A few hours after the U.S. men’s boxing team thought it was done at the Olympics, amateur boxing’s governing body decided Errol Spence deserved to fight on.
AIBA overturned Spence’s loss to Indian welterweight Krishan Vikas late Friday night, five hours after the defense-minded Vikas had apparently clutched and grabbed his way to a 13-11 victory.
After the American team protested the result, AIBA’s competition jury reviewed the bout and ruled Vikas had committed nine holding fouls in the third round alone. He also intentionally spit out his mouthpiece during the second round, which should have resulted in at least four points of deductions.
Spence advanced into the quarterfinals to face Russia’s Andrey Zamkovoy on Tuesday. If he wins, the American men’s team will avoid leaving the Olympics with no medals for the first time.
“I am obviously thrilled that the competition jury overturned my decision and I can continue chasing the gold medal I came here to win,” Spence said late Friday night. “I am going to make the most of this second chance that I’ve been given. I can’t wait to get back in that ring on Tuesday.”
Spence felt he had won the bout afterward, expecting his hand to be raised in the ring, but wasn’t terribly surprised when Vikas got the nod. The welterweight from Dallas already was the last U.S. man standing after his eight male teammates lost in the previous five days, including three-time Olympian Rau’shee Warren’s 19-18 loss to France’s Nordine Oubaali an hour earlier.
Spence stopped the eight-fight skid but must beat Zamkovoy to save the most successful team in Olympic boxing history from its first medal shutout and its worst showing at any games — although three U.S. women are still alive in their first Olympic tournament, which begins Sunday.
FEDERER, SERENA ADVANCE TO FINALS
Roger Federer rallied past Juan Martin del Potro, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 19-17, to reach the men’s singles final at Wimbledon. At 4 hours, 26 minutes, it was the longest three-set men’s match of the Open era. He meets Britain’s Andy Murray in Sunday’s gold-medal match. Murray advanced with a 7-5, 7-5 victory over Novak Djokovic.
Serena Williams also clinched her first Olympic singles medal, beating No. 1-seeded Victoria Azarenka, 6-1, 6-2. In the final today, Williams will face longtime foe and first-time Olympian Maria Sharapova, who beat Russian teammate Maria Kirilenko, 6-2, 6-3.
Diana Taurasi scored 18 points, and Tina Charles had 16 points and 14 rebounds to lead the U.S. women’s basketball team to an 88-61 win over the Czech Republic. … Liz Cambage dunked in Australia’s 70-66 women’s basketball victory over Russia. … Defending beach volleyball gold medalists Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser of the United States were knocked out of the Olympics in two sets by Italy’s Paolo Nicolai and Danielle Lupo. … Destinee Hooker scored 19 points, and the U.S. women’s volleyball team clinched the top spot in its pool with a three-set victory over Serbia. … Britain’s Victoria Pendleton won a cycling gold medal in the keirin just moments after countrymen Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh and Steven Burke won the team pursuit title in a world record time. … China’s Dong Dong took the gold in men’s trampoline competition, putting together a dizzying series of flips and twists. … Sergei Martynov of Belarus set a world record (705.5 points) in winning the men’s 50-meter rifle prone, and Cuba got its first shooting gold medal at an Olympics when Leuris Pupo won the 25-meter rapid-fire pistol. …
Oh Jin-hyek of South Korea won the men’s individual archery competition, topping Takaharu Furukawa of Japan in a one-sided final. The bronze went to China’s Dai Xiaoxiang, who beat Rick van der Ven of the Netherlands 10-8 in a shoot-off tiebreaker. … Svetlana Podobedova won Kazakhstan’s third weightlifting gold medal of the games, beating Russia’s Natalya Zabolotnaya in a women’s 75-kilogram showdown decided on the last lift. Poland’s Adrian Zielinski made the most of defending champion Lu Yong’s early exit, winning the men’s 85-kilogram weight class. … The badminton gold for mixed doubles went to China’s Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei.