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Crystl Bustos of the United States hits a three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning to give the U.S. a 4-0 lead against Japan in the women's semifinal softball game.
Crystl Bustos of the United States hits a three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning to give the U.S. a 4-0 lead against Japan in the women's semifinal softball game. Clive Rose/Getty Images
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Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts after breaking the 200-meter world record with a time of 19.3 seconds to win the gold medal. Churandy Martina (left) of Netherlands Antilles and Brian Dzingai of Zimbabwe come in after him.
Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts after breaking the 200-meter world record with a time of 19.3 seconds to win the gold medal. Churandy Martina (left) of Netherlands Antilles and Brian Dzingai of Zimbabwe come in after him. Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
More and more athletes and coaches are representing countries other than their native ones.
Like two sprinters leaving the rest of the field behind, the United States and China are neck-and-neck in total medals at the Summer Olympics in Beijing. The U.S. leads the host country 82-79 in total medals. But China leads the U.S. in gold medals, 45-26. Russia is running a distant third with 45 total medals.
Speaking of swift runners: Usain Bolt of Jamaica won the 200-meter race — and a gold medal — in a world-record 19.3 seconds Wednesday night. He finished 0.52 seconds in front of Churandy Martin of Netherlands Antilles. Bolt is the first sprinter to win gold in the 200- and 100-meter races in the same Olympics since American Carl Lewis in 1984. Bolt is also the only racer to date to smash world records in both races at the same Olympics.
Softball star Crystl Bustos swatted a three-run, ninth-inning home run against Japan to send the U.S. softball team into the gold medal game. The final score was 4-1. The Americans have a 22-game winning streak. Also in softball, Australia beat Canada 5-3.
In men's beach volleyball, Americans Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser advanced to the gold medal round by beating Georgia 21-11, 21-13 in the semifinals Wednesday.
In women's field hockey, China beat Germany 3-2 to advance to the finals. And China's Wu Jingyu won a gold medal in tae kwon do.
But the host country has run into a few athletic obstacles on Day 12. In baseball, China lost to Cuba, 17-1. Meantime, South Korea cleaned the Netherlands' clock, 10-0.
China Loses In Basketball
China's high-profile basketball team, starring NBA power tower Yao Ming, lost to Lithuania 94-68. Yao put 19 points on the board. The Lithuanian team will play Spain. Led by NBA star Pao Gasol, the Spanish cruised past Croatia 72-59. The U.S. "Redeem Team" plays Australia, and the 2004 Olympic champ Argentina takes on Greece in late games Wednesday.
China also fell short in water polo, losing to Greece 13-8. Italy beat Canada 13-11 and Montenegro moved past Croatia 7-6.
Meanwhile, the U.S. women's field hockey team lost to Spain 3-2, and South Korea beat Japan 2-1. In team handball, France beat Russia 27-24 and Iceland eked past Poland 32-30. Buvaysa Saytiev of Russia won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling.
The Associated Press reports that Ukrainian heptathlete Lyudmila Blonska is being investigated for doping. If her positive test stands, she might lose her silver medal. So far, four athletes have been ousted from the games for doping.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.