Wrestler Jordan Burroughs had his eyes on a gold medal for months, and he let everyone know about his plans.
Then he delivered.
The 24-year-old American backed up all that talk, beating Iran’s Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi 1-0, 1-0 in the men’s 74-kilogram freestyle division to give the U.S. its first wrestling gold in London.
“A lot of people call it cocky, people call it over confident,” said Burroughs, who selected (at)alliseeisgold for his Twitter handle. “But I knew I was going to win.”
Burroughs, who grew up in New Jersey, has won 38 straight international freestyle matches and is the first Olympian to claim the $250,000 prize from the Living the Dream Medal Fund, a program designed to support U.S. wrestling.
Maris Strombergs of Latvia won his first gold in 2008. Now he has two. Strombergs defended his BMX title over a harrowing course in Olympic Park, taking the lead at the start and never relinquishing it. He cruised across the finish line in 37.576 seconds to add to the title he won in Beijing, when the sport made its Olympic debut.
Former world champion Mariana Pajon won the women’s BMX competition, giving Colombia its first gold at the London Games. With David Beckham watching from the stands, Pajon hit form at the right time after being hampered by a shoulder injury earlier this season.
Ous Mellouli of Tunisia won the grueling 10-kilometer race to become the first swimmer to win medals in the pool and open water at the same Olympics.
Mellouli pulled away from a small group of leaders in the fifth of six laps and finished in 1 hour, 49 minutes, 55.1 seconds in the murky waters of the Serpentine in Hyde Park. He also won bronze in the 1,500-meter freestyle last week.
It was the second gold of Mellouli’s Olympic career. He also took the 1,500 at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Thomas Lurz of Germany was second, 3.4 seconds behind, and first-time Olympian Richard Weinberger of Canada grabbed the bronze.
Lightweight Vasyl Lomachenko and two Ukrainian teammates advanced to gold-medal bouts.
Lomachenko, Chinese light flyweight Zou Shiming and Italian super heavyweight Roberto Cammarelle all won their semifinals, earning the right to fight during the final weekend for their second straight Olympic gold medals.
Two more fighters also protested the results of their bouts in a tournament full of appeals to amateur boxing’s governing body. Ukraine light heavyweight Oleksandr Gvozdyk protested his loss to Kazakhstan’s Adilbek Niyazymbetov on a tiebreaker, and Azeri super heavyweight protested his one-point loss to Cammarelle.
South Korea’s Hwang Kyung-seon defended her Olympic title in the women’s 67-kilogram division, and Sebastian Crismanich of Argentina won the gold medal in the men’s 80-kg category. Hwang defeated Turkey’s Nur Tatar 12-5 in a final in which both fighters attacked from the start.
The bronze medals were won by Paige McPherson of the United States and Germany’s Helena Fromm.
Australia’s Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page, and New Zealand’s Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie won the 470 class gold medals by overwhelming their British rivals on Weymouth Bay.
Russia grabbed the team gold medal for its fourth consecutive team victory and sixth straight overall gold.
The Russians totaled 197.030 points with a free routine featuring swimmers doing acrobatic flips and pirouetting like ballerinas above the water.
China earned the silver at 194.010, and Spain took the bronze four years after winning silver in Beijing.
The Netherlands retained the women’s Olympic title with a 2-0 win over world champion Argentina at Riverbank Arena.
Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel and captain Maartje Paumen scored for the Netherlands, which will try for the first-ever Olympic double when the country’s men’s hockey team takes on Germany today.
Park Chu-young scored to lead South Korea to a 2-0 victory over Japan and a bronze medal in men’s soccer. Brazil and Mexico play in the gold-medal match today at Wembley Stadium.