olympic bronze medalist in Beijing four years ago, will meet another fellow No. 1, Lleyton Hewitt, in the third round on Wednesday. The former Wimbledon champ Hewitt, of Australia, upended 13th-seeded Croat Marin Cilic 6-4, 7-5.

Meanwhile, the third-seeded British crowd favorite Murray handled Finnish veteran Jarkko Nieminen 6-2, 6-4 on Centre Court. The world No. 4 Murray lost to the Swiss icon Federer in the Wimbledon finale here earlier this month.

The fifth-seeded Tsonga and Raonic set an Olympic tennis record by playing in the longest-ever set and match at the Games, as the Frenchman finally prevailed 6-3, 3-6, 25-23 in 3 hours, 57 minutes on Court 1.

Tsonga-Raonic topped the previous Olympic record, which took place in a women's doubles match at the 1988 Seoul Games, when Canadians Carling Basset- Seguso and Jill Hetherington beat Argentines Mercedes Paz and Gabriela Sabatini in three sets, including a 20-18 third.

The powerful Tsonga struck 17 aces among 60 winners, while Raonic hit seven aces among 76 winners. The Frenchman converted two of his five break-point opportunities, while Raonic could only convert 1-of-8.

The match was suspended because of rain at 1:23 p.m. local time, with Tsonga leading 2-1, on serve, in the third set. The bout resumed at 4:03 p.m., with the deciding set lasting exactly three hours.

Raonic saved one match point at 15-16, 30-40. And at 20-21, he fell behind love-30 and was forced to save another match point en route to leveling the stanza.

At 23-24, the Canadian fell behind love-40. Raonic saved another match point with an unreturnable serve, but on the next point he was unable to catch up with a Tsonga drop volley.

Up next for the former Aussie Open runner-up Tsonga will be Spanish southpaw Feliciano Lopez, who knocked out ninth-seeded Argentine Juan Monaco 6-4, 6-4.

Fourth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer advanced without any drama, as he cruised past Slovenian Blaz Kavcic 6-2, 6-2.

Another former Australian Open runner-up, Marcos Baghdatis, upset 16th-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-4, as the Cypriot Baghdatis will battle Murray on Wednesday.

Another second-round result saw 15th-seeded Japanese Kei Nishikori overcome fading former top-five Russian Nikolay Davydenko 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. Nishikori should have his hands full with the gritty Ferrer on Day 5.

The current world No. 1 Federer will play his third-round match against Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin on Wednesday. The super Swiss captured a men's- record-tying seventh Wimbledon title at the All England Club four weeks ago.

Federer needs an Olympic gold medal to complete a career "Golden Slam."

In second-round doubles play on Tuesday, the top-seeded American Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, snuck past a Russian duo of Davydenko and Mikhail Youzhny 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-1). The Bryans captured the bronze in Beijing in 2008.

AZARENKA, SHARAPOVA, VENUS ADVANCE AT OLYMPICS

Wimbledon, England (Sports Network) - World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and former top-ranked stars Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams were second-round winners Tuesday at the 2012 Olympic Tennis Event.

Azarenka celebrated her 23rd birthday by taking care of Spanish left-hander Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 6-1, 6-2 on Court 2 at the All England Club.

"It was a special moment to have a birthday during the Olympic Games but unfortunately I cannot really celebrate as I have to get ready for tomorrow," Azarenka said.

Azarenka has spent most of 2012 at No. 1 after capturing her first-ever major title at the Australian Open back in January.

Up next for the Belarusian slugger will be Russia's Nadia Petrova on Wednesday.

The third-seeded former world No. 1 Sharapova got past game 18-year-old British left-hander Laura Robson 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 under the roof on Centre Court at the All England Club, where rain delayed play on the outside courts earlier in the day.

Sharapova was asked about the atmosphere at the Olympics compared to Wimbledon.

"Oh, I love it. Obviously, you felt it so much today, playing against someone that's from Great Britain," Sharapova said. "You feel the support that the home country's providing to the athletes. What a transition it has been from the last few weeks of Wimbledon to here, a nice one, a completely different atmosphere which I think all of us are really enjoying.

"It's much more of a team atmosphere as well. The girls are getting together in the evenings, having dinner together, which has been nice."

Sharapova needs an Olympic gold medal to complete a career "Golden Slam." She secured a career Grand Slam by capturing her first-ever French Open title last month.

The 25-year-old superstar's third-round opponent on Day 5 will be 15th-seeded German Sabine Lisicki, who ousted the tall Russian in straight sets in a fourth-round Wimbledon match earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the former top-ranked Williams handled Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak 6-1, 6-3 on the famed Centre Court, where the American has captured no less than five Wimbledon titles.

"Every day I'm just concentrating on trying to bring my best tennis out," Williams said. "And honestly, if there's a time to do it, it's now."

