POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jul 29, 2012
LONDON » Destinee Hooker had 21 points and the United States held off late-charging South Korea 3-1 in their opening match at the London Olympics.
The fans at Earls Court chanted "Des-tin-ee! Des-tin-ee!" at one point as she dominated the 25-19, 25-17, 20-25, 25-21 victory.
The United States, which won the silver medal in Beijing and is currently ranked No. 1 in the world, jumped out to a 17-11 lead in the first set after one of Hooker's seemingly effortless spikes, helping set the tone for the match.
Kim Yeon-koung had 29 points for South Korea, which rallied in the third set but ultimately fell short.
"We're thrilled. We got the win," said U.S. captain Lindsey Berg, who graduated from Punahou. "One down."
Also playing for the U.S. is libero Tamari Miyashiro, who graduated from Kalani.
The U.S. plays Brazil when pool play resumes Monday.
In other Olympics action:
Wimbledon champions Roger Federer and Serena Williams each won their opening matches -- one struggled, one didn't.
Federer, a four-time Olympian, overcame a jittery patch and beat Alejandro Falla of Colombia 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.
U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama watched from the front row of Williams' box as the fourth-seeded American beat former No. 1 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 6-3, 6-1 on Centre Court.
While perennial powerhouses China and Japan bobbled and wobbled their way through qualifying, the Americans proved they really do have the goods to contend for the gold medal. They didn't count a single fall, and their final score of 275.342 is almost three points ahead of Britain.
Britain, which was only good enough to send two gymnasts to Beijing four years ago, got a spectacular pommel horse by Louis Smith and finished with a score of 272.420.
The U.S. overcame a sloppy performance to post an 81-56 victory over Croatia in its first game.
Next up for the Americans is Angola, which lost to Turkey 72-50 in its Olympic debut.
The U.S. clinched a spot in the quarterfinals and remembered an injured teammate in a 3-0 victory over Colombia.
Megan Rapinoe scored in the 33rd minute for the Americans. After her goal, she reached into her sock and pulled out a birthday message for Ali Krieger, who blew out her knee in a qualifying match in January.
Abby Wambach made it 2-0 in the 74th, and Carli Lloyd scored in the 77th.
Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor, who are trying for a third consecutive gold medal, beat Australians Tasmin Hinchley and five-time Olympian Natalie Cook in the final match 21-18, 21-19. The No. 2 U.S. men's team of Sean Rosenthal and Jake Gibb needed just 33 minutes to put away South Africans Freedom Chiya and Grant Goldschmidt.
Americans Joseph Diaz Jr. and Terrell Gausha posted impressive victories.
Diaz looked sharp in a 19-9 victory over Ukraine bantamweight Pavlo Ishchenko in the tournament's opening bout, while Gausha knocked down Armenian middleweight Andranik Hakobyan twice in the final 7 seconds of his middleweight bout, winning by stoppage with no time on the clock.
Sixteen-year-old American Ariel Hsing defeated Yadira Silva of Mexico in four straight games. None of the top 16 players and the favored Chinese enter competition until the third round.
Italy won the gold in the men's team event, beating the U.S. by one point on the final shot. It was America's first medal of the games.
The United States and Germany won heats in the blue-riband men's eight, leaving a host of top crews to vie for places in the final.
The U.S. beat Australia by a half length to reach Wednesday's final.
Australia took the early lead in Olympic equestrian eventing at Greenwich Park, with Germany and the United States close behind.
Elisa Di Francisca completed an Italian sweep in the Olympics' individual foil, winning the gold 12-11 in overtime against countrywoman Arianna Errigo.
Defending champion Valentina Vezzali won a tense battle for bronze, 13-12 against top-ranked Nam Hyun-Hee of South Korea.
Sarah Menezes of Brazil and Arsen Galstyan of Russia won the first two golds.
The second-ranked Menezes beat defending Olympic champion Alina Dumitru of Romania in the women's 48-kilogram final. Galstyan defeated one of the 60-kg favorites, Hiroaki Hiroaka of Japan, for his first Olympic medal.
South Korean marksman Jin Jong-oh won the 10-meter air pistol gold medal, improving on his silver in Beijing.
Top-ranked Yi Siling of China captured the gold medal in the women's 10-meter air rifle.
Former champion Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia opened his last Olympics with a comfortable 21-8, 21-8 win over Petr Koukal of the Czech Republic in group play.
In women's action, gold medal contender Li Xuerui of China handled Claudia Rivero Modenesi of Peru 21-5, 21-6 in 22 minutes.
Defending women's champion Norway lost 24-23 to France in its Group B opener.
Wang Mingjuan of China took the women's 48-kilogram title with a total weight of 205 kilograms.