Published August 06, 2012
London, England – On a night when the lack of American men in the 400 meters was conspicuous, Jenn Suhr filled the void for the United States with a shocking win in the women's pole vault.
Suhr ended Yelena Isinbayeva's streak of gold medals at the Summer Games and denied the Russian a coveted piece of Olympic track and field history.
Suhr, the runner-up to Isinbayeva four years ago in Beijing, cleared 4.75 meters, while the two-time defending gold medalist placed third. Cuba's Yarisley Silva also cleared 4.75 meters, but had to settle for silver because Suhr had fewer misses in the competition.
She is the first American to win women's pole vault since Stacy Dragila claimed the inaugural event at the 2000 Sydney Games. Suhr is also the first non-Russian to win multiple medals in women's pole vault.
"It's really breathtaking," said Suhr. "It's something that is so emotional I can't even describe it."
Isinbayeva, widely considered the greatest women's pole vaulter of all time, was trying to become the first woman in Olympic track and field history to win three straight titles in any event. The world-record holder at 5.06 meters, Isinbayeva wound up with bronze after successfully clearing just 4.70.
With the third-place finish, Isinbayeva still managed to become the first pole vaulter -- male or female -- to win three medals since Bob Richards of the U.S. collected his third at the 1956 Melbourne Games.
Suhr and thousands of others watched as Isinbayeva electrified the crowd at four years ago in Beijing, raising her own world record to 5.05 meters to easily take gold. The Russian pushed that mark to its current point in 2009, but she failed to medal at the last two world championships in 2009 and 2011.
Isinbayeva later took a year off from the sport at the start of 2010, but she was still considered to be a favorite for gold in London.
"I think the bronze tells me 'Yelena, don't quit,' as I planned to quit after London," said Isinbayeva.
Suhr's surprising gold picked up the slack for the men's sprinters, who failed to qualify a single runner in Monday's final of the 400 meters despite winning gold, silver and bronze in the event in Beijing. Not counting the boycotted 1980 Moscow Games, this marks the first time the U.S. failed to win a medal in the event since 1920.
The best chance at gold for the Americans was expected to be 2008 Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt, but he was unable to finish his semifinal race after pulling up lame with a hamstring injury.
In the end, Kirani James claimed Grenada's first Olympic medal with an easy gold-medal run in the 400. Grenada became the 143rd nation to win an Olympic medal and the third to pick up its first here in London. Guatemala and Cyprus also joined the ranks earlier at these games.
James took a big lead into the final stretch and crossed the finish line at 43.94 seconds, posting the fastest time in his nation's history.
"I am so excited. Everyone in Grenada will be so proud," said James.
Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic was .52 seconds behind for silver. Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago finished .06 seconds later for bronze.
The 19-year-old Santos wasn't the only Dominican to earn a spot on the podium Monday, as Felix Sanchez, who was born and raised in the U.S., claimed his second gold medal in the men's 400-meter hurdles. Michael Tinsley of the U.S. took silver.
Sanchez, the Olympic champion eight years ago in Athens, finished the race with a season-best time of 47.63 seconds and Tinsley was .28 seconds behind. The 28-year-old Tinsley won the gold medal at the U.S. Olympic trials to qualify for his first Summer Games.
"I've been dreaming about this moment since I bought my first pair of spikes," Tinsley remarked. "I've put my life into this, I've had to sacrifice so much for this, I'm so proud."
Puerto Rico's Javier Culson, runner-up at the last two world championships, grabbed bronze with a time of 48.10 seconds, .14 seconds in front of Great Britain's David Greene.
Two-time hurdles gold medalist Angelo Taylor of the U.S. crossed the finish line just .15 second after Culson, but finished fifth. American Kerron Clement, who was runner-up to Taylor in Beijing, came in sixth.
The women's 3,000-meter steeplechase was won by reigning world champion Yuliya Zaripova. The Russian completed the race in a personal-best time of 9 minutes, 6.72 seconds to win gold at her first Olympics.
Tunisia's Habiba Ghribi finished 1.65 seconds later for silver, while Sofia Assefa of Ethiopia picked up bronze with a time of 9:09.84.
Another gold went to Belarussian Nadzeya Ostapchuk, who won her second straight Olympic medal in women's shot put. Ostapchuk, a bronze medalist four years ago in Beijing, claimed her country's second gold medal in this event with a toss of 21.36 meters.
Defending Olympic champion Valerie Adams of New Zealand was .66 meters behind her for silver. Russia's Evgeniia Kolodko picked up bronze with a throw of 20.48 meters, while Gong Lijiao of China's was .26 meters behind in fourth.
Michelle Carter was the lone thrower from the U.S. to make it to the final round and finished in sixth place.
In qualifying for the women's 200 meters, Sanya Richards-Ross didn't seem to be tired after winning gold in the 400 on Sunday night, as she won her heat in 22.48 seconds. Fellow American teammates Carmelita Jeter and Allyson Felix also finished first in their respective heats to move into the semifinals.
On Saturday, Jeter finished second in the 100 to Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser- Pryce, who also qualified for the 200 semis on Monday.
Also on Monday, Americans Lashinda Demus, T'Erea Brown and Georganne Moline advanced to the finals in the women's 400-meter hurdles.
JONES ADVANCES TO HURDLE SEMIS
London, England (Sports Network) - Lolo Jones of the United States posted the second-fastest time in heats for the women's 100-meter hurdles Monday, moving her into the semifinals at the London Olympics.
Jones ran in the last of six heats and won the race with a season-best time of 12.68 seconds. Only Australia's Sally Pearson was faster on the day, taking the fifth heat with a time of 12.57 seconds. Pearson won last year's world championships and earned silver four years ago in Beijing.
The 30-year-old Jones is out for redemption in London after crashing out in this event at the Beijing Games. She was leading the final race four years ago before stumbling over the ninth hurdle and placing seventh.
"I'm going to do my best and fight for gold," Jones said after her heat. "But I don't ever bet on the hurdles."
Kellie Wells of the U.S. also won her heat and finished .01 seconds slower than Jones. Dawn Harper, winner of the 100 hurdles at the U.S. Olympic trials, posted a time of 12.75 to place sixth in qualifying.
Meanwhile, 2009 world champion Brigitte Foster-Hylton of Jamaica failed to qualify after hitting the fifth hurdle and placing seventh in her heat. Like Jones at the 2008 Olympics, Foster-Hylton was leading the race when she hit the hurdle
The semifinals and final of the 100 hurdles are set for Tuesday night at Olympic Stadium.
Qualification rounds also were held Monday morning for the men's discus and women's shot put, while heats were run in the men's 800 meters and the women's 1,500m.
Shannon Rowbury of the U.S. qualified for the semifinals of the 1,500 meters, posting the seventh-best time with a run of 4 minutes, 6.03 seconds. American Morgan Uceny also qualified, running .84 seconds slower than Rowbury, while Ethiopia's Abeda Aregawi had the best time in the heats at 4:04.55.
Nick Symmonds and Duane Solomon of the U.S. both moved onto the semifinals in the men's 800 by winning their respective heats. Symmonds logged a time of 1:45.91 and Solomon was .14 seconds slower. Khadevis Robinson, runner-up to Symmonds at the U.S. Olympic trials, failed to make it to the semifinals.
Sudan's Abubaker Kaki was tops in 800 qualifying with a run of 1:45.51.
Michelle Carter was the lone American to make it to the final round of the women's shot put, which is set for Monday night. Carter placed eighth with a throw of 18.63 meters. Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus had the best toss in qualifications with a distance of 20.76 meters.
Estonia's Gerd Kanter had the longest throw in qualifying for the men's discus final with a mark of 66.39 meters. Jason Young, Lance Brooks and Jarred Rome of the U.S. all failed to make it Tuesday's medal event.
PERSEVERANCE PAYS OFF FOR MUSTAFINA, TWEDDLE
London, England (Sports Network) - There had to be times when Russian gymnast Aliya Mustafina wondered if it was no longer worth it.
A left knee injury suffered during the spring of last year prevented her from defending her all-around title at the 2011 World Championships and the London Games weren't shaping up to be as successful as she had hoped.
A silver medal in the team competition was nice, but it wasn't gold. Nor was the bronze Mustafina took last week in the individual all-around event.
But slowly the confidence returned for the 17-year-old and it all came together on Monday when she won the women's uneven bars, soaring past defending Olympic champion He Kexin of China and local favorite, Great Britain's Elizabeth Tweddle.
"When I won the bronze medal I became more confident that I could overcome my injury and do better," said Mustafina.
She admitted thinking about quitting at times, even if it was only for a moment. Those involved with Russian gymnastics are glad she didn't after previously coming up short in London. In addition to the second-place team finish and Mustafina's bronze, teammate Victoria Komova had to settle for silver -- and tears yet again -- when she finished behind only American Gabby Douglas in the all-around.
Mustafina finally added gold to that count as the only gymnast in Monday's competition to score higher than 9 in execution while posting a total score of 16.133. She earned Russia's first Olympic gold on the apparatus since Svetlana Khorkina in 1996 and 2000.
"Absolutely, I did not. I did not believe I could do it. I was nowhere near in the shape I am now," Mustafina said of her expectations six months ago. "Making myself work for it and pushing through. Sometimes I did (feel like giving up) but these urges left me quickly."
While the lack of gold medals had been bothering the Russians, a bronze was more than enough for Tweddle, the top qualifier who posted a score of 15.916 on Monday.
A big step back on her landing to conclude what was an excellent routine kept Tweddle from claiming Britain's first ever individual Olympic gold in female gymnastics, but the 27-year-old still ended her career at the games with her first medal.
The closest she had come was a fourth place finish on the uneven bars at the 2008 Beijing Games.
"It was the one that was missing from my collection, I wasn't bothered what color it was. I saw myself in third and I thought, 'Please don't be fourth again.' I just can't put into words what it means to me. My routine went pretty good, I only had a step with my dismount. If you would ask me if I want to go again, then I would say no," said Tweddle, who earlier this year wasn't even sure she would be able to compete in London because of a knee surgery.
"It is my third Olympics, everyone knows I wanted this one medal to be able to finish my career happy. This was the one thing that was missing."
While Tweddle, who said she definitely won't compete in the 2016 Rio Games, had a routine she will never forget, Douglas could not continue the magic from team and all-around gold. She qualified sixth for the event, but finished in last place with a score of 14.900. Her difficulty mark of 6.300 was the lowest among all eight competitors.
Komova, the 2011 world champion, also suffered a misstep on her landing and finished fifth behind China's Yao Jinnan.
While Mustafina had to wait a few routines to confirm she won gold, scoreboard watching was useless in the two men's finals held Monday. Both were won by the last gymnast of the event.
The first of the day saw Brazilian Arthur Nabarrete Zanetti score a narrow victory over China's Chen Yibing to claim gold in the men's rings final.
