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London Olympics roundup: Felix's win among U.S. highlights

By Jay Cohen

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Aug. 9 2012 12:33 a.m. MDT

Liberia's Jangy Addy wins his men's decathlon 100 meter heat during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Associated Press

LONDON — Allyson Felix grinned as she waited for the official results to pop up on the scoreboard. She knew what was coming, and she was going to enjoy this moment.

Olympic champion, at last.

The American sprinter won the 200 meters at the London Games on Wednesday, sparking a strong performance for the United States at Olympic Stadium.

Felix clocked 21.88 seconds to top Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who won the 100 four nights earlier. American Carmelita Jeter added bronze to go with her silver in the 100 meters.

Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown was fourth after defeating Felix in the Athens and Beijing Games. She was trying to become the first woman to win the same individual track and field event in three consecutive Olympics, but she couldn't keep up as Felix pulled away down the stretch.

Aries Merritt then won the 110 hurdles for the U.S., and Brittney Reese claimed the long jump title. Team USA had two of the top three finishers in three of the four medal events at Olympic Stadium. World champion Lashinda Demus was second in the women's 400 hurdles, losing to Russia's Natalya Antyukh.

Usain Bolt and Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake each won their 200 semifinal heats. Bolt is trying to become the first man with two Olympic golds in the 200 meters.

There was more history at Olympic Stadium during the day.

The crowd roared when Sarah Attar was introduced during the morning session, and she responded with a wave, a wide smile and a bit of a chuckle.

This was one extraordinary 800-meter heat.

Covered from head to toe, except for her smiling face poking out from her headscarf, Attar became the first woman from Saudi Arabia to compete in track and field at the Olympics when she clocked 2 minutes, 44.95 seconds in her preliminary race.

"This is such a huge honor and an amazing experience, just to be representing the women," Attar said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I know that this can make a huge difference."

The 19-year-old Attar finished last in her heat. To her, the time wasn't the point.

Her mother is American and her father is Saudi. She has dual citizenship, was born in California and runs track at Pepperdine University near Los Angeles.

Attar wanted to represent Saudi Arabia at the Olympics as a way of inspiring women.

"For women in Saudi Arabia, I think this can really spark something to get more involved in sports, to become more athletic," she said. "Maybe in the next Olympics, we can have a very strong team to come."

The rest of the Olympic action Wednesday:

VOLLEYBALL: The U.S. men's volleyball team got off to a strong start at the London Olympics, but it's headed home without a medal.

The defending Olympic champions lost 28-26, 25-20, 25-20 to Italy in the quarterfinals.

U.S. setter Donald Suxho bent over with his hands on his knees and shook his head as Italy celebrated the win at Earls Court. And after shaking hands with the Italians, the Americans turned to applaud the many U.S. fans in the crowd.

CYCLING — BMX: Two spectacular crashes marred the start of the BMX competition, and time trial world champion Caroline Buchanan of Australia and Raymon van der Biezen of the Netherlands posted the best times of the seeding runs.

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