Williams secured a singles gold medal at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney.

The unseeded American should have her hands full with seventh-seeded German Angelique Kerber in the third round on Wednesday. The left-handed Kerber, who reached the Wimbledon semifinals earlier this month, whipped helpless Hungarian Timea Babos 6-1, 6-1 on Day 4 of this nine-day tournament.

Two other Germans joined Kerber in the round of 16, as the aforementioned Lisicki came from behind to beat Kazakhstan's Yaroslava Shvedova 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 and Julia Goerges grounded rising American Varvara Lepchenko 6-3, 7-5.

In addition to Sharapova, two more Russian seeds reached round three, as No. 14 Maria Kirilenko dismissed Brit Heather Watson 6-3, 6-2 and a No. 16 Petrova snuck past Georgian Anna Tatishvili 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2.

In some second-round doubles action on Tuesday, top-seeded Americans Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond topped Polish sisters Agnieszka Radwanska and Urszula Radwanska 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) and the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, erased a fifth-seeded tandem of Kerber and Lisicki 6-2, 7-5. The Williamses, now into the Olympic quarterfinals, captured the Wimbledon doubles title four weeks ago.

In some other third-round singles action on Wednesday, the fifth-seeded former No. 1 Serena will meet 13th-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva; sixth-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova will take on Italian Flavia Pennetta; eighth-seeded former top- ranked star Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark will face Slovak Daniela Hantuchova; and 11th-seeded Serb Ana Ivanovic will tangle with fellow former No. 1 Kim Clijsters of Belgium.

TEAM USA TROUNCES TUNISIA IN MEN'S HOOPS

London, England (Sports Network) - Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love scored 16 points apiece to lead the American men to a 110-63 victory over Tunisia in the Olympic basketball tournament on Tuesday.

Kevin Durant recorded 13 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for Team USA (2-0), while Russell Westbrook and James Harden totaled 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Makram Ben Romdhane paced Tunisia (0-2) with a game-high 22 points.

Playing in its maiden Games, Tunisia grabbed its first-ever lead in Olympic competition when Amine Rzig drained a three-pointer after Kobe Bryant had opened the scoring with a shot from inside the paint.

Mourad El Mabrouk made two free throws to put Tunisia up 15-12 with 2:39 remaining in the first quarter, but the Americans countered with a 14-0 run that stretched into the second quarter. A Westbrook bucket capped the surge for a 26-15 lead.

Tunisia continue to show spirit, closing to within 35-30, but the talent disparity between the two clubs became evident when the Americans opened the second half on a 10-0 run to go up 56-33 on a Love free throw.

Team USA led 85-47 heading into the fourth quarter.

SPAIN POWERS PAST AUSTRALIA

London, England (Sports Network) - Pau Gasol scored 20 points and Rudy Fernandez added 17, leading Spain to an 82-70 victory over Australia in men's basketball.

Marc Gasol contributed 12 points and seven rebounds in the victory, Spain's second straight in Group B. The Spaniards opened play on Sunday with a 97-81 rout of China.

Joe Ingles and Brad Newley each scored 12 points for Australia, which fell to 0-2 in Group B.

The Aussies built a 19-14 lead after the first quarter, but a Pau Gasol three- point play two minutes into the second gave Spain the lead for good at 22-21. Gasol added a bucket a couple of minutes later to cap a 9-0 run for a 26-21 edge.

Ingles countered with back-to-back baskets to bring Australia within one, but Spain was able to take a 37-32 lead to the intermission and opened the second half with a 10-0 run. Pau Gasol scored the last five points of the burst, which gave the Spaniards a comfortable 47-32 advantage.

Fernandez drilled a pair of three-pointers and added a layup on a fast break late in the third to extend the margin to 24, and Spain carried a 63-42 lead into the fourth.

A late 10-0 run pulled Australia within 74-64 with just over two minutes to play, but that was as close as it got.

FRANCE BEATS ARGENTINA IN MEN'S BASKETBALL

London, England (Sports Network) - Tony Parker scored 17 points and dished out five assists, helping France beat Argentina, 71-64, in the men's basketball tournament.

Nicolas Batum added 14 points and seven rebounds for France, which lost to the United States on Sunday. Mickael Gelabale tallied 13 points.

Manu Ginobili had 26 points and five rebounds to lead Argentina, which dominated Lithuania on Sunday. Luis Scola donated 16 points and eight boards.

Holding a 60-58 lead with about six minutes to play, France got six straight points from Parker. Batum added a free throw to make it a 67-58 contest.

Argentina never got closer than five the rest of the way.

RUSSIA THUMPS CHINA IN MEN'S HOOPS

London, England (Sports Network) - Andrei Kirilenko scored 16 points and Alexey Shved added 14, leading Russia to a 73-54 rout of China in men's Olympic basketball.