The field faced a tough task of trying to unseat Chen, the 2008 Olympic champion, after he started things off with a score of 15.800. In fact, nobody topped the four-time world champ until Nabarrete Zanetti posted a 15.900 score to close the competition.
"I think I already did my best -- what I've been training for. When (Nabarrete Zanetti's) score came up I was a little disappointed because the landing of the Brazilian wasn't great. But I have to congratulate him because he did very well," conceded Chen.
Nabarrete Zanetti qualified fourth for this event with the highest execution score but had the lowest marks in difficulty among the eight gymnasts. However, he matched Chen's difficulty score on Monday at 6.800 and was one of three gymnasts to score at least a 9 in execution.
The 22-year-old, who had finished second to Chen in the 2011 World Championships, claimed Brazil's first ever Olympic gymnastics medal.
"I'm very happy, I was the last gymnast to compete and I stayed calm and took my moment," said Nabarrete Zanetti.
Nabarrete Zanetti's performance knocked Italian Matteo Morandi into the bronze position with a score of 15.733.
Participating in his sixth Olympic Games -- the most ever by a male gymnast -- 39-year-old Iordan Iovtchev of Bulgaria finished seventh.
China has defended two of its gold medals from Beijing, repeating as team champion before Zou Kai won his second straight Olympic title on the floor exercise Sunday.
Russia's Denis Ablyazin knows how Chen feels. He was leading the vault final before South Korea's Yang Hak Seon stuck an excellent pair of landings -- including one that was judged to be the most difficult of the competition -- to claim gold.
Ablyazin had taken the top spot with a total score of 16.399 -- the average of his two vaults -- before Yang scored 16.466 in his first attempt, a total that included an event-high 7.400 score for difficulty.
The 2011 world champion took it down a notch in his second vault, but lifted his execution score and totaled 16.600, giving him a gold-winning score of 16.533. That was 0.200 points higher than his qualifying score, which ranked second coming in.
"In the first vault I got a very good score and for the second I had a really good landing so I was pretty confident," said Yang.
Yang became the first Korean to win the event and the first to medal since Yeo Hong-Chul's silver in 1996.
Ablyazin ended in second after coming in with the top qualifying mark, while Ukraine's Igor Radivilov won bronze with a score of 16.316.
"I knew (Yang) would win the gold, but I still hoped for gold. However, I didn't get upset when I saw the score from Korea, I was prepared for silver. I'm satisfied with my performance at these Olympics," said Ablyazin.
Chile's Enrique Tomas Gonzalez Sepulveda had the highest execution score in qualifying, but finished fourth, over a point ahead of fifth-place American Samuel Mikulak.
BRITISH KENNY WINS SPRINT; USA'S HAMMER TIED FOR 1ST IN OMNIUM
London, England (Sports Network) - Jason Kenny and Gregory Bauge made it through to the final of the men's sprint event Monday at the Velodrome, but the highly anticipated final was a one-sided affair.
Great Britain's Kenny won the best-of-three matchup in two races, defeating the reigning world champion to claim his first individual Olympic gold medal.
Kenny had won silver in the event at the 2008 Beijing Games, behind countryman Chris Hoy. The two also teamed up to help Great Britain capture gold in the team sprint last week over Bauge's French team.
But while Hoy was the defending Olympic champion and a five-time gold medalist, Kenny was chosen to ride the individual sprint event.
He affirmed that it was the right choice with a dominating performance. When he started from the back, Kenny didn't let Bauge get away and came around for the victory. When he led out the sprint, Kenny held off the Frenchman's dash for the line.
"At the worlds and the year before, he's been the slightly faster rider," Kenny said. "Three days ago, I qualified a little bit quicker, and again the race has come down to that."
Bauge ended up with silver, while Australia's Shane Perkins took bronze over Trinidad and Tobago's Njisane Nicholas Phillip.
If there was any surprise Monday, it might have been how handily Kenny beat Bauge, who bested the British rider at this year's world championships and has won three of the last four titles.
The only year in that span when Bauge didn't win the title was 2011, and that was because his title was invalidated. The Frenchman did not follow procedures about availability for drug testing, and also missed a test.
"This is a failure for me personally," Bauge said. "It is four years that I've dominated in my discipline. I wanted gold, it's a disappointment. I do not train twice a day for this disappointment."
Bauge said he didn't have any regrets about how he raced, adding that the supportive crowd gave Kenny an advantage.
"This ambience makes the difference when you are a rider," he said. "The public had a huge influence. Kenny is at home, this is a small detail that can give you the wings."
Regardless of how he got the wings, Kenny has staked his claim as the best men's track sprinter in the world, and the victory continued an incredible run of success for the host country's cycling program.
Elizabeth Armitstead won silver in the women's road race, and Bradley Wiggins earned gold in the men's time trial. The British have dominated track disciplines, taking 5-of-7 gold medals so far.
Great Britain will have a chance for three more on Tuesday, the final day of track cycling at these games.
Victoria Pendleton will try for gold in the women's sprint, and will go into the semifinals as the favorite.
On Monday, she cruised through the quarterfinals in dominating fashion against Belarus' Olga Panarina. Pendleton is in form, having won gold in the keirin Friday. She has also taken six of the last eight world titles in the women's sprint, and is the defending Olympic champion.
Pendleton will face German Kristina Vogel in the semis, but her primary competition figures to be Australian Anna Meares.
Meares is the 2011 world champion, and faces China's Guo Shuang in the semis. But a Pendleton-Meares final is far from certain, as Meares had a tougher time in the quarterfinals Monday. She beat Ukrainian Lyubov Shulika in two races, but they were closer, and both of Meares' final laps were slower than Pendleton's.
