Published August 03, 2012
| Sports Network
London, England – The sun is setting and rising at the same time on United States swimming.
On the same night Michael Phelps won his last individual race, giving us a final glimpse of another big kick for his 17th gold medal, he shared the spotlight with a pair of teenagers who also stood atop the medal podium as Olympic champions.
It wasn't Missy Franklin's first time. She's matched expectations here with multiple wins. But Katie Ledecky, not yet driving age, had never seen such a stage.
Some helpful words from Phelps, the winningest Olympian of all time, helped the 15-year-old get through it all.
"Michael is the first Olympian I ever met when I was six, right before I started swimming. So to hear a good luck from him before the race was really cool," said Ledecky. "I just thought back to that and it really calmed me down."
Phelps surged to win the 100-meter butterfly Friday night, coming back from seventh place at the turn to beat the swimmer who'd out-touched him three nights before in his signature race.
Kicking into gear over the last 50 meters, Phelps touched in 51.21 seconds -- .23 ticks ahead of South Africa's Chad lo Clos, the 200 fly champ, and Russian Evgeny Korotyshkin, who shared the silver.
It was a rout compared to Phelps' last two 100 fly wins at the Olympics: .04 seconds over teammate Ian Crocker in Athens and, famously, .01 seconds over Milorad Cavic in Beijing.
It was his 21st Olympic medal and 17th gold, extending both records. He will swim once more here, in the 400-meter medley relay, which the U.S. is favored to win.
Then, Phelps will hang up his goggles after what he swears is his last Summer Games.
"I thought it would hit me harder than what it is right now. A lot of those emotions haven't really come through my brain in the last week," said Phelps. "Once I'm done, there's going to be a lot more emotion. I'm kind of in a meet mode. You have 15 or 16 sessions, you start and then you finish and then it's over."
Things are just starting for Franklin and Ledecky.
Franklin, the bubbly 17-year-old who trains in Aurora, Colo., site of the fatal movie theater shooting last month, smashed a world record to win the 200-meter backstroke for her third gold medal in London.
Her time of 2:04.06 seconds broke Kirsty Coventry's world mark from 2009 by .75 seconds. Franklin, who also won gold in the 100 back, has four medals overall here. Russia's Anastasia Zueva was second and Elizabeth Beisel of the U.S. took bronze.
"It feels amazing, it's my favorite [medal]. I can't think of a better way to end," said Franklin. "I knew I was going to take it out and have fun and that is what I did. I am the happiest girl alive. ... It was an incredible field I was up against. On my way home, the last 25 (meters), I know I was giving it everything. I could not feel my arms and legs."
Franklin should go in the women's medley relay Saturday and become the first female U.S. swimmer to race seven events at the same Olympics.
Ledecky swam most of the 800-meter freestyle under world record time, blowing away seven other swimmers to win her first Olympic final. She led for good after the first 150 meters and touched in 8:14.63 -- 4.13 ticks ahead of Spain's Mireia Belmonte Garcia.
Great Britain's Rebecca Adlington, the world record holder and 2008 gold medalist, ended 5.69 seconds back. Ledecky was ahead of Adlington's record time of 8:14.10 until the last 50 meters. She finished just .53 off it.
Later, her lips quivered and she cried during an emotional medal ceremony as the U.S. anthem played for the third time Friday night.
"I figured I was going pretty fast," said Ledecky. "At one point I thought, if I'm gonna be close to this record I don't even care. I just want to get my hand on the wall first."
Ledecky broke the American record in the women's 800 set by Janet Evans in 1989 by almost two seconds. Evans tweeted her congratulations to the young swimmer.
"Congrats to #katieledecky on her gold medal in tonight's 800 free," Evans wrote. "Amazing swim, so proud of her for bringing distance gold back to the US!"
Though Phelps shared the focus with U.S. teammate and rival Ryan Lochte coming into these Olympics, he will walk away with more wins.
Phelps and Lochte split their head-to-head races, but Phelps has more golds (3) than his teammate (2) going into the last day of swimming.
Phelps also became the first male swimmer to win the same Olympic event three straight times -- and he's done it two times over. It happened first against Lochte in the 200 IM on Thursday night. He has now also won he 100 fly three straight times as well.
"My start of the meet wasn't what we wanted, but I seemed to pick up some steam at the end of the meet, and was able to finish with two individual golds," said Phelps. "To be able to finish that way, you can't really finish any better. I'm very pleased with how everything went."
The U.S. has 28 swimming medals at the London Games, well more than half its total haul so far and more medals in one sport than any country has overall except China.
Also Friday night, France's Florent Manaudou won the 50-meter free, the first swimmer from his country to capture gold in the shortest Olympic sprint event.
Manaudou touched in 21.34 seconds -- .20 seconds ahead of American Cullen Jones. World record holder and 2008 Olympic champion Cesar Cielo, who beat Frenchmen Amaury Leveaux and Alain Bernard in Beijing, came in third for the bronze.
Former Olympic champion Anthony Ervin of the U.S. finished fifth in his return to the games. Ervin won the race at Sydney in 2000, then later sold his gold medal to aid victims of the Indian Ocean Tsunami. He came out of retirement after nine years to give the Olympics another try.
DIBABA, MAJEWSKI REPEAT ON DAY 1 OF TRACK AND FIELD
London, England (Sports Network) - The track and field competition at the London Games kicked off Friday at Olympic Stadium and the first two gold medals went to a pair of familiar faces.
Tirunesh Dibaba won the women's 10,000 meters for a second straight Olympics and Poland's Tomasz Majewski also repeated as champion in the men's shot put.
Dibaba won her third Olympic gold medal, easily defending her 10,000m title from four years ago in Beijing. She became the second woman to repeat in the event, joining fellow Ethiopian Derartu Tulu, who won the 10,000 at both the 1992 and 2000 Summer Games. Dibaba is the first to win the event at consecutive Olympics.
"It's very special," said Dibaba. "I have worked very hard for this. No one has ever done what I did today."
