SURREY, England » Some of the women who sat upon a throne at Hampton Court Palace, a residence favored by King Henry VIII, met unhappy ends. Some of the cyclists who perched on the cushioned thrones set up Wednesday outside the stately building had happier fates: They got Olympic medals.
Kristin Armstrong of Boise, Idaho, earned a place among cycling royalty by winning her second consecutive women’s time trial gold medal, a remarkable feat considering she retired after the Beijing Games, had a son in 2010 and broke her collarbone in May as her comeback was gaining steam.
Armstrong, the oldest women’s Olympic time trial champion at a week short of 39, powered through the final third of the scenic 29-kilometer course to win in 37 minutes 34.82 seconds. Judith Arndt of Germany was second in 37:50.29 and road race bronze medalist Olga Zabelinskya of Russia was third in 37.57.35.
"I was just a normal kid that never was told by their coach that they had anything special, that maybe I should go after something," Armstrong said. "It’s just a determination and sacrifice I had all the way since elementary school.
"To come back and have the stars align four years apart on one day is something very special. It took a lot of work. It took a lot of work from my family, sacrifice from my coach. I have 12 family members here. I’m so glad I can do it for them and all the moms out there."
Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins of Britain set off roars at the finish line by covering the men’s 44-kilometer time trial course in 50:39.54. Tony Martin of Germany was second in 51:21.54 and Great Britain’s Christopher Froome was third in 51:47.87. American Taylor Phinney was fourth in 52:38.07.
Americans split in match racing
The U.S. women’s match racing team, which includes former UH sailor Molly O’Bryan Vandemoer, split its two races and is 5-3 in the round-robin competition. The Americans defeated New Zealand and lost to Russia. The team is in fourth place behind Australia (8-0), and Russia and Spain (6-2). The top eight advance to the knockout round.
Tumua Anae, who was born in Hawaii, is a reserve goalkeeper for the U.S. women’s water polo team, which got two goals from Maica Garcia in the last two minutes to help forge a 9-9 tie withSpain. Anae did not play.
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Venus Williams was eliminated in the singles competition at Wimbledon, losing 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) to No. 7-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany. Seeking a record fourth gold medal in Olympic tennis, Williams still has a shot with sister Serena in doubles.
Serena moved on, routing No. 13 seed Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 6-0. Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka and Kim Clijsters also advanced.
On the men’s side, Britain’s Andy Murray outlasted Marcos Baghdatis 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. Novak Djokovic beat Lleyton Hewitt in three sets, and Roger Federer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Juan Martin del Potro also won.
Angel McCoughtry scored 18 points, Tina Charles had 16 and the U.S. women beat Turkey 89-58 in a matchup of unbeaten teams.
Turkey stayed close for a while. It had an early one-point lead in the first quarter before McCoughtry helped the Americans build a 15-point advantage by the half.
The Americans close out pool play Sunday against China, which is also 3-0 after routing Angola 76-52.
Two-time defending Olympic gold medalists Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor picked up another win. But another one of their impressive streaks is over.
The Americans lost the first set of their match against Austria 21-17, the first lost set in three Olympics. But they came back to win the second set 21-8 and took the third 15-10 to remain unbeaten in this — and every other — trip to the Olympics.
On the men’s side, Americans Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal beat Latvia to bounce back from their only loss of the tournament and advance.
Two-time Olympic sabre champion Mariel Zagunis, who carried the American flag at the opening ceremony, lost her last two matches and failed to make the podium.
Kim Jiyeon of South Korea won the gold, beating Russia’s Sofya Velikaya in the final. Olga Kharlan of Ukraine got the bronze.
Seth Kelsey of the U.S. also dropped his last two matches in men’s individual epee, leaving him without a medal as well. Venezuela’s Ruben Limardo, Norway’s Bartosz Piasecki and Jung Jinsun of South Korea took the top three spots.
Britain beat Uruguay 1-0 in its final group game to join fellow medal contenders Brazil and Mexico in the quarterfinals.
Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge scored the winner just before halftime in front of 70,000 fans. The team, which won Group A, is the country’s first in the Olympics since 1960.
Oribe Peralta scored a second-half goal as Mexico topped Switzerland 1-0, and Honduras continued its surprise run by drawing 0-0 with Group D winner Japan to take a place in the last eight.
China completed a sweep of the synchronized diving events, winning the men’s 3-meter springboard to move halfway toward taking each of the diving gold medals.
Qin Kai and partner Luo Yutong led all six rounds of the final, totaling 477.00 points. Ilya Zakharov and Evgeny Kuznetsov of Russia took the silver at 459.63.
Kristian Ipsen and Troy Dumais of the U.S. earned the bronze at 446.70. It was the first medal of Dumais’ long career in his fourth Olympics.