August 31, 2004

Games' over, now for the debts

"The 2004 Olympics will leave Greeks with wonderful memories, a greatly improved infrastructure - and a mountain of public debt.

The Games ended yesterday morning (Singapore time) in a blaze of light and sound at the closing ceremony. But today's hangover may include economic difficulties and increased unemployment.

So far, Greece has spent as much as US$9.6 billion (S$16.5 billion) on the Games, said Stefanos Anagnostou, a journalist and an adviser to the country's Ministry of Economy and Finance.

But the full cost will not be known until October, after the Paralympics are over.

Outside observers say the cost could rise to US$12 billion."

Read more at Games' over, now for the debts

Posted by Darren at 12:28 PM

Athlete caught with pants down [31aug04]

"AUSSIE water polo player Craig Miller was dragged from the closing ceremony of the Athens Games after pulling his pants down while celebrating centre stage with fellow athletes.

Miller, 32, was grabbed by security staff and rushed from the stadium. "He pulled down his trousers," a Greek official said after bundling Miller away.

The veteran water polo player looked stunned and a little shaken as he was taken away for questioning, his belt hanging loose and his trousers askew.

It was the only sour note during a ceremony in which an exuberant Australian team celebrated the close of their most successful overseas Olympic Games."

Read more at Athlete caught with pants down [31aug04]

Posted by Darren at 12:28 PM

U.S. says China breaks in upon new level in Athens

"Years of dedication and efforts have paid off for China as it has made surprises and reaped successes in the Athens Olympic Games, a leading official of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) said.

"The United States Committee is extremely impressed with the performances of the Chinese athletes at these Olympic Games in Athens," Steven M. Roush, acting chief of Sport Performance of theUSOC, told Xinhua on Saturday.

China has ranked in an unprecedented second place on the medal table with 32 golds, 17 silvers and 14 bronzes at the fortnight Athens Games.

"The medal total, especially the gold count, for these Olympics shows an increase from Sydney 2000 and a trend that would indicate a strong showing for 2008 in Beijing.""

Read more at Official Website of the Chinese Olympic Committee

Posted by Darren at 12:22 PM

Athens marathon attacker sentenced

"A former Catholic priest has been given a one-year suspended sentence in Greece after pushing the leader of the men's marathon into the crowd during the Athens Olympics.

Vanderlei De Lima, from Brazil, was at the head of the race Sunday, just three miles from the finish, when he was attacked by Cornelius Horan, who was wearing a kilt and beret.

After a scuffle, De Lima managed to get away, but he was clearly upset and finished third.

Horan, 57, originally from Kerry, Ireland, had a note pinned to his back, reading: "The Grand Prix Priest. Israel Fulfillment of Prophecy Says The Bible.""

Read more at Athens marathon attacker sentenced

Posted by Darren at 12:22 PM

Marathon result disputed

"The Brazilian Olympic Committee will lodge an appeal against the result of Sunday's Athens marathon, after it was disrupted by a spectator.

Late in the race, a man in a kilt ran into the road, bundling Brazil's leader Vanderlei de Lima into the crowd.

De Lima restarted the race but then faded into third place as Italy's Stefano Baldini won the gold medal.

Brazil are now appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, saying De Lima was not given enough protection."

Read more at Marathon result disputed

Posted by Darren at 12:22 PM

Campbell hints at exit

"Olympic gold medallist Darren Campbell has revealed he may quit athletics.

The 30-year-old sprinter said winning the 4x100m relay was the pinnacle of his career, and admitted he could struggle for motivation in the future.

"I just want to go home now, and relax and really assess what I want to do, whether I'm going to continue or just knock it on the head," he said.

"To have Olympic gold is everything I ever dreamt since I was a small child. It was all I wanted from the sport.""

Read more at Campbell hints at exit

Posted by Darren at 12:21 PM

And the Unexpected Olympics Winner Is...Athens

"The greatest race of the Olympics produced the most unlikely winner.

In the organizational marathon preceding the Games, Athens spent seven long years chasing time, an implacable and shadowy opponent glimpsed, more often than not, disappearing over the horizon.

But, with the countdown ticking fast as the Games approached, Athens came from nowhere to reach the finish line first, earning itself the right to celebrate the staging of an improbably successful Olympics.

Olympic chiefs at their Swiss base in Lausanne had fretted. The world's media had doubted.

But, as if by magic, it really was all right on the night."

Read more at And the Unexpected Olympics Winner Is...Athens

Posted by Darren at 12:21 PM

Idle Olympic venues couldgive Athens big problems

"The athletes have packed up. Olympic banners are coming down.

The challenge is just beginning.

It's a realization that's just starting to hit the Olympic hosts: The venues and facilities they struggled so hard to build could create even greater problems after the games.

The chief fear -- especially after Athens' budget-busting Olympics -- is expensive idleness. World-class sports centers ring up serious maintenance bills. Finding relevant and revenue-producing roles for the arenas is the long-term quest of any former Olympic city.

In Athens, however, there's an added complication. Olympic planners dedicated so much effort to overcome delays, there was no time to think about the future. There's now more than $3 billion in new or refurbished venues begging for attention.

"There are ideas. Some plans are being studied. But there is no definite solution," said Christos Hadjiemmanuel, head of Olympic Properties, a state company created as a temporary caretaker for the venues and other sites.

Time is truly money in the post-Olympic landscape."

Read more at Idle Olympic venues couldgive Athens big problems

Posted by Darren at 12:21 PM

Greece bids Games farewell

"The 2004 Olympic Games officially came to an end in Athens with a spectacular closing ceremony on Sunday.

Greek music and dance kicked off an evening of celebration before the flame was extinguished and the flag lowered.

A firework display welcomed the athletes into the Olympic Stadium, with double gold-medallist Kelly Holmes carrying Great Britain's flag.

The torch has now been passed to China as Beijing prepares to host the Games in 2008."

Read more at Greece bids Games farewell

Posted by Darren at 12:21 PM

Canada's athletes face inquest over Olympics flop

"Canada's athletes trailed back from Athens into the teeth of a national inquest over their performance at the Olympics which garnered just 12 medals.

The modest haul, two fewer than the Canadian team managed in Sydney in 2000, and good for only 21st on the medal table, set off a media inquest that blared from radio and television and consumed acres of newsprint.

"Unless we make major changes in how we support and train our athletes, we will likely be suffering through the same national angst after the 2008 Games," the Toronto Star warned in an editorial.

For many, the team's performance was summed up by world champion 100m hurdler Perdita Felicien, who entered the Olympic final as heavy favourite -- then crashed into ignominy by falling at the first hurdle.

The Canadian Olympic Committee made an immediate request Sunday for more money to support athletes, calling for a 7,000 dollar (5300 US) increase in government money for senior athletes to a minimum of 20,000 dollars a year."

Read more at Canada's athletes face inquest over Olympics flop

Posted by Darren at 12:21 PM

August 30, 2004

'Great escape' begins from Athens airport

"Hundreds of thousands of Olympic athletes and visitors began what Greek media termed the Great Escape from Athens on Monday in an exodus expected to tax airport staff to the limit.

Officials estimate up to 200,000 people will leave for overseas destinations over the next 48 hours while thousands of Athenians who delayed summer holidays until the end of the Games will head for Aegean islands and family reunions across Greece.

Until August 31 we expect a huge wave of departures, said Athens airport spokeswoman Marina Papageorgiou.

The day after (Sundays) closing ceremony is the toughest one, she said."

Read more at 'Great escape' begins from Athens airport

Posted by Darren at 01:20 PM

Marathon Drama as Vanderlei de Lima is Ambushed

29marathon.184.jpg
"Greece staged an exuberant closing ceremony on Sunday to bring the curtain down on the Athens Games, which took the Olympics back to their roots and provided drama right down to the last gold medal.

A spectator ran onto the course of men's marathon, the final event of the Games run along the route of the first modern Olympics, and bundled Brazilian Vanderlei de Lima into the crowd as he led the race with about 15 minutes to go.

De Lima was able to rejoin the race after about five seconds but he looked shaken and was passed soon afterwards by Stefano Baldini of Italy, who had already been gaining on him. Baldini won the race ahead of American Meb Keflezighi.

The intruder was Cornelius Horan, an Irish former priest who interrupted the British Formula One Grand Prix last year. He was dressed in a kilt and beret and police said he was drunk.

De Lima said the incident may have cost him the gold medal and Brazilian officials said they would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for a review of the results."

Read more at Games Close with Drama Down to Last Medal

"With Vanderlei de Lima of Brazil unexpectedly leading the race - the final event of these Games - by close to 30 seconds near the 22-mile mark, a man emerged from the crowd and pushed Lima from the middle of the road to the side of the course into a group of spectators, stopping him completely.

Spectators and security guards intervened, but it took the bewildered Lima several seconds to shake free. As he emerged from the crowd with about four miles remaining, his expression was even more pained than a marathoner's customary grimace down the stretch. And as security guards took his attacker, 57-year-old Cornelius Horan of Ireland, into custody, Lima spread his slender arms as if to ask, "Why?"

Seven minutes after the attack, with about 2.3 miles remaining in the race, Lima was caught from behind by the eventual winner, Stefano Baldini of Italy, and then by the eventual silver medalist, Meb Keflezighi of the United States." Read more at A Spectator Disrupts the Marathon With a Shove

Also read about it at:
- Marathoner finishes Third after attack
- Former priest halts marathon leader in his tracks

Posted by Darren at 01:14 PM

Triumphant Olympics end with pride and relief

"A nervous world learned the Greek word for thank you and repeated it endlessly at an astonishingly successful Athens Olympics that quelled fears, surprised skeptics and greatly honored the birthplace of the games.

Efharisto, Athens, for architectural masterpieces of stadiums and arenas that showcased record performances. The fountain sprays, reflecting pools and soaring arches. The undulating, giant white Wall of Nations that caught the whispering wind, bringing music to our ears and smiles to our faces.

Efharisto for the thousands of security forces who stood guard day and night, keeping terrorism away. An undercurrent of danger, a sense of tranquility. We saw guns everywhere, walked in peace.

Fireworks and spectacular lighting kicked off the closing ceremony Sunday night, a two-hour extravaganza of folk dancing and music in the Olympic tradition that summed up the glee and relief the games brought to Greece. Afterward, thousands of athletes marched into Olympic stadium, waving their arms and flags, snapping photos of each other, hugging, and basking in the cheers of 70,000 fans."

Read more at Triumphant Olympics end with pride and relief

Posted by Darren at 01:10 PM

Stefano Baldini wins Men's Marathon Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Stefano Baldini from Italy
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Mebrahtom Keflezighi from United States
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Vanderlei de Lima from Brazil

Posted by Darren at 01:08 PM

Matthew Helm's perfect 10

"MATHEW Helm reckons it's a dive he has practised thousands of times.

And the two-and-a-half back somersaults with one and a half twists in a pike position turned out to be his ticket to a silver medal.

Helm pulled off one of the best dives of his life to clinch second in the men's 10m platform, capping off Australia's greatest Olympics in diving -- one gold, one silver and four bronze."

Read more at Helm's perfect 10

Posted by Darren at 02:17 AM

Alina Kabaeva wins Women's Individual Rhythmic All-Round Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Alina Kabaeva from Russia
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Irina Tchachina from Russia
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Anna Bessonova from Ukraine

Posted by Darren at 02:16 AM

Croatia Wins Men's Handball Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Croatia
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Team from Germany
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Team from Russia

Posted by Darren at 02:10 AM

Zhong Chen wins Women's Over 67kg Taekwondo Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Zhong Chen from China
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Myriam Baverel from France
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Adriana Carmona from Venezuela

Posted by Darren at 02:09 AM

Dae Sung Moon wins Men's Over 80kg Taekwondo Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Dae Sung Moon from Korea, South
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Alexandros Nikolaidis from Greece
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Pascal Gentil from France

Posted by Darren at 02:08 AM

Hungary win Men's Water Polo

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Hungary
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Team from Serbia and Montenegro (Yugoslavia)
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Team from Russia

Posted by Darren at 02:07 AM

Hammer Gold Medallist Annus Loses Medal

"Olympic men's hammer champion Adrian Annus has been stripped of his gold medal after failing to take a drugs test, the International Olympic Committee said Sunday.

The Hungarian failed to meet an IOC deadline Friday to submit a urine sample or lose the gold.

The IOC's disciplinary commission opened its hearing on the final day of the Games, exactly one week after Annus won the gold.

Annus, who returned to Hungary and announced his retirement from sport after winning his medal, provided a negative dope test after the competition."

Read more at Hammer Gold Medallist Annus Loses Medal

Posted by Darren at 01:59 AM

Colombian cyclist stripped of medal

"Colombian cyclist Maria Luisa Calle Williams has been stripped of her bronze medal after testing positive for a banned stimulant, the International Olympic Committee said on Sunday. Calle Williams tested positive for the substance heptaminol, the IOC said.

She was third in the women's points race in the velodrome on Wednesday, giving Colombia its first medal of any colour in the short history of women's Olympic track cycling."

Read more at Colombian cyclist stripped of medal

Posted by Darren at 01:35 AM

Mia Hamm closes career as U.S. flag bearer

"Retiring soccer star Mia Hamm was elected by her fellow U.S. athletes to carry the nation's flag in Sunday's closing Olympic ceremony.

Hamm won her second Olympic gold medal this week when the U.S. team beat Brazil in Thursday's final. She also was part of the 1996 gold medal team, as well as the 2000 team that took silver."

Read more at Hamm closes career as U.S. flag bearer

Posted by Darren at 01:34 AM

Aussies win surprise relay silver

"Australia has won an unexpected silver medal in the men's 4x400 metre relay at the Athens Olympics.

The Australian team of John Steffensen, Mark Ormrod, Patrick Dwyer and Clinton Hill finished second behind the United States (2:55.91) in a time of 3:00.60.

Nigeria ran home in 3:00.90 to claim the bronze medal.

It was the first time since the 1956 Olympics that Australia had medalled in the event.

Steffensen, who celebrates his birthday on Monday, could hardly believe the team's achievement.

"Who would have thought us boys getting second, I'm speechless, you don't know how hard we have had to work," he told Channel Seven.

"All us boys have done some real hard yards and right now its hard to believe."

Read more at Aussies win surprise relay silver

Posted by Darren at 01:33 AM

Petria Thomas to carry flag at closing ceremony

"Triple gold medallist in swimming, Petria Thomas, will carry the Australian flag at this morning's closing ceremony of the Athens Olympics.

In her third and final Olympic campaign, Thomas won the 100 metres butterfly and was a member of the women's 4X100m freestyle and medley relay teams, which both won gold in world record breaking fashion.

She also won silver in the 200m butterfly to add to four previous medals she had won in Atlanta and Sydney.

Thomas's success in Athens was especially significant due to the fact she has undergone three shoulder reconstructions during her 10-year international career."

Read more at Thomas to carry flag at closing ceremony

Posted by Darren at 01:33 AM

Kelly Holmes given Olympic honour

"Double Olympic gold medallist Kelly Holmes has been given the honour of carrying the flag for Great Britain at Sunday's closing ceremony in Athens.

Holmes, who added 1500m gold to her 800m triumph on Saturday night, has revealed she has no plans to bow out of athletics just yet.

"I don't plan to retire. I'm in the best shape of my life.

"The most important thing is to enjoy it," she told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme."

Read more at Holmes given Olympic honour

Posted by Darren at 01:32 AM

Doping cases at the Athens Games

This is a summary article of all of the doping cases at the Athens Olympics....

"Greek weightlifter Leonidas Sampanis was the first athlete in Athens stripped of a medal because of a doping offense. Sampanis lost his bronze from the 62-kilogram class.

-- Russian shot putter Irina Korzhanenko tested positive for steroids after she won the gold and was stripped of her medal.

-- Hungary's Robert Fazekas lost his gold medal in discus for allegedly tampering with a doping test.

-- Hungarian weightlifter Ferenc Gyurkovics was stripped of his silver medal and kicked out of the Olympics for using the steroid oxandrolone.

-- Ukrainian rower Olena Olefirenko tested positive for a banned stimulant, costing her four-woman crew the bronze medal in lightweight sculls.

-- Hungary's Adrian Annus was stripped of his gold medal in hammer throw Sunday for failing to take a follow-up drug test demanded by the IOC.

-- Weightlifter Zoltan Kovacs of Hungary, who finished last in the 105-kilogram class, was banished from the games for failing to provide a urine sample.

-- Greek sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou pulled out of the games while the IOC was investigating their missed doping tests."

Read more at Doping cases at the Athens Games

Posted by Darren at 01:28 AM

Arabs strike gold at Olympics

"Arab countries will walk away from the Olympics with a higher number of gold medals than ever before and squads are now looking to build on this success in future tournaments.

Morocco was the Arab country highest on the medals table at the end of the Olympics, winning two gold medals and a silver in running events.

Egyptian athletes did well in wrestling and boxing events, winning one gold and three bronze medals, the first medals for the country since the 1984 Olympics."

Read more at Arabs strike gold at Olympics

Posted by Darren at 01:24 AM

Olympic Gold Hero Accuses Bush

"America's biggest Olympic hero yesterday accused George Bush of exploiting the Athens Games for his own political advantage in the run-up to the presidential election.

Carl Lewis, who won nine Olympic gold medals in athletics in a record-breaking career, condemned Bush for using the presence of Iraqi and Afghan teams in Athens in a television advertisement to boost his chances of re-election.

Criticizing Bush for linking his foreign policy with the two countries being allowed to compete here, Lewis said: 'I felt that was disingenuous. It is funny that we boycotted the 1980 Games [in Moscow] in support of Afghanistan, and now we're bombing Afghanistan,' he told the Athens News yesterday.

'Of course, we've invaded Iraq and are in there and are using it for political gain. It bewilders me, and I understand why the Iraqi players are offended.

'To support the players or the community is fine, but for political gain I disagree.'"

Read more at Olympic Gold Hero Accuses Bush

Posted by Darren at 01:21 AM

Olympics' return to roots compelling

"History should be kind to the 2004 Summer Olympics and this lusty, energetic city.

Olympic officials awarded Greece the Games for sentimental reasons in 1997, a risky recognition of the Greeks having invented the event in 776 B.C. and then staging their 1896 A.D. rebirth.

Nothing better, one could assume, than a homecoming to reacquaint the human race with the 100-meter dash and a simpler, more virtuous time.

But the Games were a massive, expensive - more than $8 billion and rising - undertaking for a small nation with limited financial resources and a placid persona. Greece soon seemed ill-equipped to organize, manage and actually present such an event.

The talk at the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia, was that the Olympics might have to go back there in 2004. The joke leading up to the 2004 Games here was that Beijing, China, host of the 2008 Summer Olympics, was more prepared than Greece was for its imminent Games."

Read more at Olympics' return to roots compelling

Posted by Darren at 12:48 AM

Athens awaits grand finale

"The biggest sporting extravaganza, the Olympics 2004, will come to an end today.

For the 10,500 athletes from a record 202 countries, tonight's closing ceremony will be the perfect opportunity to let their hair down at last.

All those disastrous pre-games headlines about construction chaos and security concerns will finally be forgotten as Greece gets set to bid farewell in style.

The stadium is being turned into a giant wheatfield. About 250,000 balloons will cascade down from a night sky exploding with fireworks."

Read more at NDTV.com - Athens awaits grand finale

Posted by Darren at 12:47 AM

Marathon men bring down curtain on Athens Olympics

"Finals in boxing, wrestling and taekwondo herald the symbolic finale to the Athens Olympics, the men's marathon, tracing the legendary route ran by Pheidippides in 490 BC to announce the Athenian victory at the battle of Marathon.

Favourite for the 301st and last medal of the games was Kenya's world record holder Paul Tergat, the silver-medallist over 10,000 metres at Atlanta and Sydney.

"This is going to be my final Olympics. If I could win the gold medal, everything would be complete and I could go on to other things with a free mind." said Tergat."

Read more at Marathon men bring down curtain on Athens Olympics

Posted by Darren at 12:46 AM

Cuban Kindelan stops Khan's run to gold

"Cuban master Mario Kindelan has stopped the amazing run of British teenager Amir Khan by outpointing him in the lightweight final of the Olympic boxing tournament.

Khan, 17, was trying to become the youngest boxer to win an Olympic boxing gold medal in over 50 years on Sunday but Kindelan had other ideas.

Nearly twice Khan's age at 33, the defending champion relied on his greater experience to counter-punch methodically and win a 30-22 decision.

Khan, who fought bravely but seemed a bit nervous, leaves Athens with the silver medal but a bright future ahead."

Read more at Cuban Kindelan stops Khan's run to gold

Posted by Darren at 12:42 AM

Andre Ward Redeems U.S. Boxing With Gold

"Andre Ward won the gold medal in the light heavyweight division Sunday, beating Magomed Aripgadjiev of Belarus to claim a bit of redemption for an American team that took a beating at the Olympics.

Fighting in the last bout of the games, Ward found his mark with quick inside punches in the third round to win the first boxing gold for the United States since David Reid in 1996."

Read more at Andre Ward Redeems U.S. Boxing With Gold

Posted by Darren at 12:41 AM

Brazil win Men's Volleyball Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Brazil
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Team from Italy
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Team from Russia

Posted by Darren at 12:34 AM

August 29, 2004

Khasjimourat Gatsalov wins Men's 96kg Freestyle Wrestling Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Khasjimourat Gatsalov from Russia
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Magomed Ibragimov from Uzbekistan
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Alireza Heidari from Iran

Posted by Darren at 11:07 PM

Buvaysa Saytiev wins Men's 74kg Freestyle Wrestling Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Buvaysa Saytiev from Russia
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Gennadiy Laliyev from Kazakhstan
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Ivan Fundora from Cuba

Posted by Darren at 11:04 PM

China breaks record Olympic medal haul

"China achieved its best performance at an Olympics on Saturday with four more gold medals, a day after Liu Xiang and Xing Huina created athletics history.

China advanced to 31 gold medals, three behind medal standings leader the United States to continue their record-breaking exploits in Athens.

Luo Wei won the women's taekwondo under-67kg beating Elisavet Mystakidou of Greece for only China's second Olympic taekwondo gold medal since the Korean-born combat sport made its debut at the 2000 Sydney Games.

Canoeists Meng Guanliang and Yang Wenjun had a thrilling men's flatwater canoe C2 500 meters final in which six boats finished within 0.58 seconds of each other.

The gold medals kept on coming in the evening with China's women downing Russia in the volleyball and Hu Jia coming from behind to give his nation a record sixth Olympic diving gold in the men's ten-meter platform gold.

China had a total of 62 medals, eclipsing its record total medal tally of 59 from Sydney."

Read more at China breaks record Olympic medal haul

Posted by Darren at 11:01 PM

S.Koreans Lodge Appeal Over Hamm's Gold Medal

"South Korea appealed to sport's supreme legal body Sunday in an attempt to secure the Olympic gymnastics all-round gold medal for Yang Tae-young, who was robbed of the title 11 days ago by a scoring error.

Paul Hamm, who became the first American man to win the Olympic all-round title, should not have been awarded the gold, the governing body of gymnastics (FIG) ruled last Saturday.

Despite admitting the error, the FIG refused to redistribute the medals and the Koreans have now applied to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to overturn the federation's decision.

