Both Russia and Brazil entered their preliminary round duel with undefeated records after two games. Late in the contest Brazil held a slim 70-65 lead but Russia mounted a quick comeback to tie the game at 72 with forty seconds left. Brazilian captain Marcelinho Huertas then knocked in a layup with 6.1 seconds to go, which set the stage for last-second heroics by Vitaliy Fridzon:
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The 75-74 loss does not eliminate Brazil since they have two more games in group play: on Saturday against China and Monday versus Spain.
The London Games are near the halfway point but it appears that it will be one of the most successful Olympics in terms of medals for Latin American and Caribbean competitors. On Thursday, for example, three female athletes from the region reached the podium:
- By the narrowest of margins Aida Roman of Mexico missed out on a gold medal to South Korea's Ki Bo-bae in women’s individual archery. Both competitors required a shoot-off after being tied in sets and Roman’s attempt was farther away from the bulls eye than her opponent’s arrow.
- Roman's teammate Mariana Avitia won the bronze after beating Khatuna Lorig of the U.S. in four sets. Thus, Roman and Avitia became the first Mexicans to ever win Olympics medals in archery.
- Mayra Aguiar earned Brazil’s third medal at the London Games in judo when she captured the bronze medal in the 78kg class. The top-ranked Aguiar lost only once in competition and she reportedly “exploded with happiness” after beating Marhinde Verkerk of the Netherlands in the third-place bout.
Online Sources – Telemundo, Chicago Tribune, Reuters, LAHT, ESPN