The distance race closed out the first day of track and field action at Olympic Stadium and Dibaba ended the night in style.
The winner of both the 5,000 and 10,000 four years ago in Beijing, the four- time Olympic medalist kicked into high gear with over a lap to go and completed the race in 30 minutes, 20.75 seconds -- 5.62 seconds before Kenyan Sally Jepkosgei Kipyego crossed the finish line.
Kipyego's compatriot Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot won bronze with a time of 30:30.44.
Ethiopians Werknesh Kidane and Beleynesh Oljira helped set the pace for Dibaba and finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Amy Hastings had the best time of three Americans in the race but finished in 11th place, 49.94 seconds behind Dibaba.
Majewski defended his Olympic title from the 2008 Beijing Games with a throw of 21.89 meters to beat Germany's David Storl by just .03 meters.
Majewski became only the second man to win the men's shot put at consecutive games. The only other person to repeat in the event was Parry O'Brien of the United States, achieving the feat at the 1952 and '56 Summer Games.
American thrower Reese Hoffa, who finished seventh in Beijing, took third with a toss of 21.23 meters.
"The experience here in London is incredible," said Hoffa. "I am sure a lot people can't wait to see the medal."
It was the first Olympic medal for Hoffa and the 48th all-time shot put medal for the U.S. The Soviet Union is next on that list with five.
Hoffa's countryman Christian Cantwell, the silver medalist in Beijing, was fourth with a top throw of 21.19 meters. Canada's Dylan Armstrong finished fifth and Ryan Whiting of the U.S. came in ninth.
Round 1 of the women's 100m also began Friday evening with seven heats and all the favorites moved onto the semifinals. Carmelita Jeter, winner of the event at the U.S. Olympic Trials, posted the fastest time with a run of 10.83 seconds, while defending gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica was seventh. Americans Allyson Felix and Tianna Madison and Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown and Kerron Stewart also moved onto the semis.
The Jamaicans swept the 100 in Beijing, with Sherone Simpson and Stewart taking silver and bronze, respectively, behind Fraser-Pryce. The semis and finals will take place on Saturday night.
Four of the seven events in the heptathlon were staged on Friday and Jessica Ennis of Great Britain is in the lead with 4,158 points. Lithuania's Austra Skujyte is next with 3,974 points and Canada's Jessica Zelinka is third at 3,903.
Hyleas Fountain of the U.S., silver medalist in Beijing, is currently sitting in fifth place and is 258 points behind Ennis.
Heptathlon gold will be award Saturday after athletes compete in the long jump, javelin and 800m race.
Friday's track and field action also included qualifying for the men's 1,500m and long jump as well as the women's discus. The finals in both the long jump and discus will be contested on Saturday.
In the morning session at Olympic Stadium, Beijing bronze medalist Sanya Richards-Ross' moved into the semifinals of the women's 400-meter race along with fellow Americans Francena McCorory and DeeDee Trotter. Great Britain's Christine Ohuruogu, the 2008 gold medalist also moved and Amantle Montsho of Botswana had the fastest time with a run of 50.40 seconds, 1.38 ticks faster than Richards-Ross, who placed 12th.
Also on Friday morning, Angelo Taylor, Kerron Clement and Michael Tinsley of the U.S. all moved into the semifinals of the men's 400m hurdles. Taylor won gold in Beijing and Clement claimed silver.
WAMBACH LEADS U.S. WOMEN BACK TO OLYMPIC SEMIFINALS
Newcastle, England (Sports Network) - Abby Wambach scored again and the United States is back in the semifinals of the women's Olympic soccer tournament.
Wambach scored in her fifth straight Olympic game - a streak going back to the 2004 Olympics - and Sydney Leroux added a late goal as the United States edged New Zealand, 2-0, at St James' Park on Friday in the quarterfinals.
Wambach was injured in 2008, when the Americans won their second straight gold medal, but added to her on extra-time winner in the 2004 finale against Brazil with a goal in each of the first four matches in the London Games.
"Everything she does on and off the field, she leads this team. If you look at this game, she scored a huge goal," U.S. coach Pia Sundhage said of Wambach.
The United States has reached the final in the first four Olympic tournaments, and will face Canada in the semifinals Monday at Old Trafford in Manchester, England. Canada defeated Great Britain, 2-0, to advance.
"We're in the semifinals of the Olympics and hopefully if we get one more win we'll be playing for gold," Wambach said.
Alex Morgan and Wambach both missed early shots for the United States, but the duo combined for the opener before the half-hour mark. Morgan delivered a pass - which might have been a shot - from the left and Wambach slotted home at the far post in the 27th minute for her 142nd career goal.
Morgan had another good scoring chance early in the second half but fired into the side netting and was involved in bad collision with New Zealand goalkeeper Jenny Bindon in the 73rd.
Bindon challenged Morgan on a breakaway just outside the penalty area and took a knee to the face as the U.S. striker tried to avoid the goalie. Both stayed in the match, but Morgan was replaced by Leroux in the 81st.
Leroux picked up where Morgan left off, and converted a chance in the 87th for his first Olympic goal. She scored through the legs of Bindon to secure the fifth semifinal appearance in as many Olympics for the United States.
"It's so amazing. If you saw my face, I was pretty excited. I'm so happy that I get to play with these girls and they inspire me every day. To score a goal (in the Olympics) for the USA is a dream come true," Leroux said.
The United States also won gold in 1996, and settled for silver in 2000.
JAPAN TOPS BRAZIL IN WOMEN'S OLYMPIC SOCCER
Cardiff, Wales (Sports Network) - Japan took another step toward a gold medal Friday and an unprecedented World Cup-Olympics double.
Yuki Ogimi and Shinobu Ohno scored and Japan downed Brazil, 2-0, at Millennium Stadium to reach the semifinals of the women's Olympic soccer tournament.
Japan won the 2011 Women's World Cup, and could become the first nation to win the World Cup and Olympics in consecutive years.
