It’s July, which means that the 2012 Summer Olympics begin later this month.
This weekend, we learned a lot about who will be competing in London and in what events.
Here are some of the highlights:Track and Field
When Usain Bolt crossed the 200-meter finish line in world-record time four years ago in Beijing, none of the other runners were same time zone.
Bolt won’t have it so easy this summer in London.
Sunday at Jamaica’s Olympic team trials, Bolt finished second in the 200, 0.03 seconds behind first-time Olympian Johan Blake. On Friday, Blake had beaten Bolt in the 100, the other event in which Bolt holds the world record.
When asked if he was worried, Bolt said, “I’m never worried until my coach gets worried, and my coach isn’t worried, so I’m OK.”
Yohan Blake went two-for-two against Usain Bolt at the Jamaican Olympic trials. (AP Photo/Collin Reid)Run-Off Controversy
Following Saturday night’s women’s 200 final at the U.S. track and field trials in Oregon, which Allyson Felix won going away, Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh agreed to settle their third-place tie in the 100 with a Monday-night run-off. (Since the U.S. may send three athletes in each track and field event, the run-off will decide which runner competes in the 100 in London. Both will be part of the 4 x 100 relay team.)
But according to an anonymous source who spoke to Sports Illustrated‘s Tim Layden, Tarmoh decided to pull out of the tiebreaker race. She has not formally withdrawn, and her camp is trying to convince her to participate.
Tarmoh, who was initially declared the third-place finisher before video evidence showed a tie, told the Associated Press Sunday, “In my heart of hearts, I just feel like I earned the third spot. I almost feel like I was kind of robbed.”
If the run-off does happen, it will go down tonight, sometime after 7:00 p.m. Central. NBC will cut into its swimming coverage to show the race.Swimming
Speaking of swimming, Michael Phelps won the 100 butterfly Sunday at the U.S. Olympic team trials in Omaha.
It was Phelps’s fourth win of the trials (he also won the 200 butterfly, 200 freestyle, and 200 individual medley) and the fifth event in which he qualified for the Olympics (he finished second to Ryan Lochte in the 400 individual medley).
Phelps will have an opportunity to swim eight events (including relays) in London: the same eight events that he swam in Athens and Beijing, winning 14 gold and 2 bronze medals. But Phelps is undecided on whether he will participate in all eight. Over the next few weeks he and coach Bob Bowman will discuss the possibility of dropping one or more races so that Phelps can focus on his strongest events.
17-year-old Missy Franklin also had a big meet in Omaha, qualifying for seven events (four individual and three relays). No American woman has ever swam in seven events at the Olympics. Franklin won the 100 and 200 backstroke and finished second in the 100 and 200 freestyle.
In the men’s 1500 freestyle final, Connor Jaeger finished second in his heat but kept swimming. He didn’t realize that he’d already completed all 30 lengths of the pool.
In high school and college distance races, a teammate or coach of each swimmer will hold a lap-counter under the water at the far end of the pool. But at the Olympic trials, swimmers have to look to an official standing on the deck. Since swimmers don’t lift their heads out of the water and breathe to the side, that official can be hard to see.
At any rate, Jaeger wasn’t penalized for swimming too much and will participate in the 1500 meter final tonight.Gymnastics
Gymnast Gabby Douglas held off favorite Jordyn Wieber at the U.S. gymnastics Olympic team trials in San Jose to clinch to sole guaranteed spot on the Olympic team. Douglas was shaky on the balance beam, but an impressive performance on the uneven bars gave her enough of a lead to keep Wieber from catching her.
USA Gymnastics named Wieber to the five-person team, along with Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, and Kyla Ross. 2008 All-Around Gold Medalist Nastia Liukin fell short in her bid to return the Olympics, but earned a standing ovation from the crowd in San Jose.
Danell Leyva and John Orozco clinched the two automatic spots on the men’s team. Joining them will be Jonathan Horton (who was also on the team in Beijing), Sam Mikulak, and Jake Dalton.
16-year-old Gabby Douglas finished first at the U.S. gymnastics Olympic trials. She and Jordyn Wieber will lead the women’s team in London. (Photo from Reuters)
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