Felix wins 200 meters on big Olympic night for US

LONDON (AP) — Five things to know about Wednesday, Day 12 of the London Olympics:

• Allyson Felix leads American surge at track.

• May-Treanor, Walsh take all-American final in beach volleyball.

• Kobe’s long-range display leads U.S. past Australia in men’s hoops.

• Attar makes Olympic track debut for Saudi women.

• Semenya off to solid Olympic start three years after gender test.

Allyson Felix grinned as she waited for the official results to pop up on the scoreboard. She knew what was coming, and she was going to enjoy this moment.

The American sprinter won the 200 meters at the London Games on Wednesday, sparking a strong performance for the United States at Olympic Stadium.

Felix clocked 21.88 seconds to top Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who won the 100 four nights earlier. American Carmelita Jeter added bronze to go with her silver in the 100 meters.

Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown was fourth after defeating Felix in the Athens and Beijing Games. She was trying to become the first woman to win the same individual track and field event in three consecutive Olympics, but she couldn’t keep up as Felix pulled away down the stretch to add another medal to the two individual silvers and one 4x400 relay gold she won in the 2008 Olympics.

Aries Merritt also won the 110 hurdles for the U.S., and Brittney Reese claimed the long jump title. Team USA had two of the top three finishers in three of the four medal events at Olympic Stadium. World champion Lashinda Demus was second in the women’s 400 hurdles, losing to Russia’s Natalya Antyukh.

Usain Bolt and Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake each won their 200 semifinal heats. Bolt is trying to become the first man with two Olympic golds in the 200 meters.

There was more history at Olympic Stadium during the day.

The crowd roared when Sarah Attar was introduced during the morning session, and she responded with a wave, a wide smile and a bit of a chuckle.

This was one extraordinary 800-meter heat.

Covered from head to toe, except for her smiling face poking out from her headscarf, Attar became the first woman from Saudi Arabia to compete in track and field at the Olympics when she clocked 2 minutes, 44.95 seconds in her preliminary race.

“This is such a huge honor and an amazing experience, just to be representing the women,” Attar said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I know that this can make a huge difference.”

The 19-year-old Attar finished last in her heat. To her, the time wasn’t the point.

Her mother is American and her father is Saudi. She has dual citizenship, was born in California and runs track at Pepperdine University near Los Angeles.

Attar wanted to represent Saudi Arabia at the Olympics as a way of inspiring women.

“For women in Saudi Arabia, I think this can really spark something to get more involved in sports, to become more athletic,” she said. “Maybe in the next Olympics, we can have a very strong team to come.”

Making her Olympic debut three years after being forced to undergo gender tests, Caster Semenya of South Africa finished second in her 800 heat.

Semenya was sidelined for nearly a year while track and field’s governing body decided whether to allow her to compete after she won the 2009 world title at age 18. She was tested and eventually cleared to return to action in 2010, then was the runner-up at last year’s world championships.

Semenya carried South Africa’s flag at the opening ceremony in London and is a leading medal contender. She ran her heat in 2:00.71, behind the 2:00.47 run by Alysia Johnson Montano of the United States.

Beach volleyball

The United States also occupied a couple of spots on the podium at Horse Guards Parade, with Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings becoming the first three-time gold medalists in Olympic beach volleyball history.

The duo beat Jennifer Kessy and April Ross 21-16, 21-16 in the all-American final, extending their Olympic winning streak to 21 matches.

May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings fell to their knees and hugged as Ross’ serve went long on match point, then took the celebration to the stands.

The Athens, Beijing and now London gold medalists remained unbeaten through three Olympics, losing just one of 43 sets. It was the Olympic farewell for May-Treanor, who has said she would like to have children.


Another impressive American team was on display Wednesday night, with Kobe Bryant putting on quite a show from long range.

Bryant made six 3-pointers in the second half, LeBron James finished with a triple-double, and the U.S. men’s basketball team advanced to the semifinals with a 119-86 victory over Australia.

The rest of the Olympic action Wednesday:


The U.S. men’s volleyball team got off to a strong start at the London Olympics, but it’s headed home without a medal.

The defending Olympic champions lost 28-26, 25-20, 25-20 to Italy in the quarterfinals.

Russia takes on Bulgaria in the other semi.


The U.S. men’s team was eliminated with an 8-2 quarterfinal loss to unbeaten Croatia.

Croatia next faces Montenegro, which beat Spain 11-9 to reach its second straight Olympic semifinal. Italy plays gold medal-favorite Serbia in the other semi.

Italy upset three-time defending champion Hungary 11-9 to reach the final four.


Japan won a pair of women’s freestyle wrestling events, with Kaori Icho taking the 63-kilogram division and Hitomi Obara finishing on top of the 48-kg category.

Icho became the first Japanese woman to capture the same event in three straights Olympics. She beat Jing Ruixue of China 3-0, 2-0 to extend her winning streak to 72 matches.

Obara rallied to beat Mariya Stadnyk of Azerbaijan 0-4, 1-0, 2-0. Carol Huynh of Canada and Clarissa Chun won bronze, with Chun giving the U.S. its first wrestling medal of the London Games.


China’s Chen Ruolin led the women’s 10-meter platform preliminaries, with the teenager trying to add a gold medal in the individual event to the one she won in platform synchro.

Chen totaled 392.35 points during five rounds. She is the defending champion in the individual event, and won both 10-meter titles four years ago in Beijing when she was 15.

China has won five of six diving golds so far in London, including the women’s 10-meter synchronized title taken by Chen and Wang Hao. The country’s attempt to sweep all eight golds was spoiled when Ilya Zakharov of Russia won the men’s 3-meter springboard Tuesday.


Argentina will meet the Netherlands in the women’s field hockey final. Argentina advanced with a 2-1 victory over Britain, and the Dutch topped New Zealand 3-1 in a penalty shootout after the teams were tied at 2 at the end of regulation. … The semifinals are set for men’s handball, with Hungary slated to face Sweden and France to take on Croatia on Friday. … Steve Guerdat of Switzerland, riding Nino des Buissonnets, won the gold for individual show jumping. Gerco Schroder of the Netherlands, riding London, beat Cian O’Connor of Ireland, on Blue Loyd 12, in a jump-off for silver. … China completed a sweep of all four Olympic table tennis titles with a 3-0 victory over South Korea in the men’s team final. China has won 24 of 28 gold medals since the sport entered the Olympic program in 1988. … Taekwondo golds were awarded to China’s Wu Jingyu (women’s 49-kg) and Spain’s Joel Gonzalez (men’s 58-kg).


Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap