It took the Americans a single day to close the gap separating them from China, with the medals coming from the Women’s Eight Rowing, Swimming and Judo. In most of these competitions, the United States were favorites to win, but winning the gold medal in judo made Kayla Harrison a national hero, after a hard-fought match against Britain’s Gemma Gibbons.
Living the American dream
Canada and the Netherlands had no chance against the reigning Olympic and world champions in the Women’s Eight Rowing, as the United States protected their title with ease. After winning this gold medal, the Americans added another few in the swimming competition, where Michael Phelps won the 200m Individual Medley. 2012 London Olympics were so far disappointing for Phelps, despite the fact that he won medals in most of the events he competed.
This time he was better than countryman Ryan Lochte and finished just the fractions of seconds short of improving his Olympic record. With this victory, Phelps adds his 20th Olympic medal, while elsewhere Rebecca Soni won another gold medal for the United States in the 200m Breaststroke, while also improving her world record. Lochte settled for silver in the men’s 200m Backstroke where Tyler Clary produced a surprise by overtaking him on the last 50 m.
Europeans shine brighter in August
After Bradley Wigging won the gold medal in the Road Cycling Time Trial a day before, Chris Hoy won another one for Great Britain in the men’s Team Sprint squad. He set the record in the first round and then improved it in the second, giving no chance to Gregory Bauge, Kevin Sireau and D’Almeida. Britain persevered in men’s Team Pursuit where their athletes set a new world record, while on the tennis court Andy Murray defeated Almagro and so the set the stage for a thrilling semifinals against Djokovic.
Germany was lucky to win the women’s Team Sprint followings China relegation, but had to settle for bronze in the table tennis competition. Zhang Jike won one of the few gold medals that China secured on August 2nd, while the athlete from Taiwan won silver. Italy’s Valentina Vezzali, Elisa Di Francisca and Arianna Erigo had no competition in the Team Fencing event and brought Russia to its knees. Great Britain won two more medals in the Canoe Slalom event where Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie took gold and David Florence and Richard Hounslow settled for a fair silver medal ahead of Slovakia’s team.