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Two world records in swimming

posted 29 Jul 2012, 17:06 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 29 Jul 2012, 17:07 ]

World records for American Dana Vollmer and South African were the highlights of a day of sporting brilliance across the Olympic spectrum.

South Africa's Cameron Van der Burgh and American Dana Vollmer set world records in the men's 100 metres breaststroke and women's 100 butterfly, Van der Burgh denying Japan's Kosuke Kitajima in his bid to be the first male swimmer to win gold in the same event at three successive Olympics.
Vollmer ended a lifetime of frustration and battles with her health to win the 100 metres butterfly gold medal in world record time. Swimming like a woman possessed, Vollmer sliced 0.08 seconds off a record set at the 2009 world championships in Rome before polyurethane bodysuits were banned.

Vollmer won a relay gold at Athens in 2004 a year after heart surgery. But she failed to qualify for Beijing in 2008 and did not return to form until she was diagnosed with an egg allergy and put on a special diet.

Cameron Van der Burgh also broke the world record, for the 100 breaststroke, to become the first South African man to win individual Olympic swimming gold.

His time trimmed 0.12 seconds off the record set by Australia's Brenton Rickard, also in Rome in 2009.

Japan's Kitajima, who won the breaststroke double at Athens in 2004 and Beijing four years later, was fifth, and will have to look to the 200 in London to try to make it three in a row.

There was a further pool gold for France when top-ranked Camille Muffat won the women's 400 freestyle ahead of Allison Schmitt of the United States and Britain's defending champion, Rebecca Adlington.

Michael Phelps won his first ever silver after swimming a storming second leg in the 4x100 freestyle relay to lift his overall medal tally to 17, just one shy of the all-time record held by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina.

But a flying anchor leg from France's Yannick Agnel snatched the gold from the fingertips of Phelps's team mate and great individual rival Ryan Lochte.

Australia, the fastest qualifiers and looking to notch a famous victory against their traditional rivals for pool supremacy, were soundly beaten into fourth.

Four years ago in Beijing Phelps won gold in each of the eight events that he swam. In London, after losing his 400 individual medley title to Lochte on Saturday, he has already tasted defeat twice in two days.

In tennis, fourth seed Murray, back on Centre Court three weeks to the day after losing the Wimbledon final against Roger Federer, made a strong start to his singles medal campaign with a 6-3 6-3 win over Federer's doubles partner Wawrinka.

The win means Murray, who with his brother Jamie was knocked out of the men's doubles on Saturday by Austria's Juergen Melzer and Alexander Peya, has already improved on his Olympic debut in Beijing where he suffered a first round singles defeat to Taiwan's lowly ranked Lu Yen-hsun in straight sets.

Wawrinka can now concentrate on defending his Beijing doubles medal with Federer, who was on court to cheer him on, although the pair will have to wait after their opening match was one of the many postponed due to the rain.

New Zealand beat Australia 1-0 at the Riverbank Arena in London Olympic women's hockey Pool B. Cathryn Finlayson scored from a rebound at a penalty corner in the 3rd minute to put the Black Sticks 1-0. Bianca Russell in goal kept the Aussies at bay to ensure a first ever win over the triple Olympic champions for New Zealand.

Soccer title favourites Brazil, inspired by dazzling forward Neymar, swept into the quarter-finals after coming from behind to beat Belarus 3-1 at Old Trafford with Neymar scoring and creating the other two.

They were joined in the last eight by Japan, who followed up their win over Spain on Thursday with another 1-0 win over Morocco.

Brazil became the first side to qualify for the next stage and thoroughly deserved their win over Belarus, courtesy of a header from Alexandre Pato from a Neymar cross, a 30 metre free-kick from Neymar and a brilliantly-taken third by Oscar after being set up by a backheel from Neymar.

Brazilian-born Renan Bardini headed Belarus in front after eight minutes but although they lost they will go through if they beat Egypt on Wednesday.

Even the highly-paid elite of the NBA have to adapt sometimes and by their own admission it took the U.S. men's basketball team much of the first half against a poor French team to begin to impose themselves on Sunday.

In the end it was a procession, with Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and co. racking up a 27-point win over the French, seen as an outside candidate for the bronze medal ahead of the launch of the games' basketball tournament on Sunday.

But the bulk of the team said afterwards they were still adapting to the differing rules applied to the game outside of the United States and in international competition.

James pointed to the goaltending rule which allows players to block shots around the basket more easily, as well as the shorter duration of the game and the sheer volume of fouls being called by officials.

The game was enjoyed by US First Lady Michelle Obama who has been a feature at the London Games, watching Serena Williams on Saturday at Wimbledon.

