u.S. women get bronze, gold chance
M arlen Esparza couldn't stop sobbing. Claressa Shields wanted to weep. Esparza broke down Wednesday after she lost and had to settle for a bronze medal — the first won by the United States in women's boxing — and Shields because her victory meant she would fight for the gold today. "I'm still kind of shocked," said Shields, 17, a high school junior from Flint, Mich. Shields got to the middleweight final by pounding Kazakhstan's Marina Volnova 29-15. Referee Yasar Cinar stopped the fight with a standing eight count twice in the final two rounds. Esparza, 23, lost her flyweight bout to China's Ren Cancan 10-8. "I can't be angry about winning a medal at all," she said. "But it wasn't my goal."
kobe awakens to spark u.s. to semis
Kobe Bryant broke open a tight game with six 3-pointers in the second half as the U.S. men's basketball team advanced to the semifinals with a 119-86 victory over Australia. "Somebody made him mad. I could see it in his eyes," Kevin Durant said. On a night when LeBron James had a triple double (11 points, 14 rebounds, 12 assists), the story was Bryant's awakening from his Olympic slumber. He had all 20 of his points after halftime. "I was talking to him at halftime and in the third quarter, and I guess I pushed the button," Carmelo Anthony said. No, he didn't, Bryant said: "By that point, I was already revved up." In the semis, the United States plays Argentina, which beat Brazil 82-77.
u.s. men exit water polo with quarterfinal loss
Croatia put an end to the U.S. men's water polo campaign with a sterling quarterfinal performance, slicing through the U.S. defense with pinpoint shooting and shutting down the attack behind a strong outing from goalkeeper Josip Pavic. The 8-2 loss was especially bitter for a veteran U.S. squad that spent seven months together this year training six days a week with the firm belief that this team could win the country's first gold in the sport since 1904. "I'm really searching for answers," center forward Ryan Bailey said. "We had a great training. Physically we're fantastic. And then we came out and kind of laid an egg in some of these games."
no medals for u.s. sailing for first time in 76 years
The United States won't win a sailing medal for the first time since 1936. Anna Tunnicliffe of Plantation, the last American skipper with a chance, had her run at a second straight gold medal end in a match racing quarterfinal. U.S. Sailing officials had blunt assessments and promised an extensive review of why the Americans were so uncompetitive after being expected to get three or four medals. "We weren't competitive in any class," U.S. Sailing president Gary Jobson said. In the nine classes that use a fleet-racing format, Americans reached the medals races in three: St. Petersburg native Mark Mendelblatt and Miami's Brian Fatih in Star (seventh), Clearwater's Paige Railey in Laser Radial (eighth) and 470.
no gold repeat for u.s. men
There will be no magical run to another gold for the defending champion U.S. men's volleyball team. It was knocked out in straight sets by Italy in a quarterfinal. "You work four years for this to get here and then just not show up for the game. It's kind of tough," said captain Clay Stanley, adding after a pause: "Not necessarily not show up, but just kind of get taken advantage of." In 2008, the Americans banded together after their coach's father-in-law was stabbed to death at a tourist site a day before the opening ceremony. This team was undone by mistakes and Italy's stunning service game.
• American Clarissa Chun took the bronze medal in the 48-kilogram class of women's wrestling by defeating Irini Merleni of Ukraine. Merleni beat Chun in the bronze medal match in 2008. Chun is the first female wrestler to represent the United States in two Olympics. The gold was won by Hitomi Obara of Japan, and the silver was won by Mariya Stadnyk of Azerbaijan, who beat Chun in the second round.
• BMX rider Brooke Crain of the United States took a hard fall on the final straight during her seeding run. Crain managed to stand up and finish the ride but was listed as DNF on the result sheet. There was no word on her condition and if she can continue in the competition.