Today is the official first day of the 2012 summer Olympics in London. As best I can over the next two weeks, I will provide updates on each of the athletes with ties to SEC schools based off of the list from the conference. I must confess I'm more of a casual Olympics fan and this is the first I've tried something like it, so there will be errors and omissions. Please help me out in the comments when such occasions arise.
Together, we can celebrate the athletes who have walked the hallowed halls of our favorite institutions in addition to those competing for our countries.
I'll update this post throughout the day. All listed times are Eastern.
South Carolina's Ilona Burgrova and her Czech Republic team fell to China 66-57 in Women's basketball Group A. She had four points and four rebounds in the effort. Her next game is on Monday at 6:15 am against Turkey.
Team USA took down Croatia 81-56 with a huge fourth quarter after sleepwalking through much of the game. Tennessee's Candace Parker had a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds, while fellow Lady Vol Tamika Catchings made it to double figures with 10 points. LSU's Seimone Augustus struggled with just two points on 1-8 shooting, and LSU's Sylvia Fowles had two points and three boards. South Carolina's Ila Sliskovic did not see action for Croatia. On Monday Croatia will play China at 4:00 am, while the US will take on Angola in 5:15 pm.
Florida's Azania Stewart scored eight points and grabbed a rebound, but her Great Britain squad fell to the Australians by a score of 74-58.
Today was actually the second day of competition for women's soccer, with the first sets of games taking place on Wednesday. In that action, Tennessee's Hannah Wilkinson and New Zealand fell to Great Britain 1-0, while fellow Vol Rhian Wilkinson and Canada lost to Japan 2-1. In happier news, Florida's Abby Wambach scored a goal for the USA (which also features Florida's Heather Mitts) in a 4-2 win over France.
Today, New Zealand lost a heart breaker 1-0 to Brazil on a goal in the 86th minute. Canada took down South Africa by a score of 3-0. Wambach scored another goal in the USA's 3-0 win over Columbia, a victory that guarantees the team a spot in the quarterfinals. On Tuesday Canada will play Sweden at 9:30 am, the US will play North Korea at 12:15 pm, and New Zealand will play Cameroon at 2:45 pm.
Men's 400m Individual Medley
Florida's Ryan Lochte (USA) finished second in his heat with a time of 4:12.35, which was third overall and good enough to qualify for the finals. Florida's Bradley Ally (Barbados) won his heat with a time of 4:21.35, but it was not fast enough to move on to the finals.
Lochte smashed the field and won the gold by nearly four seconds with a time of 4:05.18 in the final, bringing home the first gold medal of the games for an SEC athlete.
Women's 100m Butterfly
Alabama's Kristel Vourna (Greece) finished sixth in her heat with a time of 58.74, just qualifying her for the semifinals at 16th overall.
Vourna's time of 58.31 was not good enough to get her to the finals.
Men's 400m Freestyle
Florida's Connor Dwyer (USA) ended up third in his heat and third overall with a 3:46.24. Georgia's Matias Koski (Finland) finished seventh in his heat at 3:54.96, not fast enough to advance.
Dwyer finished fifth in the final with a time of 3:46.39. The bronze went to the USA's Peter Vanderkaay, who trains with the Gators but did not attend the school. I'm just noting that; it won't count towards UF when we put together the conference medal leaderboard.
Women's 400m Individual Medley
Auburn's Stephanie Horner (Canada) was second in her heat with a time of 4:45.49, but it did not qualify her for the finals at 21st overall. Florida's Elizabeth Beisel (USA) won her heat and placed first in the qualifiers with a time of 4:31.68.
Beisel earned the silver medal with a time of 4:28.43. She finished behind China's Ye Shiwen, who set a new world record.
Men's 100m Breaststroke
Texas A&M's Amini Fonua (Tonga) won his heat with a time of 1:03.65, but it did not qualify him for the semifinals as he was 41st overall. Auburn's Eric Shanteau (USA) went fourth in his heat at 59.96, good enough for 11th overall and placing him in the semis.
Shanteau's 59.96 in the semis was narrowly not quite good enough to advance to the finals.
Women's 4x100m Freestyle Relay
Georgia's Allison Schmitt swam for the USA's relay team, and the team won its heat and placed second overall behind Australia with a time of 3:36.53. Schmitt served as anchor. Texas A&M's Julia Wilkinson swam the second leg of Canada's relay, which got a time of 3:39.60. It was not fast enough to make the finals.
The US team earned the bronze in the finals with a time of 3:34.24, which is a new American record. Schmitt again was the anchor for this race.
In men's singles action, Georgia's John Isner (USA) defeated Belgium's Olivier Rochus in straight sets 7-6, 6-4. He will face Tunisia's Malek Jaziri in the second round.
Isner and teammate Andy Roddick were eliminated by Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares of Brazil 6-2, 6-4 in doubles play.
Georgia's Elizabeth Reid and Great Britain fell 3-0 to Russia.