Menu

OLYMPICS

Olympic Daily News - Tuesday, August 7

For Lolo Jones, once again a medal was so near and yet so far away.

On a night when the United States track and field team grabbed four medals -- none of them gold -- the American hurdler again was kept from taking a spot on an Olympic podium for the first time.

It's difficult to say which of her missed opportunities will weigh heavier for the 30-year-old Jones, because both were heartbreaking for different reasons.

Four years ago in Beijing she was the heavy favorite and was one hurdle away from gold before hitting the penultimate barrier and stumbling to a seventh- place finish.

Here in London she didn't even have the best chance at medaling among her American teammates and turned in a season-best run that left her just shy of bronze.

In fact, unlike Beijing, the winner of the women's 100-meter hurdles at the London Games was indeed the heavy favorite -- Sally Pearson of Australia. Pearson won the race with an Olympic record time, leaving little doubt as to who is the best in the world in this event.

Next up was the only woman to beat the Aussie this season, Jones' teammate Kellie Wells, who claimed silver over fellow American and defending gold medalist Dawn Harper.

But Jones and her shot at redemption had already become the storyline in the United States, even if her chances at actually winning this time around were slim.

But, who could blame people for pulling for Jones? After seeing the way she lost in Beijing it's only human nature to want her to get that elusive medal.

After all, the crushing nature of her loss four years ago in Beijing is at the center of Jones' rise to popularity in this Olympic cycle. It would've been special to see her wash away that defeat here in London -- something that winning a medal of any kind would've done -- but it was not meant to be.

In any sprint event, the window of opportunity to be the best is extremely small. Adding hurdles to the mix only makes it more difficult because what happened to Jones four years ago in China could happen to anybody. Sadly, that one bad step she took may wind up the difference between being an Olympic champion and never getting a medal.

Jones said it best herself earlier in the week when she moved on in qualifying: "I don't ever bet on the hurdles."

Overall, it was a solid night at Olympic Stadium for the U.S., even if it was another disappointing one for Jones.

In addition to the silver and bronze claimed in the hurdles, the U.S. men won additional silvers in the 1,500 meters and high jump.

Algeria's Taoufik Makhloufi claimed gold in the men's middle distance race on Tuesday, but Leonel Manzano ran down a surprising silver with a strong kick to the finish line.

Makhloufi won the race with a time of 3 minutes, 34.08 seconds and Manzano was .71 seconds behind for silver. Abdalaati Iguider of Morocco was next with a run of 3:35.13, beating Matthew Centrowitz of the U.S. by .04 seconds for the bronze.

All three men on the podium are first-time Olympic medalists.

Centrowitz was ahead of his teammate during the final lap before Manzano stormed down the final stretch for silver. The Mexican-born and Texas-raised Manzano failed to make it to the final race four years ago in Beijing.

Also snatching an unforeseen silver for the U.S. was NCAA champion Erik Kynard in the high jump. At the start of the competition the 21-year-old was squarely in the shadow of teammate Jesse Williams, the reigning world champion. But, when Williams missed three attempts at 2.29 meters to finish well out of medal contention, Kynard had no problem stepping into the spotlight.

The two-time defending NCAA champion for Kansas State cleared 2.33 meters to win a silver medal at his first Olympics. Only Russia's Ivan Ukhov jumped higher, winning the event with a leap of 2.38 meters

There were three bronze medals awarded for high jump as Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar, Robert Grabarz of Great Britain and Canada's Derek Drouin all cleared 2.29 meters without any previous misses.

Jamie Nieto of the U.S. also cleared 2.29 meters, but not after missing once at that height.

Winning gold in the men's discus was two-time defending world champion Robert Harting of Germany. Harting, who placed fourth in Beijing, won his first Olympic medal with a toss of 68.27 meters, edging Ehsan Hadadi of Iran by .09 meters.

Defending Olympic champion Gerd Kanter of Estonia grabbed bronze with a throw of 68.03 meters.

There were also qualifications for the women's 200m and long jump events and also semifinals for the men's 800.

There were few surprises in the 200 as Sanya Richards-Ross, the American who won gold in the 400 earlier in London, posted the fastest qualifying time with a run of 22.30 seconds. Allyson Felix of the U.S. was next with a time of 22.31 seconds and teammate Carmelita Jeter, silver medalist in the 100 earlier this week, also qualified for the semis.

Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Veronica Campbell-Brown also advanced to the 200 semifinals. Fraser-Pryce won her second consecutive 100-meter gold in London, while Campbell-Brown is the two-time defending Olympic champ in the 200.

Meanwhile, Janay Deloach of the U.S. posted the second-best mark of women's long jump qualifications, leaping 6.81 meters -- .02 less than Shara Proctor of Great Britain. American Brittney Reese also moved onto the finals with a jump of 6.57 meters.

In the semifinals of the men's 800m, Mohammed Aman of Ethiopia qualified with a top time of 1:44.34 and Kenya's David Lekuta Rudisha was .01 seconds behind. Nick Symmonds and Duane Solomon of the U.S. both advanced to the final.

LIU CRASHES OUT OF HURDLES; BOLT COASTS IN 200 HEATS

London, England (Sports Network) - Former Olympic champion Liu Xiang of China hopped to the finish and left the track in a wheelchair Tuesday morning after crashing out of his heat in the 110-meter hurdles.

