Backstroke golds for American pair at Olympics

By Jay Cohen

Associated Press

Published: Monday, July 30 2012 7:02 p.m. MDT

United States' Abby Wambach lays on the field after suffering from an injury at the hands of Colombia's Lady Andrade during the group G women's soccer match between the United States and Colombia at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, at Hampden Park Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland.

Chris Clark, Associated Press

LONDON — Five things to know about Monday, Day 3 of the London Olympics:

—Franklin, Grevers win backstroke golds for U.S.

—China takes 2nd straight Olympic gold in gymnastics.

—Williams sisters, Federer, Roddick advance at Wimbledon.

—Swiss Olympic team boots soccer player for racist tweet.

—Colombia player suspended for Wambach punch

There was backstroke dominance for the United States and another impressive French performance during another wild night at the Olympic pool.

American teenager Missy Franklin won the women's 100-meter backstroke before Matt Grevers led a 1-2 finish for the U.S. in the same men's race.

Franklin, a 17-year-old from Colorado and best hope for the U.S. program in the post-Michael Phelps era, had a brief 13-minute break after taking the final qualifying spot in the 200 freestyle semifinals before she had to get back into the water for the backstroke final.

No problem.

Australia's Emily Seebohm, the top qualifier, led at the turn and was under world-record pace, but Franklin showed a remarkable finishing kick. With her arms twirling, the 6-foot-1 swimmer passed the Aussie in the final 25 meters and lunged toward the wall for a winning time of 58.33 seconds.

Grevers then produced another rally in the men's 100 backstroke and Nick Thomas made it a 1-2 finish for the Americans, touching for silver in 52.92.

The twin backstroke victories made up for a disappointing performance by U.S. star Ryan Lochte, who faded to fourth in the loaded 200 freestyle — won by France's Yannick Agnel.

The towering Agnel was in front throughout in perhaps the most star-studded race of these games — even without Michael Phelps, who passed up a chance to defend his Olympic title.

Fifteen-year-old Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania got the win in the 100 breaststroke, holding off a late charge from world champion Rebecca Soni of the United States.

The Chinese won their second straight Olympic title in gymnastics and third in four games after a dismal performance in qualifying.

China's score of 275.997 points was more than four points better than Japan, which needed help from a replay to finish second.

Britain initially was announced as the silver medalist, setting off raucous celebrations at the O2 Arena, Princes William and Harry included. The British don't have a proud history in gymnastics, and this was their first men's team medal in a century.

But Japan questioned the score of three-time world champion Kohei Uchimura on pommel horse, the very last routine. While judges huddled around a video screen, the British partied and Uchimura and his teammates sat stone-faced against a wall.

About five minutes later, Uchimura's score was revised, with judges giving him seven-tenths more credit for his dismount. Instead of 13.466, he scored 14.166 — enough to move Japan from fourth to second with a total of 271.952. Britain was bumped down to bronze.

There was a familiar sister act at Wimbledon on Monday, with Serena and Venus Williams each advancing in the singles tournament, then combining for a doubles win.

Other major champions to advance in singles included Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt, top-seeded Victoria Azarenka, Kim Clijsters, Petra Kvitova, Ana Ivanovic and three-time Wimbledon runner-up Andy Roddick.

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