U.S. wins gold, silver in women’s all-around

Olympics Day 7 - Artistic Gymnastics
Nastia Liukin of the United States won the individual all-around artistic gymnastics final on Aug. 15.Julian Finney / Getty Images
/ Source: msnbc.com news services

Nastia Liukin of the United States won the gold medal in women’s gymnastics Friday, beating teammate and friend Shawn Johnson.

Liukin, whose father was a double gold medalist for the Soviet Union 20 years ago, finished with 63.325 points, more than a half-point ahead of Johnson, the reigning world champion. Johnson finished with 62.725. Yang Yilin of China won the bronze medal.

Liukin and Johnson have been friendly rivals the last two years, with Johnson winning almost everything. But Liukin came through when it counted, and is now an Olympic champion.

This is the first time the United States has claimed the gold and silver in the women's all-around.

American swimmer Michael Phelps blew away the competition in the 200-meter IM on Friday, leading in all four legs to finish in a world-record time of 1 minute, 54.23 seconds to win his sixth gold of the Beijing Olympics.

Laszlo Cseh of Hungary took the silver in 1:56.52, his third runner-up finish to Phelps in these games. Phelps’ teammate Ryan Lochte earned the bronze in 1:56.53, just 29 minutes after he upset defending champion Aaron Peirsol, also of the United States, to win the 200 back in yet another world-record time. Peirsol earned the silver.

In a surprise win, U.S. swimmer Rebecca Soni claimed the gold medal in the 200-meter breaststroke in a world-record time of 2:20.22.

Just minutes after winning the 200 meter, Phelps qualified second-fastest for the 100-meter butterfly.

Track and field
Defending world champion Tyson Gay finished his quarterfinal race in 10.09 seconds, second behind NCAA champion Richard Thompson of Trinidad, to advance easily to the final 16 in track and field’s glamour race.

“I feel pretty good. It felt pretty relaxed,” Gay said when finally persuaded to stop just for a second to offer an update. “I just wanted to make it through.”

He did, and so did world record-holder Usain Bolt and fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell, keeping alive a potential dream final matching the three men with the eight fastest times in history.

The first medals of the meet were to come at night, with Americans expected to sweep the men’s shotput. The women’s 10,000 meters also was to be decided.

Natasha Kai headed in an extra-time goal, giving the defending Olympic champion United States a spot in the Olympic women's soccer semifinal with a 2-1 victory over Canada.

The win sets up a rematch of the 2007 World Cup semifinal in which the Americans suffered their only loss under then-coach Greg Ryan. Under present coach Pia Sundhage, the United States has only lost once: a 2-0 defeat by Norway in the United States' preliminary round opener on Aug. 8.

Angela Hucles gave the Americans a 12th-minute lead with a goal from in close at Shanghai's Olympic Stadium on Friday.

But Christine Sinclair countered in the 30th for Canada with a powerful 25-yard shot.

The game was suspended for one hour and 40 minutes during the
first half because of lightning.

Brazil defeated Norway 2-1 earlier today in Tianjin on goals by Daniela and 2007 FIFA Women's Player of the Year Marta.

The United States, playing under former Chinese player Jenny Lang Ping, defeated China 3-2 in women's volleyball Friday night as the Chinese president looked on.

The 23-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-20, 15-11 victory moved the United States to 3-2 in preliminary pool play, putting the team in a good place to make the quarterfinals. China fell to 2-2.

The match was one of the most anticipated of the volleyball competition because of U.S. coach Lang, a sports icon in China. She led the Chinese team to international prominence and a gold medal in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and later coached the national team.

Once known as the "Iron Hammer" for her powerful spikes, Lang was met by thunderous applause when she was announced.

Chinese President Hu Jintau attended the match.

Turns out, the U.S. women are as dominant as ever.

First they set an Olympic record with four homers in a 7-0 victory over Japan. Then they resumed a rain-stopped game against Canada, trailing 1-0. After being five outs from losing, they wound up winning by the lopsided score of 8-1.

The Americans broke the game open with four runs in the sixth, helped by two errors by Canadian shortstop Jennifer Salling, and a wild pitch and hit batter by Canada’s Dione Meier.

Tina Thompson scores nine of her 17 points in a decisive third quarter run and the U.S. women's basketball team pulls away from Spain 93-55 in a sloppy game Friday night.

The U.S. had won its first three games by an average of 47 points, putting the game away by the half in all the victories. On Friday night, the Americans struggled to get past Spain turning the ball over a tournament-high 19 times.

With the victory the Americans clinch the top spot in the pool. They will finish out pool play Sunday against New Zealand.

Amaya Valdemoro led Spain with 17 points.

Australia remains a force, with Lauren Jackson scoring 30 points in a 96-73 win over Latvia that keeps the Opals a perfect 4-0. Next up is a game Sunday against Russia, also 4-0, for the top spot in the pool. The Russians remained perfect but were a bit sloppy in a 74-64 victory over winless Brazil.

In other games Friday, the Czech Republic beat New Zealand 90-59 to clinch a berth in the quarterfinals.

An American won’t win the men’s singles title. James Blake, the last hope left, lost to Fernando Gonzalez. The Chilean blew four match points before winning 6-4, 5-7, 11-9, to advance to the gold-medal match. He’ll play the winner of the other semifinal, between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokavic.

Roger Federer and the Williams sisters, who lost their shot at the singles title Thursday, all advanced in doubles.

Federer and fellow Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka beat Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi of India to get into the semifinals, finishing a match that was suspended at 1:15 a.m. because of rain and resumed 15 hours later.

Venus and Serena Williams also completed a suspended second-round doubles match and beat Ayumi Morita and Ai Sugiyama of Japan, 7-5, 6-2.

The U.S. baseball team is in trouble. They fell to 1-2, lost a key player to an injury and have angered the mighty Cubans by accusing them of dirty play after losing to them 5-4 in 11 innings.

In their first game under a wacky extra-inning format — from the 11th on, teams automatically get runners on first and second and can start anywhere in the batting order — the Americans gave up two runs in the top of the inning, then fell one shy in the bottom. The last at-bat started with Jayson Nix squaring to bunt and fouling the pitch off his left eye. However, U.S. manager Davey Johnson thought Cuban’s Pedro Lazo was throwing at Nix’s head.

“No game of baseball is worth that,” Johnson said. “In my wildest imagination I didn’t think they’d throw right at my player’s coconut.”

Said Cuban manager Antonio Pacheco: “It was a lack of respect on the part of the American coach to say that. The Cuban team respects the game and respects our opponents and is incapable of doing that.”

The other early game was the first to invoke the new extra-inning rule. China won it 8-7 over Taiwan in 12 innings.

Beach volleyball
Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh won their 105th straight match when they took down Belgium's Liesbet Van Breedam and Liesbeth Mouha 24-22, 21-10 to advance to the quarterfinals.

The Associated Press and NBCOlympics.com contributed to this report.