Silver lining for gymnasts

U.S. cagers rebound with 77-71 victory over Greece

Posted: Wednesday, August 18, 2004

ATHENS, Greece The Americans settled for silver Tuesday night, finishing behind Romania, which won its second straight gold medal. Russia won the bronze.

''We made small mistakes,'' said coach Bela Karolyi, a native Romanian whose wife, Martha, is the U.S. team coordinator. ''Small mistakes are to be paid for. And we paid.''

In the end, Romania needed to average only 9.35 points per floor routine to catch the Americans. Easily done.

The Americans started strong, fixing problems they'd had on vault in the preliminaries. Then they moved to their best event, the uneven bars.

Carly Patterson, normally at her best under pressure, faltered. Terin Humphrey and Courtney Kupets bailed her out, lifting the Americans into first place, but then came the balance beam Romania's best event.

Kupets was pulled out of the lineup with a sore right leg, and while replacement Mohini Bhardwaj gave a clutch performance on short notice, she made several slight errors, dropping the Americans behind the Romanians.


United States 77, Greece 71

ATHENS, Greece The United States bounced back from its embarrassing loss to Puerto Rico by beating Greece and avoided dropping to 0-2.

Allen Iverson scored 17 points, 13 of them in the first half, and Tim Duncan had 13 of his 14 points in the third quarter.

Greece trailed just 75-71 when Carlos Boozer missed a pair of free throws, but Lamar Odom made a key defensive play and hit two free throws with 15.5 seconds left to end the suspense.


ATHENS, Greece Michael Phelps won his second and third gold medals of the Athens Games, winning the 200-meter butterfly and then helping the United States claim gold in the 800 freestyle relay Tuesday night.

Phelps held off Takashi Yamamoto of Japan in the butterfly to win in an Olympic-record 1 minute, 54.01 seconds. In the relay, Klete Keller narrowly held off Ian Thorpe at the wall to help the United States win gold over the Australians four years after finishing second to the Aussies at the Sydney Games.

The Americans picked up another medal when Amanda Beard took silver in the 200 individual medley. The three-time Olympian picked up the fifth medal of her career behind Ukraine's Yana Klochkova, who defended the title she won in Sydney.

Women's Soccer

United States 1, Australia 1, tie

THESSALONIKI, Greece Joanne Peters' 12-yard header in the 82nd minute gave Australia a tie with the United States.

The Americans had already clinched a spot in the quarterfinals with wins over Greece and Brazil, and the tie assured them first place in their group. Their top seed guarantees they will stay in Thessaloniki for their next game against Japan on Friday.

Australia qualified for the quarterfinals with the tie, although it would have advanced anyway because of Brazil's win over Greece.



USA's Mariel Zagunis is thrown into the air after she took the gold medal in the Women's Individual Sabre competition of the 2004 Olympic Games at the Helliniko fencing hall in Athens Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2004.

AP Photo/Michael Sohn

United States 4, China 0

ATHENS, Greece Lori Harrigan allowed only a first-inning bunt single and Crystl Bustos homered Tuesday as the United States posted its fourth straight shutout of the games.

Harrigan struck out eight, Lovieanne Jung had two RBIs and Leah O'Brien-Amico drove in a run as the Americans ran their winning streak to 74 games and their international record against China to 10-1.


ATHENS, Greece For the first time in a century, the United States won a gold medal in Olympic fencing, and it added a bronze for good measure.

Mariel Zagunis beat Tan Xue of China 15-9 in the saber final, and American Sada Jacobson was third, beating Catalina Gheorghitoaia of Romania 15-7.

The United States had never won a medal in women's fencing. The last American medal in the sport was in Los Angeles in 1984.


ATHENS, Greece The world's top two tennis players found themselves struggling against low-ranked opponents in the second round of the Olympics No. 1 Roger Federer flopped, and No. 2 Andy Roddick flourished.

Federer was beaten 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 by 18-year-old Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic on Court 1. Roddick saved three match points and overcame 2000 silver medalist Tommy Haas of Germany 6-4, 3-6, 9-7 before a raucous crowd at the main stadium.

Venus Williams beat Maja Matevzic of Slovenia 6-0, 6-0 earlier the first shutout for a man or woman since tennis returned to the Olympics as a medal sport in 1988.


United States 3, Netherlands 0

ATHENS, Greece The U.S. men bounced back from their opening loss with a straight-sets victory over the Netherlands.

Opposite Clay Stanley led an all-around effort with 21 points, and the Americans ended a nine-match Olympic losing streak with very few errors, strong defense and excellent serving.

Water Polo

United States 9, Kazakhstan 6

ATHENS, Greece Wolf Wigo scored four goals as the United States rallied for a 9-6 win over Kazakhstan.

The Americans improved to 2-0, including a last-second 7-6 win over Croatia in their opener.

