SPORTS

Day 9 recap: Sunday stunners

08/06/2012 12:00 EDT | Updated 10/05/2012 05:12 EDT
They can take place over a period of hours, in minutes, in seconds, and some take place in an instant.

Stunning sports happenings, some that won't be soon forgotten. Day 9 produced its share, and Canada was involved in at least a couple.

Tiffany Foster, of Schomberg, Ont., was disqualified in team equestrian on Sunday morning when officials decided her mount, Victor, was showing hypersensitivity in the left front limb. It meant Canada could count only three riders.

Later, at Olympic Stadium, Nate Brennan's dreams of reaching the final were dashed. The Cambridge, Ont., native got tangled up and blue, falling to the ground after making contact with a competitor. He gamely got up and ran his hardest in the hopes a protest would be successful, but it would be denied.

But here are some prime candidates for the biggest stunners of the day:

100 here they c...

Usain Bolt is Usain Bolt, but he'd given no indication on the actual track in recent months that he'd get close in Sunday's 100 metre final to the stunning times he achieved at the 2008 Beijing Games and world championships a year later.

Any talk of a lingering injury fell aside when he set a new Olympic record of 9.63 seconds, 5-100ths off his world record.

All but one of the eight entrants in the final were under 10 flat, and that man, former world record holder Asafa Powell, clearly injured himself.

Half of the field was under 9.80 seconds, something no Olympian but Bolt could claim before Sunday.

For lovers of pure speed, it was awesome. For those skeptical of what their eyes are seeing due to the histories of Ben Johnson, Marion Jones and others, it was something else. The other two medallists in the race, Yohan Blake and Justin Gatlin, had tested positive for banned substances in the past.

Many fans undoubtedly had a foot in both camps.

Holy Maroney

Everything was going according to plan Sunday for young U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney. She was the favourite in the vault competition, and that was before an offering in last week's team competition that had even the most seasoned tongues talking and made her a no-brainer for the apparatus final.

She led after the first vault Sunday and let loose towards her goal on the second, achieving liftoff and not stumbling on the landing. Not stumbling at all, because she landed flat on her posterior.

That opened the door for Sandra Izbasa of Romania, who remained upright to win gold and relegate Maroney to silver.

Maroney spent the rest of the undoubtedly painful minutes in the spotlight alternating between looking like someone numbed from an accident or someone assigned with transporting a week's worth of kitty litter.

Murray in a hurry

After a key juncture in the third set in last month's Wimbledon final, Andy Murray for all intents and purposes was done against Roger Federer, although the final scores were close enough. It brought Murray's record in Grand Slam finals to 0-4.

But there were clearly signs this year that Murray had turned a corner in his game under newish coach Ivan Lendl, who knows a thing or two about frustration and patience. He was more aggressive on the court and less tortured when shots didn't go his way.

Murray came out roaring on Sunday and took advantage of a Federer who wasn't quite vintage after a semifinal victory that required 36 games in the fifth set.

Murray blasted the Swiss legend, winning 18 of 25 games.

Oh, and Murray came back later in the day to claim silver in mixed doubles with Laura Robson.

One of Murray's tough setbacks in recent times was a five-set loss at the Australian Open semis to Novak Djokovic, who went on to win the tournament.

Djokovic would have been an absolute lock to hit the Olympic podium in most expert predictions. Didn't happen. The Serb lost in the bronze medal match to Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro.

0-for-400

The gold medal has been handed out 26 times in the men's 400 metres. The United States has claimed 19 of them.

Since 1968, the Americans have accounted for nearly 80 per cent of the medals in the event (23 of 30) in Games they've participated in. Michael Johnson burnished his legend at the distance, while more recently, Jeremy Wariner and LaShawn Merritt were dominant.

Merritt went down with a hamstring injury on Saturday. Countrymen Bryshon Nellum and Tony McQuay were ninth and 14th, respectively, after Sunday's semifinal races.

As a result, there will be no American men in the final. You have to go back to 1920 in Antwerp for the last time the U.S. competed and failed to put a man on the podium.

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