Liu struck the first hurdle with his left lead foot, tumbled to the ground and clutched at his right ankle before getting up and trying to leave the track through the tunnel.

He came back out and hopped to the finish instead, where Great Britain's Andrew Turner and Spain's Jackson Quinonez helped him into a wheelchair.

"I regard him as the best hurdler in history and I have so much respect for him," said Turner, who won the heat. "It was horrible to see him limp off like that so I had to go and help him.

"He's a nice guy and I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. I saw him warming up and noticed that he had an Achilles problem."

Liu was the first Chinese man to win an Olympic track title in 2004 when he equaled the 110 world record in a surprising win.

But he pulled out of his heat at Beijing four years ago, a huge disappointment for China's home Olympics, and had Achilles tendon surgery. He still has the Olympic record in the event at 12.91 seconds.

Usain Bolt, after winning his heat for the men's 200 meters Tuesday morning, called Liu "one of the best" and offered his sympathies.

"It's really sad," Bolt said.

Bolt is trying to become the first man to win the 200 meters in back-to-back Olympics. On Sunday, he joined Carl Lewis as the only men to win the 100 in consecutive games.

Semifinals for the race are Wednesday and the final is Thursday.

Bolt ran a 20.39 to win the first heat, easing up at the end of the race, and Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake crossed in 20.38 seconds to win his heat. The fastest time was turned in by Ecuador's Alex Quinonez, a 20.28, while Americans Isiah Young, Maurice Mitchell and Wallace Spearmon also moved on.

American Aries Merritt qualified fastest in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.07 seconds.

FRENCH HURDLER ADVANCES TO SEMIS AFTER PROTEST

London, England (Sports Network) - France's Ladji Doucoure has advanced to the semifinals of the men's 110-meter hurdles after his team successfully logged a protest that claimed he was impeded during Tuesday's heats.

The ruling states that in Doucoure's heat -- the third of six for the 110 hurdles that were run at Olympic Stadium -- he was put at a disadvantage when Shamar Sands of the Bahamas moved toward the Frenchman's lane. Sands was immediately disqualified for a lane violation for stepping on the line, but the ruling in favor of Doucoure only came after France made its protest.

Doucoure finished fourth in his heat with a time of 13.67 seconds. The time was just .04 seconds slower than Russia's Konstantin Shabanov, who grabbed the last of the heat's three automatic bids to the semifinal round.

A former world champion in the 110m hurdles, Doucoure finished fourth at the 2008 Beijing Games.

The semifinals and final round of the event will be held on Wednesday.

RAISMAN ADDS ANOTHER GOLD TO U.S. TOTAL WITH FLOOR TITLE

London, England (Sports Network) - Aly Raisman closed out an outstanding performance by the U.S. women's gymnastics team at the London Games by grabbing gold in the final of the floor exercise on Tuesday.

After edging Romania's Catalina Ponor in a tiebreak for a bronze medal on the balance beam earlier in the day, Raisman posted the top difficulty and execution score with a brilliant floor routine, giving her a total mark of 15.600.

It was a top qualifying score on the apparatus that helped Raisman qualify for the individual all-around, won by teammate Gabby Douglas. Raisman finished fourth, losing out on a tiebreaker to Russia's Aliya Mustafina.

"Today has been a dream come true. I'm so glad I got the medal I wanted," said Raisman.

Ponor won silver with a 15.200, unable to close a 0.30 gap on Raisman's 6.500 difficulty mark. Mustafina, who won gold in Monday's uneven bars final, matched Italy's Vanessa Ferrari with a score of 14.900, but won the tiebreak with a 9.000 score on execution to Ferrari's 8.700.

In what will be her final Olympics, Ponor claimed her fifth medal in the Summer Games.

"I will say it again, I want everyone to know, I will quit without regrets. I have worked every second for my team, I have worked every second for myself, I have worked every second for everybody. I have already been an Olympic champion, I will quit gymnastics with my chin up," said Ponor, who added she would like to get into coaching.

Raisman, meanwhile, topped a field littered with former champions. Ponor won gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics, Sandra Raluca Izbasa of Romania was defending Olympic champion and Russia's Kseniia Afanaseva took gold at the 2011 World Championship.

It marked the first time that a male or female U.S. gymnast won Olympic gold in the floor exercise.

American Jordyn Wieber, who had the fourth-best qualifying score in the all- around but did not advance to the event due to rules that state a country can send only two gymnasts to the event, finished seventh. The 2011 individual all-around champion had qualified sixth.

Wieber won't leave London empty-handed after Team USA won gold in the team competition at the Olympics for the first time since 1996.

FENG CLAIMS PARALLEL BARS GOLD

London, England (Sports Network) - Feng Zhe didn't have his best performance on the parallel bars in qualifying, but he made up for it in a big way in Tuesday's final.

Feng improved on his earlier score in the games by more than three-tenths of a point, claiming his second gold medal of the 2012 Olympics.

The 24-year-old won gold with China in the team competition and came into this event with the third-highest qualifying score at 15.633. He pushed that to 15.966 on Tuesday, including an event-high 7.000 difficulty score.

