It was a gorgeous day at Centre Court, with the sun shining on the athletes standing on the podium, and America's national anthem playing to end the medal ceremony. But then, the flag simply fell from its post.
American Serena Williams stormed her way to an Olympic gold medal Saturday, dominating the final against Maria Sharapova of Russia. It is the first individual gold medal for Williams, who has twice won in Olympic doubles.
Williams won the first set, 6-0, in only 30 minutes. She hit only a handful of unforced errors in each set, and feasted on Sharapova's second serve. She won the second set by 6-1, with the entire match taking only a bit more than an hour to complete.
Good morning. As we start Day 8 of the London Olympics, big news is already happening. We posted earlier about Oscar Pistorius's historic run in the men's 400 meters, for instance. If you'd like to catch up on yesterday's events, check out our Day in Photos gallery. Here's what's been happening today:
The American men's basketball team has faced criticism for Thursday night's 156-73 blowout victory over Nigeria at the London Olympics. At the arena, NPR editor Vickie Walton-James spoke to Nigerian fans, to learn what they thought about being on the wrong end of a record score:
The vaunted USA Dream Team scored more points Thursday than any other team in an Olympic basketball game. The previous record was set in 1988, when Brazil scored 138 points to Egypt's 85.
Sprinter Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee who has for years sought to race in the Olympic Games, finally got his wish Saturday, when he lined up to run in a preliminary heat in the men's 400 meters in London's Olympic Stadium.
"On the blocks, I didn't know if I should cry or be happy," a breathless Pistorius told a BBC reporter after the race. "And then I was like, no — you've got a job to do. It was just really a mix of emotions. I didn't know what form I was going to be in today. I had a good race tactic, and I stuck to it."
It's nearly time to set The Torch to "dim" for the night, but we must note something historic that happened today: Wojdan Shaherkani competed for Saudi Arabia in the Olympics, becoming the first woman ever to do so.
Shaherkani wasn't a threat to win her match against Puerto Rico's Melissa Mojica. After all, Shaherkani is only 16, and her highest level of achievement in judo is a blue belt. Their match only lasted 1 minute and 22 seconds.
Let's face it, for many Americans, watching the Olympic events they want to watch, when they want to watch them, without knowing the results or having to endure NBC commentary is, well, as hard as competing in the events themselves. NBC has defended its tape-delayed primetime showings in part by pointing to its digital streaming of live events.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. The Chinese swimming champion Ye Shewin has accused a U.S. coach of acting unprofessionally when he suggested she was doping. That's after the 16-year-old blasted past her opponents to win two Olympic gold medals.
It's been a dramatic week for her. Instead of reveling in breakout-star status, she left a controversy in her wake. From London, NPR's Tom Goldman reports.
TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: The London games ended quietly for Ye Shewin.