In this space, some of the other remarkable and nutty occurrences — a few under the radar — from the first full day of competition at the London Games.
South Korea had won three consecutive Olympic gold medals in the men's team archery competition and their legally blind star Im Dong-Hyun set a points record in qualifying on Friday. But on Saturday they were defeated in the semifinals by the U.S., settling for bronze.
The Americans were in position for gold in the final with one arrow left barring something fantastic from Italy. Sure enough, Michele Frangilli scored a 10 on the attempt to complete his medal collection, having won bronze in Atlanta and silver in Sydney for Italy.
'Sleeping' her way to bronze
In judo, a loss doesn't eliminate one from bronze medal contention, as competitors enter a repechage round.
But to win a medal after being rendered unconscious?!
The room got dark for Eva Csernoviczki of Hungary in her early match against a Belgian opponent due to a strangle hold.
"I didn't know I'd been sleeping, I thought the referee had called "matte" [halt]," she said after the competition, according to Agence-France Press.
Csernoviczi was allowed to continue in the competition despite blacking out, not unlike the NHL. She won her next two matches, using a leg sweep to land on the podium.
China's Ye Shiwen, just 16 years old, took over a second off of the world record in the 400 metre individual medley, set nearly four years ago by Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice.
According to Reuters, her final lap time of 29.75 seconds on Saturday was faster than what American legend Michael Phelps clocked for his final 100 in the men's event of the same distance.
Even the best falter
Stunning happenings at the North Greenwich Arena in men's gymnastics qualifying.
There was talk heading into the Games of Japanese dynamo Kohei Uchimura winning five medals. But the three-time defending world champion and Beijing silver medallist fell in both the pommel horse and the high bar to end the day in fourth on the all-around board.
In addition, China — with multiple holdovers from their 2008 gold medal team — was sixth after qualifying.
Of the St. Petersburg Hammon's
Canada suffered a bitter loss to Russia in women's basketball, unable to hold a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter.
One of the chief tormentors was Becky Hammon, who scored eight of his 14 points down the stretch to lead Russia.
That's right. Becky Hammon, Russia. The WNBA player for San Antonio became a naturalized Russian citizen after failing to make the 2008 American team.
Abby Womp! Bam!
Red, White and Blue soccer striker Abby Wambach suffered a black eye, courtesy of Colombia's Lady Andrade (really, that's her name).
"I'm running toward the goal to get position, and I got sucker-punched," said Wambach. "It's clear. We have it on film, so it's up to the Olympic committee and FIFA to decide what to do."
Andrade called the play an accident.
"Nothing happened," she said through an interpreter. "It was just a normal part of the game. We were both running, she ran across me and we collided. I had my hands in the air. It was an accident."
Not the keeper of grammar
Speaking of the U.S. soccer team, keeper Hope Solo got wind of some critical comments made by television colour commentator Brandi Chastain, a former star for the Americans in the 1990s and the early part of this century.
After the game, Solo rattled off four tweets about Chastain. Among them: "Its 2 bad we cant have commentators who better represents the team&knows more about the game."
Solo also intimated that the game had passed Chastain by.
On a high:
- Italian fencers went 1-2-3 in women's individual foil. Valentina Vezzali's bronze was her fifth Olympic medal after winning at the last three Games.
- U.S. middleweight Terrell Gausha was losing against an Armenian opponent before scoring the first boxing stoppage of the Games.
- Belgian table tennis player Jean-Michel Saive celebrated his seventh appearance at the Games with his first win in the Olympics since 2000.
Bad day for:
- The host country's touted cycling team, with Mark Cavendish their best rider in the men's road race, finishing 29th.
- 2011 French Open women's champ Li Na and top men's player Tomas Berdych, bounced out early in tennis.
- Calgary gymnast Nathan Gafuik was impressive in Beijing, but hampered by a thumb injury, fell in the high bar.
- Norway, defending Olympic champ and reigning four-time world champions in women's handball, lose opener to France.Suggest a correction