"I feel good. I think the judges were more nervous than me," Feng said.

Feng won this event at the 2010 World Championships and qualified in London behind Japanese brothers Yusuke and Kazuhito Tanaka. Neither of them medaled on Tuesday, with Kazuhito taking fourth with a score of 15.500 and Yusuke finishing eighth.

German Marcel Nguyen had the top execution score at 9.000 and won silver with a total of 15.800, .234 ahead of bronze winner Hamilton Sabot, who claimed France's first medal ever in this event.

Sabot and China's Zhang Chenglong tied at qualifying with a 15.366 and both advanced into the finals due to matching scores in difficulty and execution. That stretched the usual field from eight to nine gymnasts, though Zhang finished in last with a score of just 13.808.

Still, China has won the men's parallel bars event in three of the past four Olympics and have earned a medal in each of the last four games on the parallel bars.

CHINA EARNS TOP 2 MEDALS, INQUIRY GETS RAISMAN BRONZE ON BEAM

London, England (Sports Network) - Deng Linlin and Sui Lu finished first and second, respectively, on Tuesday to medal in the women's balance beam final, while a late inquiry boosted American Aly Raisman's score into the bronze position.

While the Chinese duo ran away with the competition after two of the prime challengers -- USA's Gabby Douglas and Victoria Komova of Russia -- fell off the beam on their attempts. Lu's second-place score of 15.500, one-tenth off of Deng's winning score, was nearly 0.5 points higher than the bronze mark.

Deng gave an inspired effort after China failed to medal in the team event.

"I made a mistake in the women's team event so this medal compensates for that. I have no regrets," Deng said. "After the team event I was depressed. The motivation from this event came from my coach and other teammates so I could adjust in the past four days and prepare for this event."

It looked as if Romanian and 2004 gold medalist on the beam Catalina Ponor had captured third with a score of 15.066 after Raisman wrapped the competition with a 14.966 following a routine that included a wobble on the beam and a big hop forward on the landing.

However, following an inquiry, Raisman's score was raised one-tenth of a point and into a tie with Ponor. The American claimed the tiebreak as her execution score of 8.766 was 0.3 higher than Ponor's.

Current Olympic all-around champion Douglas and Komova, the runner-up to Douglas, were expected to challenge top qualifier Sui, but struggled on the apparatus. It went from bad to worse for Komova, who perhaps starting to feel frustrated after also finishing second in the team competition to the U.S. also fell backwards on her landing, giving her a disappointing score of 13.166.

Komova and Douglas had qualified second and third with an identical score of 15.266, but the Russian again failed in an attempt at a gold medal. She finished fifth on Monday at the uneven bars final.

"I was not very lucky at these Olympics. I failed them 100 percent," Komova said.

"I don't know if I will continue sports. I will go back home take some time off and think through the situation. My parents say everything is OK, but I don't feel so."

China duplicated what the U.S. did at the 2008 Beijing Games, where Americans Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin finished 1-2.

ZONDERLAND WINS HORIZONTAL BAR GOLD; USA FAILS TO MEDAL

London, England (Sports Network) - Top qualifier Epke Zonderland of the Netherlands held on to win gold in the men's horizontal bar final, while Americans Danell Leyva and Jonathan Horton did not medal.

Both Zonderland and 2008 Beijing Games defending champion Zou Kai of China posted the highest difficulty scores on Tuesday at 7.900. However, Zonderland's execution tally was .167 higher, giving him the gold with a mark of 16.533.

Zonderland had posted a 15.966 score in qualifying, while Zou was .033 back.

"I dreamed about it for so long. This routine was a lot of risk. In training, it's different, you're relaxed," said Zonderland, who became his country's first Olympic medalist in artistic gymnastics since the 1928 Amsterdam games in which the women won team gold.

Zou finished with a bronze on Tuesday after a final score of 16.366, just behind Fabian Hambuchen. The German had the top execution score at 8.900, which helped him make up some of Zou's difficulty advantage to win silver thanks to a 16.400 tally.

Leyva, who took bronze earlier in the men's all-around, finished fifth with a score of 15.833, while teammate and Beijing silver medalist Jonathan Horton was sixth.

KESSY, ROSS CLINCH ALL-AMERICAN BEACH VOLLEYBALL FINAL

London, England (Sports Network) - Jennifer Kessy tackled partner April Ross, who was already on her knees in the sand.

They'd just clinched an all-American final at the Olympic beach volleyball tournament.

Kessy and Ross upset top Brazilians Juliana and Larissa in three sets Tuesday night to set up a meeting with Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings.

May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings, the two-time reigning Olympic champions, won their semifinal earlier in the day against Xue Chen and Zhang Xi of China.

Wednesday's final at Horse Guards Parade will mark the second time in the last three Olympics that American women will win two medals in beach volleyball.

Kessy and Ross, the unlikelier pair to make it, knocked off the reigning world champion Brazilians 15-21, 21-19, 15-12, finishing the upset in the rain on a Kessy spike.

Earlier, May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings survived for a 22-20, 22-20 win over the 2008 bronze medalist Chinese team in the first semifinal.

Ross won the second set with a spike and the Americans took an early lead in the third. Ross bounced back from a serve into the net to make two key plays: a drop shot that fell out of reach for the Brazilians, and a serve she let go long to make it 9-6.

Kessy spikes made it 10-7 and 11-9, and it was 13-10 after a Ross spike hit the tape at the top of the net and dropped on the other side.

Brazil couldn't return a serve, making it 14-10, but the Brazilians saved two match points before Kessy sealed the win with a spike.

Brazil will play China for the bronze medal, also on Wednesday.

"We relaxed in the middle of the second set and that was the turning point, the reason we lost," said Juliana.

May-Treanor, who turned 35 last week, and the soon-to-be 34-year-old Walsh Jennings rallied from behind early in the first set and late in the second to beat their younger opponents under cloudy skies.

They won the final three points of the match to avoid dropping a set for the second time in a week (and the second time ever at the Olympics).

"They were playing awesome but we made it happen. I'm speechless," said May- Treanor. "I think we played as a unit, so I'm very happy. I had a picture in my head at the beginning of the season of how I wanted us to play, and we're living that picture. But it's not over yet."

They used power and finesse to pull themselves out of an early hole -- May- Treanor's dig saved a key point at the end of a long rally -- and won the first set when Zhang hit into the net.

Later, China built a 17-16 lead in the second set when Xue, 23, followed her 27-year-old partner with a spike.

The point of the match came minutes later when May-Treanor scrambled to save the ball behind the end line and Walsh Jennings tapped it over the net for a drop shot that tied the set at 19.

The Americans saved a set point at 19-20 and May-Treanor's delicate tap into the backcourt made it 21-20. Walsh Jennings won the match with a block at the net on Zhang's spike.

"We played very good, but we didn't do what we could do at the right points. We didn't play to our potential," said Xue. "It was quite hard to defend them. We need to improve on attack."

The men's semifinals were also Tuesday.

In the first match, Brazil's Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego beat Latvia's Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins in straight sets 21-15, 22-20. Germany's Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann then booked their spot in Thursday's final with a 21-14, 21-16 win over Reinder Nummerdor and Rich Schuil of the Netherlands.

U.S. ADVANCES TO SEMIFINALS IN WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL

London, England (Sports Network) - The United States rolled into the semifinals of women's volleyball with a straight-set victory over the Dominican Republic on Tuesday.

After winning Pool B without a loss, the U.S. dispatched the Dominicans by a 25-14, 25-21, 25-22 decision and faces South Korea in the semis on Thursday.

The U.S. team played without captain Lindsey Berg, who was rested after suffering a left ankle injury in the club's most recent match. However, Destinee Hooker notched 19 points -- 15 off spikes and another four on blocks -- and Foluke Akinradewo added another 12.

"The first two sets went really well. It feels good but you have to expect the unexpected. The nerves are there every match," said Hooker.

Korea dropped its first set to Italy on Tuesday, but rebounded for an 18-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-18 triumph to move on.

Brazil survived a two-hour, 33-minute marathon with Russia, picking up a 24-26, 25-22, 19-25, 25-22, 21-19 win. Sheilla Castro had 27 points to pace Brazil, while Russia got a game-high 28 points from Liubov Shashkova.

The 2008 Olympic gold medalist, Brazil handed Russia its first loss of the tournament and will next face Japan after its five-set win over China. The Japanese team notched a 28-26, 23-25, 25-23, 23-25, 18-16 triumph.

The win was Japan's first over the more powerful China since 2001.

U.S. WOMEN SMOTHER CANADA, ADVANCE TO SEMIFINALS

London, England (Sports Network) - Diana Taurasi scored 15 points to lead the United States to a 91-48 win over Canada in the quarterfinals of the women's Olympic basketball tournament on Tuesday.

Candace Parker had 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds for the Americans, who extended their Olympic winning streak to 39 games. The streak began 20 years ago Tuesday against Cuba in the bronze medal game.

Sylvia Fowles matched Parker with 12 points, while Angel McCoughtry and Maya Moore supplied 11 points apiece for the four-time defending Olympic champions.

"Going into the game, we as coaches were very aware that every game that Canada has played in this tournament, two or three possessions in each of those games could have affected the game," said Team USA head coach Geno Auriemma. "They were in every game to the end, and their style of play makes you play at their pace, gets you caught up in their style of ball control and limiting how many opportunities you get. So we talked a lot about how we wanted to create the tempo that we wanted and I think right from the beginning we did that, and it just continued the whole game."

Team USA will face Australia in the semifinals on Thursday. The Australians, who beat China by 15 points, have lost in three consecutive gold medal games.

Kim Smith scored 13 points to pace Canada, which went 2-3 in the preliminary round.

The Americans got off to a slow start offensively, missing their first six shots from inside the arc, but a suffocating defense limited Canada to just eight points in the first quarter.

A 19-8 lead after 10 minutes ballooned to 42-21 at halftime, and the United States was up 68-31 heading into the fourth quarter.

Team USA forced 26 turnovers, leading to 33 points, and outscored Canada 48-12 in the paint.

The United States and Canada met at the Olympics for the first time since the 1984 semifinals.

