Good day for U.S.: 3 golds, 7 medals

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LONDON -- In a day highlighted by the men's 200 meter semifinals and Allyson Felix's quest for a gold, the United States took away three gold medals, two silvers and two bronze in four finals.

Aries Merritt led a 1-2 finish for the United States in the 110-meter hurdles, winning in 12.92 seconds. World champion Jason Richardson was second in 13.04. Hansle Parchment of Jamaica took the bronze in 13.12.

Defending champion Dayron Robles of Cuba pulled up midway through the race, clutching his right hamstring.

Merritt and Richardson gave the U.S. its first gold-silver finish in the event since 1996, when Allen Johnson and Mark Crear claimed the top two spots in Atlanta. No American had won gold since.

"I've worked so hard for this moment and who knows if I'll ever get this chance again?" Merritt, 27, said.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime moment and I'm just kind of living it. I'm the champion. It still hasn't sunk in yet that I'm Olympic champion. I'm still in shock."

Brittney Reese claimed another of the U.S. track and field team's three golds, becoming the first American woman to win the Olympic long jump title since Jackie Joyner-Kersee in 1988.

"It's a surreal moment," she said. "I got very emotional -- you do when you're representing your country.

The two-time world champion went into the competition with the best jump of the season and put down the best mark in the final with 23 feet, 41/2 inches (7.12 meters) on her second attempt. Russia's Elena Sokolova took the silver medal at 23-21/2 (7.07) and Janay Deloach earned the bronze for the United States.

Usain Bolt won his semifinal heat for the 200 meters in 20.18 seconds, moving closer to becoming the first man with two Olympic golds in the 200 meters.

Bolt's teammate and training partner, 100 silver medalist Yohan Blake, won the first heat in 20.01. Wallace Spearmon of the U.S. was second in 20.02, with Christophe Lemaitre of France next in 20.03 to also advance.

olympics


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