London 2012 – Day 5: Golden Girls

UPDATE (8/9/12):  CONGRATULATIONS TO Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jenkins on your third consecutive Olympic gold medal! Quite the impressive feat for such a duo – there will probably never be this level of success again.  May-Walsh conclude their time together as Misty May-Treanor will retire, ending her competitive career.  May-Walsh finish their Olympic dream together undefeated in 21 matches and only losing 1 set out of 43. That’s called domination.

American beach volleyball powerhouses Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jenkins continued their court dominance today by defeating Austria’s Schwaiger sisters in three sets.  However, the Schwaiger sisters defeated May/Walsh in the first set 21-17, handing the two-time defending Olympic champions their first set loss ever in Olympic history – to that point, May/Walsh had been 32-0 in Olympic sets.  The loss rallied the Americans to win the second set by a dominating 21-8.  From there, it was academic that May/Walsh would continue moving their match record forward to “USA” chants.  They now have an undefeated Olympic match streak of 17-0 as they continue their quest for their third consecutive Olympic title.

Nathan Adrian

Beach volleyball wasn’t the only event boasting an expectation.  Australia’s “Missile” James Magnussen was favored to win the Men’s 100 meter freestyle final, and he would have had he not been out-touched by American swimmer Nathan Adrian by 0.01 seconds!  Adrian established a new world record while claiming his first individual Olympic medal!  Adrian wasn’t the only record breaker tonight, Hungarian swimmer Daniel Gyurta aimed his sights in the 200 meter Breaststroke.  London 2012 marked Gyurta’s third Olympic appearance in the event.  In 2008, he took home the silver medal, but tonight, he returned to the games to claim gold and establish a new world record.  Gyurta finished ahead of Britain’s Michael Jamieson and Japan’s Ryo Tateishi.

The Olympic waters remained active throughout the entire day as they saw both Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps qualify for final events, one of which provides another showdown between Lochte and Phelps on Thursday, the 200 meter IM.  American swimmer Rebecca Soni set a new world record in the semi-finals of the women’s 200 meter Breaststroke.  And the American swimmers just kept the records coming the 4 x 200 meter relay, where Team USA delivered a new world record and claimed Olympic gold as they defeated a strong Australian team and a distant  French team.  Finally, the Chinese claimed their fourth diving medal over Russia and the United States in the Men’s synchronized 3 meter platform.  Unfortunately, one of my favorite Olympians, Canada’s Alexandre Despatie failed to medal, but American Troy Dumais experienced something different entirely.  These games marked Dumais’ fourth Olympic appearance – though, the bronze medal marked his first in the event.

Lastly, the evening presented the final in the men’s gymnastics all-around.  Competing on behalf the the USA were John Orozco and Danell Leyva.  Orozco’s dreams were dashed after a disasterous event where he scored a low 12.  Leyva however, kept his dreams alive heading onto the fifth and sixth apparatuses in seventh place.  Call it fate, or whatever you will, thanks to a few other mistakes by other gymnasts and Leyva’s impressive performances on the parallel and high bars, Leyva claimed the bronze medal.  Third, only to Germany’s Marcel Nguyen and Japan’s Kohei Uchimura – who won gold and remains undefeated after three world championships and now the Olympics.  What a day – and Thursday presents the all-around final for women’s gymnastics, where Americans Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman will compete to repeat the 2008 success of Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson.