Great Britain still waiting for gold
Mon, 30 Jul 2012 10:42p.m.
By Neil Harvey and Mohen Govender
It's early days but tension is mounting for host nation Great Britain as another day of London Olympics competition slipped by without producing their eagerly-awaited first gold medal.
They were desperately close.
But, despite their impassioned support lining the streets, local hope Lizzie Armistead was pipped by Dutch star Marianne Vos in a two-woman sprint for the gold medal at the end of a rain-soaked and slippery women's cycling road race on Sunday.
Then Beijing double gold medallist Rebecca Adlington swam valiantly to claim an unexpected bronze in the women's 400 metre freestyle at the Aquatics Centre.
But an anxious home nation is waiting to celebrate gold medals after investing so heavily financially and emotionally to prepare for the Games and the pressure can only be increasing on the home team.
While the flow of gold will surely come, one silver and one bronze after the first two days to be sitting back in 16th spot on the medal table - eight places behind Australia - surely wasn't the return expected.
China continues to stamp their dominance on the Games.
They extended their medal table and took their tally to six with wins for Guo Wenjun in 10m air pistol shooting and synchronised divers Wu Minxia and He Zi.
But France were the talk of the pool after claiming a stunning victory in the glamour 4x100m freestyle relay on a night when two world records fell.
Yannick Agnel just shaded American superstar Ryan Lochte in the final metres to claim the gold as Australia's vaunted team, featuring world champion James Magnussen, unaccountably flopped and placed fourth.
Earlier Camille Muffat won the women's 400m freestyle with an Olympic record time of 4:01.45.
Dana Vollmer lifted American spirits at the start of the evening session with a mighty 100m butterfly win in a world record of 55.98sec - the first time a woman had gone under 56 seconds in the event.
And South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh set a world record by winning the 100m breaststroke in 58.46s, dedicating the triumph to his late training partner Alexander Dale Oen of Norway who died in April after a blood clot led to heart failure.
"I just have to pay tribute to Alexander Dale Oen tonight, I know he has been with me this year, I think he helped me finish the race in such a strong manner," van der Burgh said.
Spain's under-23 football team, hoping to add Olympic gold to the country's senior world and European titles, was eliminated after an upset 1-0 loss to Honduras in Newcastle.
The star-studded US basketball team made their London Games debut with a 98-71 win over France with first lady Michelle Obama cheering in the stands.
While the weather was hampering the tennis at Wimbledon and dressage, there were other problems.
A woman gymnast from Uzbekistan was provisionally suspended after failing a doping test.
The IOC said Luiza Galiulina tested positive for the diuretic furosemide on Wednesday. It came a day after the IOC expelled Albanian weightlifter Hysen Pulaku from the games after he tested positive for the banned steroid stanozolol on July 23.
And St Kitts & Nevis sprinter Tameka Williams was sent home by her team for a potential drug violation. Williams had been using a substance which was "clearly outside the medical code," St. Kitts Olympic committee vice president Dennis Knight told AP.
Knight said Williams had not tested positive, but the team acted after consulting with the World Anti-Doping Agency "to find out about the product," which was not disclosed.
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