London brings out the best - Olympics 2012 Update

We’ve seen some phenomenal performances thus far in the Olympics and the best part is, they’re only half over.  Understandably, some of you probably either didn’t watch or were busy doing stuff over the weekend and couldn’t watch the coverage so here are some of the highlights from Friday-Sunday at the Olympics:

Day 7 Olympics highlights

  • In women’s basketball, team USA cruised to an 88-61 win over the Czech Republic.  The US is by far the best team in the Olympics and should win gold.
  • In men’s beach volleyball, the duo that won gold in Beijing will not even medal in the London Olympics.  Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers were upset by the Italian team and are out of the Olympics.
  • In women’s beach volleyball, the other American duo, April Ross and Jen Kessy, continue their quest for a medal after defeating Switzerland two games to none.
  • Great Britain is really good at cycling.  Victoria Pendleton won gold in women’s Keirin on the indoor track and the British men won the team pursuit on the track.  The host nation also won a gold and a couple of bronze medals in rowing competitions.  Not a bad day for Great Britain.
  • There were some great games in women’s handball yesterday.  Handball is a really fun sport to watch and it looks pretty cool to play.  Wish it would catch on here in the States.  Of the six games on Friday, half were decided by a goal and the largest margin of victory in a game was six points.
  • In women’s soccer, team USA beat New Zealand 2-0 behind goals from Abby Wambach and Sydney Leroux.  They’ll get a medal (hopefully a gold) based on the way they’ve played so far.
  • It was another dominating day in the pool for team USA.  Missy Franklin, the darling of the Olympics for Americans, set a world record in the 200m backstroke, her best event, with a time of 2:04.06.  Obviously, she won gold.  Fellow teammate Elizabeth Beisel won bronze.
    • Michael Phelps won the 100m butterfly with a time of 51.21.  It will be his last individual gold medal won in the Olympics (unless he comes back for Rio in 2016 like his mom is hoping).
    • American Cullen Jones won silver in the 50m freestyle.
    • And in the women’s 800m freestyle, with members of the royal family in attendance ready to cheer on the hometown favorite Rebecca Adlington, America’s Katie Ledecky, 15-years old, set an American record with a winning time of 8:14.63.  She was amazing.  Adlington won bronze.  It was a great meet.
  • In track and field, USA’s own Reese Hoffa won bronze medal in the shot put.
  • The women’s 10,000 meter race was very exciting as four runners were ahead of everyone and fighting for the lead, but it was Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia who pulled away to win gold.  Kenyans took gold and silver with two more runners from Ethiopia getting fourth and fifth.  No one else in the field had a chance.
  • The women’s heptathlon completed four of their seven events and Great Britain’s own Jessica Ennis led at the end of the day.  She is getting a ton of support from the fans and a lot of coverage in the British media.
  • In women’s indoor volleyball, the USA spanked Serbia 3-0.  They’re looking really good right now.
  • And in women’s polo, team USA was able to get by China 7-6.  I think they have a pretty good shot at a medal.
  • Day 8 Olympics highlights

    • After destroying Nigeria by 83 points, the  USA’s men’s basketball team struggled against Lithuania, narrowly defeating them  99-94.  In fact, they were trailing by two points with six minutes to go, but LeBron James went to work and scored nine of his twenty points in the latter minutes of the game to give team USA the win.  Who says James isn’t a closer?
    • Good day on the beach for USA volleyball.  Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings won their match over the Netherlands 2-0 and the men’s duo of Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal won their match against Russia 2-0.  Each team advances to the quarterfinals.
    • What a shock! Great Britain won another gold medal in cycling in women’s team pursuit.  USA won silver.
    • In fencing women’s team epee, the USA won the bronze medal witha 31-30 win over Russia.
    • In women’s field hockey, five of the six games either tied or were decided by one goal (USA lost 3-2 to New Zealand). The other game was decided by two goals.  Very good competition and exciting games yesterday on the blue turf in field hockey.
    • American Jamie (Beyerle) Gray won gold in the 50m rifle shooting competition.
    • The swimming portion of this Olympics came to a close and once again, the USA was golden. The women’s 4X100 medley relay team of Rebecca Soni, Dana Volmer, Missy Franklin and Allison Schmitt set a world record in winning the gold medal with a time of 3:52.05.  They were great and this put the icing on an incredible Olympics for team USA swimming, particularly Franklin.  We’ll see plenty more of her in Rio in four years.  And finally, Michael Phelps swam his final event and as has been so often the case, he won gold as part of the men’s 4X100 medley relay.  What a career for Phelps.  22 medals, 18 of them gold!  It’s going to be weird to not see him in the pool again.  Congrats to Phelps on the best Olympic career we’ve ever seen!
    • You want to talk about domination, what about Serena Williams’ performance in women’s singles tennis yesterday against Maria Sharapova?  6-0, 6-1.  Sharapova never had a chance.  Good gold for Williams.
    • Track and Field is getting awfully busy and there were a number of medals awarded yesterday along with some intriguing stories.  Among them:
      • Great Britain’s Greg Rutherford won gold medal in the men’s long jump.  American Will Claye won bronze.
      • Great Britain’s Jessica Ennis won the women’s heptathlon.  She was phenominal.
      • More great news for Great Britain as Mo Farah, who had been training in Oregon for the last year-and-a-half won gold in the 10,000 meter race.  He later said that the home crowd definitely helped him win the race.  Surprisingly, American Galen Rupp, Farah’s training partner, won silver.
      • The fastest woman in the world is…Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. She won gold in the 100m in 10.75 seconds.  American Carmelita Jeter won silver.
      • No surprise that Usain Bolt easily made his way through all of the preliminary sprinting heats
      • And in the men’s 400m, South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius, a double leg amputee and the center of much controversy and attention, advanced to the semifinals. He ran the 400m in 45.44 seconds. 
    • USA men’s indoor volleyball suffered their first loss of the Olympics, losing 3-2 to Russia in a very compelling and exciting match.  How the US responds will be very key to seeing if they can get a medal or not.
    • And in men’s water polo, the USA lost 11-6 to Serbia.  Serbia is a very good team.
    • Day 9 Olympics highlights