AUSTRALIA PULLS AWAY LATE TO REACH SEMIS

London, England (Sports Network) - Elizabeth Cambage totaled 17 points and seven rebounds, as Australia advanced to the semifinals of the women's Olympic basketball tournament with a 75-60 victory over China on Tuesday.

Lauren Jackson scored 12 points and Suzy Batkovic added 10 with nine rebounds for Australia, which limited China to eight points in the fourth quarter to pull away.

The Australians will next face the United States on Thursday. They have lost to the Americans in each of the last three gold medal games.

Ma Zengyu had 15 points and five rebounds for China, which went 3-2 in the preliminary round.

The Australians led by six after the first quarter, but China battled back to take a 36-35 advantage into halftime. Australia outscored China by four in the third quarter to go up 55-52.

RUSSIA SNEAKS PAST TURKEY TO REACH SEMIS

London, England (Sports Network) - Becky Hammon made a key layup with 13 seconds remaining to lift Russia over Turkey, 66-63, in the quarterfinals of the women's Olympic basketball tournament.

Hammon ended with 19 points and five assists for the Russians, who will play France in the semifinals on Thursday. Evgenia Belyakova, Anna Petrakova and Natalia Vieru added 10 points apiece.

The Russians have won the bronze medal in 2004 and 2008.

Nevriye Yilmaz had 22 points and five rebounds to lead Turkey, which went 4-1 in the preliminary round. Kuanitra Hollingsworth and Birsel Vardarli added 12 points apiece.

Vardarli's layup with 28 seconds left tied the game at 62. Following a timeout, Hammon responded with a layup of her own at the other end. Hammon was fouled by Yilmaz on the play, but missed her free throw to keep it a two-point contest.

Hollingsworth made 1-of-2 foul shots to get Turkey within one, 64-63.

Irina Osipova missed the second of two free throws at the opposite end, but Russia got the offensive rebound. Belyakova then made 1-of-2 free throws to give the Russians a 66-63 margin with 10 seconds to go.

Vardarli missed a three-pointer as time expired.

MEXICO THUMPS JAPAN TO REACH FIRST MEN'S SOCCER FINAL

London, England (Sports Network) - Mexico will have the opportunity to play for its first Olympic medal in men's soccer as it cruised to a 3-1 victory over Japan at Wembley on Tuesday.

The Mexicans have never earned a medal in men's soccer with their best finish coming in the 1986 Olympics, finishing fourth by losing 2-0 to Japan in the bronze medal game.

Japan even took the lead at Wembley on Tuesday thanks to Yuki Otsu's early strike, his third goal of the tournament.

But Mexico battled back as Marco Fabian leveled the score before the close of the first half while second-half goals from Oribe Peralta and Javier Cortes saw the South American nation steal the win.

Mexico will face Brazil in the final, slated for Saturday at Wembley, while Japan will take on South Korea at the Millennium Stadium on Friday for a shot at the bronze.

It took Japan just 11 minutes to get off the mark as a well-worked move down the left flank resulted in Otsu collecting possession at the top of the penalty area. The Japanese striker's brilliant first touch set up a shot from outside the box, and he uncorked a laser that left Jose Corona no chance for a save.

Mexico nearly broke through in the 28th minute when a loose ball in the box fell to the feet of Gionvani Dos Santos, but the Tottenham youngster fired a one-time shot just wide of the post.

The writing was on the wall though, as Japan's staunch defense, which had not conceded a goal through four games in the tournament, was cracked open three minutes later.

A corner kick played to the near post was flicked on by Jorge Enriquez and Fabian latched on, glancing his header into the back of the net from close range.

Both sides continued to push for a winner, but it was Mexico that eventually found one after capitalizing on a giveaway by the Japanese defense.

Shuichi Gonda distributed the ball with a roll up the middle of the park, but Peralta stripped the Japanese defender and immediately fired a wonder-strike into the upper corner.

That moment of brilliance held up as the difference, but Cortes added insult to injury for the Japanese, making a penetrating run into the box and hammering a shot underneath Gonda to power Mexico into the final.

BRAZIL EASES PAST S. KOREA TO ADVANCE TO MEN'S SOCCER FINAL

Manchester, England (Sports Network) - Brazil cruised to a 3-0 victory over South Korea at Old Trafford on Tuesday to advance to the final of the men's Olympic soccer tournament.

Romulo opened the scoring in the 37th minute while Leandro Damiao bagged a second-half brace in the span of seven minutes.

Damiao leads the men's soccer tournament in scoring with six goals through Brazil's five games. The samba boys have scored three goals in every game during the competition, good enough to see the world football powerhouse into Sunday's final at Wembley where it will face Mexico for the gold medal.

South Korea had the better of the early running, but Brazil took advantage of the Asia nation's squandered scoring chances by taking the lead in the 38th minute.

A well-worked move from the left flank to the right found the run of Romulo on the edge of the box as the midfielder collected possession and fired his effort underneath Lee Bum-Young, who will count himself at fault for failing to stop a shot placed within his reach.

South Korea had a penalty shout early in the second half when Ji Dong-Won was barreled into from behind, but play was allowed to continue.

Moments later, Brazil doubled its lead when Neymar broke free on the left side of the box. His angled ball back to the penalty spot was missed by Marcelo, but Damiao followed up to slot the delivery into the back of the net.

