WIN-BLEDON: Andy Murray said he would be desperate to win Sunday and win he did. Photo courtesy Julian Finney/Getty Images

The second weekend of the Thirtieth Olympiad is completed, which means we have just one more week to go before the closing ceremonies and another four-year hiatus. So, as we enter another workweek, let’s take a look once again at the leading nations in the medal count.

Team Gold Silver Bronze Total
China 30 17 14 61
United States 28 14 18 60
Great Britain 16 11 10 37
Russia 4 16 15 35
Japan 2 12 13 27
France 8 8 9 25
Germany 5 10 7 22
South Korea 10 4 6 20
Australia 1 12 7 20
Italy 6 5 3 14

China once again overtakes the US for the medal lead, but the real story here is Great Britain. The Brits are already calling this past Saturday — where the nation won six gold medals — perhaps the greatest day in UK sports history and who am I to disagree. But the queen’s empire didn’t stop there as their momentum carried into yesterday.

The other developing story is just how much Australia is struggling in London. In 2008, the Aussies finished with 46 medals and a solid 30.4% of them were gold. Here Australia only has 20 medals through nine days, which puts them on pace for only 37 or so and only two of those would be gold.

Both of those stories added new chapters on Sunday, so let’s get into yesterday’s recap:

All England Club, For Once, By Definition

If you ask tennis players, most will tell you an Olympic gold medal pales in comparison to winning the championships at Wimbledon. So when Andy Murray easily disposed of Roger Federer in the finals of Men’s Singles yesterday, an unmistakable bittersweet note still hung in the air.

I am referring to, of course, last month when Federer beat Murray on the very same court to win the Wimbledon Championship. For a nation that has been admittedly hot and cold on their tennis hero, the defeat could not have been forgotten in the August sunlight.

But that wasn’t going to sway Murray. He routed his Swiss opposition in consecutive sets 6-2 6-1 6-4 to earn his home nation yet another gold medal. This of course, was welcomed by his hosting homeland, but came as bit of a surprise to him. So use to being let down at their own beloved tennis arena, one couple told NBC Sports’ Jack McCallum that they had bought tickets for Court 1 where the Bronze-medal match was scheduled to be played.

But nothing of the sort happen. The Brit committed nearly half as many unforced errors as Federer and never appeared to be out of control of the match. While Britain had been letdown with another non-British champion at Wimbledon in July, this victory, at least for now, will suffice.


STORMING THE BEACH: Misty May-Treanor and Kerry Walsh Jennings are playing like their #3 ranking in the world is an insult. Photo courtesy Marcelo Del Pozo/Reuters

Cry and Punishment: Misty and Kerry as Dominant as Ever

It can be frustrating playing the best ever. Yesterday, it even reduced one 21-year-old volleyball player to tears.

In the quarterfinals, long-standing reigning Olympic champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerry Walsh Jennings drew the Italian duo of Marta Menegatti and Greta Cicolari. All season long, the Americans have had to answer questions about their age. But on Sunday, those questions were quite relevant as the tandem faced off against a pair of opponents that, collectively, were 18 years their junior.

However, Misty and Kerry proved that beach volleyball players age more like wine and less like organic fruit as they pounded the Italians in consecutive sets that ended 21-13. If you missed the match, this is essentially what happened: Misty made an amazing dig, Kerry made a phenomenal set, and Misty powered the ball home. Multiplied about 42 times, of course.

After they lost the first set and took a timeout to try and slow the Americans’ momentum in the second, a young Menegatti — only 21 years old — broke down in frustration as Cicolari tried to pep talk her back into the game. Menegatti did bounce back with some great play, but after their stinging loss she let the tears stream down her face as May-Treanor came over to thank her for a good game.

Yeah, He’s Still Pretty Fast

Though their respective sports are vastly different, the saga of Usain Bolt mirrored that of Michael Phelps in a lot of ways. Both became international superstars thanks to their performances in the Beijings Games, and both appeared to be all too mortal as London approached.

But Phelps quieted doubters last week and Bolt, as if the two were running a relay, began silencing his yesterday.

It wasn’t his famous jaw-dropping sprint from 2008, but Bolt was fast enough for gold in the Men’s 100-Meters again in 2012. At the start, Bolt found himself in the thick of things and dominating no one, but as the group crossed into the second 50 meters, Bolt appeared as if he was being fast forwarded.

He pulled away from the pack and took gold with a 9.63-second finishing time that only seems docile because of what we’ve seen him do before. But as he crossed the finish line, Bolt raised his index finger and reminded us all of the only thing that matters: he is still the fastest man on earth.


LEGGING IT WITHOUT: Even without an individual medal, Pistorius’ story is an exceptional one. Photo courtesy Michael Steele/Getty Images

Amputee’s Inspirational/Controversial Run Over

Much has been made of Oscar Pistorius’ participation in these games. Some say he’s one of the best stories in an Olympic Games that has prided itself on inclusivity. Others say he doesn’t belong as his disabilities in life have given him an unintended advantage in athletic competition. But today, everyone agrees Pistorius’ only chance for an individual medal has come to an end.

After advancing to the semifinal heats of the Men’s 400-Meters, Pistorius had a horrendous start and even worse race en route to finishing dead last in his heat. His finish time, 46.54 seconds, was almost a full second slower than Grenada’s Kirani James, the winner of his heat. Needless to say, he did not qualify to compete in the finals of the event.

Pistorius can still win an Olympic medal as he will run one of the legs in the Men’s 4X400-Meter Relay for his native South Africa. And, should he fail to medal there, Pistorius will almost certainly rack up the hardware in the Paralympics held later this month. But for now, an unexpected competitors bid to become one of the most memorable winners of these Olympic Games is over in an equally unexpected finish.

NOTE: This story was originally published on SportsHead. To read this article and others, click here.
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