Sports news

Yannick Agnel of France has won the 200m men's freestyle at the London 2012 Olympics, beating a field that included American Ryan Lochte and German world record holder Paul Biedermann. Sun Yang of China and and Tae-Hwan Park of South Korea finished with identical times of 1:44.93 — which means that both of them will receive silver medals.

We'll be updating this post with more results from today's action.

The U.S. men's gymnastics team had an excellent day of qualifying this weekend, putting it in first place entering today's team finals. But the Americans struggled in the final, which does not carry points over from the earlier rounds.

Update at 2:12 p.m. EDT: The U.S. team has taken fifth place in the competition, despite early struggles that put them in last place. Great Britain surged to win the silver medal behind China — but Japan is reportedly now disputing the score one of its gymnasts received on the pommel horse.

Just when the discussion over the London Olympics' opening ceremony was finally being overshadowed by actual sporting events at the Summer Games, news emerges Monday that the Olympic cauldron was extinguished Sunday night, so it could be moved.

Stronger, faster, fiercer, finer. That's what the Olympics promise us — higher performance, new world records. But not if you throw things.

Judo is a sport of leverage, strength, tactics and cunning. These attributes can appear to the uninitiated to be two people attempting to grab each other, without success, for five minutes. And then when no points are scored, they try to grab each other for another three minutes of overtime.

One of these gripping contests — the men's quarterfinals at 66 kg — has become the source of international indignation over a perceived injustice. But with the sport of Judo, an apparently firm set of circumstances can flip in an instant.

Good morning. Here's a roundup of London 2012 Olympics news stories that have caught our interest. We also have a highlight list of today's upcoming events, in a different post. You can also check out our main schedule. Here's what's been happening already today:

The opening weekend of the Summer Olympics was marked by highs and lows, of course, and the swimming pool had its share of both. World records, a stunning loss and a medal for the home team — and that was all in just one afternoon.

Before American Dana Vollmer answers how a 55.98-second 100-meter butterfly — the fastest time ever, and worth a gold medal — feels, consider this: Vollmer was diagnosed as a teenager with two life-threatening heart conditions that prompted her mom to carry a defibrillator to Dana's races.

Swimming is again the big draw in the London 2012 Olympics today, with four gold-medal races scheduled. But gymnastics also has a big day. Competitions are being held in 22 sports Monday — meaning there are dozens of events vying for your attention. Below, we list the ones we'll be keeping a close eye on.

As always, we'll be reporting results and stories as they happen. So if you're someone who worries about spoilers and prefers to watch on tape-delay, steer clear of our Twitter feed... and possibly the entire Internet.

All times are EDT:


In what appeared to be payback for their 2008 loss in Beijing, France chased down the U.S. team and took the gold in the men's 400-meter relay on Sunday.

With Michael Phelps swimming the second leg of the race, looking much stronger than he did in his fourth place finish the night before, the Americans built a substantial lead during the first three legs of the race.

Ryan Lochte, leaping into the water in the anchor leg of the race with a half-body length lead, was simply outgunned by France's Yannick Agnel. The Associated Press reports:

Enduring symbols of the Olympics are everywhere in London, and I'm not just talking about ATMs for Visa, a ubiquitous Olympic sponsor.

The five Olympic rings grace every wall, walk, sign, banner and building in and around the Olympic Park and other venues.

But the Olympic flame, the other most recognizable symbol of the Olympics, is invisible to all but a relative few.

Today, London Olympic organizers find themselves beating back insults like serves in a gold medal table tennis match.

On Day 1, there were empty seats at wildly popular events like beach volleyball and gymnastics. And even at the Aquatics Center, where Ryan Lochte smoked everybody in the men's 400 individual medley.

Fans who would've gladly paid the exorbitant ticket prices were fuming. British politicians worried that the empty seats made the country look uninterested.

Two big disappointments this morning: American gymnast and defending world champion Jordyn Wieber failed to qualify for the all-around finals.

The AP reports that it was nonetheless a great day for other Americans, who are favorites for gold:

The Olympics have officially had a "Salahi moment." Remember, the White House gatecrashers? Well, on Friday during the opening ceremony, a young woman wearing a red jacket and turquoise pants was seen walking with the Indian delegation into Olympic stadium. Not only that, but she was walking alongside the flag bearer.

The only problem? No one knew who she was.

Update at 11:28 a.m. An Easy Win:

With the help of a generous LeBron James, assisting more than he scored, the United States breezed through France 98 to 71.

It wasn't a flashy win, but it showed U.S. dominance.

During an interview after the game, Kevin Durant was asked how the team chooses which of the All Stars gets to a take a shot.

"We don't care who scores," he said.

Our Original Post Continues:

Good morning! While you were sleeping, American Kimberly Rhode broke the Olympic record when she missed only one of 75 targets during the qualifying round of women's skeet shooting.

(UPDATE at 9:20 a.m. ET. Rhode has won the gold.)

The first full day of Olympic competition brought moments of tense excitement, in the pool and on the archery course, among other places. At the time of this post, China leads the overall medal count, with 6, followed by Italy and the United States, with 5. Four of China's medals are gold.

