Highlights of action Friday at the Athens Games
Posted: Saturday August 21, 2004 2:19AM; Updated: Saturday August 21, 2004 2:19AM
Friday, Aug. 20
--Michael Phelps edged U.S. teammate Ian Crocker for gold in the 100-meter butterfly, tying Mark Spitz's 32-year-old record for most individual swimming medals in one games -- four.
--American swimmer Gary Hall Jr. successfully defended his Olympic title in the 50-meter freestyle, beating Duje Draganja of Croatia by one-hundredth of a second.
--Kenenisa Bekele ended the reign of fellow Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie with an Olympic-record time of 27:05.10 in the 10,000 meters. Gebrselassie, winner of the race in the last two Olympics, was fifth -- probably the final track appearance of his glorious career.
--Track cyclist Anna Meares of Australia won gold in the 500-meter time trial with a world-record time of 33.952 seconds.
--Natalia Zabolotnaia of Russia set a women's 165-pound weightlifting world record in the snatch of 2751/2 pounds. She got the silver medal, though, after Thailand's Pawina Thongsuk won gold with a total lift of 601 pounds.
--Yukiko Ueno pitched the first perfect game in Olympic softball history, leading Japan to a 2-0 win over China.
WHAT A SPLASH
Phelps gave up his coveted spot on the 400-meter medley relay team to Crocker. With five golds and seven medals overall, he still can win a historic eighth medal if his U.S. teammates place in Saturday night's race because he swam in preliminaries.
Greek Olympic team leader Yiannis Papadoyiannakis resigned for what a spokesman called "reasons of sensitivity." The resignation, after several controversies surrounding the Greek team, wasn't accepted by the head of the Greek Olympic committee, Lambis Nikolaou.
The state drug agency searched an office and a warehouse belonging to the coach of disgraced Greek sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou as an investigation into the pair's missed drug test intensified. Two inspectors were accompanied by a prosecutor.
Two women -- a weightlifter from India and a shot putter from Uzbekistan -- were expelled from the games after positive drug tests. India's Sanamacha Chanu and Uzbekistan's Olga Shchukina were disqualified by the IOC executive board.
AND MORE DOPING
Greek weightlifter Leonidas Sampanis, a bronze medalist, tested positive for drugs in an initial sample -- another Olympic black eye for the host nation. His coach suggested the result could have resulted naturally.
THAT WAS CLOSE
Former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch said Athens was within three months of losing the games when he issued a public warning to organizers four years ago. At the time, he warned organizers about their massive delays.
The International Gymnastics Federation met to review South Korea's protest of the score for Yang Tae-young in the all-around that gave him the bronze medal and American Paul Hamm the gold. No matter the outcome, a spokesman said Hamm's medal cannot be taken away.
Natalia Zabolotnaia of Russia set two women's 165-pound weightlifting world records, but didn't win the gold medal. Zabolotnaia lifted 275.5 pounds in the snatch to break the record of 270 pounds, set minutes before by gold medalist Pawina Thongsuk of Thailand. Zabolotnaia also broke the world record for total lift with 601 pounds.
France, Britain and the United States lodged a joint appeal against a decision that awarded Germany the gold medal in the three-day team equestrian event. A flurry of judging decisions and reversals briefly made for a U.S. bronze. A verdict is expected Saturday.
Michael Phelps makes his final splash in Athens, swimming in the 400-meter medley relay. A medal would give him eight, equaling the record for most in a single games. ... The U.S. men's basketball team faces Lithuania, the team that almost beat the Americans four years ago in Sydney. ... The world's fastest woman will be crowned in the 100 meters.
Still hot. The mercury reached 98 under sunny skies at the Olympic stadium. Saturday's forecast called for more of the same, a high of 98 and low of 73 with clear skies.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"He's a great champion. Definitely, he is going to be one of the icons of the games."
-- IOC president Jacques Rogge, after watching Phelps swim.