Williams leads way for former Illini at Olympics

Six former Illini competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Deron Williams, who was a key member of the 2005 Illinois basketball team, which lost to North Carolina in the NCAA championship game, won a gold medal for the U.S.

This is the United States’ second straight gold medal, with Williams also being part of the 2008 team. He averaged nine points per game as the U.S. won all eight of its games.

Former Illini soccer player Emily Zurrer didn’t play but received a bronze medal as Canada defeated France in the third-place match.

But not all Illini were as successful in London.

Recent graduate Andrew Riley raced for Jamaica in the 110-meter hurdles, an event he had recently won at the NCAA Championship this spring. He finished fifth in his heat and failed to qualify for the next round.

Gia Lewis-Smallwood, who attended Illinois from 1998 to 2001, competed in the women’s discus throw for the United States. She finished eighth in a group with a throw of 61.44 meters. She failed to advance to the next round.

Meanwhile, Canadian athlete Nikkita Holder had a little success in the 100 hurdles, advancing to the semifinals with a time of 12.93 seconds. However, she ran the same time in the semifinals as she did the prelims, which was not enough to advance her to the finals.

Former Illinois basketball player Robert Archibald played in five games for the Great Britain squad.

However, he only averaged 2.6 points per game and failed to come away with a medal.

In the pool, Champaign native and Auburn graduate Tyler McGill was part of the gold medal-winning 400 medley relay squad. Even though he did not compete in the finals, he earned the medal because he swam in the prelims.

In addition, McGill in the 100 fly — his premiere event — finished seventh in the final with a time of 51.88 seconds. Michael Phelps won the race.