2012 Olympics: Biggest Disappointments from Day 7
The Olympics have an incredible way of dealing participants moments of triumph and tragedy. In our daily analysis of disappointments, we focus on the latter.
Plenty of athletes accomplished incredible Olympic achievements today in London. However, you won't find any of them on this list.
Let's immerse ourselves in the unfortunate developments that unfolded on Friday.
Juan Martin del Potro Loses Marathon Tennis Match
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Losing to Roger Federer is nothing to be ashamed of; the Swiss superstar is arguably tennis' greatest performer ever. Yet Juan Martin del Potro has to feel disappointment after pushing the legend to the brink of Olympic elimination and falling just shy of completing an epic upset.
Their semifinal match lasted four hours, 26 minutes. With a gold-medal match on the line, del Potro couldn't put away Federer after winning the opening set.
The Argentine fell 3-6, 7-6 (5), 19-17 in the longest three-set match in tennis history.
The opponents shared an emotional moment afterward, which included del Potro apparently breaking down on Federer's shoulder.
American Finishes Last in Trampoline Qualifying
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Steven Gluckstein, we hardly knew ye.
The 22-year-old New Jersey native is a three-time U.S. champion trampolinist (a word so rarely used, spell check underlines with red). On Friday, he was merely the 16th qualifier out of 16 competitors.
The last-place finish spells the end of Gluckstein's Olympic run. I guess Michael Phelps gets to keep the spotlight a little longer.
Im Dong-Hyun Comes Up Empty in Individual Archery
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South Korean archer Im Dong-Hyun, who is legally blind in his left eye, made headlines when he helped his country win a team bronze earlier in these games. He earned team gold medals at both the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.
Im entered the individual archery element as the top seed and in search of more Olympic glory. However, he was eliminated from competition by Holland's Rick van der Ven.
Im set a new 72-arrow world record in preliminary rounds, so it's surprising to see him bow out of these Olympics without an individual medal.
Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser Fail to Defend Gold
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The American beach volleyball duo of Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser reigned supreme in Beijing, claiming gold at the 2008 Olympics. Their performance was simply dominant, and the 6'9" Dalhausser was dubbed "The Beijing Beast" during those Summer Games.
Four years later, they've been ousted by Italy in the Round of 16. Italians Daniele Lupo and Paolo Nicolai defeated the American stars in straight sets (21-17, 21-19).
“It’s a little bit different when you win: It takes about a month for it to sink in,” Dalhausser told the Associated Press. “When you lose, it smacks you right in the face the second the ball hits the sand.”
Great Britain's Rebecca Adlington Vanquished in Quest to Repeat
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A shining moment for American swimming was difficult to accept for legendary British swimmer Rebecca Adlington. The 23-year-old Brit broke down while accepting a bronze medal for her performance in the 800-meter freestyle final as the packed crowd at London Aquatics Centre rose to its feet in support of their native daughter.
She won gold in the 400 and 800 free at the 2008 Beijing Games, becoming an instant icon in Great Britain. Adlington's quest to repeat in front of a homeland audience fell short, courtesy of American Katie Ledecky's prodigious performance.
Afterward, Adlington admitted that she is considering retirement from the sport.
"I can happily say that I have been in four Olympic Games finals, which is incredible, and I'm glad that I've medalled in four as well," she told The Guardian. "I can definitely look back and be happy with my career [but] there is just an element of disappointment in there as well, obviously."