USA Basketball Romps Over France

Plus, US gymnast Jordyn Wieber fails to qualify, Queen's granddaughter competes, and more

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 29, 2012 12:14 PM CDT

(Newser) – With Michelle Obama cheering them on, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant and the US men's basketball team tidily put France away today in a preliminary game, reports the New York Times, in the first step to defending their gold medal. Though France is led by Tony Parker and five other NBA stars, they proved no match for Team USA and fell 98-71. "They're going to be very, very tough to beat," Parker said. Elsewhere on the first Sunday of the London Games:

  • With London calling for its first medal, Lizzie Armitstead answered, taking a close second-place finish in the women's cycling road race, reports Sky News.

  • American Kimberly Rhode won the gold in skeet shooting, her fifth consecutive gold in the event, becoming the first American to accomplish the feat, reports the AP.
  • Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter, Zara Phillips, made her Olympic debut in a dressage event, reports People. She'll compete tomorrow with a couple of famous cousins in attendance.
  • American gymnast Jordyn Wieber failed to qualify for the all-around competition in a stunning turn of events, reports the AP.
  • Heartbroken 38-year-old British marathoner Paula Radcliffe, stymied in four previous Games, pulled out of her event today with a foot injury, reports the BBC.
Click through the gallery for other scenes from today's events.

US gymnast Jordyn Wieber performs on the uneven bars during the women's qualification at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
US gymnast Jordyn Wieber performs on the balance beam during the women's qualifications at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
U.S. gymnast Jordyn Wieber performs on the floor during the women's qualifications at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Cyclists compete during the women's cycling road race final at the 2012 Summer Olympics on Sunday, July 29, 2012, in London.   (AP Photo/Stefano Rellandini, Pool)
American Kristin Armstrong, right, leads the way during the women's cycling road race final at the Summer Olympics on Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Stefano Rellandini, Pool)
Marianne Vos of the Netherlands, celebrates after winning gold in the Women's Road Cycling race at the Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Yoshiaki Oiwa of Japan is congratulated by Brazil's Ruy Fonseca after Oiwa took the lead in the individual eventing dressage phase, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Yoshiaki Oiwa, of Japan, reacts after taking the lead in the equestrian individual eventing dressage phase, Sunday, July 29, 2012, in London.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Vanja Udovicic of Serbia celebrates after scoring a goal during their preliminary round men's water polo match against Hungary, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Brazil captain Thiago Silva, center, congratulates scorer of the third goal Oscar and Neymar during their group C men's soccer match against Belarus, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Poland's Aleksandra J Klejnowska-Krzywanska reacts during the women's weightlifting competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
France's Ali Traore and Tony Parker watch the second half of a men's basketball game against Team USA, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Georgia's Lasha Shavdatuashvili competes with Hungary's Miklos Ungvari, left, during the gold medal match in men's judo, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Canadian bronze medalists Jennifer Abel, left, and Emilie Heymans pose with their medals after the 3 Meter Synchronized Springboard final, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Michelle Obama congratulates Team USA after defeating France in a men's basketball game, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Michelle Obama talks with Kobe Bryant after USA defeated France in a preliminary men's basketball game at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
A spectator covers her head from the rain with a British flag during the equestrian eventing dressage phase at Greenwich Park, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Spain's Sergio Llull saves the ball from going out of bounds ahead of China's Sun Yue during a men's basketball game, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Germany's Christine Wenzel shoots during the women's skeet final at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
US gymnast Jordyn Wieber performs on the floor during the Artistic Gymnastic women's qualifications, Sunday, July 29, 2012, in London.   (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter, Zara Phillips, competes with High Kingdom in the dressage phase at Greenwich Park, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Royal granddaughter Zara Phillips competes with her horse High Kingdom at the Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Princess Anne, mother of equestrian rider Zara Phillips, attends the equestrian eventing dressage phase with Prince Phillip, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Michelle Obama hugs USA's Kobe Bryant after Team USA defeated France in a preliminary men's basketball game, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Michelle Obama hugs Lebron James after USA defeated France in a preliminary men's basketball game at the Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant is defended by France's Tony Parker during a men's basketball game at the Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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