LONDON -- Five things to know about Sunday, Day 9 of the London Olympics:
--Don’t Blink: Blake, Bolt lead marquee field for 100.
--Pistorius out of 400-meter final.
--Encore for Britannia! Murray, Ainslie win golds.
--Winning Fight: Women’s boxing comes to Olympics.
--Maroney’s mistake costs her vault gold.
Usain Bolt jogged his way across the line. No need to waste any energy before the big final.
Bolt easily won his 100-meter Olympic semifinal in 9.87 seconds, setting up a chance for a second consecutive gold medal in the dash later Sunday.
All the big sprinters advanced, finalizing a star-studded showdown for track’s biggest race.
World champion Yohan Blake, Bolt’s Jamaican teammate and training partner, posted a 9.85 and American Justin Gatlin moved on in 9.82 seconds.
A third Jamaican qualified, former world record-holder Asafa Powell, as did Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey of the U.S.
Also Sunday night, Oscar Pistorius failed to make the 400-meter final a day after the double-amputee made his Olympic debut. American Sanya Richards-Ross was set to compete in the women’s 400 final. Medals will be awarded in the women’s triple jump, men’s hammer throw and the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase.
Britain picked up two more gold medals after winning six events during a banner Saturday.
Andy Murray cruised past Roger
Murray avenged a loss to Federer in last month’s Wimbledon final while becoming the first British man to win the gold in singles since Josiah Ritchie in 1908.
"I’ve had a lot of tough losses in my career," he said. "This is the best way to come back from the Wimbledon final. I’ll never forget it."
After trailing the entire regatta, Ainslie was spot-on with his tactics in the medals race and got a little help from the front of the fleet. He won his fourth straight gold and fifth straight games medal overall, eclipsing Denmark’s Paul Elvstrom, who won four straight gold medals from 1948-60.
"That race was certainly one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life, but thankfully I came through," he said.
The Olympics’ year of the woman hit another milestone when women’s boxing made its debut in the games Sunday. The tournament began with 12 entertaining bouts featuring uppercuts, haymakers and footwork that all measure up nicely to the men’s amateur sport.
Russia’s Elena Savelyeva won the first fight with a busy jab and strong combinations. U.S. lightweight Queen Underwood lost a close bout with Britain’s Natasha Jonas.
The crowd roared for every fighter, clearly enjoying the tight competition and disciplined styles of the world’s top female boxers.
McKayla Maroney was all set to add the vault title to her team gymnastics gold with the U.S. when she made a costly mistake. She appeared to land her second vault on the backs of her heels. Her feet slid out from under her, and she plopped on the mat, a look of shock crossing her face.
"I really didn’t deserve to win a gold medal if I fall on my butt," Maroney said. "I was still happy with a silver, but it’s still just sad."
Sandra Izbasa of Romania won the gold, and Russia’s Maria Paseka took the bronze.
Britain’s Louis Smith and Hungary’s Krisztian Berki finished with identical 16.066 scores on the pommel horse, but Berki got the gold because his execution score of 9.166 was .10 points better. A tiebreaker also cost Smith in Beijing, when he dropped from second to bronze on the same event.
Also, Zou Kai won his fifth career gold medal, defending his title on floor exercise. He already had one gold from China’s victory in the men’s team competition last week, and has three more from the Beijing Games.
The rest of the Olympic action Sunday:
Diana Taurasi had 22 points and the U.S. women matched their Olympic scoring record in a 114-66 rout of China.
The Americans’ 38th consecutive victory in Olympic play gave them the top seed in the group for the quarterfinals. The U.S. will meet Canada on Tuesday.
Angel McCoughtry scored 16 as the women equaled the 114 points they scored against Spain in 1992, but fell well short of the women’s Olympic mark of 128 points set by Brazil in 2004.
France finished undefeated in pool play, beating Russia 65-54. The Czech Republic clinched a spot in the quarterfinals with a 82-47 win over Angola.
Lasse Norman Hansen of Denmark won the gold medal in the men’s omnium following a crash in one of the six races of the event.
Hansen hit the wooden boards in a curve after connecting with the rear wheel of Briton Edward Clancy in the scratch race but was uninjured and got back on the track.
He managed to rejoin the peloton after regaining a lap and finished sixth at the line. Hansen then produced a big effort in the 1-kilometer time trial to win the inaugural Olympic title in the multidiscipline event with a total of 27 points.
Bryan Coquard of France took the silver medal and Clancy was third.
Lin Dan led the way as China swept all five badminton gold medals at the Olympics, defending his title by beating Malaysian rival Lee Chong Wei 15-21, 21-10, 21-19 in men’s singles.
When Chong Wei’s final shot landed long, Lin sprinted around Wembley Arena until he was tackled by his coaches.
A short time later, Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng won the men’s doubles final to complete China’s golden sweep. They defeated Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen of Denmark 21-16, 21-15.
Saudi Arabia leads the standings at the equestrian team show jumping competition after a first day dominated by a veterinarian’s decision to disqualify a Canadian horse.
The Saudis had just one penalty point and were followed closely by the Netherlands, Britain, Sweden and Switzerland, all with four penalty points and tied for second.
Canadian horse Victor, ridden by Tiffany Foster, was disqualified by competition veterinarians for hypersensitivity in the left front leg. This left Canada without a drop score in the competition where the best three scores out of four riders count.