Olympics: All-USA final set for women’s beach volleyball gold medal
LONDON (AP) — Five things to know about Tuesday, Day 11 of the London Olympics:
—Floored: Aly Raisman finishes Olympics in style with floor gold.
—All-American final set for women’s beach volleyball.
—Bolt breezes into 200-meter semifinals; Pearson wins women’s hurdles.
—It’s over: U.S. men shut out in boxing tournament.
—On top: Hoy sets British record with 6th Olympic gold.
Aly Raisman’s reaction was right on. She put together a crisp floor routine Tuesday, then mouthed, “Wow” after she saluted the judges.
Raisman became the first U.S. woman to win Olympic gold on floor, and she picked up a bronze on balance beam on the final day of the gymnastics competition at the London Olympics.
“It definitely went better than I thought it would,” Raisman said.
Raisman just missed a medal in the all-around, finishing with the same score as Russia’s Aliya Mustafina but dropping to fourth on a tiebreak. She was on the right end of the rules for beam Tuesday, bumping Romania’s Catalina Ponor off the podium.
The U.S. captain initially finished fourth, with a score of 14.966. But she questioned it, and judges added an extra tenth to her routine’s difficulty after a review.
That gave her and Ponor identical scores of 15.066, but Raisman got the bronze because her execution score was higher.
“A gold medal is a gold medal, but I definitely felt like (beam) was redemption from the other night in the all-around,” Raisman said. “I was in the same exact position, but it went in my favor this time.”
China collected two more golds when Feng Zhe won the parallel bars and Deng Linlin the beam competition. Epke Zonderland won the high bar, the first medal for a Dutch man and only the second Olympic medal overall for the Netherlands in the sport.
It will be an All-American party at beach volleyball when Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor take on April Ross and Jennifer Kessy in Wednesday night’s final.
Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor won gold medals in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008 without losing a match, and they ran their unbeaten streak to 20 with their victory over China in the semifinals.
Ross and Kessy advanced with a three-set win against top-ranked Brazilians Juliana and Larissa.
“We want to seal the deal that we’re the best team that’s ever happened,” Walsh Jennings said. “Misty has changed my life. I just love her. I want to win tomorrow for us.”
Usain Bolt is eyeing another gold after he cruised through 200-meter qualifying, jogging down the stretch on his way to a stress-free first-round heat of 20.39 seconds.
The World’s Fastest Man repeated in the 100 on Sunday night when his 9.63-second run set an Olympic record. He is trying to become the only man with two Olympic titles in the 200.
“I was taking it as easy as possible. It’s my first (200) run,” Bolt said Tuesday. “I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi (men’s 1,500 meters), Australia’s Sally Pearson (100-meter hurdles), Germany’s Robert Harting (men’s discus) and Russia’s Ivan Ukhov (men’s high jump) won gold medals on the fifth day of the track and field competition.
Makhloufi made the most of his second chance after he was disqualified when track and field officials ruled he didn’t try hard enough during a heat in the 800. The DQ was overturned after a medical officer reviewed the evidence, and Makhloufi completed the 1,500 in 3 minutes, 34.08 seconds.
Pearson got the best of a strong field by clocking an Olympic record 12.35 seconds to edge defending champion Dawn Harper of the U.S. It was Australia’s fourth gold medal of the games.
While Bolt moved on with ease, Liu Xiang failed to make it out of the preliminary heats of the 110-meter hurdles for the second straight Olympics.
The 2004 Olympic champion from China stumbled into the first barrier, crumpled to the ground and stayed down for a few moments, clutching his lower right leg. The head of China’s track team, Feng Shuyong, said Liu might have ruptured his right Achilles tendon.
The last American boxer in the men’s tournament was eliminated, giving the U.S. team its first Olympic medal shutout.
Welterweight Errol Spence dropped a 16-11 decision to Russia’s Andrey Zamkovoy in the quarterfinals. The Dallas-area fighter started slowly and never got going in his team’s ninth loss in 10 fights.
