Lost and found: Peirsol wins, loses and wins gold in 200 backstroke

Posted: Friday, August 20, 2004

ATHENS, Greece American swimmer Aaron Peirsol reclaimed the gold medal in the Olympic 200-meter backstroke after initially being disqualified Thursday night over what an official deemed an illegal turn.

The United States filed a protest and the disqualification was overturned on appeal by FINA, the sport's governing body, about 30 minutes after the race just before the medal ceremony was held. He then had to survive another protest by Austria and Great Britain.

Peirsol, the world record-holder and current world champion, led most of the race and easily beat the field, touching in 1 minute, 54.95 seconds. He was more than two seconds ahead of Austria's Marcus Rogan.

The silver went to Rogan in 1:57.35, while Romania's Razvan Florea settled for bronze (1:57.56). Great Britain's James Goddard, who initially had a bronze, dropped back to fourth in 1:57.76.

American Michael Phelps won his fourth gold of the Olympics in the 200-meter individual medley, leading the entire race. Phelps set an Olympic-record of 1:57.14, lowering his own mark of 1:58.52 set in the semifinals one night earlier.

Ryan Lochte of Daytona Beach, Fla., earned silver in 1:58.78. George Bovell of Trinidad took bronze in 1:58.80.

Amanda Beard captured the first individual gold of her career, in the 200-meter breaststroke. Only a victory by Australian Jodie Henry in the women's 100-meter freestyle prevented an American sweep.

Inge de Bruijn of the Netherlands won silver in 0:54.16 and American Natalie Coughlin got the bronze in 0:54.40.

Softball

United States 7, Greece 0, 5 innings

ATHENS, Greece Lisa Fernandez pitched a one-hitter Thursday as the two-time defending gold medalist United States won its sixth straight shutout in softball, a shortened-game victory over Greece.

Greece (2-4) did all it could. The United States (6-0) simply wore down the Greeks whose team includes several Americans of Greek ancestry and put an opponent away after five innings for the fourth time under the so-called mercy rule.

Men's Basketball

United States 89, Australia 79

ATHENS, Greece Tim Duncan scored 18 points, Allen Iverson and Shawn Marion each added 16 and Dwyane Wade scored 12, leading the United States to an 89-79 win over Australia. The Americans shot 57 percent from the field: 71 percent from 2-point range, but 3-for-17 on 3-point shots.

The Americans improved their defense, kept their turnovers down and found better shots than in their first two games, which included an upset loss in the opening round to Puerto Rico.

Shane Heal led Australia with 17 points.

Beach Volleyball

ATHENS, Greece Brazilians Emanuel and Ricardo routed Americans Dax Holdren and Stein Metzger 21-17, 21-10 to finish a perfect run through pool play.

Despite the loss, the 12th-seeded Americans advanced to the medal round.

Later, top-ranked American women Misty May and Kerri Walsh got their toughest test of the tournament but stayed unbeaten with a 21-17, 21-17 win over 10th-seeded Czechs Eva Celbova and Sona Novakova.

The Americans and second-seeded Brazilians Shelda and Adriana are the only duos men's or women's who have not dropped a set.

Boxing

U.S. medal prospect Andre Ward beat Italy's Clemente Russo 17-9 to advance to the quarterfinals as the Americans finished 6-1 in preliminaries. The Americans sent eight fighters into the second round, with two advancing on byes.

Equestrian

ATHENS, Greece Britain, France and the United States will jointly appeal a decision to award Germany the gold medal in the three-day equestrian event.

The judges gave Germany the gold Wednesday and France the silver, while Britain took bronze. The same officials, concerned that Germany's Bettina Hoy might have crossed the start line twice on the show jumping course, probed further.

Judges docked Germany 14 points, dropping it from first to fourth in a decision that lifted the United States to the bronze.

Germany then lodged a protest, an equestrian appeals committee reversed the decision of the judges and the Germans reclaimed the gold. Again, France was awarded the silver and Britain the bronze. The United States was left empty-handed.

Fencing

ATHENS, Greece Damien Touya scored the final touch to give France the team saber title over Italy, 45-42.

Touya also scored the winning touch in a 45-44 semifinal win over the United States. In that bout, he badly cut his right hand and needed medical assistance with the score 44-44. The lengthy delay added even more drama to a day full of it.

After the loss to France, the Americans lost the bronze-medal bout to Russia, again 45-44. The United States had upset Hungary 45-43 a round earlier.

ATHENS, Greece Noriko Anno won the 78kg class in judo, giving Japan its sixth gold medal in 12 judo classes with one day of competition remaining.

One of Japan's surest hopes for a gold lost early in the men's 100kg division.

Ihar Makarau of Belarus beat Jang Sung-ho of South Korea to win the gold medal in the 100-kilogram class after defending Olympic champion and three-time world champion Kosei Inoue lost in the quarterfinals, his first defeat in major international competition in four years.

Men's Volleyball

Russia 3, United States 1

Stanislav Dineykin had 20 kills to lead the Russians to a four-set victory over the Americans.

Russia, after a five-set loss to the Netherlands, has won two straight. With opposite Clay Stanley struggling against the towering Russian block, the United States fell to 1-2.

Russia took its first lead of the fourth set at 14-13, and things went back and forth until Alexey Kuleshov blocked a kill attempt by Stanley to make it 24-22.

The Americans were only able to fend off match point once.

Tennis

ATHENS, Greece Third-seeded Martina Navratilova won't win an Olympic medal after she and partner Lisa Raymond lost 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to fifth-seeded Shinobu Asagoe and Ai Sugiyama of Japan in the quarterfinals, one step shy of the medal round.

In women's singles, top-ranked Justine Henin-Hardenne beat two-time major champion Mary Pierce of France 6-4, 6-4, while No. 2 Amelie Mauresmo outlasted No. 5 Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-2.

French Open champion Anastasia Myskina was the first woman to reach the semifinals, beating Francesca Schiavone of Italy 6-1, 6-2.

The upsets continued on the men's side, with No. 3 Carlos Moya joining Roger Federer and Andy Roddick on the sideline after a 6-2, 7-5 quarterfinal loss to Nicolas Massu of Chile.

Chile is guaranteed to win a tennis medal for the first time because Massu's teammate, No. 16 Fernando Gonzalez, followed up his surprise victory over Roddick by beating No. 8 Sebastien Grosjean of France 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.

No. 10 Massu is the highest-seeded men's player left.

Water Polo

Hungary 7, United States 5

ATHENS, Greece Defending Olympic champion Hungary handed the United States its first loss in men's water polo preliminaries.

Tamas Varga scored his second goal on an extra-man play to seal the match with 1:27 remaining.

Weightlifting

ATHENS, Greece Liu Chunhong of China broke three of her own world records in winning the 152-pound (69kg) weightlifting gold medal.

Taner Sagir of Turkey won the gold medal in the 77-kilogram class with 826.5 pounds (375 kg). Sergey Filimonov of Kazakhstan won silver and Oleg Perepetchenov of Russia the bronze.

The 19-year-old Chunhong, the defending world champion, set records in the snatch of 270 pounds (122.5kg), the clean and jerk of 337 pounds (153kg) and total lift of 606 pounds (275kg).

Five weightlifters were suspended for flunking drug tests they took before the Olympics, and 21 world-class weightlifters have been suspended this year.



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