Damiao completed his brace shortly after when a failed through ball was not properly dealt with by the South Korean defense. The 23-year-old pounced on the loose ball and poked a speculative shot through traffic that found its way past Lee.

Brazil coasted for the remainder of play, advancing to the final where it will go for its first-ever gold medal. The Brazilians have finished as silver- medallists twice (1984 & 1988) in addition to their two bronze-medal finishes (1996 & 2008).

South Korea will go for its first-ever Olympic medal on Friday when it faces Japan at the Millennium Stadium.

HOY WINS MEN'S SPRINT, GOLD NO. 6

London, England (Sports Network) - Chris Hoy provided a fitting close to competition at the Velodrome, winning the men's keirin to become Great Britain's gold medal leader and close out the host nation's track cycling dominance at the London Games.

The British won seven out of the 10 events and earned nine medals overall.

On Tuesday, Laura Trott narrowly defeated the United States' Sarah Hammer in the first Olympic women's omnium, while Victoria Pendleton took silver behind Australia's Anna Meares in another women's sprint event marked by relegation.

Hoy's victory put an exclamation mark on it all. He had already won gold in the team sprint, and his win Tuesday gave him No. 6 and moved him past Sir Steve Redgrave for most in Great Britain's Olympic history.

Hoy has seven medals overall and is one behind Henry Taylor's all-time British record. Hoy is tied with fellow cyclist Bradley Wiggins.

But it's unlikely that Hoy, 36, will be back at another Olympics. And if Tuesday was his final Olympic race, he went out on a high note.

"This is the perfect end to my Olympic career," Hoy said. "At Sydney, I was just over the moon with a silver medal. If I'd have stopped then I would have been a happy boy, but to go on to Athens, Beijing and here, I can't put it into words."

German Max Levy took silver behind Hoy, while New Zealand's Simon van Velthooven and the Netherlands' Teun Mulder shared bronze.

Hoy's ending was not quite matched by Pendleton, 31, who was also competing at what's expected to be her final Olympics.

She entered the women's sprint final against Australian Anna Meares as the favorite. Pendleton had showed her form by winning gold in the keirin last week, and has won six of the last eight women's sprint world titles.

Pendleton appeared to win the first of three heats by 0.001 second, but was relegated for crossing lanes. It was the second time she has been relegated at these games, with the first time coming in the team sprint.

"I was really annoyed because I was sure that she touched me and it caused me to move up," Pendleton said. "I cannot believe twice in one competition that I have been relegated, disqualified, it's unheard of."

Pendleton said the decision knocked her confidence, and Meares secured the gold medal in the second heat. She forced Pendleton to lead out the second heat, then came around to win her second Olympic gold and fifth medal overall.

China's Guo Shuang beat German Kristina Vogel for the bronze.

Despite the loss, Pendleton said she was relieved.

"I would have loved to have won in my final race," she said. "At the same time, I am just so glad I am done and I can move on."

In the omnium, Trott and Hammer were tied for the lead after Monday. Hammer gained a slight edge with a win in Tuesday's first event, the individual pursuit. Trott took second.

Hammer widened her lead by placing second in the scratch race behind Australian Annette Edmondson, while Trott came in third. The results gave Hammer 15 points, while Trott had 17 and Edmondson 22.

Trott needed to finish three places ahead of Hammer in the final event, a 500- meter time trial, to win Tuesday.

Trott did just that, turning in a best time of 35.110, just 0.03 seconds faster than Edmondson. The American came across in 35.900 seconds, good enough for fourth.

And with that, the 20-year-old Trott rose into first place ith 18 points, just one ahead of Hammer. Edmondson finished with the bronze.

"I was losing my head a little bit between the events because they weren't going the way I wanted them to," Trott said. "I am so happy."

RUSSIAN TOPS 2 CHINESE DIVERS FOR GOLD

London, England (Sports Network) - Russia's Ilya Zakharov became the first non-Chinese diver to win a gold medal at the London Olympics.

Zakharov used a big final dive Tuesday night to beat Qin Kai and He Chong to win the men's 3-meter springboard.

Qin and He finished second and third in that order, the first time in six diving events here that China failed to win gold.

German Patrick Hausding was fourth and American Troy Dumais finished fifth.

Zakharov scored 104.50 on his final dive, a forward 4 1/2 somersault in the tuck position. He was one of only two divers to break 100 on the night -- giving him 555.90 points.

It was the first Olympics since 1992 that China didn't win gold in the event.

"I'm delighted. I am feeling too many emotions, so I don't know what to say," said Zakharov. "I'm so pleased that I managed to take a medal away from China."

Qin ended 14.15 points back and He was 31.75 off the pace for bronze.

RUSSIAN FAVORITES WIN SYNCH SWIMMING GOLD

London, England (Sports Network) - Russian favorites Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina won the synchronized swimming duets Tuesday after the free routine final.

Silver and bronze went to Spain and China in that order, but were separated by far less than a point.

Ishchenko and Romashina stood atop the standings after all three days of the competition.

Their 98.90 score in the free routine final gave them 197.10 points overall, 4.2 more than Spain's Ona Carbonell Ballestero and Andrea Fuentes Fache.

