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Phelps takes bronze in 200 freestyle

Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2004

ATHENS, Greece Michael Phelps' quest for seven gold medals ended after just three events, when he had to settle for another bronze Monday night in the most anticipated race at the Olympic pool the head-to-head showdown with Australia's Ian Thorpe in the 200-meter freestyle.

Thorpe has ruled this event for years, but Phelps couldn't resist seeing what he could do against him part of his larger goal to break Mark Spitz's record of seven golds at the 1972 Munich Games.

Defending Olympic champion Pieter van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands won the silver.

Natalie Coughlin, the top female swimmer on the American team, won the 100 backstroke, holding off Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe. France's Laure Manaudou took bronze, her second medal of the games.

Aaron Peirsol was first in the men's 100 back. Markus Rogan of Austria claimed silver and Japan's Tomomi Morita held off American Lenny Krayzelburg for the bronze.

Luo Xuejuan of China won gold in the women's 100 breaststroke, beating Australians Brooke Hanson and Leisel Jones.

Gymnastics

ATHENS, Greece The American men's gymnastics team, long overlooked and often unappreciated, won the Olympic silver to take home a medal for the first time since the boycotted 1984 Games.

 

Blaine Wilson of the United States competes on the rings during the men's gymnastics qualifying round at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2004.

AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian

After faltering in the middle two rotations, Paul and Morgan Hamm led a rally. The Americans hit their last six routines, on parallel bars and high bar, to push past Romania and finish with 172.933 points.

The Japanese went last and needed to average about 9.5 over three sets on the high bar to win. They did it with ease, winning by 0.888 points.

This was only the third team medal for the U.S. men, and their first at a non-boycotted Olympics since 1932.

Tennis

ATHENS, Greece Venus Williams and Chanda Rubin lost 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 to eighth-seeded Li Ting and Sun Tian Tian of China in the first round of the Olympic doubles tournament.

Williams won the doubles gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Games with her sister, Serena, who pulled out of these Olympics last week, citing a left knee injury. Rubin filled in, marking the first time Venus Williams ever played a tournament doubles match with anyone but her sibling.

In men's doubles, the top-seeded Bryan twins, Bob and Mike, routed Russians Marat Safin and Mikhail Youzhny 6-1, 6-2.

Basketball

United States 80, Czech Republic 61

ATHENS, Greece The U.S. women's team overcame another slow start and beat the Czech Republic. With key contributions from Tina Thompson and reserve Yolanda Griffith, the Americans went on a 14-point spurt to take the lead for good, then blew the game open with a 16-2 run at the start of the second half.

Softball

United States 3, Japan 0

ATHENS, Greece Helped by two errors, the United States scored three runs in the eighth inning for a win over Japan. The Americans extended their winning streak to 73 games.

Cat Osterman pitched a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts, and the United States (3-0) remained the only unbeaten team in the eight-team tournament.

Water Polo

United States 7, Hungary 6

ATHENS, Greece Brenda Villa scored four goals and Kelly Rulon had a pair as the world champion United States began the pursuit for an Olympic gold medal with a win over Hungary.

The Americans led by three goals after the first quarter, but the Hungarians rallied to 5-5 late in the third quarter and took a 6-5 lead in the final period.

Villa pulled the United States to 6-6. Then Rulon celebrating her Olympic debut and her 20th birthday scored the winning goal a minute later.

Diving

ATHENS, Greece Nikolaos Siranidis and Thomas Bimis of Greece won the gold medal in synchronized 3-meter springboard diving with a score of 353.34. It was Greece's first gold at the Athens Games.

Andreas Wels and Tobias Schellenberg of Germany won the silver medal. Robert Newbery and Steven Barnett of Australia got the bronze.

Lao Lishi and Li Ting earned China its third diving gold medal in these Olympics by easily winning the women's 10-meter synchronized platform competition.

Volleyball

United States 3, Germany 1

ATHENS, Greece The U.S. women bounced back from an opening defeat to China by beating Germany in four sets. Olympic rookie Tayyiba Haneef (17 kills) and veteran Keba Phipps (16 points) led the Americans. Angelina Grun had 20 points, three on aces, for the scrappy Germans, who beat Cuba on Saturday.

Boxing

ATHENS, Greece Vicente Escobedo dominated from the opening bell to stop Jose David Mosquera of Colombia in the third round and keep the United States undefeated through three Olympic bouts.

The fight was stopped 31 seconds into the third round by the mercy rule with Escobedo ahead 30-10.

Beach Volleyball

ATHENS, Greece Dain Blanton and Jeff Nygaard, the top American men's pair, were flat and out of synch for the second straight match, losing to Canadians John Child and Mark Heese 21-16, 21-10 in preliminary pool play.

The eighth-seeded Americans must upset the fifth-seeded Swiss pair Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel on Wednesday to have any chance of reaching the single-elimination medal round.

Americans Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs overcame a sluggish second set to beat Canadians Guylaine Dumont and Annie Martin 21-13, 12-21, 15-9.

Fencing

ATHENS, Greece France's Brice Guyart rallied from an early deficit in the final to defeat Italy's Salvatore Sanzo and win the gold medal in men's foil. Guyart trailed 4-0 but quickly tied the bout and won 15-13. Andrea Cassara of Italy defeated Russia's Renal Ganeev 15-12 to take the bronze.



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