LONDON (AP) ― The defense was stifling, even suffocating at times.
The U.S. women put on a clinic Tuesday, forcing the Canadians to take bad shots or not allowing them to shoot at all.
The Americans, who cruised into the semifinals of the Olympic basketball tournament with a 91-48 rout, harassed Canada into three shotclock violations in the first 7 minutes.
“It’s one thing to miss a shot, but to not be able to get a shot off says a lot about your defense,” U.S. coach Geno Auriemma said. “It’s a double whammy. It brings your team closer together because it took all five guys to create that and takes the life out of the offense of the other team.”
The Americans cruised into the semifinals of the Olympic basketball tournament with a 91-48 rout of Canada.
While the four-time defending gold medalists seemingly couldn’t miss in their last game ― a 114-66 rout of China ― they were sloppy early on against Canada.
So they turned to their defense.
“That’s probably a better feeling than making a 3, when as a unit you found a way to stop them as a unit,” said Diana Taurasi, who led the U.S. with 15 points. “That’s really hard to do because to get a shot off isn’t the hardest thing, it might not be a quality one, but you can get a shot off.”
Mexico reaches Olympic soccer final
WEMBLEY, England (AP) ― Oribe Peralta scored with a swerving long-range strike, then set up another goal with a stunning back-heel to help Mexico beat Japan 3-1 on Tuesday and secure a spot in the final of the men’s Olympic soccer tournament.
Mexico will play Saturday against Brazil, which beat South Korea 3-0 in the other semifinal.
“We are guaranteed a silver, but we want a gold,” Mexico coach Fernando Luis Tena said. “Mexico is a football nation. They must be partying tonight.”
Mexico’s previous best showing at the Olympics was at the 1968 Mexico City Games, when the team was beaten in the bronze-medal match 2-0 by Japan, also that nation’s best finish.
Yuki Otsu opened the scoring at the 12-minute mark for Japan. The forward sent a swerving shot into the roof of the net from outside the penalty area after several quick passes carved out a sliver of space.
Russia stops China’s gold rush in diving
LONDON (AP) ― Separated by a mere 1.25 points, the gold medal all came down to the last dive between Qin Kai and Ilya Zakharov at the London Olympics.
Owning the lead and diving one spot ahead of Zakharov, Qin scored 89.10 points for a reverse 2 1/2 somersault with 1 1/2 twists pike. Zakharov hit a much tougher dive, a forward 4 1/2 somersault tuck, for 104.50 points, and pumped his left arm as he swam toward the edge of the pool.
The Russian had clinched the gold medal, spoiling China’s bid to sweep all eight diving events in London.
“I’m so pleased that I have managed to take away at least one medal from China,” Zakharov said through a translator. “After the last dive when I came up to the surface and I heard the noise that’s when the happiness swept over me.”
He totaled 555.90 points in the six-round final Tuesday night. It was Russia’s first diving gold since 2000, when the country won the men’s 10-meter platform synchro in Sydney.
China wins another gold in table tennis
LONDON (AP) ― China won another gold medal in a sport it dominates like no other, taking the women’s team table tennis title Tuesday with a 3-0 victory against Japan.
Despite the loss, Japan won the silver for its first Olympic medal in table tennis, which entered the games in 1988.
China has won three gold medals in table tennis at the London Games, along with two silvers. It could complete the gold sweep in the team events by winning the men’s final on Wednesday against South Korea.
With three Chinese-born players, the Singapore women took the bronze medal, defeating South Korea 3-0.
“The Chinese team is too strong,” said Ai Fukuhara, Japan’s most famous table tennis player.