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Archive for Monday, August 30, 2004

Marathon marred; U.S. boxer gets gold

August 30, 2004

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— Stefano Baldini of Italy took the lead two miles from the finish to win the gold medal, and American Meb Keflezighi won silver Sunday in an Olympic marathon disrupted by a costumed intruder who grabbed the race leader with about three miles to go.

Vanderlei Lima of Brazil, whose lead had been slowly shrinking, was pushed to the curb by a man dressed in green beret, red kilt and knee-high green socks. Lima was able to get back into the race, but he lost several more seconds and eventually was overtaken by Baldini.

Lima got the bronze, drawing big cheers from the crowd at the finish line in Panthinaiko Stadium -- the beautiful marble structure that was the site of the first modern Olympics 108 years ago.

He smiled broadly, spread his arms like wings and weaved from side to side as he crossed the line.

Keflezighi, who emigrated from the war-torn African nation of Eritrea at age 10, is the first American to medal in the men's marathon since Frank Shorter's silver in 1976. Deena Kastor won the bronze in the women's marathon a week ago, marking the first time the United States had medaled in both of the sport's epic endurance competitions.

Boxing

Athens, Greece -- Andre Ward won the gold medal in the light heavyweight division, beating Magomed Aripgadjiev of Belarus. Fighting in the last bout of the games, Ward found his mark with quick inside punches in the third round to win the first boxing gold for the United States since David Reid in 1996. Ward, of Oakland, Calif., trailed after two rounds, but came on strong despite a swelling around his right eye that coaches worked on in the corner between rounds. He won the third round 7-2, then remained aggressive in the final round to widen his margin of victory to 20-13. Ward's medal was one of two for the U.S. team.

Men's Volleyball

Gold Medal

Brazil 3, Italy 1 (25-16, 24-26, 25-20, 25-22)

Bronze Medal

Russia 3, United States 0 (25-22, 27-25, 25-16)

Athens, Greece -- Brazil backed up its No. 1 world ranking with a gold-medal finish to a near-perfect Olympics, beating rival Italy in the final. Gilberto Godoy Filho had 20 points to lead the Brazilians. Brazil has been a major power in international competition during the past decade, but this was its first Olympic medal since a gold in 1992. Russia overpowered a sluggish U.S. team to win the bronze.

Men's Team Handball

Gold Medal

Croatia 26, Germany 24

Athens, Greece -- Croatia, the reigning world champion, won the Olympic gold medal in a physical match with Germany.

Women's Team Handball

Gold Medal

Denmark 38, South Korea 36, shootout

Athens, Greece -- Denmark won its third consecutive Olympic title in women's team handball, defeating South Korea, 4-2, in a penalty shootout after playing to a 34-all tie at the end of two overtimes.

Men's Water Polo

Gold Medal

Hungary 8, Serbia-Montenegro 7

Bronze Medal

Russia 6, Greece 5

Athens, Greece -- Hungary won its eighth Olympic water polo gold medal, scoring three unanswered goals in the last quarter to edge Serbia-Montenegro in the final.

Wrestling

Athens, Greece -- Daniel Cormier, of Stillwater, Okla., couldn't hold a 2-0 overtime lead and lost the bronze, 3-2, to Iran's Ali Reza Heidari in the 2111/2-pound (96kg) freestyle class.

Taekwondo

Athens, Greece -- Moon Dae-sung of South Korea won the gold medal in men's over-80-kilogram taekwondo by knocking out Alexandros Nikolaidis of Greece.

Rhythmic Gymnastics

Athens, Greece -- Four years after watching her medal hopes end when she lost control of her hoop, two-time world champion Alina Kabaeva from Russia won the rhythmic gymnastics all-around in a rout.

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