Local Olympians to Watch Thursday - NBC 7 San Diego
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Local Olympians to Watch Thursday

Two of three American BMX athletes will advance to the semifinals



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    Nicholas Long (64), Switzerland's Roger Rinderknecht (13), Italy's Manuel de Vecchi (28), and Argentine's Ernesto Pizarro (322) crash during the men's BMX heats of the cycling competition at the BMX venue in the Olympic Park on August 9, 2012.

    The quest for Olympic gold came to an end Thursday for Lakeside athlete Nic Long who was eliminated by just one point.

    Two of three American BMX athletes advance to Friday's semifinals in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

    Chula Vista Olympic Training Center athletes Connor Fields and David Herman will advance to the round of 16.

    “It was a lot of fun out there and I’m happy with the way I raced,” said Fields. “I still have a few kinks to iron out, but I felt good. I was just relaxed and kind of got into a zone and stayed there. I treated it like any other race. I just have to take it one lap at a time and that’s what I plan to do tomorrow.”

    Herman and Long suffered some bad luck right out of the gate as Herman got tangled with another athlete and went down, taking down Long and several others.

    Long was able to gather his bike and cross the line in seventh, but Herman’s wheel spokes were broken so he was credited with last, or eighth place.

    “I felt confident in my racing today,” said Long. “I just had some bad luck out there. Had a crash in the first run and ended up getting seventh. Second round I got cut off in the air and ended up getting fifth and I just didn’t have the points to come back from that. I gave my all out there. I just wanted to get to the final day of racing, but it wasn’t in the cards today.”

    “I haven’t fell in a really long time, that’s something I’m really known for,” explained Herman. “So coming back after that fall and feeling confident out of the gate and racing those other riders that I fell with, I’m going to take that into tomorrow and just know that normally I go faster on the day of finals.”

    The U.S. women's soccer team is looking for redemption as they face Japan in Thursday'sgold medal match.

    Soccer fans couldn't ask for a better finale - a rematch of the World Cup final. Only this time, Team USA is hoping for a different result.

    "I've been hoping for this final," U.S. forward Abby Wambach said, "from the moment I stepped off the podium in Germany."

    The Americans are still ranked No. 1 and are the two-time defending Olympic champions.

    Locals will be cheering on Torrey Pines High School alum Rachel Buehler who was taken out of Monday's game because she was having calf/hamstring cramps.  When she spoke to NBC 7 on Monday, she said she hoped to recover by Thursday's match.

    WHEN TO WATCH: U.S. women's soccer vs. at 11:15 a.m. on NBC Sports Network

    Bronze medalist Will Claye will made history on Thursday by medaling in a second horizontal jump event. Claye took the silver, while his American teammate Christian Taylor earned bronze.

    He's the first athlete to accomplish the feat at the same games since Japan’s Naoto Tajima in 1936.

    Carmel Valley's Steffen Peters was unsuccessful in medaling in the Grand Prix Freestyle event Thursday. The four-time Olympian rode Ravel at 4 a.m. PT. He placed 17th -- second-to-last in the competition.

    The U.S. women's water polo will be looking to make history Thursday when they face Spain in the final. On the line will be a long elusive first Olympic gold medal for the American women.

    The U.S. will likely need one more sparkling performance out of Maggie Steffens — not to mention Betsey Armstrong in goal — to beat an unbeaten Spain team that impressed in London with sharp shooting and solid defense.

    Point Loma's Kelly Rulon, San Diego native Annika Dries are returning members of the squad and San Diego State University alum Heather Moody is part of the team's coaching staff.

    WHEN TO WATCH: U.S. women's water polo vs. Spain 2 p.m. PT on NBC 7

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