Second place medal is a first for Cyprus

Pavlos Kontides’s silver medal in sailing’s Laser class represented Cyprus’s first piece of Olympic hardware.
Pavlos Kontides’s silver medal in sailing’s Laser class represented Cyprus’s first piece of Olympic hardware.Bernat Armangue/Associated Press

Pavlos Kontides won the first-ever Olympic medal for Cyprus when he took the silver Monday in sailing's Laser class.

Kontides and Tom Slingsby of Australia were the only sailors who could have won gold in the medals race. Slingsby, who led the entire regatta, covered Kontides across the course in Weymouth and won the gold. Sweden's Rasmus Myrgren took the bronze.

Cyprus, an island nation in the Mediterranean Sea, started taking part in the modern-day Olympics at the 1980 Moscow Games.

''I guess I wrote my name in Cyprus sport in golden letters,'' Kontides said. ''I guess when I have the silver medal around my neck and be back home, then all the celebrations will start, and I will really understand what I have done.''


The Cyprus Sport Organization said Kontides's silver medal ''marks a new beginning for Cypriot sport.''

Slingsby got ahead of the Cypriot at the start and kept him pinned at the back of the fleet, making sure he couldn't break free. After crossing the line in ninth place, Slingsby, a tactician with America's Cup champion Oracle Racing, capsized his boat in celebration. He couldn't resist capsizing again a few minutes later, then waved the Australian flag at a big group of supporters.

''It's a bit cold, actually, now in hindsight,'' Slingsby said after coming ashore. ''At the time, I didn't notice at all.''

In the women's Laser Radial, Xu Lijia of China won the gold medal despite having to do a penalty turn on the first downwind leg for rocking the boat. Xu finished nine seconds ahead of Marit Bouwmeester of the Netherlands, who took silver. Eri Van Acker of Belgium earned bronze.


After missing the medal stand in the previous two Olympics with disastrous last shots in the men's 50-meter three-position rifle event, American Matt Emmons was happy to walk away with a bronze after his final attempt was just good enough.


Italy's Niccolo Campriani easily won gold with 1,278.5 points.

Emmons had been fourth at one point in the 10-shot final round, then worked his way up to third and eventually to second. A perfect score is 10.9, and Emmons's seventh, eighth, and ninth shots averaged 10.6. His last shot earned a 7.6 — leaving him 1.2 points behind South Korea's Kim Jong-hyun for silver but 0.3 points ahead of Cyril Graff of France for third.

In the men's trap final, Giovanni Cernogoraz of Croatia beat world champion Massimo Fabbrizi of Italy in a shoot-off to win the gold. In another shoot-off, Fehaid Aldeehani of Kuwait won bronze by defeating Michael Diamond of Australia.


Mijain Lopez of Cuba successfully defended his gold medal in the men's 120-kilogram category in Greco-Roman, taking down Heiki Nabi of Estonia, 2-0, 1-0. He's just the third wrestler to win multiple golds at 120. Bronze medals went to Riza Kayaalp of Turkey and Johan Euren of Sweden.

In the Greco-Roman men's 84-kilogram class, Alan Khugaev of Russia beat former Olympic champion Karam Mohamed Gaber Ebrahim of Egypt, 1-0, 2-0. Kazakhstan's Danyal Gajiyev and Poland's Damian Janikowski rounded out the medal stand.

Defending Greco-Roman world champion Omid Noroozi of Iran added the gold medal in the men's 60-kilogram to his portfolio by defeating Georgia's Revaz Lashkhi, 1-0, 1-0. Russia's Zaur Kuramagomedov and Japan's Ryutaro Matsumoto won bronze medals.


Britain won its first Olympic show jumping gold medal in 60 years as three members of its four-man team — Nick Skelton, Ben Maher, and Peter Charles — rode clear rounds in a jump-off to give the host country the victory over the Netherlands. Saudi Arabia was third.


Scores from the final round in the team competition were combined with scores from the first round Sunday. The height of obstacles and the striding between fence combinations were made more difficult for Monday's final round, resulting in a wide swing in the results. The British and Dutch had eight faults each to put them into the jump-off. The US tied for sixth with 28 faults.


Jason Kenny extended Britain's domination in track cycling, winning the marquee event of the sport, the sprint, for the host country's fifth gold medal out of a possible seven.

Kenny's 2-0 win in the best-of-three final race was his first against three-time world champion Gregory Bauge of France. Australia's Shane Perkins claimed the bronze with a 2-0 win over Njisane Nicholas Phillip of Trinidad and Tobago.


Oleksiy Torokhtiy gave Ukraine its first weightlifting gold medal in London after his top rivals dropped out or were eliminated from the men's 105-kilogram competition. Torokhtiy lifted a total of 412 kilograms (908 pounds), just 1 kilogram more than silver medalist Navab Nasirshelal of Iran. Poland's Bartlomiej Bonk got bronze at 410 kilogram.