Beijing, China — Michael Phelps has his second gold of the Beijing games. It came in the 400 meter freestyle relay and he got the gold because of the performance of teammate Jason Lezak, who swam the anchor leg of the race. When Lezak dove into the pool for the last lap he was second to world record holder Alain Bernard of France. He was still trailing with about 20 meters to go but from there the American turned on the afterburner. He made up the distance and finished 0.08 seconds ahead of Bernard.
The Americans finished in first with a world record time of 3:08.24. The time shaved 3.99 seconds off of the world mark, which had been set the night before by the qualifying crew.
The gold in the 400 meter freestyle relay was preceded by a silver in the women’s 400 freestyle by Katie Hoff. She had built a big lead in the race but finished 0.07 seconds behind Britain’s Rebecca Adington. After two of five individual races, Hoff has a silver and a bronze.
The U.S. also picked up a silver today when Christine Magnuson finished second in the women’s 100-meter butterfly.
— The U.S. women’s basketball team goes against the host nation tonight and it’s a good bet the fans will be every bit as emotional as last night when the men’s team beat China 101-70.
The women’s team beat the Czech Republic in its first game of the Olympics. For the men, the next opponent is Angola.
— A spokesman for the U.S. Olympic Committee says the wife of slain American Todd Bachman is now in stable condition. Todd Bachman was killed two days ago while sightseeing with his wife and daughter, former Olympian Elisabeth Bachman. After attacking Mr. and Mrs. Bachman, the assailant threw himself off of the ancient monument they were on, committing suicide.
— The U.S. women’s volleyball team, playing in its second match of an emotionally draining Olympics, fell to Cuba in three sets today. The Cubans, who are ranked third in the world, overpowered the Americans 25-15, 26-24, 25-17 and went up 2-0 in preliminary round play. The U.S. team is 1-and-1 after two matches. — A pair of Olympic rookies in singles play got wins today. Serena Williams won all four games when her match resumed after yesterday’s suspension by rain and she defeated Olgo Govortsova of Belarus, 6-3, 6-1. Rafael Nadal also made a successful debut with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 win over Italy’s Potito Starace.
— Raynell Williams of Cleveland has won his opening bout of the Olympic boxing tournament. Williams scored a 9-1 win over his Italian opponent in the featherweight division at Beijing’s Worker’s Gymnasium. — A Spanish cyclist has been kicked out of the Olympics for testing positive for EPO. Maria Isabel Moreno is the first athlete to test positive for a banned substance here in Beijing. The International Olympic Committee says she was tested in the athletes’ village July 31st and left China later that day. She was supposed to race in the individual time trial.
— With the continued success in swimming, the U.S. has taken over the lead in the medal count.
The U.S. has 12 overall while China has 11. Broken down, the U.S. has 3 gold, 4 silver and 5 bronze while the host nation has 8 gold, 3 silver and no bronze.