Spence only reached the quarterfinals after the Americans successfully protested a loss to India’s Krishan Vikas over an accumulation of uncalled holding fouls last week.
Given a second chance to avoid the shutout, Spence said he had no reason to argue about this loss.
“I’m glad a better guy beat me this time, because I didn’t like the way I went out last time,” Spence said. “I didn’t think about the pressure on the team. I just tried to fight my fight, and it didn’t work out. He was the better man.”
Track cycling wrapped up at the London Velodrome, and Chris Hoy gave the boisterous crowd one last memory.
Hoy broke the British record with his sixth Olympic gold medal, defending his keirin title to finish off a dominating performance by the home nation.
“Because this is the end, the last Olympics I’m doing, the last Olympic medal I can win, the nature of the whole event,” Hoy said, “this one was probably the best.”
Hoy’s gold gave Britain seven out of 10 awarded at the London Velodrome, matching its haul from the Beijing Games.
Anna Meares of Australia won the women’s sprint earlier in the day, beating British rival Victoria Pendleton in the final, while Laura Trott gave the host country a win in women’s omnium.
The rest of the Olympic action Tuesday:
Diana Taurasi scored 15 points and the U.S. women’s team forced 26 turnovers in a 91-48 victory over Canada in the quarterfinals. The four-time defending gold medalists have won 39 straight games in Olympic play and will play Australia in the next round.
Sylvia Fowles and Candace Parker had 12 points apiece for the U.S., which harassed Canada into three shot-clock violations in the first seven minutes.
Australia advanced with a 75-60 victory over China. Aussie star Lauren Jackson scored 12 points to become the all-time Olympic scoring leader in women’s basketball, passing former Brazilian star Janeth Arcain.
Russia beat Turkey 66-63 and will play France in the other semi. The French moved on with a 71-68 victory against the Czech Republic.
The U.S. women’s team played without captain Lindsey Berg, but still managed a 25-14, 25-21, 25-22 victory over the Dominican Republic in the tournament quarterfinals.
Berg is day to day with a left ankle injury and her status for Thursday’s match against South Korea is uncertain. Courtney Thompson started at setter in the Americans’ sixth consecutive victory at the games.
Destinee Hooker scored 19 points for the United States, which has never won a gold in volleyball. The team took silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics after falling in the final to Brazil.
Brazil will meet Japan in the other semifinal.
Maggie Steffens scored four goals and the U.S. women’s team topped Australia 11-9 in overtime, shaking off a potentially costly blunder by coach Adam Krikorian to reach the Olympic final.
In a bruising match between medal contenders, Australia’s Southern Ash converted a penalty with one second left in regulation to tie it at 9 and force overtime.
The officials awarded the penalty after Krikorian called a timeout without his team having possession of the ball.
Steffens put the U.S. ahead in the first of two three-minute extra-time periods with a skip shot, and Kami Craig followed up with another goal.
The U.S. will meet unbeaten Spain in Thursday’s final.
Britain ended Germany’s decades-long domination of team dressage by winning the gold at Greenwich Park, adding to its first team show jumping gold in 60 years, which it won a day earlier.
Germany took the silver and the Netherlands got the bronze.
In dressage, the horse performs a choreographed routine of movements that showcases the animal’s training: prancing trots, extended strides, pirouettes and a move called the flying change, which looks like the horse is skipping.
The competition received unusual attention at the London Games because the U.S. team featured Rafalca, a horse co-owned by the wife of the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The U.S. was sixth and Rafalca, ridden by Jan Ebeling, finished in 28th place.
Ann Romney was in the VIP stands, as was Princess Anne, whose daughter Zara Phillips was part of the silver-winning British equestrian eventing team.
Ilya Zakharov of Russia scored 104.50 points on his last dive to win the 3-meter springboard, stopping China’s bid to sweep all eight diving events.
Zakharov totaled 555.90 points in the six-round final. China’s Qin Kai settled for silver at 541.75, and He Chong, the defending champion and Qin’s teammate, earned the bronze.
