In a men’s all-around competition rife with dramatic mistakes, China’s Yang Wei came through before a hometown crowd, nailing virtually every event while competitors continued to fall. With shocking slip-ups on the pummel horse, rings and high bar, Wei’s competitors seemed to be playing catch up from the first event. Followed by Japan’s Kohei Uchimura and France’s Benoit Caranobe, in second and third, Wei’s gold marked the third of three gold medals given in gymnastics so far. Wei finished the night with a solid performance on the high bar; the event that led him to drop from first to seventh in the last Olympic Games after a fall. The women’s all-around competition will be held later Thursday.
After his dramatic final leg of the men’s freestyle relay, Jason Lezak earned his first individual Olympic medal as he tied for the bronze in the 100-meter freestyle with Brazil’s Cesar Cielo. Edging out the two-time champion Pieter van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands, French swimmer Alain Bernard took home the gold with a time of 47.21 seconds, redeeming himself after losing the relay by milliseconds to Lezak earlier in the week.
Extending their streak to 104, Keri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor faced off in the sand against Norway's Ingrid Tørlen and Nila Håkedal, putting them through to the elimination round of the beach volleyball competition. Winning in two rounds with scores of 21-12, 21-15, the duo sits at 3-0 in this year’s Olympics.
Anchored by Katie Hoff, the U.S. women’s 4x200 freestyle relay team failed to win the final for the first time since the event’s inception, losing to a powerhouse Australian foursome. Settling for a bronze, the women’s team came in a just behind the Chinese team, which won the silver.
Benjamin Boukpeti picked up the first Olympic medal for the country of Togo, announcing he planned to visit the country for the first time as soon as he could. While Boukpeti has never actually resided in the country or even visited it, Olympic rules do not require him to. Born in France to a Tongan father, Boukpeti won a surprise bronze in the slalom kayak competition.
As Michael Phelps enjoyed a morning off from final events, swimming just a semi-final 200 individual melody, attention turned to Kosuke Kitajima, who became the first man in history to sweep the 100 and 200-meter breaststroke in consecutive Olympic Games.
The U.S. baseball team beat the Netherlands 7-0 in a rain-shortened game. The game was called in the eighth inning while the Netherlands were batting with the bases loaded; the Dutch protested the decision, but it was denied. “The IOC has used baseball's unpredictable length as one argument against its inclusion as an Olympic sport,” writes the Washington post. “A six-and-a-half hour game that includes two delays, one official protest and a final audience that you can count on six hands probably won't help.”
The U.S. softball team allowed its first run of the tournament and trailed Canada 1-0 before the game was suspended due to rain. It will resume tomorrow morning in the second inning.
American James Blake defeated men’s tennis top seed Roger Federer 6-4, 7-6 to move on to the semifinals. Three other quarterfinals—including one featuring Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal—have yet to be completed after rain delayed much of Thursday’s schedule
. On the women's side, Serena and Venus Williams were both eliminated
Thursday by Elena Dementieva of Russia and Ni La of China, respectively.
The U.S. men’s basketball team rolled past Greece 92-69 in a game that was supposed to be much closer. The U.S. plays world champion Spain next, with the winner clinching the top spot in Group B.
The Spanish men’s basketball team continues to be criticized for a team photograph in which they slant their eyes. Guard Jose Calderon defended the photo, saying, “We thought it was something appropriate and that it would always be interpreted as somewhat loving.”