Kirilenko and Shved just became teammates in the NBA, both signing with the Minnesota Timberwolves prior to the start of the Olympics. Sasha Kaun chipped in 13 points in the victory.

Yi Jianlian, who plays in the NBA for Washington, was the only Chinese player in double figures with 16 points.

China opened the game with the first four points, but Russia followed with an 11-2 run and never trailed again. It was 20-12 after the first quarter and the Russians led by as many as 19 in the second before taking a 40-25 cushion to the break.

Russia built a 27-point advantage in the third and China got only as close as 18 in the fourth.

The Russians, who held a 46-29 advantage on the boards, improved to 2-0 in Group B, while China fell to 0-2.

BRAZIL EDGES BRITAIN IN MEN'S HOOPS

London, England (Sports Network) - Tiago Splitter scored 21 points to lift Brazil to a 67-62 win over Great Britain in men's basketball.

Marcelinho Huertas added 13 with eight assists in the victory, which gave the Brazilians a 2-0 record in Group B and kept them tied for the top spot with Spain and Russia -- both winners earlier on Tuesday. Brazil will face Russia on Thursday.

Splitter, who plays for the NBA's San Antonio Spurs, made 9-of-11 shots and the Brazilians did most of their damage inside. They connected on just 3-of-22 shots from three-point territory and made 57 percent from inside the arc.

Pops Mensah-Bonsu, who played collegiately at George Washington, led the host nation with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Nate Reinking also scored 13, while Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls had a tough shooting day. He made just 3-of-13 from the field and finished with 12 points in Great Britain's second defeat of the London Games.

Deng's three-pointer with four minutes remaining gave Britain a 57-56 lead, but Splitter countered with the go-ahead bucket on the next trip and Mensah- Bonsu missed inside. Marquinhos Vieira Sousa then drilled a three-pointer to give Brazil a 61-57 lead.

The Brits came up empty again on two straight possessions and Nene Hilario added a bucket on the break to make it a six-point game with 90 seconds to play. Britain could only pull within five from there.

Brazil got off to a very slow start and trailed 11-4 after the first quarter, but tied it at 27-27 by halftime. The Brazilians opened a 48-43 advantage after three and Anderson Varejao's basket to start the fourth quarter gave Brazil its largest lead of the contest.

LITHUANIA DUMPS NIGERIA IN MEN'S BASKETBALL

London, England (Sports Network) - Darius Songaila scored 12 points and Linas Kleiza added 11, leading Lithuania to a 72-53 victory over Nigeria in men's basketball.

Rimantas Kaukenas chipped in 10 points for Lithuania, which bounced back from Sunday's 102-79 loss to Argentina in its Group A opener. The Lithuanians shot 54 percent from inside the three-point arc, but made just 3-of-13 from long range.

Nigeria, which edged Tunisia, 60-56, on Sunday to win its Olympic opener, made only 1-of-16 three-point tries and shot 30 percent overall on Tuesday. Ike Diogu, a former star at Arizona State, and Al-Farouq Aminu of the New Orleans Hornets each scored 12 points in defeat.

Aminu's bucket inside tied the score at 8-8 for Nigeria, but Kleiza followed with a shot to ignite a 9-0 Lithuania run. A three-pointer by Sarunas Jasikevicius to start the second quarter capped the burst and gave the Lithuanians a 17-8 advantage.

The lead reached 18 midway through the second quarter, but Nigeria managed to trim its deficit to 34-27 at halftime. It was a five-point game early in the third quarter, but Lithuania pulled away and led by 20 before carrying a 56-40 cushion into the fourth.

Nigeria never threatened again and Lithuania led by as many as 23 early in the final period.

CHINA WINS 3RD DIVING GOLD IN 3 EVENTS

London, England (Sports Network) - China is 3-for-3 in diving events at the London Olympics after Chen Ruolin and Wang Hao won gold Tuesday in the women's synchronized 10-meter platform.

The Chinese pair, heavy favorites going into the event, were in third place after the first dive but led following each of the last four.

Mexico's Alejandra Orozco Loza and Paola Espinosa Sanchez won silver bolstered by a good third dive and Canada's Roseline Filion and Meaghan Benfeito earned bronze.

Chen won both platform events in Beijing, including the synchro with Wang Xin. She and Wang Hao scored the most points in the eight-team field on three of the last four dives, finishing with 368.40.

Orozco Loza and Espinosa Sanchez ended 25.08 points out of the gold and 5.70 ahead of the Canadians.

Cao Yuan and Zhang Yanquan won the men's 10-meter synchronized platform Monday and Wu Minxia and He Zi captured the women's synchronized 3-meter springboard Sunday.

