EYES ON LONDON: Bolt wins gold, gestures 'ssshhh'

August 9, 2012 - 5:42 PM

APTOPIX London Olympics Athletics Men

Jamaica's Usain Bolt gestures as he crosses the finish line to win gold in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

LONDON (AP) — Around the 2012 Olympics and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of the games to you:

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A WIN, AND PUSHUPS

It was drop and do a few pushups for Usain Bolt after he took the 200 meters with really only his countryman, Yohan Blake, anywhere close to him.

Bolt, 25, became the first man to win the 100-meter and 200-meter in two successive Olympics; he did the same thing in Beijing four years ago.

Bolt won handily with a time of 19.32 seconds, which didn't beat his own personal — and the world — record for the 200-meter. Still carried by the trajectory of his run, Bolt threw himself onto the track and did a few pushups as the crowd roared and flashbulbs popped by the thousands. Blake, the second-place finisher who pushed toward Bolt for a moment, stood next to him.

Bolt appeared to slow slightly and look to his left at Blake, with a finger to his mouth, as the race ended.

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer

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BOLT WINS 200-METER

No world record for Usain Bolt, but an easy win for the fastest man in the world.

Bolt defended his 200-meter gold medal in Beijing by leading a Jamaican sweep Thursday night. He'd hinted he might have a world record in him, but he seemed to slow at the finish and ran a 19.32. His 19.19 is the world record.

Yohan Blake, who beat him at the Jamaican finals in June, finished second. Warren Weir was third.

Bolt looked over at Blake as he crossed the finish line, and seemed to place his finger over his lips as if to say "shhh."

He then dropped to the ground and did four push-ups. Was it one for each individual gold medal?

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer

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HOPE STANDS TALL

U.S. goalie Hope Solo has been a busy woman in the first half of the gold medal game against Japan.

The Americans led 1-0 at the break thanks to an early goal from Carli Lloyd. But Japan controlled the last 35 minutes by using its speed to create scoring chances.

The Japanese peppered Solo with shots, and she made a brilliant, leaping save of a shot from Yuki Ogimi midway through the half.

When the halftime buzzer sounded, Abby Wambach gave Solo an emphatic high-five, thanking her for keeping Japan off the board.

— Jon Krawczynski — Twitter http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski

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CALLING LONDON

Janis Smedins and Martins Plavins were talking to reporters in the mix zone after winning the men's beach volleyball bronze medal on Thursday night when the secretary general of the Latvian delegation handed Smedins a phone.

It was Andris Berzins, the president of Latvia. He was calling to congratulate the pair on the nation's first medal of the London Games. Smedins spoke for a few minutes before handing the phone to Plavins.

"He said he's so happy," Smedins said. "He wished us all the best in the future."

It's the first beach volleyball medal ever for Latvia.

— Jimmy Golen — Twitter http://twitter.com/jgolen

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US LEADS JAPAN IN SOCCER FINAL

The U.S. women's team is 1-0 up at half-time in the gold medal match against Japan — and it's been a dramatic 45 minutes of end-to-end action.

Carli Lloyd's opened the scoring in the eighth minute of the match, but Japan also has had its chances.

Aya Miyama saw a shot crash back off the crossbar in the 33rd minute, and Shinobu Ohno went just wide five minutes later with a right-footed shot from just outside the area. There were also opportunities for Yuki Ogimi.

Thursday's match is a repeat of last year's World Cup final.

— Joseph White — Twitter http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

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'INVINCIBLE'

Nick Symmonds never thought he'd crack 1 minute, 43 seconds in the 800 meters.

He did, and it wasn't good enough.

The American finished fifth in Thursday night's final, which David Lekuta Rudisha of Kenya won with a world-record time of 1:40.91.

"On one point, I'm crushed and devastated, but on the other, to do something I never thought I'd be humanly capable of, I've got really mixed emotions. I really need a pint right now."

Symmonds ran a career best of 1:42.9.

"To run a personal best at 28 years old, I feel invincible right now even though I don't have a medal around my neck," he said.

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer

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WORLD RECORD

David Lekuta Rudisha of Kenya has set the first world record in a track and field event at the London Games.

Rudisha won the 800 meters in 1 minute, 40.91 seconds. That beat his own world record of 1:41.01, set in 2010.

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer

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SEMENYA ADVANCES

Caster Semenya has advanced to the finals of the 800 meters in her Olympic debut.

The South African was forced three years ago to undergo gender tests. The process sidelined her for almost a year while track and field's governing body decided whether to allow her to compete.

"I'm very happy to get through to the finals," she says. "It was very hard, but I tried my best. I just have to go to my bed."

Semenya carried South Africa's flag at the opening ceremony in London and is a leading medal contender in the 800.

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer

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STICKING WITH IT

Talk about a gutsy performance.

Manteo Mitchell was running the first leg of the 4x400-meter relay preliminaries Thursday when he heard and felt a pop in his left leg.

