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Team USA gets bronze in handball

Posted: Tuesday, August 12, 2003

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic Swimming medals are expected from Americans. Team handball medals are not.

The United States got some of both Monday at the Pan American Games. The swimmers won three of the five races, including a romp in the women's 800-meter freestyle relay, and collected four silvers.

Team handball, hardly a mainstream American sport, produced a bronze for the men, who beat Uruguay 25-23.

Mark Gangloff of Akron, Ohio, set a Pan Ams record in the 100-meter breaststroke of 1 minute, .95 seconds. He broke the mark of Ed Moses set four years ago.

''I was very happy with my time,'' he said. ''To beat Ed Moses' record means a lot. He's been the top American for a long time.''

Jarrod Marrs of Baton Rouge, La., was second.

Courtney Shealy of Columbia, S.C., a 2000 Olympics relay winner, took the women's 100 freestyle in 55.61. There was a dead heat for silver between Christina Swindle of Miami and Florencia Szigetti of Argentina.

The relay team of Elizabeth Hill, Atlanta; Colleen Lanne, Tucson, Ariz.; Carly Piper, Gross Pointe, Mich.; and Dana Vollmer, Fort Worth, Texas, never was challenged in setting a Pan Ams record of 8:05.47. Hill broke it open on the second leg.

''My job was to take it away and hopefully have it come down to us and the clock at the end,'' Hill said.

In the 400 individual medley, Georgina Bardach of Argentina was an easy winner over silver medalist Kristen Caverly, San Clemente, Calif. And George Bovell of Trinidad and Tobago, a swimmer for Auburn, beat Dan Ketchum of Cincinnati in the men's 200 freestyle.

The United States stretched its medals lead with 167: 69 golds, 50 silvers and 48 bronzes. Cuba is next at 110: 53-29-28.

Handball goalie Danny Hennessey swatted away five penalty shots in the Americans' big victory.

''Never would I imagine that I'd go 5-for-5 in any game, let alone the bronze medal game,'' the New York City police officer said. ''I couldn't be more happy, and ultimately it was the deciding factor in the game.''

Hennessey replaced starter Italo Zanzi with 12 minutes to go in the second half with the Americans ahead by three goals. He was supported offensively by the Fitzgerald brothers of North Babylon, N.Y. Joe Fitzgerald, a 1996 Olympian, had five goals, and Tom, also a 1996 Olympic veteran, scored four.

''Italo did a great job setting the pace and I had a feeling about Danny since yesterday,'' coach Christian Zaharia said. ''I felt that he was pumped up to win the bronze medal, and as a coach you have to go with your gut feeling, but it's the team who is the hero.

''We believed in the bronze medal and played like a team that wanted to win gold. That made all the difference.''

The difference for Brazil in its 31-30, double-overtime victory for the gold medal was Gustavo Sliva's goal with 25 seconds to go. Brazil was second in the last three Pan Ams.

''Finally we won,'' said Brazilian Daniel Baldacin. ''This is a historic result for us.''

It was also Brazil's first victory over Argentina in more than two years.

It started out as a rugged day for U.S. boxers, who went 0-for-3 in the afternoon. But they won their two evening bouts.

Jason Estrada of Providence outclassed Dominican Arthur Otaney 20-2 in super heavyweight. And Aaron Garcia beat Carlos Velazquez of Puerto Rico 59-47 in a tiebreaker after a 10-10 score.

Light flyweight Rayonta Whitfield of Augusta, Ga., lost 16-8 to 2001 world champion Yan Bartelemy of Cuba.

''Once I knew I was stronger than him, I got away from my game plan and started following him around the ring,'' Whitfield said. ''I knew I could overpower him and I lost focus on what I was doing.''

Lightweight Karl Dargan of Philadelphia got off to a strong start against Francisco Javier Vargas of Mexico, using his jab and movement to take a 12-8 lead into the third round. But he tired badly and lost on a late flurry, 19-18.

Light heavyweight Rommel Rene of Orlando, Fla., was beaten 12-5 by Mexico's Ramiro Reducindo.

The United States finished first and third in cycling in the women's 30-kilometer time trial. Kim Bruckner of Boulder, Colo., took the gold, 38 seconds ahead of Clara Hughes of Canada. Kristin Armstrong of Boise, Idaho, got the bronze.

Jose Serpa of Colombia edged Chris Baldwin of Boulder to win the men's 50-kilometer time trial.

Canada beat the U.S. men in softball 5-1, the first loss for the Americans in the preliminary round. At 4-1, the Americans will enter the playoffs as the No. 2 seed, while Canada (5-0) will hold the No. 1 seed. Samantha Harvey, who finished fourth in modern pentathlon four years ago representing the United States, earned a silver medal Monday night in the event representing Brazil.

Harvey, a Harvard graduate with a doctorate in English literature, finished second to Anita Allen of Winimac, Ind., who earned an Olympic berth.

Harvey married a Brazilian and, since 2000, has represented Brazil in international competition.

''Thanks to Brazil for giving me this opportunity,'' Harvey said. ''Winning a medal in an international event was my biggest dream. This was an opportunity my own country didn't give me.''

The U.S. women outlasted Venezuela in a volleyball quarterfinal 25-17, 25-20, 36-34.

Two-time Olympian Brian Olson (Boulder, Colo.) used his signature sumi-gaeshi move to win the Americans' first judo gold.



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