Japan will play France in the semifinals Monday at Wembley Stadium in London, England. France beat Sweden, 2-1, in its quarterfinal. The Japanese have never won a medal in women's soccer.
Brazil failed to advance to the semifinals for the first time in its history. Brazil finished fourth in 1996 and 2000, and won silver in 2004 and 2008.
GRAINGER FINALLY WINS GOLD AS BRITAIN TAKES WOMEN'S DOUBLE SCULLS
London, England (Sports Network) - Katherine Grainger finally claimed the honor that had been just out of reach over the course of her outstanding career, earning Olympic gold for the first time after winning the women's double sculls on Friday with partner Anna Watkins.
The most successful female rower in Great Britain's history, Grainger came into the London Games having claimed only silver in the previous three attempts -- two in the quadruple sculls and one in the pair.
A former double sculls world champion, Grainger teamed up with Watkins three years ago and the duo has yet to lose. That trend continued on Friday as they never trailed and finished with a time of 6 minutes, 55.82 seconds, 2.73 seconds clear of Australia's Kim Crow and Brooke Pratley.
"It's been a long, long wait. It's not been painful, I've had a great few years. This is the culmination of a lot of hard work," said Grainger.
It was essentially a two-boat race as Britain's duo finished 12.10 ticks ahead of bronze-winning Poland.
"We had a great race," noted Watkins. "There is so much trust and confidence in each other. We didn't know what conditions we were going to get, but it was fine. We knew we'd win from halfway. It's a dream come true."
Crow secured her first Olympic medal and gets another chance for gold as the Aussie is in the final of the single sculls that is set for Saturday.
"It's hard to think too much ahead as today is special and has been for many seasons," reflected Crow.
Another team continued their unbeaten run as New Zealand's Eric Murray and Hamish Bond earned gold in the men's pair. They logged a time of 6:16.65 to best early-charging France by 4.46 seconds.
"It is what we've been working for for the last four years. I'm so glad we pulled it off. We've been on tenterhooks all week, I'm so pleased we came through," Bond said.
Great Britain's George Nash and William Satch won bronze, while defending 2008 silver medalists David Calder and Scott Frandsen of Canada finished sixth.
In the men's quadruple sculls, Germany upset favorites Croatia in the final with a time of 5:42.48. That was 2.30 seconds ahead of Croatia, which won all three world cups this year and had the fastest time of the semifinals in London.
Australia grabbed the bronze.
The final race of the day saw 2008 Beijing bronze medalist Mahe Drysdale upgrade to the gold after the New Zealander won the men's single sculls with a time of 6:57.82.
Drysdale was just fourth after the first 500 meters, but logged the fastest time over the final 1,500 meters to finish first. World champion Czech Ondrej Synek claimed the silver, while Great Britain's Alan Campbell held off Swede Lassi Karonen for the bronze.
The lanes for all four finals on Friday were reallocated and redrawn due to adverse weather conditions -- a crosswind blowing across the course from lane six to one.
PENDLETON GETS GOLD, BRITISH SET TEAM PURSUIT WR
London, England (Sports Network) - This time, the chance for gold didn't slip through Victoria Pendleton's fingers.
A day after being relegated out of competition for medals in the women's team sprint, Pendleton dominated every stage of Friday's keirin, holding off China's Guo Shuang for the victory.
Oh, and both British pursuit teams broke the world record, with the men earning a gold medal in the process. Just another day at the Velodrome.
The second day of track cycling competition brought more success for Great Britain, which claimed gold and the world record behind Chris Hoy's sprint team on Thursday.
That same day, the men's pursuit team set a world record in qualifying, and Friday brought more of the same from the strong British squad.
It recorded the fastest time in the first round to set up a gold medal match with Australia, which has dueled the British for men's team pursuit supremacy over the last decade.
But Great Britain was peerless Friday. In pursuit races, teams line up on opposite sides of the track and try to catch each other, and the British team of Edward Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh immediately started to make up ground.
While the British didn't make the catch before the 4,000-meter race was over, they finished in 3 minutes, 51.659 seconds to set a new world mark and capture their second straight Olympic gold.
Australia finished nearly three seconds behind, while New Zealand beat Russia in the bronze medal race.
Then, it was Pendleton's turn for glory.
She had won her first- and second-round races to set up a final showdown with Australian Anna Meares, who has won the last two world titles in the discipline -- an eight-lap race in which a motorbike paces the riders up to speed before leaving the track with 2 1/2 laps to go.
In the medal race, Pendleton was sitting a few riders ahead of Meares and clearly watching out for her. The 31-year-old rode with one eye over her right shoulder, waiting for the Australian to jump.
Just after the motorbike left the track, Meares did, putting in a big attack along Pendleton's outside. It appeared that Pendleton might be in bad position, but she steadily made her way to the front and countered with an attack of her own.
Meares had no answer. She was either boxed in or unable to respond as Pendleton led for the entire final lap and crossed the finish line ahead of Guo. Hong Kong's Lee Wai Sze earned bronze, and Meares was fifth.
"My coach said to me, 'Don't look to their race, just make your own. When it's your moment, just go,'" Pendleton said. "My legs were still good from last night. I really wanted to show what I've got. It turned out okay, I guess."
Pendleton, who claimed her second career Olympic gold medal, rebounded from a disappointing first day of competition. She and team sprint partner Jessica Varnish looked to be on pace to get a medal, but Pendleton passed Varnish too early during one of their heats and never contested the final.
Guo and her teammate Gong Jinjie did race in that final, but they, too, were relegated for the same reason. Despite beating Germany in the team sprint, the Chinese duo came away with silver.
She said she didn't want to dwell on that race, and Friday earned another silver.
"The competition was really tactical, and I am glad for the silver medal," Guo said.
Qualifying for women's team pursuit also took place Friday, and Great Britain's Dani King, Laura Trott and Joanna Rowsell set the world record with a time of 3:15.669 in the 3,000m race.
The United States (3:19.406) had the second-fastest time, followed closely by Australia and Canada. Medals in that event will be awarded Saturday.
