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Olympic Games Shock Crowds Another Day


Russian gymnast Aliya Mustafina displays the gold medal for her performance on the uneven bars during the artistic gymnastics women's apparatus finals at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Aug. 6, 2012, in London.

Russian gymnast Aliya Mustafina displays the gold medal for her performance on the uneven bars during the artistic gymnastics women's apparatus finals at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Aug. 6, 2012, in London.

The 2012 Olympics have been filled with upsets, and Monday was no exception.

U.S. teenage gymnast Gabby Douglas was competing for her third Olympic gold medal in the women's uneven bars, after winning gold in the team competition and the individual all-around. But Russia's Aliya Mustafina won the gold, and Douglas, to much surprise, finished last in the event.

Brazil's Arthur Nabarrete Zanetti won gold in the men's rings final, besting China's Yibing Chen, who finished second, and Italy's Matteo Morandi, who placed third.

South Korea's Hak Seon Yang placed first in the men's vault, ahead of Denis Ablyazin at second and Ukraine's Igor Radivilov at third.

Vaulter Denied Triple Olympic Gold

On the track, Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva had hoped to be the first female track and field athlete to win three individual Olympic titles in three successive games. But this time it was an American who caused the upset, as Jenn Suhr's gold medal vaulting dashed the dreams of the Russian, who had to settle for bronze.

In the men's 400 meter hurdles, Dominican Republic's Felix Sanchez blew by his competition, winning with a time of 47.63 seconds.

A day after Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt successfully defended his 100 meter title and set a new Olympic record at 9.63 seconds, the man suspected of throwing a bottle on the track seconds before the race's start pleaded "not guilty" in court.

The race finalists said the bottle-throwing incident did not affect their performance Sunday night.

Dutch judo athlete Edith Bosch was sitting near the man during the disturbance.

"Then at the moment the shot was given, the guy threw the bottle into the track and I was like flabbergasted and angry and the thing I did, I pushed him away hard and I said, 'Dude, are you crazy?'' Bosch said.

The suspect, Brit Ashley Gill-Webb, was granted conditional bail and is set to appear in court in early September.
The suspect, Brit Ashley Gill-Webb, was granted conditional bail and is set to appear in court in early September.

Countries Make Their Mark

The Caribbean region celebrated another historic Olympic milestone Monday when 19-year-old Kirani James of Grenada won the gold medal in the men's 400-meters race, becoming the first athlete from his nation to bring home an Olympic medal. James, the current world champion, also snapped the nearly 30-year domination of the sport by the United States, which had won the last seven Olympic titles.

Cyprus won its first Olympic medal Monday, a silver in men's sailing by Pavlos Kontides.

In the 50-meter rifle three position event, Italy's Niccolo Campriani placed first, ahead of South Korea's Jonghyun Kim at second and America's Matt Emmons at third.

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Nothing But Net

Meanwhile, the U.S. basketball team, which barely won its game against Lithuania last week, beat Argentina 126-97.

The U.S. and Japan will play in the gold medal match of women's soccer, after beating Canada and France respectively.

The Olympic games still have days to go, but U.S. sensation Michael Phelps told reporters he already is looking forward to his retirement.

“I don't have any fears about the sort of next stage of my life. This is something that is going to be enjoyable," Phelps said. "I've swam for 20 years and I've been able to put my mind to something and achieve everything I ever wanted, and there are a lot of goals that I have, and I have the confidence now that I can achieve anything I put my mind to.”

Phelps won gold in his last Olympic race Saturday as part of the U.S. 4 x 100 meter medley relay team. He is the most decorated Olympian in history, with 22 medals, including 18 golds.

After Monday's events, China leads the overall medal count for the 2012 London Olympics after with 64, including 31 gold. A close second is the United States with 63 medals including 29 gold. Russia has overtaken Britain for third in the medal race, with 42 including seven gold.
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    Carla Babb

    Carla is VOA's Pentagon correspondent covering defense and international security issues. Her datelines include Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Korea.

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