Olympic Roundup - Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008

Aug. 20, 2008

Softball
The U.S. softball team advanced to the gold medal match after a 4-1 extra-inning win over Japan in the semifinals Tuesday. Natasha Watley scored the go-ahead run in the ninth inning, and Crystl Bustos put the game away by crushing a three-run home run two batters later.

All four Bruins started in the game, with Watley scoring the winning run, Andrea Duran going 1-for-4, Stacey Nuveman going 1-for-1 and Tairia Flowers batting 1-for-3.

The U.S. and Japan will meet again on Thursday evening, this time for gold. The game will begin at 3:30 am PT and will be broadcast live on USA Network.

Japan advanced to the gold medal match by defeating Australia in the bronze medal match, 4-3, in 12 innings. Tanya Harding, who earned her fourth career Olympic medal (one silver, three bronze), took the loss after pitching the final 6.1 innings and giving up two runs.

Track & Field
Sheena Johnson Tosta won silver in the 400m hurdles on Wednesday morning for the first Olympic medal of her career. Tosta posted a time of 53.70 to earn America's only medal in the event.

Tosta, who finished fourth in 2004, earned the highest finish ever by a UCLA woman on this event at the Olympics. She is also UCLA's first Olympic medalist in the 400m hurdles since Janeene Vickers won bronze in 1992.

Also competing on Wednesday morning was Yoo Kim, who no-heighted in the pole vault.

UCLA volunteer assistant coach Bob Kersee has had quite a meet, as three of his athletes have won medals, with one more to compete in the women's 200m final. Kersee coached Dawn Harper to the gold medal in the 100m hurdles (12.54), Kerron Clement to the silver medal in the men's 400m hurdles (47.98), and Shawn Crawford to the silver in the men's 200m (19.96). Allyson Felix is one of the medal favorites in the women's 200m (final on Thursday morning) and should see action in the relay events.

Volleyball
The U.S. pair of Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers advanced to the Olympic beach volleyball final after defeating Jorge Terceiro and Renato Gomes of Georgia, 21-11, 21-13. Dalhausser/Rogers, who are coached by former UCLA strength coach Bob Alejo, will play the Brazilian team of Marcio Araujo/Fabio Magalhaes in the gold medal match on Friday (8 pm PT Thursday).

In indoor volleyball action, the USA remained undefeated in Olympic play, defeating Serbia in five (20-25, 25-23, 21-25, 25-18, 15-12) to advance to Friday's medal round. UCLA alumnus John Speraw is an assistant coach for the U.S. team.

Beijing Blogs
Jillian Ellis and the U.S. women's soccer team are in the gold medal match. Read more from Jillian HERE.

Photo Gallery
View photos from Sheena Tosta's silver medal performance and from the USA softball's semifinal game HERE.

News Links

  • Read more about Dawn Harper's gold medal win from the LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Belleville News-Democrat, IIAF, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • One thing did go wrong for Harper Tuesday, however. She was locked out of her room at the Olympic Village.
  • East St. Louis celebrated Harper's win, as did Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
  • Amy Acuff is feeling good about her fourth Olympic appearance.

    Coming Up

  • The U.S. women's water polo team plays the Netherlands in the gold medal match at 3:20 am PT, delayed on NBC between 10 am and 1 pm PT.
  • The U.S. softball team plays Japan in the gold medal game at 3:30 am PT. The game will be broadcast live on USA Network.
  • The U.S. women's soccer team plays Brazil in the gold medal match at 6 am PT. The game will be televised live on USA Network.
  • Amy Acuff competes in the high jump qualifying rounds on Thursday morning (6:50 pm PT Wednesday).

    Medal Count
    Gold - 2 (Dawn Harper, track & field, 100m hurdles; Mark Hunter, rowing, lightweight double sculls)
    Silver - 1 (Sheena Tosta, track & field, 400m hurdles)
    Bronze - 2 (Kim Vandenberg, swimming, 4x200m free relay; Tanya Harding, softball)


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