RUSSIAN CYCLIST ADMITS TO DOPING, SENT HOME FROM OLYMPICS
London, England (Sports Network) - Russian track cyclist Victoria Baranova has been sent home from the London Olympics after testing positive for testosterone.
In a test conducted July 24 by the IOC, Baranova's sample triggered a positive result for testosterone, International Cycling Union spokesperson Enrico Carpani said in an email.
The email also said that Baranova admitted to doping after her "B" sample was analyzed Wednesday, and she was sent home Thursday morning by the Russian National Olympic Committee.
Baranova, a sprinter, did not compete in any event at these games.
BELARUS' MARTYNOV GETS WR, GOLD IN RIFLE EVENT
London, England (Sports Network) - Belarus' Sergei Martynov set a world record to win gold Friday in the men's 50-meter rifle prone event.
Martynov scored the maximum 600 points in qualifying, then posted a total of 105.5 points in the final to set a new world mark of 705.5.
The 44-year-old earned his first Olympic gold, but third medal overall. He won bronze in the event at the 2000 and '04 Summer Games.
"I am absolutely delighted," said Martynov. "This will mean everything to my country."
Belgian Lionel Cox earned silver with an overall score of 701.2, while Slovenian Rajmond Debevec was 0.2 points further behind to take bronze.
CUBAN WINS SHOOTING GOLD WITH RECORD-SETTING FINAL
London, England (Sports Network) - Cuba's Leuris Pupo won gold in the men's 25-meter rapid fire pistol event Friday and set an Olympic shooting record in the process.
Pupo tied a world record and set an Olympic mark with a score of 34 in the final round to beat India's Vijay Kumar by four shots. Ding Feng of China won bronze with a score of 27. All three of the countries on the podium had never medaled in this event before.
The gold is the first for Cuba in Olympic shooting and is also the first major world title for Pupo, who is at his third Summer Games but had never finished better than seventh until Friday. Pupo is also the first non-European to win this event since Takeo Kamachi of Japan claimed gold at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
"This is my fourth Olympics and I feel overwhelmed," said Pupo.
Alexei Klimov of Russia set world and Olympic records with a score of 592 in the qualification round, but finished fourth in the final round.
Emil Milev and Keith Sanderson of the United States placed 13th and 14th, respectively.
Belarus' Sergei Martynov set a world record to win in the men's 50-meter rifle prone event earlier at the Royal Artillery Barracks on Friday. Martynov scored the maximum 600 points in qualifying, then posted a total of 105.5 points in the final to set a new world mark of 705.5.
FRANCE, CUBA GRAB FINAL JUDO MEDALS
London, England (Sports Network) - France's Teddy Riner and Idalys Ortiz of Cuba were both winners in their respective weight classes on Friday, the final day of judo at the London Games.
The world No. 1 Riner picked up a gold medal by winning the plus-100 kilogram class, besting Russia's Alexander Mikhaylin. The 23-year-old Riner had already won five previous world titles and a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Riner gave France its 200th gold medal at the Summer Games and the fourth for the country in this division. Riner plans on adding to that total in four years.
"Next for me is Brazil at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games," he said.
Mikhaylin knocked off world No. 3 Rafael Silva of Brazil and former world champion Andreas Toelzer of Germany en route to his appearance in the final. Toelzer and Silva both won their respective bronze medal matches.
Ortiz, meanwhile, got the best of reigning Olympic champion Tong Wen in the semifinal, handing the Chinese 29-year-old her first international loss since the 2007 World Championships.
Ortiz, a bronze-medal winner at the 2008 Beijing Games, then defeated Japan's Mika Sugimoto for the women's plus-76kg gold.
"I have no way to describe how I'm feeling right now. This is every athlete's dream. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. All I can say is that I feel amazing right now," said Ortiz, who won Cuba's first gold medal in this discipline.
Tong and Great Britain's Karina Bryant won bronze medals, with each winning their match by ippon. The Brits picked up their second judo medal in as many days after earning just one since 1992 prior to these games.
History was made earlier in the tournament when Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani became the first female athlete from Saudi Arabia to compete in the Olympic Games. Wearing a tight black cap instead of the Muslim custom hijab, the 16-year-old lost her opening match against Puerto Rico's Melissa Mojica by ippon just 82 seconds into the match.
FIRST SAUDI FEMALE COMPETES IN OLYMPICS, LOSES MATCH
London, England (Sports Network) - It was a long road to the London Games for Saudi judoka Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani, and the experience didn't last long, but it was still history in the making.
Shaherkani became the first female athlete from Saudi Arabia to compete in the Olympics on Friday, losing her opening match against Puerto Rico's Melissa Mojica by ippon just 82 seconds into their plus-78 kilogram bout.
"I'm excited and proud to be representing my country, unfortunately I lost but hopefully I'll do better next time. Hopefully I'll achieve a medal next time," Shaherkani said. "I am very excited and it was the opportunity of a lifetime, certainly the Saudi Arabia judo federation are delighted that I've been able to come here. Hopefully this will be the start of bigger participation for other sports also."
The 16-year-old was making her major international event debut after earning a special invitation from the IOC. She was nearly denied a chance to even contend after the president of the International Judo Federation had said that she must fight without a hijab, a traditional veil worn by Muslim women to cover their hair.
However, the IJF and Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee eventually reached an agreement that balanced the safety and cultural concerns, a tight-fitting black cap that Shaherkani wore on Friday.
Turns out it was more of the environment than the headwear that impacted Shaherkani.
"I was scared a lot, because of all the crowd around and lost, because this is the first time," she said.
Shaherkani is one of two Saudi females set to participate in the London 2012 Games. The other is Sarah Attar, who is slated to run in the women's track and field 800-meter.
PODOBEDOVA WINS WEIGHTLIFTING GOLD IN TIGHT BATTLE
London, England (Sports Network) - Svetlana Podobedova and Natalya Zabolotnaya traded Olympic records during their clash in the women's 75-kilogram weightlifting competition, but it was Kazakhstan's Podobedova who came out on top thanks to a lower body weight.
