Golden day for Team USA on track and beach

Misty May-Treanor, left, and Kerri Walsh Jennings celebrate win over April Ross and Jennifer Kessy in women's gold medal beach volleyball match Wednesday
AP Photo/Dave Martin

(CBS News) LONDON -- The United States Olympic team is celebrating one of its best days yet at the Summer Games.

Americans won seven track and field medals Wednesday, including three golds, and finished one-two in women's beach volleyball.

The beach volleyball gold medal game was an all-American event -- in fact, all-Californian. Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor, who have dominated the sport for a decade, dominated again, beating Jennifer Kessy and April Ross.

And it was an evening of intense rivalry on the track between the United States and Jamaica. The smooth-running Allyson Felix got her long-awaited retribution after being beaten out by Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown in the 200 meter sprint at the last two Games. Felix found enough down the straight to finally win her gold.

Aries Merritt won his gold in the 110 meter hurdles, the first U.S. win in that event in four Olympics.

Brittney Reese was so distracted by the U.S. success on the track, she almost forgot to make her last long jump. It didn't matter: Her best earlier jump was good enough for gold.

The U.S. track and field team may be on track for what it wants to accomplish here -- a 30 medal haul.

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Gold in the men's 200 meter, though, may be an unreachable dream. Jamaican Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world in the hundred meters, jogged to win his heat. The rest of the world is running for second.

But there were some memorable moments that didn't involve winning -- at least not winning medals. There was another kind of victory for Sarah Attar, the first woman ever to run in the Olympics for Saudi Arabia, which was finally pressured to send a few women athletes to the Games. She finished last in her heat -- and was delighted.

"Well, I think it really shows that there's progress on its way and that we were allowed to compete -- it shows that more steps are going to come and that this is just an amazing thing and, for women in Saudi Arabia, I think it can be inspiring, you know, to not give up on your dreams, because it can and will come true."

  • Mark Phillips

    Mark Phillips is CBS News senior foreign correspondent, based in London.