Here’s a recap of today’s Olympic events in the first full day of competition in the London games. I’ll start with Volleyball as an excuse to place that picture above.
Volleyball: The U.S. women were silver medalists in the 2008 Beijing games, but entered these Olympics ranked as the #1 team in the world. Opening up this afternoon against South Korea, the Americans took care of business, but faced some challenges along the way. The U.S. won the match in four sets, with scores of 25-19, 25-17, 20-25, 25-21.
Women’s Basketball: Tina Charles and Candace Parker each had double-doubles and former Louisville Cardinal Angel McCoughtry scored 13 points off the bench to help the U.S. women’s team win 81-56 over Croatia in what was a sloppy performance for three quarters, before pulling away in the 4th quarter on a 16-0 run. The U.S., who had defeated Croatia by 54 points in an exhibition just one week ago, only led 53-49 before their 4th quarter rally to seal the team’s 34th consecutive Olympic win. Coach Geno Auriemma has talked about playing an entertaining brand of basketball in London that would help grow the women’s game internationally, but that didn’t happen today. If Auriemma is concerned about making women’s basketball entertaining, perhaps he should consult UK Hoops’ Coach Matthew Mitchell for dance lessons. Auriemma is coaching six of his former UConn players on the USA squad. Four years from now, perhaps John Calipari will be in a similar situation with the men’s squad.
Women’s Soccer: The Americans dominated Colombia 3-0 this afternoon, guaranteeing a spot in the quarterfinals. Megan Rapinoe, Abby Wambach, and Carli Lloyd each scored a goal and Hope Solo was perfect defending the net. Obligatory Hope Solo picture included below:
Men’s Swimming: Michael Phelps, a 16-time Olympic medalist (14 gold), finished only fourth today in the 400-meter individual medley. Fellow American Ryan Lochte dominated the field, finishing more than 3.5 seconds faster than silver medalist Thiago Pereira of Brazil. Japan’s Kosuke Hagino was third, and Phelps exited the pool after an Olympic race without a medal for the first time in 12 years. Lochte swam the race of his life and Phelps, for whatever reason, didn’t swim well today.
Fencing: Lexingtonian Lee Kiefer advanced past the round of 32 and 16 today with victories over Monica Peterson of Canada and Gil Ok Jung of South Korea, but fell in the quarterfinals to Italy’s Arianna Errigo. Kiefer will still participate in the team foil against South Korea on August 2nd.
For a complete schedule of local athletes’ Olympic participation, check out this report from Kentucky Forward, and for continued Olympic coverage throughout the London games, be sure to check out ksrcollege.com.
Now on to some UK notes…
–In the morning links today, we found out that Dick Vitale is now among the many who think that Anthony Davis is closing out on the best year ever for a college basketball player.
–Scroll down a little bit to see Rashawn Franklin’s profile of Xavier Rathan-Mayes, who is expected to be a package deal with high school teammate Andrew Wiggins.
–Unlike Laettner in ’92, at some point Davis will be called upon to make a difference in the 2012 games.
–Speaking of Laettner, he helped break down tomorrow’s opener for the U.S. team against France at 9:30 in the morning (U.S. Eastern time) for Fox Sports in the video below. With the U.S. favored heavily, look for Anthony Davis to potentially see some action.
–Come back and see us tomorrow and I will guide you through the morning. Ashley Scoby will also be back with some behind-the-scenes pictures from today’s UK Football Women’s clinic inside of the Nutter Center.
In case you’ll be in church tomorrow morning and can’t watch the game, you can follow me on your mobile Twitter devices @wilmhoffKSR for any potential Anthony Davis updates in USA’s 9:30 Olympic opener vs. France.