Several from Pac-12 go for gold Saturday
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The Pac-12 did not earn any medals today, but several Conference athletes have positioned themselves to claim them on Saturday, including top-seeded doubles partners Mike and Bob Bryan, and distance swimmer Ous Mellouli who looks to defend gold.
American brothers Bob and Mike Bryan (STAN) go for gold on Saturday after five days of tennis competition. The top-seeded duo take on France's Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilifried Tsonga in the gold-medal match of the doubles competition.
The final day of swimming and rowing are also slated for tomorrow, with five swimmers boasting Pac-12 affiliation having the opportunity to medal in three races. Among those racing is former USC All-American and Tunisia's Ous Mellouli looking to defend his Olympic gold medal in the 1,500-meter race.
In women's water polo, the U.S., stacked with 12 players with Pac-12 ties, head into the medal round as the second-place team out of Group A. Though tied in the standings with five points with Spain, the Spanish squad got the edge because of goal differential. Because seven of the eight women's water polo teams at the Olympics have league representatives on their roster, all women's water polo matches will feature a Pac-12 athlete. Bracket play begins in Sunday, Aug. 5.
After the first full week of Olympic competition, the Pac-12's medal count stands at 16 - 6 gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze. If the Conference was a nation, it would rank tied for eighth with Korea in total medals. The United States leads all nations in the medal count with 43.
Pac-12 Guide to Day 8 of the Olympics (Saturday, August 4, 2012)
Track & Field (Athletics, M/W)
• Canada's Brianne Theisen (ORE) is in 15th place overall after the first day of the heptathlon competition, collecting 3,763 points for 15th place. Three of her four marks today ranked in the top 10 of the field. The heptathlon concludes on Saturday.
• USA's Allison Felix (USC) will compete in the heats of the 100-meter sprint, looking to qualify for the finals just over two hours later.
• The Pac-12 will have a pair of representatives in the men's 10,000-meter run, the final track & field event of the day. Dathan Ritzenhein (COLO) and Galen Rupp (ORE) will line up at the start for the U.S. team.
• The U.S. looks to build on its record-breaking night as it takes on Lithuania in its penultimate group-stage game. The Americans, who have four players and a trainer with Pac-12 ties, can clinch the top seed in Group A with a win and an Argentina loss, while Lithuania can secure a spot in the knockout stage with a win and a Nigeria loss.
• Former California center Max Zhang and China look to stave off elimination as they square off against Brazil in group play. The Chinese need a win to stay in medal contention, while Brazil battles for position among the top-four teams in Group B.
• Ike Diogu (ASU) and Nigeria look to bounce back after a flat performance against the Americans as they take the court against Argentina. Nigeria is still looking for its first win of the competition, while the Argentinians have suffered just one loss in group play.
• Host Great Britain takes on Australia with both teams vying for the fourth spot in the Group A standings. The top-four seeds in each group advance to the knockout stage of the tournament. Great Britain's Eric Boateng played his college ball at Arizona State and Australia's Aaron Baynes played collegiately at Washington State.
• The U.S.'s Jake Gibb (UTAH) and partner Sean Rosenthal compete against Russian duo Sergey Prokopyev and Konstantin Semenov in the round of 16. Gibb and Rosenthal are the favorites in the match as the fourth seed overall in the tournament.
• American star Kerri Walsh Jennings (STAN) and partner Misty May-Treanor take on Marleen van Iersel and Sanne Keizer from the Netherlands in the first round of elimination play. The American duo enter elimination play ranked third, while the Netherlands' team is ranked ninth.
• Jennie Reed (WASH) and the U.S. foursome take on Australia in the first-round of the women's team pursuit event. Both teams are looking to move on to the finals later that day.
• USA's Cassidy Krug (STAN), with her mentor USA assistant coach Rick Schavone (STAN), advanced to the semifinal of the women's 3-meter springboard. The top placers go on to the finals competition on Sunday.
• Rich Feller (OSU) competes in the qualifying round of the individual jumping and team jumping events. In the team competition, he and three of his American teammates look to score enough points to move on to round one.
• On the final day of the rowing, which spanned over a week, American Scott Gault (WASH) and his teammates will be racing in the men's four. The men's four will be the final rowing medals distributed of the Olympic games.
• A Pac-12 swimmer will be competing in the each of the final four swimming races of the London Olympic Games. The final day begins with the women's 50-meter freestyle race where the U.S.'s Jessica Hardy (CAL) will be going for her first individual medal, after helping the 4x100-meter relay team capture a bronze.
• Tunisia's Ous Mellouli (USC) is the reigning Olympic and World Champion at the 1,500-meter distance. He will look to defend his medal in the final on Saturday.
• Hardy (CAL) and US teammate Rachel Bootsma (CAL) helped the 4x100-meter medley relay team qualify for the finals and could race again, this time for a medal.
• USA's Nick Thoman (ARIZ), coming off capturing a silver medal in the 100-meter backstroke, competed in the qualifying heat of the men's 4x100-meter medley relay squad. The men's 4x100-meter medley is the final swimming event at the Aquatics Centre.
• Mike and Bob Bryan (STAN) hope to claim gold for the United States. The duo play in the gold medal match of the doubles competition against France's Michael Llodra and Jo-Willifried Tsonga. The teams are seeded No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. The twin brothers hope to improve upon a bronze medal won at the Beijing Games.
• The U.S. team is the only undefeated team in Group A, boasting a 3-0 record. With Donald Suxho (USC) and a pair of assistant coaches with Pac-12 ties on the roster, they look to preserve their unblemished record against Russia.
Men's Water Polo
• Australia faces unbeaten Croatia in group play. Australia (1-2) trails Italy by one point for the fourth and final advancing seed in Group A. Trojans James Clark and Joel Dennerley are on the Australian squad.
• The United States, which has a bevvy of players and an assistant coach with Pac-12 ties, tangle with Aleksa Saponjic (California) and Serbia in a battle for Group B supremacy. The winner puts itself in favorable position to win the group with one match remaining.
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
Ariana Kukors (WASH), USA Swimming // @ArianaKukors
"Packing is proving to be a challenge : / too much stuff and not enough bags!! #London2012 can't believe tomorrow is the last swim session : ("
Dana Vollmer (CAL), USA Swimming // @danavollmer
"Saved the best for last... the 4x100 medley relay tomorrow night!! It's going to be amazing! let's go ladies! #toughchics #fb"
Andrew Wheating (ORE), USA Track & Field // @AndrewWheating
"Ugly and stressful way to make a semifinal, but hey, I made it. Let's consider this a kickstart, on to the next one!!"
Brad Walker (WASH), USA Track & Field // @SkyWalkerPV
"Didn't make it to the track for the shot final, had too good a view on the bean bag chair in the lounge. Big congrats to Reese Hoffa!!"
Kelley O'Hara (STAN), USA Soccer // @kohara19
"I love this team! I love 'Merica! We are on to the semis!! #olympics"
James Harden (ASU), USA Basketball // @JHarden13
"My iPad game just stepped up. Movies Music and TV shows!!!!! I'm hyped. LOL"
Jenny Simpson (COLO), USA Track & Field // @trackjenny
"Toured Olympic Stadium yesterday and last night I couldn't sleep! Getting ready to put my best out there starting Monday. Prayers please : )"
Will Crothers (WASH), Canada Rowing // @willcrothers
"On the bus to Canadian Olympics House with the silver medalists from Canada's men's and women's eights! #thesilvereighteen"