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Arizona State Olympic recap: opening weekend

July 30, 2012

It didn’t take long for the performances to start rolling in for the Sun Devils as the opening weekend of competition at the 2012 Olympic Games in London saw numerous Arizona State University alumni in action.


The Olympic action actually got going a couple days before the Olympic ceremonies with women’s soccer.  The U.S. women and defender and ASU alumnus Amy LePeilbet have cruised through their first two rounds of pool play, overcoming an early 2-0 deficit against France to win 4-2 in the opening before shutting out the Columbians, 3-0, on Saturday.


Arizona State University is represented by three men and three different countries in these Olympic Games, tied for the most of any other school in the nation. 

Former Pac-10 Player of the Year Ike Diogu led the Nigerian national team to its first-ever Olympic victory in its first-ever appearance, scoring 13 point and 10 rebounds as the Nigerians downed Tunisia, 60-56.  

Another Pac-10 Player of the Year, James Harden, was part of a 98-71 route for the United States men’s team over France.  Harden have five points and one assist in just over 14 minutes for the American men.  

It was a tough day for Eric Boateng and the national team from Great Britain as the team fell, 95-75, to Russia while Boateng was held scoreless with just one rebound.  


Former ASU swimmer Gal Nevo got things going in the pool with a 10th-place finish in the men’s 400m IM.  Nevo was third in his heat in the qualifying rounds in 4:14.77 and was just over a second shy of advancing to the finals in the event for Israel.  

It was, however, the top finish for an ASU alumni in that particular event since Sweden’s Anders Peterson took ninth at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.  Nevo is the Israeli national record holder in the event and will still compete in the 200m individual medley later in these Olympics.


The pool was also an active place for past, present and future Sun Devils on Monday, July 30 as the opening rounds of pool play in the women’s water polo competition saw plenty of ASU action. 

Former Sun Devil Rowie Webster scored a goal for the Australian national team in the squad’s 10-8 victory over Italy.  Webster, known more for her defensive prowess, broke a 4-4 tie early in the second half that broke the game open for the Stingers as they would go on to open up a 8-4 lead and never looked back.

Incoming freshman Rita Keszthelyi was part of a thriller in the opening round as the Hungarian squad took the gold medal favorites from the USA to the limit in a 14-13 shootout that saw the Hungarians come just shy of the upset.  Keszthelyi, who is slated to compete as a freshman for the Sun Devils in 2013, had three assists in the match.

It was a tough day in the pool for the Chinese national team and current Sun Devil Gao Ao.  Gao was held scoreless and assistless as the squad fell to the Italian national team, 11-6.


It was a tough couple days for Alison Williamson, competing in her sixth consecutive Olympic games in archery.  The former Sun Devil All-American was 47th with a score of 310 in the rankings rounds and will now look to improve that standing in the elimination rounds beginning tomorrow. The Great British squad would then go on to get knocked out in the first round of team competition, falling 215-208 to Russia. 

For a complete schedule of Sun Devils at the Olympics, click here.