1. In a race that pitted five of the best female sprinters of the world against one-another, Allyson Felix proved she was the class of the field. The American captured the first individual Olympic gold of her decorated career, out-running second-place Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and third-place Carmelita Jeter to win the 200 meters in a blazing 21.88 seconds. Felix had finished second in the 200 in the previous two Olympics.
2. Aries Merritt credits a minor tweak to his technique for his transformation from good hurdler to the world’s best. The American reduced his number of strides from eight to seven between the starting line and the first hurdle, a move that many elite hurdlers already had adopted. Merritt capped off easily the best season of his career by leading a one-two finish for the U.S. in the 110-meter hurdles on Wednesday, winning gold in a speedy 12.92 seconds.
3. Only two of Brittney Reese’s six jumps weren’t fouls, but she made one of them count. The two-time world champion in the long jump leaped 7.12 meters (23.36 feet) on her second attempt, easily outdoing Russia’s Elena Sokolova (7.07) and fellow American Janay DeLoach (6.89). Reese is the first American Olympic women’s long jump champion since Jackie Joyner-Kersee in 1988.
4. Argentina and Team USA both did their part Wednesday to set up a rematch of the 2004 Olympic men’s basketball final. Argentina edged Brazil 82-77 and the U.S. routed Australia 119-86 in the quarterfinals, meaning the two world powers will meet in the semifinals for the right to face either Russia or Spain in the title game. On Monday, Team USA crushed Argentina 126-97, blowing open a 60-59 game at halftime with a 42-17 third quarter.
5. The U.S. men’s volleyball team will leave London with lighter suitcases than they had in Beijing. The defending gold medalists’ bid to repeat ended in disappointment Wednesday with a shocking quarterfinal sweep at the hands of a talented but unproven Italian squad. A medal seemed very possible for the U.S. after it cruised to a 4-1 record in group play, but the Italians controlled Wednesday’s match from the outset, winning in dominant fashion.
Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings concluded their era of beach volleyball dominance in the most fitting way possible. In their final match together, the duo won their third straight Olympic gold, disposing of fellow Americans April Ross and Jennifer Kessy, 21-16, 21-16. May-Treanor will retire at age 35, while Walsh-Jennings will continue on, hoping for a fourth gold in 2016.
“They didn’t even do their research, calling me the Anna Kournikova of track. I have the American record. I am the American record holder indoors, I have two world indoor titles. Just because I don’t boast about these things, I don’t think I should be ripped apart by media..” — Lolo Jones in her Today Show appearance on the criticism she has received. Jones finished fourth in the 100-meter hurdles on Tuesday, missing out on what could have been her first Olympic medal.
Wednesday’s Gold Medal Moments for Team USA: Allyson Felix, women’s 200 meters; Aries Merritt, men’s 100 hurdles; Brittney Reese, women’s long jump; Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings, women’s beach volleyball
U.S. Olympians with best chance at gold on Thursday: Team USA, women’s soccer final; Team USA, women’s water polo final;
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