POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Aug 12, 2012
LONDON » The names change, not the results. Just call the U.S. women's basketball team Olympic champion -- again.
The Americans won their fifth straight gold medal Saturday, routing France 86-50 and putting more distance between themselves and the rest of the world heading into the 2016 Rio Games.
"It just shows the depth and talent in our country. Women's basketball, it's our sport -- it's our sport," said Diana Taurasi, who has been a part of the last three gold medals. "We grew up playing since we were little and give it every single little bit of energy we have."
Candace Parker scored 21 points, including eight straight during the game-changing run in the second quarter as the U.S. won its 41st straight Olympic game.
This one was special.
Taurasi, who said she doesn't get emotional, cried receiving her gold medal and then paraded around draped in an American flag.
"A little trip down memory lane," Taurasi said. "The track record was going through my head. My parents, Coach was there. It was just a lot of things hit me at once and that's what happened."
The winning streak started in the bronze medal game in 1992. In that stretch, the Americans have won by nearly 30 points a game. Only one team has stayed within single digits of them, and they've lost just once in major international competitions, to Russia in the semifinals of the 2006 world championship.
Coach Geno Auriemma didn't want to get drawn into the debate of where this team ranks among the five that have won the gold.
"The United States has had great teams since 1996 and we are just another one on the list," he said. "We accomplished the same thing they did and I don't know if that separates us. I think it just makes us equal."
Teresa Edwards, Dawn Staley, Sheryl Swoopes and Lisa Leslie got the amazing run started, and Taurasi, Sue Bird and Tamika Catchings have continued it.
With young stars Parker, Maya Moore and Tina Charles a big part of the success in London it doesn't look like the run will end anytime soon.
"The players give back. You have players coming back for a third Olympics to show the younger players what it takes to win a gold medal," said Parker, a two-time Olympian. "I learned a lot from Tina Thompson, Lisa Leslie, Katie Smith and now Dee, Tamika, Sue. It's just the passing down of what it takes to win. That commitment to USA Basketball."
Catchings said the Americans "just wanted to keep that legacy going."
Edwards, a five-time Olympian, said no worry there.
"The legacy is real," said Edwards, who had a front-row seat Saturday night. "What these kids have been doing is amazing. Without much time to practice. In the middle of the WNBA season. And they look good. It's like the whole world knows who we are. I'm really proud of them.
"They're definitely among some of the best" U.S. teams.
American David Boudia's victory in the men's 10-meter platform gave the U.S. its first gold in diving since 2000.
Boudia scored 568.65 points in the six-dive final, edging Qiu Bo of China by 1.8 points. Tom Daley of Britain settled for the bronze.
Mexico earned its first Olympic gold medal in men's soccer and left Brazil wondering if it will ever be able to add the title to its long list of triumphs.
Oribe Peralta scored 29 seconds into the final at Wembley Stadium and added another goal in the second half, leading Mexico to the 2-1 upset.
Hulk scored for Brazil in injury time, but Oscar missed a header in the final seconds to waste the last chance for a comeback in front of 86,162 fans.
Bantamweight Luke Campbell won Britain's first Olympic boxing gold medal in his division since 1908, dramatically knocking down rival John Joe Nevin of Ireland midway through the third round of a 14-11 victory.
Tamara Echegoyen, Angela Pumariega and Sofia Toro of Spain won the Olympic gold medal in women's match racing, thanks in part to a boat-handling error by Australia that swept its skipper into the water.
With the best-of-five match tied at one, the boats were sailing nearly side-by-side downwind in the third race in big waves on Weymouth Bay when the Australian crew lost control and its boat rolled on its side. Skipper Olivia Price was swept out of the back of the boat and her crew had to pick her up before continuing.
Spain won that race by 1 minute, 1 second, but the 20-year-old Price and her crew won the fourth race to force a deciding match.
Britain's Ed McKeever won the men's 200-meter kayak sprint in its Olympic debut, living up to his billing as "Usain Bolt on Water."
McKeever powered his way to victory in 36.246 seconds. Spain's Saul Craviotto Rivero was second and Canada's Mark de Jonge beat France's Maxim Beaumont to bronze by three-hundreths of a second.
Ukraine's Yuri Cheban (men's singles 200-meter canoe sprint) and New Zealand's Lisa Carrington (women's singles 200-meter kayak sprint) also won gold. Yury Postrigay and Alexander Dyachenko of Russia took the men's 200 kayak sprint.
Julie Bresset picked up the victory at her first Olympics, rolling through the English countryside and waving the French flag as she finished.
Bresset dominated the picturesque course at Hadleigh Farm. Defending gold medalist Sabine Spitz wound up with the silver medal, and Georgia Gould of the United States claimed bronze.
It was only the second Olympic medal in mountain biking for the Americans, who are credited with developing the sport in the 1970s. Susan DeMattei captured bronze at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
Evgeniya Kanaeva became the first rhythmic gymnast to win two Olympic all-around titles, defending her gold medal from Beijing.
Russia has captured the last four Olympic individual titles. It also has a chance for another four-peat in today's group event, too.
Artur Taymazov of Uzbekistan won his third straight Olympic wrestling gold in the men's 120-kilogram division, beating Georgia's Davit Modzmanashvili in the final.
Taymazov joins Alexander Medved of the former Soviet Union and Russian great Alexander Karelin as the only male wrestlers to win gold medals in three straight games.