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Jenn Suhr gives U.S. gold medal in women’s pole vault

Updated: September 8, 2012 6:12AM

Jenn Suhr walked with a purpose over to the stands to see her husband, who gingerly wrapped a U.S. flag around her shoulders while she sobbed into his chest.

Yes, they’ve come a long way
together — from training in a pair of huts connected together to form a jumping pit to winning an Olympic gold medal.

Suhr, who has been the United States’ best female pole vaulter for the better part of a half-dozen years, got the Olympic gold she needed to round out her resumé. She vaulted 15 feet, 7 inches to defeat Yarisley Silva of Cuba, who cleared the same height but lost on a tiebreaker because she had one more miss.

‘‘The atmosphere is electric
because [the fans] bring you alive,’’ Suhr said. ‘‘When I warmed up, I felt a little dead. But I fed off them.’’

Suhr also beat two-time defending Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia, who settled for bronze with a vault of 15-5.

‘‘The only thing I can say is, to have someone so good in the field and come out on top, it really is an honor,’’ Suhr said.

In other track-and-field highlights, reigning world champion
Kirani James claimed Grenada’s first medal in Olympic history by winning the men’s 400 meters in 43.94 seconds, and Felix Sanchez gave the Dominican Republic its first medal of the London Games by winning the men’s 400 hurdles in 47.63 seconds. Michael Tinsley of the United States took the silver in the 400 hurdles in 47.91.

Men’s Beach Volleyball

U.S. eliminated

Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins of Latvia eliminated the U.S. team of Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal 19-21, 21-18, 15-11 in the quarterfinals. The other U.S. men’s team, Beijing gold medalists Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser, already had been eliminated.

Men’s Volleyball

U.S. rolls into quarters

David McKienzie scored 17 points, and the defending Olympic champion U.S. team defeated Tunisia 25-15, 25-19, 25-19 to finish atop its group after pool play. The United States will play Italy in the quarterfinals Wednesday.

Men’s Water Polo

Hungary tops U.S.

Norbert Hosnyanszky scored three goals to power Hungary to an 11-6 victory against the United States in the last game of pool play. The U.S. team finished fourth in its group and will play Croatia in the quarterfinals Wednesday.

Men’s Judo

Delpopolo expelled

U.S. judoka Nick Delpopolo was expelled from the Olympics for doping, saying he ate something before the Games that had been baked with marijuana. He had placed seventh in the 73-kilogram class, but that result was nullified.

Sun-Times wires

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