The Chinese pair of Huang Xuechen and Liu Ou finished just .03 points further back.

Russia captured the first synchronized swimming event of the London Olympics after sweeping the sport in the last three games by winning every gold in the team and duets competition since 2000.

The team competition starts Thursday, but the United States won't be involved. For the first time ever, Americans didn't qualify a team for competition.

The U.S. was represented in duets by Mary Killman and Mariya Koroleva, who came in 11th out of the 12 pairs that qualified for the final.

Canada's Marie-Pier Boudreau Gagnon and Elise Marcotte finished fourth, 3.75 points behind the Chinese.

CHINA CLAIMS ANOTHER TABLE TENNIS GOLD

London, England (Sports Network) - China earned its third gold medal in table tennis at the London Games, beating Japan for the women's team title on Tuesday.

China posted a 3-0 win over the Japanese, as Li Xiaoxia and Ding Ning won their respective singles matches and the duo of Guo Yue and Li picked up a victory in doubles. By winning the silver, Japan earned its first medal in table tennis.

Earlier on Tuesday, Singapore beat South Korea 3-0 for the bronze medal.

The Chinese can earn a sweep of the table tennis gold medals for a second straight Olympics with a victory in the men's team event. China faces South Korea for the gold Wednesday after Germany takes on Hong Kong for bronze.

China won every event at the 2008 Beijing Games and won eight medals overall. At these Summer Games, China has won five medals, including two silver.

BRITAIN WINS ANOTHER GOLD IN EQUESTRIAN

London, England (Sports Network) - Great Britain added a third equestrian medal to its haul at the London Olympics with a gold Tuesday in team dressage.

Riders Carl Hester, Laura Bechtolsheimer and Charlotte Dujardin made Britain the first non-German team since 1972 to win the team dressage competition in a non-boycotted Olympics.

Germany was second and the Netherlands third for the silver and bronze. The top three positions all held from Day 1 of the competition last week.

The victory came one day after Britain beat the Netherlands in a jump-off to win the team jumping competition.

Dujardin clinched the gold Tuesday with an Olympic-record score on the final ride. It was Britain's first-ever Olympic medal in dressage.

"I haven't had time to think about it. I was more nervous today," she said. "I wanted the gold medal so badly but I like this test and I knew I could do it well."

A German team had won the competition in eight of the last nine Olympics -- Germany from 1992-2008 and West Germany in 1976, then 1984-88. The Soviet Union took gold in the boycotted 1980 Moscow Games.

The United States team, including the Ann Romney-owned horse Rafalca and its rider Jan Ebeling, finished sixth.

The Grand Prix Special also counted as the second qualifier for the individual dressage competition, which ends Thursday with a freestyle round set to music. Dujardin leads the Netherlands' Adelinde Cornelissen and teammate Hester in the standings.

Only the top 18 riders advanced, including American Steffen Peters. Ebeling and Rafalca did not move on.

SPAIN, NETHERLANDS TAKE WINDSURFING GOLD

London, England (Sports Network) - Spain's Marina Alabau Neira and the Netherlands' Dorian van Rijsselberge won windsurfing gold Tuesday.

Alabau Neira carried a 14-point advantage into the women's RS:X medal race, which she won to secure first place and her first Olympic medal. She had placed fourth in the event at the 2008 Beijing Games.

It was a fitting final performance for Alabau Neira, who recorded seven top- three results during the opening series.

Finland's Tuuli Petaja took silver, while Poland's Zofia Noceti-Klepacka used a third-place finish in the medal race to earn bronze.

Van Rijsselberge had effectively secured gold prior to the medal race in the men's RS:X event. Following the opening series of 10 races, where points are awarded on an ascending basis -- 1 for first, 2 for second, and so on -- he had 13. Great Britain's Nick Dempsey was second with 35.

While points are doubled in the medal race, van Rijsselberge could do no worse than 10th and needed only to start. He ended up winning the medal race to complete his windsurfing dominance.

Dempsey finished third in the medal race to get silver, while Poland's Przemyslaw Miarczynski was the bronze medalist.

In women's Elliott 6m match racing, Spain and Finland both won two races to get a leg up in their quarterfinal best-of-five matches.

Spain is matched up with France, while Finland is taking on the United States. Both squads can move into the semis with one victory Wednesday.

In the other quarterfinals, the Netherlands and Australia split their two races, as did Great Britain and Russia.

Both of the 470 (two-person dinghy) classes held opening series races. Australians Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page won twice Tuesday to keep their lead and will head into the medal race with a four-point advantage over Great Britain's Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell.

In the women's 470, New Zealand's Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie lead after a pair of victories Tuesday.

IRAN, SOUTH KOREA CLAIM GRECO-ROMAN GOLDS

London, England (Sports Network) - Iran's Ghasem Gholamreza Rezaei and Kim Hyeonwoo of South Korea claimed gold medals in the 96- and 66-kilogram greco- roman wrestling brackets on Tuesday.

Rezaei won at the higher weight, besting Russia's Rustam Totrov. It marked a vast improvement from his 16th-place finish at the 2008 Beijing Games, which came one year after taking bronze at worlds.

