Rio 2016: Japan's Uchimura, US's Ledecky thrill fans

Story highlights

  • Slim margin separates top two men's gymnasts
  • Ledecky does expected but there were also unexpected swim stars
  • Pele roots on home nation in key football match

(CNN)In the end, what separated Olympic champion Kohei Uchimura and silver medalist Oleg Verniaiev was one hop.

Uchimura, the Japanese "Superman" who has won two consecutive gold medals in the men's gymnastics individual all-around, edged his Ukrainian opponent by less than .1 point.
Verniaiev was doing well on the horizontal bar-- the last apparatus -- but when he dismounted he didn't stick the landing. He need a 14.899 to win; he received a crowd-displeasing 14.800.
    "I'm so exhausted right now," said Uchimura, who trailed going into the sixth and final rotation.
    The next Olympics are in Tokyo, so we may get to see Uchimure, 27, make a little more history.
    The artistry and elegance of Kohei Uchimura
    The artistry and elegance of Kohei Uchimura


      The artistry and elegance of Kohei Uchimura


    The artistry and elegance of Kohei Uchimura 03:11
    The classic battle between Uchimura and Verniaiev was one of the highlights Wednesday. Here are some of the others:

    Ledecky shines again

    When Katie Ledecky dove into the water Wednesday night, the United States was behind Australia again.
    But unlike the 4x100-meter freestyle relay, Ledecky quickly caught her opponent and breezed through her 200-meter anchor leg to her third gold medal of these Games.
    Ledecky has a chance at fourth gold medal in her final event, the 800-meter freestyle. The qualifying round is Thursday and the final is Saturday night.
    No one expects Ledecky to lose. After all, she is the world record holder.
    There were some other surprises at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium. Remember the name Kyle Chalmers in four years time. The 18-year-old Aussie shocked the field in the 100-meter freestyle to win his country's first gold in the event in 48 years.
    That after being one spot from last as the swimmers made the turn and headed for the finish.
    "It's definitely still sinking in that I've actually won," Chalmers told reporters after the race. "I was a bit worried that I glided for a bit too long at the finish but very happy with that."
    Kazakhstan's Dmitry Balandin claimed gold in the men's 200-meter breaststroke in another shock result

    Armstrong wins cycling gold again

    The casual cycling fans can be excused when they see a headline "Armstrong wins cycling gold again," and there is a pause.
    But they should know by now, American Kristin Armstrong is hell on wheels. Armstrong became a three-time Olympic champion Wednesday, speeding through rain to win the individual time trial.
    She turns 43 on Thursday, but she felt she still had the talent to medal.
    "When you've already been two times at the pinnacle of the sport, why risk coming back for the gold medal?" she said. "The best answer I can give is that I can."
    And she did on a tough 29.7-kilometer (18.5 mile) course.
    "I dug so deep," she said.
    She also was congratulated by the other notable cycling Armstrong.
    Lance Armstrong, who once was married to a different Kristin Armstrong, tweeted: "Yes!! Congratulations Kristin!!"
    In the men's event, time trial legend Fabian Cancellera of Switzerland, himself a older cyclist at 35, won his second career gold, while Tour de France winner Chris Froome of Great Britain was pleased with bronze.

    All over for New Zealand men

    The misery is over for New Zealand in the first rugby sevens Olympic tournament.
    The All Blacks lost 12-7 to top-ranked Fiji in the quarterfinals, after two group losses put them in a unfavorable matchup in the knockout round.
    Fijian captain Osea Kolinisau said, "It was a really tough game and I'm glad the win went our way today."
    Sir Gordon Frederick Tietjens, New Zealand's coach, thinks Fiji is destined to meet South Africa in the final, according to the All Blacks website.
    He said his side had been too inconsistent, and injuries, like the ones to star Sonny Billy Williams and captain Scott Curry, didn't help.
    But be added, "Fiji deservedly beat us."

    Inspiration from a legend

    It just didn't seem possible that heading into its final group match Wednesday, the Brazilian men's football team was in serious danger of having its medal dreams cut before the knockout stage.
    The boys in yellow needed a win, and they needed some inspiration too.
    They got it from the most famous of Brazilians, Pele.
    "One victory can change our path for the desired gold medal," a tweet on his official account read.
    And the Brazil XI responded with an striking 4-0 win over Denmark, propelling them to first place in their group.

    No national anthem?

    Fehaid Al Deehani is at his sixth Olympic Games. In the past he has competed for Kuwait and had earned that nation two bronze medals.
    On Wednesday, Deehani became the first independent athlete to win a gold medal, earning the high score in the double trap shooting event.
    "To finally win this gold medal means a lot to me, it's very special," he said, according to the Olympic website. "It has been a very tough day, but I was able to come through. My achievement is for myself. The message is that it's never too late. ... In shooting you need experience. Experience and self-confidence overcome age."
    Instead of playing Kuwait's national anthem at the medal ceremony, organizers used the Olympic anthem (and flag).
    Still you have to think that Kuwait, banned for political interference, will happily claim Deehani's gold as their own.
    Since 1992, some athletes have competed as independent competitors when their countries or sports federations are not allowed at the Games.

    Gold medal roundup

    Canoe Slalom, Men's Kayak -- Joseph Clarke, Great Britain
    Diving, Men's Synchronized 3-meter Springboard -- Great Britain
    Fencing, Men's Sabre -- Aron Szilagyi, Hungary
    Fencing, Women's Foil -- Inna Deriglazova, Russia
    Judo, Men's 90 kilograms -- Mashu Baker, Japan
    Judo, Women's 70 kilograms -- Haruka Tachimoto, Japan
    Shooting, Men's 50-meter Pistol -- Jin Jong-oh
    Table tennis, Women's Singles -- Ding Ning, China
    Weightlifting, Women's 69 kilograms -- Xiang Yanmei
    Weightlifting, Men's 77 kilograms -- Nijat Rahimov, Kazakhstan