Monday’s Olympics roundup: Needham’s Aly Raisman leads USA women’s gymnastics team to gold
|07.31.12 at 6:55 pm ET|
The U.S. women’s gymnastics team lived up to the hype on Tuesday, taking the gold medal as a team by routing the silver medalists from Russia.
It started on the vaults, where the Americans all did Amanars, among the toughest vaults in the world, and succeeded in taking a whopping 1.7-point lead. From there, the Americans never looked back as the team of Needham native Aly Raisman, Jordyn Wieber, Gabby Douglas, Kyla Ross and McKayla Maroney dominated the competition.
“We knew we could do it. We just had to pull out all the stops,” Raisman said.
The 2011 world champions, and now the Olympic champions, have earned praise as the best team ever from their coach, John Geddert.
“This is the best team all-time,” said Geddert, who is also Wieber’s personal coach. “Others might disagree. The ’96 team might disagree. But this is the best team. Difficulty wise, consistency wise, this is USA’s finest.”
PHELPS TAKES ALL-TIME OLYMPIC MEDAL RECORD
While the United States as a whole had a very successful Tuesday in London, the day belonged to Michael Phelps, who earned his record-setting 19th medal.
Phelps won his 18th career medal earlier in the day when he took silver in the 200-meter butterfly. South Africa’s Chad le Clos (1:52.96) beat Phelps (1:53.01) by .05 seconds when the American glided to the wall instead of taking one final stroke.
However, Phelps earned his gold medal later in the day when the team of Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer and Ricky Berens won the 4×200-meter freestyle relay with a time of 6:59.70. The Americans won by more than three seconds, as second-place France finished with a time of 7:02.77.
Phelps’ 19 medals (15 golds, 2 silvers, 2 bronzes) moved him ahead of Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, who had 18 medals between the 1956, 1960 and 1964 Olympics.In other swimming news, American Allison Schmitt won the 200-meter freestyle on Tuesday with an Olympic-record time of 1:53.61. That’s more than a second off Italian Federica Pellegrini’s record, which was set four years ago in Beijing.
Pellegrini finished fifth in the race, while 17-year-old American Missy Franklin finished fourth.
WAMBACH LEADS U.S. WOMEN’S SOCCER PAST NORTH KOREA
In the Americans’ third game of the Olympics, the result was no different from their first two matches as they cruised to a 1-0 victory over North Korea.
Alex Morgan fed the ball to Abby Wambach in the 25th minute, and she netted her third goal of the tournament. The Americans then celebrated on the field by having the team join hands while facing the fans and send a wave through their arms.
The goal was set up by a nice long pass by Lauren Cheney, who also drew a second yellow card from Choe Mi Gyong in the 81st minute.
While the team did not get an insurance goal, Team USA dominated possession for most of the game and hit two posts in the first half.
With the win, the Americans won their group and will move on to Newcastle for a quarterfinal match on Friday.
U.S. MEN’S WATER POLO REMAINS PERFECT
Team USA’s men’s water polo squad came back from a two-goal deficit on Tuesday to defeat Romania 10-8.
Ryan Bailey and Peter Varellas each scored three goals for USA in the win, which moves the team even with gold medal-favorite Serbia in Group B.
With three-time defending champion Hungary looming in the distance for the Americans, the win over Romania was crucial for securing berth in the quarterfinals.
USA will play Great Britain, which lost to Serbia 21-7 on Thursday. USA has not won an Olympic gold in water polo since 1904, as the team fell short in Beijing when it took silver.
WEDNESDAY’S SCHEDULE: ADRIAN GOES FOR GOLD IN 100-METER FREESTYLE
American Nathan Adrian will go for his second career Olympic gold, this time in the men’s 100-meter freestyle event (part of NBC’s primetime coverage at 8 p.m.)
U.S. beach volleyball legends Misty May-Treanor and Kerry Walsh will be back in action against a team from Austria (part of NBC’s primetime coverage at 8).
The American women’s basketball team will be back on the court on Wednesday (5:30 p.m., NBC Sports), as Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore and Candace Parker take on Turkey. The Americans won their last game against Angola 90-38.
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