London Olympics day 2 roundup - part 1

4:53 AM, Jul 30, 2012   |    comments
General view of the Olympic rings in victory park at athletes village. (Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports via US PRESSWIRE)
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(AP) LONDON - North Korea's Om Yun Chol said he wanted to lift a big weight and make the other athletes nervous.

He definitely nailed that strategy.

Om, standing all of 5 feet and 123 pounds, won a gold medal by confidently lifting an Olympic-record 370 pounds in the clean and jerk at the London Games.

Only a handful of people have lifted more than three times their body weight, and this one came out of nowhere.

Om was in the "B" group with lower-ranked competitors and lifted weights of 160 and 165 kilograms on his first two attempts early in the day. He got the crowd roaring when it was announced he would go for 168 kilograms - the Olympic record.

Related: London Olympics day 2 roundup - part 2

Among the few lifters who have cleared three times their body weight are Halil Mutlu and Naim Suleymanoglu, also of Turkey, known as the "Pocket Hercules."

A rower from Niger also captivated an Olympic crowd on Sunday when he trudged to the finish in last place in a single sculls repechage.

With the packed grandstand cheering him on at Dorney Lake, 35-year-old Hamadou Djibo Issaka pushed though the pain and found enough energy to finish nearly 1 minute, 40 seconds behind the winner.

After hearing the finishing horn, he slumped over in his boat, totally spent. After a few seconds, he lifted his head and saluted the crowd while wearing a wide grin.

Djibo Issaka learned how to row only three months ago and has a technique that can generously be described as crude. He received a wild card from the IOC Tripartite Commission, which allows each National Olympic Committee to enter up to five athletes for the Summer Games.

"It went well," he said in French to The Associated Press. "I passed the finish line. It was great."

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After some seats were empty on the first full day of competition, organizers turned to troops, teachers and students to fill the gaps at a handful of Olympic venues.

Organizing chief Sebastian Coe predicted unused tickets, largely by Olympic and sports officials, will not be an issue as the games proceed.

"It is obvious, some of those seats are not being used in the early rounds," he said at a briefing.

Coe's organizing team has long promised to fill venues and avoid a similar problem from the Beijing Olympics.

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First lady Michelle Obama was part of a big crowd that watched the U.S. men's basketball team open tournament play with a 98-71 win over France. Kevin Durant scored 22 points and LeBron James finished with nine points, eight assists and five rebounds.

"It wasn't perfect," said James, who had nine points, eight assists and five rebounds. "We've still got room for improvement."

Kimberly Rhode also put on a show at the Royal Artillery Barracks, winning the gold medal in women's skeet shooting to become the first American to take an individual-sport medal in five consecutive Olympics.

Rhode tied the world record and set an Olympic mark with 99 points. She also set an Olympic record in qualifying, missing only one of her 75 shots.

Visit the following pages for the rest of the Olympic action Sunday.

SWIMMING

This was one sweet victory for France.

Yannick Agnel rallied the French to the gold medal in the 4x100-meter freestyle relay, pulling ahead of American star Ryan Lochte on the final lap.

France clocked 3 minutes, 9.93 seconds, and the Americans settled for silver in 3:10.38. Russia took bronze in 3:11.41. Pre-race favorite Australia was fourth.

It was revenge for the French, who lost a close race to the Americans in Beijing four years ago.

U.S. star Michael Phelps still won the 17th Olympic medal of his career - and first silver - to go along with 14 golds and two bronzes. He's one away from tying the mark for most career medals held by Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina.

Dana Vollmer had a triumphant return to the Olympics, setting a world record while winning gold in the 100 butterfly. The American was third at the turn but powered to the wall for a time of 55.98 seconds.

Vollmer, who made the Olympics as a 16-year-old in 2004, was a huge disappointment when she failed to make the team for Beijing in 2008.

Camille Muffat of France edged American Allison Schmitt by less than half a stroke to win the 400 freestyle, and South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh set a world record to win the 100 breaststroke.

GYMNASTICS

The U.S. women had the top score in qualifying, but the big story was world champion Jordyn Wieber.

Wieber, a heavy favorite, is out of the all-around competition after finishing behind teammates Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas. Countries are limited to two gymnasts in the all-around and event finals.

The 17-year-old Wieber was sobbing as she made her way past reporters, so distraught she couldn't speak to them. A quote attributed to her and distributed by the London Games' internal news agency said: "It is a bit of a disappointment. It has always been a dream of mine to compete in the all-around final of the Olympics."

Russia, runner-up to the Americans at last year's world championships, was 1.4 points back with a score of 180.429. Beijing Olympics champion China was third (176.637), followed by European champion Romania (176.264) and Britain (170.656).

TENNIS

Maria Sharapova won her Olympic debut indoors, beating Shahar Peer of Israel 6-2, 6-0, and Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and David Ferrer were among the seeded winners on the men's side at Wimbledon.

Playing under Wimbledon's retractable roof on Centre Court because of rain, No. 3 Sharapova served well, returned aggressively and swept the final eight games.

Sharapova carried the Russian flag in the opening ceremony after missing the 2008 Olympics because of a shoulder injury.

Play was curtailed because of rain, with 32 matches postponed before they started and four suspended in progress. Only 12 matches were completed.

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