The British will also have a chance to take gold in the women's omnium, a two- day, six-event competition that's new to the Olympics.
Reigning world champion Laura Trott got off to a good start Monday, when three races were held. She won two of them and is tied with the United States' Sarah Hammer for first, with 12 points.
Trott stumbled a bit in the points race, taking 10th, while Hammer was in the top five for all three. The American was runner-up to Trott in the elimination race.
"To be leading coming into the second day is a great position to be in, but anything can happen," Hammer said. "That's the nature of the omnium, one race at a time."
Hammer may have a leg up on the second day, which includes the individual pursuit and another time trial. She is a four-time world champion and world record-holder in the individual pursuit.
Australia's Annette Edmondson is third, with 17 points.
Also Tuesday, Hoy will contest the keirin, an event he won in 2008.
MORGAN'S LATE HEADER HELPS U.S. DOWN CANADA
Manchester, England (Sports Network) - There was high drama at Old Trafford on Monday, but for once, it was not Manchester United producing a late goal.
The United States booked a place in the gold medal match of the 2012 Olympics as Alex Morgan's stoppage-time header in the second period of extra time gave the Americans a 4-3 win in a thriller against Canada.
Christine Sinclair netted a hat trick for Canada while Megan Rapinoe's brace and Abby Wambach's penalty saw the Americans level the score by the end of regulation.
The match appeared to be heading for penalties until Morgan's late header clinched the victory, giving the United States the opportunity to win their third straight Olympic gold medal.
The Americans will face Japan at Wembley on Thursday, a rematch of the 2011 Women's World Cup final. Japan defied the odds on that occasion, edging the United States 3-1 on penalties.
Canada took a shock lead midway through the opening period when a well-worked move was capped by a neat finish from Sinclair. Canada's all-time leading scorer collected a pass inside the box, danced past an American defender and quickly slotted a shot past goalkeeper Hope Solo.
The United States came out for the second half firing on all cylinders. The Americans put their northern neighbors under intense pressure and eventually broke through nine minutes after the restart.
Rapinoe came up big with a superb corner kick delivery, catching the Canadian defense napping and sneaking her set piece into the back of the net at the near post.
What ensued was an enthralling period of play that saw Sinclair and Rapinoe alternate goals, combining to score three times in the span of five minutes.
Canada went back in front in the 68th minute when an inch-perfect cross was met by a rising header from Sinclair, and Solo could not conjure a save.
Not to be undone, Rapinoe scored three minutes later when she ripped a shot from the corner of the box that struck the inside of the far post on its way into the back of the net.
Sinclair gave the Canadians the edge for a second time, using her head once again to get on the end of a corner kick and nod the delivery back across goal and just inside the post.
Controversy struck in the 79th minute when referee Christina Pedersen awarded the United States an indirect free kick inside the penalty area, whistling Erin McLeod for handling the ball longer than the six seconds that a goalkeeper is afforded.
Rapinoe hammered a shot on goal with the ensuing kick, which appeared to strike the arms of a couple Canadian players as the ball ping-ponged through traffic. Pedersen noticed the infraction and immediately pointed to the penalty spot.
Wambach stepped up in the high-pressure situation, slotting a shot off the left post and past McLeod for her fifth goal in her five games in the London Olympics.
The Americans nearly produced a late winner in the second period of extra time when Alex Morgan curled a beautiful cross into the box. Wambach nodded the delivery toward goal, but McLeod pushed the header onto the crossbar before the Canadian defense cleared their lines.
McLeod was helpless to stop the American train moments later as Morgan got on the end of a pinpoint cross from Heather O'Reilly to send a looping header over the Canadian 'keeper and into the back of the net.
Canada, which led a match against the United States for the first time since 2003, will play France for the bronze medal at the City of Coventry Arena on Thursday.
CAMPRIANI TAKES SHOOTING GOLD, USA'S EMMONS GETS BRONZE
London, England (Sports Network) - Italy's Niccolo Campriani won shooting gold Monday in the men's 50-meter rifle 3 positions, while Matt Emmons of the United States earned the bronze medal.
The 24-year-old Italian won his second medal of the London Games, setting Olympic records with his total and qualifying scores to add gold to the silver he won last week in the 10-meter air rifle. Campriani, who trains in Morgantown, W.Va., posted a score of 1180 in qualifications and won the competition with a total mark of 1278.5
Both records were set by Slovenia's Rajmond Drebec at the 2000 Sydney Games.
"Medals are medals," said Campriani. "I'm feeling very strong emotions. I've reached my aim, I'm delighted."
South Korea's Kim Jonghyun won silver with a total score of 1272.5, while Emmons was 1.2 points behind. France's Cyril Graff placed fourth and was only 0.3 points in back of Emmons, who was in gold position in this event four years ago before a final shot of 4.4 dropped him to fourth.
Emmons, who placed 35th in the 10m air rifle last week, earned his third Olympic medal and now has one of each. His previous two medals, a gold at the 2004 Athens Games and a silver in Beijing, were for the 50m rifle prone, an event he failed to qualify for in the run-up to the London Games.
"I thought my Olympic winning days were over and I am going to enjoy being back on the podium," said Emmons.
The 31-year-old Emmons infamously fired at the wrong target on his last shot in the 3 positions competition in Athens, costing him a gold medal and causing him to finish eighth. The New Jersey native also battled thyroid cancer that was detected in 2010.
CERNOGORAZ BEATS FABBRIZI IN SHOOT-OFF FOR GOLD
London, England (Sports Network) - Croatian shooter Giovanni Cernogoraz defeated Italy's Massimo Fabbrizi in a shoot-off for gold Monday in the men's competition at the London Games.
After two rounds of qualifications and a 25-shot final at the Royal Artillery Barracks, Cernogoraz and Fabbrizi were knotted at 146. Both hit their first five clay targets of the shoot-off, but the Italian missed his sixth attempt and Cernogoraz took that opportunity to claim gold for his first Olympic medal. It's also the first gold in shooting for Croatia.
"This gold medal will be very good for me, my family and the whole country," said Cernogoraz, who claimed Croatia's fifth all-time Olympic gold. "It is just fantastic."
Both shooters' scores through the final equaled an Olympic record set by David Kostelecky four years ago in Beijing. Kostelecky competed in this event but failed to qualify for the final.
The bronze winner was also determined by a shoot-off, as Kuwait's Fehaid Aldeehani beat two-time Olympic champion Michael Diamond of Australia for the medal.
It's the second Olympic medal for Aldeehani, who won bronze in double trap at the 2000 Sydney Games. He finished fourth in that event here in London after losing a shoot-off for bronze.
Diamond was aiming for his first medal since winning the second of consecutive trap golds 12 years ago in Sydney. The Australian equaled a world record with a perfect score of 125 through qualifications in London, but connected on only 20 shots in the finals before losing the shoot-off.
Earlier in the day, Italy's Niccolo Campriani won shooting gold with an Olympic record-setting performance in the men's 50-meter rifle 3 positions. South Korea's Kim Jonghyun won silver in the event and Matt Emmons of the United States grabbed bronze.
BRITAIN WINS EQUESTRIAN GOLD IN JUMP-OFF
London, England (Sports Network) - Great Britain beat the Netherlands in a jump-off Monday to win its first Olympic gold medal in equestrian team jumping in 60 years.
The four British riders incurred just four combined penalties in what amounted to a playoff to decide the gold and silver medals. The Dutch had 12 penalties -- eight of them on two downed rails by Maikel van der Vleuten.
Britain's first gold in the event since the 1952 Helsinki Games was locked up by Peter Charles' flawless score as the fourth rider, touching off a raucous celebration at Greenwich Park.
"I've never seen people like it, they're unbelievable," said British rider Nick Skelton. "Absolutely great, great for the country and great for our sport."
Skelton and Ben Maher also finished their jump-off rides without a penalty while Scott Brash knocked down a rail.
Jur Vrieling led off for the Dutch without a penalty, but van der Vleuten and Marc Houtzager incurred 12 between them. Gerco Schroder was set to ride fourth but didn't get to.
Saudi Arabia entered the second round with the lead but ended third after 13 penalties Monday. It was the country's third Olympic medal ever, and second in equestrian. The Saudis finished with 14 penalties -- six more than Britain and the Netherlands.
Switzerland was fourth and Canada fifth. The United States tied for sixth with Sweden after winning each of the last two Olympic titles.
Skelton, van der Vleuten and Houtzager share the individual jumping lead with clean scores after three qualifiers. Medals are awarded Wednesday after the final rounds.
Reigning Olympic champion Eric Lamaze is tied for 22nd place with 9 penalties while American Rich Fellers is knotted in 11th with 8.
LOPEZ NUNEZ DEFENDS 120KG GRECO-ROMAN TITLE
London, England (Sports Network) - Cuban Mijain Lopez Nunez successfully defended his Olympic gold medal on Monday in the men's 120 kilogram greco- roman division.
Nunez is a four-time world champion and took gold in this event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He bested Turkey's Riza Kayaalp in the semifinals, avenging a loss at the most recent world championships.
The 29-year-old then defeated Estonia's Heiki Nabi 3-0 in the final and didn't rule out participating at the next Summer Olympics.
"I am considering it. I would like to. But I am 30 and it becomes more complicated to stay at the top. These were my third Olympic Games and life goes on. So let's see," Lopez Nunez said.
While Nabi took silver, Kayaalp rebounded to earn a bronze medal, as did Swede Johan Euren.
Youngster Alan Khugaev emerged from the 84kg competition with gold after scoring a win over Egypt's Karam Mohamed Gaber Ebrahim.
The 21-year-old Khugaev finished fifth in last year's world championship and had to beat the current world champ, Belarus' Alim Selimau, in the 1/8 final to advance.
Ebrahim's silver was his second Olympic medal as he won gold in the 96kg division at the 2004 Athens Games.
Poland's Damian Janikowski claimed one of the bronze medals, giving his country its first Olympic medal in greco-roman since 1996. The other bronze went to Kazakhstan's Danyal Gajiyev, who had wrestled for Russia until January of last year.
Current world champion Omid Haji Noroozi of Iran claimed gold in the 60- kilogram bracket, beating Georgia's Ravaz Lashkhi in the final. Noroozi went 15-2 in points over his five matches and didn't yield a point in the semis or finals.
Japan's Ryutaro Matsumoto and Zaur Kuramagomedov of Russia won bronze medals, with the latter beating former world champion Hasan Aliyev of Azerbaijan.
U.S. RESTS TOP PLAYERS, STILL WINS V-BALL GROUP
London, England (Sports Network) - The United States chose to rest some of its best players Monday night at the London Games, but still had enough firepower win Pool B with a victory over Tunisia.
The defending Olympic champions sat Clayton Stanley, David Lee and William Priddy, but clinched first place in their group by defeating Tunisia 25-15, 25-19 and 25-19.
In addition to the U.S., 2008 silver medalists Brazil also qualified for the quarterfinals in Pool B, along with Russia and Germany.
Bulgaria won Pool A by defeating Italy 32-30, 25-20 and 25-19. The Bulgarians finished first with a 4-1 record, while Poland, Argentina and the Italians qualified for the quarterfinals with 3-2 records.
U.S. WOMEN'S BOXERS MOVE INTO SEMIFINALS
London, England (Sports Network) - American fighters Claressa Shields and Marlen Esparza won quarterfinal bouts Monday, guaranteeing themselves a medal in the debut of women's boxing at the Olympics.
This is the first time the sport has been part of the games' program, and both boxers received byes into the quarterfinals.
Shields moved into the semifinals of the middleweight draw with an 18-14 victory against Sweden's Anna Laurell. She will face Kazakhstan's Marina Volnova, who upended top-seeded Savannah Marshall of Great Britain, for the chance to move on to the gold medal fight.
China's Li Jinzi and Russia's Nadezda Torlopova, the second seed, won the other middleweight quarterfinals Monday.
Esparza moved on in the flyweight draw with a 24-16 defeat of Venezuela's Karlha Magliocco. Her semifinal opponent is top-seeded Ren Cancan of China.
The other flyweight semifinal will feature second-seeded Nicola Adams of Great Britain and India's Chungneijang Mery Kom Hmangte.
In lightweight action, top-seeded Katie Taylor got through to the semis thanks to a 26-15 win against Great Britain's Natasha Jonas. The Irish Taylor is a four-time world champion, and will next fight Tajikistan's Mavzuna Chorieva.
Russia's Sofya Ochigava, the No. 2 seed, moved to the semifinals to face Brazilian Adriana Araujo.
All the semifinals in the women's weight classes take place Wednesday.
U.S. MEN ROUT ARGENTINA TO FINISH GROUP PLAY UNBEATEN
London, England (Sports Network) - Kevin Durant scored 28 points and LeBron James added 18, as the U.S. men's basketball team finished an undefeated round-robin schedule with a 126-97 rout of Argentina.
The Americans were coming off a narrow 99-94 win over Lithuania on Saturday and had trouble in the first half Monday, nursing a 60-59 lead at halftime. Team USA then turned it up a notch and outscored Argentina 42-17 in the third quarter to make it a blowout.
Chris Paul contributed 17 points with seven assists for the United States, which finished 5-0 to win Group A and will face Australia -- fourth in Group B -- in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. The Americans were the only team to go undefeated in the preliminary round.
Manu Ginobili scored 16 points for Argentina, which went 3-2 and finished third in Group A. The Argentines will square off against Brazil in the quarters on Wednesday.
The other quarterfinal matchups will pit Group B champ Russia against Lithuania and France -- second in Group A -- against Spain.
AUSTRALIA EDGES RUSSIA ON MILLS' LAST-SECOND SHOT
London, England (Sports Network) - Patrick Mills drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to lift Australia to an 82-80 win over Russia in the men's basketball tournament.
The Russians had taken an 80-79 lead when Vitaliy Fridzon hit two free throws with 4.1 seconds remaining. But Mills took a feed from Joe Ingles at the top of the key and sank the game-winning shot for Australia (3-2), which advanced to the quarterfinals.
Ingles led Australia with 20 points, while Mills and teammate David Andersen finished with 13 points apiece.
Sasha Kaun had 18 points and six rebounds for the Russians (4-1), who had already locked up the top spot in Group B.
Andrei Kirilenko and Alexey Shved both scored 13 points in defeat.
FRANCE FENDS OFF NIGERIA IN MEN'S HOOPS
London, England (Sports Network) - Nicolas Batum scored 23 points and grabbed six rebounds to help France post a 79-73 win over Nigeria in the men's Olympic basketball tournament.
Mickael Gelabale totaled 11 points and Boris Diaw added 10 for France (4-1), which advanced to the quarterfinals.
France never trailed in the game, but Nigeria (1-4) did tie the game at 62 when Chamberlain Oguchi drained one of his eight three-pointers with 5:30 remaining in the fourth quarter. Batum knocked down a tiebreaking trey and hit another three-pointer inside the final minute to put France up 79-70.
Oguchi finished with 35 points in defeat.
AUSTRALIAN SLINGSBY, CHINA'S XU WIN SAILING GOLD
London, England (Sports Network) - Australian Tom Slingsby and China's Xu Lijia earned sailing gold medals Monday, while Cyprus' Pavlos Kontides earned his country's first Olympic medal with a silver.
Xu's class, the Laser Radial (women's one-person dinghy), was extremely tight heading into the medal race. Four sailors were separated by just a point, including Ireland's Annalise Murphy.
She rounded the first mark in the lead, but faded back to ninth as Xu took over in front. Xu never relinquished first place and crossed the finish line as the winner.
"I am proud of the gold, especially as I'm in Britain, because Britain and European countries are good and I want to take this experience back to China so more can experience the beauty of this sailing," Xu said.
Xu finished the competition with 35 points, which are awarded in ascending order -- 1 for first, 2 for 2nd, and so on. Points are doubled in the medal race, then added to the total from the 10-race opening series.
The Netherlands' Marit Bouwmeester took second in the medal race to secure the silver medal with 37 points, while Belgium's Evi Van Acker was third Monday to take bronze.
Xu earned her second Olympic medal, but first gold. She won bronze in the one- person dinghy in 2008.
