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Schedules and Results Medal Tracker Writers Sports 2004 Olympics

Capsules on Olympic events

Posted: Monday July 19, 2004 10:00PM; Updated: Monday August 9, 2004 1:23AM


WHERE: Panathinaiko Stadium.

WHEN: Aug. 15-21.

MEDALS: Men's and women's individual and team competitions.

OUTLOOK: Archery competition will be at stadium where the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896. South Korea won men's and women's team competitions in 2000, and swept the podium in women's individual. Italy boasts some top men's archers.



WHERE: Goudi Olympic Hall.

WHEN: Aug. 14-21.

MEDALS: Men's singles, men's doubles, women's singles, women's doubles, mixed doubles.

OUTLOOK: In a sport dominated by athletes from Asia, Denmark and the Netherlands also have some medal hopes. China has three of the world's top five men (as of late June), the top three women in the singles competition and the two top-ranked women's doubles pairs. Denmark has the top men's doubles team.



WHERE: Helliniko Olympic Complex.

WHEN: Aug. 15-25.

MEDALS: Men's team competition.

OUTLOOK: Baseball was a demonstration sport at the 1984 Los Angeles Games and 1988 Seoul Games and became a medal sport at the 1992 Barcelona Games. Eight teams are in the competition, and they play each other once in the first round. The top four advance to the semifinals, with the first-place team playing the fourth-place team and the second-place team meeting the third-place teams. The winners advance to the gold-medal game and the losers go on the bronze-medal game. Professionals were first allowed to participate in the 2000 Sydney Games, which the United States won, but major league baseball does not allow players on 40-man major league rosters to participate, causing the IOC to periodically say it will review baseball's status as an Olympic sport. The U.S. team was eliminated by Mexico with a 2-1 loss in the semifinals of regional qualifying last Nov. 7. Japan and Cuba are the favorites.




WHERE: HOSC Indoor Arena, OAKA Olympic Indoor Hall.

WHEN: Aug. 15-28 .

MEDALS: Gold, silver and bronze awarded to players, but not coaches, from top three teams.

OUTLOOK: The United States is a perennial favorite, but many of the best American players withdrew from the team or turned down invitations. Defending world champion Serbia-Montenegro and 2003 European champion Lithuania are among the favorites, and Spain and Argentina will field strong, experienced teams.




WHERE: Preliminary games at Helliniko Indoor Arena; medal rounds at OAKA Olympic Indoor Hall.

WHEN: Aug. 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24-25, 27-28.

MEDALS: Team competition.

OUTLOOK: Twelve teams divided into two pools of six compete in preliminary rounds, with the top four finishers in each round advancing to the medal round. The United States won the last two gold medals and is favored again with Olympic veterans Lisa Leslie, Sheryl Swoopes and Dawn Staley and rising young star Diana Taurasi. Many of the top foreign players in the WNBA will compete for their home countries, including Lauren Jackson and Penny Taylor for Australia, and Svetlana Abrosimova and Elena Baranova for Russia.



WHERE: Peristeri Olympic Boxing Hall, Municipality of Peristeri.

WHEN: Aug. 14-25, 27-29.

MEDALS: Gold, silver and two bronzes in each of 11 weight classes.

OUTLOOK: Cuba has dominated Olympic boxing in recent years, and will bring another strong team that includes defending 119-pound gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux and 132-pound gold medalist Mario Kindelan. Missing from the Sydney team that won four gold medals and two bronzes is three-time heavyweight gold medalist Felix Savon, who retired and is helping coach the team. Cuba is in danger, however, of losing the medal race to Russia, which won two gold, three silver and two bronze medals in Sydney, then topped Cuba in the 2003 world championships. The United States is sending nine boxers to Athens, trying to rebound from a disappointing 2000 Olympics where no American boxers won gold medals for the first time in 52 years. Middleweight Andre Dirrell is perhaps the most talented of the Americans, who lack vital international experience. Light heavyweight Andre Ward, a two-time U.S. champion, hasn't lost since 1998 and figures to be a medal contender.



WHERE: Schinias Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Centre for flatwater sprints and the Helliniko Olympic Complex for whitewater slalom.

WHEN: Aug. 17-20 (slalom) and Aug. 23-28 (sprint).