China is only adding to its stranglehold on the sport. It entered the games having won all eight events at worlds and 13 of the previous 16 Olympic gold medals, including seven of the eight in Beijing.

The United States, with two medals here already after going since 2000 without one, didn't have a team in the event Tuesday.

GERMANY WINS 2 GOLD, 1 BRONZE IN EQUESTRIAN

London, England (Sports Network) - Germany's Michael Jung won two equestrian gold medals on Tuesday while the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth helped Great Britain to a silver.

Germany's win in team eventing was the country's first gold medal of the London Olympics and Jung followed it up with an individual gold hours later.

Sweden's Sara Algotsson Ostholt took silver and Germany's Sandra Auffarth earned bronze.

The German team finished with 133.70 penalty points after the jumping portion, 4.50 fewer than the British team. New Zealand had 6.20 points more at the end of four days of competition.

Zara Phillips, granddaughter of the queen and a rider on the British team, was one of 25 riders who made the individual jumping final at Greenwich Park. She placed eighth.

Jung had 40.60 penalty points, nearly three fewer than Algotsson Ostholt.

Mark Todd, 56, had the second best score among his New Zealand teammates and won his sixth Olympic equestrian medal. Todd earned the first of two straight individual eventing golds at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, but placed 12th this time.

The United States placed seventh and Canada ended 13th in team competition.

LEI WINS GOLD, EGYPTIAN TAKES SILVER IN MEN'S FOIL

London, England (Sports Network) - Lei Sheng of China won gold in men's foil on Tuesday, defeating Egypt's Alaaeldin Abouelkassem in the final of an upset- laden fencing competition at the London Games.

Lei, the eighth seed in the 64-man tournament, beat Abouelkassem, 15-13, in the gold medal match, winning just the second gold medal in men's fencing for China. Zhong Man won the first in the men's sabre four years ago in Beijing.

Lei routed world. No. 2 Valerio Aspromonte of Italy by a 15-8 score in the quarterfinals and then defeated Aspromonte's compatriot, Andrea Baldini, to earn a spot in the gold medal match.

Abouelkassem may have had an even tougher road to the final. The 21-year-old beat four-time world champion Peter Joppich of Germany in the Round of 16 and then disposed of Italy's Andrea Cassara -- the world No. 1 -- in the next round.

Abouelkassem's silver was not only the first medal for Egypt in Olympic fencing, it was also the first for any African nation. The previous best performance came in 1952, when Egypt placed fourth in men's team foil.

"I'm the first African fencer who has won an Olympic medal and that makes me proud," said Abouelkassem.

South Korea's Chol Byungchul, who lost to Aboulkassem in the semis, beat Baldini for the bronze medal.

Race Imboden was touted as having the best medal chance for the United States in this event, but lost to Baldini in the Round of 16. Alexander Massialas of the U.S. lost in the same round to Russia's Alexey Cheremisinov.

U.S. EDGES N. KOREA TO TOP GROUP G IN WOMEN'S SOCCER

Manchester, England (Sports Network) - The United States clinched top spot in Group G with a 1-0 defeat of North Korea at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Abby Wambach continued her impressive form in women's Olympic Soccer, scoring in each match of the group stage by providing the lone goal in Manchester.

Finishing as Group G winners, the U.S. advances to the quarterfinals where it will play New Zealand, which finished third in Group E with a 3-1 defeat of Cameroon on Tuesday.

The United States put North Korea under heavy pressure from the start and nearly got off the mark in the 15th minute.

Wambach beat her mark on the left flank and squared a ball to Alex Morgan at the top of the box. The 23-year-old made a sharp cut into the penalty area with her first touch and immediately fired a left-footed shot that struck the outside of the far post.

Ten minutes later though, the duo combined once more to put the Americans in front.

Morgan got on the end of a ball played into the box and looked likely to beat North Korean 'keeper O Chang-Ran, but she was forced to compose herself after failing to keep her initial touch under control. It made no difference as Morgan slipped a pass to the feet of Wambach, who beat the offside trap with ease and calmly slotted her shot into the back of the net.

The United States continued to dominate, nearly adding a second goal in the 39th minute. Wambach found space in behind the North Korean defense to meet a low cross with a one-time effort only to be denied by the post.

Tobin Heath entered the match at the start of the second half and came within inches of doubling the lead for the States with her first involvement. She collected a penetrating pass on the left side of the box and found herself one-on-one with O Chang-Ran, but the New Jersey-native chipped her attempt just over the crossbar.

Despite controlling the second period, the Americans could not add to their lead, clinging to a one-goal advantage en route to a perfect 3-0-0 record in group play.

In keeping a clean sheet, the U.S. extended its shutout streak to 256 minutes. The Americans last conceded a goal in their 4-2 defeat of France in the Group G opener.

