WEDNESDAY'S SPORTS ROUNDUP
Brendan Kingman's sixth-inning single sent Australia to a 1-0 victory over stunned Japan, putting the Aussies in the gold medal baseball game. Australia will play Cuba for the title, after the Cubans rallied to beat Canada 8-5 in the other semifinal. Japan faces Canada for the bronze.
Serbia-Montenegro, the two-time defending world champion, beat Angola 85-62 to finish 11th in the Olympic men's tournament. The Serbs dropped to last place in their first-round group on Monday, after losing to Yao Ming and China, which grabbed the last quarterfinal berth in Group A. Australia's Shane Heal was carried off the court on his teammates' shoulders after Australia beat New Zealand 98-80 for ninth place. The four-time Olympian scored 30 points in his last game. Heal, 33, has announced his retirement from basketball.
In women's classification games, Nigeria earned its first win of the competition, beating winless South Korea 68-64 to finish 11th. The Nigerians, making their first appearance at the Olympics, celebrating in the middle of the court after the game. China outscored Japan 31-15 in the fourth quarter to take ninth place with a 82-63 win.
Ryan Bayley rallied from behind to upset Dutch world champion Theo Bos 2-1 in the track sprint final, taking his first major title and confirming Australia's dominance of the Olympic cycling tournament. Rene Wolff of Germany won the bronze. In the women's event, Canadian veteran Lori-Ann Muenzer beat Russia's Tamilla Abassova for Canada's first cycling gold medal, capping an injury-marred career for the 38-year-old. Australia's Anna Meares, the time trial gold medalist, took bronze. Russian teenager Mikhail Ignatyev upset the favorites to win the points race, relying on his endurance to beat Spain's Joan Llaneras (silver) and German Guido Fulst (bronze).
The Hungarian gold medalist in the men's discus was stripped of his title for failing to provide a drug test sample in an apparent attempt to beat the screening system. Robert Fazekas was disqualified from the competition and expelled from the games by the International Olympic Committee executive board. Belarusian high jumper Aleksey Lesnichiy was kicked out after testing positive for the steroid clenbuterol, the IOC said. He failed to clear a height in Friday's qualifying round.
The Germans clinched their third equestrian team gold in as many Olympics -- even before their last rider finished with eight total faults -- followed by the United States and Sweden for silver and bronze.
American sailors Tim Wadlow and Pete Spaulding lost their chance to win a medal in their first Olympics because of the fickle shifts in the Meltemi wind. Crews from Spain, Ukraine and Britain have locked up the medals, with only the order to be decided in Thursday's final race. Wadlow, of Boston, and Spaulding, of Miami, can do no better than fourth after finishing 10th and 11th in the first two races.
Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia broke the world record in the women's pole vault for the fourth time this year, easily clearing 16 feet, 1 1/4 inches (4.91 meters) to take the gold medal. Teammate Svetlana Feofanova, the 2003 world champion, won the silver with a vault of 15 feet, 7 inches (4.75). Anna Rogowska of Poland took bronze with 15 feet, 5 inches (4.70). Four-time world 1,500 champion Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco, a heartbreak loser at the last two Olympics, held off Bernard Lagat down the stretch to win in 3 minutes, 34.18 seconds. Tonique Williams-Darling of the Bahamas won the gold medal in the 400-meter run with a time of 49.41 seconds. Ana Guevara of Mexico got the silver medal and Natalya Antyukh of Russia won the bronze. Kenyans swept the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Ezekiel Kemboi won the gold in 8:05.81. Brimin Kipruto got the silver medal and Paul Kipsiele Koech took the bronze.
China moved a step closer to its first gold medal in volleyball since 1984, sweeping Japan in three sets in the quarterfinals. Lina Wang and Ping Zhang scored 12 points apiece for China, whose superior blocking and patient, controlled offense -- guided by setter Feng Kun -- proved too much for the Japanese. China will face Cuba in the semifinals. The Cubans outlasted Italy in five sets, led by 22 points from Zoila Barros Fernandez. Ekaterina Gamova, Russia's 6-foot-8 opposite, had 24 points to lead her team in a sweep of South Korea.
Women's Water Polo
Manuela Zanchi scored with two seconds left to give Italy an upset 6-5 victory over the world champion Americans, setting up a matchup against Greece in the women's final. Greece beat defending Olympic champion Australia 6-2. The United States will play Australia for bronze in a rematch of the Sydney 2000 final. Russia scored twice in extra time to edge Hungary 12-11 for fifth place after their game was tied 10-10 at the end of regulation.
Dmitri Berestov of Russia took advantage of a weakened field and a series of missed lifts by the favored Said Saif Asaad of Qatar to win the Olympic 231 pounds (105kg) weightlifting gold -- his first title against world-level competition.