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As The Guardian just reported:

"Here is perhaps the least surprising outcome of the Games: the awesome Williams sisters have secured the women's doubles for the United States, disposing of the Czech pair Hlavackova and Hradecka 6-4, 6-4. And Serena crowns a dominant display with a delightful twirl of celebration after plundering the gold medal point."

In what looks to be a new Olympics record, Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia just won the women's marathon in a time of 2:23.07.

Kenya's Priscah Jeptoo was second and Russia's Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova finished third.

As The Guardian notes, Gelana's "uncle Gezahegne Abera won men's marathon gold in Sydney 12 years ago."

Mary Keitany of Kenya, one of the pre-race favorites, came in fourth.

The previous women's Olympics record was 2:23.14.

Good morning.

While Bill takes a much-deserved mid-Olympics day off, we'll aim to keep up with what's going on in London.

Good morning. As we start Day 8 of the London Olympics, big news is already happening. We posted earlier about Oscar Pistorius's historic run in the men's 400 meters, for instance. If you'd like to catch up on yesterday's events, check out our Day in Photos gallery. Here's what's been happening today:

The American men's basketball team has faced criticism for Thursday night's 156-73 blowout victory over Nigeria at the London Olympics. At the arena, NPR editor Vickie Walton-James spoke to Nigerian fans, to learn what they thought about being on the wrong end of a record score:

The vaunted USA Dream Team scored more points Thursday than any other team in an Olympic basketball game. The previous record was set in 1988, when Brazil scored 138 points to Egypt's 85.

Sprinter Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee who has for years sought to race in the Olympic Games, finally got his wish Saturday, when he lined up to run in a preliminary heat in the men's 400 meters in London's Olympic Stadium.

"On the blocks, I didn't know if I should cry or be happy," a breathless Pistorius told a BBC reporter after the race. "And then I was like, no — you've got a job to do. It was just really a mix of emotions. I didn't know what form I was going to be in today. I had a good race tactic, and I stuck to it."

Both athletes were U.S. swimmers, both were dripping wet after finishing an Olympics final, and both had just won medals.

The first said, "It's not my normal specialty. ... We went out there and raced tough – and just came up a little short."

The second had a beaming face. He said, "[I] swam my own race. And knew I had a lane, and had an opportunity, and I went for it. It worked out, you know, it's just awesome that I get to go on the podium tonight. Honestly, I'm really proud of myself!"

It's Day 7 of competition at the London Olympics, and America has found a new contestant in its continual quest for a sweetheart: Gabby Douglas, the only gymnast who already has two gold medals before individual rounds begin. And still, it seems, some folks prefer to talk about Douglas' hair.

Breaking News Update at 3:27 p.m. ET: Phelps Wins Gold For 20th Medal.

Michael Phelps has won the men's 200-meter individual medley at the 2012 Summer Games, winning his 20th Olympic medal — and his first individual gold medal in London.

Phelps led Lochte by .16 of one second at the first turn, in the butterfly. He maintained his lead in the backstroke — the discipline Lochte had just raced in half an hour earlier in the day.

American gymnast Gabby Douglas has won her second Olympic gold medal of the London Summer Games, winning the individual all-around event to match her performance anchoring the U.S. team's first-place performance earlier this week.

Douglas scored 15.500 or higher in her first three rotations, with an emphatic 15.966 on her vault. Her final score was 62.232.

The best Olympic images of the day include snapshots from swimming, gymnastics, rowing, judo and cycling competitions.

Fresh off becoming Britain's most-decorated Olympian, cyclist Bradley Wiggins is back in the news, as he updated his Twitter followers Wednesday night with details of how his celebration was going.

"Well what a day, blind drunk at the minute and overwhelmed with all the messages," Wiggins tweeted to his more than 400,000 followers. "Thank You everyone it's been emotional X."

Some Londoners may not be much interested in sports - but one image from these Olympic Games will surely remain with them, long after the cheers and crowds have faded away. It is the spectacle of their mayor, Boris Johnson, brandishing a Union flag in either hand, dangling helplessly from a zip wire 20 feet above the ground.

Good morning. Here's a rundown of the news that's catching our eye this morning, from the London Olympics:

-- The women's eight rowing competition was won by the U.S. team, in an encore of their gold-medal performance in Beijing 2008. The team, which led from the start and stayed ahead of silver medalists Canada at the end, consists of Mary Whipple (coxswain), Caryn Davies, Caroline Lind, Eleanor Logan, Meghan Musnicki, Taylor Ritzel, Esther Lofgren, Susan Francia and Erin Cafaro.

U.S. Olympic boxing team captain Jamel Herring lost his light welterweight bout yesterday, but it's not the first setback he's faced — and he says he won't let his team lose its momentum in the London Olympics because of his defeat.

As the AP reports:

"After surviving two tours in Iraq and returning to boxing after the sudden death of his infant daughter in her crib three years ago, Herring knows a bit about composure and focus."

Victory, Defeat, In Two Quotes

Aug 1, 2012

Two Olympic athletes from the United States had very different experiences today.

Nathan Adrian took an unexpected gold by one-hundredth of a second in the men's 100-meter freestyle swim. And Travis Stevens, the American judoka, started off spectacularly, only to lose in a controversial decision by a judge.

