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American boxers on ropes, get a reprieve

Published: Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 4C
Last Modified: Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012 - 9:20 am

LONDON – A few hours after the U.S. men's boxing team thought it was done at the Olympics, amateur boxing's governing body decided Errol Spence deserved to fight on.

AIBA overturned Spence's loss to Indian welterweight Krishan Vikas late Friday, five hours after the defense-minded Vikas apparently had clutched and grabbed his way to a 13-11 victory.

After the American team protested the result, AIBA's competition jury reviewed the bout and ruled Vikas had committed nine holding fouls in the third round alone. He also spit out his mouthpiece in the second round, which should have resulted in at least four points of deductions.

Spence advanced into the quarterfinals to face Russia's Andrey Zamkovoy on Tuesday. If Spence wins, the American men's team will avoid leaving the Olympics with no medals for the first time ever.

"I am obviously thrilled that the competition jury overturned my decision and I can continue chasing the gold medal I came here to win," Spence said.

The welterweight from Dallas already was the last U.S. man standing after his eight male teammates lost in the previous five days, including three-time Olympian Rau'shee Warren's 19-18 loss to France's Nordine Oubaali an hour earlier.

Tennis – Switzerland's Roger Federer rallied past Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina 3-6, 7-6 (5), 19-17 to reach the gold-medal match. At 4 hours, 26 minutes, it was the longest three-set men's match of the Open Era.

Federer will face Britain's Andy Murray in Sunday's final. Murray, who advanced with a 7-5, 7-5 victory over Serbia's Novak Djokovic, lost to Federer in the Wimbledon final last month.

Serena Williams also clinched her first Olympic singles medal, beating No. 1-seeded Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-2. Today, Williams will face first-time Olympian Maria Sharapova, who beat Russian teammate Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 6-3.

Women's basketball – Diana Taurasi scored 18 points, and Tina Charles finished with a double double (16 points, 14 rebounds) to lead the United States over the Czech Republic 88-61.

Women's soccer – Abby Wambach slid into a pass in the 27th minute to knock home her fourth goal of the tournament, then celebrated with a cartwheel in the United States' 2-0 win over New Zealand in the quarterfinals. The Americans will play Canada, which beat host Britain 2-0, on Monday.

Beach volleyball – Defending gold medalists Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser of the United States were knocked out of the Olympics by Italy 21-17, 21-19.

Women's volleyball – Destinee Hooker scored 19 points, and the United States clinched the top spot in its pool with a preliminary-round victory over Serbia in straight sets. Logan Tom added 12 points in the 25-17, 25-20, 25-16 sweep. The Americans will wrap up the preliminary round with a match against Turkey on Sunday.

Women's water polo – Maggie Steffens scored three goals, and the United States beat China 7-6 in its final preliminary-stage game. The Americans finished the preliminary round even with Spain at the top of Group A with five points. But Spain earned the top spot because of the tiebreaker, and the United States will play 2012 European champion Italy in Sunday's quarterfinals.

Men's shot put – Tomasz Majewski of Poland became the first man since 1956 to retain an Olympic shot put title.

His toss of 71 feet, 10 inches beat out David Storl of Germany (71-83/4) and bronze medalist Reese Hoffa (69-8) of Augusta, Ga.

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