The Torch
8:24 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Let's Catch Up: U.S. Women's Basketball Blowout, And Maroney's Vault Woes

As we enter the final week of the 2012 Summer Olympics, and athletes from the United States have won a total of 60 medals. That's just behind China, at 61. The two countries have stayed in lock-step with one another all through the London Games. Here's a quick rundown of other news out there:

- The U.S. women's basketball team may have been sending several messages in one game Sunday, when they matched their team Olympic record by disposing of China, 114-66, to win their group. The big win comes days after the American men's team's 156-73 blowout of Nigeria. It was the 38th win in a row for the Americans, who face Canada Tuesday.

- It's been 32 years since someone other than an American won the men's 400 meters in the Summer Olympics. That streak goes back to the boycotted 1980 Moscow Games. But it ends in London, as defending gold medalist LaShawn Merritt has pulled out of the race with a hamstring injury.

- The international association that governs water polo sent two of its Olympic referees to the bench, after they disallowed a goal by Spain in its 7-8 loss to Croatia. But FINA still says Spain lost, despite a protest.

- Over at Wired, they've put up a gallery of photos showing "What the Olympics Looks Like from Space."

- Staying in geek territory, Japanese silver medalist Satomi Suzuki, 21, says she wants to be a voice actress on anime and video games. One profile refers to her as "an indoor type."

- Injured U.S. BMX rider Arielle Martin, who had been bound for this weeks' competition in London, has undergone surgery to repair damage to her liver and a collapsed lung, suffered in a training ride in Chula Vista, Calif., last week. Her Olympic spot will be filled by Brooke Crain, 19, according to USA Cycling.

- And American gymnast McKayla Maroney — the vault world champion, whose performance on the apparatus helped her team to an all-around gold last week — shocked many when she fell on her second attempt Sunday. The flub cost her an individual gold, but the normal-for-her otherworldly score of her first vault buoyed her to a silver medal.

Here's how the AP described the moment: "Normally so explosive at takeoff, Maroney's hands never really hit the vaulting table. An eyeblink later her heels smacked the mat and slipped out from under her."

And here's how Maroney says it: "I really didn't deserve to win a gold medal if I fall on my butt. I was still happy with a silver, but it's still just sad."

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