Slingsby is a four-time world champion, but hadn't medaled four years ago. He didn't let the opportunity slip by again, though. Because of a strong opening series in the Laser (men's one-person dinghy), he entered the medal race with a 14-point lead and needed only to finish in front of Kontides to secure gold.
So while Slingsby came in ninth in the medal race to finish with 43 points, Kontides was 10th and ended with 59 to take sliver. Cyprus first had an Olympic team in 1980, but had never medaled before Monday.
Sweden's Rasmus Myrgren was sixth in the Laser medal race and claimed bronze.
In non-medal action, the final two opening series races were held in the men's 49er (skiff), and the Australian duo of Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen shored up their lead.
They have 48 points heading into Wednesday's medal race, while New Zealand's Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are second with 76.
The quarterfinal matchups for the women's Elliott 6m match racing competition are set, and Australia is the top seed after winning all of its round robin races.
The Australian crew, skippered by Olivia Price, will face the Netherlands, seeded eighth, when the knockout stage begins Tuesday. The United States is seeded fourth and faces Finland.
Also on Monday, the opening series in the men's 470 (two-person dinghy) continued. Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page of Australia are in first with two more races before the medal event.
UKRAINE'S TOROKHTIY WINS WEIGHTLIFTING GOLD
London, England (Sports Network) - Ukranian weightlifter Oleksiy Torokhtiy won the men's 150-kilogram weight class Monday for his first Olympic medal, but the three medalists were separated by only two kilograms.
Torokhtiy edged Iran's Navab Nasirshelal by one kg, lifting 185 in the snatch and 227 in the clean and jerk for a total of 412 kg. Poland's Bartlomiej Wojciech Bonk earned bronze with 410 kg.
The gold medalist said he was surprised to win.
"You work hard and train," said Torokhtiy, "but still you never know."
World champion Khadzhimurat Akkaev and world silver medalist Dmitriy Klokov, both Russians, withdrew before the competition because of injury.
CHINESE TEAMS ADVANCE TO TABLE TENNIS FINALS
London, England (Sports Network) - China remained on pace for a gold medal sweep in table tennis, as the women's and men's teams won semifinal matches Monday.
The women's team earned a 3-0 victory over South Korea on Monday, without dropping a single game. The win put the Chinese in the final against Japan, which defeated Singapore on Sunday in the other semifinal.
On the men's side, China claimed a 3-1 victory against Germany despite Zhang Jike -- the world No. 1 and singles gold medalist -- losing to Timo Boll. South Korea beat Hong Kong, 3-0, in the other semifinal.
The women's team medal matches are Tuesday, while the men take their turn Wednesday.
The Chinese won every event at the 2008 Beijing Games, while winning eight medals overall. At these Summer Games, Zhang has already won the men's singles gold medal, while Li Xiaoxia won the women's singles tournament.
GIBB, ROSENTHAL OUSTED IN BEACH VOLLEYBALLSemis set in women's field hockey; U.S. pounded London, England (Sports Network) - On a day that the United States women's field hockey team gave up more goals than it had the entire tournament, pool play concluded Monday and four teams advanced to the semifinals.
The U.S. is not one of those teams. It finished at the bottom of Pool B after getting drilled by South Africa 7-0. The Americans had allowed just six goals in going 1-3 prior to the loss.
"I'm really proud of this team. We've been through a lot. Each game we really competed. Other than today, the scorelines have been super close," summarized American Katie Reinprecht. "I think we've competed with some of the best teams in the world. It's a matter of learning how to win and I think this team's young and we'll learn how to grow the more and more we play together."
New Zealand is one of four teams advancing as it moves to the semis for the first time since women's field hockey became an Olympic sport in 1980. New Zealand finished second in Pool B behind Argentina. Australia matched the two teams with 10 points, but had the lowest goal differential.
Defending Olympic champion Netherlands won Pool A with a 5-0 mark, while Great Britain finished second and two points ahead of China, the 2008 silver medalists.
U.S. JUDOKA DISQUALIFIED FROM OLYMPICS FOR MARIJUANA
London, England (Sports Network) - United States judoka Nick Delpopolo has been disqualified from the Olympics after testing positive for marijuana.
Delpopolo has already competed in London, finishing seventh in the men's 73- kilogram category. He made it to the quarterfinals before losing.
In a statement provided by the U.S. Olympic Committee, Delpopolo said his positive test was caused by his "inadvertent consumption of food that I did not realize had been baked with marijuana" before the games.
"I apologize to U.S. Olympic Committee, to my teammates, and to my fans, and I am embarrassed by this mistake," his statement said. "I look forward to representing my country in the future, and will re-dedicate myself to being the best judo athlete that I can be."
The USOC's statement said Delpopolo was disqualified from the Games by the IOC.
"The United States Olympic Committee is absolutely committed to clean competition and stringent anti-doping penalties," said USOC spokesperson Patrick Sandusky in the statement. "Any positive test, for any banned substance, comes with the appropriate consequences and we absolutely support the disqualification. We look forward to witnessing the continued success of our athletes and commend their dedication to clean sport."
POLAND SETS WR, ADVANCES TO WOMEN'S KAYAK FOUR FINAL
London, England (Sports Network) - A world record set by a foursome from Poland highlighted Monday's opening of the canoe sprint event, which featured four semifinals.
After groups from Germany and Hungary locked up final berths by winning their respective heats in the women's 500-meter kayak four, Poland's group set a world record by finishing their semifinal race in 1 minute, 30.338 seconds. That was 0.381 seconds better than the previous mark, set by Germany in 2010.
