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Murray and British rule again at Olympics

Monday, August 06, 2012    

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LONDON, England (AP) — Just when it seemed the Olympics couldn't get any better for the host nation, Andy Murray and sailor Ben Ainslie kept the British gold medals flowing yesterday.

Murray beat Roger Federer for the men's singles tennis gold, gaining a measure of revenge for the Wimbledon final he lost on the same Wimbledon court to the Swiss star a month ago.

And he didn't mess around, dominating a listless Federer 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 yesterday, winning nine consecutive games at one stage and breaking the seven-time Wimbledon champion's serve four times in a row.

"It was the biggest win of my life," said an emotional Murray. "I've had a lot of tough losses in my career. This is the best way to come back from the Wimbledon final. I'll never forget it."

The Scotsman couldn't add to the British gold medal total when he and Laura Robson lined up in the mixed doubles final. The golds went to Max Mirnyi and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, who won 2-6, 6-3, 10-8 to leave the British pair with silver medals.

Adding to Britain's burgeoning total — they won six gold medals on Saturday, including three in one hour at the athletics stadium — Ainslie won his fourth straight gold medal and fifth games medal overall, making him the most successful sailor in Olympic history.

The two new golds yesterday gave Britain 16 — eight over the weekend. That's good enough for third place in the gold medal race behind the United States and China.

On Saturday, heptathlete and national poster girl Jessica Ennis, long jumper Greg Rutherford and 10,000-metre runner Mo Farah won their events one after the other in front of 80,000 fans at the main stadium as part of the British gold onslaught.

On Sunday, The Observer declared it "Britain's greatest day," and the Sunday Times — reaching for Churchillian wartime references — said it was "Our finest Olympic hour." The Sunday Telegraph called it "Sensational."

In an earlier match at Wimbledon, Serena and Venus Williams won the women's doubles tennis title, becoming the first tennis players to win four Olympic gold medals. They defended their Beijing 2008 doubles title with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic.

Serena made it a perfect Olympics, playing under the roof on a rainy afternoon at the All England Club a day after she dominated Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 for singles gold. She joined Steffi Graf as the only women to complete the Golden Slam — winning the Olympics and the four majors.

In the only track cycling final yesterday, Lasse Norman Hansen of Denmark won the gold medal in the men's omnium after surviving 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 Britain's Edward Clancy in the scratch race but escaped uninjured and went back on the track.

He managed to rejoin the peloton after regaining a lap and finished sixth at the line. Hansen then produced a full-on effort in the one-kilometre time trial to win the inaugural Olympic title in the multidiscipline event with a total of 27 points.

In the rain-soaked women's marathon, which started and ended at Buckingham Palace, Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia finished in a time of 2 hours, 23.07 seconds to win gold, holding off Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya by five seconds. Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova of Russia took the bronze.

In event finals yesterday in gymnastics, Zou Kai defended his Olympic title on men's floor exercise, Krisztian Berki of Hungary won gold on the pommel horse and Sandra Izbasa took the women's vault.

It was the fifth gold medal for China's Zou, who has one from last week's team competition and won three in Beijing.

Lin Dan of China became the first man to retain the Olympic badminton singles title, beating Malaysian archrival Lee Chong Wei 15-21, 21-10, 21-19. Defending champion Jin Jong-oh of South Korea won his second shooting gold medal in London, overtaking compatriot Choi Young-rae by 0.5 point on his last shot in the 50-metre pistol final.

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