Sergey Drozdov scored three goals, twice giving Kazakhstan the lead in the first period and then adding a third as the game wound down.

The Americans led 5-4 at halftime, with Wigo scoring twice in the second period. He finished it off by scoring with 1:26 to play.

In other matches, Francesco Postiglione scored three goals as Italy rebounded from an opening loss to Spain.

The Australians led twice in the first two periods and were tied 3-all at the break, but Italy scored three consecutive goals in the third period and took control.

Germany led 9-0 at halftime and added two goals in the third period before Egypt scored.

Serbia-Montenegro edged Sydney 2000 silver medalist Russia, and Greece upset 1996 Olympic champion Spain.

Tamas Kasas and Peter Biros scored three goals apiece for Hungary.


ATHENS, Greece Ron Siler opened his quest for a gold medal with a convincing 32-18 decision over Australia's Bradley Hore in a first-round flyweight fight.

The win kept American boxers undefeated in the Olympics.

Cuban and Russian boxers remained undefeated, too. Both are 6-0 in the first round, though that will change Wednesday when Cuba's Odlanier Solis meets Alexander Alekseev of Russia in a rematch of the heavyweight final of the 2003 world championships.

Beach Volleyball

ATHENS, Greece Americans Misty May and Kerri Walsh beat Dutch duo Marrit Leenstra and Rebekka Kadijk 21-11, 21-13.

All four Brazilian teams stayed unbeaten and clinched berths in the medal round.

In the men's draw, Norwegians Bjorn Maaseide and Iver Horrem beat Americans Daxton Holdren and Stein Metzger.

ATHENS, Greece Ilias Iliadis of Greece thrilled the home crowd, beating Roman Gontyuk of Ukraine to win the gold medal in the 81-kilogram class.

Japan's Ayumi Tanimoto beat Claudia Heill of Austria to win the 63-kilogram division. Japan has won four gold medals and a silver in the first eight judo events.


ATHENS, Greece The 49er made its colorful entrance into the Olympic sailing regatta, and Norway won the first race.

The high-performance skiffs nicknamed for their 4.99-meter length were a big hit in their Olympic debut in Sydney in 2000 and should be again, as long as the wind isn't as light as it was Tuesday. The 49ers are fast and easily identifiable on downwind legs after they hoist their asymmetrical spinnakers imprinted with their country's flag.


MARKOPOULO, Greece The French three-day event team, leaders after the opening dressage competition, maintained its strong grip on the Olympic event after the cross-country portion.

French riders are also in contention for individual medals, with Nicolas Touzaint on Galan de Sauvagere and Jean Teulere on Espoir de la Mare adding no cross-country penalty points to their dressage scores. Touzaint holds the lead with 29.4 penalty points, and Teulere is in fourth with 38.4.

Bettina Hoy of Germany on Ringwood Cockatoo added 3.6 time points and is in second with 35.6, while Kimberly Severson of the United States had a faultless round on Winsome Adante and is in third with 36.2.

France's current team total is 113.4, with Germany in second with 119.6.


ATHENS, Greece Americans Jennifer Nichols and Vic Wunderle advanced to the quarterfinals of the Olympic archery tournament.

Nichols beat Tetyana Berezhna of Ukraine 163-160, rallying with two 10s in her final three shots.

Wunderle, the No. 43 seed, upset No. 11 Ming Huang Liu of Taiwan 164-160.

Second-seeded Magnus Petersson of Sweden and world champion Michele Frangilli of Italy were both eliminated.


ATHENS, Greece Former whitewater kayaking world champion Rebecca Giddens used a clean first run through the first-ever salt-water course in an Olympic Games to advance to the single kayak semifinals.

Giddens now moves into a 15-boat semifinal field on Wednesday, with the top 10 boats getting into the finals later that day.

Jennifer Bongardt of Germany was the leader on first day. Two-time defending gold medalist Stepanka Hilgertova of the Czech Republic finished in 11th place.

Table Tennis

ATHENS, Greece The last American was knocked out of Olympic table tennis when Gao Jun lost to Ai Fukuhara of Japan 4-0 in women's singles.


Denmark 29, South Korea 29, tie

Hungary 33, Greece 20

Ukraine 26, China 21

France 27 Spain 20

ATHENS, Greece Defending gold medalist Denmark tied South Korea on Mette Vestergaard's third goal of the game. Hungary, the silver medalist in Sydney in 2000, won its second straight match.

Oxana Rayhel led Ukraine with nine goals while Li Weiwei scored seven for China.

World champion France rebounded from its opening loss to Denmark with a solid performance against Spain, scoring seven straight points to go up 12-5 and never trailing the rest of the way.


ATHENS, Greece Top-seeded Zhang Jiewen and Yang Wei of China advanced in the women's doubles tournament, defeating Jo Novita and Lita Nurlita of Indonesia.

Second-seeded Chen Hong of China advanced to the quarterfinals in men's singles.

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