In the men's 1,000m kayak single, 2011 world champion Canadian Adam van Koeverden was among those to advance to the finals, as was 2008 Beijing Games gold medalist Tim Brabants of Great Britain and former two-time world champ Max Hoff of Germany.
Also taking place on Monday were heats and semifinals for men's 1,000m canoe single. Defending Olympic champion Attila Vajda of Hungary moved onto the final, joined by Germany's Sebastian Brendel and Mark Oldershaw of Canada.
Beijing gold medalists Martin Hollstein and Andreas Ihle of Germany won their heat in the 1000m men's kayak double, putting them in the final along with another heat winner, Rudolf Dombi and Roland Kokeny of Hungary.
The other six final spots were secured out of the semifinal.
AUSTRALIA GRABS FINAL QUARTERFINAL SPOT IN WATER POLO
London, England (Sports Network) - Led by three goals from Rhys Howden and nine saves by Joel Dennerley, Australia nabbed the final quarterfinal spot in the men's water polo tournament with a 13-8 victory over Greece.
The two countries were squaring off with the eighth spot in the knockout round on the line. Greece needed at least a tie to advance, but trailed by three at halftime and couldn't pull off a rally.
Richie Campbell, Jamie Beadsworth and Billy Miller all scored twice for Australia, whose coach John Fox said the players had a long meeting on Sunday to prepare for this game.
"I said look, this is what we need to do to win this game. We went through situations and we were very critical of each other; even we, the coaches, were criticized," said Fox. "We accounted for every single goal we've let in this tournament. It was a painful process, but it's paid off today as the players said it should never happen again."
Greece received three goals from Theodoros Chatzitheodorou.
USA, Croatia, Spain, Italy, Serbia, Montenegro and Hungary had already advanced, while Kazakhstan, Romania and Great Britain had no chance of qualifying.
The U.S. still had a good matchup in front of it on Monday against Hungary, which won their matchup at the 2008 Beijing Games in the final. The Americans were unable to get some revenge, falling 11-6.
The United States, which finished fourth in Group B due to a minus-one goal differential, will play Croatia -- the winner of Group A with a perfect 5-0 record -- in the quarterfinal round on Wednesday. Group B winner Serbia opens against Australia.
Also, Spain will tangle with Montenegro, while Italy begins the knockout phase versus Hungary.
HUNGARY, TUNISIA MOVE INTO HANDBALL QUARTERFINALS
London, England (Sports Network) - Hungary and Tunisia won tight matches Monday to secure quarterfinals berths in the men's handball tournament.
Hungary held on for a 26-23 victory over Serbia to lock up the fourth seed in Group B, while Tunisia edged Argentina by a 25-23 score and became the fourth seed in Group A.
The matches filled the only two remaining spots for the knockout stage, which begins Wednesday.
Hungary will face Iceland, which topped Group A, while Tunisia plays Croatia, the top team from Group B. Croatia beat Spain to clinch that position.
The other quarterfinals pit Spain against France, and Sweden against Denmark.
RUSSIANS LEAD SYNCH SWIMMING DUETS
London, England (Sports Network) - Russians Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina kept their lead in synchronized swimming duets after the first free routine Monday.
Ishchenko and Romashina, trying to land Russia's fourth straight Olympic gold in the discipline, earned the highest score for the second day in a row. Their 98.6 points moved them to 196.8 -- 3.99 points ahead of China with Spain 4.21 back.
Canada's Marie-Pier Boudreau Gagnon and Elise Marcotte were fourth, and Mary Killman and Mariya Koroleva of the United States stood 10th.
Scores from the first two sessions were added together and only the top 12 pairs out of 24 made Tuesday's final.
The team competition starts Thursday. The U.S. doesn't have a team for the first time ever.
Russia has swept the synchronized swimming program in the last three Olympics, winning every gold in the team and duets competition since 2000.
RUSSIA'S ZAKHAROV 1ST AFTER SPRINGBOARD PRELIMS
London, England (Sports Network) - Russia's Ilya Zakharov led the men's 3- meter springboard after the preliminary round Monday and reigning Olympic champion He Chong of China was second.
American Troy Dumais, already a medalist here in his fourth Olympics, is third going into the last two rounds Tuesday.
Zakharov, who won silver with Evgeny Kuznetsov in the synchronized event last week, had 507.65 points on six dives.
He was 6.75 points back and Dumais 21.05. American Chris Cowgill and Canadian Alexandre Despatie, a silver medalist in the event the last two Olympics, were also among the 18 divers who qualified for the semifinals.
China has won all five diving events so far at the London Games after going 7- for-8 in Beijing four years ago.
BRITISH BOXER OGOGO MOVES INTO SEMIFINALS
London, England (Sports Network) - British boxer Anthony Ogogo advanced into the semifinals of the men's middleweight draw Monday.
Ogogo defeated German Stefan Hartel by a 15-10 decision, assuring himself of at least a bronze medal. He faces Brazilian Esquiva Falcao Florentino, the No. 4 seed, on Friday with a chance to go to the gold medal bout.
Uzbekistan's Abbos Atoev and Japan's Ryota Murata, the second seed, also moved into the middleweight semis Monday.
In lightweight action, Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko was a 14-9 winner against Puerto Rico's Felix Verdejo Sanchez to reach the final four. He'll face No. 4 seed Yasnier Toledo Lopez, of Cuba, on Friday.
Lithuanian Evaldas Petrauskas defeated the third seed, Italy's Domenico Valentino, and faces Han Soonchul in the other lightweight semifinal.
Also, the top four super heavyweight seeds reached the semifinals.