LONDON — Paige McPherson started the long and winding day with a victory over taekwondo world champion and local favorite Sarah Stevenson of Britain and left ExCeL Centre with a medal.
There was plenty of action and drama in between, but the bottom line was that the first-time Olympian secured a bronze medal, defeating Franka Anic of Slovenia, 8-3, Friday night in the 148-pound division.
McPherson, who is based in Miami, fought back from an early 3-1 deficit in the opening round and led, 4-3, after two. She expanded the lead with another quick point to go ahead, 5-3. McPherson put the contest out of reach with a three-point head shot, going up, 8-3, in the third.
McPherson came through the repechage round once Turkey's Nur Tatar made the gold-medal round. She had lost to Tatar, 6-1, in the quarterfinals.
The gold was won by Hwang Kyung Seon of South Korea, with Tatar getting the silver. The second bronze was awarded to Helena Fromm of Germany.
For the first time since taekwondo became a full medal sport at the Olympics — in 2000 — no Lopez sibling medaled.
Diana Lopez lost her first-round fight Thursday, and Steven lost his opener Friday. Afterward Jean Lopez, the oldest of four Lopez siblings, who coaches Steven, Diana and Mark (who didn't qualify for this Olympics) said both Steven and Diana had come to London with injuries. Steven had a broken right fibula and Diana had a deep root cartilage tear.
Canoe/kayak: The U.S. did not qualify for any of the four finals that will take place Saturday. Tom Hornsby was placed in the B Final of the men's 200-meter kayak single after finishing eighth in his semifinal heat. Carrie Johnson also finished eighth in the women's 200-meter kayak single; however, that ended her racing.
Diving: No surprise that China was first and second at the conclusion of preliminaries of the men's 10-meter platform. Qui Bo is followed by Lin Yue as they head to Saturday's semifinals and finals. The U.S. was barely able to qualify both its divers as Nicholas McCrory was in eighth and David Boudia in 18th. Eighteen divers moved on to the next round.
Field hockey: The Netherlands repeated as the women's Olympic champion with a 2-0 win over Argentina, the world champion. The Netherlands can do a never-been-done double if the men's team can beat Germany on Saturday. Britain won the bronze by beating New Zealand, 3-1. Belgium beat the U.S., 2-1, in the 11th-place game.
Rhythmic gymnastics: Julie Zetlin, the only U.S. athlete to compete, finished 21st after two days of qualification. Only the top 10 moved on to the finals. Evgeniya Kanaeva of Russia was in first, followed by teammate Daria Dmitrieva.
Sailing: Competition in the 470 (two-person dinghy) wrapped up with Britain picking up two silver medals. On the men's side, Australia got the gold with Argentina finishing third. For the women, it was New Zealand getting gold and the Netherlands picking up the bronze. Stuart McNay and Graham Biehl finished 14th for the men, and Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan were ninth for the women.
Soccer: South Korea beat Japan in the bronze-medal game. Park Chuyoung and Koo Jacheol scored the goals. The gold-medal match is Saturday between Brazil and Mexico.
Synchronized swimming: Russia dominated the team competition to win the gold medal. It finished with a three-point edge over China. Spain finished third. The U.S. did not qualify for the team competition.
Volleyball: It will be top-ranked Brazil against second-ranked Russia in the men's finals. Brazil won in straight sets over Italy while Russia needed a fourth set to beat Bulgaria. The U.S., defending Olympic champions, was eliminated earlier by Italy.
Water polo: Croatia will face Italy in the men's gold-medal match. Croatia beat Montenegro, 7-5, to get to the final match. Italy beat Serbia, 9-7, in the other half of the bracket. In the classification round, the U.S. lost to Spain, 8-7. It will now play Australia to determine their placing. Jeff Powers and Layne Beaubien each scored two goals for the U.S.