Archive for Sunday, August 22, 2004

Williams settles for silver in 100

August 22, 2004

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— Two decades of American dominance in the 100 meters ended Saturday when Yuliya Nesterenko rode a powerful closing surge to overtake Lauryn Williams, nipping the newest American track standout at the finish.

Nesterenko, a Belarusian who had never broken 11 seconds before the Olympics but did it in all four rounds here, won gold in 10.93 seconds. Williams, the NCAA champion from the University of Miami, was second in a personal-best 10.96. Veronica Campbell of Jamaica got the bronze in 10.97.

Nesterenko went out to an early lead, then Williams overtook her with about 30 meters remaining. But the taller Nesterenko used her longer stride to catch the 5-foot-3 Williams in the closing meters.

Silver was just fine for Williams, a talkative 20-year-old who just a few months ago was taking college classes. It was made sweeter by the presence of her father, who has leukemia and came to Athens after a $10,000 donation from a cancer survivor in his home state of Pennsylvania.

Earlier Saturday, Stacy Dragila failed to make it out of pole vault qualifying, a shocking performance by the medal favorite and former world record holder.

Dragila, who won the vault when it debuted as a women's event at the 2000 Olympics, missed three attempts at 14 feet, 51/4 inches (4.40 meters), well below her best of 15 feet, 10 inches (4.83). After her third miss, she shook her head in dismay, seemingly stunned. Then she slowly packed up her gear, put on a cap and headed off the field.

Tennis

Healthy at last, Justine Henin-Hardenne is back at the top of her game. And she has a gold medal to prove it.

In a No. 1 vs. No. 2 final that wasn't really close, the top-ranked Henin-Hardenne overwhelmed France's Amelie Mauresmo, 6-3, 6-3, Saturday night to win Belgium's first gold of these Olympics.

Men's Soccer

Emad Mohammed's 12-yard bicycle kick in the 64th minute gave Iraq a 1-0 victory over Australia in the quarterfinals, putting the war-torn country in position to compete for only the second Olympic medal in the nation's history.

Archery

South Korea beat Taiwan, 251-245, to win the gold medal in men's team archery. Ukraine beat the United States, 237-235, to win the bronze.

Badminton

Zhang Jiewen and Yang Wei of China won the gold medal in women's badminton, beating Huang Sui and Gao Ling of China, 7-15, 15-4, 15-8.

Baseball

Greece won for the first time ever in Olympic baseball, getting 14 hits from its Greek-American lineup to beat Italy, 12-7, in a showdown between the two weakest teams in the eight-nation tournament.

Beach Volleyball

The two American women's pairs advanced to the quarterfinals with straight-set victories in their medal-round openers. Fourth-ranked Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs defeated 12th-seeded Czech pair Eva Celbova and Sona Novakova, 21-16, 21-16. Misty May and Kerri Walsh, the No. 1 seeds, beat Chinese duo Tian Jia and Wang Fei, 21-11, 21-18.

Boxing

Andre Dirrell advanced into the boxing quarterfinals, needing just two rounds to beat Algeria's Nabil Kassel, 27-7, in a middleweight bout. Earlier, flyweight Ron Siler was the fifth American to be eliminated, losing 45-22 to Uzbekistan's Tulashboy Doniyorov.

Men's Volleyball

Ryan Millar scored 17 points for the United States in a 3-1 victory (25-19, 23-25, 25-13, 25-19) over Australia. The U.S. grabbed the fourth and final spot in the quarterfinals.

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