Beijing Shocking news from the pool: Michael Phelps finished second in something Thursday, but it was merely in qualifying for the 200 medley finals.
Phelps actually won his heat, but teammate and top foe Ryan Lochte was 0.01 faster in his, which means he gets the coveted middle lane for their Friday showdown in which Phelps will be looking for his sixth medal in Beijing and 12th of his Olympic career.
France's Alain Bernard moved back atop the 100-meter freestyle list, Liu Zige broke the 200-meter butterfly mark in winning China's first swimming medal of these games, and Stephanie Rice and Australia smashed the standard by nearly 6 seconds in the 800-meter freestyle relay.
Japan's Kosuke Kitajima set an Olympics record in winning the 200-meter breaststroke, but he also got into the record books by becoming the first swimmer to sweep the two breaststroke events at consecutive Olympics.
American Jason Lezak, the anchor-leg star of Phelps' dramatic 400 free relay gold, added a bronze to his collection in the 100 free. Katie Hoff, Natalie Coughlin and their U.S. teammates took bronze in the 800 free relay.
And early this morning, China's Yang Wei won gold in men's gymnastics all-around.
Alicia Sacramone made two mistakes - falling off the beam and to the mat on the floor exercise - to trigger an American collapse that handed China the gold medal.
Sacramone made her mistakes on the final two events, and Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson both stepped out of bounds on their ensuing floor routines. China finished with a score of 188.9 points for a blowout win over the U.S. of more than two points.
Promise Isaac and Victor Obinna scored to lead Nigeria over a short-handed United States team 2-1, earning a place in the quarterfinals and eliminating the Americans.
Roger Federer, who wept after losing to Thomas Berdych of the Czech Republic four years ago in Athens, avenged the loss with a 6-3, 7-6 (4) victory to reach the quarterfinals.
Venus Williams, playing her first tournament since winning Wimbledon for the fifth time, also reached the final eight by defeating No. 12 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-3, 6-2.
The U.S. baseball team lost to Korea, 8-7, in the opening game for both teams.
The Chinese made it 4-for-4 when Wang Feng and Qin Kai won the 3-meter springboard.
Kristin Armstrong became the second American female cyclist to win an Olympic gold, beating Britain's Emma Pooley in the road time trial. Armstrong joined only Connie Carpenter-Phinney, who won the road race at Los Angeles 24 years ago, as U.S. women's cycling gold medalists.
Levi Leipheimer won the bronze in the men's time trial to move USA Cycling within one medal of tying its haul from the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Cat Osterman pitched a no-hitter as the U.S. team extended its Olympic winning streak to 16 straight with a 3-0 win over Australia. Osterman outdueled Australia's Tanya Harding, who has handed the U.S. program two of its four losses in the games since 1996. She struck out 13, walked just two and dominated the Aussies in a rematch of the gold-medal game from 2004 in Athens.
Lisa Leslie set a U.S. Olympic record going 7-for-7 from the field as the women's team continued its unblemished run through the Beijing Games with a 97-41 victory against Mali. The Americans won their 28th straight Olympic contest; the last loss was against the Unified Team in the semifinals of the 1992 Barcelona Games.
In other games, Latvia rallied to beat Brazil 79-78, Russia held off Belarus 71-65, China routed New Zealand 80-63, Australia topped South Korea 90-62, and Spain beat the Czech Republic 74-55.
Liu Chunhong broke three world records in the women's 69-kilogram division, defending her Olympic title to win China's sixth gold medal in the weightlifting competition.
Americans Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers advanced to the beach volleyball medal round with a straight-sets victory over Argentina.
Benjamin Kleibrink of Germany won the gold medal in men's foil fencing with a convincing 15-9 victory over Japan's Yuki Ota.