Reigning all-around world champion gymnast Jordyn Wieber lost her shot at personal gold on Sunday, but she and the rest of the American women’s gymnastics squad remain the overwhelming favorite heading into Tuesday’s team finals.
The U.S. swimming team also had a good overall day, winning four medals, including a gold by Dana Vollmer, who broke the world record in the 100m butterfly. The one disappointment came in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay, where the Americans lost by a touch to the French despite a lineup that included Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps, two of the world’s best swimmers.
But the biggest drama unfolded at North Greenwich Arena, where the U.S. women’s gymnastics team handily beat its two major rivals, Russia and China, in the qualification rounds. Wieber was expected to cruise through individual competition and win all-around gold in the finals. Instead, after some relatively minor errors, she was outscored in preliminary rounds by two teammates, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas. Wieber ended up placing fourth overall, but because countries are limited to two athletes in the all-around individual finals, she did not qualify.
Wieber left the floor in tears. "I'll be alright," she told an Associated Press reporter as she left the gym.
Raisman and Douglas quietly celebrated.
"I was really surprised, and I feel awful because she wanted it so bad," Raisman, Wieber's closest friend on the team, told the Associated Press. "But she should still feel proud because she's an Olympian. We have to stay calm and focused on team finals."
Later in the day, Wieber seemed to have regained her composure, tweeting: “Thank you all for your love and support. I am so proud of our team today and I can't wait for team finals!!”
In other developments on day two of the Olympics:
- Before anchoring the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay team, Lochte qualified for the finals of the men’s 200m freestyle. He will swim in the finals Monday, seeking his second gold of the 2012 games; the first came over Phelps Saturday in the 400m individual medley.
- With his silver in the relay, Phelps took one step closer to becoming the most decorated Olympian ever, with this 17th career medal. He needs two more in London to break the record.
- American swimmer Brendan Hansen won his fourth Olympic medal, taking the bronze in the men’s 100m breaststroke. He was more than a second behind Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa, who finished in 58.46, enough for gold and a new world record.
- Allison Schmitt won silver in the women’s 400m freestyle, finishing in 4:01:77, less then three-tenths of a second behind Camille Muffat of France.
- Rebecca Soni advanced to the finals in the women’s 100m breaststroke, posting a semifinal time of 1:05:98. Soni is considered the world’s top breaststroker; she won gold in the 200m and silver in the 100m in Beijing in 2008. Her toughest competition in Monday's 100m finals will be 15-year-old Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania.
- Another American, Matthew Grevers, advanced to the finals in the 100m backstroke; he is considered the favorite for gold in that event Monday. Grevers won silver in 2008, along with gold medals in two relays.
- Missy Franklin, the 17-year-old American who is attempting to win a slew of medals in London, emerged Sunday as a favorite to win gold in the women’s 100m backstroke. She swam the semifinal round’s second fastest time, 59:12.
- The U.S. men's basketball team routed France 98-71 in first-around competition. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 22 points.
- America's Kim Rhode hit 99 of 100 shots Sunday morning, dominating the women's skeet shooting finals, winning gold and tying the world record. The win makes her the only American athlete to medal in five consecutive Olympics.
- American divers Kelci Bryant and Abby Johnston won silver in the women’s synchronized springboard, with a score of 321.90 -- 25 points behind the gold-winning Chinese team. The silver marks the first diving medal for America since Sydney in 2000.
- Rain forced hours-long delays in thet tennis competition, except for games at Wimbledon's Centre Court, where a retractable roof was set in place. It marked the first time that Olympic tennis was played indoors since the 1912 Games in Stockholm, where games were held in a pavilion on wood courts, according to the Associated Press.
- The U.S. women’s archery team lost 218-213 in the quarterfinals against China.
For a full local listing of events being shown all day on NBC, the NBC Sports Network, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, the NBC Olympic Soccer Channel, the NBC Basketball Channel and Telemundo, please see your local TV listings section of NBCOlympics.com. For listing of events being streamed live NBCOlympics.com, visit the online listing section.
Courtney Marmon contributed reporting.