MEDALS: Men compete in nine flatwater sprints -- kayak single and pair at 500 meters and 1,000 meters, canoe single and pair at 500 and 1,000 meters, and kayak four at 1,000 meters. Men's whitewater slalom events are the kayak single, canoe single and canoe pair. Women compete in three flatwater sprints -- kayak single, kayak pair and kayak four, all at 500 meters. Women have one whitewater slalom event -- kayak single.

OUTLOOK: Manmade Helliniko venue pumps in water from the nearby Mediterranean Sea, making it the first Olympic whitewater course to use saltwater. That makes the boats more buoyant and causes more eye irritation from splashing; also creates more foam, making it more difficult for paddlers to judge water surface.



WHERE: Velodrome, Athens Olympic Sports Complex (track); Parnitha Olympic Mountain Bike Venue, in Mount Parnitha (mountain bike); Vouliagmeni Olympic Centre (road time trials); downtown Athens with start-finish at Kotzia Square (road races).

WHEN: Aug. 14-15, 18 (road); Aug. 20-25 (track); Aug. 27-28 (mountain bike).

MEDALS: mountain -- medals for men and women; road -- men's and women's road race and men's and women's time trials; track -- time trial, sprint, individual pursuit and points race are for men and women; team pursuit, madison and keirin races are contested by men only.

OUTLOOK: Mountain -- France's Julien Absalon, the Netherlands' Bart Brentjens and Norway's Gunn-Rita Dahle will be favored to win individual medals. Canada has probably the best depth top-to-bottom in the women's field. The United States is sending only one woman's rider to Athens. Road -- American men's side will be without Lance Armstrong, who declined an invitation. Track -- France, Britain and Australia each won five medals at this year's world championships. And the Russian women, led by Olga Slyusareva and Svetlana Grankovskaya, figure to be strong; 2000 sprint gold winner Marty Nothstein is the lone returning medalist for the United States.



WHERE: Olympic Aquatic Center (Indoor Pool).

WHEN: Aug. 14, 16, 20-28.

MEDALS: Men compete in 3-meter springboard, 10m platform, 3m synchronized and 10m synchronized. Women compete in 3-meter springboard, 10m platform, 3m synchronized and 10m synchronized.

OUTLOOK: The Chinese are the sport's dominant country, winning a record five gold medals in Sydney. The only non-Chinese winner was American Laura Wilkinson, who pulled off a stunning upset in platform and is back to defend her title. The top U.S. male is Troy Dumais, who will compete in springboard and team up with brother Justin in synchronized.



WHERE: Markopoulo Olympic Equestrian Center.

WHEN: Aug. 15-27.

MEDALS: Three-Day Event, team and individual; Dressage, team and individual; Show jumping, team and individual.

OUTLOOK: The U.S. team has strong medal chances in all three disciplines, including an individual medal in dressage for the first time since 1932, and will challenge powerhouses Germany and the Netherlands for the team dressage gold. Debbie McDonald, in her first Olympics at age 50, leads the U.S. dressage riders on Brentina. Germany and the Netherlands are also favorites to medal in team show jumping, with the United States hoping Chris Kapplers' Royal Kaliber will recover from injuries in time to compete for team and individual medals. The U.S. three-day team, with Kim Severson on Winsome Adante favored for an individual medal, needs some luck against the British and French.



WHERE: Helliniko Fencing Hall.

WHEN: Aug. 14-22.

MEDALS: Individual -- men's and women's epee, foil and saber. Team -- men's epee, men's foil, men's saber, women's foil.

OUTLOOK: Italy's Valentina Vezzali has three golds and one silver in individual and team women's foil in the past two Olympics, and should add to her total in Athens. The Americans, who have not won a medal in fencing since 1984, have their best chance in women's saber, where sisters Sada and Emily Jacobson, and Mariel Zagunis are all ranked in the top 10. The single-elimination format can produce unforeseen medalists in individual competition.



WHERE: Olympic Indoor Hall.

WHEN: Aug. 14-19, 23-24.

MEDALS: Men's and women's team. Men's and women's all-around. Men's floor exercise, still rings, pommel horse, parallel bars, high bar, vault. Women's floor exercise, balance beam, uneven bars, vault.

OUTLOOK: For the first time at Olympics, men's and women's teams must select three of their six athletes to compete on each event in finals, and all three scores will count, leaving no room for error. In the past, five or six athletes would go and the lowest score would be dropped. U.S. women won gold at world championships last year, and men won silver. Both are expected to be in the medal hunt again. China, Japan, Russia and Romania have strong men's and women's teams. Women's all-around should be the highlight of the individual competitions. Russian Svetlana Khorkina will be one to watch, her final major international competition.



