Olympics 2012 Results: Biggest Surprises from Day 7
Do you love a good thrill?
Do you lust for glimpses of the unexpected?
Do you like the Olympics?
Then goodness do I have a slideshow for you.
We're running through all the biggest surprises on Day 7 of the 2012 London Olympics—at least all the ones we caught.
Enjoy, and let us know what we missed in the comments below.
Del Potro Takes Federer to the Brink
Semifinal matches in a major tennis tournament are never easy—not even for the great Roger Federer.
But if there was ever a mismatch so deep in a bracket, this was it: Federer, ranked No. 1 and coming off his seventh Wimbledon title, versus Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, a former top-five mainstay on the wane.
That is until the match started and del Potro, who came in with an 0-5 record against Federer this year, took the first set 6-3 behind an arresting display of power tennis.
After Federer evened matters with a tiebreak win in the second, the pair went to a decisive third that lasted 36 games and almost three hours.
Federer prevailed 19-17, advancing to his first-ever Olympic singles final.
Jessica Ennis Hurdles into History
Earlier today, Jessica Ennis ran the fastest women's 100-meter hurdles in British history.
Now this: Jessica Ennis isn't a hurdler—she's a heptathlete.
Her time of 12.54 seconds was the fastest mark ever run in a heptathlon and would rank her third in the world this year among actual female hurdlers.
Adding to the drama, Ennis registered her historic time in the first track event staged at these 2012 London Games.
Not a bad start for the home team.
A "Rollkur" Row
Another day, another controversy, this one from the world of equestrianism.
Fans of the sport are in arms after a picture posted on Twitter appears to show Swedish rider Patrik Kittel using "rollkur," an inadmissible form of training described by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) as "flexion of the horse's neck achieved through aggressive force" (via NBCOlympics.com).
The FEI denies the charge, and Kittel has not been reprimanded.
Dalhausser and Rogers Sent Packing
The kings of the beach have been dethroned.
Americans Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers, the reigning Olympic champions in men's beach volleyball, lost their Round of 16 match today against Italian duo Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo.
In straight sets.
To a team seeded just 13th overall.
Even though the American tandem had struggled in recent months, they still entered London with the tournament's second overall seed and what looked like a credible shot at repeating.
Fellow Americans Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal remain alive and will take on Russian pair Sergey Prokopiev and Konstantin Semenov tomorrow evening.
Leuris Pupo Strikes Shooting Gold for Cuba
Leuris Pupo is, in sports vernacular, a journeyman.
You might call him the Craig Counsell of the pistol world—always around, veritably competent, occasionally relevant.
Before London, the Cuban pistol shooter's only international victory had come in 1998. In three prior Olympic appearances, Pupo had finished no better than seventh.
Until today, that is, when Pupo outpaced his more decorated competitors to win gold in the 25-meter rapid fire pistol event, securing Cuba's first-ever Olympic title in the discipline.
Pupo told the Associated Press afterwards, "There were a lot of things going on in my mind. First I was thinking about bronze. Then I started thinking I could win it."
Raymond and Huber Downed in Straight Sets
There will be no all-American final in the women's tennis doubles tournament.
Top-seeded duo Lisa Raymond and Liezel Huber lost their semifinal match in straight sets to Czech pair Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, 6-1, 7-6 (7-2).
The Czechs advance to play the winner of the second semifinal between Americans Venus and Serena Williams and Russia's Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova.
Kazakhstan Doesn't Know How to Lose
I'll have what Kazakhstan's having.
With Svetlana Podobedova's victory today in the women's 75 kg weightlifting event, the Central Asian nation captured its fourth medal of these Games.
All four have been gold. All but one have been in weightlifting.
Before London, Kazakhstan had never won more than three gold medals in any Olympiad (summer or winter).
Missy Mashes a World Record
We knew going into London that Missy Franklin was a phenomenal swimming talent.
We knew going into London that Missy Franklin had oodles of big-meet poise.
We knew going into London that Missy Franklin had all the telltale signs of a "Next Big Thing."
But even we in the Olympic hype machine couldn't have anticipated this.
Swimming in today's 200-meter backstroke final, the 17-year-old won her fourth medal of these Games and her second individual gold.
And although she entered as the pre-race favorite, few could have predicted she would smash the event's standing world record by almost a full second.
Yet she did, finishing her jam-packed individual program with an uncommon flourish.
Oh To Be 15 Years Old and an Olympic Champion
Maryland native Katiey Ledecky cruised past pre-race favorite and hometown darling Rebecca Adlington en route to a gold medal in the women's 800 free.
Oh and there's this: She's 15 years old.
The rising sophomore finished just a half-second shy of the world record, and four seconds ahead of her closest rival.
And just to make you feel a little bit older and sadder, I'll round off by mentioning that Ledecky, the youngest member of Team USA at the London 2012 Games, was less than one month old when Tiger Woods won his first major championship.