EYES ON LONDON: Felix streaks, Bolt coasts

By The Associated Press Updated at 2012-08-08 22:43:42 +0000


LONDON (AP) — Around the 2012 Olympics and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of the games to you:



Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce doesn't mind a silver to go with her gold.

The winner of the 100-meter dash followed it up with a runner-up finish to Allyson Felix of the U.S. in Wednesday night's 200 meters.

That didn't diminish the Jamaican's smile — or her status as one of the worlds top sprinters.

"I must admit, it was really, really hard to pick yourself up after 100 meters and do three more rounds of 200," she says. "Mentally, as an athlete, it's very difficult for me, especially the fact that it's my first double in a championship."

She says she's not sure she would agree to run the 200 again against such tough competition.

"I don't think you could ever put eight ladies like that again in a race," she says. "I would never run."

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer



Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor completed the Olympic hat trick.

The high profile pair picked up their third straight gold medal in beach volleyball in an All-American final, beating April Ross and Jennifer Kessy 21-16, 21-16 on Wednesday night.

Walsh Jennings and May-Treanor have never lost a match, and only dropped one set, in their Olympic career.

With a rowdy crowd on its feet, May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings dropped to their knees and embraced as Ross' serve sailed long to clinch it.

— Jon Krawczynski — Twitter http://www.twitter.com/APKrawczynski



Lashinda Demus won silver medal in the 400 meters hurdles — and was devastated.

Demus, last year's world champion, pushed hard at the end but came up just short in her attempt to catch Natalya Antyukh of Russia at the London Olympics.

The American doubled over in tears.

"I can't explain how bad I wanted the gold medal. It's something I've been dreaming about the last eight years," she said.

Demus admitted that expectations got the best of her even before the race began.

"When you've got people who want it for you as well, it's just a lot more to have on your shoulders," she said. "I just wanted to do well for my family and friends back home who supported me. I broke down crying, overwhelmed with emotion, even before I ran."

Demus vowed to give it another shot at the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro.

"No. 2 in the whole world says a whole lot, but No. 1 one says even more," she said. "So I won't stop until I get that gold medal."

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer



This is the Super Bowl of beach volleyball. So why wouldn't Tony Dungy be in the house?

The former championship-winning coach of the Indianapolis Colts strolled into Horse Guards Parade on Wednesday evening with his wife shortly before the bronze medal game between Brazil and China.

Dungy now spends much of his time as an analyst for NBC, but he wasn't expected to break down the gold medal matchup featuring Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor against fellow Americans April Ross and Jenniver Kessy.

"Just here for fun," he says.

— Jon Krawczynski — Twitter http://www.twitter.com/APKrawczynski



Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown has had her gold medal run snapped.

Campbell-Brown finished fourth in the 200 meters in London on Wednesday night. That ended her run of two Olympic championships — she won the gold in 2004 and 2008.

"I have to be grateful. I'm healthy," said Campbell-Brown, who won bronze last week in the 100 meters. "My objective was to at least get a medal. It wasn't in my favor this time. It's ok."

The win this time went to American Allyson Felix, who lost to Campbell-Brown in the last two Olympics.

"I'm happy for her. I know that she wanted it," Campbell-Brown said.

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer



"She's had a very good season and definitely deserves this moment. She's just like me — she's wanted this for a very long time." — U.S. 400-meter gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross, on American teammate Allyson Felix winning a gold in the 200 meters.

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer



Brazil entered the beach volleyball tournament as the top seed. But scoring a bronze on Wednesday night seemed just fine with Juliana.

She missed the 2008 Beijing Games with a knee injury, forcing partner Larissa to play with a substitute. So getting to the podium in London was viewed as victory, not disappointment.

"I'm very happy for the bronze medal," Juliana says. "It's not gold, but for us it's like gold."

— Jon Krawczynski — Twitter http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski



Allyson Felix has finally done it.

Felix won her first individual Olympic gold medal Wednesday night with a strong finish in the 200 meters, her signature event.

The two-time silver medalist held off Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Carmelita Jeter.

Felix raised her hands in triumph soon after crossing the finish line, a big weight off her shoulders.

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer



AP journalist Raphael Satter was walking by Kiwi House in London and had this to report:

Kiwi House, at London's Central Saint Martins, was evacuated following a small explosion Wednesday evening. The apparent source? A badly secured barbeque.