Troy Dumais of the U.S. finished fifth, his best showing in four Olympics.
Brazil reached its first Olympic men’s soccer final in 24 years when it beat South Korea behind two second-half goals by Leandro Damiao.
The Brazilians will face Mexico, which beat Japan 3-1 at Wembley Stadium in the other semi.
Brazil was the bronze medalist in 2008 but hadn’t reached the Olympic final since the 1988 Seoul Games, when it finished with the silver with a team led by Romario and Bebeto. It has never won gold in Olympic men’s soccer.
Windsurfing made a spirited games exit, with Dorian Van Rijsselberge of the Netherlands collecting the men’s gold medal he had clinched days earlier and Marina Alabau of Spain winning the women’s regatta.
Windsurfing got the heave-ho from the lineup for the 2016 Rio Olympics in a vote in May, replaced by kiteboarding. The International RS:X Class Association filed a legal challenge last week against the International Sailing Federation.
Van Rijsselberge won six of the first nine races. Nick Dempsey of Britain took the silver, and Poland’s Przemyslaw Miarczynski got the bronze.
On the women’s side, Finland’s Tuuli Petaja was second, and Zofia Noceti-Klepacka of Poland took third.
Meanwhile, the Australian 470 duo of Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page won Races 9 and 10 to open a four-point lead over the British duo of Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell.
Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina won duet for Russia, which hasn’t lost an Olympic synchronized swimming event since the 1996 Atlanta Games.
The Russians improved on their free score from the preliminaries, finishing with a total of 197.100 points.
Spain’s Ona Carbonell and Andrea Fuentes took the silver after a lively, tango-themed routine that had the crowd at the Aquatics Centre clapping along nearly the whole way. China’s Huang Xuechen and Liu Ou grabbed the bronze.
It was a family affair on the podium for the men’s triathlon, with Alistair Brownlee taking the gold for Britain and younger brother Jonathan finishing third.
Alistair Brownlee pulled away from Javier Gomez of Spain halfway through the 10-kilometer run to finish in 1 hour, 46 minutes, 25 seconds. Gomez took silver, and Jonathan Brownlee secured the bronze despite serving a 15-second time penalty.
The younger Brownlee collapsed 10 minutes after the finish and had to be given ice packs and glucose by medical staff, delaying the medal ceremony.
Katarina Bulatovic’s last-second goal lifted Montenegro to a 23-22 victory over France, making it the first country to reach the semifinals of the women’s handball tournament in its Olympic debut.
Montenegro will play Spain in the next round after Bulatovic converted a clutch penalty shot. Defending champion Norway will take on South Korea in the other semifinal on Thursday.
Britain qualified for the Olympic men’s semifinals for the first time since it won the 1988 Seoul Games by surviving a dramatic finish to draw 1-1 with Spain.
Britain completed a semifinals lineup that includes the last six Olympic winners. The home side will face the Netherlands (1996, 2000), and Germany (1992, 2008) takes on Australia (2004).
ELSEWHERE IN LONDON
China won the women’s team table tennis title with a 3-0 victory against Japan. China has won three gold medals in the sport at the London Games, along with two silvers. It could complete the gold sweep in the team events by winning the men’s final on Wednesday against South Korea. … Behdad Salimikordasiabi of Iran took the final gold medal of the weightlifting competition, lifting a total of 455 kilograms in the super heavyweight class. Defending Olympic champion Matthias Steiner of Germany dropped the barbell on his neck in his second lift and withdrew from the competition. … Greco-Roman wrestling golds went to Iran’s Ghasem Gholamreza Rezaei (96-kg) and South Korea’s Kim Hyeon-woo (66-kg). The U.S. failed to medal in any of the Greco-Roman events at the Olympics for the first time since 1976. … Italian kayaker Josefa Idem became the first woman to compete in eight Olympic Games — and marked the occasion by upstaging a host of younger rivals to qualify for the flagship 500-meter K-1 final.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap