US, South African Swimmers Set World Records in London

Posted July 29th, 2012 at 8:50 pm (UTC-5)
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American and South African swimmers posted world records on Sunday, but China led in the overall medal count after the second full day of competition at the London Summer Olympics.

Dana Vollmer of the United States took the gold medal in the women's 100-meter butterfly in world record time. Vollmer, the reigning world champion, swam the 100 meters in just 55.98 seconds.

China's Lu Ying won the silver and Alicia Coutts of Australia took the bronze.

South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh set a world record swimming the men's 100-meter breaststroke in 58.46 seconds.

In the men's 4×100 relay, France avenged its narrow loss to the Americans four years ago by winning the gold this year. France's Yannick Agnel pulled ahead of American Ryan Lochte in the final lap. Lochte and his teammates won the silver medal.

With that silver medal, American Michael Phelps now has an overall Olympic medal count of 17 — one short of tying the all-time record.

Also Sunday, North Korea won its first two gold medals of the games. An Kum Ae won the women's 52-kilogram judo competition, beating Cuba's Yanet Bermoy Acosta. Om Yun Chol won the men's weightlifting gold, followed by China and Azerbaijan.

And host country Britain won its first medal — a silver in the women's cycling road race.

After two full days of competition, China leads in the medal count with 12, followed by 11 for the United States and Italy with 7. Japan and South Korea each have 5.

Georgia's Lasha Shavdatuashvili won the men's 66-kilogram judo competition.

The heavily favored U.S. men's basketball team won its opening match, beating France 98-71. Both teams' rosters include a number of National Basketball Association stars.

Organizers of the London games are investigating why there have been so many empty seats in the stands at multiple sporting events in the first days of competition.

Television images showed empty rows of seats at Wimbledon, the Aquatics Centre and soccer stadiums. Angry fans have been complaining that they have not been able to buy tickets.

British Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said blocks of the empty seats were accredited to sponsors. He said if they were not going to show up, then those tickets should be made available to the public.