CAS spokesman Matthieu Reeb said although its decisions are usually made public in 24 hours, it may take longer to evaluate an outcome in the Korean's case due to the technicalities involved."

Read more at S.Koreans Lodge Appeal Over Hamm's Gold Medal

Posted by Darren at 11:00 PM

Danish women win another handball gold

"Denmark won its third straight Olympic gold medal in women's team handball Sunday, beating South Korea 4-2 on penalty throws to break a tie after two overtimes.

Henriette Mikkelsen scored the decisive goal in a dramatic shootout to seal Denmark's undefeated run through the tournament.

The two nations have split the title in the last five Olympics, with Denmark winning titles in 1996 and 2000, and South Korea in 1988 and 1992."

Read more at Danish women win another handball gold

Posted by Darren at 10:58 PM

Yandro Miguel Quintana wins Men's 60kg Freestyle Wrestling Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Yandro Miguel Quintana from Cuba
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Masuod Jokar from Iran
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Kenji Inoue from Japan

Posted by Darren at 10:45 PM

Mario Cesar Kindelan Mesa wins Lightweight (60kg) Boxing Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Mario Cesar Kindelan Mesa from Cuba
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Amir Khan from United Kingdom (Great Britain)
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Serik Yeleuov from Kazakhstan
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Murat Khrachev from Russia

Posted by Darren at 10:40 PM

Guillermo Rigondeaux Ortiz wins Bantamweight (54kg) Boxing Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Guillermo Rigondeaux Ortiz from Cuba
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Worapoj Petchkoom from Thailand
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Aghasi Mammadov from Azerbaijan
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Bahodirjon Sooltonov from Uzbekistan

Posted by Darren at 10:32 PM

China women rally to volleyball gold

"With the next Summer Games set for Beijing, China will have a chance to defend its women's gold medal without leaving home.

Ping Zhang led a determined rally past Russia with 25 points in the Olympic final in Athens yesterday, winning 28-30, 25-27, 25-20, 25-23, 15-12. After dropping the first two sets, China came back to tie staying a step ahead of the Russians in the final set. Yuehong Zhang ended it with a spike from the left side.

China's players began hugging and crying with joy on their side of the court, while a stunned Russian team sat on its bench in tears. This was China's first medal since a silver at Atlanta in 1996 and first gold since 1984.

"I don't remember the Chinese team's first victory I was too young," said setter Kun Feng, China's captain. "I didn't think about it at all. I was only fighting for the glory of victory.""

Read more at China women rally to volleyball gold

Posted by Darren at 10:16 PM

Boxing | Egypt suffer boxing blow

"Egypt's Mohamed Aly will not contest Sunday's Olympic super heavyweight boxing final in Athens after failing a pre-fight medical.

The decision means that his Russian opponent, Alexander Povetkin, is awarded the gold medal without throwing a punch.

Aly, who upset Cuban favourite Michel Lopez Nunez 18-16 in his semi-final, has a shoulder injury.

Povetkin succeeds Britain's Audley Harrison as super heavyweight champion.

The 24-year-old won the world title last year and has received several offers to turn professional.

On Friday, Egypt heavyweight Mohamed Elsayed was also disqualified before his semi-final bout for failing a medical test."

Read more at Egypt suffer boxing blow

Posted by Darren at 10:15 PM

NBA culture clashes with FIBA

"SHORTLY AFTER THE U.S. Olympic men's basketball team defeated Lithuania, 104-96, in Saturday night's bronze-medal game, coach Larry Brown called for changes in the process of selecting American players for international competition.

Shortly after that, Stu Jackson, chairman of the USA Basketball senior national team, added a few thoughts of his own.

Brown and Jackson are bright men with interesting ideas. Unfortunately for the future of American basketball as practiced on the international stage, at some point Tim Duncan's voice is going to be heard. And here is what Duncan had to say after Saturday's game:

"I'm about 95 percent certain my FIBA career is over," Duncan said. "FIBA sucks.""
Read more at ContraCostaTimes.com | 08/29/2004 | NBA culture clashes with FIBA

Posted by Darren at 10:15 PM

Golds All Round for Athens from IOC Chief

"Olympic supremo Jacques Rogge Sunday offered gold medals all round to Athens for organizing a superb Olympics after years of doom and gloom leading up to the opening.

"I am an extremely happy President of the IOC," he told reporters on the day the Games wrap up. They really did a fantastic job. I am very, very happy about the Games."

From security to ticket sales, he was glowing in praise of the organizers, who faced a barrage of criticism in the run-up to the Games over construction chaos, security concerns and budget overruns."

Read more at Golds All Round for Athens from IOC Chief

Posted by Darren at 10:12 PM

Is Olympics glass half-empty or half-full?

"What you remember about an Olympics probably says a lot about who you are. Is it Paul Hamm and the ugly gymnastics controversy that continues to fester like an unwashed wound? Or is it the golden performances of Michael Phelps, the American sprinters, and the American womens soccer and softball teams?

Do you think of the failure of the outfit formerly known as the Dream Team as an embarrassment and a blot on the glorious history of U.S. basketball, or as the dawn of a new era of intense international competition that will ensure that future Olympics are packed with excitement and emotion?

Is the record for Olympic drug busts a stain on sports or a positive sign that the I.O.C. and strict anti-doping testing are finally catching up on the cheaters and cleaning up the competition?"

Read more at MSNBC - Is Olympics glass half-empty or half-full?

Posted by Darren at 10:11 PM

Bronze as good as it gets for U.S. Men's Basketball

"The United States men didn't leave Olympic basketball's drastically altered landscape empty-handed on Saturday.

A bronze medal was hardly what the Americans wanted or expected out of these Summer Games. But it was the best they could manage, and the 104-96 win over Lithuania at the Olympic Indoor Hall did provide a measure of satisfaction after an uneven and disappointing tournament.

The result was warmly applauded by the many Americans in an audience of 14,500."

Read more at Sports

Posted by Darren at 10:08 PM

Cuba wins Light Flyweight (48kg) Boxing Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Yan Bhartelemy Varela from Cuba
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Atagun Yalcinkaya from Turkey
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Shiming Zou from China
The winner of the Bronze Medal: Sergey Kazakov from Russia

Posted by Darren at 10:02 PM

Denmark win Women's Handball Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Denmark
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Team from Korea, South
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Team from Ukraine

Posted by Darren at 09:59 PM

China clinch dream title of women's volleyball

"China embraced its first volleyball Olympic title in 20 years after beating Russia 3-2 on Saturday to finish the women's tournament at the Athens Olympic Game.

After trailing two sets, China came from behind to trounce Russia 28-30, 25-27, 25-20, 25-23 and 15-12 to claim the title.

The Chinese took an early lead but Ekaterina Gamova's three consecutive points helped Russia catch up to 18-18. After tied at 24-24, both teams beat off four set-points and it was Gamova again spiked home the final point of the set for Russia.

Russia replay the scenario again at the second set when they made a 6-2 run after fell behind with 15-17, Gamova scored three points in a row to make it 22-20."

Read more at Xinhuanet - English

Posted by Darren at 06:14 AM

British Stun U.S. in Sprint Relay

"Britain took a shock gold in the men's Olympic 4x100 meters relay Saturday, pipping favorites the United States by one hundredth of a second.

Mark Lewis-Francis held off 2000 Olympic 100 meters champion Maurice Greene in a blistering last leg to clinch the gold in 38.07 seconds. It was Britain's first gold in the event for 92 years.

"We have gone and proved everyone wrong, all the people who were talking negative about us," said Lewis-Francis. "This is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me in my whole life.

"I knew I had it won as soon as I got the baton."

The U.S. quartet had to be content with silver in 38.08 seconds with Nigeria taking bronze in 38.23."

Read more at British Stun U.S. in Sprint Relay

Posted by Darren at 06:11 AM

United States Retains Both 4x400 Titles

"The United States retained both Olympic 4x400 meters relay titles Saturday with individual champion Jeremy Wariner running the third leg for the men's team.

The Americans were already well in front when Wariner received the baton and he in turn gave Darold Williamson a clear lead.

Williamson completed victory for the United States in two minutes 55.91 seconds with Australia second almost five seconds back and Nigeria third.

None of the American team were in the squad who competed in Sydney four years and who are now certain to lose their gold medals.

The world governing body has annulled the results and recommended that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) take back the medals because one of the American team, world 400 meters champion Jerome Young, should have been serving a doping ban."

Read more at Sports News Article | Reuters.com

Posted by Darren at 06:10 AM

Borzakovskiy wins 800m

"Russia's Yuriy Borzakovskiy landed a shock Olympic 800m victory from South Africa's Mbulaeni Mulaudzi.

Borzakovskiy, 23, burst from a long way back to clock one minute 44.45 seconds to pip the fast-finishing Commonwealth champion on the line.

Mulaudzi edged out Denmark's world record holder Wilson Kipketer, who ran 1:44.65 in third.

Algeria's Djabir Said Guerni led at halfway in 51.84 before Kenya's Wilfred Bungei took over to set up the finish."

Read more at Borzakovskiy wins 800m

Posted by Darren at 05:57 AM

2 More Olympic Athletes Expelled from Games on Doping Charges

"Two more Olympic athletes have been expelled from the 2004 Games because of doping. The International Olympic Committee says Puerto Rican wrestler Mabel Fonseca and Hungarian weightlifter Ferenc Gyurkovics both tested positive for banned steroids.

Gyurkovics will be stripped of his silver medal in the 105 kilogram class because of the failed drug test. Fonseca finished fifth in the women's 55 kilogram category. In addition to being expelled from the 2004 Games, both athletes face a possible two-year ban each from their international federations."

Read more at 2 More Olympic Athletes Expelled from Games on Doping Charges

Posted by Darren at 05:56 AM

Goal and gold: Argentina reigns in men's soccer

"Thousands of Argentine fans, still hung over from their basketball team's upset of Team USA, showed up 12 hours later for an unusually early men's Olympic soccer final. Their bleary eyes witnessed history. Argentina, off the foot of rising star Carlos Tevez, beat Paraguay 1-0 for its first gold medal in any sport in 52 years.

The last time the Argentine anthem, "Oid Mortales," was heard at the Olympics was in Helsinki in 1952, when Argentina won a double sculls rowing gold. As the light blue and white flag made its way up the flag pole Saturday, Argentine players and fans belted out the anthem proudly. After an early exit in the 2002 World Cup and settling for second at the Copa America last month, Argentine soccer fans were ready to rejoice."

Read more at Goal and gold: Argentina reigns in men's soccer

Posted by Darren at 05:52 AM

Russia's Slesarenko Wins High Jump

"Yelena Slesarenko of Russia set an Olympic record in the women's high jump Saturday night, winning the gold medal with a jump of 6 feet, 9 inches.

The previous Olympic record was 6 feet, 8 3/4 inches, set in Atlanta by Stefka Kostadinova of Bulgaria.

Hestrie Cloete of South Africa won silver with a jump of 6 feet, 7 1/2 inches. Viktoriya Styopina of Ukraine won the bronze with a jump at the same height, but finished below Cloete because she had one more miss.

Amy Acuff of the United States was fourth, clearing 6 feet, 6 1/4 inches."

Read more at AP Wire | 08/28/2004 | Russia's Slesarenko Wins High Jump

Posted by Darren at 05:51 AM

China wins Women's Volleyball Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from China
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Team from Russia
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Team from Cuba

Posted by Darren at 05:49 AM

US win Men's 4 x 400m Relay Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from United States
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Team from Australia
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Team from Nigeria

Posted by Darren at 05:47 AM

Andreas Thorkildsen wins Men's Javelin Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Andreas Thorkildsen from Norway
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Vadims Vasilevskis from Latvia
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Sergey Makarov from Russia

Posted by Darren at 05:35 AM

US win Women's 4x 400m Relay

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from United States
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Team from Russia
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Team from Jamaica

Posted by Darren at 05:33 AM

Odlanier Solis wins Heavyweight Boxing Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Odlanier Solis from Cuba
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Viktor Zuyev from Belarus
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Mohamed Elsayed from Egypt
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Naser Al Shami from Syria

Posted by Darren at 05:30 AM

Jia Hu wins Men's 10m Platform Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Jia Hu from China
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Mathew Helm from Australia
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Liang Tian from China

Posted by Darren at 05:19 AM

Yelena Slesarenko wins Women's High Jump

The winner of the Gold Medal: Yelena Slesarenko from Russia
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Hestrie Cloete from South Africa
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Viktoriya Styopina from Ukraine

Posted by Darren at 05:17 AM

Britain's Holmes Wins Women's 1,500

"Kelly Holmes surged from behind to take the 1,500 meters gold and clinch a rare middle-distance Olympic double on Saturday. The Briton already won the 800 earlier this week.

In the finishing straight, Holmes kicked for home and easily beat Tatyana Tomashova of Russia and Maria Cioncan of Romania.

Holmes hung back for most of the race and had a lot of work left to do with 300 meters to go. She finished in 3 minutes 57.90 seconds, holding a .22 second edge over Tomashova. Maria Cioncan of Romania crossed in 3:58.39."
Read more at Britain's Holmes Wins Women's 1,500

Posted by Darren at 05:02 AM

El Guerrouj fends off Bekele for historic win

"Hicham El Guerrouj completed an historic Olympic 1,500-5,000 metres double this evening after a battle royal with Kenenisa Bekele.

The Moroccan emulated the achievement of Finn Paavo Nurmi in 1924 as he cruised to victory in the 5,000 in one of the most mouth-watering head-to-heads of the Athens Games.

He timed 13 minutes 14.39 seconds. Silver went to Ethiopia's Bekele, a metre back, with 19-year-old world champion Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya taking bronze.

Ireland's Alistair Cragg finished in 12th position in a time of 13:43.06."

Read more at El Guerrouj fends off Bekele for historic win

Posted by Darren at 05:01 AM

Great Britain wins 4x100m Relay Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from United Kingdom (Great Britain)
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Team from United States
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Team from Nigeria

Posted by Darren at 04:55 AM

Women's Dream Team doesn't Disappoint

"They missed shots, threw the ball away and got beat on defense. In the end, though, Shannon Johnson and Tina Thompson helped the Americans pull out another gold-medal victory.

Johnson and Thompson gave the United States a huge lift with their second-half scoring, and the Americans beat Australia 74-63 today for their third straight Olympic basketball title.

The U.S. players finally got their game together after falling behind by four points in the second half. They turned up the defense, crashed the boards harder and, most important, found their shooting touch -- something the U.S. men's team failed to do."

Read more at Women's Dream Team doesn't disappoint

Posted by Darren at 04:32 AM

Hicham El Guerrouj wins Men's 5000m Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Hicham El Guerrouj from Morocco
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Kenenisa Bekele from Ethiopia
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya

Posted by Darren at 04:23 AM

Manus Boonjumnong wins Light Welterweight (64kg) Boxing Gold medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Manus Boonjumnong from Thailand
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Yudel Johnson Cedeno from Cuba
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Boris Georgiev from Bulgaria
The winner of the Bronze Medal: Ionut Gheorghe from Romania

Posted by Darren at 04:16 AM

Artur Taymazov wins Men's 120kg Freestyle Wrestling Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Artur Taymazov from Uzbekistan
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Alireza Rezaei from Iran
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Aydin Polatci from Turkey

Posted by Darren at 04:01 AM

Yuri Borzakovskiy wins Men's 800m Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Yuriy Borzakovskiy from Russia
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Mbulaeni Mulaudzi from South Africa
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Wilson Kipketer from Denmark

Posted by Darren at 03:54 AM

Kelly Holmes wins Women's 1500m Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Kelly Holmes from United Kingdom (Great Britain)
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Tatyana Tomashova from Russia
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Maria Cioncan from Romania

Posted by Darren at 03:38 AM

Cael Sanderson wins Men's 84kg Freestyle Wrestling Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Cael Sanderson from United States
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Eui Jae Moon from Korea, South
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Sazhid Sa

Posted by Darren at 03:36 AM

Steven Lopez wins Men's Under 80kg Taekwondo Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Steven Lopez from United States
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Bahri Tanrikulu from Turkey
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Yossef Karami from Iran

Posted by Darren at 03:25 AM

Wei Luo wins Women's Under 67kg Taekwondo Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Wei Luo from China
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Elisavet Mystakidou from Greece
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Kyung Sun Hwang from Korea, South

Posted by Darren at 03:23 AM

Yuriolkis Gamboa wins Flyweight (51kg) Gold Medal - Boxing

The winner of the Gold Medal: Yuriolkis Gamboa from Cuba
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Jerome Thomas from France
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Fuad Aslanov from Azerbaijan

Posted by Darren at 03:16 AM

Elbrus Tedeyev wins Men's 66kg Freestyle Gold Medal - Wrestling

The winner of the Gold Medal: Elbrus Tedeyev from Ukraine

The winner of the Silver Medal: Kelly Jamill from United States
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Makhach Murtazaliev from Russia

Posted by Darren at 03:15 AM

Mavlet Batirov wins Men's 55kg Freestyle Gold Medal - Wrestling

The winner of the Gold Medal: Mavlet Batirov from Russia
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Stephen Abas from United States
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Chikara Tanabe from Japan

Posted by Darren at 03:12 AM

Dream come true for silver medalist

It was nine years ago that a young volunteer working at a World Cup mountain bike race at Mont Ste-Anne, Que., became swept up in the emotion of the riders.

"I was looking at the girls and the feelings they seemed to have at the finish line," Marie-Helene Premont remembered with a smile. "All the effort they gave. That's what I wanted to do." Premont created her own excitement and enthusiasm Friday when she rode to a silver medal in the women's mountain bike race at the Olympics Games.

more | canada.com

Posted by at 01:42 AM

Russia win Women's Group Rhythmic All-Round Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Russia
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Team from Italy
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Team from Bulgaria

Posted by Darren at 01:38 AM

Brazil win Men's Keelboat Gold Medal - Sailing

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Brazil
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Team from Canada
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Team from France

Posted by Darren at 01:37 AM

Austria win Open Multihull Gold Medal - Sailing

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Austria
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Team from United States
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Team from Argentina

Posted by Darren at 01:36 AM

Canada sails to silver medal in Olympic star class competition

Canadians Ross Macdonald and Mike Wolfs won a silver medal in the Olympic sailing Star class regatta on Saturday.

Brazil's Torben Grael and Marcelo Ferreira clinched the gold Thursday, essentially leaving the Canadians and French team of Xavier Rohart and Pascal Rambeau to fight it out for the other medals in the final race Saturday.

Macdonald, Wolfs sail to silver medal

Posted by at 01:22 AM

Canadian kayakers win gold and bronze

Canadian kayaker Adam van Koeverden won Olympic gold in the K-1 500 metres Saturday, adding to the bronze he won Friday in the K-1 1,000, while veteran Caroline Brunet collected a bronze in her fifth trip to the Games.

Van Koeverden beat two-time world champion Nathan Baggaley of Australia, who had to settle for the silver. Britain's Ian Wynne got the bronze.

more | canada.com

Posted by at 01:18 AM

August 28, 2004

Austrians win Tornado gold

"Austria's Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher defended their Olympic Tornado title in Athens on Saturday.

The pair won the 11th and final race to easily beat Americans John Lovell and Charlie Ogeltree into silver.

Argentines Santiago Lange and Carlos Espinola finished in bronze, while Britons Mark Bulkeley and Leigh McMillan were 13th overall.

In the Star class, Brazil, Canada and France took the medals with Britain's Iain Percy and Steve Mitchell sixth."

Read more at Austrians win Tornado gold

Posted by Darren at 11:09 PM

Another bleak show for one-medal India

"India completed another dismal Olympic showing at the Athens Games, the team from the world's second most populous nation returning home with one medal and shamed by two doping expulsions.

Representatives of the country of over 1.1 billion people hardly caused a ripple in Athens and their solitary medal came when army major Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore bagged a silver in men's trap shooting.

India had won just three individual bronze medals before going to Athens, one each at the Atlanta and Sydney with the third coming in 1952.

They promised more in 2004 but were unable to shake off their tag as a one-medal nation."

Read more at Another bleak show for one-medal India

Posted by Darren at 11:08 PM

Argentina wins soccer gold

"Argentina won its first Olympic gold medal in soccer Saturday, beating Paraguay 1-0 on Carlos Tevez's eighth goal of the tournament.

Despite the loss, Paraguay captured its first medal in any sport. Italy won the bronze Friday, beating Iraq 1-0.

The victory gave Argentina its third Olympic soccer medal. It finished second to Nigeria in 1996 and to Uruguay in 1928.

In a game the Argentines controlled from the beginning, Mauro Rosales helped set up the winning goal in the 18th minute with a cross from the right side. Tevez ran between Paraguay defenders Julio Manzur and Carlos Gamarra and shot the ball into the net from about 20 feet out.

The Paraguayan defenders had trouble with Tevez for most of the game, and Gamarra and Manzur were given yellow cards for hauling him down after he scored."

Read more at Argentina wins soccer gold

Posted by Darren at 11:07 PM

U.S. to Play Lithuania Again for Bronze

"For the first time since the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the team standing atop the podium for the gold medal ceremony wont be wearing red with its white and blue.

Argentina and Italy will play for the gold after a stunning day that included the United States being humbled 89-81 by Argentina and the Italians using their 3-point prowess to knock off previously unbeaten Lithuania 100-91.

Allen Iverson promised a full effort in the bronze-medal game against Lithuania on Saturday night, but that will do little to erase the stigma that always will be associated with this Olympic team.

Theyve already lost three times, hammering home the reality that the world has not only caught up to the Americans, it has surpassed them."

Read more at Posted by Darren at 11:06 PM

Paul Tergat seeks peace of mind with marathon gold

"Paul Tergat is a man on a mission, to finally capture an Olympic Games gold medal, and the Kenyan world record holder for the men's marathon is tipped to fulfil his ambition in the classic event here Sunday.

"This is going to be my final Olympics. If I could win the gold medal, everything would be complete and I could go on to other things with a free mind," Tergat recently said.

The Kenyan air force seargent's career credentials include a record five consecutive world cross country titles, two world half marathon titles and a 10,000 metres world record on the track."
Read more at Tergat seeks peace of mind with marathon gold

Posted by Darren at 10:59 PM

Birgit Fischer wins second medal in kayak

"Germany's Birgit Fischer settled for silver, giving the 42-year-old Olympian two medals in two days against decidedly younger competition.

A two-woman crew from Hungary overtook Fischer and her partner in the second half of their 500-meter kayak race Saturday, ending her quest for a ninth gold medal a day after winning her eight in the fours kayak.

``I'm not at all disappointed,'' said Fischer, who only came out of retirement a year ago. ``At 42 years old, what else can you expect -- and I didn't train as long as the others.''

Natasa Janics and Katalin Kovacs maintained their margin despite a strong finish by the Germans. Poland got the bronze."

Read more at Birgit Fischer wins second medal in kayak

Posted by Darren at 10:58 PM

Argentina wins Men's Football Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Argentina
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Team from Paraguay
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Team from Italy

Posted by Darren at 10:50 PM

Julien Absalon wins Men's Cross Country - Gold Medal - Cycling

The winner of the Gold Medal: Julien Absalon from France
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Jose Antonio Hermida from Spain
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Bart Brentjens from Netherlands

Posted by Darren at 10:50 PM

Hungary wins Women's K2 500m Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Hungary
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Team from Germany
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Team from Poland

Posted by Darren at 05:39 PM

China Win Men's C2 500m Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from China
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Team from Cuba
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Team from Russia

Posted by Darren at 05:38 PM

Olympics Wrap: U.S. Eclipsed as Olympic Superpower

"With the United States suffering its worst day at the Athens Olympics, China took center stage as sporting superpowers on a night to remember on the athletics track.