Podobedova and her Russian counterpart went head-to-head all day. The gold- medal winner drew first blood by setting an Olympic record with 130kg in the snatch, but that mark was broken by one kilogram by Zabolotnaya.
The 27-year-old Zabolotnaya, who holds the world record in the snatch with 135kg and total weight at 296kg, then set a new Olympic mark with 155kg in the clean and jerk. Podobedova responded with 156kg, but Zabolotnaya came back with 160kg.
A two-time world champion, Podobedova countered with a record 161kg to put her in a tie with Zabolotnaya, a silver medalist at the 2004 Athens Games, with another Olympic high of 291kg.
However, Podobedova's lower body weight gave her the gold.
"I just wished for it so much. I have been working towards this all my life. For 15 years," said Podobedova.
Belarus' Iryna Kulesha finished a distance third with 269kg, four more than Spain's Lidia Valentin Perez.
Expected 24-year-old contender and reigning bronze medal winner Nadezda Evstyukhina of Russia did not finish the competition after failing to complete a lift during the snatch.
POLAND'S ZIELINSKI WINS WEIGHTLIFTING GOLD
London, England (Sports Network) - After many of the favorites failed to even advance out of the snatch phase, Poland's Adrian Edward Zielinski took advantage to claim gold in the men's 85-kilogram weightlifting event.
The former 2010 world champion lifted 174kg in the snatch -- the third-highest total of any lifter -- and then added another 211kg in the clean and jerk. That left him tied with Russian Apti Aukhadov with a total of 385kg, but Zielinski got the gold due to a slightly lower body weight (84.62 to 84.75kg).
Zielinski had won the Polish championships with an impressive 395kg, but did so at the 94kg category. He gave his country its first medal in weightlifting since the 1972 Munich Games.
"I was sure I was going to get a medal. But in the last lift I felt a second strength so I just decided to go for it," said Zielinski of what his final lift felt like.
Aukhadov picked up a surprise medal after grabbing the final spot on Russia's team just to get to London. He lifted 175kg in the snatch and another 210 in the clean and jerk, failing to get up an additional two kilograms on his final attempt.
Iran's Kianoush Rostami, the 2011 world champion, won the bronze.
Asian champion Sourab Moradi and Belarus' Andrei Rybakou, the defending Olympic silver medalist, failed to complete their lifts in the snatch and did not finish the event. China's Lu Yong, the 2008 Beijing gold medalist, lifted 178kg in the snatch but failed in three attempts to clean and jerk 205kg.
ETHIOPIA'S DIBABA TAKES 10,000M AGAIN
London, England (Sports Network) - Tirunesh Dibaba won her third Olympic gold medal Friday at the London Games, easily defending her title in the women's 10,000 meters.
The distance race closed out the first day of track and field action at Olympic Stadium and Dibaba ended the night in style.
The winner of both the 5,000 and 10,000 four years ago in Beijing, the four- time Olympic medalist kicked into high gear with over a lap to go and completed the race in 30 minutes, 20.75 seconds -- 5.62 seconds before Kenyan Sally Jepkosgei Kipyego crossed the finish line.
Kipyego's compatriot Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot won bronze with a time of 30:30.44.
Ethiopians Werknesh Kidane and Beleynesh Oljira helped set the pace for Dibaba and finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Amy Hastings had the best time of three Americans in the race but finished in 11th place, 49.94 seconds behind Dibaba.
MAJEWSKI WINS GOLD IN SHOT PUT, HOFFA GETS BRONZE FOR U.S.
London, England (Sports Network) - Tomasz Majewski of Poland won his second straight gold medal in men's shot put on Friday and Reese Hoffa of the United States claimed bronze for his first Olympic medal.
Majewski defend his Olympic title from the 2008 Beijing Games with a throw of 21.89 meters to beat Germany's David Storl by just .03 meters. Hoffa, who finished seventh in Beijing, took third with a toss of 21.23 meters.
Hoffa's countryman Christian Cantwell, the silver medalist in Beijing, was fourth with a top throw of 21.19 meters.
Canada's Dylan Armstrong finished fifth and Ryan Whiting of the U.S. came in ninth.
SOUTH KOREA WINS SURPRISE FENCING GOLD
London, England (Sports Network) - South Korea earned its first gold medal in men's team fencing on Friday, winning the sabre event with an easy victory over Romania in the gold medal match.
The Koreans entered this tournament as the sixth of eight seeds and beat Germany and Italy before posting a 45-26 win over Romania. It marks the fifth medal in fencing at the London Games for Korea and the second gold after Kim Jiyeon's title in the women's individual sabre.
South Korea's first ever medal in team fencing came on Thursday when the women's team won bronze in the foil.
Romania, the fourth seed, turned in its best performance in a men's team fencing event. It's the third team medal for the country, which had won bronze in team sabre at both the 1976 and 1984 Summer Games.
Italy won bronze with a 45-40 victory over Russia, which entered this tournament as the top-seeded team.
Italy has won a record 20 Olympic medals in men's team sabre, but haven't taken gold since 1984. The Italians also won bronze four years ago in Beijing.
The United States lost in the opening round to Russia, dropping a 45-33 decision. The Americans had won silver in this event in Beijing.
CHINA WINS GOLD, SILVER IN BADMINTON
London, England (Sports Network) - Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei defeated the fellow Chinese team of Xu Chen and Ma Jin in straight sets Friday to give the country the first two badminton medals at the London Olympics.
Zhang and Zhao won the mixed doubles final in straight sets 21-11, 21-17. Denmark's Joachim Fischer and Christinna Pedersen knocked off Indonesia's Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir 21-12, 21-12 for the bronze.
As the sport tries to move past its match-throwing scandal here, the singles tournaments reached their final stages.
The top seeds in the men's tournament reached the final. No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia topped China's Chen Long 21-13, 21-14; and No. 2 Lin Dan of China beat South Korea's Lee Hyun Il to set up Sunday's medal matches.
Medal matches for the women's singles are Saturday. Wang Yihan of China beat Saina Nehwal of Indonesia 21-13, 21-13 and will face countrywoman Li Xuerui, who topped Wang Xin, also of China, 22-20, 21-18.
CHINESE TAKE GOLD, BRONZE IN MEN'S TRAMPOLINE
London, England (Sports Network) - China's Dong Dong won his first gold in men's trampoline Friday at the London Games, beating Russia's Dmitry Ushakov and countryman Lu Chunlong.
Four years ago in Beijing, Dong and Lu were in opposite positions with the former taking bronze and the latter claiming gold. The duo also went 1-2 at the 2011 world championships, an event that Lu also won.
Dong and Lu join Russia's Alexander Moskalenko as the only multiple medalists in this event. Moskalenko won gold at the 2000 Sydney Games and took silver eight years ago in Athens.
"It was one of my dreams to win this medal but the greatest moment has gone and I need to prepare for more challenges coming up," said Dong.
Dong added to his bronze from 2008 by posting a total score of 62.990, 1.221 points ahead of Ushakov, who finished third to Lu and Dong at the 2011 worlds and placed sixth in Beijing.
Lu came in third with a score of 61.319 and Japan's Masaki Ito and Yasuhiro Ueyama finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Canada's Jason Burnett, a silver medalist in 2008, finished eighth.
SOUTH KOREA'S OH WINS MEN'S ARCHERY GOLD
London, England (Sports Network) - Top-seeded Im Dong-Hyun got knocked out early, but Oh Jin Hyek came through to deliver South Korea's first men's individual Olympic gold medal in archery.
Oh defeated Japan's Takaharu Furukawa in the final, 7-1. The victory was a decisive one -- he shot seven 10s, compared to only three for Furukawa, and held a 115-108 advantage in total points.
The 30-year-old Oh had a tough path to the final. After defeating Ukrainian Viktor Ruban, the defending gold medalist, in the quarterfinals, he contested a tight semifinal against China's Dai Xiaoxiang. Oh eventually won it in a shoot-off.
Dai beat the Netherlands' Rick van der Ven for the bronze medal.
Van der Ven had knocked out Im in the 1/8 elimination round by a 7-1 margin. The South Korean Im, who is legally blind in his left eye, had broken his own 216-arrow world record in the ranking round.
ROGERS, DALHAUSSER KNOCKED OUT OF OLYMPICS
London, England (Sports Network) - Americans Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser, the defending men's Olympic beach volleyball champions, were knocked out of the London Games on Friday.
Rogers and Dalhausser lost to Italy's Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo 21-17, 21-19 in 40 minutes at the Horse Guards Parade.
Rogers wasn't happy drawing the Italian team so soon in the knockout stage.
"They have beaten every team in the world," he said. "They could easily win a medal, I think."
The United States' No. 2 women's team of April Ross and Jennifer Kessy won their first knockout stage match 21-15, 21-19 against Simone Kuhn and Nadine Zumkehr of Switzerland.
Meanwhile, Brazilians Juliana Silva and Larissa Franca remained unbeaten in the Olympic beach volleyball tournament, rolling to a 21-10, 21-17 win over Madelein Meppelink and Sophie van Gestel of the Netherlands.
They will play Germany's Laura Ludwig and Sara Goller in the quarterfinals. Ludwig and Goller knocked off fellow Germans Katrin Holtwick and Ilka Semmler 21-16, 21-15 on Friday.
Later, Austrian sisters Stefanie and Doris Schwaiger beat Russians Anastasia Vasina and Anna Vozakova 21-17, 16-21, 15-9.
Also on the men's side, Poland's Mariusz Prudel and Grzegorz Fijalek beat Switzerland's Sascha Heyer and Seba Chevallier 21-18, 21-17; and Latvia's Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins topped Martin Spinnangr and Tarjel Viken Skarlund of Norway 21-18, 21-16.
Brazil's Ricardo Santos and Pedro Cunha beat Spain's Pablo Herrera Allepuz and Collado Gavira 21-18, 21-19.
CHINA'S WU ON TRACK FOR DIVING HISTORY
London, England (Sports Network) - Chinese diver Wu Minxia, already a gold medalist here, had the best score Friday in preliminaries for the women's 3- meter springboard.
Wu has five Olympic medals, one short of tying countrywoman Guo Jingjing for the most ever among female divers.
She had 387.95 points Friday at the Aquatics Centre, 24.10 more than Chinese teammate He Zi, who won the synchronized springboard gold with Wu on Sunday.
Semifinals are Saturday and the finals are Sunday. China has won all four diving events so far in London after going 7-for-8 in Beijing four years ago.
Italy's Tania Cagnotto was third behind the Chinese divers and Canada's Jennifer Abel was fourth.
Americans Christina Loukas and Cassidy Krug made the semifinals. The U.S. has three diving medals at these Olympics after going since 2000 without one.
U.S. WOMEN ROLL PAST CZECH REPUBLIC TO REMAIN UNDEFEATED
London, England (Sports Network) - Diana Taurasi netted a game-high 18 points while Tina Charles had 16 points and 14 rebounds as the United States rolled past the Czech Republic, 88-61, on Friday.
It was the first meeting between the teams since the gold medal game at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, which the USA won 89-69.
Maya Moore contributed 14 points and Angel McCoughtry finished with eight points and 11 boards for the United States, which improved to 4-0 in these Olympics.
Michaela Zrustova paced the Czech Republic with 15 points. Eva Viteckova was the only other double-digit scorer with 12 in defeat.
The Czechs fell to 1-3 in Group A and will play Angola on Sunday. The U.S. will face China on Sunday.
The Czech Republic opened the game with a 10-0 run to take the early advantage, but USA answered with a 13-2 spurt to take a one-point lead just past the midpoint of the first quarter.
After a Seimone Augustus three-pointer put the U.S. on top, 22-17, a few minutes later, the Czech Republic closed out the first quarter with a 9-2 push to carry a 26-24 lead heading into the second.
