EYES ON LONDON: Lebron, Team USA face Argentina
LONDON (AP) — Around the 2012 Olympics and its host city with journalists from The Associated Press bringing the flavor and details of the games to you:
Lithuania gave the Americans a scare in their last game. Now LeBron James and Co. face a team even more talented.
Team USA plays Argentina on Monday, looking to reassert themselves after nipping Lithuania 99-94 on Saturday. Carmelo Anthony says the game woke them up and they're ready to get back to dominating.
"It was a little bit tighter than what we expected," Anthony says. "Lithuania was focused, and it kind of caught us on our heels. We won't get caught on our heels again."
Argentina features NBA stars Manu Ginobili and Luis Scola, who lost one game to France in pool play.
— Jon Krawczynski — Twitter http://www.twitter.com/APKrawczynski
Hours after winning a second consecutive Olympic gold in the 100 meters, Usain Bolt took a moment to tweet a message of support for injured Jamaican teammate Asafa Powell.
Bolt — whose handle is (at)usainbolt — wrote: "Respect bossy..hope u get well soon.. You started this Jamaican take over (at)officialasafa"
Powell, who held the 100 world record from 2005 until Bolt claimed it in 2008, pulled up with a groin injury Sunday and finished last in the dash. Bolt won in an Olympic-record 9.63 seconds.
What's not clear is whether Powell will be able to help Bolt and Jamaica try to defend their title in the 4x100 relay. That event's heats are Friday night.
"I got out of the starting blocks and stumbled," Powell said Sunday at the stadium. "I reinjured my groin and I couldn't push."
— Howard Fendrich — Twitter http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich
More than half of Ireland's 23 Olympic medals have been won in the boxing ring. Better make that 24.
We don't know yet whether bantamweight John Joe Nevin will get gold, silver or bronze. But courtesy of his 19-13 quarterfinal win Sunday night versus Oscar Valdez of Mexico, he's certain to win Ireland's first medal of the London games — a fact that sent London's sweat-infused, pint-to-chest Irish House into a beer-spilling frenzy of hopping humanity.
"You'll never beat the Irish!" many in the crowd inside Ireland's official London Olympic venue chanted in the main bar and on the rooftop terrace after Nevin's victory was announced. Things were less insane in the basement, which has been decorated with 1950s wallpaper and comfy chairs to look like the living room set of cult 1990s Irish priest sitcom "Father Ted."
Irish fans screamed at the three big-screen TVs in the main bar as Nevin, ahead in the points, was floored by a solid Valdez blow to the ribs in the third, final round. Much of what was said at that moment cannot be reprinted in a family publication. Nevin scrambled to his feet to rural Irish-accented encouragements of "C'mon, ye boy ye!"
— Shawn Pogatchnik — Twitter http://twitter.com/ShawnPogatchnik
FEELING FOR FENCING
Fencing has captured fresh imaginations in London.
Whether it is the heavier thrusting epee sword, the light, whippy foil or the slashing saber, it appears to have intrigued the locals here in the same way it might have attracted attention in Athens at the first Olympiad.
Fencing has been at every Summer Olympics since the birth of the modern games in 1896.
In London, spectators — some just knee-high — spent the intervals between bouts on the final day of competition thrusting, slashing and stabbing at similarly amateurish opponents with bendy blue plastic swords just outside the arena.
"Allez!" came the calls from instructors or parents to start them off.
There were then lines of beginners — old and young — learning the basic forward lunge attack in formation ahead of the men's team foil finals. Back foot stable, forward with the front foot and thrust out the sword. That's fencing 101.
Once you got inside, the top-level bouts on the pistes — long, thin mats 14 meters (yards) long and 1.5 to 2 meters wide — were a mind-boggling flurry of lightning-fast strokes and swipes. At times, it was exquisite skill.
Attack, block and counter: lunge, parry and riposte.
— Gerald Imray — Twitter http://twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP
GOLDEN CAMP MOMENT
The Jacksonville Jaguars ended practice in a most unusual manner on Sunday — they watched the wife of one of their players win Olympic gold.
Not only did the Jaguars allow cornerback Aaron Ross to leave the team and be in London to watch his wife in person at Olympic Stadium, but the entire team huddled back home to watch the race as well.
Sanya Richards-Ross didn't let them down, either — winning gold in the 400 meters.
"Well, that was a good way to finish practice," Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey said. "That was a neat experience for the players. I don't think any of them knew the outcome."
Mularkey invited the 1,200 fans at practice to watch the tape of the race with the team. He had the Jaguars video department tape the race off of a live Internet showing, as NBC wasn't going to broadcast the race until later in the evening.
Aaron Ross is expected back with the team in a couple days.
"This brought us a little closer as a team," Mularkey said.
— Tim Reynolds — Twitter http://www.twitter.com/ByTimReynolds
American swimmer Tyler Clary says he's considering a career as a race car driver when he hangs up his Speedo.
The gold medalist in the 200-meter backstroke said he's attended races at the track in Fontana, Calif., and, last year, participated with an off-road racing team.
"I want to take a serious shot at being a professional race car driver after swimming's over," Clary said on Sunday night's "Wind Tunnel" program on Speed Channel.
"It's funny because when you initially tell people that, you get laughs, complete surprise, but I know that this is something I could be really good at and, like I said, I want to take a serious shot at it."
He attended the IndyCar race at Long Beach this year. He also spent time with the CEO of the Skip Barber Racing School and is trying to find a way to participate in some of their programs.
"There's also the possibility of a shootout in January where I could compete against some other regional hotshots," Clary said. "If I had a way of saying, as far as racing goes, this is what I'll be doing after swimming is over, I'd be in a Formula One car. But I'm the type of guy that's ... just get me in a car and I'll be happy. If it's an Indy car, a rally car, a stock car, off-road racing would be amazing, too. Any of that stuff. I just really have a passion for auto racing and I really want to drive."
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