Olympic Roundup: Bolt still the fastest
Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 5, 2012
LONDON — Pulling away from the pack with every long stride, Usain Bolt crossed the finish line and wagged his right index finger.
Yes, he’s still No. 1 in the 100-meter dash. Maybe not better than ever, but Bolt is definitely back.
Only sixth-fastest of the eight runners to the halfway mark Sunday night, Bolt erased that deficit and overwhelmed a star-studded field to win in 9.63 seconds, an Olympic record that let him join Carl Lewis as the only men with consecutive gold medals in the marquee track and field event at the Summer Games.
“Means a lot, because a lot of people were doubting me. A lot of people were saying I wasn’t going to win, I didn’t look good. There was a lot of talk,” Bolt said. “It’s an even greater feeling to come out here and defend my title and show the world I’m still No. 1, I’m still the best.”
Ever the showman, the Jamaican kept right on running for a victory lap that included high-fives for front-row fans, a pause to crouch down and kiss the track and even a somersault. Thousands in the crowd chanted the champion’s name: “Usain! Usain! Usain!”
“I’ve said it over the years, that when it comes to the championships, this is what I do,” Bolt said. “It’s all about business for me.”
Bolt’s training partner and Jamaican teammate, world champion Yohan Blake, won the silver in 9.75, and 2004 Olympic champion Justin Gatlin of the U.S. took the bronze in 9.79.
• The Blade Runner didn’t advance to the 400-meter finals on Sunday night. That isn’t stopping him from inspiring the rest of the field.
South African Oscar Pistorius finished last in his semifinal heat of the 400 meters on Sunday night. Unless South Africa chooses him for the 4×400 relay, his run at the London Games is over.
That he’s even running at all is amazing enough. Pistorius runs on carbon fiber blades after being born without fibulas.
• Disappointment, tears and that oh-so-unsatisfying color — bronze — are all in the past for Sanya Richards-Ross.
On this trip to the Olympics, she closed the deal.
Four years after a late fade left her crying and wearing the Olympic bronze medal, Richards-Ross won the 400-meter gold she always thought she could.
They call her “Six Feet of Sunshine,” but at night in London, the smile disappears and Kerri Walsh Jennings turns downright fierce.
She did it again Sunday, when she and Misty May-Treanor beat Italy in straight sets to advance to the semifinals in the Olympic beach volleyball tournament.
Destinee Hooker scored 19 points as the undefeated U.S. women’s volleyball team wrapped up preliminary pool play at the London Olympics with a straight-set victory over Turkey on Sunday night.
But the top-ranked U.S. team was hurt in the third set when captain and three-time Olympian Lindsey Berg injured her left ankle.
Foluke Akinradewo added 15 points in the 27-25, 25-16, 25-19 victory for the Americans, who had clinched the top seed in their pool for Tuesday’s quarterfinals.
Siarhei Karneyeu lingered in the ring after his Olympic heavyweight loss, crying and shaking his head in disbelief after his clutching, holding opponent got a narrow victory.
When Cuba’s Jose Larduet fell victim to a similar decision about 15 minutes later, the Belarusian came back up the fighters’ tunnel and intercepted Larduet on the way out of the ring, holding up Larduet’s hand as the real winner.
Both Karneyeu and Larduet felt cheated by their opponents’ clutch-and-grab tactics in the Olympic boxing tournament Sunday night, which means their fights will be decided outside the ring.
Amateur boxing’s governing body confirmed Belarus and Cuba had immediately protested the losses. AIBA planned to conduct the reviews Sunday night.
More offensive fireworks were on display at the basketball venue — this time courtesy of the U.S. women.
The Americans tied their Olympic scoring mark in a 114-66 rout of China on Sunday and set couple of other U.S. records along the way.
Just days after the U.S. men shattered the Olympic records for points in a game, the women put on their own show.
Angel McCoughtry scored 16 as the women equaled the 114 points they scored against Spain in 1992, but fell well short of the women’s Olympic mark of 128 points set by Brazil in 2004.
The world’s strongest woman is quite the weightlifter. She’s just not much of a farmer. China’s Zhou Lulu won a record-smashing super-heavyweight battle against Tatiana Kashirina of Russia on Sunday with a total of 333 kilograms — more than any other woman had totaled before in the two Olympic lifts.
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.
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.
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.