      • The USA women’s basketball team was all business, crushing China 114-66.  The 114 points scored tied an American Olympic record.  USA was flawless.  And they showed great class by not going for the record with fifteen seconds left.  No reason to believe they won’t win gold.
      • In women’s beach volleyball, both American teams have advanced to the semi-finals.  Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings took care of the Italian team in two sets while April Ross and Jen Kessy knocked off the Czech Republic in two sets.  Going to be interesting to see how each team plays in their semi-final match.
      • Gymnastics featured the individual disciplines and very few events in the Olympics seemed more sure than American McKayla Maroney winning gold in the vault.  But a fall on her second vault gave her a silver medal.  Not bad all things considered.  Good job McKayla.  And in men’s pommel horse, Hungarian Krisztian Berki and Great Britain’s Louis Smith tied, but because Smith had more deductions taken off, he was given silver.  That is a tough way to go out, but it’s still a proud moment for Great Britain and Smith that he won silver.
      • China’s diving dominance continues.  They took gold and silver in the women’s 3m springboard.  They’ve won a medal (gold I believe) in every Olympics since 1984.  Amazing!
      • You want to talk about close calls?  How about in men’s 50m pistol shooting competition where South Korean Jin Jongoh beat fellow countryman Choi Young Rae by half a point for the gold medal 662-661.5.  Wow!  What a finish.
      • In tennis, Great Britain was all smiles as their own Andy Murray defeated Roger Federer in three sets 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 to win the gold medal.  Murray lost to Federer in Wimbledon a few weeks ago so this had to feel really good.  And Great Britain couldn’t be more proud.  And in women’s doubles Venus and Serena Williams will once again bring home gold following their 6-4, 6-4 win over the Czech Republic.
      • Plenty of action in track and field. Among the races for medals, one was the women’s 400m and American Sanya Richards-Ross, wife of Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Aaron Ross, won gold with a time of 49.55.  She was very smart and saved her energy for when she needed it the final 100m.  Speaking of 100m, the men’s 100m final was yesterday and Usain Bolt did it again, setting an Olympic record of 9.63 seconds to win gold.  Countryman Yohan Blake won silver.  American Justin Gatlin won bronze.  No doubt Bolt is the fastest man in the world.  He flew down the track.  Amazing race.  And one final note, South African Oscar Pistorius finished last in his semifinal of the 400m.  So ends the run to a truly inspirational story.  Pistorius will run for South Africa in the relay race and will participate in the Paralympics.
      • In women’s indoor volleyball, team USA crushed Turkey 3-0.  They looked really good, especially Destinee Hooker.  They’re in to the quarterfinals.
      • In women’s water polo, team USA beat Italy 9-6 to advance to the semi-finals where they will face Australia.
      • The Medal count is as follows: China leads in all-around medals (61) and gold medals (30) with the USA in second with 60 medals (28 gold).  Great Britain, thanks to a great Saturday that saw them win six gold medals, is in third with 37 medals.

      More great Olympic action today on NBC, MSNBC and the NBC Sports Network.  Full results, stories and more can be found at http://www.nbcolympics.com/index.html

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      Tags: Abby Wambach Elizabeth Beisel Katie Ledecky Kerri Walsh Jennings Lebron James Maroney McKayla Men's Basketball Michael Phelps Missy Franklin Misty May-Treanor OIympics Oscar Pistorius Sanya Richards-Ross Serena Williams Soccer Swimming Track And Field USA Usain Bolt Volleyball Women's Basketball Written In The Stars

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