London 2012 Olympics: China captures six medals Saturday

(CNN) -- China blazed past its rivals to capture six medals Saturday, including four golds. The United States and Italy are tied for second place with five medals overall. South Korea and Brazil each have three so far.

SWIMMING

Ryan Lochte captured the United States' first gold medal of the 2012 Olympic Games on Saturday, soundly defeating rival swimming great Michael Phelps in a highly anticipated men's 400-meter individual medley.

Brazil's Thiago Pereira secured silver in the individual medley, while Phelps did not medal, coming in fourth place. Japan's Kosuke Hagina won bronze.

"I put the work in," Lochte said Saturday after the race. "I'm just going out there and having fun, and doing what I do best."

The 27-year-old Phelps, who already has 14 gold medals from previous Games, had been looking to add to his pot of Olympic gold, and will get another shot when he likely faces Lochte in the 200-meter individual medley, as well as the 200-meter and 100-meter butterfly.

But the Games' attention quickly shifted on Saturday to Lochte's dominating performance.

"I know it's my time and I'm ready," he said after his win.

History was made soon after the race, when China's Sun Yang won the men's 400-meter freestyle, becoming the first Chinese man ever to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming.

China's Ye Shiwen made history of her own by breaking the world record in the women's swimming 400-meter individual medley, with a time of 4:28:43. American Elizabeth Beisel took the silver medal in the medley.

The Games' host faced disappointment when it failed to pick up a single medal on Saturday, particularly when Hannah Miley, considered one of Britain's best swimmers, finished fifth in the event.

"Apologies if anyone had high expectations of me," Miley said. "I gave it absolutely everything I had."

THE FIRST GOLD

Earlier Saturday, China claimed the first Olympic gold of the games with a victory for 23-year-old Siling Yi in the women's 10-meter air rifle shooting.

"I'm very excited and happy," she said, quoted by the official Games website. The world's No. 1 shooter, who started at age 13, said there had been "a lot of pressure" on her to perform.

China's veteran weightlifter Wang Mingjuan, 26, also powered her way to gold, besting silver medalist Hiromi Miyake of Japan by lifting a combined total of 205 kilograms.

"The gold is the reward for my 12 years' hard work, my dream came true today," she told Chinese state-run media.

Italy also made a strong showing by securing two gold medals, while the United States, South Korea, Brazil, Russia, Kazakhstan and Australia each took one.

MEN'S GYMNASTICS

The U.S. men's gymnastics team led in qualifications over Russia and Great Britain and will advance to the team finals. Scores from the qualifying round do not carry into team finals, which will take place Monday.

Four U.S. men also advanced to the individual event finals. Danell Leyva and John Orozco were first and fourth, respectively, in the qualifying rankings for the all-around.

FIRST SANCTION FOR DOPING

Controversy reared its head early, as Albanian weightlifter Hysen Pulaku became the first athlete to be sanctioned for failing an anti-doping test at the London Games.

Pulaku, 20, tested positive Monday for the banned anabolic steroid stanozolol, and has been excluded from the competition.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Beijing bronze medal winner Russia defeated Canada on Saturday as the women's basketball competition started. Team USA beat Croatia by a score of 81-56.

All teams are trying to keep the U.S. women from winning their fourth straight gold medal. Team USA has played Australia for gold in each of the past three Olympics.

CNN's David Ariosto, Stephanie Halasz, Amanda Davies and Laura Smith-Spark contributed to this report.

 
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