EYES ON LONDON: Bolt not done, dinged gold medal

By The Associated Press Updated at 2012-08-10 11:34:26 +0000

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    4090933b5915ce16170f6a706700285f Jamaica's Usain Bolt, left, celebrates winning the gold medal in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)


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    627517125912ce16170f6a706700d040 Jamaica's Usain Bolt poses after his win in the men's 200 meters at the Summer Olympics in London on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick)


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    E8655bfa5906cd16170f6a706700c148 Jamaica's Usain Bolt, center, takes photographs after he won gold in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


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    Eb66ffdd5901cd16170f6a706700e742 Jamaica's Usain Bolt kisses his gold medal as his teammate bronze medal winner Warren Weir, right, looks on during the ceremony for the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9


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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:

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BOLT'S NOT DONE

Usain Bolt says the two golds he's won in London makes him a legend. So what happens if he adds another?

One night after becoming the first man to win the 100 and 200 in back-to-back Olympics, Bolt will get started toward a quest for a sixth career gold medal in the preliminary round of the 4x100 on Friday.

Bolt won all three events in Beijing, but the Jamaicans could have a tougher time this year. Asafa Powell is injured, meaning Warren Weir will likely take his place. That's not a bad backup. Weir won bronze in the 200 on Thursday.

"Usain Bolt is truly an inspiration to everybody across the world," Weir says. "And I must say, it's well-deserved."

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

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SUNDHAGE'S FUTURE

American soccer coach Pia Sundhage didn't have the gold medal on her neck for more than two hours before the questions about her future with the women's national team started to come.

Her home nation of Sweden is rumored to be after her services, but the coach says she isn't ready to think about that. She calls the U.S. job "the best job in the world."

"It's all about timing," she says. "Right now I have no clue what's going on next year. But I promised myself to enjoy the moment."

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

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DINGED GOLD

Kerri Walsh Jennings isn't wasting any time breaking in her third beach volleyball gold medal.

Walsh Jennings dropped her medal on the cement the morning after she captured her third straight Olympic title with partner Misty May-Treanor. The medal was scratched in two spots along the rim.

No big deal, Walsh Jennings says. With two little ones running around at home, things have a tendency to get dinged.

She says she won't consider tucking her medals away in a safe place.

"People find inspiration in it," she says. "I'm blessed that I can share it."

— Jimmy Golen — Twitter http://twitter.com/jgolen

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USA VS. ARGENTINA II

Manu Ginobili and his Argentine friends better have had some great practices over the last five days.

Argentina lost by 29 points to the American men's basketball team in pool play five days ago. Now the two teams meet again in the semifinals on Friday, with a berth in the gold medal game on the line.

Kevin Durant keyed a 42-17 binge that put the first game away, but the Americans say they're not taking this one for granted. In Beijing, they beat Spain by 37 points in pool play, then had to fight to scrape by them in the medal round.

"It's never a sure thing," U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski says.

— Brian Mahoney — Twitter http://twitter.com/briancmahoney

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NEW CANOE

Keen to emerge from the shadow of rowing, canoe sprint launched a new event on the Olympic program on Friday — the 200 meters. It replaces the 500 meters for the male competitors.

Organizers were hoping a shorter, more explosive discipline would add some spark to the regatta. That certainly seemed to be the case at a near-packed Dorney Lake in Windsor, west of London.

What added to the atmosphere was a Briton performing well. Ed McKeever, dubbed "Usain Bolt on Water" in some British media, qualified quickest from the heats in the K-1 in a time of 35.087 seconds, his arms whirling like a windmill.

He is one of the favorites for gold when the finals of the K-1, C-1 and K-2 for men and K-1 for women take place on Saturday.

— Steve Douglas — Twitter http://twitter.com/sdouglas80

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ROCKIN' THE BOAT

The water may be frigid and the weather far from Mediterranean, but yachts are cruising to London for exclusive Olympics VIP parties.

Nearly a dozen super yachts have come to berths in Canary Wharf and nearby Royal Victoria Docks — the biggest being the Octopus, a 413-foot (126-meter) vessel owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the 10th-largest private yacht in the world.

