BY SPNW Staff 11:26AM 08/07/2012

Bird, Jackson To Face Off In London Thursday

Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson of the Seattle Storm remained on track Wednesday to medal again in the Olympic Games when Bird’s USA squad romped past Canada 91-48 and Jackson’s Australian team defeated China 76-60 in the quarterfinals of the women’s tournament. One of the two will be out of the running for gold Thursday.

Bird and Jackson’s teams have faced off for the gold medal in each of the past two Olympics. But due to the bracketing draw, the Americans and Australians will meet in the semifinals in London Thursday. The winner will be assured of at least a silver medal. The loser will play for bronze.

Bird, already a two-time gold medalist (2004, 2008), scored two points and handed out five assists in the USA’s blitz of Canada. Jackson, a three-time silver medalist (2000, 2004, 2008), scored 12 points and grabbed four rebounds against China.

Also at the Olympics Wednesday, Kara Patterson of Vancouver, WA., throwing despite a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee, had a best mark of 184-4 but failed to reach the final in the women’s javelin. Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic led qualifiers at 217-1.

Patterson said after the qualifying round that she injured her knee on her final attempt at the Trials in June, and that she would have withdrawn from the London Games if the USA had another javelin thrower who met the required “A” standard.

“Since we didn’t have anyone else, I could not come here and not try,” said Patterson, a Purdue graduate. “It’s the Olympics, it happens once every four years.”

Patterson has been in two Olympics and two World Championships without reaching a final.

On Wednesday, two athletes with state ties are competing. Former Washington State middle distance runner Bernard Lagat, winner of two Olympic medals at 1,500 meters, races in the preliminary of the men’s 5,000 meters, and pole vaulter Brad Walker, the 2012 U.S. Trials champion who no-heighted in Beijing in 2008, takes part in his event’s qualifying round.

Arielle Martin of Spanaway, who was scheduled to compete in cycling’s BMX competition Wednesday, had to withdraw due to a July 30 crash that left her in critical condition with a lacerated liver and collapsed lung.

According to Martin’s Facebook page, she underwent her third surgery Tuesday to relieve fluid buildup in her abdomen. Martin was considered a medal favorite.


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