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London Olympics: U.S. women's soccer team finishes qualifying with win; more skeet shooting gold for U.S.

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u.s. cruises into soccer quarterfinals

F or the U.S. women's soccer team, there was little drama in the first week of the tournament, which concluded Tuesday with a methodical 1-0 win over North Korea at historic Old Trafford in Manchester, England. The Americans scored a tournament-high eight goals in their three wins, did not allow a score after the 14th minute of their opener and won their group going away. Now the real work begins, starting with Friday's quarterfinal against New Zealand. "It's now or never. Lose and you go home," said forward and former Gator Abby Wambach, whose goal in the 25th minute gave the U.S. the win and gave Wambach a goal in each of her team's three wins. "But this is the fun part. We came here for the gold medal, and that's what we want to go home with."

royal family adds to medal total

The queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips added to the family silver, helping Britain to a second-place finish behind Germany in equestrian eventing. Her mother, Princess Anne, presented the medal. Britain went into the final hoping to win. But Phillips and Nicola Wilson knocked down fences, and the penalties added on to others accumulated by the team over the dressage and cross-country segments, dashing Britain's hopes for gold. "We wanted gold, but we made mistakes," Phillips said. Then holding her new piece of silver, she said: "When we got this around our necks, it was all worth it."

more u.s. skeet gold

Vincent Hancock nearly retired from competition a year ago, then decided to chase another gold medal. Now 23, Hancock is a two-time Olympic champion in men's skeet shooting. "Being able to stand back up there again and listen to the national anthem again, it's got to be better," said Hancock, an Army sergeant and the first skeet shooter to win consecutive Olympic titles. A year ago, Hancock had trouble being motivated to compete. "I wasn't enjoying myself going out there anymore," Hancock said. So my wife and I reassessed what we wanted to do. We prayed about it a lot, and we came up with, 'This is my passion. This is what I love to do.' "

after lackluster half, u.s. men pound tunisia

The U.S. men's basketball team needed a while but eventually put on the show fans came to see, beating Tunisia 110-63. Finally pulling away when coach Mike Krzyzewski started the reserves to open the second half, the Americans had six players in double figures and improved to 2-0 in the tournament. Krzyzewski insisted he planned to start the second unit even before a lackluster first half and said there was nothing bad about the Americans' performance. "It's not going to a perfect thing, you know?" he said. "But overall tonight was good. I mean, come on, it was 110-63."

more rough sailing

Clearwater 2008 silver medalist Zach Railey moved up to 12th in the Finn class after finishes of second and eighth in the racing off Weymouth, England. The top 10 advance to the medals race Sunday. His sister Paige was in ninth in Laser Radial after finishes of 12th and 17th. In Star, St. Petersburg native Mark Mendelblatt and Miami's Brian Fatih were in sixth after going eighth and ninth. "Today's wasn't a great day," Mendelblatt told USA Sailing. "We sort of made comebacks, but the final finishing positions weren't great. I didn't sail a good day tactically." The Finn and Star are off today.

Other sports

Andy Roddick was outclassed by Novak Djokovic in the second round at Wimbledon, 6-2, 6-1. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France advanced by winning the longest set in Olympic history. He beat Milos Raonic of Canada 6-3, 3-6, 25-23. The final set lasted three hours and 257 points. Venus Williams swept two matches in less time. She won the first match on Centre Court in singles and teamed with sister Serena in doubles to win the day's finale on remote Court 12 before an overflow crowd. Also winning were Maria Sharapova and British hopeful Andy Murray.

• The United States survived some frantic final moments to topple Argentina 1-0 in women's field hockey to essentially keep alive the Americans' medal chances.

London Olympics: U.S. women's soccer team finishes qualifying with win; more skeet shooting gold for U.S. 07/31/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 11:48pm]
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