At the heart of the stout defensive effort is Hope Solo. The American goalkeeper has made headlines recently, taking to Twitter to blast former U.S. Women's National Team star, and current Olympic broadcaster, Brandi Chastain for critical comments made regarding the play of the current team.

But Solo did not let any surrounding controversy prevent her from enjoying Wambach's goal in Manchester.

"Our players wanted to involve me and then all of a sudden they were like 'Do the worm' and I was like 'No,'" Solo said of her celebration, of which she ultimately obliged. "Our team wants to have fun and we're going to remember these moments. I'll be able to say 'Yeah, I did the worm at Old Trafford'. It's the first time I've ever done anything like that on the pitch."

The Olympics have been viewed as a microcosm for current affairs across the globe, but Wambach was quick to quell any notion that America's diplomatic relationship with North Korea caused friction between the teams.

"The beautiful part about what we are doing is that we don't have to worry about any of that," said Wambach. "This is where we can put our differences aside, go out on the pitch and play for glory. That's what we're here for."

In the other Group G match, France claimed a 1-0 victory over Colombia at St. James' Park. Elodie Thomis provided the lone goal, scoring in the 15th minute. The French team controlled large stretches of the match, even hitting the woodwork twice before halftime, but failed to add to their lead.

France finishes second in Group G with six points from three games and advances to the quarterfinals for a date with Sweden. Colombia bows out of the Olympics having failed to score a goal in its three games.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Melissa Tancredi scored twice as Canada rallied for a 2-2 tie against Sweden to clinch a quarterfinal berth. Canada needed at least a draw to secure a spot in the last eight as the third-place squad from Group F. Japan finished second in the group, playing to a scoreless draw with South Africa to end group play with five points.

The conclusion of Group E play Tuesday saw Great Britain claim a 1-0 win over Brazil to finish on nine points while New Zealand booked a spot in the quarterfinals with a comfortable 3-1 win defeat of Cameroon.

Quarterfinal play takes place Friday with Sweden taking on France in Glasgow, the United States squaring off against New Zealand in Newcastle, Brazil facing Japan in Cardiff and Great Britain going against Canada in Coventry.

KAZAKHSTAN'S MANEZA WINS WEIGHTLIFTING GOLD

London, England (Sports Network) - Kazakhstan's Maiya Maneza won gold in the women's 63-kilogram weightlifting competition Tuesday at the London Olympics.

Maneza set an Olympic record by lifting a total of 245kg, though was actually trailing after the snatch. She lifted 110kg to 112 for Russian Svetlana Tsarukaeva.

Then, Maneza lifted 135kg in the clean and jerk -- she is the world record holder in that technique -- while Tsarukaeva managed just 125. Maneza failed in two attempts to break her record, but still had done more than enough to secure gold.

Tsarukaeva took silver, and Canada's Christine Girard won bronze.

Maneza is the second woman from Kazakhstan to win weightlifting gold at these games. Zulfiya Chinshanlo won the 53-kilogram competition Sunday.

CHINA'S LIN WINS 69KG WEIGHTLIFTING CONTEST

London, England (Sports Network) - China's Lin Qingfeng earned the gold medal in the 69-kilogram weightlifting competition Tuesday at the London Olympics.

Lin topped all competitors by lifting 157kg in the snatch, then secured gold with a 187kg clean and jerk. His total of 344kg was 11 more than silver medalist Triyatno of Indonesia.

Razvan Constantin Martin, from Romania, took bronze with a total of 332kg.

ESTANGUET WINS 3RD GOLD IN SLALOM CANOEING

London, England (Sports Network) - France's Tony Estanguet won the men's canoe single event Tuesday, earning his third gold medal in the slalom event.

It was a bit of redemption for Estanguet, who took gold in 2000 and '04, but failed to make the final four years ago in Beijing.

But Tuesday, he navigated the slalom course in 97.06 seconds -- 1.03 seconds faster than silver medalist Sideris Tasiadis of Germany.

Slovakia's Michal Martikan, who has battled Estanguet for supremacy of this event for more than a decade, took bronze after clocking a time of 98.31. It is his fifth Olympic medal in the event, but first bronze.

Martikan won gold in 1996 before finishing runner-up to Estanguet in the next two games, then got back to the top of the podium in 2008.

KIM, ZOLNIR WIN JUDO GOLD

London, England (Sports Network) - Kim Jae-Bum of South Korea took gold in the men's 81-kilogram judo event Tuesday and Slovenia's Urska Zolnir won the women's 63kg competition.

Kim lost to Germany's Ole Bischof in the gold medal match four years ago in Beijing, but avenged that setback here. In addition to taking silver at the 2008 Olympics, Kim had also won the last two world championships.

Travis Stevens of the United States missed out on a medal in the 81kg, losing his bronze medal match against Canada's Antoine Valois-Fortier. The win gave Canada its first judo medal since Nicolas Gill won silver in the 100kg at the 2000 Sydney Games.

