Why do the best weightlifters have short arms? What's the biggest physical challenge that marathon runners face? What kind of advantages do athletes from West Africa — and from Asia — enjoy? Those questions are answered in a great post over at our sister blog, Shots.
Our colleague Adam Cole analyzed information from a range of sources to come up with conclusions about the bodies of Olympic sprinters and rowers, as well as weightlifters and marathon runners.
Good morning. It's Day 13 of the London Games, and the overall medal tally stands at 82 for the United States, 77 for China, and 48 for Great Britain. Here's a roundup of the news that caught our eye this morning:
Canada has won the bronze medal match over France in women's soccer, as midfielder Diana Matheson scored a golden... er, bronze goal in the 92nd minute to break a 0-0 tie. Obviously, the match featured lots of good defense.
In the London Olympics, 23 medal events will take place in 19 sports today. The big event for many Americans is the women's soccer final, a rematch of last year's World Cup match with Japan. The country is also down to its final hope for a gold medal in boxing, in the form of 17-year-old Claressa Shields.
Here are some highlights of the action. All times refer to the Eastern time zone:
2:45p Women's Soccer Gold Medal Match: USA vs. Japan
Oscar Pistorius, who made history last weekend when he became the first amputee to run in an Olympic race, saw his London 2012 experience come to an abrupt end Thursday — before a successful appeal put his South African 4x400m relay team back in business.
Pistorius never got a chance to run in the relay's qualifying heat, as he awaited the baton handoff from teammate Ofentse Mogawane. But Mogawane, who was running the second leg of the race, slammed into the back of a Kenyan runner who had drifted into his lane.
Two big gold medal matches of the Olympics are set for tonight in London. Both involve American women's teams with extraordinary incentives to win.
In water polo, the U.S. women are trying to end 12 years of frustration and finally take the gold. And in soccer, the Americans have a chance at redemption. They play Japan, which beat them in last year's World Cup final in a game-ending shootout.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
At the London Summer Olympics, it's one star-studded 200-meter race down and one to go - today. American Allyson Felix won the women's 200 last night and was part of a U.S. track and field medal-winning binge. The Americans took seven medals at Olympic Stadium, helping push the Americans past arch-medal rival China in the overall race.
U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney was disappointed when she took silver in the Olympic vault competition. A photographer snapped her wearing the medal around her neck and a big scowl on her face. That photo has now been Photoshopped on to all sorts of other pictures on the Internet.
Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings have won an unprecedented Olympic three-peat in women's beach volleyball, as they defeated their fellow Americans, the team of Jennifer Kessy and April Ross, in the gold medal match.
The match lasted just 36 minutes, as May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings won the first and second sets by the same score: 21-16. On the final point, Ross' serve floated long, and the celebration was on. May-Treanor started dancing on the sand, and the players ran to the stands to hug their loved ones.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. Team Great Britain is enjoying a stellar run at the London games. The Olympic host team has already won more medals than any year since 1908 when it also hosted the summer games, 48 medals so far with four days to go. And, turns out, this is a pattern. The host country does rake in the medals. China in 2008, Greece in '04, Australia in 2000. All of them hit all-time highs in the medal count.