London Catch-Up, Day 11: U.S. hurdler Dawn Harper wins a sterling silver

1. Dawn Harper may not have defended her Olympic gold medal from Beijing, but she will leave London with one heck of a consolation prize. She set a personal best in winning her semifinal and then lowered that time in the finals, finishing second to world champion Sally Pearson of Australia by a mere two hundredths of a second. Harper's silver-medal-winning time was 12.37 seconds, almost two tenths of a second faster than her winning time from Beijing and quick enough to edge fellow Americans Kellie Wells (12.48) and Lolo Jones (12.58).

2. A gold medal won't be awarded in women's beach volleyball until Wednesday, but we already know it will belong to an American team. Two-time defending Olympic champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings swept two sets from China to advance to their third consecutive final. Their opponents will be fellow Americans Jennifer Kessy and April Ross, who upset top-seeded Brazil to earn the right to challenge their better-known countrywomen.

[Related: All-U.S. Olympic beach volleyball final]

3. With Gabrielle Douglas perhaps a little fatigued from all the work she has put in the past week and Jordyn Wieber hurting from a previously undisclosed stress fracture, the U.S. women's gymnastics team turned to Aly Raisman to finish the Olympics off right. Raisman delivered in a big way, winning bronze on the balance beam and gold in the floor exercise. It was a perfect ending for Raisman, who'd lost a tiebreaker for the bronze medal in the all-around competition.

[ Video: Aly Raisman's surprising medal haul ]

4. What's the most surprising little-known fact of the Olympics? How about that Brazil is still searching for its first gold medal in men's soccer? The Brazilians will have a chance to break their hex in London after dispatching of South Korea in Tuesday's second semifinal. To do it, however, they'll have to beat surging Mexico, which scored three goals against a Japanese team that hadn't allowed a goal in the tournament prior to Tuesday.

5. When the U.S. women's water polo team scored the only two goals of overtime to finish off an 11-9 victory over Australia in Tuesday's semifinals, nobody was more relieved by the outcome than coach Adam Krikorian. Only minutes earlier, Krikorian had called a timeout when the U.S. did not have possession of the ball, enabling Australia to score the tying goal on a penalty shot with one second left in regulation. "When the coach makes mistakes, you need your team to pick you up," Krikorian told the Chicago Tribune afterward. "And the team picked me up today."

[Photos: Hurdler Liu Xiang turns fall into heroism]

Instead of atoning for his dramatic injury-induced withdrawal from the Beijing Games four years ago, Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang experienced more Olympic misfortune. The 2004 Olympic 100-meter hurdles champ hit the first hurdle in Tuesday's heat and fell to the ground, preventing him from advancing. Liu did not leave London without delivering one memorable moment, though. He hopped the length of the track toward the finish line and kissed the 10th and final hurdle in his lane, a farewell from a 29-year-old Chinese legend who probably has run his last Olympic race.

"To use the nickname just points and screams of lazy journalism by the national media, that's really what it is. It's no fault at all of the young gymnasts. But I really wish they would have come up with a more creative tag for them." — Former basketball star Jalen Rose on the U.S. women's gymnastics team sharing the "Fab Five" nickname with his Michigan team. (97.1 The Ticket)

Tuesday's Gold Medal Moments for Team USA: Aly Raisman, women's floor exercise

U.S. Olympians with best chance at gold on Wednesday: Allyson Felix, women's 200 meters; LaShinda Demus, women's 400 hurdles; Aries Merritt, men's 100 hurdles; Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings, women's beach volleyball

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