"This is such a good feeling," said Valois-Fortier. "I can't realize it yet, but I'm so happy. I've worked so hard."

Russia's Ivan Nifontov defeated Takahiro Nakai of Japan to join Valois-Fortier as the other bronze medalist.

Zolnir, who won a bronze in this event in Beijing, earned gold this time with a win over China's Xu Lili. Xu earned her first Olympic medal.

Gevrise Emane picked up a bronze for France with a victory against Joung Da- Woon of South Korea. Japan's Yoshie Ueno also earned bronze by ousting Munkhzaya Tsedevsuren of Mongolia.

AGREEMENT ALLOWS SAUDI JUDOKA TO COMPETE

London, England (Sports Network) - Saudi judoka Wojdan Shaherkani, whose participation in the London Olympics was in jeopardy after she was told not to wear a hijab, will compete in the games after all.

The International Judo Federation and Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee agreed on a solution to ensure her participation, a statement from the IJF said.

"Working with the IOC a proposal was approved by all parties," the statement said. "The solution agreed guarantees a good balance between safety and cultural considerations."

The IJF's statement did not say what the solution was, but a spokesperson for the Saudi Olympic Committee told CNN that Shaherkani could wear the headscarf during matches. The spokesperson added that Shaherkani signed an agreement that she would compete only if she wears approved clothing that complies with Islamic principles.

Last week, IJF president Marius Vizer said Shaherkani must fight "in the spirit of judo and according to the principles of judo, without a hijab." The decision was made partly because of safety concerns, reports said.

But the decision also cast into doubt her ability to take part in the Olympics, because women are required to wear the hijab in Saudi Arabia.

Shaherkani is one of two women from the country at these Olympics, the other being 800-meter runner Sarah Attar. They are the first Saudi women to compete at the Olympics, and Saudi Arabia was the last participating country to never have sent a woman to the games.

Shaherkani is competing in the over-78 kilogram category, which will be contested Aug. 3. She drew Puerto Rico's Melissa Mojica in her first match.

STANLEY, ANDERSON LEAD U.S. MEN TO VOLLEYBALL WIN

London, England (Sports Network) - The United States continued its Olympic gold medal defense with a win on Tuesday, and has yet to drop a set at the London Games.

The U.S. defeated Germany 25-23, 25-16 and 25-20 at Earls Court, building off Sunday's straight-sets win over Serbia. Clayton Stanley had a game-high 16 points for the Americans and Matthew Anderson added 15. Gyorgy Grozer led the Germans with 12 points.

Serbia won its Pool B game on Tuesday, posting a four-set win over Tunisia. Brazil, the runner-up to the U.S. four years ago in Beijing, also defeated Russia in straight sets.

Also in Pool A, Bulgaria defeated Poland, Italy topped Argentina and Australia beat Great Britain. Bulgaria and Italy won in four sets, while Australia won in straights.

U.S. DUOS PICK UP VICTORY IN BEACH VOLLEYBALL

London, England (Sports Network) - The United States team of Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser picked up a Pool B victory on Tuesday in men's beach volleyball.

In a match that took just over an hour, Rogers and Dalhausser, nicknamed "The Beast," needed three sets to top the Spanish duo of Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira.

On the women's side, Americans Jennifer Kessy and April Ross bested the Netherlands' Marleen van Iersel and Sanne Keizer, while Canada's Marie-Andree Lessard and Annie Martin suffered a Pool F loss. Great Britain's Shauna Mullin and Zara Dampney also fell in defeat.

STONE, CROW ADVANCE IN WOMEN'S SINGLE SCULLS

London, England (Sports Network) - American Genevra Stone and Australia's Kim Crow were among 12 rowers who advanced to the semifinals of the women's single sculls event on Tuesday.

Stone was the second rower to cross the finish line in the event's second heat, while Crow won her race with a time of 7 minutes, 34.29 seconds. The Aussie had the fastest time of any racer on the day.

The semifinals of the single sculls will take place on Thursday, one day before Crow will row in the women's double sculls. However, the dual role isn't taking its toll on her yet.

"I've trained to do it. In four years I haven't missed a solitary training session, so I'm in good shape," said Crow. "In some ways I'm three races down, which means I'm halfway there. I'm happy to be in this place at this time."

Americans Kristin Hedstrom and Julie Nichols won their respective repechage in lightweight women's double sculls, finishing just under two seconds ahead of Canada's Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee. Both boats moved on to the semifinals.

Also, Americans Margot Shumway and Sarah Trowbridge were one of two boats to move on to the final of the women's double sculls.

However, the American rower Kenneth Jurkowski did not advance to the main semis in men's single sculls, though Great Britain's Alan Campbell did as he won his quarterfinal race.