The Chinese national anthem exhorts the masses to "Arise! Arise! Arise!" and their athletes did just that Friday with two stunning track golds.

Liu Xiang, who won the men's 110 meters hurdles in a world record-equaling time of 12.91 seconds, said: "My victory has proved that athletes with yellow skin can run as fast as those with black and white skin."

With Beijing hosting the next Olympics in 2008 and China eager to show its global clout, he said of his win: "This is a miracle but I believe a lot more miracles will take place in China.""

Read more at - U.S. Eclipsed as Olympic Superpower

Posted by Darren at 05:14 PM

Tearful Marion Jones finishes Olympics without a medal

"American superstar Marion Jones made a tearful exit from the Olympics, finishing an unhappy campaign empty-handed four years after being the golden girl of the Sydney Games.

The 28-year-old came fifth in the long jump and was then involved in a baton change blunder in the 4x100 metres relay which left the United States quartet out of the medals for the first time since 1980.

It completed a miserable year for Jones, who has found herself at the centre of an ongoing drugs scandal investigation that has already wrecked the career of sprinter boyfriend Tim Montgomery (news - web sites).

Asked about her whole experience at the Olympics, Jones said: "It was a rough one," before breaking down in tears and vowing to return."

Read more at Yahoo! News - Tearful Jones finishes Olympics without a medal

Posted by Darren at 05:12 PM

Powell Cancels Plans to Visit Athens

"Secretary of State Colin Powell canceled plans to attend the Olympics closing ceremonies in Greece because of the "press of business" including crises in Iraq and Sudan, U.S. officials said on Saturday.

The decision was unrelated to anti-U.S. protests by about 1,000 people in Athens Friday that were broken up when police hurled tear gas at demonstrators headed toward the U.S. Embassy, said State Department spokesman Kurtis Cooper.

Greek activists hoisted a massive banner saying "Powell Killer Go Home" on the Acropolis hillside towering over Athens Saturday protesting against his planned 24-hour visit to attend Sunday's closing ceremonies."

Read more at Powell Cancels Plans to Visit Athens

Posted by Darren at 05:10 PM

NBC's Hot Olympics Cool Down Thursday

"Viewership of the summer Olympics cooled off for NBC on Thursday as the competition in Athens winds down.

NBC averaged 21.5 million viewers and 7.3 rating/21 share in the adults 18-49 demographic with its primetime coverage of various track and field, men's triathlon and women's volleyball events. Viewership peaked in the 10-11 p.m. hour with an average of 23.6 million viewers and 8.5/24 in the key demo, but Thursday looks to be the lowest-rated night of the games -- which wrap Sunday -- for NBC so far, according to preliminary estimates from Nielsen Media Research."

Read more at NBC's Hot Olympics Cool Down Thursday

Posted by Darren at 04:59 PM

Hammer winner Annus retires

"Under suspicion of doping, Olympic hammer throw champion Adrian Annus retired from sports Thursday rather than deal with what he called a campaign to manipulate test results against him.

"I'm putting an end to my career," the 31-year-old Annus told the state-run news agency MTI in a statement. "It isn't worth going through all this even for an Olympic champion's title."

International Olympic Committee officials said Annus passed a drug test after winning the hammer throw Sunday, but doping control officials have been trying to track him down since then for further testing.
"

Read more at Hammer winner Annus retires

Posted by Darren at 04:54 PM

Even rhythmic gymnastics touched by scoring controversy

"They protest scores in rhythmic gymnastics, too.

Upset with the technical marks given to American Mary Sanders in qualifying Thursday, the U.S. team filed a protest with the International Gymnastics Federation seeking a review of her routines.

Sanders finished 18th out of 24 gymnasts in the first of two qualifying rounds. The top 10 gymnasts after today's second round advance to finals.

Sanders received technical scores, which judge difficulty, of 4.6 in hoop and 6.8 in ball. The 4.6 was lower than anyone in the field except for competitors from Australia, South Africa and Cape Verde.

"They felt it was absolutely too low for that routine," USA Gymnastics spokesman Brian Eaton said. "There were no major errors. She didn't leave out any elements.""
Read more at Even rhythmic gymnastics touched by scoring controversy

Posted by Darren at 04:52 PM

Bryan Nickson - Diminutive diver makes a big splash with fans and press

"Montreal had Nadia. Athens has Bryan.

Fourteen-year-old diver Bryan Nickson of Malaysia made a big splash Friday night, morphing into one of the darlings of the Athens Olympics with his modest 19th-place finish in the 10-meter platform event.

He barely passes for 10 -- with his baby face, bony body and shy, soft voice. And at only 4-foot-6 and 66 pounds, Nickson was dwarfed atop the 33-foot-high platform, yet fans went wild each time he ascended the ladder.

After each dive, Nickson climbed out of the pool and bowed.

"The crowd was with me," said Nickson, who barely spoke above a whisper. "It supported me a lot, even though that made me a bit nervous.""
Read more at Diminutive diver makes a big splash with fans and press

Posted by Darren at 04:50 PM

U.S. and Australia: A golden matchup - Women's Basketball

"There had been an air of inevitability throughout the Olympic women's basketball tournament that the United States and Australia would meet for the gold medal.

Yesterday that matchup was realized, with both of the tournament's undefeated teams advancing through their semifinal games at the Olympic Indoor Hall. First, the United States edged Russia, 66-62. Then, Australia ran away from Brazil, 88-75.

Today, when the championship tips off at 9:15 a.m., Pittsburgh time, the Australians aim to undo the final remaining feeling of inevitability.

The one that says the Americans are a lock to win."

Read more at U.S. and Australia: A golden matchup

Posted by Darren at 04:49 PM

Germany wins Men's K2 500m Gold Medal - Kayaking

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Germany
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Team from Australia
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Team from Belarus

Posted by Darren at 04:42 PM

Natasa Janics wins Women's K1 500m Gold Medal - Kayaking

The winner of the Gold Medal: Natasa Janics from Hungary
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Josefa Idem from Italy
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Caroline Brunet from Canada

Posted by Darren at 04:40 PM

Andreas Dittmer wins Men's C1 500m Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Andreas Dittmer from Germany
The winner of the
Silver Medal: David Cal from Spain
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Maxim Opalev from Russia

Posted by Darren at 04:40 PM

Adam van Koeverden wins Men's K1 500m - Kayaking

The winner of the Gold Medal: Adam van Koeverden from Canada
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Nathan Baggaley from Australia
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Ian Wynne from United Kingdom (Great Britain)

Posted by Darren at 04:39 PM

El Guerrouj and Bekele vie for supremacy

"Hicham El Guerrouj and Kenenisa Bekele move up and down respectively from their favoured distances for what could be an epic Olympic 5,000 metres clash. El Guerrouj, 29, has finally claimed the Olympic 1,500 title which escaped him at the 1996 Atlanta Games and again in Sydney four years later. Bekele, seven years his junior, won the 10,000 metres gold and is now attempting to become the first Ethiopian since Miruts Yifter in 1980 to complete the long-distance double. Victory on Saturday would complete a perfect year for Bekele and give him a legitimate claim to the mythical title of best track distance runner in history." Read more at El Guerrouj and Bekele vie for supremacy

Posted by Darren at 12:57 PM

Bad Day for U.S., New Dawn for China

"The United States suffered their worst day of the Athens Olympics on Friday when a tearful Marion Jones flopped, their basketball "Dream Team" were humiliated and they captured only one of the 20 golds on offer.

But China, who had never won an Olympic gold in athletics, had a night to remember with Liu Xiang winning the men's 110 meters hurdles in a world record equaling 12.91 seconds.

"My victory has proved that athletes with yellow skin can run as fast as those with black and white skin," said Liu, 21.

"This is a miracle, but I believe a lot more miracles will take place in China," he said, as a new generation of his compatriots signaled they will be a force to be reckoned with on the track when Beijing hosts the next Olympics in 2008.

Xing Huina beat the Ethiopians at their own game to win the women's 10,000 in one of the biggest upsets of the athletics."

Read more at Bad Day for U.S., New Dawn for China

Posted by Darren at 12:55 PM

Iraq Falls Short in Bid for Soccer Medal

"The Iraqi men's soccer team fell just short of earning a medal at the Athens Olympics when they lost 1-0 to Italy on Friday at Kaftanzoglio Stadium.

Iraq, a surprise to even make it out of the first round, was looking for just its second medal ever at the Olympic Games. Abdul Wahid Aziz won a bronze medal in weightlifting during the 1960 Games. But Alberto Gilardino's goal in the first half for Italy was too much for the underdog Iraqis.

A medal looked like a possibility for Iraq after it won its first two matches of the competition to earn a spot in the quarterfinals. They then edged out Australia to move even closer to glory. Two straight losses -- to Paraguay and now Italy -- ended the run for a medal, but, still, the accomplishment of advancing this far in the competition was a victory for the war-ravaged country."

Read more at Iraq Falls Short in Bid for Soccer Medal

Posted by Darren at 12:51 PM

Athens Offers No Comfort to Paula Radcliffe

"Im Paula Radcliffe get me out of here.

The sooner Radcliffe leaves Athens, the better, and perhaps tonight she will reflect that Monday would have been an opportune moment to head home on the next available plane. We learned in Sundays marathon that Radcliffe is mortal, when it was choking to see her bawling at the roadside four miles from the finish. But if anyone had the capacity to recover from such a knockdown then surely it would be the Bedford Blonde.

But no, not tonight. The dream of redemption turned into further indignation as Radcliffe pulled out two thirds of the way through the 10,000metres final. Radcliffe had announced just 10 hours before lining up alongside the cream of long-distance talent that she would race despite her obvious agony of Sunday, pain which ran over into her tearful press conference and live TV interview the next day. "

Read more at Athens Offers No Comfort to Radcliffe

Posted by Darren at 06:42 AM

Athens Police Break Up Powell Protest

"Police used tear gas Friday night to disperse more than 2,000 demonstrators who lit fires, smashed windows and beat up journalists while marching through downtown Athens to protest the weekend visit of Secretary of State Colin Powell. The demonstrators, who scuffled with police in front of the Parliament, fought running battles with riot squads trying to prevent them from reaching the U.S. Embassy. The embassy is not near any Olympic venues, but it is near the hotel being used by the International Olympic Committee and located on a major Olympic traffic lane."

Read more at AP Wire | 08/27/2004 | Athens Police Break Up Powell Protest

Posted by Darren at 06:35 AM

Brazil defeat US in Men's Beach Volleyball

"Brazil rolled to a convincing three-set victory over the United States in their men's volleyball semifinal Friday, joining Italy in the gold medal match. The Brazilians, whose perfect record was snapped in a four-set loss to the U.S. on Monday, erased any doubt that they are the better team with a 25-16, 25-17 and 25-23 victory."

Read more at U.S. men rolled by Brazil in volleyball semis

Posted by Darren at 06:32 AM

No medal for Marion Jones in long jump or relay

"Marion Jones' chances for a medal at the Olympics ended abruptly Friday night with a fifth-place finish in the long jump and a disaster in the women's 4x100 meter relay. Running second, Jones had a poor exchange of the baton with Lauryn Williams. Williams left too early and she couldn't connect with Jones until it was too late. The U.S. didn't finish because Williams was already out of the handoff zone. The race was won by the Jamaican foursome of Tayna Lawrence, Sherone Simpson, Aleen Bailey and Veronica Campbell in 41.73 seconds. Russia was second and France was third."

Read more at No medal for Marion Jones in long jump or relay

Also read Jones fifth in long jump

Posted by Darren at 06:30 AM

Timothy Mack wins Men's Pole Vault Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Timothy Mack from United States
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Toby Stevenson from United States
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Giuseppe Gibilisco from Italy

Posted by Darren at 06:29 AM

Hunt is on for Olympic hammer champ Annus

"Anti-doping authorities were trying to track down Olympic champion Adrian Annus on Friday amid suspicions the Hungarian may have duped drug-testers after winning a gold medal in the hammer throw. Annus, who announced his retirement from the sport on Friday, left Greece immediately after striking gold in the hammer on Sunday. Mandatory drug tests carried out on the athlete after the event were negative. But following the controversy over Hungary's discus champion Robert Fazekas - who was stripped of his Olympic gold medal for failing to provide a urine sample - questions have now been raised over his friend Annus. International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge confirmed to AFP that the athlete was being sought by drug-testers. "

Read more at Hunt is on for Olympic hammer champ Annus

Posted by Darren at 06:26 AM

Kookaburras clinch historic gold

"Jamie Dwyer scored a golden goal as Australia's field hockey men discarded the tag of Olympic chokers with a 2-1 victory over reigning champions the Netherlands in a rousing final this morning. Dwyer slammed the goal in the eighth minute of extra-time following a penalty corner after both teams were locked 1-1 at the end of regulation time."

Read more at Kookaburras clinch historic gold

Posted by Darren at 06:21 AM

Russia Finish 1-2-3 in Long Jump

"Russia's Tatyana Lebedeva has added the Olympic women's long jump title to her her triple-jump bronze. Lebedeva's second-round leap of 7.07m was good enough for victory, with compatriots Irina Simagina and Tatyana Kotova completing a Russia 1-2-3. Simagina won the silver with 7.05m - the same as Kotova - but having recorded a longer second-best effort."

Read more at Lebedeva wins long jump

Posted by Darren at 06:17 AM

Hungarians, Serbs Make Water-Polo Final

"Tamas Kasas scored three goals to help Hungary move within one victory of an eighth Olympic men's water polo gold medal in a 7-5 semifinal win Friday over archrival Russia. Hungary will face Serbia-Montenegro, which downed Greece 7-3. Aleksandar Sapic, the tournament's leading shooter, scored only once against Greece - in the last four minutes - to increase his haul to 16 goals in Athens."

Read more at Hungarians, Serbs Make Water-Polo Final

Posted by Darren at 06:09 AM

Jamaca win Women's 4x 100m Relay Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Jamaica
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Team from Russia
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Team from France

Posted by Darren at 06:04 AM

Liu Wins 110 Meter Hurdles

"Liu Xiang of China won the gold medal in the men's 110-meter hurdles Friday night at the Olympics in an Olympic record time of 12.91 seconds. Terrence Trammell of the United States was the silver medalist with a time of 13.18 seconds, while Anier Garcia of Cuba took the bronze in a time of 13.20 seconds."

Read more at Liu Wins 110 Meter Hurdles

Posted by Darren at 05:54 AM

Russia wins Synchronized Swimming Team Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Russia
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Team from Japan
The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from United States

Posted by Darren at 05:51 AM

Huina Xing wins Women's 10,000m Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Huina Xing from China
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Ejegayehu Dibaba from Ethiopia
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Derartu Tulu from Ethiopia

Posted by Darren at 05:37 AM

Osleidys Menendez wins Women's Javelin Gold Medal

he winner of the Gold Medal: Osleidys Menendez from Cuba
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Steffi Nerius from Germany
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Mirela Manjani from Greece

Posted by Darren at 05:36 AM

Tatyana Lebedeva wins Women's Long Jump Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Tatyana Lebedeva from Russia
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Irina Simagina from Russia
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Tatyana Kotova from Russia

Posted by Darren at 05:34 AM

Ireland wins Individual Jumping Gold Medal - Equestrian

The winner of the Gold Medal: Cian O\'Connor from Ireland
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Rodrigo Pessoa from Brazil
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Chris Kappler from United States

Posted by Darren at 05:28 AM

Xiang Liu wins Men's 110m Hurdles Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Xiang Liu from China
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Terrence Trammell from United States
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Anier Garcia from Cuba

Posted by Darren at 05:21 AM

Paula Radcliffe fails to finish

Britain's Paula Radcliffe has failed to finish in the Women's 10,000m final.

Posted by Darren at 05:13 AM

Australia wins Men's Hockey Gold Medal

Australia have just defeated the Netherlands in the Men's Hockey competition.

They scored a tie breaking goal in the dying seconds of a first period of extra time.

the score was Australia 2 - Netherlands 1.

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Australia
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Team from Netherlands
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Team from Germany

Posted by Darren at 05:08 AM

Jang Ji Won win Women's 57kg Taekwondo Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Ji Wong Jang from Korea, South
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Nia Abdallah from United States
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Iridia Salazar Blanco from Mexico

Posted by Darren at 05:00 AM

Hadi Saei Bonehkohal wins Men's 68kg Taekwondo Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Hadi Saei Bonehkohal from Iran
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Chih Hsiung Huang from Taiwan (Chinese Taipei)
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Myeong Seob Song from Korea, South

Posted by Darren at 04:58 AM

Argentina defeat USA 89 - 81 - Men's Basketball

"The United States fell behind 50-40 to Argentina early in the third quarter in the semifinals of the Olympic men's basketball tournament. The Argentines had a 43-38 halftime lead and quickly built on it. The winner advances to the gold-medal game against either Lithuania or Italy, who play at 3:15 p.m. Lithuania used a barrage of 3-pointers to beat the U.S. team in the preliminary round 94-90 last Saturday. Italy routed the Americans by 17 points in an exhibition 12 days before their Olympic opener."

Read more at Argentina Leads U.S. 53-40 in Third

Update - early in the 4th Argentina leads the US 73-61

Argentina have upset the Gold Medal Favorites the USA with a final score of Argentina 89 - USA 81.

Read more at the match in the following articles.

"Argentina snapped the U.S. Senior National Team's 58-game winning streak two years ago at the World Championships. Now Manu Ginobili and the Argentines have ended the United States' chances for a gold medal at the Athens Games, scoring an 89-81 victory over Larry Brown's team in the semifinals. Last summer the Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Argentina finished runner-up to the United States. Meeting the Americans twice, Argentina suffered a narrow 94-86 loss in second round play, and was handed a 106-73 setback in the gold medal game."

Read more at What a Nightmare: U.S. Men Fall to Argentina


"Bronze is the best the American men's basketball team can do, and the reason is simple: They were beaten by a better team, Argentina. Manu Ginobili scored 29 points to lead his nation to another victory over the country that used to dominate the sport, an 89-81 win in the Olympic semifinals Friday night. For the first time since 1988, the gold medal will not go to the Americans. And for the first time since pro players were added for the original Dream Team in 1992, the United States will not be the Olympic champion."

Read more at ARDMOREITE.COM
Posted by Darren at 04:31 AM

Fashion highs and lows from the Olympics

"Seeing all those taut and tanned bodies jumping hurdles in Athens and sculling in Schinias reminds us why we like the summer Olympics so much. We also enjoy looking at what the athletes are wearing and wonder if we would dare get near a track or pool in similar get-ups.

With just a few days to go until the Summer Games are over for another four years, here's the medals ceremony we've all been waiting for: the fashion Olympics. Boatloads of style: We give Nike's racer-back tank top suit a gold even though the women took only a silver in the eights rowing contest. We could see Nike's offering this with a separate top and shorts as an outfit for any number of active sports or workouts. Let's also hear it for the ladies' visors and mirrored shades. 50-meter swagger: Swimmer Gary Hall Jr. took the gold in the 50-meter freestyle contest and gets another for the "Rocky"-style boxing robe he wore into the aquatic center. Sure he's cocky, but he delivered the goods, didn't he?"

Read more at Fashion highs and lows from the Olympics (August 27, 2004)

Posted by Darren at 04:29 AM

Aussie Helm leads platform diving; Americans shut out of medals

"Caesar Garcia and Kyle Prandi failed to advance out of the 10-meter platform preliminaries Friday and that meant one thing: No medals for American divers, their first Olympic shutout in 92 years. Caesar Garcia (seen here) and Kyle Prandi didn't make it out of the men's 10-meter platform prelims the event would have been the USA's last shot at a medal. By Mark Humphrey, AP Garcia, of Baton Rouge, finished 23rd with 388.77 points. Prandi, of Strongsville, Ohio, dropped from second-place to 21st after the second round and wound up 29th out of 33 divers with 346.53 points."

Read more at USATODAY.com - Aussie Helm leads platform diving; Americans shut out of medals

Posted by Darren at 04:27 AM

Zsuzsanna Voros wins the Women's Modern Pentathlon Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Zsuzsanna Voros from Hungary
The winner of the
Silver Medal: Jelena Rublevska from Latvia
The winner of the
Bronze Medal: Claudia Corsini from Italy

Posted by Darren at 04:12 AM

Olympics "Real" U.S. Dominance

Eric over at Blogcritics.org has written an interesting piece on how the medal table isn't a true reflection of the US dominance of the Olympics. Interestingly it seems that Eric thinks the medal table under estimates the dominance of the US - something which surprised me a little as I've seen many articles arguing the exact opposite. He writes: (my opinion follows)

"By any reasonable measure the American medal count is impressive as hell, leading its closest rival Russia by 23 medals as of Friday morning. The lead at the moment in golds is only 28 to 25 over China, but the total medal lead over China is about 30, and recall that China has well over a billion people AND a sports system now similar to that of the former Soviet bloc, where promising athletes are farmed off to (hopefully benign) athletic concentration camps and their entire waking life is devoted to training for their sport....

But what stuck out last night in particular is the number of athletes representing other nations who live and train in the U.S., many going to college here. In fact, based on the divers -- the "Russian Texans" Vera Ilyina and bronze medalist in the women's 3m springboard Yulia Pakhalina, for example -- and track athletes -- 400m hurdles gold medalist Felix Sanchez was born in the U.S., has always lived in the U.S., but competes for the Dominican Republic, ALL of the Caribbean runners seem to train in the U.S. -- in action on NBC last night last night (and in the swimming events, basketball, baseball, etc. etc), it seems easier to name the top competitors who DON"T have a strong U.S. connection....

When you combine the actual American medalists with the "virtual" American medalists in the Games, you get a much truer picture of American dominance in the world of (summer, anyway) sport."

Read more at Blogcritics.org: Olympics: "Real" U.S. Dominance

I find myself seeing things a little differently - here is what I wrote in their comments section.

'Nice post - but I suspect you'll find this is an argument no one will ever win. I tend to agree with those who 'disagree' above. Once we start unravelling things like population we find the US could perhaps more accurately be placed as 35th according to the ABS Population based Medal Table (as of day 13).

Another interesting way of thinking about it is taking into consideration the Economy of the countries concerned. Of course the Aussies won't be as excited about this one cause it ranks them down at 21 (the US is 51st and Canada 52nd) according to thisMedal Table that takes into consideration Country's GDP. I tend to like this medal table because it reminds us that so many countries that are competing just don't have the resources that many of us take for granted.

I was reminded of this when I saw the Afghani runner the other day who barely seemed to even own a 'proper' running kit. To be honest I'm a bit over the beating of chests that many of us in the west have been doing over the Olympics - I wonder if we've lost something of what the true spirit of the Olympics could have been.

Just my humble opinion.'

Posted by Darren at 04:07 AM

Iraq, Italy to wear armbands in soccer

"Iraqi and Italian soccer players plan to wear black armbands on their uniforms during their Olympic bronze medal game today. The armbands are in honor of an Italian journalist killed in Iraq. The International Olympic Committee has approved Iraq's request for the armbands. Italy's delegation is proposing that all its athletes be allowed to wear the armbands for the rest of today."

