American teenager Claressa Shields danced, brawled and even stuck out her tongue. She also managed to win the first middleweight gold medal in women’s Olympic boxing.
The 17-year-old Shields, from Flint, Mich., was too much for Russian opponent Nadezda Torlopova, posting a 19-12 win in the 75kg final.
"This was something I wanted for a long time, even when boxing wasn’t going all right, even when my life wasn’t going all right," said Shields, who found sanctuary in a boxing gym during a rough childhood.
"All I wanted was a gold medal, and I kept working towards it, even when people were saying I couldn’t do it. I’m too young. I couldn’t do it. There were girls who were going to beat me because of better experience, more experience. I proved them all wrong."
U.S. TIGHTENS ‘D’ TO ADVANCE
Tina Charles and Diana Taurasi scored 14 points apiece and the U.S. women’s basketball team cranked up its defense in the second half to beat Australia 86-73 and reach a fifth straight gold medal game.
Australia’s Liz Cambage scored 19 first-half points, but the U.S. held the 6-foot-8 star scoreless the rest of the game.
The Americans have won 40 consecutive Olympic contests dating back to the bronze medal game in 1992.
The United States won its first gold medal in women’s water polo, getting five goals from Maggie Steffens and a sterling performance from goalkeeper Betsey Armstrong to cruise to an 8-5 win over Spain.
The Americans overpowered a young Spanish team at both ends of the pool to lead 5-2 by halftime
"I am speechless. It still hasn’t sunk in," U.S. captain Brenda Villa said. "I can’t describe it. It’s the end of a journey, and I got my fairy-tale ending."
The U.S. won bronze in 2004 and silver in 2000 and 2008.
Chen Ruolin of China won the women’s 10-meter platform gold, easily defending her title from Beijing.
Chen totaled 422.30 points during the five-dive final, winning by a 55.80-point margin. She earlier won gold in the 10-meter synchronized and swept the platform events for the second consecutive games.
China has won six of seven diving gold medals with only the men’s platform remaining.
Eva Risztov of Hungary led most of the way in a grueling open water marathon at Hyde Park, holding off a desperate bid to chase her down by American Haley Anderson.
Risztov beat Anderson by four-tenths of a second after nearly 2 hours of racing around The Serpentine. The winner climbed out of the water, smiling and looking fresh. She even flexed for the big crowd.
Russia led the technical routine of the team event — as expected.
Russia has won this event at the past three Olympics. Featuring Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina, who won the duet Tuesday, it collected a near-perfect 98.1 points. China was next with 97.0. Medals will be handed out after today’s free routines.
The quartet of Tate Smith, Dave Smith, Murray Stewart and Jacob Clear gave Australia a lift with a surprising wire-to-wire win in the men’s 1,000-meter K-4.
It was Australia’s first team gold in canoe sprint — and took its overall tally in London to six after wins by cyclist Anna Meares, 100-meter hurdler Sally Pearson and sailors Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen.