Jenn Suhr has been America’s best female pole vaulter for a while. Now she’s the best in the world.
Suhr rounded out her resume with Olympic gold, vaulting 15 feet, 7 inches to defeat Cuba’s Yarisley Silva, who cleared the same height but lost on a tiebreaker because she had one more miss in the competition.
Suhr also beat two-time defending Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia, who failed to become the first woman to win the same individual track and field event at three consecutive Olympics. Isinbayeva settled for bronze with a vault of 15-5.
Grenada’s Kirani James won the men’s 400 meters and 35-year-old Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic took the men’s 400-meter hurdles on a rainy night at Olympic Stadium. Other track and field winners included Belarus’ Nadzeya Ostapchuk (women’s shot put) and Russia’s Yuliya Zaripova (women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase).
Michael Tinsley was second in the 400 hurdles, but it was a disappointing session for the U.S. overall. The U.S. was without a representative in the 400 final, and it was the first time since the 1980 Moscow Games that someone other than an American won the race.
“It’s probably crazy at home right now,” James said. “There’s probably a road party right now in the streets. I don’t think there are any words to describe the celebration right now.”
Gabby Douglas was nowhere near the podium this time. The all-around champion, who also helped the United States to team gold, finished last on uneven bars. Russia’s Aliya Mustafina rallied to the victory.
“Toward the end of the Olympics, you get mentally and physically tired and you’re just like drained,” Douglas said. “I tried to fight through it as much as I could.”
Mustafina, who injured her left knee in April 2011, gave Russia its first gold in women’s gymnastics in London. This completed her medal set following a silver in team competition and bronze in all-around.
Arthur Zanetti finished first on still rings for Brazil’s first gymnastics medal, and Yang Hak-seon of South Korea added the gold on vault to his world title.
Hawaii island native Keitani Graham lost his qualification match in the 84 kg division of the Greco-Roman wrestling competition at the London Olympics on Monday.
Representing the Federated States of Micronesia, the Punahou alumnus fell to Charles Edward Betts of the United States.
Alan Khugaev of Russia defeated Karam Mohamed Gaber Ebrahim of Egypt for the gold medal.
Matt Emmons finally made his way to the podium in the 50-meter three-position rifle event at the Olympics.
The U.S. marksman held on to win the bronze medal. Italy’s Niccolo Campriani set Olympic marks of 1,180 in qualifying and 1,278.5 for his overall score, easily topping silver medalist Kim Jong-hyun of South Korea.
Emmons won a 50-meter prone rifle gold at Athens and silver in the event at Beijing, but is best-known for his Olympic three-position misfortunes.
He was the leader with one shot left in three-position at Athens in 2004, then somehow managed to shoot at the wrong target. He was in front again with one shot left in Beijing, but the gun went off before he was aligned with the target.
Americans Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal were knocked out of the men’s tournament by Latvia.
The Americans won the first set 21-19, then dropped two straight to Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins, 21-18, 15-11. The other American men’s team, Beijing gold medalists Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser, had already been eliminated.
Latvia will meet the reigning world champion Brazilian team of Emanuel and Alison, which escaped a set point in the third to beat Poland 21-17, 16-21, 17-15.
The No. 2 Brazilian team of Ricardo and Pedro Cunha lost to Germany, and Reinder Nummerdor and Rich Schuil of the Netherlands beat Italy in the remaining quarterfinal.
Norbert Hosnyanszky scored three times and defending champion Hungary beat the U.S. 11-6 to close out the preliminary stage of the men’s tournament.
The Americans have dropped two straight and will face undefeated Croatia in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.
Jason Kenny won the sprint for Britain’s fifth gold medal out of a possible seven in track cycling.
Kenny earned his first win against three-time world champion Gregory Bauge of France. The 24-year-old from Bolton, outside Manchester, made good on the British team’s decision to enter him in the event instead of defending champion Chris Hoy.
Bauge failed in his bid to become the first Frenchman to win the Olympic sprint title in 40 years.
Tom Slingsby of Australia won the men’s Laser class by match-racing closest competitor Pavlos Kontides to the back of the fleet.
Kontides took the silver, the first-ever Olympic medal for Cyprus, the small island nation that started taking part in the games in Moscow in 1980.
A few hours later, as Slingsby was about to receive his gold medal in a harbor-side ceremony, the Aussie crew of Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen came ashore with an unassailable lead in the 49er skiff class.
To collect their medals, Outteridge and Jensen need to make a “genuine effort” to start, sail the course and finish in the medals race Wednesday.
In the women’s Laser Radial, Xu Lijia of China won the gold despite having to do a penalty turn on the first downwind leg for rocking the boat. Marit Bouwmeester of the Netherlands took silver, and Belgium’s Evi Van Acker was third.