Read more at Iraq, Italy to wear armbands in soccer

Posted by Darren at 12:52 AM

Olympics Athlete Felled by Bee Sting

"Top News Bush Admits Iraq 'Miscalculations' in Times Interview Iraq Rebels Leave Najaf Shrine, Hand in Weapons Investigators Find Explosives in Russia Plane Wreck MORE ATHENS (Reuters) - Danish mountain biker Mette Andersen had to pull out of the women's Olympic cross country race Friday after being attacked by a bee. Anderson was stung on the second lap of the five-lap race and had a bad reaction, the whole of the left side of her chest swelling up."

Read more at Olympics Athlete Felled by Bee Sting

Posted by Darren at 12:50 AM

Paul Hamm Asked to Give Up Gold Medal

"Gymnastics officials asked Paul Hamm to give up his gold medal as the ultimate show of sportsmanship, but the U.S. Olympic Committee told them to take responsibility for their own mistakes. In a dispute over scores that has turned into a political squabble, the head of the International Gymnastics Federation suggested in a letter to Hamm that giving the all-around gold medal to South Korea's Yang Tae-young "would be recognized as the ultimate demonstration of fair play by the whole world." FIG president Bruno Grandi tried to send the letter Thursday night to Hamm through the USOC, but the USOC refused to deliver it."

Read more at AP Wire | 08/27/2004 | Paul Hamm Asked to Give Up Gold Medal

Posted by Darren at 12:47 AM

Unforgiving Greeks Boo as Games Turn Ugly

"The Olympics turned ugly when unforgiving Greeks, incensed that fallen hero Costas Kenteris was missing from the 200 meters, delayed the final by booing and chanting for five minutes.

The American athletes who took the first three places on Thursday evening refused to be fazed by the uproar and a delighted Kenteris said he felt vindicated. The spectators were enraged because defending champion Kenteris was absent from the final after withdrawing from the Olympics following a missed dope test."

Read more at Unforgiving Greeks Boo as Games Turn Ugly

Posted by Darren at 12:30 AM

Greek police may block U.S. embassy march

"Police may block demonstrators marching to the U.S. embassy in Athens on Friday to protest against a weekend visit by Secretary of State Colin Powell to attend the Olympics. Government officials said there would be a heavy police presence to ensure Friday night's demonstration goes smoothly, but one organiser said protesters would ignore authorities' pleas to stay away from the embassy compound. "We must respect the democratic right to protest but we will not allow any demonstrators to get out of hand and cause any damage," a senior government source told Reuters."

Read more at Greek police may block U.S. embassy march

Posted by Darren at 12:30 AM

Researchers to develop 'designer athletes'

"Scientists have begun using DNA samples from Australia's top sportsmen and women in an attempt to develop "designer athletes" who can protect the nation's sporting reputation, The Daily Telegraph reported on Friday.

The technology will allow experts to tell parents which sports their children could excel in and whether they have the genes that are most likely to produce sporting superstars, the Sydney newspaper quoted scientists as saying. Australia, a nation of only 20 million, has long punched well above its weight in the world of sport. "

Read more at Researchers to develop 'designer athletes'

Posted by Darren at 12:28 AM

Coaches survive as India, Pakistan reserve their best for last

"Former champions India and Pakistan ended the Olympic men's field hockey with impressive wins, giving a new lease of life to their respective foreign coaches. Pakistan came from behind to defeat New Zealand 4-2 and take fifth spot in the 12-nation competition, while arch-rivals India blasted Asian Games champions South Korea (news - web sites) 5-2 to finish seventh. The win helped India retain the same position they took at Sydney four years ago and ensured their new German coach Gerhard Rach will survive at least till the end of the year."

Read more at Yahoo! News - Coaches survive as India, Pakistan reserve their best for last

Posted by Darren at 12:28 AM

Khan goes for glory

"Britain's Amir Khan will face the biggest fight of his young career as he goes against Serik Yeleuov on Friday in boxing's lightweight semi-final.

Khan could become the youngest Olympic boxing champion in 52 years.

The 17-year-old's attacking style has become an enduring Olympic image after his three impressive victories.

Guaranteed at least a bronze after reaching the semi-finals, another win would ensure Khan would take home a minimum of a silver."

Read more at BBC SPORT | Olympics 2004 | Boxing | Khan goes for glory

Posted by Darren at 12:28 AM

Nathan Deakes to assess his technique

"Nathan Deakes's coach says the Olympian's technique will be reassessed following his disqualification from the 50-kilometre walk in Athens. Deakes was leading the field with the eventual winner, Poland's Robert Korzeniowski, when he was disqualified at the 33-kilometre mark. The 26-year-old did not receive any warnings during his bronze medal effort in the 20-kilometre walk last week. Deakes's coach Brett Vallance said his charge's disqualification came as a surprise."

Read more at Deakes to assess his technique - Athens Olympics 2004 - ABC Sport.

Posted by Darren at 12:27 AM

August 27, 2004

U.S. Is Angry at the Pressure on Paul Hamm

"The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) have accused the governing body of world gymnastics of putting "outrageous and improper" pressure on gold medallist Paul Hamm to give his medal to a South Korean rival. The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has said Hamm placed first in the all-round event due to a judging error and bronze medallist Yang Tae-young should have been awarded gold. It has suspended the judges involved but said there is no mechanism for overturning a decision made in the competition. "

Read more at U.S. Is Angry at the Pressure on Paul Hamm

Posted by Darren at 11:45 PM

U.S. women move into basketball gold medal game

"Tina Thompson led a balanced attack with 14 points, as the United States women's basketball team assured themselves of a medal after beating Russia, 66-62, in the semifinals at the Summer Olympics on Friday.

The Americans will now face the winner of the Brazil/Australia game in Saturday's gold medal game. Lisa Leslie and Tamika Catchings each added 11 points, while Yolanda Griffith finished with 10, as the two-time defending gold medalists held off a late rally by Russia. Tatiana Shchegoleva had 13 points, while Maria Stepanova added 11 for Russia. Russia cut its deficit to 60-58 on a three-pointer by Oxana Rakhmatulina with 4:23 left, but the U.S. scored the next six points to put the game away. Sheryl Swoopes had two buckets and Thompson scored from inside the paint to push the Americans to a 66-58 cushion with 2:39 left."

Read more at U.S. women move into basketball gold medal game

Posted by Darren at 11:31 PM

Kate Allenby raises medal hopes

"Kate Allenby's quest for Olympic glory in the modern pentathlon gathered steam today after a magnificent swim elevated her into second place overall. It is the same position Allenby held after three events in Sydney four years ago when she went on to claim the bronze medal. Today, she followed up an average performance in the shooting with second place in the fencing and the fifth fastest time in the 200metres freestyle swimming."

Read more at Ananova - Allenby raises medal hopes

Posted by Darren at 11:29 PM

Romanian judge under investigation

"The Olympic gymnastics official who pressured a Calgary judge to increase his scoring of a Russian athlete's horizontal-bar routine is facing an investigation and possible censure, says the vice-president of the sport's international governing body. "Obviously some things have transpired and will have to be looked at, and that's what we'll do," said Slava Corn, Canada's highest-ranking executive with the International Gymnastics Federation. Romanian judge Adrian Stoica, president of the International Gymnastics Federation's technical committee and chief official during the controversy-plagued Olympic men's competition, has come under fire over several incidents."

Read more at Romanian judge under investigation

Posted by Darren at 11:18 PM

I-O-C says no duplicate medals

"Greece International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge (ROH'-geh) says the I-O-C rejects South Korea's request to have a duplicate gold medal awarded in men's all-around gymnastics. A scoring mistake gave the title to American Paul Hamm. The I-O-C also is turning down an official German request for duplicate gold medals following a judging error in the three-day equestrian competition."

Read more at I-O-C says no duplicate medals

Posted by Darren at 11:12 PM

U.S. to meet Argentina in Men's basketball Semi Final

"The United States and Argentina will go after each other again in the Olympic men's basketball semifinals, and if their latest performances carry over, it'll be difficult for the South American rivals to win. The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. EDT tipoff, with the winner advancing to the gold-medal game against either Lithuania or Italy, who play at 3:15 p.m. Lithuania used a barrage of 3-pointers to beat the U.S. team in the preliminary round 94-90 last Saturday. Italy routed the Americans by 17 points in an exhibition 12 days before their Olympic opener."

Read more at U.S. men's basketball team faces Argentina for a spot in gold-medal game; Lithuania plays Italy

Posted by Darren at 10:29 PM

Greece to deal with Olympic cost of Olympic proportions after Games

"Greek taxpayers could use some advice from the country's celebrated weightlifting champions to shoulder the sizeable cost of the Athens Olympics after the Games. AFP/DDP/File Photo Seven billion euros (8.7 billion dollars) reads the latest price tag Greek officials have attached to the Games, up from an initial budget of 4.6 billion euros. But the final tally will not be known until after the Games, Greek Economy and Finance Minister Yiorgos Alogoskoufis said. Greece has financed the Games entirely out of state funds."

Read more at Yahoo! News - Greece to deal with Olympic cost of Olympic proportions after Games

Posted by Darren at 10:18 PM

Kenteris Says He Did Nothing Wrong

"Greek sprinter Kostas Kenteris was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support in his absence at Olympic Stadium. Thousands of fans chanted his name Thursday night at the 200-meter sprint, an event Kenteris pulled out of after missing a drug test. "When I heard all these people - the thousands of people - shout my name, it was the most beautiful thing that I have heard in recent years," Kenteris told the TV Mytilini channel."

Read more at AP Wire | 08/27/2004 | Kenteris Says He Did Nothing Wrong

Posted by Darren at 10:13 PM

IOC Rejects S. Korea's Request for Gold

"The International Olympic Committee rejected South Korea's request to have a duplicate gold medals awarded in men's all-around gymnastics because of a scoring mistake that gave the title to American Paul Hamm, IOC president Jacques Rogge said. The IOC also turned down an official German petition for duplicate gold medals following a judging error in the three-day equestrian competition. "We are not going to give medals for so-called humanitarian or emotional reasons," Rogge said Friday at a breakfast meeting with reporters."

Read more at AP Wire | 08/27/2004 | IOC Rejects S. Korea's Request for Gold

Posted by Darren at 10:07 PM

Mascots are a mystery, but they sell well

"Atlanta had a blob named Izzy. Nagano had the creepy, bug-eyed foursome: Sukki, Nokki, Lekki and Tsukki. Not to be outdone in the curious mascot department, Athens 2004 has Phevos and Athena, two androgynous Bart Simpson-esque dolls separable only by the two bull's-eyes on the girl's chest to mark her femaleness. "I took them out of the box, and thought, 'What the heck is this?' " said Adonis Diplarides, whose family shop at the foot of the Acropolis is selling everything from baby bibs to shot glasses with Athena and Phevos cartoons on them. On a day a breath away from 100 degrees, he was also trying to sell umbrellas decorated with the mascots."

Read more at Mascots are a mystery, but they sell well

Posted by Darren at 09:06 PM

Rumors running rampant as more athletes get caught

" It was just a rumor, and as with most rumors, no one knew how or where it started. It didn't matter. It was hot, a big-time doping rumor, so it kept spreading, proliferating in a climate ripe for this kind of thing. First it was a male sprinter, then a female sprinter; it was a medalist, no, not a medalist; an American, no, not an American. It lasted about two days, this rumor, but it's the kind of thing that has permeated these Games. With three days of competition remaining, the Athens Olympics have caught more athletes doping -- 16 -- than any previous Olympics, and there have been four medals stripped, two gold."

Read more at Rumors running rampant as more athletes get caught

Posted by Darren at 09:04 PM

Gunn-Rita Dahle takes Olympic gold in mountain bike

"Gunn-Rita Dahle of Norway captured the gold medal on Friday in the women's mountain bike competition at the Summer Olympics in Athens. Dahle, a winner of five World Cup cross-country events in 2004, covered the five-lap, 19.4 miles in 1 hour, 56:51 minutes. Marie-Helene Premont of Canada was second, 59 seconds behind Dahle. Sabine Spitz of Germany took the bronze."

Read more at Dahle takes Olympic gold in mountain bike

Posted by Darren at 09:02 PM

The Australian: Aussie cyclists get belated gold [August 27, 2004]

"AUSTRALIAN track cyclists Peter Dawson and Stephen Wooldridge are to receive belated Olympic gold medals. The International Olympic Committee has agreed to give gold medals to the pair, who rode in the heats but missed out on the team which won the final of the 4000m team pursuit on Sunday.

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) lodged an appeal for the medals and announced today the IOC had heeded its plea. In cycling team events only those who ride in the finals normally get medals, unlike swimming, where heat swimmers in relays are also rewarded. Wooldridge and Dawson were delighted when told of the decision by cycling team high performance manager Michael Flynn."

Read more at The Australian: Aussie cyclists get belated gold [August 27, 2004]

Posted by Darren at 08:58 PM

Athlete rushed to hospital

"BERTRAND Gbongou Liango of the Central African Republic was taken to hospital after being knocked unconscious in the Olympic taekwondo tournament today.

The 22-year-old was caught by a sickening reverse round-house kick to the head in his first round match against Austria's Tuncay Caliskan. He was knocked out cold and medical staff rushed on to the mat to free his air-passage and revive him before he was taken away on a stretcher.

Team doctor Jacques Ndemanga confirmed he was in a stable condition."

Read more at The Australian: Athlete rushed to hospital [August 27, 2004]

Posted by Darren at 08:55 PM

Tickets remain for Games closing ceremony

Several hundred tickets to the Olympic closing ceremony remained unsold Friday, two days before the end of the Athens Games. Local organizers said about 500 of the highest priced tickets, which cost $900, remain available for Sunday's ceremony.

The celebrations of the Olympics' opening and closing usually sell out. The Olympic Stadium has about 72,000 seats, but not all are put on sale. Some tickets are given to dignitaries, Olympic officials and media.

Read more at Tickets remain for Games closing ceremony

Posted by Darren at 08:46 PM

Egyptian boxer DQ'ed after failing medical test

Egyptian heavyweight Mohamed Elsayed failed a medical test Friday and was disqualified from the semifinals of the Olympic boxing tournament, organizers said. The decision wasn't drug-related.

Elsayed beat American Devin Vargas on Sunday to clinch a medal. Egypt had three boxers in the semifinals after winning just one medal in its Olympic boxing history.

Elsayed's injury, which wasn't specified, allowed Belarus' Viktar Zuyev to advance to the finals on a walkover. Zuyev will face Cuba's Odlanier Solis or Syria's Naser Al Shami.

Read more at Egyptian boxer DQ'ed after failing medical test

Posted by Darren at 08:44 PM

The Athens Look: Sweatshop Chic Valley Advocate: The Athens Look: Sweatshop Chic

Non-union, underpaid labor is sewing the shirts, gluing the shoes and putting zippers to running suits and track apparel branded as Olympic in Athens.

A t the Olympic Games in Athens this year, the logos of McDonalds, Samsung, Coca-Cola, and other multinational advertisers are saturating the festivities to the tune of $1.339 million. But the corporate self-promotion and commercial branding wont end when the games come to a close. Sportswear companies have negotiated $81 million worth of licenses from the International Olympic Committee, allowing them to adorn their products with Olympic emblems. Behind the five intertwined rings and the Athens 2004 kotinos laurel wreath insignia, hidden from the eyes of the world, non-union, underpaid labor will be sewing the shirts, gluing the shoes and putting zippers to running suits and track apparel branded as Olympic in working conditions that would make even the most highly trained athlete sweat.
Read more at The Athens Look: Sweatshop Chic

Posted by Darren at 08:38 PM

Radcliffe Runs

Paula Radcliffe has confirmed she will definitely run in the Olympic 10,000m.
Radcliffe quit Sunday's marathon four miles from the end but is ready to line up for the 1950BST start on Friday.

She is the fastest woman in the world this year over 10,000m by 26 seconds and the 30-year-old will be keen to hit back after her marathon failure.

Read More Radcliffe to run 10,000m

Posted by at 08:16 PM

Let the Web Games Begin

Among the unplanned international sporting events at the 2004 Summer Olympics could be the dodging of regional Internet broadcast restrictions and the unsanctioned relay of live online Olympic broadcasts to Americans. The Summer Olympics, which began Friday in Athens, is the first Olympic Games to be broadcast from a collection of websites. The BBC and other European networks are offering live, on-demand Internet video streaming of Olympic events to broadband viewers. But the BBC and fellow members of the European Broadcasting Union are required by their Olympic broadcast contracts to block U.S. Internet users and others from outside their home counties.
Read more at Wired News: Let the Web Games Begin

Posted by Darren at 07:55 PM

Gunn-Rita from Norway wins Women's Cross Country Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Gunn-Rita Dahle from Norway
The winner of the Silver Medal: Marie-Helene Permont from Canada
The winner of the Bronze Medal: Sabine Spitz from Germany

Posted by Darren at 07:32 PM

Korea Hoping for Late Medal Rush KoreaTimes : Korea Hoping for Late Medal Rush

With the Athens Olympics heading into their final weekend, South Korean is looking for one last medal push in the fighting events such as taekwondo, wrestling and boxing, which have traditionally been strong events for the country. In taekwondo, 17-year-old Hwang Kyung-sun is among the medal hopefuls in the womens -67kg category as she beat Kim Yun-ji, a two-time world champion, at the domestic Olympic trials. Hwangs gold hunt is expected to depend on the projected bout with Chinas rival Luo Wei in the round-of-16. Preliminaries begin today at 15:25 (KST) and the final starts at 01:20 on Sunday.
Read more at KoreaTimes : Korea Hoping for Late Medal Rush

Posted by Darren at 07:28 PM

Anton Galkin - Russian athlete fails test

Russian athlete fails test A Russian 400m runner has been thrown out of the Olympics after failing a drugs test. Anton Galkin is the 18th athlete to be expelled from the Games for alleged doping offences - a new record. Galkin tested positive for stanozolol after finishing fourth in his semi-final last Saturday.
Read more at Russian athlete fails test

Posted by Darren at 07:21 PM

Robert Korzeniowski wins Men's 50km Walk Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Robert Korzeniowski from Poland

The winner of the Silver Medal: Denis Nizhegorodov from Russia

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Aleksey Voyevodin from Russia

Hungary win's Men's K4 1000m Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Hungary

The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Germany

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Slovakia

Germany win Men's C2 1000m Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Germany

The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Russia

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Hungary

Olympic party picks up after a slow start

"Everything in Athens is late. Even the party.

At the start of the Olympics, thousands of stadium seats stood empty and the capital's neighborhoods were quiet. Many people feared the games were destined to be an organizational success and an entertainment failure.

But as Sunday's closing ceremony approaches, the buzz is definitely back.

It's 3 a.m., and traffic is moving at a crawl on central Athens' Ermou Street.

Taxis barely have time to unload their passengers before being flagged down by others. Flag-waving sports fans rub shoulders with athletes, media and volunteers still dressed in their distinctive orange and blue uniforms, stopping to watch street jugglers and drummers performing in Monastiraki Square.

"Where did all these people come from?" said taxi driver Spyros Kefis. "All the foreigners are gathered in Monastiraki and Plaka. This is where it's all happening.""

Read more at Olympic party picks up after a slow start

Posted by Darren at 05:13 PM

Media watchdog launches website calling for Beijing Olympics boycott

" Reporters Without Borders launched a website calling for a boycott of the Beijing 2008 Olympics over the human rights record of "one of the world's bloodiest dictatorships".

The Paris-based media watchdog said Thursday China had failed to improve its rights record since being controversially awarded the Games in 2001.

"History has shown that totalitarian regimes are more sensitive to a balance of power than to 'constructive dialogue'," the group said on the website, www.boycottbeijing2008.net.

"A boycott therefore seems the only strategy to force Chinese authorities to respect human rights before 2008.""

Read more at Media watchdog launches website calling for Beijing Olympics boycott

Posted by Darren at 05:09 PM

The pain in Spain: 'Explain'

" In an arena where anti-American sentiment was running about 100-to-1, the men's Olympic basketball team from the United States of America walked off the floor to the universal language of displeasure. Boos are boos in any language.

In the aftermath of their 102-94 victory over Spain that moved the men within two victories of the gold medal that is their supposed birthright, the crowd was unhappy for many things, among them the fact that U.S. coach Larry Brown had the bad form to call a timeout with 23 seconds left and the game out of reach.

As he would spell out for the media later, Brown said he had asked for the timeout with about a minute to play, after two turnovers that caused him concern. But as is not uncommon in international basketball, the scorekeeper didn't award him the timeout immediately and Brown later, satisfied all was well, tried to cancel the request. "But they wouldn't let me do that, they gave it to me anyway," the coach said.

After the game ended, one of Spain's coaches screamed at Brown, inciting the crowd. "I tried to apologize," Brown said, "but it was like a disagreement with my son. Sometimes he doesn't want to hear your explanation.

"I said I was sorry. I would never try to embarrass someone like that."

There was almost a palpable relief as Brown, who coached the Detroit Pistons to their unexpected NBA title over the Los Angeles Lakers in June before collecting the assortment of mostly young, inexperienced NBA players willing to represent U.S. basketball in these Olympics, responded to the short-lived international incident. It was much more pleasant discussing a questionable timeout than talking about a 19-point loss to Puerto Rico or a fourth-quarter collapse to Lithuania."

Read more at The pain in Spain: 'Explain'

Posted by Darren at 05:01 PM

Fab Five of women's soccer disband with gold

"They went out the way they came in, acting as if it was all such a surprise and this was the greatest day of their lives.

They gave the impression they would have played this way, this hard, this gosh-darn giddily, whether the entire world was watching or they simply were kicking the ball around a playground.

When soccer's Fab Five and the rest of the U.S. women's Olympic team heard all the cheers Thursday night at Karaiskaki Stadium and felt the love of a raucous crowd, it was as if the attention floored them. Then, in a brilliant, emotionally charged soccer show, the Americans beat Brazil 2-1 in overtime for the Olympic gold medal."

Read more at Fab Five of women's soccer disband with gold

Posted by Darren at 04:57 PM

Germany win Women's K4 500m Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Germany

The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Hungary

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Ukraine

Sweden wins Men's K2 1000m Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Sweden

The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Italy

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Norway

Disappointed South African women keep best for last

"With their very last move of the Olympics, the South African women's hockey team provided the touch of class they always knew they were capable of, but just didn't produce consistently enough at the Games.

A splendid Jenny Wilson golden goal winner from a well-worked short corner enabled them to sink Spain 4-3. Unfortunately for them, the best, which they saved for last yesterday, was enough only to help them stave off the dreaded wooden spoon and finish in ninth place.

It was tough going in Athens for a team who had high hopes leading up to the Games, but who just didn't get out of the starting blocks here.

An opening 6-2 defeat to the Dutch was followed by successive 3-0 defeats by Australia and Korea."

Read more at Pretoria News - Disappointed women keep best for last

Posted by Darren at 04:46 PM

David Cal wins Men's C1 1000m Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: David Cal from Spain

The winner of the Silver Medal: Andreas Dittmer from Germany

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Attila Vajda from Hungary

Eric Veraas Larsen wins Men's K1 1000m Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Eric Veraas Larsen from Norway

The winner of the Silver Medal: Ben Fouhy from New Zealand

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Adam van Koeverden from Canada

Leave the wreaths in Greece, New Zealand tells medallists

"New Zealand's medal winning Olympic stars should just take a picture of their wreaths and leave them in Greece because they will not be allowed into the country, a government spokeswoman said Friday.

