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Sunday roundup: Phelps stands alone with 8th gold medal

August 17, 2008
(Page 2 of 3)

The U.S. women also had a nice morning at the pool.

Dara Torres came oh-so-close to capturing a gold medal in the 50-meter freestyle, finishing second by 0.01 seconds. Still, silver was terrific for the 41-year-old mom who thought she'd retired a few years ago, only to dive back in and become America's first five-time swimming Olympian.

Then Torres was part of the 400 medley relay squad that finished behind Australia. That silver upped her total to three medals here and 12 for her career.

"I go home extremely thrilled," Torres said.

Natalie Coughlin also was on that relay. She got her sixth medal of these games and 11th of her career -- not that anyone has noticed much because of Phelps.

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"He deserves every ounce of respect and admiration and attention that he gets because what he's doing is incredibly phenomenal," she said of Phelps. "I am not jealous one bit."

Oussama Mellouli won Tunisia's first swimming gold, denying Australia's Grant Hackett's bid for a third consecutive title in the 1,500-meter freestyle.

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Tennis

Rafael Nadal becomes No. 1 in the world on Monday. He'll also wake up an Olympic champion.

Nadal overcame two set points in the second set and held every service game to beat Chile's Fernando Gonzalez 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-3.

The Williams sisters won the women's doubles title by romping past a Spain's Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual 6-2, 6-0. They also won in Sydney.

"I'm so excited, I can't even speak," said Venus, who has already won seven doubles Grand Slams and a gold medal in Sydney alongside her sister. But, winning as a family never grows old. "To share this kind of moment with your sister," she said, gives her "chill bumps."

In women's singles, Russia became the first nation to sweep a tennis event since Great Britain in 1908 women's singles. (Note that tennis was not a medal sport between 1924 and 1988.)

Elena Dementieva won over Dinara Safina 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, and Vera Zvonareva beat Li Na of China 6-0, 7-5 for the bronze.

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Fencing

After missing out on a medal four years ago because of consecutive 45-44 losses, Keeth Smart and the U.S. men's saber team got to the gold-medal bout with a pair of 45-44 victories. But they couldn't get past the French in the finals.

Smart, Tim Morehouse and James Williams celebrated the silver -- especially Smart, who endured the death of both parents and a rare blood disorder since 2004.

"It's been four long years of heartache that we've had to relive over and over," said Smart, who is leaving fencing to go to business school. "For us to go home with a silver medal is truly an honor."

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Gymnastics

Shawn Johnson keeps making memories in Beijing. Bad ones, even if she doesn't act like it.

Two days after losing the all-around to teammate Nastia Liukin, Romania's Sandra Izbasa -- the very last competitor -- grabbed the floor exercise gold that was almost in the American's hands. Liukin got bronze in the event.Johnson barely flinched when Izbasa's mark came up, and the 16-year-old American also had a hug for the winner.

"I just stayed calm and had a great time out there," Johnson said. "I love to perform."

China's Cheng Fei lost for the first time in three years in women's vault. North Korea's Hong Un Jong won it. American Alicia Sacramone was fourth.

China dominated the men's event finals, with Zou Kai winning the floor exercise and Ziao Qin taking pommel horse. Counting team and all-around, the hosts are 4-for-4 in men's events.

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Women's basketball

Tina Thompson scored 10 points during a 21-0 run, sending the U.S. women past New Zealand 96-60. The Americans went 5-0 in pool play, winning by an average of 43 points.

Reigning WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson scored 16 points, helping Australia rally past Russia 75-55 to clinch the top seed in its pool and avoid playing the U.S. until the championship game.

Becky Hammon, an American turned naturalized Russian, led her team with 20 points. Russia dropped to 4-1.

In other games Sunday, South Korea beat Latvia 72-68, Spain routed winless Mali 79-47, Brazil got its first win 68-53 over Belarus.

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Softball

The U.S. women won their 20th straight Olympic game with as little drama as they usually provide. Monica Abbott pitched five perfect innings and Crystl Bustos, Jessica Mendoza and Tairia Flowers homered in an 8-0 victory over the Netherlands.

The Americans have outscored opponents 44-1, posted five shutouts and hit 12 homers. The latter stat breaking one of the few Olympic records they didn't set in Greece.

Next up: China, which lost 2-1 to Taiwan to get eliminated from the medal round.

In other games, Japan beat Venezuela 5-2 and Australia beat Canada 4-0.

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Boxing

The Americans won't be going home empty-handed, thanks to heavyweight Deontay Wilder getting to the semifinals, assuring him of at least bronze.

"I don't want the world to remember Team USA as being failures," Wilder said.

The only other U.S. boxer left, Demetrius Andrade, was ousted by South Korea's Kim Jung-joo, a bronze medalist in Athens.

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Beach volleyball

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