OLYMPIC HIGHLIGHTS: Phelps claims 17th gold medal, Williams advances to final match

Friday, August 3, 2012 | 9:06 p.m. CDT; updated 3:53 p.m. CDT, Saturday, August 4, 2012
The London Games continued on Friday with Michael Phelps increasing his record medal total to 20, Serena Williams advancing to the women's tennis final and 15-year-old swimmer Katie Ledecky winning gold for the U.S.

This article was written by Ann Elise Taylor and Garrett Evans based on reporting from The Associated Press.

The United States maintained its lead in the overall medal and gold medal counts Friday.

Columbia resident takes fourth in shot-put

Christian Cantwell, a Columbia native and former MU shot-putter, came in fourth place in the Olympic shot-put competition on Friday with a throw of 69 feet and 6.25 inches.

Cantwell, who threw six times during the event, fell short of winning the bronze medal by just 1.58 inches. U.S. shot-putter Reese Hoffa took bronze in the competition, with Germany's David Storl taking silver and Poland's Tomasz Majewski grabbing the gold.

Olympic veteran, rising star dominate in swimming

The individual race portion of Michael Phelps' gold-laden Olympic career ended on a high note Friday after the swimmer trounced competitors in the 100-meter butterfly swimming final.

The gold medal is the 17th of Phelps' career and his third in the London Games.

Phelps will compete in his final Olympic swim Saturday night in a race the American team has never lost – the 4x100 medley relay. 

As one American swimming star fades into Olympic history, another appears to be on the rise. Fifteen-year-old Katie Ledecky snagged the gold in the women's 800-meter freestyle, narrowly missing out on a world record time in the race.

Ledecky commanded the race from start to finish, only breaking her grueling pace during the race's final stretch.

Serena Williams to face Maria Sharapova in Olympic final

U.S. tennis player Serena Williams defeated No. 1-ranked Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-2 in a blowout game Friday in Wimbledon. The win will advance her into the Olympic final match against Russian first-timer Maria Sharapova Saturday.

Either Williams or Sharapova will be the second woman to complete a career "Golden Grand Slam" – meaning an Olympic gold medal on top of wins at all four major tennis championships. Steffi Graf is the only woman to have achieved the feat.

Williams will be playing for her third gold medal. She is 8-2 against Sharapova, including wins in their past seven meetings.

Friday's matches also brought a win to Sweden's Roger Federer, who defeated Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro for the gold in Olympic singles in a four-hour, 26-minute-long match. The game, which ended in scores of 3-6, 7-6 (5) and 19-17, was the longest three-set men's match of the Open era.

Medal winners

The United States is in the lead with 43 medals; China trails one behind with 42 medals. The U.S. also leads in the number of gold medals with 21.

Birthday at the Olympics

American swimming star Ryan Lochte turns 28 on Friday and will be celebrating the date with a much needed day off. No doubt winning five Olympic medals in the course of a week takes it out of you.

Lochte told AP reporters that he plans to spend the day exploring London with his family. He also intends to be an Olympic spectator for a change, with hopes of seeing Usain Bolt run on the track and watching the U.S. basketball team play.

What to watch

Visit for the full schedule of Olympic events Saturday.

8:30 a.m.: Men's basketball, U.S. v. Lithuania

8:30 a.m.: Women's diving 3m springboard semifinal

10 a.m.: Men's tennis doubles final

10:45 a.m.: Men's volleyball, U.S. v. Russia

12 p.m.: Women's fencing

1 p.m.: Women's field hockey, U.S. v. New Zealand

3 p.m.: Men and women's beach volleyball, round of 16

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

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Conner.

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