We were struck by two quotes spoken by the athletes after their respective events.

A Medal And Marmite For Team Kiwi

Aug 1, 2012

Here's a curious little bit of news from the BBC:

"New Zealand competitors who win medals at the London Olympics have been offered an unusual reward — food parcels containing jars of Marmite."

"The spread has been in short supply since March, after the manufacturer was forced to close its only factory because of earthquake damage."

Decorated fencer Mariel Zagunis, who carried the U.S. flag into Olympic Stadium as part of the London 2012 opening ceremony, lost in the bronze medal match in the sabre Wednesday afternoon, falling to Olga Kharlan of Ukraine, 15-10.

The loss means that Zagunis, 27, will leave London without a medal — there is no team sabre medal at this year's Olympics (we'll post more about that situation soon).

American swimmer Nathan Adrian's name hasn't been on everyone's mind, the way that Michael Phelps' or Ryan Lochte's has. But he did something that even Lochte couldn't do this week: beat Yannick Agnel in a head-to-head race.

Adrian's time of 47.52 seconds in the men's 100-meter freestyle gave him his first individual gold medal, as he also beat James Magnussen of Australia, who came in second, and Brent Hayden of Canada.

Eight Olympic badminton athletes have been thrown out of the London Games after being charged by the Badminton World Federation with "not using one's best efforts to win a match" — which is against the rules of the sport. Because even some journalists may have forgotten badminton's rules, it seemed time to take a fresh look.

Kristin Armstrong has successfully defended her gold medal in the Olympic time trial, winning the race held in Surrey, England. Armstrong finished the 18-mile course in 37:34.82, nearly 16 seconds ahead of Judith Arndt of Germany, who won the silver.

Olga Zabelinskaya of Russia won bronze, seven seconds behind Arndt. American Amber Neben came in sixth, at 38:45.17. Britain's Elizabeth Armitstead, the silver medal winner in the road race, was tenth.

BREAKING NEWS Update at 8:10 a.m. ET, Aug. 1:

"Eight players from four teams in the women's doubles competition have been thrown out" of the London Olympics for allegedly deliberately trying to lose their matches, The Telegraph is reporting.

The Associated Press has moved this "alert":

'Morning Edition' executive producer Madhulika Sikka is back in her native Britain on vacation. And in contrast to what she's hearing from her American friends, the viewing choices there for the Olympics are staggering, she says.

The 2012 Summer Olympics are in full swing. And there is one gold medal America wins without fail, every four years. It's for the sport of complaining about NBC's tape-delayed coverage of the Olympic Games.

The U.S. women's gymnastics team has won the team gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics, handily beating Russia, which took silver, and Romania, which took bronze. China finished fourth.

Update at 2:25 p.m. EDT: The U.S. women led off with their strength — the vault. The apparatus gives them an advantage, and not only because Maroney is the world champion and gold-medal favorite in the event.

The AP describes why:

The London 2012 Games have been touted as the first Olympics to live fully in the age of social media. After all, the organization's Twitter feed has nearly 1.4 million followers, as it lists on its special portal for Facebook and other social sites. But a rash of scandals and news related to Twitter has put a new mark on the face of these games. And, as they say, it ain't pretty.

Missy Franklin couldn't contain herself — in the pool, on the medals stand and at her first gold medal news conference — after a dramatic finish in the 100 meter Olympic backstroke Monday night in London.

It wasn't an easy race. Out front and pulling hard with her graceful but powerful strokes, Emily Seebohm of Australia led in the last 50 meters, with the American Franklin a few strokes back.

Okay, let's start by admitting one thing: all Olympic events are pretty much worth watching. But there are just too many of them — 17 today, alone. For instance, there's the women's synchronized 10m platform dive, happening now. Here's a list of big competitions we'll keep an eye on today. All times are EDT:

Swimming

  • 2:41 p.m. women's 200m freestyle final
  • 2:49 p.m. men's 200m butterfly final

Good morning. Today will be another big one in London — we'll have a preview of the action in a jiffy. For now, here are some stories that caught our eye:

- The London Olympics are a ratings hit, as NBC's coverage has broken records. "Through the weekend NBC averaged 35.8 million viewers in London, five million more than Beijing, and over a million more than the previous record-holder, Atlanta," says the TVNewser blog.

Update at 1:45 p.m. ET. Adams Has Been Reinstated On Twitter:

Guy Adams just tweeted that "Oh. My Twitter account appears to have been un-suspended. Did I miss much while I was away?"

That doesn't change the thrust of our post. And we haven't heard back from Twitter about his questions regarding the suspension.

Update at 4:23 p.m. ET. Twitter's Response:

Ashley Gross / KPLU

The King County Council approved an agreement with the investors who want to build an NBA arena in the SoDo district of Seattle. The council voted 6-3 to ratify the "memorandum of understanding" and "interlocal agreement," documents which define the terms of the arena deal.

"There is intrinsic value in this arena," said county councilmember Julia Patterson. She added that she had voted against Seattle's other sports arenas in the past, when she was in the Washington State Legislature, but voted yes on this deal.

In opposition, councilman Pete von Reichbauer said transportation issues had not been resolved. 

"If you build it, they will come – they can't come if they're stuck in traffic," he said.

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