POSTED: Monday, July 30, 2012 - 12:31pm
UPDATED: Monday, July 30, 2012 - 12:31pm
London — The London Aquatics Centre will be a focal point of more drama Monday, with four gold medals at stake in men's and women's swimming.
Meanwhile, the best male gymnasts in the world will battle for the team championship, with the United States seeking its first gold medal since 1984 and Great Britain hoping to win its first team medal ever, in front of a home crowd.
American swimmer Ryan Lochte will have a chance for personal revenge in the 200-meter freestyle final Monday, a day after his anchor leg of the men's 4x100-meter relay fell short to the French -- who swallowed Lochte's lead and clinched the gold medal.
In diving, China's Yuan Cao and Yanquan Zhang are favorites to win the 10-meter platform event. But they will have to contend with Great Britain's Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield. In his second Olympics, 18-year-old Daley has become a face of the British Olympic team.
Other gold medals will be awarded Monday in judo, fencing, shooting and weightlifting.
Tears streamed down the faces of two American gymnasts during qualifications Sunday, but for two very different reasons.
Reigning world all-around champion Jordyn Wieber failed to qualify for the women's all-around final by less than half a point, erupting into tears at the news. She was edged out by teammates Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman, who broke down after learning she would compete in the prestigious all-around competition Thursday.
Wieber's miss sparked debate about a controversial rule that limits each country to sending no more than two gymnasts to the all-around final -- even if a third-place teammate has a higher score than a gymnast who qualifies from another country. Wieber placed fourth overall in qualifications for the 24-competitor event .
The top eight countries, including United States, Russia and China, will fight for the gold medal in the team competition on Tuesday.
France beat the United States in the men's 4x100-meter swimming relay on Sunday, with Michael Phelps and the United States taking a silver medal.
The medal is the 17th for Phelps, and puts him one behind Larisa Latynina, a Soviet gymnast who earned nine golds, five silvers and four bronzes between 1956 and 1964.
The U.S. held the lead for three of the four legs, but Yannick Agnel caught Ryan Lochte just after the turn and pulled away at the end.
"We (swam) the four best guys, and we went out there and we just raced tough," Lochte said. "We came up a little short."
It was payback for the French, who lost in similar style to the United States in 2008.
South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh broke the world record in the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 58.46 and dedicated his gold medal to Alexander Dale Oen, a world champion from Norway who died of heart failure this year at age 26.
The U.S. men's basketball squad easily won its first game, beating France 98-71.
Kevin Durant led the United States, made up of NBA all-stars and the college player of the year, with 22 points.
"We still have a lot of work to do, but that's the beauty of it all," Durant said. "We're all coming together in such a short time. We're having fun playing. Guys don't worry about points, rebounds, assists; we just want to play to win."
The team will face Tunisia on Tuesday.
Many are hoping to see how this year's American squad stacks up to the legacy of the 1992 U.S. basketball team, known as the Dream Team, which trounced the competition at the Barcelona Games by an average of more than 40 points.
The host nation entered the medal count standings when Lizzie Armitstead won a silver in women's road cycling. Marianne Vos of the Netherlands won the 140-kilometer (87-mile) race.
Great Britain received sad news when world record holder Paula Radcliffe said she was withdrawing from the women's marathon, according to the nation's track and field team website.
"However hard today is, finally closing the door on that dream, at least I can know that I truly have tried absolutely everything," the 38-year-old said, according to United Kingdom Athletics. A recent foot injury was too much to overcome, she said.
U.S. marathoner Desiree Davila also dropped out of the August 5 race with a leg injury.
Spain, one of the pretournament favorites, was knocked out of the Olympics, falling to Honduras 1-0.
Brazil, another favorite, clinched a quarterfinals spot with a 3-1 victory over Belarus.
A gymnast from Uzbekistan was suspended provisionally for failing a drug test. Luiza Galiulina tested positive for the banned substance furosemide, the IOC announced, in the second drugs suspension of the Games.
Sunday's events ended with China still on top of the medal count, with 12 overall -- six gold, four silver and two bronze.
The United States is second with 11 medals, including three gold.
Italy is third with seven medals, including two gold.