The Olympic Games are officially under way, and we're watching sports many of us glimpse only every four years: gymnastics; track; judo. But we're willing to bet that the sports' sounds are just as memorable: the clanking of foils, the tick-tock of table tennis, the robotic "Take your mark!" before swimmers launch.

Those unique sounds are part of the Olympic experience. And it's one man's job to make sure we hear them clearly: Dennis Baxter, the official sound engineer for the Olympics. He's been at it since 1996.

The 1900 Olympic Games in Paris hosted what was surely the weirdest and most bizarre Olympic event of all time: live pigeon shooting.

The winner was Leon de Lunden of Belgium, who bagged 21 of the 300 birds that were released to the gun-toting competitors. Perhaps the sight of all those gory feathers fluttering down from the Olympic sky was too horrible for the audience and the organizers; the event never returned.

Ryan Lochte won the gold medal in the men's 400-meter individual medley Saturday, beating Michael Phelps and the rest of a talented field at the London 2012 Olympics.

Lochte finished with a time of 4:05.18, beating Brazil's Thiago Pereira (4:08.86) and Japan's Kosuke Hagino (4:08.94). Phelps was fourth, at 4:09.28. Lochte sprang to an early lead in the butterfly, and solidified it with his backstroke.

The victory wasn't a surprise to Lochte, who said that he knew he was in good shape coming into the London Games. Still, the win seemed to take a while to sink in.

On the first day of full competition in the London 2012 Summer Olympics, Team USA won its first medal of the games, as the men's archery team took silver in a tense final against Italy. The Americans reached the final after stunning the highly regarded South Korean team in a comeback win earlier in the day.

Italy won on its last arrow, when a score of eight would have meant a loss and a ten a gold. The arrow hit the line between the 9 and 10 — and in archery, that meant 10 points, and the gold medal.

We already know Spain doesn't expect to win gold for its Olympic athletic uniforms this year. But who "won" the fashion event at the opening ceremony for the London Games? In the parade of athletes during last night's ceremony, several outfits screamed for attention.

The London Olympics are in full swing, after an opening ceremony Friday that was chock-full of historic and cultural imagery drawn from Britain's past. Critics are gushing over Queen Elizabeth's role in the spectacle — along with James Bond. But there is room for debate — especially among viewers here in the U.S.

Good morning. Here's a rundown of what's been happening in and around London, on the morning after the Summer Olympics' opening ceremony:

- U.S. swimmer Dana Vollmer set new Olympic and U.S. records in her 100m butterfly qualifying heat this morning. Vollmer, of Granbury, Texas, had a time of 56.25 seconds. She says she can go faster.

- The first medals have now been awarded in the London 2012 Olympics, with China's Yi Siling winning gold in the 10-meter air rifle shooting competition. Poland took silver, and China took bronze, as well.

Here's what Danny Boyle got right in his raucous and riotous opening ceremony extravaganza for the London Olympics. In sharp contrast to the militaristic precision of Beijing's spectacular 2008 effort, Boyle brought wonder and whimsy and wit to the proceedings, without skimping on any of the patriotic touch points that are a must at any Olympic opening ceremony.

As we've reported, there were no public events on the Olympic sporting schedule today, the day of the opening ceremony. But we must note that two world records were set at the London 2012 Games this morning. That's when South Korean archer Im Dong-hyun scored a record 699 points.

Queen Elizabeth II declared the London Games open. The Olympic cauldron is lit.

It came after a staggering and cinematic opening ceremony that celebrated all aspects of British life — from its bucolic beginnings to the industrial revolution to modern-day Britain.

The London 2012 Summer Games are set to begin in earnest, with today's opening ceremony kicking off a weekend of gold-medal competitions. But if you're in America and you hope to watch the Opening Ceremony live, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed: NBC is tape-delaying its broadcast until Friday night.

Ben Gibbard, the man behind indie rock darlings Death Cab for Cutie, has been a Seattle Mariners fan since he was five-years-old, and is such an Ichiro Suzuki devotee he wrote a song about the outfielder.

U.S.gymnast McKayla Maroney will compete in the London Summer Games, despite the lingering effects of a broken toe. Maroney, a gold medal contender, is the reigning world champion in the vault. Early reports suggested that Maroney broke her toe in London. But it appears that she merely tweaked an earlier injury.

On Twitter, NBC producer Alexa Ainsworth clarified that Maroney's toe "was broken before Classic and she just aggravated that here."

Place All Metal Objects In The Tray, Please... Oh, Hi Kobe!

Jul 27, 2012

We ran into USA Men's basketball at the security sweep today. Yes, even big-time basketball players and coaches must suffer the indignity of the magnetometer. We were all making our way through security into the Main Press Center, where the team was about to meet journalists.

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo, coach Mike Krzyzewski and much of the rest of the team seemed to have little trouble getting screened. Assistant coach Nate McMillan may have forgotten to empty his pockets, because he got the pat-down.