08/06/2012 01:28 EDT | Updated 10/06/2012 05:12 EDT

EYES ON LONDON: US tops Canada in women's soccer; a proposal for Britain's pole vaulter

LONDON - Around the 2012 Olympics and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavour and details of the games to you:



It took a full 90 minutes, then another 30 minutes of overtime, then three more of injury time, but Alex Morgan's header gave the U.S. women a 4-3 win over Canada at the London Olympics.

The U.S. soccer team will now face Japan in the gold medal game — the same team they lost to in the World Cup final.

Canadian captain Christine Sinclair had a hat trick to propel the two teams into overtime. Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. put two in the net for the U.S. and Abby Wambach deftly scored on a penalty kick for a handball.

— Joseph White — Twitter



She didn't win the gold, silver or bronze — but Britain's Holly Bleasdale is walking away from the Olympic pole vaulting competition with something pretty special: a fiance.

The 20-year-old pole vaulter has said she was disappointed by her 6th place finish at the Olympic stadium on Monday night.

Soon after her finish, Bleasdale tweeted that she was "devastated" and "sorry for letting people down."

But just hours later, her message on the microblogging site took a turn for the positive.

"6th in the Olympics and (at)bradshaaaw proposes to me :) epic day!!!" she wrote.

Her boyfriend, Paul Bradshaw, also posted about his excitement, saying he had just proposed to Bleasdale and she'd said yes. "Best day ever!" he wrote.

— Cassandra Vinograd — Twitter:



The U.S. women's soccer team can count Derek Jeter among their fans.

The New York Yankees star was following the women's Olympic match on TV in the visitors' dining room at Comerica Park in Detroit — until he had to go for batting practice before playing the Tigers.

"It's 3-3, can someone get the game on up there?" Jeter asked, motioning toward the video board that looms over the left-field wall.

Alas, the game wasn't put up.

At least the U.S. women pulled it out at the last minute in overtime and avoided having to go to penalty kicks. Alex Morgan's header gave the U.S. a 4-3 win over Canada.

The Americans now head into the gold medal game against Japan at the London Olympics.

— Larry Lage — Twitter



Britain's Natasha Jonas tried everything, but she doubts even a bus would have helped her against Irish boxer Katie Taylor.

World and European lightweight champion Taylor is becoming the flagship fighter for women's boxing, which is making its debut at the London Games.

Taylor put on a master class Monday to beat Jonas and reach the semifinals, guaranteeing Ireland a first medal at the London Olympics.

"I could have thrown the kitchen sink (at her), maybe drove the bus into her. It didn't work. It didn't work," Jonas says after she was outpointed 26-15. "I've come here the fittest, the leanest, the healthiest, the smartest boxer I could be ... she's still the best."

The 26-year-old Taylor faces Mavzuna Chorieva of Tajikistan in the women's 60-kilogram semifinals on Wednesday.

—Gerald Imray — Twitter



Two spectators dressed as wrestlers breached security at the ExCeL by jumping from the stands onto the floor of the arena.

The spectators, dressed in full wrestling attire with Swedish flags painted on their faces, vaulted two barriers and ran onto the floor of the arena after countryman Johan Euren just claimed bronze in the Greco-Roman super-heavyweight category.

Stewards escorted the pair off the floor.

The wrestling continued, with Mijain Lopez beating Heiki Nabi to claim gold.

— Shawn Pogatchnik — Twitter



Leave it to Usain Bolt, the ultimate showman, to come up with an original way to get to the top step of the Olympic medal podium: He jumped.

A night after outclassing a stacked field to win his second consecutive Olympic 100-meter title in 9.63 seconds, the second-fastest time in history, Bolt was back in Olympic Stadium, mugging again for the cameras.

After hopping atop the podium, Bolt spread his arms, then turned and waved to spectators as camera flashes lit up the arena. He mouthed the words as Jamaica's national anthem played.

Monday is the 50th anniversary of Jamaica's independence from Britain, and Bolt has referred to giving his island nation "a great birthday present" at the Olympics.

— Howard Fendrich — Twitter



How close did China's men come to getting beaten in Monday's table tennis semifinal against Germany? So close that coach Liu Guoliang made a confession.

"I was very nervous during the match," he said.

That's a big deal. Liu doesn't reveal much, particularly to non-Chinese reporters.

Gold-medal singles champion Zhang Jike also acknowledged having butterflies in a match China eventually won 3-1. Zhang also dropped his guard when pressed.

"I was nervous, but not especially nervous," said Zhang, who looked down and sent messages on his phone while taking questions. "This is normal for any human. We all get nervous."

— Stephen Wade — Twitter:



Germany's Stephan Feck felt the agony of defeat at the Olympic diving pool.

During the second round of the men's 3-meter springboard preliminaries Monday, Feck attempted a forward 3 1/2 somersault and was supposed to hold his legs tight against his body.

Problem was, he lost the grip on one leg, which sent him spinning wildly as the crowd gasped. Feck landed flat on his back with an awful thud, his coach leaping up to make he was OK.

Feck climbed out of the pool without any apparent problems, receiving all zeroes from the judges. After performing one more dive — and doing much better — he dropped out of the competition.

— Paul Newberry — Twitter



Does my writing seem a little crisper today? My verbs a bit snappier?

It's probably because I am wearing Kinesio tape, an athletic tape popular with beach volleyball players and other Olympic competitors.

American Kerri Walsh Jennings has a black spider pattern on her right shoulder, German Katrin Holtwick has thin blue strips from the top of her bikini to her bottom, and other athletes at Horse Guards Parade use it in a variety of colours and patterns.

Mei Brownfield, a physical therapist working with the American teams, cut off a piece of the plain black stuff for me to try. Stretching the tape to twice its length, I put it on my right shoulder.

I have a vague sense that something's there but it is neither invigorating nor annoying. Brownfield tells me it has different effects — it can activate the muscle or relax it, depending on how it's applied. But she can't tell me how to put it on so I write better.

—Jimmy Golen — Twitter



Defending Olympic 50K race walk champion Alex Schwazer has been caught doping and will miss the London Games. The 27-year-old Schwazer had been due to defend his 2008 Olympic title in the 50-kilometre walk on Sunday.

Schwazer won gold at the Beijing Games in an Olympic record time of 3 hours, 37 minutes, 9 seconds.


EDITOR'S NOTE — "Eyes on London" shows you the Olympics through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across the 2012 Olympic city and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item, and get even more AP updates from the Games here: