The Olympic roundup …
In its last chance for a gold medal, the U.S. came up just short, losing 14-10 to a Hungarian team that became the first country to win three straight gold medals in the sport since Britain in 1920.
An American team that came in ranked ninth in the world that surprised just about everyone by getting to the final kept it close early and had it tied at 9 in the third quarter. But the Hungarians pulled away down the stretch, scoring five unanswered goals and turning a close match into a blowout.
Nonetheless, the Americans (5-2) were content with returning to the medal stand for the first time since 1988. Not bad for a program that gets little national attention because the sport is so geographically confined to California and really was trying to regroup after going through four coaches in the last four years.
“We’ve come a long way,” coach Terry Schroeder said.
The below-the-surface brawling that makes this sport exciting apparently spilled onto dry land for the Serbians, with their leading scorer and starting goaltender missing the bronze-medal match because of injuries reportedly sustained in a fight following a semifinal loss to the Americans.
It didn’t matter. Serbia won the bronze anyway, beating Montenegro in a battle between countries that used to be one.
BoxingZou Shiming won China’s first gold medal in boxing. Then, Zhang Xiaoping made it two.
Zou, a two-time world champion whose bronze medal in Athens was China’s first in a sport long banned by Mao Zedong, won the light flyweight title when Mongolia’s Serdamba Purevdorj retired early in the second round with an apparent shoulder injury.
Zhang, a light heavyweight, upset two medal favorites on his way to the title bout, then beat Kenny Egan of Ireland 11-7.
In the day’s first event, Samuel Wanjiru added to Kenya’s proud distance-running legacy.
Wanjiru became the first person from his country to win the gold medal in marathon, and doing so in an Olympic record time of 2 hours, 6 minutes, 32 seconds.
“In Kenya we have many medals, but I’m glad I have this one,” said Wanjiru, whose country earned five gold medals and 14 total in track and field, behind only the United States (23) and Russia (18).
Russia won the team competition the morning after Russian Evgeniya Kanaeva won the individual event.
China got silver for its first medal in the rhythmic team competition.
“The silver medal is unexpected,” China’s Zhang Shuo said. “It’s the most glorious day for rhythmic gymnastics in China.”
The 302nd and last gold medal went to France, which beat Iceland 28-23 to deny the small country its first gold in an Olympic event.
Iceland’s silver is still its best showing in any event since 1956. Iceland has won four medals at Olympics over the years, two silver and two bronze.
Spain beat Croatia 35-29 to take the bronze.