It’s a new legacy for New Zealand rowers
Mahe Drysdale was so nervous before the men’s single sculls final, he started the day throwing up. He ended it an Olympic champion.
The star oarsman from New Zealand, a five-time world champion, joined his teammates from the men’s pair to finally put their Olympic failures behind them and power their country to the top of the rowing medals table at the London Games. With one day of finals left, New Zealand is the leading nation in rowing at Dorney Lake with three golds.
Despite his nerves, Drysdale delivered a composed and gutsy performance Friday to win the gold medal, completing the résumé of one of rowing’s leading names.
‘‘It’s a moment that will live with me forever,’’ Drysdale said after being hoisted onto the shoulders of his beaten opponents — silver medalist Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic and bronze medalist Alan Campbell of Britain.
Earlier in the day, New Zealand’s Hamish Bond and Eric Murray won their first Olympic gold. ‘‘It’s one thing saying you’re going to be Olympic champion, but to become one is just amazing,’’ Murray said.
Also Friday, Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins captured Britain’s second gold with a victory in the women’s double sculls. With Campbell and the men’s pair of George Nash and William Satch both winning bronze, Britain now has six rowing medals — matching its best haul in more than 100 years.
Germany won the quadruple sculls, upsetting favorite Croatia to claim a second gold of the regatta, following its triumph in the men’s eight.
Drysdale, Murray, and Bond were desperate to avenge what happened in the Beijing Games, which they entered as huge favorites but left scarred by failure. Illness struck Drysdale before his single sculls final and he struggled to a bronze medal. London was probably his last shot at Olympic gold, and he was feeling the weight of expectation.
‘‘I never really had nerves like this before,’’ he said. ‘‘Two hours before the race, I was in the toilet throwing up. It’s not a nice feeling. It was probably one of the worst moments of my life.’’
He showed no lingering effects in the race, pushing clear of longtime rival Synek in the third 500 meters and holding on as the Czech made a late sprint for the line.
Murray and Bond won by 2 lengths, with the French taking silver and Britain bronze despite veering out of its lane in the final stretch of the race.
After finishing ninth, eighth, and seventh in the men’s 25-meter rapid fire pistol competition at the last three Olympics, Leuris Pupo gave Cuba its first-ever shooting gold medal. Pupo scored 34 shots in the final, beating silver medalist Vijay Kumar of India by four shots and earning his first international victory since 1998.
Ding Feng of China won bronze with 27 points. Alexei Klimov of Russia set a world record in qualification with 592 points, but in the final all competitors start from zero and Klimov came in fourth with 23 points.
Sergei Martynov of Belarus set a world record in the men’s 50-meter rifle prone as he won the gold medal he had been looking for at six Olympics. Martynov became the second shooter in Olympic history to score the maximum 600 points in qualification and finished with a total of 705.5, beating the 12-year-old record by 0.7.
Martynov outscored second-place Lionel Cox by 4.3 points, and Rajmond Debevec of Slovenia finished 0.2 behind Cox to take bronze. Michael McPhail of the US shared fourth.
Adrian Zielinski of Poland broke Asia’s grip on the weightlifting competition by winning the men’s 85-kilogram weight class after the early elimination of China’s defending champion, Lu Yong.
Zielinski lifted a total of 385 kilograms, equaling Russia’s Apti Aukhadov but finishing first under the rules because he weighs less. Iran’s Kianoush Rostami got the bronze.
Kendrick Farris, the only male weightlifter from the US competing in London, barely missed breaking his own American records in the clean and jerk and overall total. Farris cleared 155 kilograms in the snatch and 200 in the clean and jerk for a total of 355. He finished 10th overall.
Svetlana Podobedova won Kazakhstan’s third weightlifting gold in London, beating Russia’s Natalya Zabolotnaya in a women’s 75-kilogram showdown decided on the last lift. Both lifters cleared a total of 291 kilograms, with Podobedova winning because of a lower body weight.
Iryna Kulesha of Belarus was a distant third with 269 kilograms. Egypt’s Khalil Mahmoud Abir Abdelrahman was injured in her last lift when she fell backward from a squat and the bar struck her chest. She was taken off the platform in a wheelchair.
Four years after winning bronze, China’s Dong Dong put together a dizzying series of flips and twists to win the men’s title. Dong posted a score of 62.99, easily outdistancing Russia’s Dmitry Ushakov (silver) and defending champion Lu Chunlong of China (bronze).
American Steve Gluckstein finished last in the 16-man field after losing his line during his second routine. He completed only two of his 10 tricks before smacking into the pad.
France’s Teddy Riner, the biggest star in judo, won gold in the men’s over-100-kilogram, beating Russia’s Alexander Mikhaylin in an anticlimactic final in which he was mainly on the attack and Mikhaylin was booed for making little effort to fight. Bronze medals were won by Germany’s Andreas Toelzer and Brazil’s Rafael Silva.
Idalys Ortiz of Cuba won the women’s over-78-kilogram gold medal, defeating Japan’s Mika Sugimoto in a drawn-out final that went to a ruling after overtime. In the semifinals, Ortiz sent top-seeded Tong Wen of China to her first loss in international competition since 2007. Tong and Britain’s Karina Bryant earned bronze medals.
It was a one-sided final in the men’s individual archery, with Oh Jin-hyek of South Korea routing Takaharu Furukawa of Japan, 7-1. Dai Xiaoxiang of China won the bronze medal, beating Rick van der Ven of the Netherlands, 10-8, in a shoot-off tiebreaker.
It was the final day of archery competition at Lord’s Cricket Ground, where fans packed temporary bleachers. South Korea won four medals (three gold), while China, Japan, and Mexico each won two apiece, and Italy and the US both went home with one.
Victoria Pendleton of Britain washed away the disappointment of her disqualification in the team sprint by claiming the gold medal in the keirin, the first time the women’s event was held at the Olympics. She surged ahead before the start of the final lap at the Velodrome, then held off Guo Shuang of China, who claimed the silver medal. Lee Wai Sze of Hong Kong took bronze.
The British men’s pursuit team won its second straight Olympic gold medal, shattering their own world record and beating the rival Australians. New Zealand beat Russia for third place.
In an all-Chinese final, Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei — who are a couple off the court — took the gold medal in mixed doubles with a 21-11, 21-17 victory over Xu Chen and Ma Jin. In the bronze medal playoff, Joachim Fischer and Christinna Pederson of Denmark beat Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad and Lilyana Natsir.
Gu Bon-gil led South Korea to a 45-26 victory over Romania in the men’s team saber final. Gu and teammates Kim Jung-hwan, Won Woo-young, and Oh Eun-seok won all but one of the nine bouts in the final. Italy took bronze by defeating world champion Russia, 45-40.