China Takes First Gold Medal at London Games

China's Yi Siling, center, celebrates winning the gold medal in the women's 10-meter air rifle event, alongside silver medalist Poland's Sylwia Bogacka, left, and bronze medalist China's Yu Dan, right, at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Saturday, JulyChina's Yi Siling, center, celebrates winning the gold medal in the women's 10-meter air rifle event, alongside silver medalist Poland's Sylwia Bogacka, left, and bronze medalist China's Yu Dan, right, at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Saturday, July
x
China's Yi Siling, center, celebrates winning the gold medal in the women's 10-meter air rifle event, alongside silver medalist Poland's Sylwia Bogacka, left, and bronze medalist China's Yu Dan, right, at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Saturday, July
China's Yi Siling, center, celebrates winning the gold medal in the women's 10-meter air rifle event, alongside silver medalist Poland's Sylwia Bogacka, left, and bronze medalist China's Yu Dan, right, at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Saturday, July
Mike Richman
The Summer Olympic Games in London debuted to much excitement Saturday following Friday’s spectacular opening ceremony.

The first gold medal went to China's Yi Siling in the women's 10-meter air rifle competition. Sylwia Bogacka of Poland took silver and Yu Dan of China claimed the bronze.

In a major surprise, American superstar swimmer Michael Phelps qualified for the 400-meter individual medley final later Saturday by only eight-tenths of a second. He trailed Hungarian Laszlo Cseh for most of his heat before out-touching him at the finish.

Phelps' American rival, Ryan Lochte, swam the third-fastest time of the heats.

Phelps has won 16 Olympic medals and needs three to break the all-time record of 18 held by former Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina.

In another stunning development, host Britain upset 2008 Olympic champion China in a qualifying round to take an early lead in men's gymnastics.

  • People photograph the countdown clock at Trafalgar Square in downtown London prior to the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics, July 27, 2012, in London.
  • Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Anne, right, and Prime Minister David Cameron arrive for the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Summer Games at the Olympic Stadium in London, July 27, 2012.
  • Actors perform during the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Summer Games at the Olympic Stadium in London, July 27, 2012.
  • Performers make a circle during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, July 27, 2012, in London.
  • The Olympic rings are illuminated during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, July 27, 2012, in London.
  • The iconic Tower Bridge over the River Thames in central London, decorated with Olympic rings, during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, July 27, 2012, in London.
  • An Olympic athlete is greeted by school children lining the path to Olympic Stadium for the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics, July 27, 2012, in London.
  • Performers depict a view of the Industrial Revolution during the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Summer Games at the Olympic Stadium in London, July 27, 2012.
  • Actors dressed as Mary Poppins perform during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, July 27, 2012, in London.
  • Actors perform in a sequence meant to represent Britain's National Health Service (NHS) perform during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, July 27, 2012, in London.
  • Fireworks light up Tower Bridge during the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics, July 27, 2012, in London.
  • Performers dance during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, July 27, 2012, in London.
  • A person dressed as Queen Elizabeth II parachutes into the Olympic stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Summer Games at the Olympic Stadium in London, July 27, 2012.
  • France's Olympic team arrives during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, July 27, 2012, in London.

Also, an Albanian weightlifter, Hysen Pulaku, became the first athlete ejected from the London Olympics after testing positive for steroids.

Mark Adams of the International Olympic Committee commented on the ejection.

"On the doping, of course, it is always a sad day when a cheating athlete is caught.  I hope there will be no more, but the message we get out of this is that we will catch you.  There are going to be 5,000 tests during this games and all the medalists will be tested so no one can think they will get away and that's a very good, clear message to send. It's disappointing."

Earlier Saturday, police cleared part of central London's Hyde Park after a suspicious package was found near a display sponsored by the Russian government. They later reopened the site, saying the situation had been resolved and there were no safety concerns.

Also Saturday, police said they arrested more than 130 cyclists who took part in a protest near the Olympic Stadium during Friday's opening ceremony.

Authorities said the protesters ignored warnings not to enter the Olympic route.

More than 10,000 athletes in 26 sports are competing in the London Oympics, which run through August 12.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs