Work in Sports
U.S. medley teams race to world records
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- U.S. relay teams sets two world records Saturday on the final day of the Olympic swimming competition to bolster their domination over the host Aussies.
Inge de Bruijn of the Netherlands, already the world's fastest woman sprinter, won the 50-meter freestyle Saturday for her third individual Olympic gold.
Fifty freestyle champion Gary Hall Jr. anchored the United States to a world-record victory in the 400-meter medley relay after the American women also set a world medley relay mark.
The team of triple gold medalist Lenny Krayzelburg, Ed Moses, Ian Crocker and Hall won in 3 minutes, 33.73 seconds, lowering the mark of 3:34.84 set by Americans at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
The United States won 33 medals, including 14 golds, during the eight-day meet in which 14 world records were set or tied at the Sydney International Aquatic Center. The host Australians claimed 18 medals and five golds.
Jenny Thompson won her eighth career relay gold -- her 10th medal overall -- as the United States cruised to a world record of 3:58.30 in the 400 meley relay.
B.J. Bedford, Megan Quann, Thompson and Dara Torres erased the mark of 4:01.67 set by China at the 1994 world championships.
The Americans got the best of the Aussies in both medley relays. Australia's men and women had to settle for silver. The American women went 3-0 against their Aussie counterparts in the relays, while the U.S. men were 1-2.
With eight gold medals -- all in relays -- Thompson ended her swimming career one short of gymnast Larissa Lathynina of the former Soviet Union for most golds by a woman.
She tied Torres for bronze in the 100 freestyle in Sydney, and won silver in the 100 freestyle at the 1992 Olympics.
De Bruijn swam 24.32 seconds -- .19 seconds over the world record she set in Friday's semifinals.
"I'm floating on a big cloud," De Bruijn said. "I hope I don't land for a long time."
Grant Hackett continued the Australian distance swimming legacy established by countryman Kieren Perkins, winning the grueling 1,500 freestyle in 14 minutes, 48.33 seconds.
Perkins, trying to become the first male swimmer to win the same individual Olympic event three times, took silver. The Aussies went 1-2 in the event for an unprecedented third straight Olympics.
Chris Thompson of the United States finished third, earning the first medal in the event since the United States went 1-2 in 1984.
Hackett and Perkins were spurred by chants of "Aussie! Aussie!" during the 1,500. Perkins never got in front of Hackett, finishing in 14:53.59. He surrendered the title he won in 1992 and again in '96, when he was the underdog who qualified slowest in Lane 8.
In the women's 50 freestyle, Therese Alshammar of Sweden took silver in 24.51 seconds, finishing behind De Bruijn for the second time in two days. The Swede was runner-up in the 100 freestyle.
American Dara Torres won bronze in 24.63. American Amy Van Dyken, the defending Olympic champion, was fourth in 25.04.
De Bruijn set world records in winnin the 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly at these games. She also anchored the Dutch 400 freestyle relay team to silver.
"I knew I could do great, but I didn't know if I would do three gold medals," she said. "It's easy for the outsiders to predict three gold medals, but you still have to do it. You're all alone up there. You've got to do it yourself."
Torres, who at 33 was swimming in her fourth Olympics after taking a seven-year break from the pool, earned her third individual bronze. She was third in the 100 butterfly and tied teammate Jenny Thompson in the 100 freestyle. She also was part of the world record-setting 400 freestyle relay.
Van Dyken, who won her fifth career gold in the 400 freestyle relay, was coming off two shoulder surgeries closed her career with Saturday's race.
"It's the last time I'll see the pool as a competitor. It's hard, you know," she said. "I was a lot more emotional than I thought I would be."