Olympic roundup: U.S. stuns Argentina in field hockey — again

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 1 2012 12:09 a.m. MDT

The United States' Shannon Taylor, right, is embraced by teammates after scoring the lone goal against Argentina.

Associated Press

LONDON — From the moment the U.S. women's field hockey team earned an Olympic berth with a stunning upset over Argentina in the Pan American Games last year, U.S. coach Lee Bodimeade has worried his team would pay for it here.

The powerhouse Argentine team had not lost a game in the Pan Americans in the past 25 years. To lose to the United States — a squad that had never beaten them in major competition — was considered a humiliation by both the Argentine players and their rabid fan base.

"We've probably smacked the hornets' nest by beating them," Bodimeade said at the beginning of the Olympic tournament.

Those fears, to nearly everyone's surprise, did not come to fruition during an early-round match between the two countries Tuesday at Riverbank Arena.

Instead, the United States stung No. 2-ranked Argentina 1-0, marking the first time the Americans had defeated their longtime rivals in Olympic competition. The win, which came courtesy of a first-half goal from striker Shannon Taylor, also gave the U.S. team a crucial three points in pool play after dropping its first match to Germany on Sunday.

Far from disturbing the hornets' nest, the Pan-Am victory may have given the Americans an immeasurable boost heading into these Olympics.

"I think that gave us a lot of belief. We felt we could now compete at the highest level," Bodimeade said after the game. "We know that we are very fortunate to play against (Argentina). We are privileged to be able to learn from them and fortunate to get such exposure."

The American players tried to downplay the victory's overall significance, describing the game as just one of five in pool play. The team's history, world ranking and Olympic history, however, would suggest otherwise.

Since winning the bronze medal in 1984, the U.S. field hockey team only has qualified for four of the last seven summer Games. They are currently the No. 10 team in the world, a ranking boosted by their performance at the Pan American Games.

Netherlands, New Zealand, Britain and Australia also won. China and Belgium played to a scoreless tie.

The rest of the Olympic action Tuesday:

JUDO: A female judo fighter from Saudi Arabia was cleared to wear a form of headscarf in the Olympics after a compromise was reached that respects the "cultural sensitivity" of the Muslim kingdom.

Judo officials had said they would not let Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani compete in a headscarf because it was against the principles of the sport and raised safety concerns. But an agreement was reached after several days of IOC-brokered talks between the International Judo Federation and the Saudi Olympic Committee, allowing her to compete Friday in the heavyweight division.

"They have a solution that works for both parties, all parties involved," International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said. "The athlete will compete."

SWIMMING: Olympic officials defended Chinese teen swimmer Ye Shiwen against whispers of doping after she won the 400-meter individual medley Saturday in world-record time — and she made her own statement by winning another gold medal in the 200 IM on Tuesday night.

The 16-year-old clocked 2:07.57 to shave 0.18 off her own mark set in Monday's semifinal — good enough for an Olympic record and her second gold medal in London.

Ye had closed the 400 with a lap of 28.93 seconds — faster than the 29.10 Lochte posted in the last 50 of the men's race. Ye's time was 4:28.43, more than a second faster than the previous world record set by Australia's Stephanie Rice at the 2008 Beijing Games in a now-banned bodysuit.

EQUESTRIAN: Zara Phillips gave the royal family plenty to cheer about, helping team Britain to a second-place equestrian finish behind Germany. Princes William and Harry and William's wife, Kate, were in the stands to watch their cousin as she competed in the show jumping final portion of Olympic eventing.

Phillips' mother, Princess Anne, watched as well — then presented her daughter and the rest of the winners with their medals at the ceremony before horses and riders took a thunderous group victory lap around the Greenwich Park stadium.

TENNIS: Andy Roddick spent less than an hour on the court during an emphatic loss to Novak Djokovic. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga needed a much longer run to advance against Milos Raonic.

Roddick lost 6-2, 6-1 to Djokovic in 54 minutes, leaving the 29-year-old American to fend off more questions about retirement.

Tsonga of France moved on by winning the longest set in Olympic history. He beat Raonic of Canada 6-3, 3-6, 25-23. The final set lasted three hours and 257 points.

Andy Murray, Marcos Baghdatis and Kei Nishikori also won on the men's side. Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams were among the winners in the women's tournament.

VOLLEYBALL: Clay Stanley scored 16 points and the U.S. men's team improved to 2-0 in preliminary pool play with a three-set victory over Germany.

Matt Anderson added 15 points in the 25-23, 25-16, 25-20 win for the defending Olympic champions. The Germans were led by Georg Grozer with 12.

Serbia, Bulgaria and Italy each won in four sets.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Americans Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser rallied for a 19-21, 21-16, 15-13 victory against Spain and remain unbeaten in the preliminary round of the beach volleyball tournament.

Defending world champions and top-seeded Emanuel and Alison of Brazil also won, beating Switzerland.

On the women's side, Americans April Ross and Jennifer Kessy needed three sets to beat the Netherlands 21-15, 21-12, 15-8.

WATER POLO: Ryan Bailey and Peter Varellas scored three goals apiece and the United States recovered from a slow start to beat Romania 10-8 in the men's tournament.

The U.S., which took silver four years ago in Beijing, and gold medal-favorite Serbia are tied for the Group B lead with four points apiece after two matches. Serbia beat host Britain 21-7.

SOCCER: The United States clinched first place in its group in women's soccer with a 1-0 win over North Korea.

Abby Wambach scored in the 25th minute for her 141st international goal and third of the tournament. Wambach and Co. then celebrated by coercing goaltender Hope Solo to get on the ground and do "the worm."

Nearly 30,000 attended the first women's soccer game played in 23 years at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United.

SHOOTING: Vincent Hancock is putting together quite the Olympic resume. The 23-year-old U.S. Army sergeant is a two-time champion in men's skeet shooting after he successfully defended his crown with a score of 148 in London.

BOXING: Carlos Suarez was upset with the scoring after he dropped a 16-6 decision to Turkey's Ferhat Pehlivan.

Five ringside judges decided the awkward Pehlivan — who probably slipped and fell to the canvas more than a dozen times during the bout — landed more scoring punches.

SAILING: Ben Ainslie is still chasing Denmark's Jonas Hoegh-Christensen in the Finn class.

Hoegh-Christensen finished first and second in a pair of races for a 10-point lead over Ainslie after six races. Britain's Ainslie had finishes of 4-3 as the 24-boat fleet sailed in winds that reached 17 knots.

Ainslie is trying to win his fourth straight gold medal and fifth games medal overall.

DIVING: Chen Ruolin and Wang Hao led China to its third diving gold in London, this one off the big tower in women's 10-meter synchronized diving. China won going away with 368.40 points, and the country is nearly halfway to its goal of sweeping the eight diving events.

ROWING: Alan Campbell of Britain qualified fastest for the semifinals of the men's single sculls, providing another boost for the host nation at the Olympic regatta.

Campbell crossed in 6 minutes, 52.10 seconds in the first quarterfinal to beat the times of fellow winners Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand, Lassi Karonen of Sweden and Ondrej Synek, the pre-regatta favorite from the Czech Republic.

HANDBALL: Defending Olympic champion France moved to the top of Group A in men's handball after a 32-20 win over Argentina.

TABLE TENNIS: Favorites Ding Ning and Li Xiaoxia each won to set up an all-Chinese final in women's table tennis.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS