China Wins Two Golds, Tops Olympic Standings

    China's He Zi and Wu Minxia (R) perform their dive during the women's synchronised 3m springboard final at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre July 29, 2012.China's He Zi and Wu Minxia (R) perform their dive during the women's synchronised 3m springboard final at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre July 29, 2012.
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    China's He Zi and Wu Minxia (R) perform their dive during the women's synchronised 3m springboard final at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre July 29, 2012.
    China's He Zi and Wu Minxia (R) perform their dive during the women's synchronised 3m springboard final at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre July 29, 2012.
    China maintained its lead in the gold medal standings after the 2nd day of competition, winning golds in the women's 10-meter air pistol and the women's synchronized three-meter springboard diving competition.  That raised China's gold medal total to six. 

    In second place is the United States, which also won two golds on Sunday, bringing its total to three. 
    American shooter Kimberly Rhode hits her target during the women's skeet shooting competition. (VOA - P. Brewer)American shooter Kimberly Rhode hits her target during the women's skeet shooting competition. (VOA - P. Brewer)
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    American shooter Kimberly Rhode hits her target during the women's skeet shooting competition. (VOA - P. Brewer)
    American shooter Kimberly Rhode hits her target during the women's skeet shooting competition. (VOA - P. Brewer)
    American shooter Kimberly Rhode won the women's skeet competition, making her the first U.S. athlete to win an individual sport medal in five consecutive Olympic Games.

    “It’s overwhelming.  Every emotion is hitting me all at once right now.  I know that when I was on Station 6 [and realized that I had won the gold], it was all I could do to keep from crying.  It was just incredible.  I didn't think it would be an eight-bird [i.e.,  eight clay discs] win.  I thought it would come down to a one- or two-bird win," she said. 
     
    Two world records were broken in the pool.
     
    American swimmer Dana Vollmer took the gold in the women's 100-meter butterfly in a record 55.98 seconds. "It was weird to think about that my gold time was a world record, that no one had done it before, because I felt like I really was fully capable of going that fast.  And I think I just really worked on all the little pieces that create a time that is that fast, working on my start, working on my underwaters, that feel for the water and then having practiced it enough and worked on it enough that when I get up to race all I have to do is race," she said. 
     
    South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh won the men's 100-meter breaststroke in a record 58.46 seconds. 
     
    In the men's 4 x 100-meter freestyle relay, France overtook the United States in the final lap to finish first, avenging a narrow loss to the United States in the same event four years ago in Beijing. 
     
    Also Sunday, North Korea won two golds, its first top medals of the London Games.  An Kum Ae won the women's 52-kilogram judo competition, while Om Yun Chol won gold in the men's 56-kilogram weightlifting event. 
     
    Host country Britain won its first medals of the games, with a silver in the women's cycling road race and a bronze in the women's 400-meter freestyle swimming competition.  The Netherlands took gold in the road race and France won gold in the 400-meter freestyle. 
     
    Other gold medal winners on Sunday included Georgia in the men's 66-kilogram judo competition, Hungary in men's sabre fencing, Kazakhstan in the women's 53-kilogram weightlifting event, and South Korea in women's team archery.
     
    The heavily favored U.S. men's basketball team won its opening match, beating France 98-71.  Both teams include stars from the U.S. professional National Basketball Association. 
     
    In a major surprise, Spain fell out of the men's soccer tournament in the first round.  The World Cup and European football champions lost to Honduras 1-0 in group play, a second consecutive defeat that means Spain cannot advance to the knockout stage.

    Michael Lipin

    Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin
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