London Olympics: seen and heard day 12

2012-08-09T00:00:00Z London Olympics: seen and heard day 12 Arizona Daily Star
August 09, 2012 12:00 am

Men's volleyball

The U.S. men's volleyball team got off to a strong start at the London Olympics, but it's headed home without a medal.

The defending Olympic champions lost 28-26, 25-20, 25-20 to Italy in the quarterfinals.

Italy will face Brazil in Friday's semifinals, and Russia takes on Bulgaria.

Women's boxing

Middleweight Claressa Shields dominated Kazakhstan's Marina Volnova in the semifinals of the first Olympic women's tournament, earning a spot in the title bout against Russia's Nadezda Torlopova.

After pounding away at the slower Volnova for most of the 29-15 fight, the 17-year-old Shields pounded her taped right fist against her own left shoulder and screamed with joy.

Shields is the last American boxer left in London after flyweight Marlen Esparza lost 10-8 to Chinese world champion Ren Cancan an hour earlier.

Water polo

The U.S. men's team was eliminated with an 8-2 quarterfinal loss to unbeaten Croatia.

The Croats jumped to a 5-0 lead by halftime with ferocious defense on one end of the pool and efficient shooting on the other. The Americans clawed back to 5-2 halfway through the third quarter, but Miho Boskovic responded for Croatia with his second goal before Sandro Sukno added another with four seconds left in the period.

By the numbers

1

Sarah Attar, covered from head to toe, except for her smiling face poking out from her headscarf, became the first woman from Saudi Arabia to compete in track and field at the Olympics when she clocked in 2 minutes 44.95 seconds in her preliminary race.

Weightlifting

It helps to have a thick neck if you're going to drop a 196-kilogram (432-pound) barbell on it.

Team doctors said German weightlifter Matthias Steiner is sore and bruised but escaped serious injury after getting hit by the bar in the super heavyweight competition.

German team doctor Helmut Schreiber said medical tests showed Steiner suffered ligament and muscle injuries but no damage to his spine.

Beach volleyball

Britain is about to get an influx of beaches.

Over 5,000 tons of sand were trucked to London to construct the beach volleyball courts. It's all got to go somewhere when the competition is over, and there is a plan to bring beach courts to all corners of Britain.

Volleyball officials say that there is enough sand to furnish 40 courts around Britain.

• More than two dozen reporters were crowded around gold medalists Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings when the staged floor buckled. Several sections of the floor started to come apart, sending reporters scrambling for more stable footing. No one was hurt, and the floor underneath the athletes remained stable.

Quotable

"Maybe on the warmup track I was eating some bugs, but I didn't notice it in the race at all. You are in the zone then. There could have been an earthquake and I'd have no idea."

- U.S. runner Morgan Uceny speaking as flying ants descended on Olympic Stadium

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