Missouri's elite athletes compete in London Olympics

Aug 3, 2012

The Olympic Games in London are about halfway through, but many Missouri athletes competing there are just beginning. Here’s a rundown of what happened Friday and what’s coming up this weekend.

Spoiler alert. If you don’t want to know what happened today, skip a few paragraphs.

Former Mizzou shot-putter Christian Cantwell missed the Olympic podium by about 1 1/2 inches, according to the London 2012 site. With a distance of 69 ½ feet, Cantwell finished fourth. U.S. teammate Reese Hoffa won the bronze.

Coming into the Olympics, Cantwell, the silver medalist in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, tallied the longest distance of 2012. He hit that mark of 73 feet 2 ½ inches in July.

The U.S. women's soccer team won its quarterfinal match against New Zealand 2-0. Becky Sauerbrunn of St. Louis is a defender on the team.

Chantae McMillan of Rolla, Mo., currently sits 25th after the first day of qualification in the women’s heptathlon. She competed in four events today and will finish the remaining three events Saturday.

Also on Saturday, Matt Tegenkamp , a two-time Olympian from Lee’s Summit, Mo., will race in the 10,000 meters. The runner has traded in the 5,000 meters – an event in which he finished 13th in Beijing – for the longer 10,000 meters.

And on Sunday, St. Louis’ Spenser Mango hits the mat for the qualifying round of Greco-Roman wrestling in the 55-kilogram weight class. Mango, also a U.S. Army sergeant, is looking for redemption after an 8th place finish in Beijing.

Several other athletes begin competition next week.