Former Trojan wins gold in London
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The Dominican Republic's Felix Sanchez was the first Pac-12 athlete to win gold in a track and field event, crossing the finish line first in the 400-meter hurdles in London. It is the 10th gold medal for Pac-12-affiliated athletes at the London Games. That would rank fifth among all countries if the Conference were a nation.
Felix Sanchez (USC) won his second-career gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles, eight years after winning the event the first time. He ran the race in London in a season-best 47.63 seconds to stand atop the medal podium.
After 10 days of Olympic competition, the Pac-12's medal count stands at 26 - 10 gold, seven silver and nine bronze. If the Conference was a nation, it would tie for sixth with France in total medals. China leads all nations in the medal count with 64, followed by the U.S. with 63.
Pac-12 Guide to Day 11 of the Olympics (Tuesday, August 7, 2012)
Track & Field (Athletics, M/W)
• In the men's high jump, former Trojan Jesse Williams placed third in his group to advance to the finals on Tuesday while competing for the U.S.
• The U.S.'s Dawn Harper (UCLA) will be looking for an Olympic gold-medal repeat in the women's 100-meter hurdles. However, she will first have to get through the first heat and advance to the finals later in the day if she wants another shot at the medal.
• In the 1,500-meter race, USA's Matthew Centrowitz (ORE) advanced to the final. He ran a season-best 3:34.90 in the qualifying heat to advance. He is competing in his first Olympics.
• Canada takes on Group A-winner United States in the round of 16. The Canadians, with a trio of Utes in Kim Smith, Shona Thorburn and Michelle Plouffe, qualified as the fourth seed in Group B. The U.S. rolled through the group stage, compiling a 5-0 record, outscoring its opponents by 36.6 points per game.
• USA's Jennifer Kessy and April Ross (USC) face their toughest match of the Olympics in the semifinal as they face Brazil's undefeated duo of Juliana Silva and Larissa Franca. Kessy and Ross had a thrilling two-set win against the Czech Republics' Marketa Slukova and Kristyna Kolocova in the quarterfinals, in which the first set was a back-and-forth battle and eventually decided by a score of 25-23. The American pair won the second set, 21-18.
• The other American team of Kerri Walsh (STAN) and partner Misty May-Treanor challenge the Chinese team of Chen Xue and Xi Zhang who enter the semifinals with one loss in the match play. The U.S. pair have dominated in the tournament, dropping just one set in London.
• Canada's Joseph Veloce (USC) makes his Olympic debut in the first round of the men's keirin at the Velodrome. Cyclists have to get through two rounds of qualifying before reaching the medal round.
• USA's Mariya Koroleva (STAN) and teammate Mary Killman qualified for the next round of the women's duets competition. The duo are in 10th place heading into the final.
• The United States, with eight members hailing from Pac-12 institutions, enter the elimination stage of the tournament, taking on the Dominican Republic in the quarterfinal round. The Americans collected a maximum 15 points, going 5-0, while the Dominican Republic just escaped match play as they lost three of the five matches and placed fourth in Group B. The U.S.'s Foluke Akrinradewo (STAN) is the tournament leader in blocks, averaging 1.06 bps.
Women's Water Polo
• The United States, which has 12 players with Pac-12 ties, faces Australia in the semifinals of the women's water polo competition. Both teams finished atop their respective groups in the preliminary round. The U.S. dispatched Italy, 9-6, in the quarterfinals, while the Australians won a 20-18 decision over China. The USA's Maggie Steffens (STAN) leads the tournament in shooting percentage, making 12 of 17 shots (70.6 percent) in four games.
• Anna Espar (USC) leads Spain against Rita Kesthelyi (ASU), Flora Bolonyai (USC) and Hungary. Spain topped Hungary, 13-11 in group play, but the Hungarians are coming off of a strong quarterfinals performance against Russia.
• Team captain Sofia Konoukh (USC) and Russia take the pool against Aniko Pelle (USC).
• Sofia Konoukh (USC) and Russia go against host-nation Great Britain in the first of two classification matches tomorrow. The classification matches determine the placings from fifth to eighth. Great Britain looks to earn its first win of the competition, while the Russians look to bounce back after a close loss to Hungary in the semifinals.
• The second classification match features a pair of athletes with Pac-12 roots. Aniko Pelle (USC) and Italy look to snap a three-game losing streak against Gao Ao (ASU) and China, which is winless in four matches. China lost 20-18 in a shootout against Australia in the quarterfinals, while the Italians lost 9-6 to the United States.
Olympic action will be televised on the NBC family of networks and will also be live streamed at nbcolympics.com. For more information on TV listings and times, visit nbcolympics.com. For official results, schedules and medal counts, visit london2012.com.
Today's Tweets from London
Brenda Villa (STAN), USA Water Polo // @brenda4villa
"awwwwww..... USA USA USA USA.... need to go to bed early but I'm getting pumped watching @ussoccer_wnt"
Mariya Koroleva (STAN), USA Synchronized Swimming // @mkoroleva
"Finals are tomorrow! We know we can swim even better than today and end this competition strong. Go MK SQUARED :)"
Ryan Whiting (ASU), USA Track & Field // @RyanWhitingUSA
"Thank you to the people of the UK for being so welcoming during my #London2012 experience! It easily became one of my favorite countries!"
Nathan Adrian (CAL), USA Swimming // @Nathangadrian
"Got to spend some good time with my nephew max today!"
Natalie Coughlin (CAL), USA Swimming // @NatalieCoughlin
"Had some @TodayShow fun today. Walked around the markets & explored London a bit. Love this town!"
Aleksa Saponjic (CAL), Serbia Water Polo // @aleksah2o
"Good luck @alexmorgan12 tonight!! Go bears!"
Emma Coburn (COLO), USA Track & Field // @emmajcoburn
"Clouds are rolling in Some rain tonight would be nice... my feet are wet anyways : )"
Adrienne Martelli (WASH), USA Rowing // @HammerMartelli
"There is a coffee stand 15 feet from my front door at the Olympic Village. What more could I ask for?? #yummy"
Will Crothers (WASH), Canada Rowing // @willcrothers
"Going to hang out at Posh Spices old house today for a BBQ with the Friends and Familys of all my teammates. #livingthedream #spicegirls"
Ryan Hall (STAN), USA Track & Field // @ryannhall3
"So stoked to wake up in London! Ah yeah!!!"
Kerri Walsh (STAN), USA Beach Volleyball // @kerrileewalsh
"2 more matches to win to make our dreams come true. One play, one game, one match at a time. We are feeling good..."