Witness Sam Sinclair said flames from the grill ignited a gas canister.

"It caught on fire real quick," said Sinclair, a 25-year-old tourist from New Zealand.

Kiwi House was cordoned off by police as several fire engines doused the outside area with water.

— Raphael Satter Twitter at http://raphae.li/twitter



Usain Bolt took it easy early in the race and coasted into the finals. His Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake did the same thing in the previous heat — and almost got beat. Blake slowed too early and was almost caught at the finish line but still ended up first.

U.S. runner Wallace Spearmon said this of Blake slowing up in their heat: "Woulda, coulda, shoulda. He still won. Bet he won't do that tomorrow."

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer



It was a semifinal heat, and heat was what Usain Bolt brought. Again.

He took the 200-meter on Wednesday night with a confident stride that, to the average observer, looked as if he wasn't really working very hard. Everyone else struggled to catch up with him as he led the vanguard to the finish line, making one of the Olympics' most intense sprints look like his evening jog.

Earlier, Bolt walked to the starting line with his usual combination of smiles, salutes and struts. It was only three days ago that he set a new Olympic record for the 100-meter, beating his own Olympic time but still not besting his personal fastest time, which also happens to be the world record.

— Jenna Fryer — Twitter http://twitter.com/jennafryer



Brother acts are popping up all over at the London Olympics — especially from the host nation.

Britain's Alistair Brownlee nabbed the gold in men's triathlon on Tuesday, while his younger brother Jonathan won the bronze. On the water, Richard Chambers and younger brother Peter won silver in the lightweight four along with two other British rowers.

In tennis, there was Britain's Andy Murray and older brother Jamie and doubles players Bob and Mike Bryan of the United States. Jamie Murray's Olympic journey ended when he and Andy lost in the first round of doubles, although Andy went on to win gold in the singles and silver in mixed doubles.

The Bryan twins took home gold in the doubles and Mike Bryan also won a bronze in the mixed doubles.

Kevin Borlee and identical twin Jonathan both competed for Belgium in the 400 meters on Monday, finishing 5th and 6th respectively. Both will compete in the first round of the 4x400 meter relay on Thursday.

— Nick Twomey.



Britain is about to get an influx of beaches.

Over 5,000 tons of sand were trucked to London to construct the beach volleyball courts. It's all got to go somewhere when the competition is over, and there is a plan to bring beach courts to all corners of Britain.

Volleyball officials say that there is enough sand to furnish 40 courts around Britain. They also have plans to build an indoor practice facility in hopes of capitalizing on the momentum generated by games.

— Jon Krawczynski — Twitter http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski



George Hoy might be the happiest teenager in London.

The 16-year-old games volunteer from South Woodford has Usain Bolt's black cap, the one the Jamaican sprinter wore before cruising to victory in a 200-meter preliminary Tuesday night.

Hoy's team got assigned to the 200 meters and Hoy luckily drew Lane 5 out of a hat. That turned out to be Bolt's starting lane. Hoy was waiting at the starting line with a bin to collect Bolt's things.

"As he came out, he kind of went to me, 'What's up?'" said Hoy, who then pounded fists with the sprinter. "As he took his hat off, I went, 'I like your hat.' He went, 'Oh, do you want it?' And that's when he gave it to me."

Hoy has since put the cap on, shown it to friends and family, and even displayed it on his Facebook page. He brought it back to the stadium Wednesday ready to show off some more.

"I can't put it into words," he said. "I'm still buzzing now from it."

— Mark Long — Twitter: http://twitter.com/apmarklong



Swimming officials are considering the introduction of underwater video for judging following the controversy over an alleged illegal dolphin kick by South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh in his 100-meter breaststroke victory last week.

Van der Burgh has acknowledged that he took an additional underwater kick at the start of his world-record swim, justifying it by explaining that most competitors do it.

As the fastest qualifier for the Olympic final, Van der Burgh swam in lane four, which is lined with numerous television and still cameras, which clearly documented the infraction. But judges cannot look at the images.

— Andrew Dampf


EDITOR'S NOTE — "Eyes on London" shows you the Olympics through the eyes of Associated Press journalists across the 2012 Olympic city and around the world. Follow them on Twitter where available with the handles listed after each item.