Michael Phelps won the 200-meter freestyle for his third gold medal, on pace for a record eight in a single Olympics. It was his ninth career gold, tied with Mark Spitz, Carl Lewis, Soviet gymnast Larysa Latynina and Finnish runner Paavo Nurmi for most ever.
HOST WITH THE MOST
China is piling up gold medals faster than even Phelps. Through 43 events, China has 11 golds, three silvers and four bronzes, but the United States has the most total medals with 21, including seven gold. South Korea has five gold and 10 overall. Russia finally got its first gold medals in Beijing _ both in Greco-Roman wrestling.
Americans successfully defended their titles in the 100-meter backstroke: Natalie Coughlin and then Aaron Peirsol in a world-record time of 52.54.
Glenn Eller won the gold medal in double trap shooting, hitting 45 of 50 targets in the final round.
The U.S. men’s gymnastics team earned bronze _ a surprise, since few gave it any chance following injuries to twins Paul and Morgan Hamm.
Remember the little pigtailed girl singing the patriotic song at the opening ceremony? Turns out she was lip-synching, because the actual singer _ a 7-year-old with bangs and crooked teeth _ had a face deemed “not suitable” for the event. The chief music director, Chen Qigang, said a member of China’s Politburo asked for the change at the last minute “in the national interest.”
“I’d have bet on our country any day. We’ve got a heart of gold, and that’s what this medal is right here. It’s a team that will never give up.” _ U.S. gymnast Joey Hagerty, on winning the bronze.
The U.S. softball team began its run toward a fourth straight gold medal. Jennie Finch pitched four no-hit innings and the Americans set a record for runs in a game with an 11-0 rout of Venezuela. … Advancing in tennis were Serena and Venus Williams, and the doubles teams of Lindsay Davenport and Liezel Huber and top-seeded Mike and Bob Bryan. … Benjamin Boukpeti of Togo won a bronze medal in single kayak slalom, that country’s first-ever Summer Olympics medal.
WEDNESDAY’S SCHEDULE HIGHLIGHT
Baseball begins what could be its last Olympics _ unless it is reinstated for the 2016 Games _ with the U.S. taking on South Korea at 6 p.m. (6 a.m. EDT).