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Gardner collects bronze

Posted: Thursday, August 26, 2004

ATHENS, Greece Rulon Gardner was in another Olympic wrestling upset his own.

One of the biggest stars of the 2000 Summer Games, Gardner was thrown to the mat in overtime Wednesday by Kazakhstan's Georgi Tsurtsumia and lost 4-1 in his Greco-Roman semifinal match. He won the bronze medal later in the day, defeating Sajad Barzi of Iran 3-0.

Gardner was as surprised as anyone when Tsurtsumia somehow pulled off the winning 3-point move in their 264 1/2-pound (120kg) match, especially after spending much of the match visibly wearing down the younger wrestler.

Tsurtsumia looked upward at the scoreboard, still unsure for just a moment that he'd won, then jumped jubilantly into his coach's arms.

Gardner went from obscurity to celebrity after his stunning upset four years ago of the once-invincible Alexander Karelin, generally considered the greatest wrestler of all time. But Gardner has fought through a long succession of physical ailments since Sydney.

He lost a toe and nearly his life after a February 2002 snowmobiling accident left him stranded for 18 hours in the wilderness of Wyoming. He survived a motorcycle crash earlier this year, only to severely dislocate his right wrist in a pickup basketball game.

The short version of the match from Gardner: He aggressively went at Tsurtsumia, trying to take the lead against a tiring opponent, but left himself unguarded and Tsurtsumia stepped around and took him to the mat.

''One throw and that's the whole match,'' Gardner said. ''One mistake.''

Track and Field

 

Allen Johnson falls in a qualifying heat of the 110m hurdles at the 2004 Olympic Games Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2004 in Athens, Greece.

AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus

ATHENS, Greece Marion Jones will be part of the U.S. Olympic 400-meter relay team, coach Sue Humphrey announced.

Jones' participation had been a subject of speculation because she is being investigated by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. However, she has not been charged with any doping offense.

Jones also qualified for the long jump finals with the seventh-best jump of the qualifying round: 21 feet, 11 3/4 inches.

Allen Johnson, a four-time world champion and the 1996 Olympic gold medalist, made a shocking exit from the second round of the 110-meter hurdles. He tripped over the ninth hurdle, then stumbled and fell underneath the last one.

Allyson Felix narrowly missed becoming a teenage gold medalist when she was beaten in the 200 by Jamaica's Veronica Campbell. Campbell won in a personal-best 22.05 seconds.

The biggest thrill of the night for Greek fans came when countrywoman Fani Halkia won the 400-meter hurdles in 52.82 seconds.

Women's basketball

ATHENS, Greece The United States hushed a boisterous crowd, putting six players in double figures and advancing to the semifinals with a 102-72 victory over Greece.

Shannon Johnson and Tina Thompson led the Americans with 20 points each.

Boxing

ATHENS, Greece Andre Dirrell of the United States narrowly beat Cuba's Yordani Despaigne to advance to the Olympic middleweight semifinals.

Men's Volleyball

The United States beat Greece with a wild five-set comeback and advanced to play Brazil in the other semifinal. The Americans overcome a 20-12 deficit in the fourth set and fended off match point in the fifth.

Sailing

ATHENS, Greece A windsurfer whose first name means ''wave'' in Hebrew gave Israel its first Olympic gold medal ever.

Gal Fridman sailed a remarkably consistent regatta, never finishing worse than eighth in the 11-race series. He placed second in Wednesday's decisive race. After Fridman crossed the finish line, he took a victory dip and then wrapped himself in an Israeli flag when he came out of the water.

In 12 previous Olympics dating to 1952, Israel had won only one silver and three bronze medals. Fridman won a bronze in his event in 1996.

Women's Triathlon

ATHENS, Greece Kate Allen of Austria passed half of the field during the final leg of the swim-cycle-run endurance test, finishing in 2 hours, 4 minutes, 43.45 seconds.

Closer to the rear of the pack than the front for most of the race, she passed everyone during the closing 10-kilometer run, including leader Loretta Harrop of Australia only a few strides before the finish.

Susan Williams, the last American to qualify for the race over the summer, won the bronze.

Cycling

ATHENS, Greece Ryan Bayley of Australia added the Keirin title to his sprint gold medal, highlighting Australia's overwhelming dominance of cycling at the Athens Games.

Bayley is the double individual gold medalist, and teammate Graeme Brown won gold in both the team pursuit and Wednesday's Madison.

Brown teamed up with Stuart O'Grady for the Madison.

Russian veteran Olga Slyusareva controlled the points race from start to finish and finally added an Olympic gold to her impressive list of titles.

The United States failed to win a track cycling medal for the first time since 1976.

Weightlifting

ATHENS, Greece Iran's Hossein Rezazadeh won the Olympic super heavyweight lifting title. He had a 581-pound (263.5-kg) clean and jerk, setting a world record and matching the record total lift of 1,041.7 pounds (472.5 kg) he set four years ago in Sydney. Silver medalist Viktors Scerbatihs of Latvia was 38.6 pounds (17.5 kg) behind Rezazadeh.



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