Zakharov gatecrashes China party

Russian claims 3M springboard to deny Red Dragon the clean sweep

Zakharov gatecrashes China party

Russia's Ilya Zakharov took a surprise gold at the men's three-metre springboard diving final on Tuesday, ruining China's ambition of an eight-gold sweep in the sport.

In the closest contest seen yet in the Aquatics Centre diving pool, Zakharov took gold with 555.90 points, beating China's Qin Kai into silver on 541.75. The Russian executed a clean forward 4-1/2 somersault, collecting 104.5 points and the gold. Defending Olympic champion He Chong took bronze with 524.15.

France in semis

The French women's basketball team roared back from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter to overtake the Czech Republic 71-68 and reach the semifinals Tuesday.

France, who had gone 5-0 in preliminary play, advanced to a final four showdown against Russia, who edged Turkey 66-63. The four-time defending champions United States will play Australia in the other semifinal on Thursday.

The Americans defeated Canada 91-48 to extend their Olympic winning streak to 39 in a row, and Australia were 75-60 winners against China.

Rego-Cerutti in final

Brazilian Emanuel Rego is on course to recapture the men's Olympic beach volleyball title after he and Alison Cerutti beat Latvians Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins 21-15, 22-20 in the semifinals on Tuesday.

The world champions from Brazil now take on Germany for the gold medal after third-seeded Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann put out Dutch pair Reinder Nummerdor and Richard Schuil 21-14, 21-16.

It will be an all-American final in women's beach volleyball pitting Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh against Jennifer Kessy and April Ross who advanced after an upset win over world champions Brazil.

Two-time Olympic champions May-Treanor and Walsh saw off a fierce Chinese Zhang Xi and Xue Chen 22-20, 22-20 in their semifinal, bringing closer the prospect of a third gold. Ross and Kessy beat the Brazilians 15-21, 21-19, 15-12.

Koreans progress

South Korea beat Russia 24-23 in a titanic struggle of two of the most prolific Olympic women's team to set up a semifinal against champions Norway, who produced a stirring fightback on Tuesday against Brazil.

Twice winners South Korea meet world and European champions Norway, who won the day's first quarterfinal 21-19.

Also through are Spain, who beat Croatia 25-22 to move into the last four where they will face debutants Montenegro.

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