BEIJING - The American men's volleyball team took the court against Venezuela with heavy hearts and a fill-in coach, as Hugh McCutcheon left to be with his wife following an attack at a Beijing tourist site that killed her father and critically wounded her mother.
The Americans huddled, arms linked, then bowed their heads for a moment of silence for Todd and Barbara Bachman, McCutcheon's in-laws and the parents of Elisabeth "Wiz" Bachman, a member of the 2004 U.S. Olympic team.
The men then went out and won their first two games. To claim the match, all they had to do was win one of the next three.
It took all three, but they got a 3-2 victory.
Yesterday was filled with rain, toying with the tennis schedule and making cycling's road race quite treacherous.
With 21 medals decided through last night, the Americans and Chinese are pulling away from the pack in the medal count. They're not, however, separating from each other.
Both have eight medals, but give China the advantage because six are gold - and none are bronze. The Americans have two gold, two silver and four bronze.
The U.S. vs. China theme is building in specific events, too - like the women's gymnastics prelims and the men's basketball game last night that was expected to become among the most-watched sporting events ever.
Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola and defending Olympic champion Argentina lost their opener, going down 78-75 to Lithuania when Denver Nuggets forward Linas Kleiza made a 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left.
Another NBA player to lose was Andrew Bogut. His 10 points weren't enough for Australia in a 97-82 loss to Croatia.
Dirk Nowitzki was 3-of-3 on 3-pointers and scored 23 points, and Chris Kaman topped him with 24, leading Germany to a 95-66 victory over Angola.
Pau Gasol scored 11 points and Rudy Fernandez had 16 as Spain beat Greece 81-66 in a rematch of the 2006 world championship finals.
In the tournament's opener, former Bucknell standout J.R. Holden scored 19 points and Andrei Kirilenko added 15 to lead European champion Russia past Iran 71-49.
Ana Ivanovic gave away her No. 1 seed at the Olympics, withdrawing because of inflammation in her right thumb that has bothered her for several weeks. Her decision was announced after play was called for the day with only nine of 45 scheduled matches completed.
Among the few players to complete victories was James Blake, at No. 8 the top-seeded American in the men's draw.
China's Guo Jingjing and Wu Minxia won the women's 3-meter synchronized springboard title. A Russian duo took silver and a pair of Germans got bronze, just ahead of Americans Kelci Bryant and Ariel Rittenhouse.
Britian's Nicole Cooke won the women's road cycling race, held in torrential rain on a course that started in Beijing and ended at the Great Wall. Emma Johansson of Sweden got silver and Tatiana Guderzo of Italy the bronze. Weightlifting
Thailand's Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon set an Olympic record - for amount of weight lifted in the women's 117-pound class. Her haul was 486.2 pounds. South Korea's Yoon Jinhee finished in second place and Natassia Novikava of Belarus got the bronze.
Nobody beats the South Korean in women's archery.
Seriously, it's never happened. The South Koreans won their sixth straight gold medal, every single one since the event's inception in 1988. China got the silver and France took bronze.
David Kostelecky of the Czech Republic hit all 25 trap shooting targets to take gold. Giovanni Pellielo of Italy won the silver and Alexey Alipov of Russia won a shoot-off for bronze.
Reigning Olympic champion Xian Dongmei of China was golden again in the women's 114-pound division, beating An Kum Ae of North Korea.
Japan's Masato Uchishiba won his second straight Olympic gold medal, pinning France's Benjamin Darbelet just seconds into their final match in the men's 145-pound division.
The U.S. team gave up a free kick in the third minute of injury time to settle for a 2-2 tie against the Netherlands.
The American duo of Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor began their bid for another gold medal with a decisive victory over a Japanese duo. They needed just 36 minutes in an intermittent rain.
The U.S. men beat host China 8-4, giving former Olympian Terry Schroeder a victory in his Olympic coaching debut.
Hungary's bid for a third consecutive gold medal got off to a shaky start, needing a goal with 32 seconds left to tie Montenegro 10-10.
In their first Olympics appearance since 1996, the Americans dug out of a 2-0 hole and tied Argentina, the worlds No. 2-ranked team, at 2-2.
American Zach Railey, ranked only 18th in the world, hauled in first place overall in Finn class, ahead of three-time Olympic medalist Ben Ainslie of Britain.
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