The American knew it was bad. Tests later showed how bad: a broken fibula.

But he never stopped running and his effort helped the U.S. tie for first and advance to the next round.

"I figured it's what almost any person would've done in that situation," Mitchell tells the AP.

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer

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ATTENDANCE RECORD?

London's storied stadium is awash in the stars and stripes of the U.S. and the rising sun of Japan.

Wembley Stadium expects to set a record for attendance for an Olympic women's soccer match on Thursday night when the Americans face Japan. The previous record of 76,481 was set in 1996 at the Atlanta Games.

Wembley holds 90,000, and this place has filled up fast. Faces are painted, flags are flying and everyone is relishing a rivalry that is both friendly and fierce.

Here's a look at some of the more colorfully dressed American fans: http://yfrog.com/khfpgscj

And Japan's: http://yfrog.com/nyfzpzfj

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CZECH WELLIES

The Czech team has a uniform and they are sticking to it.

They marched into Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony in blue wellies, colorful long shorts and zany umbrellas — a humorous nod to London's unpredictable weather. And on Thursday, Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic stepped up to the podium to accept her bronze in the 400-meter hurdles in the same blue wellies and shorts. No umbrella.

It's not clear if that fashion choice will stand the test of time.

— Sheila Norman-Culp - Twitter http://twitter.com/snormanculp

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IMPACTFUL IMAGES

We pause for a moment to draw your attention to a powerful collection of AP images from venues across London.

In their pursuit of personal bests, athletes are captured soaring through the air, crashing through water and suffering the highs and lows of intense competition. After more than 10 days of Olympic competition, the extraordinary moments are still coming fast and furious.

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WONDERFUL WEMBLEY

Rolling up to Wembley Stadium, one of the most famous soccer pitches in the world, I was immediately struck by how big it is.

Soccer teams in the U.S. generally don't play in 90,000-seat stadiums, much less have a 437-foot (133-meter) arch stretching majestically into the sky above that supports much of the retractable roof.

Wembley feels a bit like Yankee Stadium to me. It opened in 2007, replacing an icon, but some of the ghosts that haunted the old place seem to have moved through the new doors.

The American women face Japan in the gold medal game here Thursday night, and eager fans were settling in than an hour before the start.

Here's a shot from the outside: http://yfrog.com/mok57quj

— Jon Krawczynski — Twitter http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski

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BOXX IN

Just in the nick of time, Shannon Boxx is back for the American women in the gold medal game against Japan.

Boxx missed four games with an injured right hamstring, but U.S. coach Pia Sundhage didn't hesitate to throw her right back in the starting lineup for the final. Carli Lloyd had taken Boxx's place in the starting lineup and she remains there.

Lauren Cheney will begin the game on the bench for the first time this tournament.

— Jon Krawczynski — Twitter http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski

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AMERICAN DECATHLON

The Americans are poised to go 1-2 in the decathlon for the first time since 1956.

Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee lead the field heading into the final two events Thursday night.

The two have had a solid hold since the opening event Wednesday.

Eaton, the world record holder, leads by 222 points. Rico Freimuth of Germany is third, 454 points behind Eaton.

The last Americans to go 1-2 in the decathlon were Milton Gray Campbell and Rafer Lewis Johnson.

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer

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STICKING WITH IT

Talk about a gutsy performance.

Manteo Mitchell was running the first leg of the 4x400-meter relay preliminaries Thursday when he heard and felt a pop in his left leg.

The American knew it was bad. Tests later showed how bad: a broken fibula.

But he never stopped running and his effort helped the U.S. tie for first and advance to the next round.

"I figured it's what almost any person would've done in that situation," Mitchell tells the AP.

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer

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BRITISH BOXING

Did even Britain's prime minister struggle to win a coveted ticket to see local boxer Nicola Adams compete in a gold-medal fight?

After Adams beat China's Ren Cancan to claim the first-ever Olympic title in women's boxing on Thursday, David Cameron's office posted a photo of the British leader watching the contest at home on television.

Cameron at least wore a Team GB (Great Britain) shirt in support.

Here's the pic: http://twitter.com/z8RNUFMF.

—David Stringer - Twitter http://twitter.com/david_stringer

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YORKSHIRE GOLD

If Yorkshire were a country, and not a county, it would be riding high on the Olympic medal table.

With boxer Nicola Adams' victory Thursday, the northern English region — whose residents proudly declare it "God's own county " — can claim six gold medal winners, as well as a handful of silver and bronze medalists.

That's more hardware than Spain, population 47 million, and South Africa, population 50 million.

Former British sports minister Richard Caborn says he'll urge the British Olympic Association to hold an Olympic victory parade in Yorkshire, rather than London, because the county has contributed so much to the nation's success.

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EDITOR'S NOTE — "Eyes on London" shows you the Olympics through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across the 2012 Olympic city and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.