Each medal winner at the Athens Games has received wreaths made of olive branches, chrysanthemums and roses.

Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton's spokeswoman said biosecurity was vitally important for New Zealand and the rules would not be bent.

"If they want to hold on to their memories they will have to take a picture," the spokeswoman said.

Ministry of Agriculture biosecurity official Veronica Herrera said the wreaths would not get past border control.

"A lot of the material is still viable, so if you plant it and the conditions are right, they could develop roots and grow," she said."

Read more at Leave the wreaths in Greece, New Zealand tells medallists

Posted by Darren at 03:36 PM

China the new Olympic Superpower - Red storm coming

"If you're wondering why the past few Olympiads have lacked drama, blame Mikhail Gorbachev. Sure, his decision to green-light the fall of Soviet totalitarianism was pretty popular with the people who had been living under the USSR's iron fist, using D-grade toilet paper and lining up to buy shoelaces, but it ruined that us-versus-them vibe that made the pre-glasnost Games so great.

You remember the fun. We tried to imagine Kornelia Ender playing linebacker for the Bears. We wondered which Soviet weightlifter -- other than the mighty Alekseev -- had ingested the most illegal enhancements. We boycotted them. They boycotted us. Hollywood couldn't have come up with a better script. Then came Gorbachev. And before you knew it, the Grateful Dead was designing Lithuania's hoops uniforms and we were wondering where all that facial hair on the Hungarian women's gymnasts went.

That old furor is gone from the Athens Games. The American team is running away with the overall medal title, proving itself to be the world's lone athletic superpower, just as we are the sole global purveyor of military might. Ho-hum.

But, wait. There, on the horizon. It's coming. China."

Read more at

Posted by Darren at 02:49 PM

Bra manufacturer ends 56-year gold medal wait

"Beefy Greco-Roman wrestler Karam Ibrahim, a women's underwear manufacturer back in Egypt, won his country's first Olympic gold medal in 56 years on Thursday. Professional wrestling chiefs in the United States are already wooing Ibrahim to join their ranks and the gold will only increase his value. But Ibrahim has other business interests to consider. He runs the "Blue Gym" fitness club in Alexandria. "I also have a factory for clothes, girls'' clothes," the big man grinned. "Bras and underwear." Ibrahim took little more than three minutes to grapple Georgian Ramaz Nozadze to defeat in an unusually spectacular 96kg final. He raised a finger in triumph, kissed the mat and flipped his exultant coach to the floor before performing a perfect somersault. Carried around on the shoulders of another member of the Egyptian team, the national flag fluttering from his broad shoulders, the emotions flooded out as tears streamed down the cheeks of officials."

Read more at Bra manufacturer ends 56-year gold medal wait

Posted by Darren at 02:47 PM

Canadian Olympic Committee looking for answers

COC demands answers on score that scuppered Shewfelt

Kyle Shewfelt initially said he doesn't want to get involved in the judging controversy that denied him a bronze medal in the men's vault, but the Canadian Olympic Committee isn't letting the matter rest.

Posted by at 07:18 AM

Five Canadian boats go for gold Friday

The Canadian crew of Ross MacDonald and Mike Wolfs remained in contention for a medal in star class sailing while two more of the country's boats advanced in flatwater canoe-kayak events Thursday at the Olympic Games

link @ canada.com

Posted by at 07:16 AM

Two Canadians in track finals

Carmen Douma-Hussar, of Cambridge, Ont., advanced to Saturday's final in the women's 1,500-metre, even though she finished sixth in her semifinal race.

The top five racers from each heat automatically qualified for the finals, however Douma-Hussar's time of four minutes, 5.09 seconds was fast enough among the remaining pack to advance. Her time was 1.60 seconds faster than the winner of the first heat.

link @ canada.com

Posted by at 07:13 AM

Taiwan wins two gold medals in taekwondo, by Shih Hsin Chen and Mu Yen Chu

"Taiwan won its first gold medal Thursday in taekwondo, then had to wait only a few minutes more for another. Shih Hsin Chen won her 49-kilogram match for the breakthrough, aware as the seconds counted down that a lot was at stake.

"I know that this is our first gold medal and I'm very proud of it," said Chen, who beat Yanelis Yuliet Labrada of Cuba. "It means a lot to me and my family."

About 15 minutes later, Mu Yen Chu won another gold medal in the men's 58-kilogram division."

Read more at
Taiwan wins two gold medals in taekwondo, by Shih Hsin Chen and Mu Yen Chu

Posted by Darren at 06:44 AM

Invincible Felix Sanchez storms to gold

"Red-hot favourite Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic streaked to victory in the men's Olympic 400 metres hurdles final this morning.

Just four days shy of his 27th birthday, the New York-born world champion flowed over the barriers to take gold in a time of 47.63 seconds.

Jamaica's Danny McFarlane took silver in 48.11 with France's Naman Keita collecting bronze in 48.26.

Sanchez, who is unbeaten in more than 40 races and last lost in July 2001, is the Dominican Republic's first Olympic gold medallist.

Their only other Olympic medal was a boxing bronze won by bantamweight Pedro Nolascos in the 1984 Los Angeles Games."

Read more at Invincible Sanchez storms to gold

Posted by Darren at 06:43 AM

US win Women's Football/Soccer Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Brazil

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Germany

Shawn Crawford wins 200m in Crowd Disrupted Race

"Shawn Crawford denied fellow American Justin Gatlin an Olympic sprint double as he stormed to victory in the Olympic men's 200 meters to set up a United States clean sweep....

The race, though, was marred by ugly scenes and delayed for five minutes when the packed 75,000 crowd at the Olympic Stadium began booing and chanting "Kenteris, Kenteris!" and "Hellas, Hellas!

Costas Kenteris, Greece's 2000 Olympic champion in the event, withdrew from the Games after missing a drugs test in mysterious circumstances the day before the opening ceremony. There was no Greek runner in Thursday's race.""

Read more at Golden Crawford Denies Gatlin Sprint Double

Also read about this story at Shawn Crawford leads U.S. sweep of 200 meters, overcoming teammates Williams, Gatlin to win gold

Posted by Darren at 06:25 AM

China wins another diving gold

"The names may change. Not the results. China still rules the Olympic diving pool.

The Chinese earned another gold medal -- their fifth of the Athens Games -- when Guo Jingjing easily won the women's 3-meter springboard Thursday night. Teammate Wu Minxia made it a 1-2 finish for the world's diving superpower, taking the silver.

The bronze went to Russia's Yulia Pakhalina.

It was the fifth straight win on springboard for the Chinese women, and the five gold medals match the country's total from the Sydney Games in 2000. It can surpass that standard in the final diving event of these games: men's 10-meter platform, which begins Friday."

Read more at China wins another diving gold

Posted by Darren at 06:19 AM

Dramatic Kayak Splash Frustrates U.S.

"A splash at the finish line made for an Olympic highlight and a day that the U.S. canoe and kayak flatwater team would rather forget. With a last desperate stroke that rocked his kayak so hard he fell into the water, Frenchman Babak Amir Tahmasseb edged America's Rami Zur at the finish line Thursday and ended the U.S. team's best hope for a medal.

Zur's fourth-place finish in his 500-meter single kayak (K-1) race -- he needed a top three to advance -- was the most frustrating moment for the American team, which failed to get a boat in the finals.

They've now gone three Olympics without a medal, a streak that left the U.S. program's executive director, David Yarborough, shaking his head in disbelief at how far the team had fallen since 1988, when Greg Barton was part of two gold-medal winning boats."

Read more at Dramatic Kayak Splash Frustrates U.S.

Posted by Darren at 06:18 AM

Canadian Olympic Committee wants explanation of gymnastics vault marks

"The Canadian Olympic Committee has vaulted into the controversy surrounding the judging irregularities that resulted in Calgary's Kyle Shewfelt being denied a bronze medal.

The COC has sent a letter to Burno Grandi, president of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) demanding an explanation for the marks awarded to Romania's Marian Dragulescu.

"What we're asking from them is we'd like to get a response within 24 hours and an idea of how they are going to rectify the situation," said Jackie DeSouza, the COC's director of communications.

Shewfelt finished fourth in the vault even though Dragulescu muffed the landing on his second of two vaults.

Canadian gymnastics officials argue the mistakes Dragulescu made on his final vault make it mathematically impossible for him to receive the score he did."

Read more at Canadian Olympic Committee wants explanation of gymnastics vault marks

Posted by Darren at 06:15 AM

Shawn Crawford wins 200m Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Shawn Crawford from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Bernard Williams from United States

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Justin Gatlin from United States

Marion Jones' presence on relay could have implications after Olympics

"Marion Jones took the baton and sped down the straightaway. By the time she handed it off to 100-meter silver medalist Lauryn Williams, the United States was well on its way to victory in the first round of the 400-meter relay.

It was a quick burst of speed that helped the relay squad to a time of 41.67 seconds Thursday night, matching the mark it set earlier this month that is best in the world this year.

But the race may have implications for the relay squad long after the Olympics. Jones is under investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and if she is found guilty of using banned drugs it could impact any medal the team might win.

Dwight Phillips led a 1-2 American finish in the men's long jump Thursday. Phillips won gold with a leap of 28 feet, 2 1/4 inches and U.S. teammate John Moffitt won silver with a jump of 27-9 1/2. Joan Lino Martinez of Spain took the bronze medal."

Read more at Jones' presence on relay could have implications after Olympics

Posted by Darren at 06:04 AM

Felix Sanchez wins Men's 400m Hurdles Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Felix Sanchez from Dominican Republic

The winner of the Silver Medal: Danny McFarlane from Jamaica

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Naman Keita from France

Jingjing Guo wins Women's 3m Springboard Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Jingjing Guo from China

The winner of the Silver Medal: Minxia Wu from China

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Yulia Pakhalina from Russia

Dwight Phillips wins Men's Long Jump Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Dwight Phillips from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: John Moffitt from United States

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Joan Lino Martinez from Spain

Germany win Women's Hockey Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Germany

The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Netherlands

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Argentina

US and China battle for Medal Table Supremacy

"Calls of "cut it out" and "give it back" have competed with a hot United States-vs-China medals race as the 28th Olympiad in Athens went into its final days with over 70 medals still to be won....

With many eyes on China's rising pile of gold, the Middle Kingdom tried to cool overheated hopes at home, forecasting a late Russian medals surge to second place behind the United States when the medals are unofficially tallied on Sunday night.

"The risk of China not being able to hold on to second place is very great," Xiao Tian, a Chinese Olympic Committee vice-president told a news conference.

"I am not being falsely modest here, but speaking after analysing numbers," he said, citing boxing, rhythmic gymnastics and athletics events where Russia have title hopes.

With perfect timing, student Andrey Moiseev of Russia won the men's modern pentathlon, so far ahead in the competition grouping running, fencing, shooting, swimming and show jumping that he was able to stop and accept a flag from a spectator before the finish line.

Russia climbed to fourth equal with Japan on the table after a bad start, with 15 golds. Australia has 16, China 24, and the United States leads with 25.

The days of U.S. domination of Olympic basketball appeared to be over and so did the fans' love affair with the American Dream Team, kings of Barcelona in 1992 when Michael Jordan led the squad of NBA superstars.

The U.S. was jeered off the floor in a wave of anti-American sentiment after an ill-tempered 102-94 quarter-final win over Spain, complete with red-faced coaches screaming at each other near centre court as officials stepped in to separate them.

Drugs dogged the sports spectacle as rower Olena Olefirenko tested positive for a prohibited stimulant, costing Ukraine a bronze. Weightlifter Zoltan Kovacs became the second Hungarian to be chucked out, after refusing to take a dope test."

Read more at US and China battle for Medal Table Supremacy

Posted by Darren at 05:47 AM

U.S. leads Brazil 1-0 in soccer final

" The U.S. women's soccer team was 45 minutes away from winning back the Olympic gold medal Thursday, taking a 1-0 halftime lead over Brazil on a goal by Lindsay Tarpley in the 39th minute. The goal could be controversial, however, as replays showed that Brandi Chastain's hand may have touched the ball moments before she passed to Tarpley for the goal.

U.S. captain Julie Foudy started the game despite spraining her right ankle in a quarterfinal victory over Germany on Monday."

Read more at The Seattle Times: News from AP

Update - At Full time the scores are 1 - 1. Extra time is now about to start.

With 8 minutes of extra time still to play the US have just scored taking it to 2 - 1.

The final score was 2 - 1 to the US.

Posted by Darren at 05:44 AM

Italy women win water polo Gold, Greece win Silver and U.S. takes bronze

" Melania Grego scored less than a minute into the second overtime to lead Italy over Greece, 10-9, in the women's water polo gold medal match Thursday.

The United States team beat Australia, 6-5, earlier in the day to win bronze.. Italy and Greece were tied 7-7 at the end of regulation, and both teams scored twice in the first overtime to send the match into an extra three-minute frame. Italy's Tania DiMarco tallied with just nine seconds left in the first OT period to deny Greece a celebration. Grego's game-winner, at 2:04, was the only goal of the second overtime. She scored three times on the day. "I couldn't believe we could lose," Greece's Kyriaki Liosi said. "For sure, this is a huge success, but when you get this high, you want to get gold." Italy's Francesca Conti made eight saves on 17 shots."

Read more at Italy women win water polo gold; U.S. takes bronze

Posted by Darren at 05:41 AM

Egypt wins first gold medal since 1948

"Egypt had been shut out of the medal table at the 2004 Olympics, but on Thursday the country won a bronze in taekwondo and a gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling. In fact it was the first gold for the country in 56 years.

Karam Ibrahim won the gold medal in the men's 96kg class of Greco-Roman wrestling, as he beat Ramaz Nozadze of Georgia in the final. He surrendered the first point, but then stormed to a 12-1 victory to give Egypt its first gold medal in any sport since 1948. "I came here to win gold. "

Read more at Egypt wins first gold medal since 1948

Posted by Darren at 05:38 AM

Athens Olympics Over For Indonesia

"Indonesias hopes of improving its medal tally in the Athens Olympics came to an abrupt end after its taekwondo stars were eliminated on Thursday (26/8/04), while earlier the countrys entrants in the mens sailing and womens cycling failed to finish among the place getters.

In the womens taekwondo under 49 kilogram category, Indonesias Juana Wangsa Putri was defeated 2-3 in the qualifying round 16 by Columbias Gladys Alicia Mora Romero.

Wangsa Putri had been widely expected to win a medal as she finished first in the world qualification tournament in Paris last December. "

Read more at Athens Olympics Over For Indonesia

Posted by Darren at 05:37 AM

Italy 83, Puerto Rico 70 - Men's Basketball

"Italy (4-2) will face Lithuania on Friday night with the winner advancing to the gold medal game. Lithuania (6-0), which has won the last three bronze medals, beat China 95-75 in the quarterfinals.

Gianluca Basile added 18 points for Italy, including the 3-pointer that capped a 13-5 run to open the second half and gave his team a 54-42 lead."

Read more at Italy 83, Puerto Rico 70

Posted by Darren at 05:36 AM

Womens Pole Vault Provides Stirring Drama at Olympics

"The women's pole vault provided one of the stirring dramas of the 2004 Olympic track and field competition.

Until the mid 1990s, women's pole vault was not taken very seriously, mainly because the heights being cleared were so far behind the men. But between 1995 and 1999, Australian Emma George broke the women's world record 12 times.

The event was finally added to the Olympics in 2000 in Sydney, but much to the dismay of the partisan crowd, George failed to qualify for the final. The gold medal was won by American Stacy Dragila with a vault of four meters 60 centimeters, three centimeters less than her world record at the time."

Read more at Womens Pole Vault Provides Stirring Drama at Olympics

Posted by Darren at 05:25 AM

Canada judge says pressured to raise marks

"A Canadian judge, who raised his marks in an Olympics gymnastics final, says he was under intense pressure from a crowd that "was out of control" and an official who wanted him to do something about it.

"It was difficult to describe the pressure you're in. Thirteen thousand people yelling and screaming and the head of the competition asking you do something," Chris Grabowecky said in remarks published on Thursday.

Grabowecky raised his marks for Russian Alexei Nemov in Monday's horizontal bar final at the Athens Olympics after a booing crowd stalled the proceedings.

He said Adrian Stoica, the event's chief official, had emphatically urged him to up his rating of Nemov."

Read more at Canada judge says pressured to raise marks

Posted by Darren at 03:10 AM

Dream Team finally hits its jump shots, beats Spain 102-94 to advance to Friday's semifinals

"Larry Brown was right. The Americans did start hitting their jump shots, and suddenly they look as if they might be the team to beat at the Athens Games. Stephon Marbury broke the U.S. men's Olympic record with 31 points, helping to beat Spain 102-94 in the quarterfinals Thursday and transform a team that had spent the first 1 1/2 weeks missing jumpers.

"Stephon shot the ball like Stephon today," Lamar Odom said.

After spending 90 minutes working on his shot on the team's day off, Marbury made six of his team's 12 3-pointers and was a big reason the previously undefeated Spaniards are now out of medal contention. They weren't happy about it.

As the teams left the court, Spanish coach Mario Pesquera and Brown yelled and pointed at each other about a late U.S. timeout, and they had to be separated by their assistants."

Read more at Dream Team finally hits its jump shots, beats Spain 102-94 to advance to Friday's semifinals

Posted by Darren at 03:09 AM

Olympians on cutting edge of technology

"Super-heavyweight power lifter Shane Hamman squeezes his face into a grimace as he grips a metal bar and hoists nearly 400 pounds of iron disks over his 62-inch chest, past his signature braided goatee and above his spiky brown hair before letting the weights crash to the platform.

Sheer strength, of course, is largely responsible for the performance. But so is technology for him and other Olympians.

Hamman uses a setup known as a bar tracking system -- a collection of wires, sensor pads and a video camera that records his lifts.

When Hamman calls up a clip of one of his lifts on a computer screen, accompanying charts and graphs tell him where he put pressure on his feet, how much power he exerted and whether he was able to keep the bar horizontal, among other sorts of feedback.

The Olympian uses the data to adjust his stance in various ways to make his lifts more effective. America's strongest man -- so called for his U.S. record of lifting 518 pounds -- credits the techno-logy for perfecting his technique. He finished seventh in Athens, after having finished 10th at the games in Sydney four years ago.

"I feel a lot more confident with this new technology," said Hamman, 32. "I'm able to see I have room to improve, and this shows me the way to do it right.""

Read more at Olympians on cutting edge of technology

Posted by Darren at 03:02 AM

Mu Yen Chu wins Men's Under 58kg Taekwondo Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Mu Yen Chu from Taiwan (Chinese Taipei)

The winner of the Silver Medal: Oscar Francisco Salazar Blanco from Mexico

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Tamer Bayoumi from Egypt

Shih Hsin Chen wins Women's Under 49kg Taekwondo Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Shih Hsin Chen from Taiwan (Chinese Taipei)

The winner of the Silver Medal: Yanelis Yuliet Labrada Diaz from Cuba

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Yaowapa Boorapolchai from Thailand

Italy wins Women's Water Polo Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Italy

The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Greece

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from United States

Karam Ibrahim wins Men's 96kg Greco-Roman Wrestling Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Karam Ibrahim from Egypt

The winner of the Silver Medal: Ramaz Nozadze from Georgia

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Mehmet Ozal from Turkey

Alexandr Dokturishivili wins Men's 74kg Greco-Roman Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Alexandr Dokturishivili from Uzbekistan

The winner of the Silver Medal: Marko Yli-Hannuksela from Finland

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Varteres Samourgachev from Russia

Ji Hyun Jung win Men's 60kg Greco-Roman Wrestling Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Ji Hyun Jung from Korea, South

The winner of the Silver Medal: Roberto Monzon from Cuba

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Armen Nazarian from Bulgaria

Andrey Moiseev wins Men's Pentathlon gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Andrey Moiseev from Russia

The winner of the Silver Medal: Andrejus Zandeprovskis from Lithuania

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Libor Capalini from Czech Republic

Spain win Open Double Handed Dinghy Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Spain

The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Ukraine

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from United Kingdom (Great Britain)

No gold medal repeat for Whitfield

Whitfield finishes 11th in triathlon

Simon Whitfield didn't have another surprise in his bag of tricks.

Whitfield, who shocked the world by winning gold in the 2000 Olympics triathlon, finished 11th Thursday at the Olympic Games in Athens.

Posted by at 12:32 AM

Ten Canadian paddlers qualify for finals

Two more Canadian crews qualified for finals in the flatwater canoe-kayak competition at the Summer Olympics on Thursday, bringing the total to 10.

link @ canada.com

Posted by at 12:29 AM

August 26, 2004

U.S. teen claims silver in 200 meters

"Allyson Felix took over a spot once occupied by Marion Jones, but she hasn't replaced the queen of track entirely.

Felix, 18, ran her fastest official 200 meters to place second behind Jamaica's Veronica Campbell in the Olympic final Wednesday. Despite missing the gold medal, Felix made it clear that, for now, the 200 meters belongs to her."

Read more at U.S. teen claims silver in 200m

Posted by Darren at 11:18 PM

Greek labor union urges to block Powell's visit

"Greece's largest labor union the GSEE and the leftist party backed Social Forum had called for demonstrations on Friday evening against US Secretary of State Colin Powell's visit for the Olympics Games closing ceremony, local media reported Thursday.

According to the reports, protesters will march from downtown Athens to the US Embassy a few hours ahead of Powell's arrival.

The demonstrations will also be designed to remind people of the negative consequences of the Games, such as hundreds of labor accidents, damage to the environment, and repressive security measures, the leftist party Synaspismos backed daily "Avgi" reported.

Earlier on Wednesday, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said people have the constitutional right to demonstrate, but called on the organizers to protect the image of Greece in this "critical" period in the middle of the Olympic Games."

Read more at Greek labor union urges to block Powell's visit

Posted by Darren at 11:17 PM

Dream Team leads Spain 44-42 at halftime; U.S. trying to advance to semis vs. unbeaten Spaniards

"As expected, the U.S. men's basketball team had its hands full in a quarterfinal game against Spain on Thursday. The United States led the Spaniards 44-42 at halftime, with the winner advancing to play either Argentina or Greece in the semifinals Friday.

The Spaniards were the class of the tournament in the preliminary round, going 5-0, but it remained to be seen if that success would carry over. The other quarterfinals Thursday pit Puerto Rico against Italy, Lithuania against China and Argentina against Greece.

LeBron James was the latest to lower expectations for the Americans, who went a mediocre 3-2 in the preliminaries."

Read more at Dream Team leads Spain 44-42 at halftime; U.S. trying to advance to semis vs. unbeaten Spaniards

update - At Three quarter time the US lead Spain 74 - 67

The final score is US 102 defeated Spain 94

The US will play the winner of Argentina and Greece.

Posted by Darren at 10:41 PM

Two more Canadian teams to canoe-kayak finals

"Two more Canadian crews qualified for finals in the flatwater canoe-kayak competition at the Summer Olympics on Thursday, bringing the total to 10.

It's the just second time ever Canada has qualified for 10 finals in the event. The first was during the boycotted 1984 Games in Los Angeles. Canada had six boats in finals at both the 1996 Games in Atlanta and the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

In Thursday's men's K-1 (one-man kayak) 500-metre semi-final, Adam van Koeverden of Oakville, Ont., finished first in a time of one minute 38.907 seconds. Australia was second in 1:39.031 while Italy finished third in 1:40.387. The top three advance to the final, which is set for Saturday. Van Koeverden has also qualified for Friday's 1,000-metre final."

Read more at Two more Canadian teams to canoe-kayak finals

Posted by Darren at 10:39 PM

Anju carrying India's last medal hope to final

"Carrying the hopes of an entire nation, ace long jumper Anju Bobby George will seek to grab a slice of Olympic glory and add a medal to India's kitty when she features in the women's long jump final at the Main Olympic stadium tomorrow.

Anju, the last medal hope for India, kept herself on track for a coveted medal by qualifying for the final with a leap of 6.69 m in her very first attempt, making her the first Indian to reach an athletic final in the Olympic Games in 20 years.

The 27-year-old athlete did not exert much and took a safe jump to cross the qualification mark of 6.65 m without much fuss to bring the cheer back in the Indian camp, which has struggled to make a mark in the mega event."

Read more at Anju carrying India's last medal hope to final

Posted by Darren at 09:41 PM

Cabbie returns Olympic medal

"In a display of honesty that goes some way toward improving the reputation of his colleagues, an Athens cabbie has returned an Olympic medal left behind in his taxi by a Dutch athlete.

A spokesman for the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee said taxi-driver Ioannis Zavos found Diederik Simons lost silver medal which he won on Sunday with the Netherlands eight rowing team on Monday night, and handed it over to the cabbies union.

Simon, who had contacted Athens 2004 officials in despair, was to get the medal back later yesterday."

Read more at Cabbie returns Olympic medal

Posted by Darren at 09:05 PM

As Olympics near end, organizers meet ticket goal

"Olympic organizers said Thursday that more than 3.5 million tickets have been sold for the Summer Games, surpassing the initial goal.

Organizers had said they hoped to sell 3.4 million of the 5.3 million available tickets for the Aug. 13-29 games.

Though ticket prices for some popular events have been as high as $300, most tickets have sold for between $12 and $36. Organizers have said there are no plans to discount tickets to sell more.

On Wednesday, organizers sold 38,000 tickets and said venues were about 92 percent full."

Read more at As Olympics near end, organizers meet ticket goal

Posted by Darren at 09:04 PM

USOC Asks Bush Campaign to Pull TV Ad

"The U.S. Olympic Committee has asked President Bush's re-election campaign to pull a television ad that mentions the Olympics.

The USOC is awaiting a response from the re-election campaign, committee spokesman Darryl Seibel said Thursday.

The ad shows a swimmer and the flags of Iraq and Afghanistan.

``In 1972, there were 40 democracies in the world. Today, 120,'' an announcer says. ``Freedom is spreading throughout the world like a sunrise. And this Olympics there will be two more free nations. And two fewer terrorist regimes.''


Some of the players on the Iraqi Olympic soccer team have complained about the ad appearing as part of a political campaign. "

Read more at USOC Asks Bush Campaign to Pull TV Ad

Posted by Darren at 09:03 PM

Jana Pittman look to drop hurdles

"Olympic 400m hurdles finalist and world champion Jana Pittman of Australia said on Thursday that she was considering switching to the 400m flat race to ease the pressure on her injured knee.

"It has definitely crossed my mind that next season I wouldn't mind running the 400 flat," Pittman told Sky News Australia after finishing fifth in the medal race at Athens just 17 days after undergoing knee surgery."

Read more at Pittman look to drop hurdles

Posted by Darren at 09:01 PM

Shot putter won't return medal

"Russia's Irina Korzhanenko, who won the Olympic Games shot put before being stripped of her gold after failing a drugs test, insisted on Wednesday that she would not give back her medal.

"It's so sweet to crucify the Olympic champion to prove that the war against doping is going on," she told the Izvestia newspaper.

"I don't believe either the results of the Greek laboratory or the activity of (anti-doping agency) Wada.

"I will not return my gold medal. I won it and I'm Olympic champion. I'm completely sure I did not use any doping.""

Read more at Shot putter won't return medal

Posted by Darren at 09:00 PM

Paula Radcliffe leaves it late for 10,000 metres decision

"British marathon flop Paula Radcliffe (news - web sites) is leaving it until the last before deciding whether or not to run in the Olympic 10,000 metres.

The 30-year-old is on the entry list, but may feel she has not recovered mentally from her nightmare run on Sunday when she ran to a standstill after 35 kilometres and broke down in tears.

Physically she is believed to be in perfect shape.

"It's now up to her whether she runs, but she does have the opportunity to pull out at any time before the race," said athletics team leader Max Jones.

"She's been entered this morning but all you are doing is confirming your original selections."

Read more at Radcliffe leave its late for 10,000 metres decision

Posted by Darren at 08:59 PM

Double medals for New Zealand in Triathlon

"Hamish Carter of New Zealand won the triathlon on Thursday in a time of one hour, 51 minutes, 7.73 seconds.

Bevan Docherty of New Zealand won the silver. Sven Riederer of Switzerland got the bronze.

Defending Olympic gold medallist Simon Whitfield of Kingston, Ont., finished 11th while Brent McMahon of Victoria was 39th.

Carter, Docherty and Riederer went together for most of the final leg of the swim-cycle-run endurance test."

Read more at 2004 Games Triathlon : Carter wins triathlon

'New Zealand has moved to 18th place in the Olympic medals table with a first and second placing in the men's triathlon in Athens.

Hamish Carter and Bevan Docherty provided New Zealand with one of its greatest moments in Olympic history.

Carter won gold for New Zealand in a time of 1:51:07 and team-mate Docherty has won silver.

It is the first time in history that New Zealand has taken a first and second place in an Olympic event.

Docherty came off in the swim leg in 18th place, while Carter was 32nd out off the water.

However that was only 30 seconds behind the leaders and the kiwis quickly joined a group of 12 riders who broke away from the pack early on the bike leg.

The two kiwis then split away along with four others half way through the bike and opened up a lead of 40 seconds heading into the run.'

Read more at Double medals for New Zealand

Also read about it at Whitfield dethroned in Olympic Triathlon.

Posted by Darren at 08:57 PM

Nathan Baggaley in the running for three golds

"His coach describes Nathan Baggaley as a mongrel, a racer and a big-occasion performer.

Baggaley will need to live up to his reputation to win the three gold medals he is targeting in the Olympic paddling finals, which begin tomorrow.

Australia has a shot at five kayaking medals on Friday and Saturday.

The Byron Bay surf lifesaver is the strongest hope; he is a two-time world champion in the K1 500 and finished third in the K1 1000 at last year's world championships.

He will also paddle the K2 500 final with 1992 Barcelona gold medallist Clint Robinson.

In the individual races Baggaley will be up against his arch rival, Norway's Eirik Veraas Larsen, who beat him in the heats of both events.

He has recovered from a cold that threatened his preparation and has used the heats and semi finals to fine-tune his racing.

"As soon as you line up in that final, anything can happen," he said."

Read more at Baggaley in the running for three golds

Posted by Darren at 08:54 PM

Marion Jones placed on 400 relay

"Marion Jones will be part of the U.S. Olympic 400-meter relay team, women's coach Sue Humphrey announced last night.

Jones' participation had been a subject of speculation because she is being investigated by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. However, she has not been charged with any doping offense and qualified last night for the long jump finals.

The lineup, in order, will be Angela Williams, Jones, 100-meter silver medalist Lauryn Williams and LaTasha Colander. That team ran 41.37 seconds, three-tenths of a second off the world record, in Munich on Aug. 8."

Read more at Jones placed on 400 relay

Posted by Darren at 08:53 PM

Ukraine Rowers Stripped of Bronze Medal

"Ukrainian rowers stripped of bronze for drug violation; Hungarian Ukrainian rowers stripped of bronze for drug violation; Hungarian weightlifter expelled Eds: UPDATES throughout to ADD comment from IOC executive board member; ADD details; RECASTS overline. By STEPHEN WILSON

ATHENS, Greece (AP) The Ukrainian four-woman rowing team was stripped of its bronze medal Thursday after one member tested positive for a banned drug, the IOC said.

It was the fourth medal lost because of doping during the Athens Olympics.

A weightlifter from Hungary also was expelled from the games on Thursday for failing to provide a urine sample after his event, the International Olympic Committee said.

Zoltan Kovacs, who finished last in the 105-kilogram class, became the 10th weightlifter punished for doping. "

Read more at Ukraine Rowers Stripped of Bronze Medal

Posted by Darren at 08:46 PM

NBC isn't covering all the Olympic News

"Fearing viewers might be turned off by news of doping and judging scandals, NBC Universal has discovered a plan to calm them: Don't cover it.

In newspapers nationwide yesterday, the buzz was how the Athens Olympics surpassed the Los Angeles Games with 13 athletes ejected for drug offenses through 11 days. Also making talk around water coolers are judging mistakes in gymnastics, fencing, rowing and equestrian, making the Games fitting for one of NBC's "Law and Order" episodes as placing is decided in court.

Only NBC has decided this isn't must-see TV.

Late-night host Dan Hicks mentioned Hungarian Robert Fazekas being stripped of his gold medal in the discus, but it was nearly 2 a.m. local time when he went into a spiel about Fazekas having some religious problem with providing enough of a urine sample. And Hicks left it at that.

Hello? Some more information is needed here, such as what religion doesn't allow a person to urinate in a cup."

Read more at Plenty of news going on, but NBC isn't covering it

Posted by Darren at 08:45 PM

Fab Five looks for a golden finish

"The Fab Five and the rest of the U.S. women's soccer team want to ride their emotions to the gold medal, rather than have those emotions get in the way.

It's a difficult balance to strike: The young players wants to send Mia Hamm Co. out as winners, but many similarly inspired teams have fallen short because they were simply trying too hard.

"I don't want them to feel that I'm putting pressure on them to have to do it for me, or for us," Hamm said. "Let's do it for each other."

The long goodbye ends for the Fab Five on Thursday when the United States plays Brazil for the Olympic title. It will be the long-anticipated chance for Hamm, Julie Foudy, Joy Fawcett, Kristine Lilly and Brandi Chastain to end their time together as world champions, a bragging right they haven't been able to claim for five years."

Read more at Fab Five looks for a golden finish

Posted by Darren at 08:41 PM

Hamish Carter wins Men's Triathlon Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Hamish Carter from New Zealand

The winner of the Silver Medal: Bevan Docherty from New Zealand

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Sven Riederer from Switzerland

Olympic Blog Traffic Boom

Thanks to our wonderful readers for the last few weeks amazing traffic to this site. You can see the rise of visitors to the site on the adjoining graph which shows us now to be ranked as around the 7000th most visited domains on the web.

These figures also include traffic from our Digital Photography Blog and LivingRoom blogs.

Posted by Darren at 04:05 PM

Marion Jones jumps into final

"MARION JONES looked serene, immaculate, and collected, as she leapt into the women's Olympic long jump final at the second attempt last night.

Nobody would have thought this was the woman who is the most high profile target of the global anti-doping machine.

Yet the muted ripple of applause which she received when she reached 6.70 metres at the second attempt suggested the crowd's love affair with the triple Olympic champion of Sydney is cooling. This was five centimetres beyond the mandatory qualifying distance, also surpassed by Britain's European and Commonwealth silver medallist, Jade Johnson.

"It went very good," she said afterwards. "It is pretty much anybody's game. My first jump was over seven metres, but it was a foul. I am just so excited. I really can't wait."

She may yet have another shot at gold. "I wanted to be on the track, but it didn't work out this year as planned. "I'm in the long jump final, maybe I'll get a shot in the relay. We'll see."

Her task was made easier by the big-name failures: Niurka Montalvo, the 1999 world champion, two-time former champion Fiona May, and reigning champion Eunice Barber."

Read more at Jones jumps into final

Posted by Darren at 03:53 PM

No qualifying round for frantic Olympics sex scene

""Four years ago the winning medal went to Cuba, thanks to a remark from Australian basketball player Michelle Trims: "The Cubans are using up condoms as if they're about to go out of fashion."

This time around the talk of sex is slightly more discreet, but matters are still exciting when it comes to the unofficial "sport" going on in the suffocating summer heat at the Athens Games.

The debate about whether athletes should have sex or refrain on the night before a big competition was yet again broached by the Greek newspaper Ta Nea.

The newspaper found some surprising opinions: German physicians and Russian psychologists are in favor of sexual relations prior to a big sports event, but Israeli experts only approve of sex in the case of women athletes.

"If the athlete is conditioned by social or religious factors, the influence of sex is negative. But it has not been proved scientifically that sex before competing has a negative effect," said Tassos Stalikas, a Greek sports psychologist.

Durex gave 130,000 condoms and 30,000 portions of lubricating creams to Olympic village administrators for use by athletes. That was 40,000 more than the 90,000 distributed in Sydney, but considerably lower than the 250,000 condoms given away at the Salt Lake City 2002 winter games.

"It's hard to hold back and be modest when faced with so many good-looking people here," Canadian rower Marni McBin was quoted as saying by German newspaper Bild, which gave a detailed account of the sex lives of athletes."

Read more at No qualifying round for frantic Olympics sex scene

Posted by Darren at 03:52 PM

NBC basks in Olympic glory

"As the Summer Olympics sprint to the finish line Sunday, NBC Universal will have reason to do a victory lap over its winning performance with viewers and advertisers.

The company will clear an estimated $60 million-$70 million in profit from the 2004 Athens Games, well above the $50 million predicted before the Olympics began, NBC executives said Wednesday.

NBC Universal stands poised to break the aggregate 200 million-viewer mark by week's end, surpassing not only the 2000 Sydney Olympics but also viewership in 1992, when the broadcast networks didn't face nearly as much competition from cable/satellite channels as they do today. It will fall slightly behind the 209 million viewers who tuned in eight years ago when the Olympics were in Atlanta."

NBC Uni basks in Olympic glory

Posted by Darren at 03:46 PM

Athens business leader expects big post-Olympic investment boom

"Self-confident Greeks, encouraged by worldwide praises for its successfully-hosting of the Olympic Games, are expecting a big boom in foreign investments in the post-Olympic era.

A country, capable of organizing such a big event as the Olympic Games in the "impeccable and smooth" manner it has done, is also capable of attracting major foreign investments, Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) President Drakoulis Fountoukakos said Wednesday at a press conference in downtown Athens.

He said major sports venues constructed for the Games are expected to provide very important opportunities for investment after the Games.

The Olympic Estate S.A., a company set up for the post-Games management of the facilities, has been working on a strategic planfor this purpose, Fountoukakos added.

The ACCI leader said the Greek economy can offer great investment opportunities in the coming years, depending on the extent of the structural changes the government has pledged to proceed with."

Read more at Athens business leader expects big post-Olympic investment boom

Posted by Darren at 03:44 PM

Greece hopes to attract tourists with Olympic success

"Greek Tourism Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos predicted Wednesday that worldwide praise for Greece's successful staging of the Olympic Games will attract more visitors to Greece in the future and help develop the post-Olympic economy.

Greece has set up a strategic plan to increase the ratio of tourism to the gross domestic products (GDP) from 18 percent to 40percent by the end of 2010, while creating 150,000 more jobs in the tourism industry which employs 800,000 people at present.

Avramopoulos believed that the dream will come true by promoting Greek cultural treasures and portraying the southern Balkan country as an ideal place to hold conventions as well, now that it has proven its ability to organize big international events like the Olympics.

Greece received 12 million visitors last year, more than its population of 11 million. However, since its adoption of the euro in 2001, Greece has struggled to compete with cheaper Mediterranean destinations like Turkey, and the number of visitorshas declined."

Read more at Greece hopes to attract tourists with Olympic success

Posted by Darren at 03:42 PM

McDonald's salads break Olympic record

"US fastfood giant McDonald's says that sales at its three restaurants around Olympic venues in Greece have so far exceeded its expectations, according to CRIENGLISH.com.

As the second week of the games began, McDonald's said that its outlets at the Olympic Village, Main Press Centre and Athens Olympic Sports Complex have seen a steady day by day increase in sales.

The company, which is an official sponsor of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, noted that its salads and fruit and yoghurt products had sold particularly well."

Read more at McDonald's salads break Olympic record

Posted by Darren at 03:41 PM

American boxing down for the count

"And now there are two -- only two -- Americans left to fight their way through the Olympic boxing medal rounds ... just two from the country that once dominated these Games ... just two from the country with the most money ... the most history ... the most amateur alumni to go on and rule the professional world.

This is the mysterious paradox among all those other golden United States Olympic squads in Athens. Off victories and defeats you find it hard to understand why this country has just two fighters left in the Olympic boxing medal rounds"

Read more at Izenberg: American boxing down for the count

Posted by Darren at 03:40 PM

Derek Miles Advances To Olympic Pole Vault Finals

"Derek Miles of the U.S. Track and Field made his final attempt at the qualifying height of 5.7 meters and is among the 16 male vaulters to qualify for the finals in the pole vault at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

Miles, who will jump in the pole vault finals at about 8:45 a.m. on Friday (August 27) morning, made his first two jumps (5.5 meters, 5.6 meters) before passing to the qualifying height of 5.7 meters which he made on his third try.

Both of USA's other vaulters also advanced with Toby Stevenson clearing 5.7 on his first attempt. Tim Mack made the qualifying height on his second try.

Other finalists included the reigning European champion, Alejsander Averbukh of Isreal, who cleared 5.7 on his first attempt. Reigning world champion Giuseppe Gibilisco of Italy, who has struggled much of the year, also advanced. However many of the top vaulters did not move on, including the 2001 world champion Dmitri Markov of Australia. Okkert Brits of RSA, one of the few vaulters to go over six meters, did not advance."

Read more at Miles Advances To Olympic Pole Vault Finals

Posted by Darren at 03:34 PM

Tough lesson for Perdita Felicien in hurdles spill

"When Perdita Felicien walked off the track Tuesday night, her hopes of a gold medal dashed, she forced herself to watch Olympic champion Joanna Hayes run her victory lap draped in the American flag.

It wasn't easy. But the world champion hurdler from Pickering, Ont., said there was a lesson to be learned from her horrific crash in Athens, and that's never to be complacent again. "I said, as hard as it was, 'Look at that,'" said Felicien. "'Remember how it tastes, remember how it feels.'

"I want to feel these feelings. Whenever I get complacent again, I'm going to call upon those moments and those feelings.""

Read more at Tough lesson for Perdita Felicien in hurdles spill | CP

Posted by Darren at 03:33 PM

Paul Hamm prefers not to share all-around gold

"Olympic all-around champion Paul Hamm said Wednesday he would prefer not to share his gold medal with South Korea's Yang Tae-young despite a judging mistake that ultimately cost Yang the gold.

In an interview on CBS' "The Late Show with David Letterman," Hamm was asked about having another gold medal issued for Yang.

"I personally feel in my heart I was the Olympic champion that night," Hamm said. "I would be a little bit upset if another gold medal was awarded because I really felt I won the event."

The studio audience agreed, applauding and chanting "U-S-A! U-S-A!"

After a disastrous fall on the vault, Hamm dropped from first place after three rotations to 12th after four. He followed with brilliant performances on the parallel bars and high bar, allowing him to edge Yang, who finished with the bronze, just 0.049 points behind.

But the judges failed to give Yang enough points for the level of difficulty on the parallel bars. That triggered an uproar, with South Korea lobbying for another gold medal."

Read more at Hamm prefers not to share all-around gold

Posted by Darren at 03:32 PM

Olympic Security

"If you're watching the Olympic games on television, you've already seen the unprecedented security surrounding the 2004 Games. You're seen shots of guards and soldiers, and gunboats and frogmen patrolling the harbors.

But there's a lot more security behind the scenes. Olympic press materials state that there is a system of 1250 infrared and high-resolution surveillance cameras mounted on concrete polls. Additional surveillance data is collected from sensors on 12 patrol boats, 4000 vehicles, 9 helicopters, four mobile command centres, and a blimp.

It's not only images; microphones collect conversations, speech-recognition software converts them to text, and then sophisticated pattern-matching software looks for suspicious patterns. A total of 70,000 people are involved in Olympic security, about seven per athlete or one for every 76 spectators.

The Greek government has reportedly spent $US1.5 billion on security during the Olympics. But aside from the impressive-looking guards and statistics, was the money well-spent? In many ways, Olympic security is a harbinger of what life could be like in the US. If the Olympics are going to be a security test bed, it's worth exploring how well the security actually worked"

Read more at Olympic Security

Posted by Darren at 03:31 PM

Holland, Australia set up summit clash in hockey

"Defending champions Holland and favourites Australia won their semifinal clashes in contrasting fashion to set up a title clash in the Olympic men's hockey competition here today.

Holland overcame a fighting Germany 3-2 to get themselves just a win away from clinching their third successive Olympic hockey gold while Australia toyed with a hapless Spain for a comprehensive 6-3 win.

In other classification matches of the day, India went down to Pakistan 0-3 for their fourth loss in six matches in the competition and New Zealand beat South Korea 4-3."

Read more at Olympics: Holland, Australia set up summit clash in hockey

Posted by Darren at 06:30 AM

Iran's Hossein Rezazadeh Remains World's Strongest

"Shane Hamman proved once again Wednesday night that he's the strongest man in America, adding to his legacy by breaking two of his U.S. records. But he came away from the Olympic super heavyweight lifting finals in awe of Iran's Hossein Rezazadeh, who proved once again that he's the strongest man in the world - by far.

Rezazadeh took the lead on his second lift and was guaranteed gold after his fourth. After his only miss, he came back with a 581-pound (263.5-kg) clean and jerk, setting a world record and matching the record total lift of 1,041.7 pounds (472.5 kg) he set four years ago in Sydney.

"He is intimidating to some of the guys," said Hamman, who at 5-foot-9 and nearly 350 pounds doesn't get intimidated often. "You see how easily he stands up with the bar. Even people who aren't lifters can see it.""

Read more at Iran's Rezazadeh Remains World's Strongest

Posted by Darren at 06:29 AM

Cuba wins Baseball Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Cuba

The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Australia

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Japan

Veronica Campbell wins Women's 200m Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Veronica Campbell from Jamaica

The winner of the Silver Medal: Allyson Felix from United States

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Debbie Ferguson from The Bahamas

Greeks to Take to Streets Over Powell Visit

"Greeks opposed to U.S. policy in Iraq (news - web sites) will march to the U.S. embassy on Friday in protest at a weekend visit to the Olympics by Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites).

Organizers said on Wednesday they expected thousands to turn out although the government has urged them to bear in mind tight security and any impact on Greece's image during the Games.

"He is a warmonger and we don't want him here. He is coming to watch the Olympics while American occupation forces are slaughtering hundreds of Iraqis daily," said Yannis Sfakakis, a representative of the Stop the War Coalition."

Read more at Greeks to Take to Streets Over Powell Visit

Posted by Darren at 06:21 AM

Olympics Choreographer a Sensation

"The man behind the Athens Olympics' opening ceremony is reluctant to call his work a success, despite worldwide acclaim for his evocative tableau of 3,000 years of Greek history and culture.

"I hope this stays in the hearts and minds of people. That would honor me greatly," said the 40-year-old choreographer-director Dimitris Papaioannou, who has become an overnight cultural sensation for the opening even as he scrambles to put together the closing ceremony.

