Saturday, February 24, 2018
Sports

London Olympics: U.S. women clinch quarterfinal soccer spot; U.S. men lead gymnastics qualifying

U.S. wins, clinches quarterfinal spot

Even with a black eye, Abby Wambach was able to keep her focus: another gold medal in soccer. After a punch from Colombian forward Lady Andrade blackened her right eye late in the first half Saturday, the former Gator delivered the punch that knocked the South Americans out in the second, scoring to break open a tight game and send the Americans on to next week's quarterfinals with a 3-0 victory. "She was taunting me the whole second half and, in fact, tried to punch me again in the face," Wambach said of Andrade after the game in Glasgow, Scotland. "So it was a clear tactic from them to try and get me to do something in retaliation." Andrade said the punch wasn't her fault: "I had my hands in the air. It was an accident." Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd also scored for the United States.

Archers give u.s. its first medal of games

The U.S. men's archery team experienced both ends of the Olympics' emotional spectrum. First, the three men were euphoric after upsetting world power South Korea in the semifinals. About an hour later, they were crushed in the gold-medal match when Italy beat them by a single point on the final arrow. The Americans were seeking their first team gold since 1996. "We're just up there and hoping for the best," Jake Kaminski said. "We're not really hoping negatively for anybody, because we don't like to do that. We were just waiting. Whatever happened, whatever fell into our laps, we were going to accept it." South Korea took the bronze.

Sluggish win for u.s.

The U.S. women had to overcome a sloppy performance before putting away Croatia 81-56 in their opener. "Everybody was a little nervous," coach Geno Auriemma said. The U.S. team, which got back to its hotel at 3 a.m. after the opening ceremony, struggled for the first three quarters before winning its 34th consecutive Olympic contest. Tina Charles had 14 points and 10 rebounds. "Defensively we were great in the first quarter," said Candace Parker, who had 11 points and 13 rebounds. "We were running, blocking shots. Just couldn't score, and that hurts. When you look up at the scoreboard at the end of first and it's 9-4, it's deflating."

U.S. tops team qualifying

While perennial gymnastics powerhouses China and Japan bobbled and wobbled their way through team qualifying, the Americans proved they've got the big skills to back up their gold-medal hopes. They didn't have to count a routine with a fall, and their final score of 275.342 was almost three points ahead of resurgent Russia. "Now is when everyone is finally, completely realizing how much we believe in it," said American Danell Leyva, who qualified for the all-around and high bar finals. Surprising Britain was third. Japan, the heavy favorite going in, was fifth and defending Olympic champion China sixth, with Ukraine and France rounding out the top eight for Monday's final. Scores don't carry over. The other four Americans also made at least one event final.

Ready to retire in style

Kazakhstan's Alexander Vinokourov defeated the British cycling "dream team" on his own, winning gold in the men's road race to crown the end of a 14-year career. The 38-year-old who served a two-year ban after testing positive for blood doping at the 2007 Tour de France, said he will retire after Wednesday's time trial. The British team was unable to set up a sprint for world champion and race favorite Mark Cavendish, who ended up 28th. Colombia's Rigoberto Uran took silver, with Norway's Alexander Kristoff winning a mass sprint to get the bronze, just ahead of American Taylor Phinney.

Other sports

Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Tampa resident Jon Isner won opening tennis matches at Wimbledon. Isner and Andy Roddick lost their opening doubles match; Americans Bob and Mike Bryan advanced.

• Malaysia's Nur Suryani Mohd Taibi, who is eight months pregnant, finished 34th in the qualifying round of the 10-meter air rifle. Yi Siling of China won the gold.

• American Ariel Hsing, 16, whose friends include Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, advanced in table tennis.

• Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor, trying for a third straight beach volleyball gold medal, beat Australians Tasmin Hinchley and Natalie Cook in the their opener.

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