SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD American gymnast Gabby Douglas won the gold in the women’s individual all around competition on Thursday, leaving Russia with silver and bronze.
Douglas triumphed with 62.232 points, just 0.259 ahead of Russia’s Viktoria Komova, whose teammate Aliya Mustafina took the bronze on 59.566.
Douglas, who grabbed team gold with the US on Tuesday, put in a final floor performance of 15.033, leaving Komova needing at least 15.359.
Komova, 17, put in a dazzling routine, rounding off with a near-perfect double pike, but the judges ruled it was worth only 15.100.
The entire venue held its breath until the scores were announced, sending Douglas into ecstasy and reducing Komova to tears.
Japan’s Kohei Uchimura won gold in the men’s all around on Wednesday, ahead of Russia and Romania.
Michael Phelps’ Olympic legend grew even greater as he defeated Ryan Lochte to win the gold medal in the men’s 200 meter medley on Thursday.
Phelps’ has now won an incredible total of 20 Olympic medals, of which 16 are gold medals. His win also made him the first man to win the same title in three consecutive Olympics.
It was the perfect race as he begins counting off the remaining races of his career, which will end on Sunday.
“It’s a relief to win an individual gold, it is special. I fell short in the first couple of event so to be able to do something no man has done is a cool feeling,” said Phelps afterwards.
“It was hard, but it is really nice to be able to add to my CV. It hurt and I over-swam the first 100 meters, but I am not going to complain about it,” he added.
“There was no difference in how I prepared…it may have helped that Ryan had the 200 backstroke 20 minutes beforehand. He can swim faster than I swam tonight. I was lucky enough to get the medal,” said Phelps.
It had been billed as one of the showdowns of the London Olympic Games as Phelps faced Lochte.
Lochte had already got the better of Phelps in the 400 meter final, taking gold, while Phelps finished in fourth place, a result which led some to wonder, whether the 27-year-old, who is in his last major competition, was finished.
“I said afterwards that it was our last 200 together, we have had a lot of great races since 2004. Ryan has improved a lot in last 4 years and it will be fun to see what he does over the next 4 years. We have had a fun career and we do push each other. He has brought the best out of me many times,” said Phelps.
“We have raced each other so many times, it is nice to end your 200 meters career with a gold medal.”
“Over the last couple of days, it hasn’t gone through my head (that he is retiring). It will kick in more ahead of the relay. Friday will be my last individual final so we are ticking them off,” continued the swimmer, who admits he will probably not realize the enormity of what he has done until he has finally retired.
“When it is all over it will hit me emotionally. It’s emotional for my family in the stands. It has been a long career and its time to hang up my suit.”
Phelps led from the start in the race, as Lochte, perhaps tired from his exertions in the 200 meters backstroke was unable to keep pace.
“Michael Phelps is going to go down as one of the greatest swimmers ever. He has made history and I have been part of my team, I will cherish having been able to swim with him,” commented a generous Lochte who leaves London with five medals, two of them gold.
“He is the toughest racer I have ever had to deal with and it has been fantastic for the sport, I am going to miss racing against him,” added Loche, who said he would continue swimming in an attempt to compete in 2016, even though he will never again meet Phelps.
“I didn’t realize that until the question was brought up, I have always been swimming against him, he is always there with me, it will be weird not having him there,” said Lochte.
American superstar Michael Phelps edged arch-rival Ryan Lochte to grab his first individual gold medal of the London Games and 20th career medal on Thursday as the United States drew level with China in the race to win the most gold medals.
Having already established himself the most decorated Olympian of all time after the US men’s 4x200m freestyle relay victory on Tuesday, Phelps’ legend grew even greater as he clocked a fastest time of 1:54.27 in the 200m individual medley final.
Lochte finished second in 1:54.90, while Lazlo Cseh of Hungary touched the wall third.
The win means Phelps has now won an unprecedented total of 20 Olympic medals, of which 16 are gold medals. He is also the first swimmer to win the same individual event in three straight games.
“To be able to win the gold medal and repeat three times is something pretty special,” said the 27-year-old Phelps.
Earlier, Lochte was subdued in the 200m backstroke final, which was won by fellow American Tyler Clary. Lochte had led at every turn but was overtaken during the final strokes and had to settle for a bronze. Ryosuke Irie of Japan captured silver in 1:53.78.
It was Rebecca Soni who produced the most brilliant swim Thursday night at the Aquatics Center. The 25-year-old American broke the world record that she had set just 24 hours earlier to retain her Olympic title in the 200m breaststroke.
Soni is the first woman to go below 2:20 in the event. “It’s been my goal since I was a little kid to go under 2:20,” she said. “I’ve been chasing it ever since. I’m just so happy.”
Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands stormed to victory in the women’s 100m freestyle final, denying a U.S. clean sweep of golds.
On top of the success in the pool, the Americans scooped three gold medals in rowing, judo and gymnastics to lift their haul of medals to 37, of which 18 are gold. By the end of Day 6, China also has 18 gold but its medal total is three short of the U.S. South Korea is in third place with seven gold.
Chinese table tennis team’s objective in London is four gold medals in four events. So far, it is two for two.
Top seed Zhang Jike beat Wang Hao 4-1 in the all-Chinese men’s singles final, a day after Li Xiaoxia defeated compatriot Ding Ning in Wednesday’s women’s final.
The 24-year-old Zhang won 18-16, 11-5, 11-6, 10-12, 13-11 as Wang had to settle for the silver for a third successive Olympics. Dimitrij Ovtcharov of Germany defeated Chuang Chih-Yuan of Chinese Taipei for bronze.
Zhang is only the fourth man to complete the “grand slam” of World Cup, world championships and Olympic titles. The other players are countrymen Liu Guoliang, who now coaches China’s men’s team, and Kong Linghui as well as Swedish legend Jan-Ove Waldner.
“I am very excited,” said Zhang. “It’s my first Olympics and it has been my dream to win the gold medal since I started playing.”
China has claimed 22 of 26 gold medals since pingpong was introduced at the Olympics in 1988.
But China missed out on its first Olympic gold in cycling when Guo Shuang and Gong Jinjie won the women’s team sprint final only to be relegated to the second place soon after an illegal changeover.
Guo and Gong had earlier twice bettered the world record for the two-lap event.
Germany’s Miriam Welte and Kristina Vogel then were awarded the gold medal.
On the sixth full day of competition, the hosts also had much to cheer for as they picked up three gold medals and three silver to leap into fifth place in the medals table.
Shooting star Peter Wilson, the world record holder, held nerve to win the men’s double trap at the Royal Artillery Barracks.
Team GB earned a 1-2 finish in the two-man canoe slalom in front of a jubilant home crowd, before cyclists Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Chris Hoy broke the world record twice en route to the men’s team sprint crown.
Italy won a gold in women’s fencing, with a 45-32 victory over defending champions Russia in the final of the women’s foil team event.
Italy’s fencers beat Russia to win gold in the women’s team foil Thursday, a result that gives Italy’s Valentina Vezzali her sixth Olympic gold medal.
The Italian team of Vezzali, Arianna Errigo, Elisa di Francisca and Ilaria Salvatori were hot favorites to win after taking all the individual foil medals between them earlier in the Olympics, and stormed to a 45-31 win over Russia’s Inna Deriglazova, Larisa Korobeinikova and Aida Shanaeva.
The Russians, who were victorious in the same event in Beijing for years ago, won just two of the nine matches in the final.
Bronze went to South Korea, whose team of Nam Hyun Hee, Jung Gil Ok, Jeon Hee Sook and Oh Na Na prevailed 45-32 against the French team of Astrid Guyart, Corinne Maitrejean, Ysaora Thibus and Anita Blaze.
Peter Robert Russell Wilson of Britain took the title of men’s double trap shoot with a mark of 188 hits at London Olympic Games here on Thursday.
The silver medal was won by Hakan Dahlby at 186 hits, followed by Vasily Mosin of Russia in the third place at 185.
Tagir Khaibulaev gave Russia a gold medal with President Vladimir Putin in attendance Thursday.
Khaibulaev, the 2011 world champion, beat reigning Olympic champion Naidan Tuvshinbayar of Mongolia in the final by ippon before posing for photos with Putin.
Germany’s Dimitri Peters and Dutch judoka Henk Grol won bronze.
Russian-born Peters defeated Uzbekistan’s Ramziddin Sayidov by ippon for bronze, while Grol, a bronze medalist in Beijing four years ago, beat South Korea’s Hwang Hee-Tae by waza-ari. PNA/XINHUA/RIA NOVOSTI