Saturday, July 28, 2012
– _ American Ryan Lochte turned his anticipated duel with Michael Phelps into a blowout, pulling away to win the Olympic 400-meter individual medley for the first U.S. gold medal in London.
_ China picked up where it left off from the Beijing Olympics, where it won the most gold medals with 51. The country won four on the first full day of competition in London: Yi Siling, who got the first gold of 2012 in women’s 10-meter air rifle shooting; Ye Shiwen, who set a world record in women’s 400 individual medley swimming; Sun Yang in men’s 400 freestyle swimming; and Wang Mingjuang in women’s 48-kilogram weightlifting.
_ Natalie Coughlin tied Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres for most career medals by an American woman with 12 when the United States won a bronze in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay. And she didn’t even have to swim in a final: She swam a leg in the preliminaries, helping the U.S. qualify second-fastest. But for the evening final, the Americans went with teenager Missy Franklin and Jessica Hardy, and brought back Olympic rookie Lia Neal and Allison Schmitt, leaving Coughlin to play cheerleader.
_ Wimbledon champions Roger Federer and Serena Williams each won their opening matches. Four-time Olympian Federer beat Alejandro Falla of Colombia 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. Williams, seeded fourth, defeated former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 6-3, 6-1 as first lady Michelle Obama watched from the front row of Williams’ box.
_ Australia finished the 400-free swimming relay in 3:33.15, Netherlands won the silver, and the Americans got bronze.
_ The American men are atop the standings in gymnastics, while defending Olympic champion China and perennial powerhouse Japan struggled.
TROUBLED UK TEAM
_ No medals for the hosts on the first day of their Olympics. The British cycling “dream team,” including Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, failed to break out of the main pack in the road race, which was won by Alexander Vinokourov of Kazakhstan.
PHELPS STUNNED BY LOSS
_ Not only did Michael Phelps lose in the 400-meter individual medley, he didn’t win a medal at all. He was trying to become the first male swimmer to win the same individual event at three straight Olympics. He’ll have three more chances at a threepeat: the 200 individual medley, plus the 100 and 200 butterfly.
QUEEN ELIZABETH’S PEP TALK
_ Fresh from her performance as a Bond Girl during the opening ceremony, Queen Elizabeth II returned to Olympic Park for an encore and met with about 150 members of the British Olympic team. Said Rose Anderson of the women’s basketball team: “She went inside one of the athletes’ bedrooms and chatted to us. It was just awesome, especially after last night.”
The U.S. women’s basketball team had an amazing showing in their 81-56 victory over Croatia; winning their 34th consecutive Olympic game.
SUNDAY’S OLYMPIC SCHEDULE
_ Swimming: gold medal finals in men’s 100-meter breaststroke, 400-meter freestyle relay, women’s 100-meter butterfly, 400-meter freestyle.
_ Women’s gymnastics: team competition.
_ Women’s diving: synchronized springboard gold medal final.