Here are my thoughts on some of the events I was able to see on day 14 of the Olympic Games.
Spain rallied to defeat Russia 67-59 to advance to the gold medal game. An ugly first quarter ended with Russia leading 12-9. The second was not much better for Spain and they trailed at the half 31-20. While Russia continued to struggle to score in the second half, Spain found an offensive rhythm. They outscored Russia by 11 in the third to enter the fourth quarter tied at 46. Spain pulled away in the fourth for the win. Spain is battling injuries, even missing players, and has been very shaky in this tournament. It is amazing they made the gold medal game.
The men’s U.S. basketball team advanced to the gold medal game with a 109-83 victory over Argentina. Kevin Durant led team U.S.A with 19 points. Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul also scored in double figures. As a team, the U.S. hit 18 three pointers on 42 attempts. Argentina hung around early, trailing only by 7 at the half. The U.S pulled away in the second half by outscoring Argentina by ten in the third and nine in the fourth. The U.S’s march to an inevitable gold looks even stronger thanks to their big performances since the close encounter with Lithuania. Mix in Spain’s inconsistency and the gold medal is a foregone conclusion. The only question is how much team U.S.A. wins the gold by.
The U.S. women brought home gold in the 4X100 meter relay in a world record time of 40.82 seconds. The record had stood for 27 years and the U.S. team broke it by nearly half a second. The team consisted of Tianna Madison, 200 meter gold medalist Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight, and Carmelita Jeter, and. They were not the only women flying around the track. Jamaica brought home the silver with a time of 41.41. Their team consisted of 100 meter gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Kerron Stewart, and Sherone Simpson. The bronze went to Ukraine’s team of Olesya Povh, Mariya Ryemyen, Hrystyna Stuy, Elizaveta Bryzgina with a time of 42.04 seconds. It was an impressive performance of speed by all of the women involved, especially the U.S.
The U.S. men won silver in the 4X400 meter relay. Joshua Mance, Tony McQuay, Bryshon Nellum, and Angelo Taylor ran the race in a time of 2:57.05. It was not fast enough to defeat the team from the Bahamas of Michael Mathieu, Chris Brown, Demetrius Pinder, and Ramon Miller who ran the race in 2:56.72. The bronze went to Deon Lendore, Ade Alleyene-Forte, Lalonde Gordon, and Jarrin Solomon of Trinidad and Tobago. Double history was made in this race. It was the first time the U.S. had not won gold in the race since 1972. The win signified the first ever gold medal in any men’s Olympic sport for the Bahamas. The South African team, which featured double amputee Oscar Pistorius, finished last. They fell behind early, even before Pistorius received the baton.
In the boxing ring, Great Britain had a few fighters looking to earn a spot in the gold medal match. In the super heavyweight division, Anthony Joshua faced Kazakhstan’s Ivan Dychko. It was a close bout that saw Joshua advance to the gold medal match with a 13-11 win. Middleweight Anthony Ogogo lost his semi final match to Brazil’s Esquiva Falcao and will have to settle for a bronze medal. At welterweight, Fred Evans advanced to the gold medal match with an 11-10 win over Ukraine’s Taras Shelestyuk. Bantamweight Luke Campbell advanced to the gold medal match by defeating Japan’s Satoshi Shimizu 20-11. Three fighters will look for gold for Great Britain. Whatever the results will be, Great Britain will win four boxing medals which is very impressive considering there are nine weight classes and a maximum of one entry per country per weight class.