Totrov, meanwhile, finished third at the 2011 World Championships but failed to keep the gold in Russia following countryman Aslanbek Khushtov's Beijing win.

Bronze medals in the class went to Swede Jimmy Lindberg and Artur Aleksanyan of Armenia.

Kim, meanwhile, scored a victory over Tamas Lorincz of Hungary to win the 66kg gold. He made his senior debut in 2010 and took a bronze at last year's worlds.

"There is a saying in Korea that my coach uses all the time - 'If you work hard the sky will know.' I worked hard and I think the sky recognized my efforts," said Kim, who fought most of the tournament with an injured eye.

Bronze was claimed by Georgia's Manuchar Tskhadaia and France's Steeve Guenot.

IRAN WINS GOLD AND SILVER IN WEIGHTLIFTING

London, England (Sports Network) - Iran's Behdad Salimikordasiabi won the men's super-heavyweight division Tuesday night, the final weightlifting competition at the London Olympics.

Salimikordasiabi, the two-time reigning world champion, snatched 208 kilograms and lifted 247 on the clean and jerk for a 455 kg total.

Countryman Sajjad Anoushiravani Hamlabad took silver with 449 kg and Russia's Ruslan Albegov settled for bronze with 448.

Iran finished with four weightlifting medals here, tied for second-most with Kazakhstan and North Korea. China won seven medals, including five gold.

U.S. WOMEN'S WATER POLO TEAM INTO FINAL

London, England (Sports Network) - The United States women's water polo team scored twice in extra time to defeat Australia and reach the final.

Maggie Steffens and Kami Craig both tallied in the first extra period to put the Americans up, and they held the lead through a scoreless second extra session for an 11-9 victory.

In Thursday's gold medal match, the Americans will play Spain, which edged Hungary by a 10-9 score on Tuesday.

The United States is in search of its first gold medal in the event. The Americans have medaled every time since women's water polo became an Olympic sport in 2000, but came away with two silvers and a bronze.

Australia and Hungary will play for the bronze medal Thursday.

TOP WELTERWEIGHT SQUEEZES INTO SEMIS; USA'S SPENCE LOSES

London, England (Sports Network) - Ukrainian Taras Shelestyuk and Great Britain's Freddie Evans had bouts go to countbacks Tuesday, but both won to move into the semifinals of the men's welterweight draw.

Meanwhile, the United States is again without a boxer in the men's competition after Errol Spence lost.

The top-seeded Shelestyuk, the reigning world champion, fought France's Alexis Vastine to an 18-18 draw but advanced on the strength of his point total from all three rounds.

Evans did the same against Canada's Custio Clayton, and now faces Shelestyuk on Friday.

On the other side of the quarterfinal bracket, Spence was knocked out of the competition by Russian Andrey Zamkovoy, a 16-11 winner. The American had been awarded a berth into the quarterfinals after his appeal of a second-round loss was accepted.

Zamkovoy moved on to face No. 2 seed Serik Sapiyev, who routed Venezuela's Gabriel Maestre Perez on Tuesday.

In men's flyweight action, Russian Misha Aloian eased into the semifinals and will fight Tugstsogt Nyambayar of Mongolia. Aloian is the top seed in the draw.

Great Britain's Andrew Selby, the No. 2 seed, lost to Cuban Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana. Ireland's Michael Conlan, the sixth seed, advanced to fight Ramirez Carrazana.

DEFENDING CHAMP NORWAY MOVES ON IN WOMEN'S HANDBALL

London, England (Sports Network) - Norway's goal of defending its Olympic gold medal remained alive after it knocked off Brazil in quarterfinals of the women's handball tournament.

Norway rallied from six goals down to best Brazil 21-19. It marks the sixth time in six appearances the country as reached the Olympic semifinals.

Up next for Norway is South Korea, which advanced thanks to a 24-23 triumph against Russia to set up a rematch of the 2008 Beijing semifinal. Norway won that encounter by one goal.

The Koreans knocked off the Beijing silver medalists after watching the Russians climb back to even the match at 15. However, South Korean goaltender Ju Hui stopped four of the final five shots faced to secure the win.

The other semifinal match -- also set for Thursday -- will pit Spain against Montenegro.

The Spaniards reached the semifinals for the first time with a 25-22 win over Croatia, which was making its Olympic debut and lost Andrea Penezic to an ankle injury in the second half.

Montenegro, meanwhile, knocked off previously unbeaten France (4-0-1) by a 23-22 margin to advance in its Olympic debut.

AUSTRALIA, BRITAIN ADVANCE TO FIELD HOCKEY SEMIS

London, England (Sports Network) - Australia and Great Britain claimed the final two semifinal spots in the men's field hockey tournament on the last day of group play at the London Games.

Australia posted a 7-0 win over Pakistan in its final Pool A game, winning the group over Great Britain, which could only manage a 1-1 tie against Spain.

The Netherlands had already clinched a spot in the semis heading into Tuesday's action, but it still posted a 4-2 victory over South Korea to win Pool B going away with a perfect 5-0 record.

Germany needed only one point to earn the second semifinal spot from Pool B and did enough with a 5-5 tie against New Zealand.

The semifinals are set for Thursday when the Netherlands faces Great Britain and Germany battles Australia.