Lithuania gets first swimming gold
Teenager Ruta Meilutyte won Lithuania’s first ever Olympic gold in the swimming pool by beating American Rebecca Soni in the women’s 100m breaststroke.
The 15-year-old, who goes to the same Plymouth school as Tom Daley, led from the start and held on to beat the fast-finishing Soni by 0.08 seconds. Japan’s Satomi Suzuki earned bronze, while Australia’s defending champion Leisel Jones finished fifth.
“I can’t believe it,” said a stunned Meilutyte. “It’s too much for me.” – American teenager Missy Franklin won 100m backstroke gold ahead of Australia’s Emily Seebohm, with Britain’s Gemma Spofforth coming fifth.
Franklin clocked a time of 58.33 secs – 0.21 shy of Spofforth’s world record – just 20 minutes after swimming in the 200m freestyle semi-final.
Seebohm, who led at the halfway mark, was fastest in the heats and semis but had to settle for silver. Japan’s Aya Terakawa put in an impressive performance to take bronze.
Hijab a no-no for Saudi judoka
The father of a female Saudi Arabian judo competitor says his daughter will pull out of the Olympics if she is not allowed to wear her hijab during bouts.
Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani, 16, is due to compete in the +78kg category on Friday.
A Saudi official said earlier this month that its female athletes would have to obey Islamic dress codes.
But International Judo Federation president Marius Vizer said she would have to fight without the headscarf.
The sport has banned the headscarf for safety reasons and Vizer said last week: “The athlete from Saudi Arabia will fight in the spirit of judo and according to the principles of judo without a hijab.”
Yana Shemyakina won the women’s epee to claim Ukraine’s first individual fencing Olympic gold medal in a final that was delayed following the biggest sporting controversy of the Olympics so far.
Shemyakina defeated Germany’s defending champion Britta Heidemann, claiming the decisive hit in sudden-death extra-time as the fight headed into the final 30 seconds.
But the main drama of the evening at the ExCeL came in the semi-finals as South Korean’s Shin A Lam was denied a place in the gold medal contest
The 25-year-old thought she was through to the final when, to her horror and that of her coach Shim Jaesung, the clock was reset from zero to one second. And when the action in her clash against Heidemann resumed, the German scored a last-gasp hit that set up the showdown with Shemyakana.
Team China takes top mens’ gymnastics spot
China’s gymnasts stormed to the men’s team gold at the Olympics today while Japan lodged a last-gasp appeal to walk away with silver ahead of Britain on a dramatic evening at the North Greenwich Arena.
Two days after finishing a lowly sixth in qualifying, China pulled themselves together to retain their title with a score of 275.997.
Japan were in second place going into the final rotation but appeared to have dropped out of the medals when triple world all-around champion Kohei Uchimura, the last man to compete, completed a messy dismount from the pommel horse to draw a low score from the judges.