Day 5 of the Olympics paved the way for some previously unknown American stars to become household names. Our recap below:
Swimming: Adrian Pulls Off Huge Upset
The man known as “The Missile” has proven to be relatively harmless during these Olympics. In a thrilling finals heat of the men’s 100m freestyle, American Nathan Adrian edged heavy favorite James “The Missile” Magnussen by one-hundredth of a second. Magnussen, who came into London with such high expectations, disappointed heavily in the 4×100 freestyle relay and then failed to recover in his signature event on Wednesday. The race was neck-and-neck the whole time, and when the two touched the wall, they were both unaware of who had won. When Adrian realized he had edged out Magnussen, a euphoric look struck his face as he congratulated his compettitor on a close battle. The win could finally help make the charismatic Adrian a swimming star, as he has long lived in the shadows of Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte.
Gymnastics: Uchimura Takes Men’s All-Around Gold, Leyva Rebounds For Bronze
While Japan’s Kochei Uchimura continued to cement his legacy as the greatest male gymnast of all time by winning the men’s all-around gold, it was American Danell Leyva who managed to steal the show with his third-place finish. Uchimura dominated the competition to win his first individual Olympic gold, posting a 92.690 total in the six-event competition. Leyva, meanwhile—who struggled in the disappointing team finals for USA—bounced back tremendously after another slow start. He may not have a traditional gymnast build, but the 20-year old who fled Cuba as a child sports tremendous heart and determination. His performance suggests that he could be the first person to truly challenge Uchimura, who has had a stranglehold on the sport for four years now. Germany’s Marcel Nguyen took silver in the competition.
Tennis: Serena, Isner into Star-Studded Quarterfinals; Venus Falls
It was an exciting day of tennis at the Wimbledon grounds, as nearly all of the remaining competitors on the men’s and women’s sides played their fourth-round singles matches. In the men’s tournament, heavy favorites Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and hometown hero Andy Murray all advanced. While Federer escaped with relative ease, Djokovic and Murray were both pushed to three sets and showed some vulnerability. American John Isner defeated Djokovic’s Serbian compatriot Janko Tipsarevic 7-5, 7-6 (14) in a tight 2-setter. Next up for Isner is a matchup with Federer in what is sure to be the most-hyped quarterfinal matchup. The American women had mixed success as Serena Williams dominated her match 6-1, 6-0, but sister Venus gave up leads in both sets as she lost to Germany’s Angelique Kerber 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5). Russian Maria Sharapova was pushed to the limits in a three-setter with Germany’s Sabine Lisicki, but she found a way to advance. Sharapova takes on Belgian Kim Clijsters in the quarters, while Serena will face the winner of Caroline Wozniacki and Daniela Hantuchova.
Swimming: Schmitt Leads U.S. Women to 4×200 Freestyle Relay Gold
Move over Phelps and Lochte: it is starting to look like Allison Schmitt and teenager Missy Franklin are going to be the swimming stars of these Olympics. The two phenoms spearheaded another clutch USA comeback in the women’s 4×200 freestyle relay. Franklin swam the opening lap strongly until she began to tire in her last 50 meters. Dana Vollmer, who won gold in the 100-meter butterfly on Day 2, swam the second leg and got the USA into second place by the end of her run. By the time Shannon Vreeland finished her leg, Schmitt entered the water 0.54 seconds behind Australia. But Schmitt blistered through her 200 meters and eventually won the race by a margin of 1.49 seconds, comfortably beating out Australia (silver) and France (bronze).
Women’s Basketball: American Bench Lifts Team in Victory
The USA women used their unrivaled depth to beat Turkey, 89-58, in another impressive win in London. While all the basketball talk has surrounded the dominance of their male counterparts, the US women might be the most unbeatable team in the Olympics. Angel McCoughtry led the way for the Americans by scoring 18 points off the bench, while Tina Charles chipped in with 16 of her own. Turkey kept it close for most of the first three quarters, but the reserves put the game out of reach by midway through the fourth. The USA next plays Friday against Czech Republic.
Looking Ahead to Day 6: Thursday’s schedule includes the final head-to-head matchup between rival Americans Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte in the 200m IM final, the women’s gymnastics all-around competition (without American Jordyn Wieber), and the beginning of the quarterfinals in tennis.