Matharon runner takes bronze despite attack

Posted: Monday, August 30, 2004

ATHENS, Greece Stefano Baldini of Italy took the lead two miles from the finish to win the gold medal and American Meb Keflezighi won silver Sunday in an Olympic marathon disrupted by a costumed intruder who grabbed the race leader with about three miles to go.

Vanderlei Lima of Brazil, whose lead had been slowly shrinking, was pushed to the curb by a man dressed in green beret, red kilt and knee-high green socks. Lima was able to get back into the race, but he lost several more seconds and eventually was overtaken by Baldini.

Lima got the bronze, drawing big cheers from the crowd at the finish line in Panthinaiko Stadium the beautiful marble structure that was the site of the first modern Olympics 108 years ago.

He smiled broadly, spread his arms like wings and weaved from side to side as he crossed the line.

Keflezighi, who emigrated from the war-torn African nation of Eritrea at age 10, is the first American to medal in the men's marathon since Frank Shorter's silver in 1976.

Deena Kastor won the bronze in the women's marathon a week ago, marking the first time the United States had medaled in both of the sport's epic endurance competition.

Boxing

ATHENS, Greece Andre Ward won the gold medal in the light heavyweight division, beating Magomed Aripgadjiev of Belarus. Fighting in the last bout of the games, Ward found his mark with quick inside punches in the third round to win the first boxing gold for the United States since David Reid in 1996.

Ward, of Oakland, Calif., trailed after two rounds, but came on strong despite a swelling around his right eye that coaches worked on in the corner between rounds. He won the third round 7-2, then remained aggressive in the final round to widen his margin of victory to 20-13.

Ward's medal was one of two for the U.S. team, which brought nine boxers to Athens. Earlier, middleweight Andre Dirrell won a bronze.

Men's Volleyball

Gold Medal:

Brazil 3, Italy 1

Bronze Medal:

Russia 3, United States 0

ATHENS, Greece Russia overpowered a sluggish U.S. team to win the bronze. Alexey Kuleshov had 16 points to lead the Russians to an easy sweep. The Americans played from behind almost the whole time, making poor hitting decisions that left them unable to get any of their spikes around the towering Russian triple block.

Wrestling

ATHENS, Greece Daniel Cormier, of Stillwater, Okla., couldn't hold a 2-0 overtime lead and lost the bronze 3-2 to Iran's Ali Reza Heidari in the 211 1/2-pound (96kg) freestyle class. The match was a repeat of Heidari's victory in last year's world championships.

The seven-man U.S. freestyle team left Athens with three medals, Cael Sanderson's gold and silvers by Jamill Kelly and Stephen Abas.



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