WHERE: Sports Pavilion at the Faliro Coastal Zone Olympic Complex; and Indoor Arena at the Helliniko Olympic Complex.

WHEN: Aug. 14-24, 26-29.

MEDALS: Men's and women's team competition.

OUTLOOK: After sweeping all medals in Sydney, European teams should again dominate. Russia, the reigning men's Olympic champion, is grouped with Spain (2000 bronze medalist) and Croatia (2003 world champion). On the women's side, 2003 world champion France is grouped with 2000 gold medalist Denmark.



WHERE: Olympic Hockey Centre at Helliniko Olympic Complex.

WHEN: Aug. 14-27.

MEDALS: Men's and women's team competition.

OUTLOOK: The men's field consists of 12 teams, in two groups of six. There are 10 women's squads, in two five-team groups. The Netherlands, which won the men's gold medal in Sydney, is one of the top teams in Pool B, along with eight-time gold medalist India and Australia, which won bronze in 2000. Germany is a power in men's Pool A, along with three-time gold medalist Pakistan. On the women's side, Australia won gold at last two Olympics.



WHERE: Ano Liossia Olympic Hall.

WHEN: Aug. 14-20.

MEDALS: Men's weight classes -- 60 kg, 66 kg, 73 kg, 81 kg, 90 kg, 100 kg, 100kg-plus. Women's weight classes -- 48 kg, 52 kg, 57 kg, 63 kg, 70 kg, 78 kg, 78 kg-plus.

OUTLOOK: Introduced as an Olympic sport in 1964; no country has dominated but the Japanese are always strong. This year will be no exception with six-time world champion Ryoko Tani returning to defend her gold medal in the 48 kg weight class.



WHERE:Olympic Modern Pentathlon Centre at the Goudi Olympic Complex.

WHEN: Aug. 26 (men), Aug. 27 (women).

MEDALS: Men's and women's competition.

OUTLOOK: The five-sport discipline created by modern Olympics founder Pierre de Coubertin was introduced in 1912. Women competed for the first time in 2000. Athletes compete in shooting, fencing, swimming, horseback riding and finish with a cross-country run. Eastern European men have won all individual medals past three Olympics.



WHEN: Aug. 14-22

WHERE: Schinias Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Centre.

MEDALS: Men compete in single sculls, double sculls, lightweight double sculls, quadruple sculls, pairs, fours, lightweight fours and eights with coxswain. Women's events are single sculls, double sculls, lightweight double sculls, quadruple sculls, pairs and eights with coxswain. All races are 2,000 meters.

OUTLOOK: U.S. women's eight comes in having won its last two world cup events. Great Britain is defending Olympic champion in men's four and eight. In women's single sculls, Ekaterina Karsten of Belarus looks to repeat gold medal performance from Sydney. The United States failed to qualify boats for men's single sculls and women's double sculls. The U.S. rowing team has 15 members with Olympic experience, none with medals.



WHERE: Agios Kosmas Olympic Sailing Center on the Saronic Gulf, southeast of downtown Athens.

WHEN: Aug. 14-26, 28.

MEDALS: Eleven sailing events in nine classes: the 49er double-handed skiff; Europe (women), Finn (men) and Laser (men) single-handed dinghies; 470 men's and women's double-handed dinghy; men's and women's windsurfing; Tornado double-handed catamaran; Star double-handed men's keelboat; and the Yngling triple-handed women's keelboat that replaces the men's Soling.

OUTLOOK: American Paul Cayard, one of the world's best sailors, will compete in his first Olympics at age 45 in the Star Class. The high-performance 49er, with retractable wings and the crew hiked out in trapezes, made a splashy debut at Sydney in 2000 and is sure to be one of the most interesting classes again. The Yngling makes its Olympic debut 37 years after being designed by a Norwegian. Finn Class will include an intramural scrum among three members of Team New Zealand's America's Cup crew -- skipper Dean Barker, a native Kiwi; navigator Kevin Hall, an American; and Ben Ainslie of Great Britain. Ainslie won the Laser Class gold in 2000 and silver in 1996.



WHERE: Markopoulo Olympic Shooting Centre.

WHEN: Aug. 14-22.

MEDALS: Ten medal events for men -- prone rifle, three-position rifle, air rifle, free pistol, rapid fire pistol, air pistol, running target, skeet, trap, double trap. Seven medal events for women -- air pistol, sport pistol, air rifle, three-position rifle, skeet, trap, double trap.

OUTLOOK: Nearly 400 men and women will compete in one of the few sports that has appeared on the schedule of every modern Summer Olympics. Women's shooting disciplines were introduced in 1984.



WHERE: Various locations throughout Greece. Men's final at Olympic Stadium; women's final at Karaiskaki Stadium in Athens.

WHEN: Aug. 11-12, 14-15, 17-18, 20-21, 23-24, 26-28.

MEDALS: Men's and women's team competition.

OUTLOOK: None of the top four men's teams from 2000, including champion Cameroon, qualified. Four-time world under-20 champion Argentina is left as the favorite in the 16-team field, although the Olympic tournament is tough to gauge because rules restrict teams to players under 23, with three exemptions. 2003 World Cup winner Germany and the United States are favorites in women's event; defending champion Norway failed to qualify. Women's tournament consists of 10 teams split unevenly into three groups. Greece, as the host nation, earned an automatic bid to both fields.



WHERE: Olympic Softball Stadium at Helliniko Olympic Complex.

WHEN: Aug. 14-23.

MEDALS: Women's team competition.

OUTLOOK: U.S. team will again be prohibitive favorite to win third straight gold. Led by three-time Olympian Lisa Fernandez, biggest challenge for the Americans could come from themselves. U.S. team took a 110-game winning streak to Sydney before losing three straight and nearly missing medal round. Australia, China and Canada will also be in medal hunt. This competition is crucial for the future of women's softball as an Olympic sport. The IOC has only guaranteed it a spot through the 2008 Beijing Games and will make another review later this summer.



WHERE: Olympic Aquatic Center (Main Pool).

WHEN: Aug. 14-21.

MEDALS: Men compete in 50 meter, 100m, 200m, 400m and 1500m freestyle, 100m and 200m backstroke, 100m and 200m breaststroke, 100m and 200m butterfly, 200m and 400m individual medley, 400m and 800m freestyle relay and 400m medley relay. Women compete in 50 meter, 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle, 100m and 200m backstroke, 100m and 200m breaststroke, 100m and 200m butterfly, 200m and 400m individual medley, 400m and 800m freestyle relay and 400m medley relay.

OUTLOOK: All eyes will be on American Michael Phelps and Ian Thorpe of Australia. Phelps hopes to take a run at Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals at 1972 Munich Games. The teenager will be in five individual events and hopes to swim all three relays, as well. Thorpe won three golds and two silvers in Sydney, but nearly missed 400m freestyle -- his signature event -- after an embarrassing DQ in Australian trials. A teammate gave up his spot so Thorpe could compete. Natalie Coughlin and Amanda Beard lead the American women, while 10-time medalist Jenny Thompson is back for her fourth -- and final -- Olympics. The Americans hope to do even better than their remarkable performance four years ago, when the United States won 14 golds -- the most in a non-boycotted Olympics since 1972 -- and 33 medals overall.


Sync Swimming

WHERE: Olympic Aquatic Center (Synchronized Swimming Pool).

WHEN: Aug. 23-27.

MEDALS: Women compete in duet and team.

OUTLOOK: Russia swept both events in Sydney while Americans didn't win any medals for the first time since this often-maligned sport joined the Olympics in 1984. Sure to draw plenty of attention is Tammy Crow, allowed to compete by the U.S. Olympic Committee despite pleading no-contest to vehicular manslaughter charges in a crash that killed her boyfriend and a 12-year-old boy.


Table Tennis

WHERE: Galatsi Olympic Hall.

WHEN: Aug. 14-23.

MEDALS: Men's singles, men's doubles, women's singles, women's doubles.

OUTLOOK: Chinese have dominated since the sport was added to the Olympics in 1988 -- they won every available gold medal in 1996 and 2000. The top three men and top five women in the world are all Chinese. American Gao Jun, who won a women's doubles silver medal in 1992 while competing for China, represents the United States' best hope for its first medal. Last year, she became the first American since 1959 to reach the quarterfinals at the world championships.



WHERE: Faliro Coastal Zone Olympic Complex, Sports Pavilion.

WHEN: Aug. 26-29.

MEDALS: Men's weight classes -- 58 kg, 68 kg, 80 kg, 80 kg-plus. Women's weight classes -- 49 kg, 57 kg, 67 kg, 67 kg-plus.

OUTLOOK: American Steven Lopez, who won gold in 68kg in Sydney, will try for another medal in the 80kg weight class. Greece's Michalis Mouroutsos will try to defend his 2000 gold medal in 58kg on his home turf.



WHERE: Olympic Tennis Center, Athens Olympic Sports Complex.

WHEN: Aug. 15-22.

MEDALS: Men's singles and doubles, women's singles and doubles.

OUTLOOK: Andy Roddick, Roger Federer and the Williams sisters head a high-quality field, with ATP and WTA ranking points at stake. The hard courts are the same as those used at U.S. Open, which starts Aug. 30, so that favors Roddick and his booming serves. The heat might not be too much of a factor for the men, who'll play best-of-three-set matches until the singles final.



WHERE: Olympic Stadium

WHEN: Aug. 20-29

MEDALS: The track events include sprints (100 meters, 200m, 400m), middle-distance running (800m and 1,500m) and long-distance running (5,000m and 10,000m), hurdles (100m and 400m for women, 110m and 400m for men), relays (400m and 1,600m) and the men's 3,000m steeplechase. Field events, for men and women, include the long jump, triple jump, high jump, pole vault, shot put, discus, javelin and hammer throw. Road events consist of the men's and women's marathons, the men's 20km and 50km race walks and the women's 20km race walk. Men compete in the decathlon and women in the heptathlon.

OUTLOOK: Marion Jones was the darling of the 2000 Olympics after winning five medals. This time around, she qualified only in the long jump at the U.S. trials, where doping stories dominated the headlines. Though the United States has a young team, it will battle Russia in the medal count. Allen Johnson goes for another gold in the 110-meter hurdles but faces tough competition against China's Liu Xiang. Gail Devers made her fifth Olympic team, but is going for her first gold medal in the 100 hurdles. The women's pole vault could provide the best competition, with former world record holder Stacy Dragila going against top Russians Yelena Isinbayeva and Svetlana Feofanova -- current record holder and the first woman to vault over 16 feet. Felix Sanchez has not lost in the 400 hurdles in two years, while the latest Ethiopian sensation, Kenenisa Bekele, tries for a double in the 5,000 and 10,000.



WHERE: Vouliagmeni Olympic Centre.

WHEN: Aug. 25 (women), Aug. 26 (men).

MEDALS: Men's and women's competition.

OUTLOOK: After being shut out in Sydney, U.S. team appears poised to medal in 2004 -- Barb Lindquist and Sheila Taormina were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the world. Australia's Loretta Harrop, second to Taormina at the world championships in May, should also contend. In men's race, New Zealand's Bevan Docherty will look to repeat first-place finish at worlds. American Hunter Kemper has risen to No. 5 in world rankings.




WHERE: Peace and Friendship Stadium.

WHEN: Women's pool play Aug. 14-22, quarterfinals Aug. 24, semifinals Aug. 26, and medal matches Aug. 28. Men's pool play Aug. 15-23, quarterfinals Aug. 25, semifinals Aug. 27 and medal matches Aug. 29

MEDALS: Women's and men's team competition.

OUTLOOK: The men's and women's fields each consist of 24 teams with a maximum of two entries per country. This will be only the third Olympic beach volleyball competition. American men have won the first two gold medals, but the U.S. teams will be underdogs this year. The Brazilian tandems of Emanuel Rego/Ricardo Santos and Marcio Araujo/Benjamin Insfran are the world's two top-ranked teams. On the women's side, Americans Misty May and Kerri Walsh have dominated the sport since 2003, winning 90 consecutive matches during one stretch. U.S. women did not win medals in the first two Olympics. May and Walsh may get their stiffest competition from fellow Americans Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs, who've won five tournaments in the last two months. McPeak, May's teammate in Sydney, recently became the most successful female player in beach history, earning her 68th title. The Brazilians also are strong on the women's side. Partners Adriana Behar and Sandra Bede are the top two all-time money leaders on the international circuit; Ana Paula Connelly/Sandra Pires was the last team to beat May and Walsh before the Americans began their 90-match winning streak.




WHERE: Peace and Friendship Stadium.

WHEN: Women's pool play Aug. 14-22, quarterfinals Aug. 24, semifinals Aug. 26, and medal matches Aug. 28. Men's pool play Aug. 15-23, quarterfinals Aug. 25, semifinals Aug. 27 and medal matches Aug. 29

MEDALS: Women's and men's team competition.

OUTLOOK: For each gender, the field consists of 12 teams split into two pools. The top four from each pool advance to quarterfinals to begin the medal round. The U.S. women, now ranked second in the world, have a good chance to capture their first gold but face a tough pool that includes top-ranked China, three-time defending gold medalist Cuba and 2000 silver medalist Russia. On the men's side, Serbia-Montenegro is back to defend its gold from 2000. Brazil and Italy headline Pool B, in which the sixth-ranked Americans are hoping to make up for a disappointing showing in Sydney.


Water Polo

WHERE: Olympic Aquatic Center.

WHEN: Men's Aug. 15-29; women's Aug. 16-26.

MEDALS: Men's and women's team competition.

OUTLOOK: The first team sport at the modern Olympics, water polo was introduced in 1900. Women competed for the first time in 2000. Hungary, the defending Olympic and world champion, has dominated the Olympic competition with seven gold medals. The men's competition comprises two groups of six nations, followed by quarterfinals, semifinals and final. The Hungarians are grouped with the United States, Serbia-Montenegro, 2000 silver medalist Russia, Croatia and Kazakhstan. Wolf Wigo, returning for a third Olympics, will captain the U.S. men's team. Australia won the first women's gold medal in Sydney, edging the United States 4-3 in the final. The Americans won the world championships in 2003 and have seven returning Olympians. The United States is in Group B with Russia, Hungary and Canada. In the other four-nation group, Australia plays against Greece, Italy and Kazakhstan.



WHERE: Nikaia Olympic Weightlifting Hall.

WHEN: Aug. 14-16, 18-21, 23-25.

MEDALS: Men compete at 123 pounds (56 kg), 137 pounds (62 kg), 152 pounds (69 kg), 170 pounds (77 kg), 187 pounds (85 kg), 207 pounds (94 kg), 231 pounds (105 kg) and 231 pounds-plus (105 kg-plus). Women compete at 105 1/2 pounds (48 kg), 117 pounds (53 kg), 128 pounds (58 kg), 139 pounds (63 kg), 152 pounds (69 kg), 165 pounds (75 kg), 165 pounds-plus (75 kg).

OUTLOOK: Most of Greece will likely be watching when countrymen Pyrros Dimas (85 kg) and Kakhi Kakiasvilis (94kg) try to become four-time Olympic champions. Only three Olympic athletes have won four golds in same event. Neither is a favorite; Dimas is 32, Kakiasvilis is 35; and both are coming off medal-less performances in the European championships last spring. Women's weightlifting returns after debuting in Sydney.



WHERE: Ano Liossia Olympic Hall.

WHEN: Aug. 22-29.

MEDALS: Men's freestyle wrestlers compete at 121 pounds (55 kg), 132 pounds (60 kg), 145 1/2 pounds (66 kg), 163 pounds (74 kg), 185 pounds (84 kg), 211 1/2 pounds (96 kg) and 264 1/2 pounds (120 kg). Men's Greco-Roman wrestlers compete at 121 pounds (55 kg), 132 pounds (60 kg), 145 1/2 pounds (66 kg), 163 pounds (74 kg), 185 pounds (84 kg), 211 1/2 pounds (96 kg) and 264 1/2 pounds (120 kg). Women wrestlers compete at 105 1/2 pounds (48 kg), 121 pounds (55 kg), 138 1/2 pounds (63 kg) and 158 1/2 pounds (72 kg).

OUTLOOK: Can Rulon Gardner do it again, without having to beat Russian super wrestler Alexander Karelin? Gardner has had a series of mishaps and calamities since pulling off his "miracle on the mat" upset of Karelin in Sydney, but now looks to be healthy and a gold medal contender again. Otherwise, U.S. freestyle and Greco-Roman teams don't look especially strong, but Americans could get a medal count boost from a talented four-member women's team. Armen Nazarien (132 pounds, 60 kg) of Bulgaria tries for a third gold and Russian star Bouvaisa Saitiev (163 pounds, 74 kg) looks to rebound from upset in Sydney to American gold medalist Brandon Slay; it was Saitiev's only loss in major international competition since 1995.


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