"Let's see what happens later on before we can call it a success," he said."

Read more at Yahoo! News - Olympics Choreographer a Sensation

Posted by Darren at 06:19 AM

Athens Shoots Past Sydney in Olympic Ratings

"Midway through the race between Olympics past and present, this year's edition is outrunning its predecessor from four years ago.

NBC has drawn to its Athens-based primetime broadcast an average of 26.6 million total viewers through Friday, up 15% from the audience that tuned in to the first eight days of the Olympics in Sydney. NBC's 16 rating/28 share in households is up 9% from the 2000 Summer Games.

NBC's eight-day ratings are also 67% higher than the combined primetime rating of ABC, CBS and Fox over the same period.

Among viewers 18-49, NBC is averaging 9.3 million and a 5.8 rating -- up 60% over the combined rating of its competitors in that demographic."

Read more at Yahoo! News - Athens Shoots Past Sydney in Olympic Ratings

Posted by Darren at 06:18 AM

Aussies dominate Olympic cycling with six golds

"Australia confirmed their status as the new force of world cycling after dominating the Athens Olympics with six gold medals, two of them on a memorable closing day's competition at the Velodrome.

Ryan Bayley clinched the sprint-keirin track double and Stuart O'Grady and Graeme Brown teamed for a dynamic victory in the 50km madison to round off Australia's greatest cycling performance at an Olympics.

In Wednesday's other gold medal, Russian Olga Slyusareva broke through for her first Olympic title at the age of 35 in the women's points race."

Read more at Aussies dominate Olympic cycling with six golds

Posted by Darren at 06:11 AM

Awesome Halkia Stuns Sad Pittman in Hurdles

"Greek sensation Fani Halkia blitzed to gold in the Olympic women's 400 meters hurdles on Wednesday to confirm her meteoric rise in the world elite.

Halkia, a no-hoper last year, raced home in 52.82 seconds to thrash Romania's Ionela Tirlea-Manolache (53.38) and Ukraine's Tetiana Tereshchuk-Antipova (53.44).

World champion Jana Pittman of Australia, running after a brave battle against injury, faded to fifth while world record holder Yuliya Pechenkina of Russia trailed in last after a wretched run.

The winner, who came from nowhere to run the sixth fastest time in history during the semi-finals, knelt on the ground to kiss the track after her triumph as the crowd bayed their support.

"I felt I would win when I came into the stadium," Halkia said, wearing a blue and white national flag around her shoulders."

Read more at Awesome Halkia Stuns Sad Pittman in Hurdles

Posted by Darren at 06:09 AM

Judged sports don't belong in Olympics

"With apologies to those unmoved by the nightly exercise in unabashed patriotism that are the Olympics on NBC, The Blog feels compelled to offer a modest proposal meant not to savage, but to save.

To preface, The Blog has been a big Olympics fan since 1984, when the Games visited The Blog's home city of Los Angeles, and the hometown folks -- spooked by thoughts of gridlock and mayhem and financial ruin -- made for the hills in record numbers. My parents were among the fleeing, and so The Blog (and siblings) were packed up in the dead of night and cattle-driven seven hours north to the grandparents' home in Orinda, Calif., where the Armageddon could be watched from a safe distance. Instead, of course, the smog cleared, the San Gabriels glistened, the freeways flowed, the city made a freaking fortune and U.S. athletes dominated the Soviet-boycotted Games like never before (or since). It was those Games that gave the Olympics back its mojo."

Read more at Judged sports don't belong in Olympics

Posted by Darren at 06:06 AM

Hungarian Weightlifter Under Investigation

"A Hungarian weightlifter was under investigation Wednesday for failing to provide a urine sample after his competition, a spokesman for the country's Olympic committee said.

Zoltan Kovacs, who finished at the bottom Tuesday in the 105kg weightlifting, testified before the IOC disciplinary committee, according to Hungarian team spokesman Dezso Vad. A final decision on his case was expected Thursday.

"He said he made a mistake," Vad said. "He was very sorry, and that's all."

The weightlifter claimed he left the venue after his competition and learned a urine sample was needed only when he arrived at the athletes' village, Vad said. Kovacs said he went to the testing center three times, but could find no one willing to help him, the spokesman added."

Read more at Hungarian Weightlifter Under Investigation

Posted by Darren at 06:00 AM

Allen Johnson falls in 100m hurdles

"World high hurdles champion Allen Johnson literally crashed out of the Olympic Games Wednesday when he fell at the ninth flight in the second semi-final.

The 1996 Olympic champion tripped on the ninth hurdle and flew headlong into the 10th. He lay sprawled on the track watching helplessly as his opponents crossed the line.

"It's unfortunate. It happens to the best of us, you just have to move on. It's just one of those breaks," the American said.

"You always have disappointments, Sydney showed that. I just have to take this one and keep going."

Johnson finished fourth at the 2000 Sydney Games"

Read more at American Allen Johnson Crashes Out of Olympics

"Four-time world 110 metres hurdles champion Allen Johnson's bid to regain his Olympic title ended in disaster when he fell for only the second time in his 13 year career.

The 33-year-old, 1996 Olympic champion, clipped several of the hurdles in his second round heat but as he desperately tried to make the first three he went on to hit the penultimate one too hard and dived headlong onto the track.

"It was unfortunate but it happens to the best of us," said the two-time world indoor 60m hurdles champion.

"The Olympics are over for me but I will keep going because I'm the best hurdler in the world."

Johnson said he would be able to handle the disappointment.

"You always have disappointments. Sydney showed me that (he finished fourth losing his Olympic title to Anier Garcia). I've just got to take it and keep going."

Johnson admitted that despite his experience, nerves may have played a part in his downfall."

Johnson's dreams of regaining Olympic title bite the dust

Posted by Darren at 05:56 AM

Smith dives into semi-final

British diver Jane Smith reached the women's 3m springboard semi-final after qualifying in 13th place.
The Briton scored a total 282.90 and will now start fifth of the 18 divers in Friday's final.

Russia's Yulia Pakhalina, who won the synchronised springboard gold in 2000, led the qualifiers with 347.04.

Blythe Hartley of Canada was second with two-time world champion and favourite Guo Jingjing of China in third place.

Source: BBC News

Posted by at 05:56 AM

'Unbeatable' Khan eyes gold

British boxing star Amir Khan has been called "unbeatable" by the man who tried to plot his downfall on Tuesday.
The 17-year-old produced a stunning display to stop South Korea's Baik Jong-sub in the first round of their lightweight quarter-final clash.

Baik's coach In-Suk Oh said: "This boy is unbeatable. Khan will be considered the memory of the Games."

With a bronze medal already guaranteed, Khan's next fight is on Friday against Kazakh boxer Serik Yeleuov.

Khan's coach Terry Edwards now has the task of preparing his charge for another unknown opponent.

"We don't know that much about him, but we did not know too much about the Korean before we studied the tapes," said Edwards.

Source: BBC News

Posted by at 05:53 AM

Hayes takes hurdles title

Joanna Hayes set a new Olympic record of 12.37 seconds to win 100m hurdles gold after the favourite crashed out.
Canada's Perdita Felicien came to grief at the first hurdle and took Russia's Irina Shevchenko with her.

The medal ceremony was delayed after the Russians protested and demanded a re-run. But the appeal was rejected.

Olena Krasovska of Ukraine took silver with a time of 12.45 seconds while America's Melissa Morrison came through for bronze in 12.56.


Felicien had been the pre-race favourite but walked away in tears, flinging her shoes to the ground in anger and frustration.

"The first hurdle came up, I reached for it way too much," she said.

"Before I knew it I was on the ground. I couldn't believe it, there was no coming back. This is going to take four years to sink in."

Source: BBC

Posted by at 05:52 AM

Wiggins claims third medal

Britain's Bradley Wiggins won his third cycling medal in Athens as he and Rob Hayles claimed a superb bronze medal in an eventful madison race.
Wiggins, who won the individual pursuit and took silver in the team pursuit, became the first Briton since 1964 to win three medals at one Games.

Hayles, who survived a crash with 90 laps to go, made up for missing a medal in a last-lap crash in Sydney in 2000.

Australia's Stuart O'Grady and Graeme Brown took gold and Switzerland silver.

Mary Rand was the last Briton to win three medals - in the long jump, the 4x100m relay and the pentathlon - at the 1964 Olympics in Toyko.

"It is still a bit unbelievable," Wiggins said. "I would have settled for just the first one.

The British public must think I'm an absolute idiot

Rob Hayles
"But I decided to go for three and I wouldn't have done that if I didn't think I had a chance of a medal."

"Perhaps after 10 pints tonight it might start to sink in a bit!"

Wiggins and Hayles, who also won a silver in the team pursuit, made a superb start to the 200-lap race, winning the opening sprint to pick up five points.

But Australia and Germany broke away early on to move a lap ahead of the field.

Wiggins picked up two points in the third sprint and another three on the fifth to leave the British pair in fourth place.


I thought, "Not again!"

Rob Hayles
But they courted disaster when Hayles collided with Dutch rider Robert Slippens with barely half the race gone and crashed to the track.

"The British public must think I'm an absolute idiot," Hayles said.

"But I knew as soon as I went down I was OK and it was just a question of getting my composure back and getting back on the bike."

Hayles bravely did just that but the Ukraine, Spain, New Zealand and Swiss teams all pulled a lap back to leave Britain in seventh place with 30 laps to go.

A lung-bursting charge from Wiggins saw the pair leap into second place as he caught the back of the field on a breakaway to regain the lost lap.

"When we hit them, we hit them hard," Hayles recalled.

The Swiss duo of Franco Marvulli and Bruno Risi won the ninth and penultimate sprint with 20 laps to go to join them in second place.

Britain's medal hopes appeared in jeapordy as O'Grady - with Australia already having secured the gold - appeared to block Hayles and Switzerland hit the front in the final sprint.

Olympics message boards:
Have Your Say on cycling
But the 31-year-old - in bronze medal position four years ago before a crash heading into the final lap - kept his nerve to come home third and clinch a medal.

Australia finished with 22 points, with Switzerland scoring 15 and Britain 12.

O'Grady, 31, won his first gold medal in his fourth Olympics, to go with a silver in the team pursuit in 1992 and bronzes in the points race and team pursuit in Atlanta 1996.

It was Brown's second gold medal in Athens after helping Australia to victory in the team pursuit.

Australia also won the first-ever Olympic madison in Sydney, when Brett Aitken and Scott McGrory triumphed

Posted by at 05:50 AM

Campbell fit for 200m semi

Darren Campbell has declared himself fit to run in Wednesday's 200m semi-finals, despite a hamstring problem.
The Briton limped off the track on Tuesday after scraping through his second round heat in fourth place.

Campbell, who won the 200m silver at Sydney, confirmed he would be going for a place in the final.

Great Britain athletics team leader Max Jones said: "He's phoned in from the doctor to say he will be running. He's having ongoing treatment."

Source: BBC News

Posted by at 05:48 AM

Brazilians win gold at the beach

"Brazil's Ricardo Sanos and Emanuel Rego won their country's first-ever gold medal in men's beach volleyball Wednesday night with a straight set victory over Javier Bosma and Pablo Herrera of Spain.

The 15th-seeded Spaniards were no match for the Brazilians, reigning world champions and the No. 1 at these Games. The match lasted just 42 minutes.

Earlier, Switzerland's Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel won bronze with a three-set victory over Australia's Julien Prosser and Mark Williams."

Read more at Brazilians win gold at the beach

Posted by Darren at 05:47 AM

Dempsey earns sailing bronze

British windsurfer Nick Dempsey grabbed a bronze medal with his last race in Athens on Wednesday.
Dempsey won the 11th race on the Saronic Gulf to take third behind winner Gal Fridman of Israel and Greece's Nikos Kaklamanakis.

"I sailed the best regatta of my life," said Dempsey. "It was quite a good time to do that."

In the Star, GB are sixth overall after eight races, while GB's Tornado catamaran crew are 13th.


Fridman became Israel's first ever Olympic gold medallist after finishing second in the final Mistral class race.

Dempsey, 24, who is engaged to Athens gold medallist in the Yngling class Sarah Ayton, began the day in fourth place, 10 points behind Kaklamanakis.

Source: BBC

Posted by at 05:46 AM

Shasan Baroev wins n's 120kg Greco-Roman Wrestling Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Shasan Baroev from Russia

The winner of the Silver Medal: Georgiy Tsurtsumia from Kazakhstan

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Rulon Gardner from United States

Alexei Michine wins en's 84kg Greco-Roman Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Alexei Michine from Russia

The winner of the Silver Medal: Ara Abrahamian from Sweden

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Viachaslau Makaranka from Belarus

Farid Mansurov wins 66kg Men's Greco-Roman Wrestling Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Farid Mansurov from Azerbaijan

The winner of the Silver Medal: Seref Eroglu from Turkey

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Mkkhitar Manukyan from Kazakhstan

Istvan Majoros wins Men's 55kg Greco-Roman Wrestling

The winner of the Gold Medal: Istvan Majoros from Hungary

The winner of the Silver Medal: Gueidar Mamedaliev from Russia

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Artiom Kiouregkian from Greece

Russia wins Synchronized Swimming Duet Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Russia

The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Japan

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from United States

Fani Halkia wins Women's 400m Hurdles Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Fani Halkia from Greece

The winner of the Silver Medal: Ionela Tirlea-Manolache from Romania

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Tetiana Tereshchuk-Antipova from Ukraine

Brazil win Men's Beach Volleyball Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Brazil

The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Spain

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Switzerland

Hossein Reza Zadeh wins Men's +105kg Weightlifting Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Hossein Reza Zadeh from Iran

The winner of the Silver Medal: Viktors Scerbatihs from Latvia

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Velichko Cholakov from Bulgaria

Ryan Bayley wins Men's Keirin Gold Medal - Cycling

The winner of the Gold Medal: Ryan Bayley from Australia

The winner of the Silver Medal: Jose Escuredo from Spain

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Shane Kelly from Australia

Australia wins the Men's Madison - Cycling

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Australia

The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Switzerland

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from United Kingdom (Great Britain)

Jana Pittman finishes fifth in 400m Hurdles

Australians rose in the early hours of the morning to see comeback kid Jana Pittman race in the 400m hurdles race in Athens. After two weeks of a roller coaster ride of injury and miracle recovery Jana today saw her finish fifth behind Greece's Fani Halkia, Romania's Ionela Tirlea-Manolache and Tetiana Tereshchuk-Antipova.

Posted by Darren at 05:21 AM

Russia thrashes Germany in Water Polo

"Revaz Chomakhidze fired three first-half goals Wednesday as Russia overpowered Germany 12-5, setting up an Olympic water polo semifinal against defending champion Hungary.

The Hungarians won a lopsided final over Russia at Sydney 2000, a rematch of the infamous "Blood in the Water" semifinal of the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

Hungary had a 7-6 win here Monday over the Russians to cap an unbeaten run in preliminaries and gain an automatic spot in Friday's semifinals."

Read more at Russia thrashes Germany in Water Polo

Posted by Darren at 05:14 AM

Olympics-And the Winner Is ... World Metal Prices

"Greece waited 108 years to host another Olympic Games. Unfortunately it came just as a boom in world metal prices has sent the cost of winners' medals through the stadium roof.

At approximately $400,000 for the metal content of the 3,000 Athens medals alone, it may be just a drop in the Aegean Sea compared to an estimated $8.6 billion total Games cost.

But cost-conscious organizers can hardly have expected that the price of gold would increase approximately 45 percent since the summer Games in Sydney four years ago, or that silver would go up 35 percent and copper -- the key metal in bronze -- would cost 42 percent higher than in 2000. Considering that the medals struck for the Athens Games used 13 kilos (417 ounces) of gold and approximately one ton each of silver and bronze -- an alloy of 90 percent copper and 10 percent zinc -- that's a hefty increase in four years. By unofficial reckoning, it means the Athens Games needed over $166,000 worth of gold and $234,000 of silver for its medals.

The price of gold has risen dramatically since August 2000, when it was approximately $275 an ounce. It was hovering around $400 an ounce on Tuesday. Similarly, silver has risen from $4.90 an ounce when the Sydney Games were held, to $6.65 currently. Copper, which is around $2,700 a ton, was selling for $1,900 four years ago."

Read more at Olympics-And the Winner Is ... World Metal Prices

Posted by Darren at 05:13 AM

Mexico still loves its Ana Gabriela Guevara - Now she's 'Goddess of Silver'

"Ana Gabriela Guevara may not have won the gold medal her country so yearned for, but the Mexican sprinter's status as a national heroine never has been clearer.

"Goddess of Silver," proclaimed the banner headline on the Web site of leading daily El Universal immediately after the 400-meter final in which Guevara was beaten in the last few meters by Tonique Williams of the Bahamas.

Mexico City's usually jam-packed highways were strangely deserted around the time of the race, which coincided with lunchtime here, as residents crowded around televisions in restaurants, in their offices and in their homes to watch "Anita" in the race of her career."

Read more at REACTION / Mexico still loves its Ana / Now she's 'Goddess of Silver'

Posted by Darren at 04:20 AM

How to win more medals at the Olympics

"The secret to winning more medals is actually very simple. The rise of China up the medal tally is enough to know that such a strategy is indeed possible. Consider this for a second, if you want to emerge as a serious contender for the medals at the Olympics, you better be good in either swimming or gymnastics. It would take nothing short of a miracle to keep you off the top ten if you are good at both.

Eastern Europe and the erstwhile Soviet Union literally ruled the gymnastics arena until the Chinese and the Americans realized the vitality of the sport for dominating the Olympics. Theoretically, building a gymnastics program doesnt take much, if the government decides to. Investment in a foreign coaching team and provision of a state-of-the-art training complex is really all you may need. You will definitely find willing students, if you promise them an Olympic medal, provided they put in adequate training, determination, and perseverance to make sacrifices."

Read more atNerve Endings Firing Away: How to win more medals at the Olympics

Posted by Darren at 03:53 AM

Closing ceremony under a full moon

IOC Press Release
Closing ceremony under a full moon

"The Closing Ceremony will take place on Sunday 29 August at 9.15 p.m. under a full moon. It will be a totally different style of ceremony, announced Dimitris Papaioannou, Concept Creator and Artistic Director of Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

Eat, drink, sing and dance
The Opening Ceremony was a celebration of humanity while the Closing Ceremony will be a warm and human celebration. It will be like an invitation to eat, drink and dance and sing with us, the Greek way. It will feature a colourful mosaic, compiled of pieces of Greek celebrations gathered from all regions of Greece featuring a fast edit of a constant flow, like rivers of energy, of 2,100 volunteers, Papaioannou told journalists in a press briefing.

Sixty pontos dancers in a field of wheat
Among other things, the Closing Ceremony will feature 100 koudounatoi - a Greek custom with direct origins in the Bacchic rituals of ancient times, as well as a line of 60 Pontos dancers, one of the most powerful Greek dances. This will be staged on a field of play that will be transformed into a field of golden wheat made of 45,000 stalks of wheat.

Marathon Medal Ceremony
The medal ceremony for the men's marathon, as the last discipline of the Games, follows. Then enter the flags of all delegations and all the athletes without any distinction of nationality. The Presidents of ATHOC and the IOC are invited to deliver their speeches, and then the mayors of Athens and Beijing are introduced and the national anthems of Greece and China played. For eight minutes, a cultural show staged by Chinese artists will provide a taste of what can be expected in Beijing in 2008.

Goodbye to the flame
Eight volunteers will contribute to lowering the Olympic flag. Finally, the crowd and the world say goodbye to the flame, symbolically keeping the flame in their hearts. And all this to the sounds of great composer Manos Xatzidakis. Afterwards, seven major Greek singers invite the world to dance."

Posted by Darren at 03:52 AM

The Washington Times: AP

"Greek protest groups urged the government Wednesday to call off a planned visit by Secretary of State Colin Powell, saying he would try to exploit the Olympics for President Bush's re-election campaign.

Powell plans to arrive in Athens on Saturday for talks with Premier Costas Caramanlis and to attend the games' closing ceremony the following night.

"He is a hawk, a war criminal and an arch murderer. .. We do not want him here," said Yiannis Sifakakis, who is organizing a march to the U.S. Embassy on Friday. "Colin Powell is coming here while the Americans are killing people in Iraq."

Sifakakis said Greek protesters have coordinated their actions with anti-globalization groups in the United States, who are planning a weekend march in New York in advance of the Republican National Convention.

Public protests are not banned during the Olympics but the government has warned demonstrators that they cannot close roads and lanes reserved for Olympic use.

The U.S. Embassy in central Athens is not close to any of the current Olympic venues but it is near the hotel being used by the International Olympic Committee."

Read more atThe Washington Times: AP

Posted by Darren at 02:28 AM

Athletes' medical files seized

"Prosecutors seized the hospital records on Wednesday of two disgraced sprinters who withdrew from the Olympics after missing a doping test and crashing on a motorcycle.

Prosecutors Spyros Mouzakitis and Athina Theodopoupou visited Athens' KAT trauma hospital and left with files containing the hospitalisation records of Kostas Kenteris, the 200-metre gold medalist in 2000, and Katerina Thanou, who took silver in the 100 metres in Sydney, a source in the Athens prosecutors office said.

The two athletes crashed on a motorcycle and were hospitalised a few hours after they could not be found at the Olympic Village for a drug test."

Read more at Athletes' medical files seized

Posted by Darren at 01:58 AM

Anky Van Grunsven wins Individual Dressage Gold Medal - Equestrian

The winner of the Gold Medal: Anky Van Grunsven from Netherlands

The winner of the Silver Medal: Ulla Salzgeber from Germany

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Beatriz Ferrer-Salat from Spain

Dutch throw a big party every night during the games

"The Dutch are getting a reputation for throwing great parties.
During every games, either Winter or Summer, Holland House provides Dutch food, Dutch drink, Dutch music and a little bit of home for athletes and fans from Holland.

People from other countries are allowed to attend the parties.

This year, Holland House is located near the National Gardens in Athens.

Local delicacies from Holland are served, news from home is posted on a bulletin board and coverage of the Summer Games can be seen on big screen T-Vs around the area, with commentary from Dutch T-V."

Read more atDutch throw a big party every night during the games

Posted by Darren at 01:37 AM

Something for the runner who has everything else - Hicham el Guerrouj

"As soon as Hicham el Guerrouj crossed the finish line Tuesday night at Olympic Stadium, he collapsed on the brick-colored track that became his salvation.

The Moroccan was finally the Olympic 1,500-meter champion, having overcome a furious late charge by rival Bernard Lagat of Kenya. After tasting the bitterness of Olympic failure twice, Guerrouj wanted to extend the moment.

He would not get up.

One by one, his opponents came to him like long-lost friends. Lagat fell to his knees to hug him and hold his head in his hands. Others surrounded the Moroccan, offering pats. The 70,000 fans embraced Guerrouj's feat as he rolled on the track, sobbing.

Four years ago in Sydney, the world-record holder shared tears with his compatriots after being chased down in the final meters to finish second to Noah Ngeny of Kenya."

Read more atSomething for the runner who has everything else

Posted by Darren at 01:16 AM

Bikini girls making waves

"The Ancient Greeks would probably have scratched their heads in bemusement at the Olympic spectacle of beach volleyball.

But their 21st century counterparts cannot get enough of a sport one commentator likens to "karaoke on sand".

