Bloomberg News

Phelps Adds 17th Olympic Gold, U.S. Keeps Medal Lead Over China

August 03, 2012

Michael Phelps won his record 17th Olympic gold and two teenaged teammates led another big night for Americans in the pool as the U.S. maintained its supremacy atop the London Games medal standings.

Phelps, 17-year-old Missy Franklin and 15-year-old Katie Ledecky all won races as the U.S. pushed its total to 43 medals, 21 of them gold. China is second with 42 medals, including 20 golds.

Phelps, 27, captured the 100-meter butterfly title in his final individual swimming event, giving him 21 career medals -- also an Olympic record. Phelps, who is swimming in his fourth games and has said he’ll retire after London, will swim his last Olympic race today in the 400-meter medley relay.

“To be able to finish that way, you can’t really finish any better,” Phelps said yesterday of his butterfly win. “I’m very pleased with how everything went.”

Medals will be awarded in 25 Olympic events today, including the women’s 100-meter track and field final in which Jamaicans swept the medals in 2008. In women’s tennis, Wimbledon champion Serena Williams, 30, of the U.S., and French Open winner Maria Sharapova, 25, of Russia, will meet for the singles title. Today is the last day of swimming at the games.

Franklin set a world record in winning the women’s 200- meter backstroke last night in 2 minutes, 4.06 seconds. Ledecky, the youngest American swimming in London, won the 800-meter freestyle in a national record of 8:14.63 as defending champion Rebecca Adlington of Britain placed third.

Ledecky’s Win

“I figured I was going pretty fast,” Ledecky told reporters. “At one point I thought, ‘If I’m going to be close to this record I don’t even care. I just want to get my hand on the wall first.’”

At the 2008 Beijing Games, American swimmers won a total of 31 medals, including 12 golds. In London, the U.S. so far has 28 swimming medals, half of which are gold, with four events remaining.

France’s Florent Manaudou, 21, won the final swimming gold of last night in the men’s 50-meter freestyle.

Roger Federer, 30, of Switzerland, and Andy Murray, 25, of Britain, set up a rematch of their Wimbledon tennis final. Federer defeated Juan Martin del Potro, 23, of Argentina, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 19-17 yesterday in a semifinal that lasted 4 hours, 26 minutes and was the longest tennis match in Olympic history. Murray advanced to the final with a 7-5, 7-5 win against Novak Djokovic, 25, of Serbia.

“Very tough from start to finish,” Federer said. “It was very physical at the end and so mental.”

British Gold

Britain won two golds on the cycling track as Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Steven Burke and Peter Kennaugh broke their own world record in the men’s team pursuit and Victoria Pendleton won the keirin. Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins won the women’s rowing double sculls for the host nation.

New Zealand got rowing golds from Eric Murray and Hamish Bond in the men’s pairs and Mahe Drysdale in the men’s singles sculls, while Germany won the quadruple sculls.

In the first track and field medal of the London Games, defending champion Tomasz Majewski of Poland won the men’s shot put with a final throw of 21.89 meters (71 feet, 10 inches), topping Germany’s David Storl by 0.03 meters. American Reese Hoffa won the bronze medal.

In the women’s 10,000 meters, Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia successfully defended her 2008 title with a time of 30 minutes, 20.75 seconds. Kenyans won the silver and bronze medals, with Sally Jepkosgei Kipyego finishing in 30:26.37 and Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot in 30:30.44.

Saudi Woman

Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani, the first Saudi Arabian woman to compete at an Olympics, lost to Melissa Mojica of Puerto Rico in their 78-kilogram judo match.

Saudi Arabia joined Qatar and Brunei in sending female athletes to London after the three were the only countries not to have any in Beijing in 2008.

“I’m excited and proud to be representing my country,” said Shaherkani, 18. “Hopefully this will be the start of bigger participation for other sports. Hopefully this is the beginning of a new era.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net


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