Saturday, August 11, 2012

It's all about the London Olympics

USA thrash rivals in 4x400m Olympic relay

 

The USA won the women's 4x400 metres relay by some distance at the London Olympics on Saturday to give Allyson Felix her third gold medal of the Games.

Felix, who took the 200 metres individual title and was part of the 4x100m team that smashed the 27-year-old world record on Friday, ran the second leg to help the Americans cross the line first in the event for the sixth successive Olympics.
There was to be no world record in the one-lap relay, though, with Sanya Richards-Ross powering across the line in three minutes 16.87 seconds, outside the mark of 3:15.17 set by the Soviet Union at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Dee Dee Trotter, who was part of the team that won gold in Athens eight years ago, got the Americans off to a flying start and was the first in the field to hand over the baton.
Felix, who ran a blistering second leg to set the U.S. on their way to gold in Beijing, extended that advantage to some 15 metres by the middle of the back straight on her lap.
Francena McCorory increased it further and with individual 400 metres champion Richards-Ross waiting for her at the end of her lap, only a botched baton handover was going to stop the Americans.
The transition was smooth, however, and when Richards-Ross entered the home straight, it looked like the American women might break records on successive evenings.
Richard-Ross, who won her fourth Olympic gold, came up just short but was well clear of the Russians, who finished second for silver in 3:20.23, and Jamaica who claimed bronze in 3:20.95.

Savinova storms to 800m Olympic gold

 

Russian Mariya Savinova added Olympic gold to her world crown when she stormed to an impressive 800 metres victory on Saturday.

Savinova, the European woman Athlete of 2011, did not panic when defending champion Pamela Jelimo of Kenya kicked three metres clear down the back straight on the final lap.
Jelimo paid for going to soon and Savinova, 26, took over to storm to gold in one minute 56.19.
But the race was marked by the bizarre performance of South African Caster Semenya. The 2009 world champion, whose emphatic victory in Berlin raised questions about her gender and started a verification process that still clouds her achievement, dragged her heels to fall far behind at the back of the field before storming through from nowhere in the final 100m to take silver in 1:57.23.
Russian Ekaterina Poistogova clocked 1:57.53 for bronze. Jelimo faded out of the medals and was fourth.

Bresset wins Olympic mountain bike gold, Last eighth

 Julie Bresset led from the start to earn France their first cycling gold medal at the London Olympics with an impressive solo victory in the women's mountain bike event.

The 2011 World Cup winner, 23, smoothly pulled away and never looked back to beat German Sabine Spitz, who came into the race as the defending champion, by 62 seconds.
American Georgia Gould took bronze, 68 seconds off the pace.
Bresset grabbed a French flag just before the line, waved it in celebration before lifting her bike over her head in delight, a broad smile on her face.
"Two days ago, I was practising my start and my front wheel slipped," Bresset said.
"I cut my arm and my knee, so two days before the start, I was not good at all. I needed seven stitches. I thought 'it's not possible'."
Bresset, however, regained her composure and went on the course again.
"I went back there to get a feeling of the course again," she explained. "I was still hurting but today that was OK."
France's first cycling title in London comes after three silver medals in the track competitions and dismal performances in the BMX.
It is also France's fourth gold medal in mountain bike since the event was introduced at the Games in Sydney in 2000. Julien Absalon will go for a third straight title in the men's race on Sunday.
Bresset, who had said she would need to take a flying start, teamed up with Britain's Annie Last to drag the field into the opening nasty climb in rural surroundings on a bright day in Essex, north east of London.
She quickly took control of the race, setting a hard pace in the lung-busting climb to Snake Hill before building a small gap over the pack along with Spitz and Canadian world number one Catharine Pendrel.
After the second of six 4.7-kilometre laps on a course overlooking the Thames estuary, the trio looked set to battle it out for the medals.
Pendrel, however, lost ground as Gould joined Bresset and Spitz at the front.
Nothing could deter Bresset from her goal.
"I was so focused all the time. I did not make a single mistake. I knew where I had to drink and where I had to eat," she said.
The Frenchwoman was still ahead after three laps and Spitz fell off her bike before recovering as she chased the leader in the tricky Rock Garden descent.
Asked if she surrendered her title with the fall, Spitz said: "Julie was quite strong, so it's just speculation.
"When I crashed I lost a bit of my rhythm ... but at that time Julie was already some 35 seconds ahead."
Bresset sat on a 33-second cushion with two laps remaining and it was then clear the only fight left was the one for silver, with Spitz retaining her small advantage over Gould on the line.
"I now have my complete collection of medals," said the 40-year-old Spitz, a bronze medallist in Athens.

Walcott takes surprise javelin gold

 

Trinidad & Tobago's Keshorn Walcott completed a remarkable double by taking a surprise Olympic javelin gold on Friday, less than a month after becoming world junior champion.

 The 19-year-old, crowned global junior champion in Barcelona on July 13, won gold with an 84.58 metre throw, a personal best. He was the youngest winner of an Olympic javelin title.
Ukraine's Oleksandr Pyatnytsya won silver with a 84.51 effort and Antti Ruuskanen of Finland took bronze with 84.12.
Norwegian Andreas Thorkildsen, bidding for a third successive Olympic gold, was sixth.

Mexico stun Brazil to win Olympic football gold

Mexico won the Olympic men's football title for the first time when they stunned favourites Brazil 2-1 in front of 86,162 fans at Wembley Stadium.

Oribe Peralta wrote his name into Mexican folklore with a deadly double against the five-time world champions, who many believed were destined finally to end their agonising wait for Olympic glory.
But despite Hulk pulling a goal back in stoppage-time and Chelsea new boy Oscar missing a last-gasp sitter, Brazil were a shadow of the attacking force that had smashed in 15 goals en route to the final and displayed the defensive frailty that has long dogged them.
In sharp contrast, Mexico completed their transformation from one of the most notorious also-rans in world football to a side capable of delivering on the biggest stage. And they could not have picked a better time than in front of 86,162 at the home of football in what was their first truly global major final.
Few would have predicted the fastest goal ever in a FIFA tournament final - also thought to be the quickest in Olympic history - after just 28 seconds. Manchester United right-back Rafael's hospital pass was intercepted by Javier Aquino and the ball broke for Peralta to race goal-ward unchallenged and fire home.
Brazil made an attacking change just past the half-hour mark when midfielder Alex Sandro was withdrawn for Porto team-mate Hulk. And the substitute almost caught out Corona with a piledriver from nearly 35 yards but the goalkeeper recovered well to foil Leandro Damiao's rebound.
Marcelo should have tested him again when he flashed wide from Damiao's lay-off and his timing was all wrong again moments later when he went through the back of Peralta, rightly earning a booking.
Leandro Damiao had a good chance nicked off his toe and powered a free header wide from a corner before Peralta rightly had a second goal ruled out for offside.
Fabian almost scored legitimately when he nodded over Jorge Enriquez's flick-on from a corner but made amends 15 minutes from time with a free-kick that Peralta netted with a bullet header thanks to simply non-existent marking.
Brazil should have staged an amazing comeback in stoppage-time, Hulk racing on to a long ball from Marcelo and rifling into the net before crossing for an unmarked Oscar to somehow nod wide from six yards.

Zou claims Olympic gold in light-flyweight

 

China's Zou Shiming won his second successive Olympic gold medal on Saturday, beating Thailand's Kaeo Pongprayoon in a battle of two of the oldest fighters at the London Games to cap his total dominance of the light-flyweight division.

Zou, who won China's first Olympic boxing medal, a bronze, eight years ago and its first gold in front of home fans at the Beijing Games, added a second Olympic win to a career haul that also includes three world amateur championships.
The canny 31-year-old, who survived a couple of scares to reach the final, grinned all the way to the ring and was probably still smiling inside when he was slightly fortunate to be narrowly ahead after the first round.
Pongprayoon, at 32 the oldest among the men's 20 finalists, was cheered on by the majority of the crowd, including a noisy section of Thai fans, but their encouragement turned to boos after the second round when he was again unlucky to lose by a single point.
The Thai fighter continued to be a nuisance against his taller opponent in the final round, catching Zou with a big left but the now double Olympic champion, who was warned for holding, hung on to win 13-10.
Pongprayoon, who also received a warning in the final seconds of the bout, fell to the ground in tears and beat the canvass in frustration as a flag-waving Zou was booed.
Pongprayoon's cornerman even raised his fighter's hand in defiance to the delight of the crowd.
Losing semi-finalists Ireland's Paddy Barnes and David Ayrapetyan of Russia took bronze.

 


 


 


 

 

 

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