Two U.S. swimmers emerge at London Games

United States' Allison Schmitt and Nathan Adrian pose with their gold medal on Tuesday, July 31, 2012. AP Photo

(CBS News) LONDON - Wednesday was another gold medal day for Team USA at the Summer Olympics, and the host country finally had a chance to climb to the top level of the medals podium.

Allison Schmitt is the new golden girl in the pool.

The 22-year-old Pittsburgh native swam the last leg of the women's 4x200 free relay, taking Team USA from second place to first. She helped set an Olympic record, while adding a fourth Olympic medal to her London collection.

It was the third for high school senior Missy Franklin. "Our coach called us the 'Smile-ly Group' before we came to the ready room and I think it's definitely true," Franklin said.

But no race has been closer at the Games than the one that landed American Nathan Adrian his first gold in London.

The 23 year old's fingertips touched the wall just one one-hundreth of a second faster than those of the Australian world champion in the 100 meter freestyle.

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"It's not who's put up the fastest time in the world that year or who's the fastest time in the world in the previous four years, but who can get their hand on the wall today, tonight, you know, and that's what when through my head," Adrian said.

And along the banks of the River Thames, crowds struck gold, as London's iconic Tower Bridge changed shades to celebrate Britain's first wave of gold medals.

Brits Helen Glover and Heather Stanning rowed their way to gold, the first from their country to get golds in these Games, and the first British women ever to score gold in rowing, garnering royal applause from Prince William and Prince Harry.

But across town, controversy rocked the sport of badminton after eight players were disqualified for cheating -- ironically, not for trying to win, but for purposely trying to lose. The four doubles teams from South Korea, Indonesia and China are accused of playing poorly in hopes of drawing a less skilled team in the next round.

The head of Indonesia's badminton team, Erick Thohir, said, "We come here not to lose medals, we want to have medals. But there is no direction from the Indonesian Badminton Association to tell the players to lose. I think to blame China is also not fair."

One of the Chinese players has now apparently quit the sport. She blogged, "Farewell, my dear badminton."

  • Bigad Shaban

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