The United States has scored impressive wins at the Beijing Olympics,
including the return of the women's football (soccer) team to the
pinnacle of international competition. But as VOA's Jim Stevenson
reports, Olympic glory was tempered with heartbreaking losses.
Lloyd scored the only goal Thursday to give the United States the gold
medal in women's football. Following a scoreless game during
regulation time, Lloyd struck in the 96th minute. The U.S. defense
then held off the Brazilian attack for the rest of the two mandatory
15-minute overtime periods.
With the win, the U.S. claims its
third gold medal in women's football and becomes the first nation to
claim consecutive Olympic titles. Also, that gold medal was the 1000th
gold medal in United States Olympic history.
Also golden were
Americans Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, who defended their women's
beach volleyball gold medal by beating a tough Chinese team in the
final. Walsh says these wins are huge for women's sport.
to have these opportunities is historic," she said. "There are so many
amazing athletes. And for Misty and I to be in that category with
these amazing women is huge. We are so grateful for the women who came
before us. We are so happy to be carrying the torch right now for the
women who come after us. But it is a very special time right now."
indoor U.S. women's volleyball team beat Cuba, 3-0 (25-20, 25-16,
26-17). The Americans advance to Saturday's final where they will play
The U.S. women's softball team had won all three
previous Olympic tournaments. But Japan was a 3-1 winner in Beijing to
unseat the Americans as all of the players bid farewell to the sport as
an Olympic event.
A goal by Danielle de Bruijn with 26 seconds
remaining gave the Netherlands a dramatic 9-8 victory over the United
States in the gold medal game of women's water polo. Just before the
medal ceremony, Dutch team assistant Ilse Sindorf said the win has
introduced the sport to many people in her country.
"Most of the people never saw a game before," said Sindorf. "So now it is the first time. And they saw a very good game."
the track, LaShawn Merritt led an American sweep of the medals in the
men's 400-meter dash. Merritt circled the track in a personal best of
"We came into these Olympic Games, everybody
came into the games planning on winning," he said. "We came here to do
big things. But, at the end of the day, I can only control what I do.
I had my mind set that I wanted to go out and run a great race. I have
been training hard. I wanted to be a gold medalist."
was nearly one full second ahead of teammate Jeremy Wariner (44.74).
David Neville won the bronze medal (44.80). The sweep helped to ease
the pain of two baton drops that eliminated both the American men's and
women's relay teams in the opening qualifying heats.
But Cuba is celebrating a win in the men's 110-meter hurdles by Dayron Robles, who spoke through an interpreter after the race.
110-meters hurdles is a really competitive event," he said. "You never
know if you are going to win. I know from the past of hurdlers who
have clipped the last hurdle and they have lost the race. I knew that
I was in good shape coming into this. I also knew my opponents were
very good in terms of shape. So I could not drop my guard."
Campbell-Brown continued the strong showing of Jamaican runners. She
posted a personal best time of 21.74. But Campbell-Brown says
reaching the medal podium has actually been a long and difficult
journey since the last summer games.
"Ever since I ran a 22:05
in 2004, I have been struggling to get my 200-meter [time] back to
where it was," she said. "And I am just thankful to God that this
year, with the help of my coach and my motivation and the people around
me, I was able to get back to where I want to be."
Barbara Spotakova of the Czech Republic had the longest toss in women's javelin at 71 meters, 42 centimeters.
was my dream of course to win the Olympic games," she said. "My dream
was also to throw over 70 meters. I did not expect that I would have
to throw over 70.5 meters to win the Olympic Games. Well,
it is like a miracle for me."
The U.S. women's basketball team
moved to their tournament final with a 67-52 victory over Russia. The
gold medal game on Saturday will be a battle of undefeated teams when
the Americans play Australia, which beat China, 90-56.
leads the official medal standings ranked by golds. The host nation
has 46, along with 15 silver and 22 bronze for a total of 83. The
United States has 95 overall, but only 29 are gold. Britain has 17.