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Olympic Wrap-Up: Day 4

by Ryan Hudson

Thanks to NBC, a lot of the big events are being shown live here on the East Coast, but a majority of the games are still taking place while you sleep. To help keep you updated, here's a quick look back at the past 12+ hours in Beijing.

The U.S. continued their impressive showing in the Water Cube last night (early Tuesday morning in Beijing), winning seven medals in the span of 38 minutes. The story, of course, was Michael Phelps. The "human being" took gold in the 200m Freestyle in a race that was never close as Phelps broke the world record by almost a full second (fellow American Peter Vanderkay took bronze). That gave him nine career Olympic medals, which tied him for the most all-time at the games with Paavo Nurmi, Larissa Latynina, Mark Spitz and Carl Lewis. Something tells me he won't be tied for long.

Natalie Coughlin tired during the 100m Backstroke, but her start was fast enough that she was able to hang on for the gold (teammate Margaret Hoelzer was third). In the men's 100m Backstroke, American Aaron Peirsol defended his gold medal from Athens as he set a WR in this event for the fifth time in his career. Fellow American Matt Grevers (all 6-foot-8 of him) took the silver medal. Staying in the pool, Australian Leisel Jones won gold in the women's 100m Breaststroke (hey, look, another world record swim), while American Rebecca Soni won silver.

On the land, the highlights came from the men's team gymnastics final, where China took gold, as expected, but the U.S. team surprised everyone with a bronze-medal finish. Not bad for a team that had zero returning Olympians and no Hamm brothers.

In non-medal competition, the women's beach volleyball duo of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh cruised in their second win of Beijing, and ran their undefeated streak to 103 straight matches. Early this morning (East-coast time), U.S. Softball cruised past Venezuela, the "Redeem Team" easily downed Angola and U.S. women's soccer blanked New Zealand, 4-0.

Be sure to follow the medal count in our 2008 Medal Count Map.

Photo courtesy Getty Images