Team USA Weekend Wrap-Up: Sept. 10, 2012
The London 2012 Paralympic Games wrapped up Sunday with the Closing Ceremony.
Team USA finished the 12-day competition with 98 medals, including 31 gold, 29 silver and 38 bronze. The total was the fourth best. Swimmer Jessica Hardy tied for the most individual medals at the Games with eight (five gold, two silver and a bronze). For full coverage of the Paralympic Games, see U.S. Paralympics.
Meanwhile, other Team USA athletes were winning medals at various competitions around the world. Here is a recap of all the Olympic action this weekend:
Serena Williams needed a rally to produce the 15th Grand Slam singles title of her career. Williams won the final four games to pull out a 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 victory over Victoria Azarenka for her fourth U.S. Open title Sunday in New York City.
Williams won the first U.S. Open women’s final to go three sets since Steffi Graf’s 1995 win over Monica Seles. In addition to the U.S. Open crown, Williams also won the Wimbledon singles title and Olympic gold medals in singles and doubles (with sister, Venus) in London.
“I can’t believe I won,” Williams said of her latest victory. “I came in the summer knowing it was going to be a long summer, but I knew that I could do well if I just put my mind to it.
“I knew I could just be a good player and a champion this summer. I never expected to win all these titles. Everything has been so amazing.”
Williams moved to within three Grand Slams for the career women’s singles grand slam titles record, held by Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.
U.S. brothers Mike and Bob Bryan also followed up an Olympic gold medal with a U.S. Open championship. They defeated Leander Paes of India and Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic, 6-3, 6-4, Friday in the men’s doubles final for their 12th Grand Slam victory.
TRACK AND FIELD
Olympic 110-meter hurdles champion Aries Merritt set a world record in the event Friday at the Samsung Diamond League final in Brussels, Belgium.
Merritt won in 12.80 seconds, breaking the mark of 12.87 set by Cuba’s Dayron Robles in 2008. It marked the biggest drop in the record since Renaldo Nehemiah took .16 seconds off the record in 1979.
Merritt used the record-setting victory to secure the Diamond League series win. Olympic silver medalist Jason Richardson finished second in 13.05.
“Not many people can say they’ve been Olympic champion. Ever,” Merritt said. “World records, they come and go all the time. I can have the world record now, but someone next year can break the world record and it will be gone, but no one can take my Olympic championship away from me.”
Also in Diamond League action this weekend, Chaunté Lowe (a two-time women’s high jump Olympian) and Charonda Williams clinched series wins as well. Lowe finished sixth while Williams was third in the women’s 200 in Brussels.
Christian Taylor (men’s triple jump), Reese Hoffa (men’s shot put) and Dawn Harper (women’s 100 hurdles) had already clinched Diamond League series titles last week in Zurich, Switzerland.
Many U.S. track and field stars have remained in Europe to compete since the London 2012 Olympic Games. TeamUSA.org caught up with three-time medalists sprinter Carmelita Jeter last week about finally being able to return home.
Two-time Olympian Margaux Isaksen won the UIPM Junior World Championships Friday in Drzonkow, Poland, while helping the U.S. women to the team gold.
Isaksen, 20, won three gold medals at the event. She had earlier been part of the women’s relay gold. She placed fourth at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Isabella Isaksen, Margaux’s younger sister, was seventh and Samantha Achterberg was 18th to help form the winning team.
Margaux Isaksen missed a shot at a possible fourth medal when she teamed with Nathan Schrimsher for a 10th-place finish in the mixed relay Sunday.
Kealia Ohai scored in the 44th minute Saturday to end a record shutout streak by Germany and lift the United States to the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup title with a 1-0 victory Saturday in Tokyo.
Defender Crystal Dunn made a long run to the end line and crossed the ball to set up the goal late in the half. Germany had held opponents scoreless for 610 minutes in the tournament.
Julie Johnston was named U.S. Woman of the Match and received the Bronze Ball as the tournament’s third-best player.
Elsewhere, the U.S. men’s national team fell to Group A leader Jamaica 2-1 in a World Cup Qualifier game in Kingston, Jamaica.
Clint Dempsey scored the fastest U.S. goal in a World Cup qualifier by connecting 36 seconds in. However, Jamaica answered twice to end an 18-game winless streak against the United States. The U.S. team was without key midfielders Michael Bradley and Landon Donovan, who were out with injuries.
The loss leaves the United States third in Group A with three games remaining. The United States and Jamaica meet again at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio, on ESPN2. To advance to the next round, the United States needs to finish in the top two of its group. It closes out this stage with matches against Antigua and Barbuda and Guatemala in December.
Reese McGuire went 2-for-3 with two RBIs Saturday as the United States won its first IBAF 18-Under Baseball World Championship since 1999 with a 6-2 victory over Canada in Seoul, South Korea.
The win avenged a 1-0 extra-inning loss to Canada earlier in the tournament. Ian Clarkin, Ryan Olson and Keegan Thompson combined on a four-hitter with six strikeouts.
Shortstop Christian Arroyo was named Most Valuable Player after hitting .387 in the tournament. He also received the award for Most Runs Batted In with 10.
Ryan Boldt was honored for Most Stolen Bases (12) and Most Runs Scored (11). Garrett Williams received the Best Earned Run Average award for not allowing an earned run in 11 2/3 innings. Arroyo and designated hitter Jeremy Martinez made the tournament all-star team.
The United States went 7-2 in the tournament and reached the gold-medal game with Friday’s 10-5 victory over Japan.
• MOUNTAIN BIKING: Georgia Gould earned the bronze medal in the elite women’s cross-country race at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships Saturday in Sallfelden, Austria. Lea Davison finished eighth in the same race and Keegan Swenson was fifth in the junior men’s event. Olympian Todd Wells was 35th in the elite men’s race.
• TRIATHLON: Manuel Huerta raced to a third-place finish Sunday at the Guatapé ITU Triathlon World Cup in Colombia. Huerta, competing for the first time since the London 2012 Olympic Games, finished the 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run in 2:02:24.
• JUDO: Mackenzie Williams won her third consecutive Pan American Junior Championships gold medal and the United States claimed three other judo medals during the weekend in Cali, Colombia. Williams won gold in the under-17 age division, 70+ kg weight class. Ashlyn White (48 kg) and Devin Sobay (90+ kg) also medaled in under-17 while David Gilkarov (90 kg) earned bronze in under-20.
• EQUESTRIAN: Becky Holder and Courageous Comet won the Merial Advanced division at the USEF National Advanced Horse Trials Championships in Fairburn, Ga. Elsewhere, the United States finished fifth in the BMO Nations Cup in Calgary, Alberta.
• GYMNASTICS: Audrey Ghanian’s Open Women’s gold in the trampoline was among the 29 medals won by the United States at the 2012 Loule World Cup in Portugal. The World Cup included events in trampoline, synchronized trampoline and tumbling for senior, junior and Olympic development levels.
• WRESTLING: Pat Downey finished second at 84 kg/185 pounds Sunday for the only U.S. men’s freestyle wrestling medal at the FILA Junior World Championships in Pattaya, Thailand. Alli Ragan (63 kg/138 pounds) claimed bronze at 63 kg/138 pounds Friday for the only freestyle medal by a U.S. woman.
• ROLLER SPORTS: Mario Valencia finished third in the Junior Men 1,000 Meters Sunday at the Inline Speed Skating World Championships in Italy. The event continues through Saturday.
Story courtesy Red Line Editorial, Inc. Tom Robinson is a freelance contributor for TeamUSA.org. Material from various news services and press releases from National Governing Bodies was used to compile this report. This story was not subject to the approval of any National Governing Bodies.