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London Olympics: Platform diving gold for United States; favored U.S. woman lose to Cuba in volleyball final

Unlikely platform gold for u.s.

D avid Boudia was once desperately afraid of heights, particularly the three-story height of the platform used for the men's high-dive competition. Saturday he dove from that 10-meter board with such flair under such pressure that he won an unlikely gold medal, the first U.S. men's individual diving gold since Greg Louganis in 1988, its first gold overall since 2000 and the first by a U.S. man since 1992. "I dreamed about this. It didn't even feel like I was diving, it was so surreal," said Boudia (pronounced Bo-DIE-uh), 23. He won on his last dive by 1.80 points over China's Qiu Bo in the closest men's platform contest since 1988, when Louganis won the last of his four golds by 1.14 over China's Xiong Ni. Britain's Tom Daley settled for bronze after leading going into the final dive in front of a raucous home crowd. American Nick McCrory was ninth in his first Olympics. Boudia had no idea he was tied for second with Qiu going into the last round. He scored 102.60 points on a back 2½ somersault with 2½ twists pike with a 3.6 degree of difficulty. It was the highest score of any dive in the final. Qiu followed and scored 100.80, not enough to deliver a seventh gold for China in these Games. "I was very nervous," Qiu, 19, said through a translator. "I have competed so many times, but I have never had that much nervousness."

Bronze for u.s. in mountain biking

France's Julie Bresset took advantage of a mistake by defending gold medalist Sabine Spitz of Germany on a rough section of the picturesque mountain bike course in the English countryside, then gradually pulled away from the rest of the field, rolling through the last of six laps all alone to win the gold. Spitz was second, and American Georgia Gould took the bronze, the first medal for an American mountain biker since Susan DeMattai's bronze in 1996. "I knew that a medal was possible. I knew that on my best day I was capable of winning the race," Gould said. "Julie rode a great race. She was at the front at the start, which was smart."

Mexico's golden stunner

On one side of the field, Brazilian soccer prodigy Neymar fell in despair. On the other, Mexican defender Diego Reyes dropped to the ground with glee. Mexico, a decided underdog, won the country's first gold medal at the Games — and first significant international soccer trophy of any kind — with a lively 2-1 victory over Brazil at Wembley Stadium. Oribe Peralta scored the first goal of the game 28 seconds in, then added a second 15 minutes from full time to set off a wild, raucous celebration among its fans. "We had 89-plus minutes to turn the match around," Brazilian coach Mario Menezes said, "but we didn't."

U.S. drops gold to brazil

The U.S. women's volleyball team entered the gold-medal match as the favorite, and it played the role superbly early. But in scarcely more than an hour, the four years of work it put in since losing the gold medal to Brazil in Beijing seemed to evaporate. Brazil emphatically took the final three sets in an 11-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-17 victory. The Americans, ranked first in the world, dominated the tournament, entering the final undefeated, including a dismantling of Brazil in pool play. But Brazil made changes that turned the match. "Once you start playing catchup, once you start reacting, it's very difficult," coach Hugh McCutcheon said.

Other sports

Qieyang Shenjie, the first Tibetan athlete China has fielded in the Olympics, took bronze in the women's 20-kilometer race walk. She finished 14 seconds behind winner Elena Lashmanova of Russia, who set a world record of 1 hour, 25 minutes, 2 seconds.

• Bantamweight Luke Campbell won Britain's first boxing gold medal in his division since 1908, dramatically knocking down rival John Joe Nevin of Ireland midway through the third round of a 14-11 victory on the first day of medal fights. Zou Shiming of China defended his light flyweight gold medal from Beijing with a 13-10 victory over Thailand's Kaeo Pongprayoon, who angrily protested the result.

U.S. adds bronze in wrestling

American Coleman Scott made a surprise run to the semifinals in freestyle wrestling's 60-kilogram class before being drubbed by eventual gold medalist Toghrul Asgarov of Azerbaijan. But he ended up with a bronze medal. U.S. heavyweight Tervel Dlagnev lost his bronze match to Iran's Komeil Ghasemi. At 84kg, American Jake Herbert lost a quarterfinal to eventual winner Sharif Sharifov of Azerbaijan that led to a postmatch dispute between U.S. coach Zeke Jones and officials over scoring.

London Olympics: Platform diving gold for United States; favored U.S. woman lose to Cuba in volleyball final 08/12/12 [Last modified: Sunday, August 12, 2012 12:10am]
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