Wednesday's highlights at the Athens Olympics
Posted: Friday August 20, 2004 2:50AM; Updated: Friday August 20, 2004 2:50AM
Wednesday, Aug. 18
--Paul Hamm hit the edge of the judges' table on his vault but recovered with two spectacular routines to win the men's gymnastics title by the closest Olympic margin ever. He's the first American ever to win the all-around.
--The United States' 800-meter freestyle relay team of Natalie Coughlin, Carly Piper, Dana Vollmer and Kaitlin Sandeno won the gold in a world record time of 7:53.42.
--Tyler Hamilton of the United States won gold in the men's cycling time trial, with a bronze for teammate Bobby Julich. Dede Barry won silver in the women's time trial, surpassing in one day the two total U.S. road cycling medals since the 1984 Olympics.
--Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson combined for 43 points, leading the United States to an 80-57 basketball win over South Korea.
--South Korean archer Park Sung-hyun won the first Olympic gold medal from the competition at ancient Panathinaiko Stadium, beating countrywoman Lee Sung-jin.
--American Kristin Heaston heaved a shot put at Ancient Olympia stadium, becoming the first Olympian at the site since the games were banned 1,611 years ago. She failed to qualify for the event finals.
STUNNED ON COURT
U.S. tennis star Andy Roddick, seeded No. 2 in the Olympic tournament, was upset by No. 16 Fernando Gonzalez of Chile 6-4, 6-4 in the third round. Roddick had a chance to extend the match in the final game, getting four break points, but he failed to convert any.
Defending gold medalist Venus Williams lost to Mary Pierce of France 6-4, 6-4.
National icons Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou pulled out of the Athens Olympics rather than be kicked out. They turned in their Olympic credentials, ending for now a bizarre doping scandal that dominated the first week of the games.
HAILE SAYS GO
Two-time defending Olympic champion Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia said he'll compete in Friday's 10,000 meters, despite an Achilles injury. He's trying to become the first individual athlete to win the same running event at three Olympics.
Iraqi boxer Najah Ali won his preliminary-round match, defeating North Korean light flyweight Kwak Hyok Ju 21-7. Ali is Iraq's only Olympic boxer and the games' smallest fighter at 4-foot-11 and 106 pounds.
A South Korean judo coach was expelled from his country's sports federation for apparently hitting one of his athletes after she lost a bout. A journalist reported seeing Suh Joung-bok strike Ye Gue-rin after she lost in the 105 1/2-pound (48-kg) tournament Saturday.
U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps pursues his sixth medal Thursday in the 200-meter individual medley, where he's the world record holder and the favorite for a fourth Athens gold. ... The not-so-superstar U.S. men's basketball team plays Australia. ... Women's individual gymnastics medals are up for grabs. ... The unbeaten U.S. beach volleyball team of Misty May and Kerri Walsh takes on a Czech Republic squad.
Mostly sunny skies at the Olympic Stadium with a midday high of 90 degrees. Thursday's forecast called for sunshine and a high of 92.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I'm happy right now. Shocked, actually. To be in first place after that kind of mistake, I thought there was no chance to win." -- Hamm.