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London Olympics: Clearwater's Paige Railey makes Olympic sailing debut; China wins, U.S. falters in men's gymnastics

china still tops, u.s. not

The Chinese won their second straight Olympic title and third in four Games on Monday, making fools of everyone who wrote them off after a dismal sixth-place performance in qualifying. Making fools of everyone who thought it was unbeatable after leading qualifying, the United States lost all hopes for a medal with a dismal showing on pommel horse, its second event. It finished fifth. "It didn't go as planned," John Orozco said. "I can't help but feel personally responsible because I did five events — I did the most out of everyone — and I botched on two of them (one of them pommel horse). It hurts." Japan needed help from a DVR to finish second. Britain initially was announced as the silver medalist and Ukraine the bronze. Then Japan questioned the score of three-time world all-around champion Kohei Uchimura on pommel horse, the last routine. Judges huddled around a video screen and about five minutes later revised Uchimura's score upward, giving more credit for his dismount, on which he had lost control. That was enough to move Japan from fourth to second, bump Britain to bronze and Ukraine to fourth. "To win a medal in your home Games, I'll take that any day," said Kristian Thomas of Britain, which hadn't won a gymnastics medal of any color in 100 years.

clearwater's raileys: zach struggles, paige steady

Clearwater's Zach Railey, the 2008 Finn silver medalist, had another tough day, finishing 13th and 17th in his races off Weymouth, but he moved up two spots to 13th overall. "I feel like I'm making sound decisions on the race course," he told USA Sailing. "Unfortunately, they haven't been the correct choices." There are 10 races, with every sailor discarding his worst finish. The top 10 advance to the medals race Sunday. His sister, Paige, made her Olympic debut in Laser Radial and was eighth and fifth for fifth overall. "Our goal … was to get two consistent results," she said. In Star, St. Petersburg native Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih of Miami went fifth and third to move into sixth.

american ties goal mark

Maggie Steffens tied an Olympic record with seven goals — six in the first half — in her Games debut and the U.S. water polo team survived pesky Hungary to win its opening match 14-13. "There is so much energy running through me, I don't really remember what happened in the first few minutes," said Steffens, 19. One person not surprised by her performance was her teammate, roommate and older sister, Jessica, 25: "She has so much potential in her, and I think she's been waiting to bust out of her skin." The Americans are gold medal favorites with Australia.

no. 1 u.s. beats no. 2 brazil in early matchup

What to make of the world No. 1 American women's clean, decisive 25-18, 25-17, 22-25, 25-21 victory over No. 2 Brazil? "Certainly, it was a strong performance," said U.S. coach Hugh McCutcheon, who coached the men to gold four years ago. "But I didn't see a perfect match of volleyball." Each U.S. player considered the match improvement over their opening one, a four-set win over South Korea. The first two sets were nearly textbook behind the soaring play of 6-foot-3 Destinee Hooker, who had 23 points. "She's really developed her game to be a volleyball player instead of just this great athlete that jumps high and hits the ball hard," captain Lindsey Berg said.

u.s. extends diving medal success

After a 12-year medal drought, the United States got its second diving medal in as many days as David Boudia and Nick McCrory earned a bronze in the men's platform synchronized event. "We were about ready to walk out, and we were like, 'Oh, we just got third, we're bronze medalists,' " Boudia said. "I think it will sink in once you see your family, you celebrate, you're on the Today show." China's Cao Yuan and Zhang Yanquan extended their country's diving dominance with gold — China's second gold of the Games — and Mexico's German Sanchez and Ivan Garcia took silver.

other sports

Candace Parker had 14 points and 12 rebounds to lead the U.S. women's basketball team to a 90-38 rout of Angola. "The goal is to continue to get better every game and I think that was what we did," she said.

• Tennis winners at Wimbledon included Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Andy Roddick and Tampa resident John Isner for the United States; Roger Federer for Switzerland; Lleyton Hewitt for Australia, and Kim Clijsters for Belgium. The Williamses won twice, in singles and doubles. Roddick today plays Novak Djokovic.

• New Zealand kayaker Mike Dawson made the semifinals of the kayak slalom despite being given a 2-second penalty by a judge — his mother, Kay.

London Olympics: Clearwater's Paige Railey makes Olympic sailing debut; China wins, U.S. falters in men's gymnastics 07/30/12 [Last modified: Monday, July 30, 2012 8:38pm]
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