Semifinals were also held in men's lightweight fours, with the U.S. failing to move into the medal finals, while the hosting British did see their men's double sculls team advance to the final.

Repechages were also held on Tuesday in men's lightweight double sculls and fours as well as the women's eight.

TUESDAY'S TABLE TENNIS NETS ALL-CHINESE FINAL FOR WOMEN

London, England (Sports Network) - It will be a battle between countrywomen in the final of women's table tennis after China's Ding Ning and Li Xiaoxia picked up a pair of victories each on Monday.

The top-seeded Ding won all four games of her match with Japan's Ai Fukuhara in the quarterfinals before besting Singapore's Feng Tianwei in the semifinals. That sets up a clash with Li, the second seed who rolled past the Netherlands' Li Jiao and Japan's Kasumi Ishikawa in succession.

"We've played each other so often and we've both worked hard on our game, so it's going to be hard match to predict. I think both of us will be really going for it," said Ding, a 2011 singles world champion.

The gold medal game is scheduled for Wednesday, as is the bronze match between Feng and Ishikawa.

The men's tournament featured a pair of matches on Tuesday. Fifth-seeded Chuang Chih-Yuan of Chinese Taipei swept past Romania's Adrian Crisan, while eighth-seeded German Dimitrij Ovtcharov downed Denmark's Michael Maze in seven games.

Crisan was coming off an upset for fourth seed Timo Boll of Germany.

BRITISH, BRAZILIAN SAILING CREWS BATTLE IN STAR

London, England (Sports Network) - Great Britain's Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson turned in a pair of top-two finishes Tuesday in the Star class sailing event at the London Olympics, but hold a slim lead in the competition.

Percy and Simpson, the defending gold medalists, won Tuesday's first race ahead of Brazil's Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada. The Brazilians then beat the Brits in the second race.

After six of 10 preliminary races, Percy and Simpson lead the competition with 21 points. Scheidt and Prada had 23, and both seem to be in great position to head into the medal race.

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, each boat's worst performance is discarded, the remaining points are tallied, and the 10 best boats advance to the medal race.

In the Finn (men's heavyweight one-person dinghy), Denmark's Jonas Hogh- Christensen continued to make himself a favorite for the medal race. He finished first and second, and has a double-digit lead over Great Britain's Ben Ainslie -- the two-time defending gold medalist.

Ireland's Annalise Murphy again won both of the races in Laser Radial (women's one-person dinghy), to take a staggering lead after four races. She has four points, compared to 16 for second-placed Evi Van Acker of Belgium. Murphy finished 25th at the world championships this year.

The USA's Paige Railey sits in ninth after four races in Laser Radial.

Australian Tom Slingsby, the reigning world champion, is still atop the standings in the Laser (men's one-person dinghy) competition after four races.

Australians Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen moved up to first after four races in the men's 49er (skiff), thanks to a pair of top-four finishes Tuesday.

Australia is leading in the women's Elliott 6m -- a new match racing sailing event comprised of 12 crews. It won twice Tuesday to improve to 6-0 in the round robin stage, after which the best eight boats move on to the knockout stage.

Meanwhile, the United States boat skippered by Anna Tunnicliffe improved its chances of advancing. The Americans defeated Finland and France by a combined seven seconds, moving to 4-2.

The two RS:X (windsurfer) classes got underway Tuesday. The Netherlands' Dorian van Rijsselberge won both men's races to jump into first place, while American Robert Willis is in seventh. In the women's competition, Spain's Marina Alabau Neira leads after finishing second and first.

NEAR UPSET HIGHLIGHTS INDIVIDUAL ARCHERY ACTION

London, England (Sports Network) - The men's individual archery tournament nearly saw a big upset on Tuesday as second-seeded South Korean Kim Bubmin was pushed to the brink by Fiji's Robert Elder.

Elder, seeded 63rd, lost the first two sets against Kim, but rebounded to win the next two 29-27 and 27-26. Kim, though, recovered to take the final set 26-23 and then advanced into the 1/8 eliminations with an easier victory over India's Tarundeep Rai.

For the United States, 2012 team silver medalist Jacob Wukie won his opener in straight sets, but was then eliminated in the following round by Norway's Baard Nesteng.

Wukie's teammates Brady Ellison and Jake Kaminski play their first matches on Wednesday.

Michele Frangilli, who won team gold in London with Italy, was knocked out in the first round.

On the women's side, 2011 world champion and Chilean flag bearer Denisse van Lamoen lost her 1/32 eliminations match, while Great Britain's Naomi Folkard and Alison Williamson both failed to reach the 1/8 eliminations.

The United States' Jennifer Nichols won her first match before getting bounced out the following round.

