Germany overcomes Britain to take equestrian gold, Phelps seeks to show he can still win - InfoNews

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Germany overcomes Britain to take equestrian gold, Phelps seeks to show he can still win

Great Britain's Zara Phillips reacts after passing an inspection of her horse High Kingdom before the equestrian eventing show jumping phase at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 31, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
July 31, 2012 - 9:59 AM

LONDON - Britain's royal rider could not keep Germany from winning its second consecutive Olympic gold medal in equestrian team eventing Tuesday, while Michael Phelps has a chance to show he still has the winning touch.

Princes William and Harry, and William's wife Kate were among those cheering Queen Elizabeth II's granddaughter, Zara Phillips, as she competed in the show jumping course that is the third and final part of equestrian eventing.

Phillips knocked down a rail, as did teammate Nicola Wilson, ending hopes of gold. Britain won the silver and New Zealand the bronze.

"Unfortunately we couldn't quite do it," the first-time Olympian said. "We can't be disappointed with a silver medal because it's an amazing thing to be here."

Eventing combines the discipline of dressage with the endurance of cross-country and skill of show jumping.

There was some relief for British Olympic diver Tom Daley when police arrested a teenager on suspicion of posting malicious Twitter messages directed at him.

The man is accused of sending the diver a tweet after he finished fourth in an event Monday, in which he wrote: "You let your dad down i hope you know that."

Daley's father died of brain cancer a year ago, and the 18-year-old Olympian had hoped to win a medal "for myself and my dad."

In Britain, tweeting messages considered menacing, offensive or indecent can lead to prosecution. Police in Dorset said the suspect was co-operating with investigators.

In highly anticipated swimming events, Phelps will try again to become the first male swimmer to win the same individual event in three straight Olympics on Tuesday night — first in the 200-meter butterfly, his signature race, and later a relay.

He already has 14 gold medals — the most of any Olympian.

But in his last Olympics, Phelps earned his first career silver medal in the 4x100 free relay after finishing fourth in his first event, the 400 individual medley.

The 4x200 relay will also give American Ryan Lochte a chance to get back on track after two straight disappointments. He was overtaken swimming the anchor leg of the 4x100 free relay and then he finished fourth in the 200 free on Monday.

In morning swimming, Nathan Adrian of the U.S. qualified fastest in the 100-meter freestyle preliminaries. Gideon Louw of South Africa was second quickest in 48.29, followed by Sebastiaan Verschuren of the Netherlands in 48.37.

In the women's 200 butterfly heats, American Kathleen Hersey led the way in 2:06.41. World champion Jiao Liuyang of China, the 2008 silver medallist , was second quickest and Jemma Lowe of Britain qualified third.

There was good news for the host country as British rower Alan Campbell qualified fastest for the semifinals of the men's single sculls. Reigning two-time champion Olaf Tufte of Norway also squeezed into the semifinals by placing third in the last quarterfinal.

Britain is favoured to win three women's rowing events and has gold medal chances in several men's disciplines when finals begin Wednesday.

A rower from Niger with barely any training, who endeared himself to the crowds two days ago when he crawled over the finish line well after other competitors as spectators and even the announcer egged him on, was back on the water Tuesday.

Again, he came in last.

Hamadou Djibo Issaka — or, the "Sculling Sloth" as he is now known — was even slower this time, clocking 9 minutes, 7.99 seconds over 2,000 metres — 28 seconds slower than his repechage time.

In Olympic men's basketball, Russia beat China 73-54 in its second victory in two games, while Montenegro dealt water polo powerhouse Hungary its second consecutive loss of the London Games, beating the three-time defending Olympic champion 11-10.

There was good news for one of Saudi Arabia's two first female Olympians, when the IOC said officials reached an agreement to let judo athlete Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani compete Friday in the women's heavyweight division.

Saudi sent its two women athletes to the London Games on condition they adhere to the kingdom's conservative Islamic traditions, including wearing a headscarf. But Judo officials had initially said a headscarf could be dangerous because the sport includes chokeholds and aggressive grabbing techniques.

An unwelcome, if frequent, visitor returned to London in the form of rain, which delayed tennis being played at Wimbledon.

News from © The Associated Press, 2012
The Associated Press

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