This article was written by Jake Kreinberg based on reporting from The Associated Press.
Big days in track and field and on the beach resulted in four gold medals for the United States on Wednesday, Day 12 of the London Games.
In addition, the U.S. men's basketball team advanced to the semifinals as it tries to defend its gold medal won four years ago in Beijing.
Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings win third consecutive gold medal
U.S. beach volleyball teammates Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings took their third consecutive gold medal Wednesday, outlasting their American counterparts Jennifer Kessy and April Ross, 21-16, 21-16.
May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings have won every match they've played in Olympic competition, losing just one of 43 sets.
No one had ever won two consecutive gold medals before the two teammates won in Beijing, and no woman had previously won three medals of any kind.
Third time's a charm for Allyson Felix in 200m
Having been twice defeated in the 200-meter Olympic finals by Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown, American Allyson Felix, 26, finally broke through Wednesday to grab the gold medal.
Felix finished in 21.88 seconds, besting Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce by .21 seconds. American Carmelita Jeter grabbed the bronze medal to go along with her silver in the 100-meter race Saturday.
U.S. takes gold, silver in 110m hurdles
Aries Merritt grabbed gold and Jason Richardson took silver to give the U.S. its first one-two finish in the 110-meter hurdles since 1996. No American had taken gold since until Wednesday.
Merritt, 27, finished in 12.92 seconds. Richardson, who won the World Championships a year ago, followed .12 seconds later.
U.S. basketball beats Australia, advances to semifinals
Kobe Bryant drained six 3-pointers in the second half and LeBron James added a triple-double as the U.S. defeated Australia on Wednesday, 119-86.
Deron Williams scored 18 points, Carmelo Anthony 17 and Kevin Durant 14 for the Americans, who advance to play Argentina in the semifinals Friday.
The U.S. beat the Argentines 126-97 Monday in the final game of pool play. This will be the third-consecutive semifinal between the two countries, with Argentina winning en route to a gold medal in 2004.
Attar makes track debut for Saudi women
Dressed in traditional Saudi garb, Sarah Attar became the first woman representing Saudi Arabia in track and field in the Olympics on Wednesday.
She finished last in the 800-meter preliminary race but received a standing ovation for overcoming odds far greater than anything she would encounter on the track.
This was the first Olympics in which every country's team included at least one woman.
The U.S. gained 11 medals Wednesday and now leads the Olympics with 81, four more than second-place China. The U.S. still trails in gold medals to the Chinese, 36-34.
At the games
Fresh off winning her third consecutive gold medal with teammate Kerri Walsh, U.S. beach volleyball player Misty May-Treanor announced her retirement Wednesday from the sport. She said she wants to focus on raising a family.
Thursday's games: What to watch
For a full schedule of Thursday's games visit NBC's Olympic website.
9 a.m.: Women's semifinal volleyball, U.S. vs. South Korea
11 a.m.: Women's semifinal basketball, U.S. vs. Australia
11:15 a.m.: Women's boxing, 165 lbs., U.S. vs. Russia, gold medal match
1:45 p.m.: Women's soccer, U.S. vs. Japan, gold medal match
2 p.m.: Women's water polo, U.S. vs. Spain, gold medal match
2 p.m.: Men's track and field, 800m, final
2:55 p.m.: Men's track and field, 200m, final
3 p.m.: Men's beach volleyball, Brazil vs. Germany, gold medal match
3:20 p.m.: Men's decathlon, 1500m, final event
Find complete coverage of the London 2012 Summer Olympics from The Associated Press at http://summergames.ap.org/columbiamissourian.
Supervising editor is Maggie Walter.