Some of the dominant names in tennis were eliminated today at the Olympic games in Beijing. Venus and Serena Williams and Switzerland's Roger Federer were all eliminated in the singles quarterfinals. Earlier, Asian athletes chalked up wins in swimming and gymnastics.
American James Blake, who has lost consistantly to Roger Federer in the past, took advantage of a lagging performance by the top seed to eliminate him. Federer's bid for his first Olympic singles medal was not to be. Serena Williams lost to Russia's Elena Dementieva, and her sister Venus was upset by China's Li Na. The Williams sisters still have a shot at doubles victories. They took gold medals playing together in Sydney in 2000.
China leads the total medal count, with 35 — one more than the U.S. The host country also leads in the rush for gold, with 22 to the U.S. tally of 10.
Lezak Medals On His Own
American Jason Lezak won the bronze in the men's 100-meter freestyle. The gold in that event went to Alain Bernard of France, who came from behind to edge out Australia's Eamon Sullivan. It was the first individual Olympic medal for Lezak, who is credited with pushing the U.S. team to victory in the 4x100 freestyle relay, keeping alive Michael Phelps' quest for a record eight gold medals in a single Olympics.
The U.S. women's team took bronze in the 4x200 freestyle relay, slipping behind Australia and China. Phelps, who now holds five gold medals from this Olympics, kept in shape by winning a semifinal in the 200-meter individual medley. He actually posted a slightly slower time than his teammate Ryan Lochte, who was the top qualifier. They face each other in the final Friday, and Lochte has said he has no intention of letting Phelps collect another gold medal at his expense.
Japanese swimmer Kosuke Kitajima claimed the gold in the men's 200-meter breaststroke, adding to the precious metal he won in the 100-meter version of the event earlier in the week. Kitajima also won both of those events in Athens in 2004, and he thus becomes the first Olympic breaststroker ever to earn a "double-double."
Chinese swimmers dominated in the women's 200-meter butterfly, with Liu Zige smashing the world record to take gold, while her teammate Jiao Liuyang came in second. The bronze went to Australia's world champion, Jessicah Schipper.
U.S. Two-Wheeler Takes Gold
American cyclist Kristin Armstrong won gold in the women's road cycling individual time trial, while teammate Levi Leipheimer won bronze in the men's version of the event. Armstrong is only the second U.S. woman to win a gold medal in cycling.
For the first time ever, an American woman medaled in Olympic judo. The bronze in the women's 70-kilogram contest went to Ronda Rousey, who beat Annett Boehm of Germany. Rousey comes from a judo family. Her mother, AnnMaria De Mars, was the first American woman to win a world title in the event.