Saturday's highlights from the Athens Olympics
Posted: Sunday August 15, 2004 4:18AM; Updated: Tuesday August 17, 2004 3:57AM
Saturday, Aug. 14
--American swimmer Michael Phelps won the men's 400 individual medley with a world record time of 4:08.26. It was the first of a possible eight golds the 19-year-old will try to win. If he succeeds, he would eclipse Mark Spitz's 1972 record of seven at one Olympics.
--Tadahiro Nomura of Japan won a historic third consecutive gold medal in men's 132-pound (60kg) judo, beating Nestor Khergiani of Georgia.
--Australia won gold in the women's 400-meter freestyle relay with a world-record time of 3:35.94.
--Ian Thorpe of Australia won the 400-meter freestyle, an event he almost missed after he fell off the starting block and was disqualified at trials. Teammate Craig Stevens gave up his spot for Thorpe.
--Lauren Jackson, the WNBA's MVP last season with Seattle, scored 27 points to lead Australia to an 85-73 win over Nigeria.
--Middleweight Andre Dirrell got the U.S. boxing team off to a strong start, beating China's Ha Dabateer 25-18.
--Li Du of China won the first gold of the Athens Games, in the women's 10-meter air rifle competition.
--Ryoko Tani of Japan, nicknamed for a comic book character who happens to be a nearly invincible judo specialist, won the women's 48-kg judo event for her fourth Olympic medal since 1992.
--Italy's Paolo Bettini pulled away in the final 100 meters to win the men's cycling road race.
Former President Bush borrowed a glove and threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Australia played Japan in the opener of the eight-team softball tournament. He received a warm ovation from the crowd.
Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou were suspended from the Greek team for missing drug tests and police began an investigation into their motorcycle crash, which happened just after testers failed to locate them at the Olympic Village.
An appeal by U.S. sprinter Torri Edwards in her two-year drug ban will be heard Monday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The result will determine whether the world champion in the 100 meters competes in Athens.
The U.S. men's basketball team makes its Olympic debut against Puerto Rico. ... The U.S. softball team takes on Australia, the only foe with a winning Olympic record (2-1) against the Americans. ... Phelps and Thorpe face off, along with their teammates, in the 400-meter freestyle relay.
Hot, hot, hot. Sunny and clear with a high of 96 degrees at Olympic stadium. Unshaded stretches of the road cycling course reached 104. Sunday's forecast is for partly cloudy morning skies, then afternoon and evening thundershowers and an expected high of 87.
--"I'm a little bit less nervous. I've got one off my shoulders and can relax a little bit." --Phelps, on winning the first of a possible eight golds.
--"Even though the bout was slow, I still gave everybody else something to look at. I believe if I stick to my game plan, I'm going to get a gold medal. Can't nobody stop me." --Dirrell after his opening win.
--"He's rubbish. I don't even want to say his name. We will never forget this insult." --Pin and trinket salesman Petros Papaioannis, on Kenteris.