The yacht has two helipads, jet skis and room for a 50-member crew.

Expect to see paparazzi shots of celebrities, athletics, dignitaries and maybe even royals climbing on board for the invitation-only events.

"It's going to be a big party, no doubt, and we expect those to take place either this evening (Friday) or over the next couple of days before the Olympics finish finally on Sunday," says Benjamin Sutton, director of communications for MGMT Yachts and Concierge.

— Paisley Dodds — Twitter http://twitter.com/paisleydodds

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LEBRON'S YEAR

Lebron James is having a great 2012.

Consider the past few months: he was named the NBA regular-season MVP for a third time, the NBA finals MVP and he won the elusive championship he needed to validate his place among the greats.

Now he is only two wins away from adding to his collection of awards.

The Americans, who play Argentina in the semifinals on Friday, are the favorites to take home their second straight Olympic gold.

James' stellar year comes two years after his infamous decision to broadcast that he was leaving Cleveland and taking his "talents" to Miami.

He says negative backlash from "The Decision" has changed him, but that he's never felt better.

— Tom Withers — Twitter http://twitter.com/twithersAP

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MEDAL COUNT

With only a few days of Olympic competition left, the United States and China are neck-and-neck in the hunt for gold medals.

Powered by big wins in swimming, gymnastics and track and field, American athletes have hauled in 39 gold medals. The Chinese have 37 golds thanks to strong performances in diving, gymnastics, swimming, table tennis and weightlifting.

Overall, the Americans have won 90 medals while the Chinese have 80, according to the latest count on london2012.com, the London Games official website.

The closest competitor for gold is the home team, Britain, with 25 golds and 52 total medals. Russia has 12 golds and 56 medals overall.

There are plenty of medals still up for grabs. The final days of competition include: basketball, canoe sprint, wrestling, water polo, boxing, sailing, taekwondo, synchronized swimming and many other sports.

— Peter Prengaman in New York — Twitter http://twitter.com/peterprengaman

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UNHAPPY WITH CARL

They are both Olympic greats, but Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt made clear he doesn't have nice things to say about American Carl Lewis, a top track athlete in the 1980s.

Bolt strayed from his usual cheerful and charming demeanor after winning the 200 meters on Thursday, a feat that gave him a sweep of the 100 and 200 for the second consecutive games.

When asked if the Jamaican runners are clean, Bolt said they were and then talked about Lewis.

"I'm going to say something controversial right now -- Carl Lewis, I have no respect for him," Bolt said. "The things he says about the track athletes is really downgrading for another athlete to say something like that. I think he's just looking for attention, really because nobody really talks much about him."

Asked what Lewis did to upset him, Bolt said, "It was all about drugs. Talking about drugs."

While not making any direct accusations, Lewis, himself a former 100 and 200 Olympic champion, has said in recent years that Jamaican drug testing procedures might need to be tightened.

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

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USA VS. ARGENTINA II

Manu Ginobili and his Argentine friends better have had several great practices recently.

Argentina lost by 29 points to the American men's basketball team in pool play five days ago. The teams meet again in the semifinals on Friday, with a berth in the gold medal game on the line.

The Americans say they're not taking this one for granted. In Beijing, they beat Spain by 37 points in pool play, then had to fight to scrape by them in the medal round.

"It's never a sure thing," U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski says.

— Brian Mahoney — Twitter http://twitter.com/briancmahoney

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ABBEY ROAD

It's a well-trod path to Abbey Road.

One of the world's most famous crosswalks is drawing hordes of Olympic visitors. The three-block walk between the St. John's Wood Tube stop and Abbey Road is filled with pedestrians from Japan, Canada, the U.S. and other countries either coming or going from the busy landmark.

Once there, they dodge cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses and bikes zooming through the white-striped crosswalk to recreate the Beatles' famous 1969 "Abbey Road" album cover featuring John, Paul, George and Ringo walking away from Abbey Road Studios. The band broke up the following year.

Tourists take turns posing in the crosswalk, asking other visitors to snap their photo, which requires risking one's life to stand in the middle of the road for the best angle.