It was the first time in the tournament that the Americans had trailed at the end of the first quarter.
The Czech Republic would stretch its lead up to 30-26 with a Hana Horakova field goal 2 1/2 minutes into the second quarter, but the U.S. took over from there, closing out the half with a 22-8 run to take a 48-38 lead into the break.
The United States then dominated the second half, outscoring the Czech Republic by a mark of 22-9 in the third quarter to take a 70-47 lead into the fourth, where the U.S. held an 18-14 scoring advantage.
AUSTRALIA HANDS RUSSIA FIRST WOMEN'S HOOPS LOSS
London, England (Sports Network) - Liz Cambage scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, leading Australia to a 70-66 victory over Russia in women's basketball.
Cambage dunked in the third quarter and, more importantly, hit a pair of free throws in the final minute to seal Australia's second straight win and hand Russia its first loss of the tournament.
Suzy Batkovic added 15 points and Jenna O'Hea finished with 10 for the Aussies, who improved to 3-1 and moved into a tie with Russia for second place in Group B. Australia will complete round-robin play on Sunday against Canada.
The Russians had won each of their first three games, none by more than 10 points, and will take on unbeaten France in its Group B finale on Sunday.
Irina Osipova led Russia with 15 points and nine rebounds, while Alena Danilochkina chipped in 13 points in defeat. Becky Hammon scored 12 for Russia, which never led after the first quarter.
The Aussies opened an 11-point lead midway through the third when Cambage's bucket made it 44-33, but Russia quickly trimmed its deficit to three and went into the fourth down 54-48.
Australia pushed its lead to as many as eight in the final period, but Russia managed to keep it close and Hammon's basket with 50 seconds remaining made it a 68-66 game. Cambage followed with a pair from the stripe and Russia, despite four offensive rebounds in the final 30 seconds, could not answer.
CANADA TOPS BRAZIL TO REACH WOMEN'S HOOPS QUARTERS
London, England (Sports Network) - Kim Smith and Courtney Pilypaitis each scored 14 points, as Canada advanced to the quarterfinals of the women's basketball tournament with a 79-73 win over Brazil.
Tamara Tatham added 13 and Shona Thorburn contributed 10 with eight assists for Canada, which improved to 2-2 in Group B and will conclude round-robin play on Sunday against Australia. France, Russia and Australia have also clinched spots in the quarterfinal round from Group B.
Erika de Souza scored 22 points and Clarissa Santos chipped in 21 for Brazil, which is 0-4 and will try to win at least one game in the tournament on Sunday in its finale against Great Britain.
Canada closed the first quarter with 10 straight points for an 18-8 lead and, after Brazil drew within four midway through the second, again scored the final 10 points of the period and carried a 39-25 cushion to the break.
Brazil didn't go away and used a 10-0 run late in the third to draw within 50-49, then finally went in front in the first minute of the fourth when a three-point play by Santos made it 56-55.
Canada took the lead for good with a 9-2 run midway through the fourth. Thorburn snapped a 61-61 tie with a free throw and drilled a three with 4 1/2 minutes remaining to give the Canadians a 70-63 advantage.
The Brazilians got as close as three a couple of times down the stretch, but the Canadians made enough free throws to seal it.
TURKEY EARNS WOMEN'S BASKETBALL QF BERTH WITH ROUT OF CHINA
London, England (Sports Network) - Nevriye Yilmaz scored 16 points and Esmeral Tuncluer added 12, leading Turkey to an 82-55 thumping of China in the women's basketball tournament.
Turkey never trailed and improved to 3-1 in Group A to wrap up a spot in the quarterfinals. The Turks were coming off an 89-58 loss to the United States and will close preliminary round play Sunday against Croatia.
Chen Nan scored 19 points and was the lone Chinese player to reach double figures in the blowout. China had already qualified for the quarterfinals after winning each of its first three games and will play the U.S. in its round-robin finale on Sunday.
The game was tied once in the early going, but Turkey created some distance by scoring the final 12 points of the first quarter to grab a 26-13 advantage. A pair of three-pointers to start the second quickly extended the margin to 19 and the Turks held a 39-27 cushion at the break.
China never made a serious threat in the second half and trailed by as many as 28.
DUMERC LIFTS FRANCE OVER GREAT BRITAIN IN OT
London, England (Sports Network) - Celine Dumerc made a three-pointer with 0.2 seconds left in overtime to give France an 80-77 victory over Great Britain in the women's basketball tournament.
Dumerc, who finished with 14 points, also made a shot from beyond the arc with 5.6 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime.
Sandrine Gruda and Edwige Lawson-Wade added 16 points apiece for France, which improved to 4-0 in Group B and will play Russia on Sunday.
Johannah Leedham had 29 points and eight rebounds to lead Great Britain, which has lost all four of its games.
Julie Page's free throw tied the game at 77-77 with 10 seconds to go in overtime. But Dumerc buried the game-winning three on France's ensuing possession for the win.
CROATIA KEEPS ANGOLA WINLESS IN WOMEN'S BASKETBALL
London, England (Sports Network) - Croatia registered its first women's basketball victory of the Olympic tournament and kept Angola winless after a 75-56 rout on Friday.
Ana Lelas poured in 23 points and Sandra Mandir added 18 for Croatia, which had lost its first three games in London and remained alive for a berth in the quarterfinals. The Croats will close Group A play on Sunday against Turkey.
Luisa Tomas scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Angola, which had lost by at least 22 in each of its first three games. The Angolans will face the Czech Republic in its final Group A game on Sunday.
Nacissela Mauricio chipped in 12 points for Angola and hit a three-pointer to start the game. It was Angola's only lead, as Croatia followed with 11 of the next 13 points. Angola managed to tie it at 11-11, but Mandir followed with a three for Croatia to start a burst of nine straight points and Angola never seriously threatened again.
