A famed sprinter vaulted into legend status, a female boxer made history, and American women’s team sports dominated headlines on Thursday in London.The U.S. women’s soccer team captured gold after two stunning goals by Carli Lloyd as the Americans defeated Japan in a rematch of the 2011 World Cup, 2-1. After a thrilling victory over Canada in the semifinals, the Americans’ journey to the title game had become a major storyline in the London Games.
Hope Solo may have had her best match of the tournament as the star goalkeeper made some key saves for the U.S. to preserve the victory, while the forward partnership of Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach put strong pressure on the Japan goal.
Soccer wasn’t the only women’s team sport that shined. The basketball team held off Australia to advance to the gold-medal game to face France, who defeated Russia. The Americans trailed the Aussies in the third quarter, but rallied behind rookies Tina Charles and Lindsay Whalen, 86-73.
The Americans dominated in the men’s decathlon, as well. Ashton Eaton took the gold, while Trey Hardee took the silver, as the duo affirmed their role as the best athletes in the world. Cuba’s Leonel Suarez earned the bronze. Jamaica’s Usain Bolt proved he is perhaps the greatest sprinter in history. The 25-year-old earned his second gold of the Games with a victory in the 200-meters with a time of 19.32 seconds, following his gold in the 100 meters on Sunday.
It was an all-Jamaican medal result, as Yohan Blake and Warren Weir finished with the silver and bronze, respectively. Blake finished just .12 seconds behind Bolt.
In 2008, Bolt broke the world record in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. American sprinter Manteo Mitchell suffered a complete break of his left fibula, but still ran the last 200 meters of the 4×400-meter relay preliminaries despite the broken leg.
“I heard it and I felt it,” Mitchell told The Associated Press. “But I figured it’s what almost any person would’ve done in that situation.”
British flyweight Nicola Adams earned a convincing victory over China’s double world champion Ren Cancan, 16-7, to claim the first ever Olympic women’s boxing gold medal.