Some motorists screech to a halt and wait until the photos are taken. Others impatiently honk their horns.

Another popular photo spot in the elegant residential neighborhood is the front of the recording studio, where graffiti covers the fence posts. Unlike other street signs hung low, the Abbey Road signs are positioned high on the walls of buildings to discourage souvenir hunters.

— Beth Harris — Twitter http://twitter.com/bethharrisap and Paul Newberry — Twitter http://twitter.com/pnewberry1963

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OLYMPIC WEATHER

The weather in London and Rio de Janeiro couldn't be more different, so why are Brazilian officials visiting Britain's weather agency?

That's because every Summer Olympics needs good forecasting no matter which country is host. Rio has the 2016 Games.

Marcia dos Santos Seabra from Brazil's National Institute of Meteorology has been observing the Met Office operation at London's Olympic sites and says she's been "very impressed."

Games officials depend heavily on good weather forecasts. Andy Murray's gold medal win against Roger Federer, for example, went ahead on Wimbledon's Centre Court with the roof off after the Met Office predicted a dry spell after a morning of rain.

— Sheila Norman-Culp — Twitter — http://twitter.com/snormanculp

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BOLT'S TWITTER RECORD

When Usain Bolt won the 200 meters, the Twitter world went nuts — so much so that the Jamaican speedster generated another kind of Olympic record.

"Record alert!" Twitter said in a tweet. "(at)usainbolt sets a new Olympic Games conversation record with over 80,000 TPM for his 200m victory."

TPM is Twitterspeak for tweets per minute.

Bolt, who became the only man with two Olympic titles in the 200, has never been shy about his skills.

His Twitter profile says he is "The most naturally gifted athlete the world has ever seen."

Now he has a Twitter record of sorts to add to his "living legend" contention.

— Peter Prengaman in New York — Twitter http://twitter.com/peterprengaman

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HOPE'S HUGE GAME

Goalkeeper Hope Solo is known almost as much for the controversy she stirs up off the field as she is for the saves she makes on it. But not on Thursday night during the gold medal game against Japan.

Solo was brilliant all night, making several heart-stopping saves to lead the Americans to a 2-1 victory. The last one came in the closing minutes, when she laid out to her left to stop a point-blank shot.

"Hope Solo, she says a lot on Twitter, I guess. I don't follow her," coach Pia Sundhage said. "But what matters is what kind of team player she is and how she performs. ... Today Hope Solo had a very good game. She brought the gold back to the United States of America."

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

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HAPPINESS EXPLAINED

After her team won gold, U.S. women's soccer coach Pia Sundhage tried to describe the feeling.

"It's happiness," the native of Sweden said. "It's hard to explain in English and it's hard to explain in Swedish, anyway. Just the fact that you're standing in the middle of something huge."

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

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BOLT LOVE

In his post-race news conference, where apparently no question is out of bounds, 200-meter champion Usain Bolt was asked what kind of woman might be his type.

"I used to have a type," Bolt said. "I don't have a type anymore. It's all about falling in love. That's what it's all about. If I could find the right girl and fall in love, it doesn't matter. I am looking forward to it, though."

— Eddie Pells — Twitter http://twitter.com/epells

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QUICKQUOTES: BOLT

Here's what Usain Bolt is saying after winning his second London gold on Thursday.

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Was he confident all along?

— "There wasn't a doubt. I know a lot of people doubted me, but in my mind, there wasn't a doubt. After the 100 meters, I was really confident in myself. So I knew I could do it. It wasn't a problem."

What was behind the 'ssshhh' gesture?

— "That was for all that people that doubted me, all the people that was talking all kinds of stuff that I wasn't going to do it, I was going to be beaten. I was just telling them you can stop talking now because I am a legend."

Even Yohan Blake?

— "I don't know if Yohan was talking. I didn't hear him, so I can't say. If he was talking, then yes."

Are you the greatest ever?

— "Without a doubt. I've done something that no one has done before, which is defend my double title. Back to back for me, I would say I'm the greatest."

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

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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.

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