Bolt adds to gold collection
|Photo gallery: Olympics|
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BEIJING Three races. Three wins. Three world records.
OK, so Usain Bolt won't take home eight gold medals from these Olympics, the way Michael Phelps did. That's simply because there weren't enough races.
OK, so Bolt won't go down as winning any dramatic, neck-and-neck races, the way Phelps did. That's because his only competition was the clock.
But Bolt certainly won't be overshadowed by anyone at these Beijing Games not after wrapping up one of the most amazing performances in Olympic history, regardless of sport, by leading Jamaica to a 400-meter relay victory yesterday in 37.10 seconds.
"It's wonderful," Bolt said. "You can't explain the feeling you feel after the greatest Olympics ever."
In his finale, he ran the third leg of a blowout, a 0.96-second victory over Trinidad and Tobago that was the biggest margin in the Olympic 400 relay since 1936.
Bolt became the first sprinter to set three world records in the same Olympics.
The final record shattered a 16-year-old mark held by Carl Lewis and his American teammates by 0.3 second.
Bolt joined Lewis, Bobby Morrow and Jesse Owens as only the fourth man to win the 100, 200 and 400-meter relay at the Olympics.
It was only a matter of time.
Just as Bolt had done when he ran 19.30 in the 200 to break Michael Johnson's mark, Powell drove hard to the finish, leaning at the line, then looking at the clock: 37.10.
While Bolt finished a perfect Olympics with the relay, the Jamaican women fell one race short of only the second 6-for-6 sweep by any country in Olympic sprint history the U.S. did it in 1984 and that was only because they beat themselves.
Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart botched the handoff between the second and third legs and Jamaica didn't finish the race, which Russia won.
The United States, meanwhile, went 0 for 6 in sprints for the first time in history.
In other action, Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia completed an unprecedented women's distance double by adding the 5,000 meters to her 10K victory.
In the pole vault, Steve Hooker won Australia's first gold medal of the track meet with a jump of 19 feet, 4 1/4 inches.
In the long jump, Maurren Higa Maggi of Brazil won with a leap of 23-1 1/4. The silver medal went to Tatyana Lebedeva of Russia and the bronze to Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria, who only got into the final when Ukraine's Lyudmila Blonska was kicked out of the Olympics for doping.
Before the long jump, Blonska won silver in the heptathlon. Her removal gives that to American Hyleas Fountain, with Russia's Tatiana Chernova moving from fourth to bronze.
U.S. TOPS ARGENTINA, WILL PLAY FOR GOLD
BEIJING The climb back to the top is nearly complete. One more win against Spain tomorrow and U.S. basketball is golden again.
The Americans ended their streak of final four flops and Argentina's hopes of an Olympic gold-medal repeat, starting fast and finishing strong in a 101-81 semifinal victory yesterday.
All that's left is what the U.S. players came for: a gold medal.
The United States scored 21 of the first 25 points, got a big break when Argentina star Manu Ginobili reinjured his left ankle, and surged into its first gold-medal game in eight years.
BEIJING The U.S. baseball team had to settle for bronze, certainly not the medal color the Americans had planned to bring home. Taylor Teagarden hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the fifth and Jason Donald followed with a two-run homer off the left-field foul pole, lifting the United States to an 8-4 victory over Japan today. The Americans (6-3) bounced back 15 hours after a demoralizing 10-2 semifinal loss to defending champion Cuba, finding an answer on offense each time Japan took a lead.
BEIJING China won the Olympic bronze medal in women's volleyball with a 3-1 victory over Cuba today. The Chinese won, 25-16, 21-25, 25-13, 25-20. They won the gold medal at the 2004 Athens Games.
BEIJING Germany's Sabine Spitzwon the gold medal in the Olympic women's mountain bike race today. Spitz finished six laps around the 2.75-mile course in 1 hour, 45 minutes, 11 seconds. Poland's Maja Wloszezowska won the silver and Russia's Irina Kalentieva won the bronze.
BEIJING Angel di Maria fired Argentina to its second Olympic soccer title in a row in a 1-0 victory over Nigeria today. The bronze went to Brazil, which beat Belgium, 3-0, also yesterday.
BEIJING China is poised to go 8-for-8 in diving events, with Zhou Luxin leading after the men's 10-meter platform preliminaries yesterday. No country has swept the diving medals since the United States did in 1952. Back then, there were only four events.
BEIJING The Lopez family isn't going home with a gold medal. But all three of them have something to show for their Games. Steven Lopez fell short in his bid for a third straight gold yesterday, taking bronze, just like his brother Mark did the day before. Sister Diana got silver. Steven Lopez lost for the first time since 2002. He was knocked out in the quarterfinals, paving the way for Iran's Hadi Saei to win the 80-kilogram class. South Korea's Hwang Kyung-seon defeated Canada's Karine Sergerie with a kick in the final seconds to win the women's 67-kilogram class.
BEIJING American Sheila Taormina will have to settle for becoming the first woman to compete in three Olympic sports. In this one, she finished 19th one spot ahead of the defending gold medalist. A swimmer at the 1996 Olympics, and competitor in the triathlon in 2000 and 2004, she can take solace in having had the fastest swim and tying for the best horse ride. "So worth it now," Taormina said. "I'm just thanking God over and over and over. So thankful I want to cry." Germany's Lena Schoneborn won it.
BEIJING The Hungarians won gold in the men's 1,000-meter canoe singles (C-1); silver in the women's 500-meter kayak four (K-4); and bronze in men's 1,000-meter canoe double (C-2) yesterday. Brothers Andrei and Aliaksandr Bahdanovich of Belarus won the men's 1,000-meter canoe double, beating Germany by a nose. One of the Germans, Thomasz Wylenzek, fainted afterward and was treated at a hospital for dehydration. Other golds went to Britain (men's 1,000-meter kayak single); Germany (men's 1,000-meter kayak double) and Belarus (men's 1,000-meter kayak four).
BEIJING One measly bronze medal is all the U.S. has to show for these Games, its worst performance in history. Deontay Wilder was the lone recipient. It was his consolation prize after being outpointed by amateur heavyweight world champion Clemente Russo of Italy in the semifinals yesterday. "To be here and win a medal is great," Wilder said. "I'm not a guy to complain. I'll get back in the gym to work and get better." The Americans won only one medal in 1948, too, but that was a silver.
BEIJING As expected, China swept the women's singles yesterday, just like it did in 1988. Zhang Yining got gold, Wang Nan got silver and Guo Yue the bronze. "Every athlete wants to win the gold in China, and I'm from Beijing and I won the gold. And the top three are all from the Chinese team," Zhang said. "I think it was a really successful competition."
WOMEN'S FIELD HOCKEY
BEIJING The Netherlands beat China, 2-0, yesterday for its first gold since 1984. The silver is China's first medal in women's field hockey. Argentina defeated Germany, 3-1, to win the bronze.