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Archive for Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Gardner wins three matches

Russian again breaks women’s pole vault record

August 25, 2004

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— Rulon Gardner, trying to become the first U.S. Greco-Roman wrestler to win two golds, had a busy day Tuesday.

He started in the 2641/2-pound (120kg) competition with a workmanlike 3-0 victory over Lithuania's Mindaugas Mizgaitis, followed it with a tie-breaking decision over 1996 Olympic bronze medalist Sergei Moreyko of Bulgaria and, about five hours later, a 3-0 decision over Poland's Marek Mikulski.

The other three Americans to wrestle all were eliminated. Dennis Hall, of Plover, Wis., trying for a second Olympic medal eight years after winning his first, beat Petr Svehla of the Czech Republic 3-2 at 121 pounds (55kg) but was eliminated with a 3-0 loss to pool winner Aleksey Vakulenko of Ukraine.

Brad Vering, from Howells, Neb., was ousted from a three-man pool at 184 pounds (85kg) pool with a 4-0 loss to Egypt's Mohamed Mohamed, who won both his pool matches.

Oscar Wood, of Fort Carson, Colo., lost three bouts at 1451/2 pounds (66kg).

Track & Field

Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia broke the world record in the women's pole vault for the fourth time this year, easily clearing 16 feet, 11/4 inches (4.91 meters) to take the gold medal.

Before her record vault, Isinbayeva celebrated clinching the Olympic title after the final failed attempt by her last remaining competitor, teammate Svetlana Feofanova.

Isinbayeva then cleared the height without touching the bar, bettering her own record of 16 feet, 3/4 inches (4.90) set in London on July 30. The vault also broke by a wide margin the inaugural Olympic record of 15 feet, 1 inch (4.60); the event debuted four years ago in Sydney.

U.S. Greco-Roman wrestler Rulon Gardner, right, wrestles Lithuanian
Mindaugas Mizgaitis in a 66-kilogram bout. Gardner won three
matches Tuesday in Athens, Greece.

U.S. Greco-Roman wrestler Rulon Gardner, right, wrestles Lithuanian Mindaugas Mizgaitis in a 66-kilogram bout. Gardner won three matches Tuesday in Athens, Greece.

Four-time world 1,500 champion Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco, a heartbreak loser at the last two Olympics, held off Bernard Lagat down the stretch to win in 3 minutes, 34.18 seconds.

El Guerrouj edged Lagat by .12 seconds. Rui Silva of Portugal won the bronze. El Guerrouj has lost just four races in the last eight years, but two of those defeats came at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics.

Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic won the gold in the decathlon with an Olympic-record score of 8,893. Bryan Clay of Azusa, Calif., got the silver with 8,820 and Dmitriy Karpov of Kazakhstan won the bronze with 8,725.

Tonique Williams-Darling of the Bahamas won the gold medal in the 400-meter run with a time of 49.41 seconds. Ana Guevara of Mexico got the silver medal and Natalya Antyukh of Russia won the bronze.

Kenyans swept the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Ezekiel Kemboi won the gold in 8:05.81. Brimin Kipruto got the silver medal and Paul Kipsiele Koech took the bronze.

Doping

The Hungarian gold medalist in the men's discus was stripped of his title for failing to provide a drug test sample in an apparent attempt to beat the screening system.

Robert Fazekas, who won the discus on Monday night with an Olympic record throw of 232 feet, 8 inches, was disqualified from the competition and expelled from the games by the International Olympic Committee executive board.

Women's Water Polo

Manuela Zanchi scored with two seconds left to give Italy an upset victory over the world champion Americans, 6-5, setting up a matchup against Greece in the women's final.

Greece beat defending Olympic champion Australia. The United States will play Australia for bronze in a rematch of the Sydney 2000 final.

Volleyball

Erika Coimbra scored 20 points to lead unbeaten Brazil to a five-set quarterfinal victory over the United States, 3-2.

The Americans overcame erratic serving and several unforced errors to rally from two sets down and send it to a fifth set. The drama quickly disappeared when the Brazilians took an 8-2 lead, though, and the gold medal hopes of the U.S. team vanished a few minutes later.

The United States and Brazil were the top two ranked teams in the world when the tournament began, but the Americans lost three of their five preliminary matches, and got stuck with the lowest seed for the quarterfinals.

Diving

China's Peng Bo held off Canadian teenager Alexandre Despatie and four-time Olympian Dmitri Sautin of Russia to win the 3-meter springboard, giving the Chinese men their third straight gold medal in the event.

The Americans have yet to win a diving medal, setting up the possibility of their first Olympic diving shutout since 1912. Troy Dumais climbed to fourth with a strong opening dive but couldn't follow it up, slipping back to sixth at the end.

Boxing

Andre Ward saved the U.S. boxing team from its most embarrassing Olympics ever by beating two-time world champion Evgeny Makarenko of Russia in a light heavyweight bout few gave him a chance to win. Ward won 23-16.

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