Sport by sport
Baseball: The U.S. greatly improved its seeding in the medal round with a 4-2 win over Taiwan on Tuesday. It plays Japan today then begins the semifinals Friday. In other games, Canada shut out the Netherlands, 4-0; South Korea beat Cuba, 7-4, in a battle of top teams; and Japan crushed China, 10-0.
Basketball: Sylvia Fowles scored 26 points as the U.S. women’s team crushed South Korea, 104-60. It will play Russia, an 84-65 winner over Spain, in Thursday’s semifinals. In the other games, China beat Belarus, 77-62, and Australia beat the Czech Republic, 79-46.
Boxing: The highlight of the day was when light heavyweight Dzhakhon Kurbanov of Tajikistan bit Yerkebulan Shynaliyev of Kazakhstan on the shoulder. He was disqualified. The crazy thing? Evander Holyfield, he of the Mike Tyson ear-biting incident, was at the arena Tuesday. No U.S. boxers competed.
Canoe/kayak: There were no medals awarded, but the U.S. did qualify a few into the next round. In the men’s 500-meter single kayak, Rami Zur finished third to move him to the semifinals Thursday. In the women’s single kayak, Carrie Johnson made the semifinals in the 500-meter event by virtue of a fourth in her heat. The big news of the day was Adam van Koeverden of Canada setting a world record (1:35.554) in the 500-meter single kayak.
Cycling: Britain got gold medals in the men’s and women’s sprint finals with Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton. Jennie Reed of the U.S. finished seventh on the women’s side. The other medal event was the men’s Madison, won by Argentina. The U.S. team of Michael Friedman and Bobby Lea placed 16th.
Diving: The Chinese cannot be stopped, going six for six in diving competition. He Chong easily won the gold on the 3-meter springboard. The top U.S. performer was Troy Dumais of Ventura, who finished sixth. Chris Colwill finished 12th.
Equestrian: The U.S. just missed a medal in the individual dressage grand prix freestyle final. Steffen Peters, aboard Ravel, was edged out of the bronze. This may be a coming-out party for Ravel, who is only 10 with limited show experience. It bodes well for the future. The gold went to Anky van Grunsven of the Netherlands. The other U.S. competitor was Courtney King, who finished 13th.
Field hockey: The semifinals of the men’s tournament begin Thursday. Spain, which just got by South Korea, 2-1, on Tuesday, will face Australia, which tied Britain, 3-3. The other semifinal pits the Netherlands, a 4-2 winner over Pakistan, against Germany, which beat New Zealand, 3-1. In other games, Belgium defeated China, 3-1, and Canada stopped South Africa, 5-3.
Handball: The field is set for the semifinals of the women’s tournament. Norway, which beat Sweden, 31-24, will play South Korea, a 31-23 winner over China. Hungary, which beat Romania, 34-30, will play Russia, a 32-31 winner over France, in the other semifinal.
Sailing: Anna Tunnicliffe of the United States spotted a wind shift on the third leg and used it to her advantage to finish second in the last of 10 races of the Laser Radial class. But that gave her enough points to win the overall title and bring the U.S. a gold medal. Paul Goodison of Britain won the gold in the Laser class. The highest finisher from the U.S. was Andrew Campbell, who came in 25th.
Soccer: The men’s final is set, and it could be a surprise. Nigeria, playing with poise and confidence, beat Belgium, 4-1, to advance. In the other semifinal, Argentina shut out Brazil, 3-0. The championship game is Saturday.
Synchronized swimming: The U.S., which once dominated this sport, is happy to be in medal contention at the finish of the duet free routine. Christina Jones and Andrea Nott are in fifth behind leaders and reigning world champions Anastasia Davydova and Anastasia Ermakova of Russia. A team from Spain is in second, and China is third. The final is today.
Table tennis: Men’s and women’s singles competition slugged through the early rounds with no upsets of the top-seeded competitors. The U.S. is not expected to contend for any medals.
Track and field: Dawn Harper of the U.S. won the gold in the women’s 100-meter hurdles and Christine Ohuruogu of Britain won the women’s 400 meters. In men’s competition, golds were awarded to Gerd Kanter of Estonia in the discus, Andrey Silnov of Russia in the high jump and Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain in the 1,500 meters.
Trampoline: Lu Chunlong of China picked up the men’s gold medal. No U.S. competitor made the finals.
Triathlon: It was close, but in the end it was Jan Frodeno of Germany who had the most sprint left in him as he won the men’s race by five seconds. The top American was Hunter Kemper, who finished seventh, about 55 seconds behind the leader. The remaining U.S. finishers were Jerrod Shoemaker in 18th and Marty Reed in 32nd.
Volleyball: The U.S. women’s team played an emotional, heart-stopping match against Italy, winning in five sets. In Thursday’s semifinals, the U.S. will play undefeated Cuba, which beat Serbia, 3-0. In other quarterfinal matches, China beat Russia, 3-0, and Brazil stopped Japan, 3-0.
Water polo: The U.S. women’s team made it to the gold medal match with a 9-8 win over Australia in the semifinals. Brenda Villa scored the winning goal with a minute left to play. In Thursday’s final, the U.S. will play the Netherlands, an 8-7 winner over Hungary. China beat Italy, 10-7, in the fifth-place game.
Weightlifting: Matthias Steiner of Germany came out on top in the men’s 105-kg competition. No American made the finals.
Wrestling: In one of the feel-good stories of these Games, Henry Cejudo of the U.S. won the 55-kg gold. He beat Tomohiro Matsunaga of Japan, with a 2-2 (tiebreaker), 3-0 decision. Cejudo came out of nowhere, having finished 31st in last year’s world championships. In the 60-kg class, Mavlet Batirov of Russia got the gold. Mike Zadick if the U.S. was eliminated in the repechage round.
-- John Cherwa Orlando Sentinel