The Croats built a 24-18 lead after the first and expanded the margin to 41-32 at the break, then blew it open by scoring the first 12 points of the third quarter. Lelas and Mandir each hit from beyond the arc during the early burst to start the second half and a pair of free throws from Andja Jelavic made it 53-32 with six minutes remaining in the third.
Angola got only as close as 13 and was down 59-43 heading to the fourth. The Croats again led by as many as 21 in the final period.
FINAL 2 U.S. MEN'S BOXERS LOSE
London, England (Sports Network) - American flyweight Rau'shee Warren started off with a strong round, but was out-pointed in the final two and lost a close bout Friday at the London Olympics.
Then, Errol Spence dropped his welterweight bout vs. Krishan Vikas by a 13-11 margin.
The losses left the United States without a boxer in any of the men's draws.
The No. 3 flyweight seed, Warren had received a bye into the second round but fell to France's Nordine Oubaali by a 19-18 decision. Russia's Misha Aloian, the top seed, moved into the quarterfinals, as did Great Britain's Andrew Selby. Selby is the second seed and world No. 1.
Also in the welterweight class, world No. 1 Taras Shelestyuk of the Ukraine advanced, as did the British Freddie Evans and Canadian Custio Clayton. Evans took out fourth-seeded Lithuanian Egidijus Kavaliauskas, to whom he had lost at last year's world championships.
BRITISH SAILING DUO IN 1ST HEADING TO MEDAL RACE
London, England (Sports Network) - Great Britain's Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson used two strong finishes Friday to hold onto first place in the men's Star sailing event, and will head into the medal race with a strong chance at the gold medal.
Percy and Simpson finished fourth in the day's first race, then won the other. They sit in first with 18 points, while Brazil's Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada are second with 26.
Friday provided the final two preliminary races in the Star (men's keelboat) class, which is, like most of the sailing events at these games, a fleet race.
In the 10 preliminary races, points are awarded in ascending order -- 1 for first, 2 for second, and so on. After those races, each boat's worst performance is discarded and the 10 best crews advance to the medal race, where points are doubled. Points after the medal race determine who gets gold, silver and bronze.
So Percy and Simpson sit in good position to get a win, though the Brazilians won three of the preliminary races and are a threat. Americans Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih sit in sixth place.
The men's Finn (heavyweight one-person dinghy) also held its final two preliminary races Friday, and Denmark's Jonas Hogh-Christensen still leads. However, he holds just a two-point edge over Great Britain's Ben Ainslie -- the two-time defending gold medalist -- moving to the medal race.
The Star and Finn class finals will be held Sunday.
In other sailing action, Australian Tom Slingsby won one of the day's two races in men's Laser (one-person dinghy), and still leads that competition with only two races to go before the medal round.
His fellow Aussies, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, are still leading the men's 49er (skiff).
British duos also lead the men's and women's 470 (two-person dinghy) classes.
Belgian Evi Van Acker is first in the women's Laser Radial (one-person dinghy).
GERMANY, NETHERLANDS REMAIN UNBEATEN IN MEN'S FIELD HOCKEY
London, England (Sports Network) - Germany and the Netherlands both picked up victories Friday to remain unbeaten so far in the men's field hockey pool matches, while Australia failed to win its third straight of the London Games.
Germany got three goals from Florian Fuchs in a 5-2 defeat of India, while the Netherlands saw Billy Bakker score twice as part of a 5-1 blitz of New Zealand.
Both the Germans and the Netherlands improved to 3-0-0, keeping them atop Pool B with nine points.
Australia, meanwhile, fell into a tie with Great Britain following a 2-2 draw with Argentina that saw the Aussies blow a two-goal halftime advantage. Argentina got a goal from captain Matias Vila at the 37-minute mark and the tying tally by Gonzalo Peillat at the 68-minute mark.
One of Australia's markers came from Jamie Dwyer, making him the country's all-time leader in international goals with 180. That bested the previous record held by current New Zealand's women's coach Mark Hager.
"It's good that it's finally here now and I can stop getting asked those questions and move on with my job," said Dwyer. "It's a great honor, Mark Hager was a role model of mine. To be the all-time leading goalscorer for my country is a privilege."
Great Britain, meanwhile, topped Pakistan 4-1 to match Australia's 2-0-1 record in Pool A.
In other action, Spain managed a 3-2 defeat of South Africa.
SPAIN CLAIMS GROUP A OVER USA; AUSSIES GO UNDEFEATED
London, England (Sports Network) - Though both teams came out winners on Friday, Spain claimed first place in Group A over the United States as the preliminary round in women's water polo concluded.
Spain bested Hungary 13-11 and the U.S. downed China 7-6, leaving both countries with a 2-0-1 mark. However, Spain's two-goal win over Hungary was better than the Americans' earlier 14-13 win over the club, giving the Spaniards the tie-breaker.
The U.S. and Spain had battled to a draw earlier in the round.
The Americans will face Italy (1-2-0) in the quarterfinals on Saturday, while Spain will battle winless Great Britain, which lost 10-5 to Italy and was outscored by 19 goals in the preliminary round.
China also went winless and will face 3-0 Australia, which led Group B and recorded an 11-8 win over Russia on Friday. The Aussies notched a goal differential of plus-18 in their three games and got four goals by Nicola Zagame on Friday.
Hungary and Russia will also meet in the quarterfinals.
RUSSIA EDGES BRAZIL IN WOMEN'S HANDBALL
London, England (Sports Network) - Russia edged Brazil in the women's handball tournament Friday at the London Games, in a matchup of top Group A teams.
The Russians got seven goals from Emiliia Turei on the way to a 31-27 victory over Brazil, and improved to 3-1-0 in group play. The Brazilians have the same record after the setback.
Great Britain fell to 0-4 in Group A after a loss to Angola, and lost any chance of making it to the quarterfinals.
In Group B play, Spain recorded a 25-24 win against Sweden to gain a berth into the next round.
Norway, the defending gold medalist, improved to 2-1-1 in the group after a tight defeat of Denmark. France still has the best record in that group after beating South Korea.
The final group play matches take place Sunday.