STANLEY, ANDERSON LEAD U.S. MEN TO VOLLEYBALL WIN

London, England (Sports Network) - The United States continued its Olympic gold medal defense with a win on Tuesday, and has yet to drop a set at the London Games.

The U.S. defeated Germany 25-23, 25-16 and 25-20 at Earls Court, building off Sunday's straight-sets win over Serbia. Clayton Stanley had a game-high 16 points for the Americans and Matthew Anderson added 15. Gyorgy Grozer led the Germans with 12 points.

Serbia won its Pool B game on Tuesday, posting a four-set win over Tunisia. Brazil, the runner-up to the U.S. four years ago in Beijing, also defeated Russia in straight sets.

Also in Pool A, Bulgaria defeated Poland, Italy topped Argentina and Australia beat Great Britain. Bulgaria and Italy won in four sets, while Australia won in straights.

U.S. MEN WIN IN WATER POLO

London, England (Sports Network) - The United States improved to 2-0 in group play of the men's water polo tournament at the London Games, posting a 10-8 victory over Romania on Tuesday.

The U.S., which finished second to Hungary four years ago in Beijing, used three goals from both Ryan Bailey and Peter Varellas to defeat the Romanians.

The Americans won their opening game of the tournament against Montenegro, which defeated the defending gold medalists on Tuesday. The 11-10 loss dropped the Hungarians to 0-2 in Group B play.

Serbia routed Great Britain, 21-7, in the other Group B game. The British are competing in men's water polo for the first time since 1956 and have been outscored by a 34-11 margin in two games.

In Group A play on Tuesday, Croatia beat Spain, 8-7, Australia bested Kazakhstan, 7-4, and Italy tied Greece, 7-7.

U.S. BOUNCES BACK WITH WIN OVER ARGENTINA

London, England (Sports Network) - Shannon Taylor scored in the 28th minute, and that was enough for the United States women's field hockey team to edge Argentina, 1-0, on Tuesday in Group B action in the Olympic tournament

The Americans had lost to Germany in their opener on Sunday, but rebounded to beat a team that has medaled at the last three games.

The contest was the Americans' first win over Argentina -- which has won bronze in the last two games, and silver in 2000 -- in Olympic play. The U.S., however, did beat the Argentines in the title match at the 2011 Pan American Games.

The Netherlands, the gold medalist four years ago in Beijing, edged Japan by a 3-2 margin in Group A Tuesday. Also in Group A, Belgium drew China and Great Britain got past South Korea.

In Group B, New Zealand topped South Africa and Australia beat Germany.

SWEDEN, FRANCE ROLL TO HANDBALL VICTORIES

London, England (Sports Network) - Defending gold medalist France easily defeated Argentina in men's handball on Tuesday, while Sweden dealt Great Britain its second rout in as many games.

The French team posted a 32-20 win over Argentina after defeating Britain by a 44-15 score in its Group A opener. Sweden beat up on the British on Tuesday, handing the Olympic hosts a 41-19 defeat.

Iceland, the silver medalist four years ago in Beijing, rounded out Group A action with a 32-22 win over Tunisia.

France, Iceland and Sweden are all undefeated at 2-0.

In Group B, Hungary beat South Korea, 22-19, Croatia downed Serbia, 31-22, and Denmark edged Spain, 24-23.

BAD DAY FOR BRITISH IN BADMINTON

London, England (Sports Network) - The last two home hopes were knocked out of the badminton tournament Tuesday and a third British player was penalized for taking too long with her drink.

Rajiv Ouseph was eliminated from men's singles after a 21-12, 17-21, 19-21 loss to Guatemala's Kevin Cordon and Susan Egelstaff exited the women's draw following a 21-18, 16-21, 12-21 defeat to Sayaka Sato of Japan.

In mixed doubles, Great Britain's Imogen Bankier received a yellow card for being too slow taking a drink. She and Chris Adcock, already eliminated from moving on, lost to Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei of China.

Also Tuesday, the youngest player in the tournament, 17-year-old Intanon Ratchanok of Thailand lost.

CAMEROON BOXER ESSOMBA WINS OPENING BOUT

London, England (Sports Network) - Cameroon's Thomas Essomba won his opening bout Tuesday as the men's light flyweight draw began at the London Olympics.

Essomba, ranked No. 4 in the world, slid past Morocco's Abdelali Daraa in a 13-10 decision. He lost in the first round four years ago in Beijing, but is on to the second round, where he will face Ireland's Paddy Barnes.

The men's light welterweight draw also had first-round bouts Tuesday, and world No. 2 Munkh-Erdene Uranchimeg of Mongolia out-pointed Czech Zdenek Chladek by a 20-12 margin.

Colombian Cesar Villarraga Aldana upended Cuban Roniel Iglesias Sotolongo in another first-round light welterweight bout, and will next face top-seeded Everton dos Santos Lopes of Brazil.