No more heartbreak for Allyson Felix. No more silver, either.
Denied twice on the world’s biggest stage, Felix won the Olympic gold medal she’s been yearning for, taking the 200 meters Wednesday night to fill the last, and biggest, hole in her otherwise stellar resume.
“I think it was all for a reason,” Felix said. “It kept me motivated and it made this moment very special. It was a big weight being lifted.”
The American sprinter clocked 21.88 seconds to top Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who won the 100, and spark a strong performance for the United States at Olympic Stadium.
American Carmelita Jeter added bronze to go with her silver in the 100 meters.
Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown was fourth after defeating Felix in the Athens and Beijing Games. She was trying to become the first woman to win the same individual track and field event in three consecutive Olympics, but she couldn’t keep up as Felix pulled away down the stretch.
Aries Merritt then won the 110 hurdles in 12.92 seconds for the U.S., while former South Carolina standout Jason Richardson, the world champion, was second in 13.04. Brittney Reese claimed the long jump title. Team USA had two of the top three finishers in three of the four medal events at Olympic Stadium. World champion Lashinda Demus was second in the women’s 400 hurdles, losing to Russia’s Natalya Antyukh.
Usain Bolt and Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake each won their 200 semifinal heats. Bolt is trying to become the first man with two Olympic golds in the 200 meters.
Kobe Bryant put on quite a show from long range.
Bryant made six straight 3-pointers in the second half, LeBron James finished with a triple-double, and the U.S. men’s basketball team advanced to the semifinals with a 119-86 victory over Australia.
Bryant scored 20 points, flashing three fingers in the air after his third consecutive 3-pointer in the fourth quarter had pushed the game well out of reach and proved that yes, he would deliver the kind of game that’s expected of him in London.
James finished with 11 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists for the Americans, who advanced to their third straight Olympic semifinal meeting with Argentina. Carmelo Anthony added 17 points and Kevin Durant had 14.
The U.S. men’s volleyball team got off to a strong start at the London Olympics, but it’s headed home without a medal.
The defending Olympic champions lost 28-26, 25-20, 25-20 to Italy in the quarterfinals.
U.S. setter Donald Suxho bent over with his hands on his knees and shook his head as Italy celebrated the win at Earls Court. And after shaking hands with the Italians, the Americans turned to applaud the many U.S. fans in the crowd.
Dragan Travica and captain Cristian Savani each had four aces for Italy, which will face Brazil in Friday’s semifinals. Savani finished with 19 points.
Russia takes on Bulgaria in the other semi.
Cycling - BMX
Two spectacular crashes marred the start of the BMX competition, and time trial world champion Caroline Buchanan of Australia and Raymon van der Biezen of the Netherlands posted the best times of the seeding runs.
On the challenging course sitting next to the London Velodrome, American rider Brooke Crain crashed in the home stretch in a section made of a succession of small jumps. She managed to get back on her bike to cross the finish line but officially was listed as not finishing. If she’s able to continue, she would be given the 16th and final seed.
Latvian rider Edzus Treimanis also went down on the track at the same spot, falling face first.
Middleweight Claressa Shields dominated Kazakhstan’s Marina Volnova in the semifinals of the first Olympic women’s tournament, earning a spot in the title bout against Russia’s Nadezda Torlopova.
After pounding away at the slower Volnova for most of the 29-15 fight, the 17-year-old Shields pounded her taped right fist against her own left shoulder and screamed with joy.
Shields is the last American boxer left in London after flyweight Marlen Esparza lost 10-8 to Chinese world champion Ren Cancan an hour earlier. Ren will fight Britain’s Nicola Adams for the flyweight title.
On the men’s side, Mongolia’s Munkh-Erdene Uranchimeg pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament, stunning second-seeded light welterweight Tom Stalker of Britain with a 23-22 victory. Yamaguchi Falcao of Brazil also had a surprising victory, beating top-seeded Cuban light heavyweight Julio La Cruz 18-15.
The U.S. was shut out of Olympic sailing medals for the first time since 1936 when women’s match racing skipper Anna Tunnicliffe was beaten in the quarterfinals by Finland.
Tunnicliffe, who was born in England and moved to the United States when she was 12, was the only remaining American with a chance for a medal.
While the Americans underperformed, the Australians continued to pile up victories.
The 49er crew of Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen sailed three laps of honor to collect the gold medal they had clinched two days earlier.
The U.S. men’s team was eliminated with an 8-2 quarterfinal loss to unbeaten Croatia.
The Croats jumped to a 5-0 lead by halftime with ferocious defense on one end of the pool and efficient shooting on the other. The Americans clawed back to 5-2 halfway through the third quarter, but Miho Boskovic responded for Croatia with his second goal before Sandro Sukno added another with four seconds left in the period.
Croatia next faces Montenegro, which beat Spain 11-9 to reach its second straight Olympic semifinal. Italy plays gold medal-favorite Serbia in the other semi.
Italy upset three-time defending champion Hungary 11-9 to reach the final four.