Phelps Wins Another Gold While Franklin Breaks a World Record
Michael Phelps will go out a winner in London. He has proclaimed he is done after these games, so one can assume the gold medal he earned today in the 100-meter butterfly was icing on the cake. Phelps touched in 51.21 seconds to beat Chad le Clos who edged him in the 200-meter fly earlier this week. The South African touched in 51.44, tying for silver with Russia’s Evgeny Korotyshkin. "I'm just happy that the last one was a win," Phelps said. "That's all I really wanted coming into the night." Phelps now has 21 overall medals, and 17 of those 21 are gold.
The U.S. women notched two more golds; both are teenagers. Fifteen year-old Katie Ledecky won the 800-meter freestyle on Friday. Ledecky is the youngest member of the U.S. swim team, and just missed a world record, finishing at 8:14.63 to earn gold. Mireia Belmonte Garcia of Spain touched in 8:18.76 to take the silver medal and defending champion Rebecca Adlington of host Britain finished in 8:20.32 for bronze.
Missy Franklin, who like Ledecky, is also fifteen years-old, set a world record in the 200-meter backstroke Friday for her third gold and fourth overall medal at the London Olympics. Franklin came in at a time of 2:04.06, which was almost a full second (0.75) faster than the previous mark set by Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe. Coventry set the record at the 2009 World Championships in Rome in a bodysuit that is now banned. Anastasia Zueva of Russia touched in 2:05.92 to take the silver medal and Elizabeth Beisel of the United States finished in 2:06.55 to take the bronze.
The U.S. men’s basketball team won in a runaway Thursday to beat Nigeria. The final score was an astonishing 156-73. Carmelo Anthony led the way with an Olympic record 37 points in just 14 minutes of court time. Anthony was a stellar 10-12 from three-point range. Chris Paul had 11 of the team’s 41 assists and had this to say: "It's a good feeling. We always try to make our mark, somehow, some way, and this is all well and good, but the mark that we want to leave is to leave with another gold medal."
In women’s tennis, Maria Sharapova of Russia will meet Serena Williams of the U.S. for the gold. This is Sharapova’s first Olympics, and she will earn her first medal no matter the outcome. Williams beat the world’s No. 1 ranked player, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-1, 6-2, and clinched her first singles medal of her career. In singles, Serena has won 33 of her past 34 matches, and she has won 12 in a row against top-5 players. She's 8-2 against Sharapova, including wins in their past seven meetings.
The U.S. still leads China in total medals with 43, while China has 42. The U.S. also slightly leads the gold medal category l with 21, opposed to China’s 20.
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