Year of the woman hits another milestone
The Olympics' year of the woman hit another milestone when women's boxing made its debut in the games Sunday. The tournament began with 12 entertaining bouts featuring uppercuts, haymakers and footwork that all measure up nicely to the men's amateur sport.
Russia's Elena Savelyeva won the first fight with a busy jab and strong combinations. U.S. lightweight Queen Underwood lost a close bout with Britain's Natasha Jonas.
The crowd roared for every fighter, clearly enjoying the tight competition and disciplined styles of the world's top female boxers.
McKayla Maroney was all set to add the vault title to her team gymnastics gold with the U.S. when she made a costly mistake. She appeared to land her second vault on the backs of her heels. Her feet slid out from under her, and she plopped on the mat, a look of shock crossing her face.
"I really didn't deserve to win a gold medal if I fall on my butt," Maroney said. "I was still happy with a silver, but it's still just sad."
Sandra Izbasa of Romania won the gold, and Russia's Maria Paseka took the bronze.
Britain's Louis Smith and Hungary's Krisztian Berki finished with identical 16.066 scores on the pommel horse, but Berki got the gold because his execution score of 9.166 was .10 points better. A tiebreaker also cost Smith in Beijing, when he dropped from second to bronze on the same event.
Also, Zou Kai won his fifth career gold medal, defending his title on floor exercise. He already had one gold from China's victory in the men's team competition last week, and has three more from the Beijing Games.
Serena Williams added another Olympic title when she teamed with sister Venus to beat Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4 in the women's doubles final.
Serena also won the women's singles tournament and is tennis' first double gold medalist at an Olympics since Venus won singles and doubles at the 2000 Sydney Games. The sisters also won the doubles gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Third-seeded Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova of Russia took the bronze by beating the top-seeded U.S. pair of Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor beat Italy in straight sets in the quarterfinals to remain on track for a third consecutive Olympic gold medal.
The Americans earned a berth in the semifinals against Beijing bronze medalists Xue Chen and Zhang Xi. The Chinese team has beaten the two-time defending Olympic champions the last three times they've met.
The No. 2 U.S. women's team of Jennifer Kessy and April Ross also advanced, beating the Czech Republic 25-23, 21-18. The Americans next play reigning world champions Juliana and Larissa of Brazil.
The undefeated U.S. women's team lost captain and three-time Olympian Lindsey Berg to a left ankle injury during a straight-set victory over Turkey.
The Americans breezed through the second set and took a 9-5 lead in the third before Berg limped off the court. The setter removed her shoe, and a trainer wrapped the ankle in ice.
Berg said she didn't think the injury was serious and she should be ready to play in Tuesday's quarterfinal.
Destinee Hooker scored 19 points in the 27-25, 25-16, 25-19 victory for the U.S., which had clinched the top seed in its pool.
China and Russia each posted five-set victories. Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Japan also won.
The United States will face Australia in a matchup of gold-medal contenders in the semifinals of the women's tournament.
The Americans beat European champion Italy 9-6 to reach the last four, and Australia moved on with a dramatic 20-18 win over China.
Melissa Seidemann scored three goals and captain Brenda Villa added two more as the U.S. recovered from a 2-0 deficit.
Hungary plays Spain in the other semifinal on Tuesday.
China's Wu Minxia won the women's 3-meter springboard for her first individual gold and record-tying sixth career medal.
Wu led all but one round of the five-dive final, totaling 414.00 points. She tied retired countrywoman Guo Jingjing with six medals. Wu and partner He Zi also won the 3-meter synchronized title in London.
He took the silver with 379.20, giving China its sixth diving medal of the games, including five gold after sweeping the synchro events.
Laura Sanchez Soto of Mexico earned the bronze at 362.40.
Lasse Norman Hansen of Denmark won the gold medal in the men's omnium following a crash in one of the six races of the event.
Hansen hit the wooden boards in a curve after connecting with the rear wheel of Briton Edward Clancy in the scratch race but was uninjured and got back on the track.
He managed to rejoin the peloton after regaining a lap and finished sixth at the line. Hansen then produced a big effort in the 1-kilometer time trial to win the inaugural Olympic title in the multidiscipline event with a total of 27 points.
Bryan Coquard of France took the silver medal and Clancy was third.
Lin Dan led the way as China swept all five badminton gold medals at the Olympics, defending his title by beating Malaysian rival Lee Chong Wei 15-21, 21-10, 21-19 in men's singles.
When Chong Wei's final shot landed long, Lin sprinted around Wembley Arena until he was tackled by his coaches.
A short time later, Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng won the men's doubles final to complete China's golden sweep. They defeated Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark 21-16, 21-15.
Saudi Arabia leads the standings at the equestrian team show jumping competition after a first day dominated by a veterinarian's decision to disqualify a Canadian horse.
The Saudis had just one penalty point and were followed closely by the Netherlands, Britain, Sweden and Switzerland, all with four penalty points and tied for second.
Canadian horse Victor, ridden by Tiffany Foster, was disqualified by competition veterinarians for hypersensitivity in the left front leg. This left Canada without a drop score in the competition where the best three scores out of four riders count.
Wrestling - Greco-Roman
Hamid Soryan is the first Iranian to win a gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling, taking the men's 55-kilogram division.
The five-time world champion beat Rovshan Bayramov of Azerbaijan 2-0, 1-0 in the final. Peter Modos of Hungary and Mingiyan Semenov of Russia won bronze medals.
Russia's Roman Vlasov, who hails from the same Siberian town that produced wrestling great Aleksandr Karelin, beat Armenia's Arsen Julfalakyan 1-0, 1-0 in the final of the men's 74-kilogram category.
Lithuania's Aleksandr Kazakevic and Azerbaijan's Emin Ahmadov won bronze medals.
Teun de Nooijer marked his 450th match for the Netherlands by scoring in the 36th minute to help the Dutch men's team to a 3-1 win over Germany.
Bob de Voogd and Mink van der Weerden scored the other Dutch goals as the Netherlands became the first team to qualify for the medal round.
Britain staged a thrilling comeback to draw 3-3 with No. 1 Australia, scoring three second-half goals. Belgium and New Zealand drew 1-1, meaning neither team will advance to the knockout round.
Pakistan beat South Africa 5-4, and South Korea defeated India 4-1 with three late goals.
Montenegro squeezed into the quarterfinals of the women's handball tournament when it tied Russia 25-25.
Katarina Bulatovic scored seven goals for Montenegro, which advanced thanks to Angola's 29-26 loss to Brazil.
Brazil had already secured a spot in the quarterfinals from Group A, while Angola was eliminated.
Croatia defeated host Britain 37-14, and Ryu Eun-hee scored 10 goals for South Korea in its 32-28 victory over Sweden. Britain finished the tournament without a victory.
Spain and France also won.
Elsewhere in London
Fredrik Loof and Max Salminen of Sweden upset defending champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson of Britain to win the venerable Star class in the sailing regatta. ... Italy topped Japan in men's team foil for its third fencing title of the games. Germany took bronze with a 45-27 win over the United States. ... Defending champion Jin Jong-oh of South Korea won his second gold medal in London, overtaking countryman Choi Young-rae by 0.5 point on his last shot in the 50-meter pistol final. Jin also won the 10-meter air pistol event July 28. ... The weightlifting gold medal in the women's super heavyweight class went to China's Zhou Lulu, who won a terrific duel with Russia's Tatiana Kashirina. Americans Sarah Robles and Holley Mangold were seventh and 10th, respectively. ... Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina of Russia had the leading score in the synchronized swimming duet technical routine. ... China, Germany, South Korea and Hong Kong reached the men's team table tennis semifinals.