Dutchwoman Marianne Vos put ears of frustration behind her when she claimed the gold medal in the Olympic cycling road race, dashing Britain's hopes of a first home victory of the Games in driving rain on Sunday.

Vos, runner-up at the last five road race world championships following her 2006 win, outsprinted breakaway companion Lizzie Armitstead who at least earned the hosts their first medal of the London Olympics with a silver as rain poured down on The Mall.

Russian Olga Zabelinskaya, also in the breakaway, took third place at the end of a 140.3-km ride starting and ending in central London.

Kim Rhode could finish her shooting career as the greatest U.S. Olympian ever, after a gold medal victory in the women's skeet on Sunday put her e into the record books as the first American to medal in five consecutive Olympics.

At just 33 years old, competing in a sport that has seen winners in their 60s, she could easily take part in five more Games before putting away her shotgun.

With gold from London, Atlanta and Athens, a silver from Beijing and a bronze in Sydney, Rhode may be entering Michael Phelps-like territory.

Rhode practises every day firing between 500 and 1,000 rounds, each training session costing between $400 and $600.

Certainly Rhode did not waste any ammunition on Sunday, hitting 99 of 100 targets, breaking the Olympic record and equalling the world mark to win the gold in style.

China's Wu Minxia and He Zi produced a diving masterclass on Sunday as the duo, in perfectly timed harmony from the first dive, took an easy gold at the women's synchronised three metre springboard competition at the London Olympics.

The world champions showed their quality on the inward 2-1/2 somersault, following a perfectly functional Australian performance with a masterly rendition of the same dive, hardly making a splash as they entered the water.

Wu and He won the gold with 346.2 points and such was their dominance, the real battle was only for the other podium spots. The U.S. pair of Abigail Johnston and Kelci Bryant were clearly delighted to take silver, after Bryant just missed out on a medal in Beijing, with 321.9 points.

Canada's Emile Heymans and Jennifer Abel, who won silver at the FINA World Cup in February, finished with 316.8 points and the bronze after losing their composure on their second dive, a relatively simple forward pike.

North Korea's An Kum Ae won gold in the women's -52kg category judo on Sunday after a day of surprises in which all the top seeds were knocked out in the opening rounds.

The 32-year-old, ranked 25th in the world, went one better than the silver she who won four years ago in Beijing by beating Cuba's Yanet Bermoy Acosta with a yuko throw in the extra time golden score period.

Georgia's Lasha Shavdatuashvili, the youngest competitor in the event, grabbed Olympic gold in the men's -66kg judo category on Sunday.

The unheralded 20-year-old, the world number 32, defeated Hungary's Miklos Ungvari, 31, in the final to send a small but incredibly noisy gr oup of fans from his homeland wild as he secured Georgia's third ever judo gold.

Kazakhstan's Zulfiya Chinshanlo won her country's second gold medal of the London Olympics with a world record in the women's 53 kilogram weightlifting on Sunday.

Chinshanlo set a world record of 131 kg for the clean and jerk - the second of two styles of lift required in the Olympic competition - which when added to her earlier 95 kg in the snatch gave her an Olympic record total of 226 kg.

The 19 year-old saw off stiff competition from Taiwan's Hsu Shu-Ching who lifted a total of 219 kg, while the bronze medal went to Cristina Iovu of Moldova who tied with Hsu on 219 kg but was placed third because her bodyweight was 380 grams higher.

Soon after winning her country's first women's weightlifting gold Chinshanlo said she received a personal visit from the Kazakhstan president, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

North Korea's Om Yun Chol won Olympic gold after matching the world record in the clean and jerk, upstaging Chinese world champion Wu Jingbiao who entered the tournament as strong favourite but left with silver.

Om's stunning 168 kilogram clean and jerk gave him an unassailable early lead in the 56 kilogram weight class event after he made the unusual decision to participate in the morning's Group B session, which is usually filled with athletes not expected to challenge for medals.

South Korea won the Olympic women's team archery title for the seventh consecutive time on Sunday after beating China in the final at Lord's cricket ground.

The Korean trio of Ki Bo-bae, Lee Sung-jin and Choi Hyeon-ju scored 210 points from their 24 arrows to beat the Chinese by a single point. Each arrow can score a maximum of 10 points by hitting the centre of a target 70 metres away.

For the second day in a row, the gold medal came down to the very last arrow, Ki needing a nine or better to win the match. She nailed the nine to spark celebrations with her team mates and coach.

South Korea's gold medal will be met with elation and relief back home after the men's team, champions in Sydney, Athens and Beijing, had to settle for bronze after losing to the United States in the semi-final.

South Korea's women have now won 13 of the last 14 archery gold medals and will be heavy favourites to add to their tally in the individual event.