OLYMPIC HIGHLIGHTS: Phelps makes history, U.S. takes gold in women's gymnastics

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 | 8:40 p.m. CDT; updated 11:29 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 31, 2012
The U.S. took home medals in women's gymnastics, soccer and swimming. Michael Phelps claimed his 19th medal when the U.S. won the men's 4x200-meter swimming relay, breaking the Olympic record for most medals.

This article was written by Garrett Evans based on reporting from The Associated Press.

The U.S. claimed several medals Tuesday, including the gold medal in women's gymnastics — the team's first gold in 16 years.

The U.S. also took home medals in women's soccer and swimming, while Michael Phelps claimed the silver medal in men's swimming.

South Africa's Chad le Clos defeated Phelps for the gold.

U.S. claims gold, silver in Tuesday's games

On Tuesday, the U.S. women's gymnastics team won the gold medal for the first time since 1996. The gymnasts' score of 183.596 put them five points ahead of Russia for first place. Russia won the silver medal with a score of 178.530, and Romania won the bronze with a score of 176.414.

The American team had come into the last two Olympics as world champions only to leave without the gold medal. This time they were in the lead considerably, with Russia trailing five points behind.

The U.S. women's soccer team also won Tuesday, defeating North Korea, 1-0. The goal was made in the 25th minute of play when Abby Wambach scored.

The game took place in Manchester's Old Trafford Stadium and was watched by a crowd of more than 29,000. The last time a women's soccer game was held there was 23 years ago. The next U.S. game will take place Friday in Newcastle. 

The U.S. also won two gold medals and one silver medal in swimming Tuesday.

Michael Phelps barely missed the 200-meter butterfly gold with a time of 1:53.01, and instead took home silver. Chad le Clos of South Africa won with a time of 1:52.96, making it the country's second gold medal for swimming. Takeshi Matsuda of Japan claimed the bronze medal with a time of 1:53.21.

Phelps also claimed a gold medal during the men's freestyle relay. This was Phelps' 19th, making him the record holder for most Olympic medals

Alison Schmitt of the U.S. won the 200 freestyle race with a time of 1:53.61, an Olympic record. France's Camille Muffat took silver, although her time of 1:55.58 put her a full body length behind Schmitt. Bronte Barrett of Australia took bronze with a time of 1:55.81.

First three days of attendance totals 2.1 million

Olympic organizers said Tuesday that 2.1 million people attended the first three full days of competitions.

Organizers said 86 percent of ticketholders showed up to Saturday's games for a total of 856,000 visitors. On Sunday, about 900,000 people attended the day's games. Monday's attendance was 370,000.

Medal winners

China and the U.S. remain tied for the lead in overall medals, although China has won more gold medals so far.

At the games

After claiming two medals in men's butterfly Tuesday, Michael Phelps now holds the record for most Olympic medals. The two wins pushed him to 19 medals, with Phelps claiming the title from Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, who won 18 medals, her last in Tokyo during the 1964 Olympics.

Latynina attended Tuesday's women's gymnastics team final and received a crowd ovation when her face was shown on the scoreboard during the competition.

Her career ended after the 1964 Tokyo Games, where she took home six medals.

What to watch

Visit for the full schedule of Olympic events Wednesday.

9 a.m. CDT: Men's synchronized diving finals

10:30 a.m.: Men's individual all-around gymnastics

11 a.m.: Men's soccer, Mexico vs. Switzerland

12:20 p.m.: Women's water polo, U.S. vs. Spain

1:30 p.m.: Men's swimming 200m breaststroke

1:38 p.m.: Women's swimming 100m freestyle

2 p.m.: Women's volleyball, U.S. vs. China

4:15 p.m.: Women's basketball, U.S. vs. Turkey

Find complete coverage of the London 2012 Summer Olympics from The Associated Press at

Supervising editors are Elizabeth Conner and Frank Russell.

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