That sentiment may be a little harsh.

These are finely tuned athletes who play hard and are extremely proud of what they do.

They just happen to compete against a backdrop of music you would normally hear in the discos of Continental Europe.

During the women's final on Tuesday, the public address announcer urged spectators to clap their hands and stamp their feet in between points while blasting out tunes like YMCA over the loudspeakers."

Read more at Bikini girls making waves

Posted by Darren at 01:10 AM

Russian Wins Women's Points Race

"Russia's Olga Slyusareva added an Olympic gold medal to her collection of world championships, easily winning the points race Wednesday. The only American in the race, Erin Mirabella of Chula Vista, Calif., was fourth with 9 points - the best finish of her Olympic career.

Mirabella was 10th at the points race in Sydney four years ago, and placed 10th in the individual pursuit competition earlier at the Athens Games.

Slyusareva, the points race bronze medalist in 2000 and winner of four consecutive world titles in the event since, finished with 20 points. Belem Guerrero Mendez of Mexico was second with 14 points and Colombia's Maria Luisa Calle Williams was third with 12 points."

Read more atRussian Wins Women's Points Race

Posted by Darren at 01:09 AM

NBA, Olympics don't mix

"BRING BACK the college players.

The U.S. Olympic Committee should consider that simple and elegant cure for the poor showing the American basketball team has been making in Athens, and for the even more disgraceful refusal of many top American hoop stars to represent their country in the first place.

By now, the American team has earned condemnation for its poor fundamentals, its even worse teamwork, and its lackadaisical and arrogant attitude. Stars such as Tracy McGrady, Jason Kidd and Shaquille O'Neill made things worse by citing dubious "security concerns" for their refusal to play, and the Olympic selection committee made things worse still by repeating the 1988 mistake of failing to include enough good outside shooters."

Read more atNBA, Olympics don't mix

Posted by Darren at 01:07 AM

Radcliffe still undecided on 10,000m

"Paula Radcliffe is still to reveal whether she will run in the 10,000m.

Radcliffe is believed to have made a full physical recovery after dropping out of Sunday's marathon and has intensified her training programme.

She has until Thursday to confirm her entry in Friday's race but Team GB chief Max Jones says she is undecided.

He revealed: "She's gone for a run this morning and it will be a tougher one than yesterday. We'll see how she feels in the next couple of days."

On Monday, in a tearful BBC interview with Steve Cram, Radcliffe insisted she would wait before making a considered decision."

Read more atRadcliffe still undecided

Posted by Darren at 01:06 AM

Olga Slyusareva wins Women's Point Race Gold Medal - Cycling

The winner of the Gold Medal: Olga Slyusareva from Russia

The winner of the Silver Medal: Belem Guerrero Mendez from Mexico

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Maria Luisa Calle Williams from Colombia

Canada's baseball medal hopes crushed

CBC.ca - Athens 2004 - CBC Sports: Japan crushes Canada's baseball medal hopes

Canada's dream of winning its first Olympic baseball medal died Wednesday in Athens.

Posted by at 12:56 AM

Kayakers hope to make up for rowing losses

Five Canadians advance to finals

Five Canadian boats qualified for finals in the flatwater canoe-kayak competition at the Summer Olympics on Wednesday.

So far, eight Canadian boats have qualified for finals. There are three more semis scheduled for Thursday. In the men's K-1, 1,000-metre semifinal, Adam van Koeverden of Oakville, Ont., won in a time of three minutes 27.502 seconds. Hungary's Roland Kokeny of Hungary was second in 3:29.134 while Emanuel Silva of Portugal was third, 2.440 seconds off the pace.

Posted by at 12:53 AM

US Women's Basketball Team into Semi Finals

"The place and the opponent don't really matter. This U.S. basketball team is on a roll. Hushing a boisterous crowd with its all-around domination, the United States advanced to the semifinals Wednesday with a 102-72 victory over Greece, which had heart, the home court and little else.

Now, only two games stand between the Americans and a third straight gold medal. They'll play the winner of the Russia-Czech Republic game on Friday. The semifinal winners advance to the gold medal game on Saturday.

After playing their preliminary games in a small arena at the Helliniko complex on the coast, the teams moved to the spacious 19,250-seat Olympic Indoor Hall for the medal round. The Americans looked liked they belonged on the bigger stage."

Read more atU.S. Women's Hoops Team Cruises Into Semis

Posted by Darren at 12:19 AM

Campaign Will Highlight Rights Abuses Ahead of Beijing Olympics

"As the Olympic Games head towards a weekend finale, campaigners around the world are gearing up for a four-year campaign to draw attention to the human rights record of the authoritarian government that will host the next summer event.

At Sunday's closing ceremony, the city of Athens will hand over the Olympic flag to representatives of the city of Beijing. In 2008, China's capital will host what will likely be the most politically-charged Olympics since Hitler's Berlin hosted the Games in 1936.

Some human rights groups would like to see a boycott of Beijing 2008, but most are taking another approach, hoping that the event -- and the years leading up to it -- will provide new opportunities to highlight China's rights violations and force improvements.

When the International Olympics Committee (IOC) in July 2001 picked Beijing over four other candidate cities vying to host the 2008 games, groups like Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres or RSF) called for a boycott.

The Paris-based watchdog said there were as valid reasons for boycotting Beijing as there had been to justify the U.S.-led boycott of the Moscow Olympics in 1980, when 60 nations stayed away to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan."

Read more atCampaign Will Highlight Rights Abuses Ahead of Beijing Olympics

Posted by Darren at 12:17 AM

Yelena Isinbayeva - Russian captures women's pole vault

"Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia broke the world record in the women's pole vault for the fourth time this year, easily clearing 16 feet, 11/4 inches (4.91 meters) to take the gold medal Tuesday night.

Before her record vault, Isinbayeva celebrated clinching the Olympic title after the final failed attempt by her last remaining competitor, teammate Svetlana Feofanova.

Isinbayeva then cleared the height without touching the bar, bettering her own record of 16 feet, 3/4 inches (4.90) set in London on July 30. The vault also broke by a wide margin the inaugural Olympic record of 15 feet, 1 inch (4.60); the event debuted four years ago in Sydney."

Read more atRussian captures women's pole vault

Posted by Darren at 12:15 AM

South Korean Olympic Athletes Begin to Return Home

"South Korean athletes that have already finished competing at the Athens Olympics, return home Thursday on a chartered flight.

Composed of athletes and officials from judo, gymnastics, shooting, swimming, badminton, table tennis, weightlifting and fencing, a total of 139 members left Greece Wednesday and will arrive at Incheon International Airport at 9:30 a.m..

Among the returnees are gold medallists such as Lee Won-hee in judo and Ryu Seung-min in table tennis, along with bronze-medal winning gymnast Yang Tae-young, who lost the gold medal due to a judging error in the mens all-around event.

Kim Dae-eun, silver medallist of the all-around event, also is returning home. He was invited to the gymnastics gala held Tuesday, but reportedly declined to perform saying he was not prepared."

Read more at
KoreaTimes : Olympic Athletes Begin to Return Home

Posted by Darren at 12:11 AM

Gal Fridman wins Men's Mistral Gold Medal - Sailing

The winner of the Gold Medal: Gal Fridman from Israel

The winner of the Silver Medal: Nikolaos Kaklamanakis from Greece

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Nick Dempsey from United Kingdom (Great Britain)

France wins Women's Mistral Gold Medal - Sailing

The winner of the Gold Medal: Faustine Merret from France

The winner of the Silver Medal: Jian Yin from China

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Alessandra Sensini from Italy

August 25, 2004

Israel wins first-ever Olympic gold as Gal Fridman windsurfs to victory in 11-race series

" A windsurfer whose first name means "wave" in Hebrew gave Israel its first Olympic gold medal ever Wednesday, taking a plunge in the Saronic Gulf to celebrate. Gal Fridman sailed a remarkably consistent regatta, never finishing worse than eighth in the 11-race series. He placed second in Wednesday's decisive race.

After Fridman crossed the finish line, he took a victory dip and then wrapped himself in an Israeli flag when he came out of the water.

Fridman's victory finally gives Israelis the chance to hear their national anthem during a medal ceremony, scheduled for later in the day. The song is "Hatikvah" The Hope and Israeli fans sang it spontaneously last week when Ariel Zeevi won a bronze medal in judo."

Read more at Israel wins first-ever Olympic gold as Gal Fridman windsurfs to victory in 11-race series

Posted by Darren at 11:52 PM

Aussie Austrian wins women's triathlon

"Kate Allen, born in Australia and competing for Austria, kicked past Australia's Loretta Harrop with about 120 meters left Wednesday and won the Olympic women's triathlon by nearly seven seconds. Allen was timed in 2 hours, 4 minutes, 43.45 seconds. Susan Williams of the United States earned the bronze medal."

Read more atAustrian wins women's triathlon

" Australia's Loretta Harrop has finished a close second in the women's Olympic triathlon event in Athens.

Austrian Kate Allen, who was born in Geelong, won the race in 2:04.43 hours, having run down Harrop in the final 150 metres of the climactic run leg.

Harrop finished seven seconds behind Allen, with Susan Williams of the United States placing third.

A former world champion, Harrop established a 30-second lead during the run leg and looked certain to take the gold.

But the 34-year-old Allen timed her race to perfection, storming through the field with a stunning run.

Harrop said she was struggling towards the end of the race.'

Read more at Harrop takes silver in tight finish

Posted by Darren at 11:51 PM

Olympic victors may be left wreathless

"Greece's revival of an ancient Olympic tradition is coming into conflict with the tight bio-security regulations of the modern age.

Britain's Kelly Holmes should get her wreath back to Britain
The medal-winners' olive wreaths that are a defining image of the Athens Games have also caught the eye of customs officials around the world.

When Australia's victorious athletes step off the plane they will have to hand over their laurels so the plants can be blasted by gamma radiation.

Many other countries also have strict rules on imports to prevent pests contaminating flora and fauna."

Read more at Olympic victors may be left wreathless

Posted by Darren at 11:45 PM

Kate Allen wins Women's Triathlon Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Kate Allen from Austria

The winner of the Silver Medal: Loretta Harrop from Australia

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Susan Williams from United States

Paul Hamm makes a perfect fall guy for Olympic cronyism

"If he winds up giving back the gold medal, maybe Paul Hamm of Waukesha, Wis., could look into returning Manhattan, Alaska and the Louisiana territory next.

Incompetence may be inconvenient - criminal, even, in a few special cases - but in sports it's a way of life. If bad calls, like bad business deals, were open to review forever, no game would ever end. There would be no winners and losers, only lawyers. George Steinbrenner would own judges, not ballplayers.

If this latest scandal at the Olympics doesn't have you worried, it's only because you haven't been paying attention. Hamm, on the other hand, hasn't had time to think about anything else. He's the only one in this whole mess who didn't do anything wrong.

Which, of course, made him the perfect fall guy for inept judges, butt-covering officials and an International Olympic Committee afraid of its own shadow."

Read more at Hamm makes a perfect fall guy for Olympic cronyism

Posted by Darren at 11:20 PM

Athletics: Jones Makes Belated Entry to Olympics

"What a difference a year makes.

Twelve months ago triple Olympic champion Marion Jones was relishing motherhood, enjoying her enforced leisure and looking forward to competing in the Athens Olympics.

Now she will enter the Games on Wednesday almost by the back door after the BALCO laboratory scandal which has sent shockwaves through her sport.

Jones, who won a record five medals in Sydney, has qualified only for the long jump in Athens although she could run one or both relays. The long jump qualifying is scheduled for Wednesday evening.

In sharp contrast to Sydney, where she was the focus of attention after announcing she was trying to go one better than Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis by winning five gold medals, Jones has given no news conferences or interviews.

Her silence is understandable."

Read more atAthletics: Jones Makes Belated Entry to Olympics

Posted by Darren at 11:18 PM

Japan Clinches Baseball Bronze After Beating Canada

"Japan claimed bronze in baseball Wednesday with an 11-2 drubbing of Canada, but it was a bittersweet victory for Japan, which had high hopes of a gold with their "Dream Team" of pro baseball stars.

Australia will battle Cuba for the gold later in the day, while Canada were shut out at their first chance of an Olympic baseball medal.

Japan jumped out to a two-run lead in the first inning on a homer from power-hitting catcher Kenji Jojima. They put the game out of reach with four more runs in the third, sparked by a bases-loaded single from Takuya Kimura that scored two.

The baseball medal will be the third for the Japanese team, which claimed silver in Atlanta in 1996 and bronze in Barcelona in 1992."

Read more atJapan Clinches Baseball Bronze After Beating Canada

Posted by Darren at 11:17 PM

Rulon Gardner Loses in Wrestling Semis

"Rulon Gardner was in another Olympic wrestling upset his own.

One of the biggest stars of the 2000 Summer Games, Gardner was thrown to the mat in overtime Wednesday by Kazakhstan's Georgi Tsurtsumia and lost 4-1 in his Greco-Roman semifinal match. He will wrestle for the bronze medal later in the day.

Gardner was as surprised as anyone when Tsurtsumia somehow pulled off the winning 3-point move in their 264 1/2-pound (120kg) match, especially after spending much of the match visibly wearing down the younger wrestler.

Tsurtsumia looked upward at the scoreboard, still unsure for just a moment that he'd won, then jumped jubilantly into his coach's arms. Gardner seemed confused, too, searching for an explanation as he turned toward his corner and U.S. coach Steve Fraser.

Just like that, Rulon's remarkable comeback from a spate of injuries and misfortune was finished. Kneeling on the mat as Tsurtsumia celebrated, Gardner thought "It's over, it's done," he said. "Beyond that, I wasn't even tired.""

Read more atWrestling: Rulon Gardner Loses in Semis

Posted by Darren at 11:15 PM

Blogger ranks Games losers

" For those who believe the adage "all Olympic athletes are winners," a Canadian man has dedicated the past 11 days to proving you wrong.

At his blog site, Jonathan Crowe has been chronicling those Olympic athletes who finished dead last in their respective events.

"I never mention the gold medallist's name here -- they get enough press," Crowe, 32, writes on his Web log -- or "blog".

In the past two days, the site has attracted thousands of Web surfers to Crowe's humorous takes on who may be the lovable losers at the Athens Olympics, reminiscent of past notables such as Eddie "the Eagle" or the Jamaican bobsled squad.

One candidate is Fumilay Fonseca of Sao Tome and Principe.

Monday, Fonseca finished 52nd in the women's 20-km walk 35 minutes and 42 seconds behind the winner and about 15 minutes behind next-to-last finisher, he reported."

Read more at Blogger ranks Games losers

Posted by Darren at 10:48 PM

Canada to play for baseball bronze

Canada loses baseball heartbreaker to Cuba

Kevin Nicholson just missed a game-tying home run for Canada in the bottom of the ninth inning, allowing Cuba to hold on for an 8-5 win in a dramatic finish to their Olympic semifinal match on Tuesday.

Posted by at 08:47 AM

Diving silver for Canada

Despatie pulls out silver medal

Canadian diver Alexandre Despatie won silver in the Olympic three-metre springboard Tuesday, reeling off a spectacular final dive to edge Russian Dmitri Sautin.

Posted by at 08:44 AM

Athens Olympic Games Blog - 1,000,000 visitors

Wow we feel like we've just been given a Gold medal here at 'Athens Olympic Games Blog' - we just checked out page statistics and we've just passed the 1,000,000 visitor mark. All but 40,000 of them have come so far in the month of August.

Thanks to all our wonderful readers for helping to make this site the success it is.

Posted by Darren at 07:01 AM

Iraq's Golden Football Dream Ends

"The Iraqi soccer team's improbable run at an Olympic gold medal ended Tuesday night with a 3-1 semifinal loss to Paraguay. The Iraqis still have a chance for a bronze, which would be their war-weary nation's first medal in 44 years.

Paraguay made history of its own, getting two goals from Jose Cardozo and one from Fredy Bareiro to advance to Saturday's gold-medal game against Argentina, a 3-0 winner over Italy. Gold or silver, it will be the first Olympic medal of any sort for Paraguay.

Iraq and Italy will play for the bronze Friday night."

Read more at Iraqi soccer team's storybook run ends with 3-1 semifinal loss to Paraguay; bronze still at stake

Posted by Darren at 07:00 AM

Argentina vs. Italy Olympic soccer results

"Argentina defeated Italy 3-0 in the men's Olympic soccer semifinals Tuesday and will play for its first gold medal in South America's favorite sport. Budding star Carlos Tevez scored his seventh goal in five matches to give Argentina the lead in the 16th minute."

Read more at Argentina vs. Italy Olympic soccer results

Posted by Darren at 06:57 AM

Equine epicenter

"It's a long way to the Markopoulo Olympic Equestrian Centre from the middle of Athens, an hour and 15 minutes by metro, bus and hoof, so to speak. Not that I'm complaining, because at the 1956 Games in Melbourne, the equestrian events were held in Sweden.

Wherever they are held, the horse events are on the margins of the Olympic hubbub, at least as they are seen through the filter of the mainstream U.S. media. But don't tell that to the thousands of enthusiastic fans who showed up for the second round of qualifying in jumping on Tuesday morning."

Read more at Equine epicenter

Posted by Darren at 06:56 AM

Hicham El Guerrouj wins Men's 1500m Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Hicham El Guerrouj from Morocco

The winner of the Silver Medal: Bernard Lagat from Kenya

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Rui Silva from Portugal

Roman Sebrie wins Men's Decathlon

The winner of the Gold Medal: Roman Sebrle from Czech Republic

The winner of the Silver Medal: Bryan Clay from United States

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Dmitriy Karpov from Kazakhstan

Bo Beng wins Men's 3m Springboard Gold Medal - Diving

The winner of the Gold Medal: Bo Peng from China

The winner of the Silver Medal: Alexandre Despatie from Canada

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Dmitri Sautin from Russia

Tonique Williams-Darling wins Women's 400m Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Tonique Williams-Darling from The Bahamas

The winner of the Silver Medal: Ana Guevara from Mexico

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Natalya Antyukh from Russia

Joanna Hayes wins Women's 100m Hurdles Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Joanna Hayes from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Olena Krasovska from Ukraine

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Melissa Morrison from United States

Ezekiel Kemboi wins Men's 3000m Steeplechase Gold Medal

The winner of the Gold Medal: Ezekiel Kemboi from Kenya

The winner of the Silver Medal: Brimin Kipruto from Kenya

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Paul Kipsiele Koech from Kenya

United States win Women's Beach Volleyball

The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from United States

The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Brazil

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from United States

Dmitry Berestov wins Men's 105kg Weightlifting

The winner of the Gold Medal: Dmitry Berestov from Russia

The winner of the Silver Medal: Ferenc Gyurkovics from Hungary

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Igor Razoronov from Ukraine

Pappas Out of Decathlon With Foot Injury

"World champion Tom Pappas pulled out of the decathlon Tuesday after injuring his left foot while attempting a pole vault. Pappas ran through his first attempt at 15 feet, 5 inches after limping the last few strides.

He then went off to the side, pulled off his shoe and started to massage the lower part of his foot. Pappas got his foot rewrapped and tried to jog off the injury, but he packed up his poles and left the track after about 20 minutes.

Dr. Ed Ryan of the U.S. Olympic Committee said Pappas had sustained an acute strain of the left foot. Pappas was being treated at the Olympic stadium."

Read more at Pappas Out of Decathlon With Foot Injury

Posted by Darren at 05:43 AM

India sacks weightlifting coaches

"The Indian government has terminated the contracts of national weightlifting coaches Pal Singh Sandhu of India and Leonid Taranenko of Belarus.

It says that both have been implicated in a doping scandal after two Indian women weightlifters tested positive for drugs at the Olympic Games.

International Weightlifting authorities have already suspended Pratima Kumari and Sanamacha Chanu pending an inquiry.

The weightlifting pair tested positive in Athens for banned substances."

Read more at India sacks weightlifting coaches

Posted by Darren at 05:42 AM

Khan crushes Korean in quick time

"Amir Khan took just 1.37 to book his place in the semi final of lightweight division at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens with a first round stoppage win over Jong Sub Baik.

The 17 year-old has looked impressive throughout this competition but the way in which he blew the seasoned world No.5 away with relative ease to win a bronze medal at the very least, was nothing short of incredible.

From the opening bell Jong Sub Baik from came out trying to rough up the young Briton. But Khan was wise to him very quickly, and rained in lightening fast short left and rights to stun the Korean almost immediately. Then from nowhere Khan floored the Sub Baik with a straight right hand that seemed to take everything out of the 24 year-old. The referee allowed Su Baik to carry on but Khan followed up with more power shots that left the referee no option but to call the bout off after 1.37. This was bout 225 in these Games and the first genuine stoppage. "

Read more at Khan crushes Korean in quick time

Posted by Darren at 05:38 AM

Argentina advances to men's soccer final with 3-0 win against Italy

"Argentina defeated Italy 3-0 in the men's Olympic soccer semifinals Tuesday and will play for its first gold medal in South America's favorite sport.

Budding star Carlos Tevez scored his seventh goal in five matches to give Argentina the lead in the 16th minute. River Plate's Luis Gonzalez doubled the tally in the 69th and second-half substitute Mariano Gonzalez put the game out of reach six minutes from the end after an unselfish pass from Tevez.

The South Americans, who have now outscored the opposition 16-0 in five matches, forced the play from start to finish, while the Italians resorted to their now familiar defensive tactics and occasional counterattacks.

Sentimental favorite Iraq was to play Paraguay in the other semifinal later Tuesday, with the winner to meet Argentina in Saturday morning's final at the main Olympic Stadium. Italy meets the loser in the bronze medal match.

Andres D'Alessandro and Luis Gonzalez combined to start the play that led to Argentina's first goal."

Read more at Argentina advances to men's soccer final with 3-0 win against Italy

Posted by Darren at 04:06 AM

Athens Traffic To Worsen

"The communications experts express three fears concerning the second week of hosting the Olympic Games. The mass return of the Athens residents, the expected disappointment of using public transport means, and the drop in the initial enthusiasm about the Games constitute problems that are a priority for the communications experts and the traffic police.

"The residents of the Greater Athens area are returning, and with them thousands of cars are returning to the streets," as was pointed out at the Traffic Control Operations Center. This week, the number of cars to be circulating on Kifisou, Poseidhonos, Varis-Koropiou, Kifisias, Vasilissis Sofias, Vasileos Konstandinou, Ardhittou, Kallirois, Vourvakhi, Singrou, and Marathonos [major road arteries in Attica] is expected to increase gradually by 10 to 30 percent (as compared to last week) by next Sunday. The traffic police has already added 100 men to its manpower."

Read more at Athens Traffic Problems Seen Growing in 2nd Olympic Week; Anti-War Rally Planned

Posted by Darren at 04:05 AM

Earthquake Rattles Olympic Venues

"A small earthquake rattled some Olympic venues Tuesday. There were no reports of injuries or damage.

The Athens Geodynamic Institute said the tremor had a preliminary magnitude of 4.5 and occurred at 3:38 p.m. local time. It was centered about 42 miles northeast of Athens, 12 miles beneath the Aegean Sea.


``There is no reason to panic. It was a very small quake,'' said Giorgos Stavrakakis, a seismologist with the Geodynamic Institute.

The press table shook at the baseball venue at the Helliniko Complex near the coastline.

``Like somebody was pounding the keyboard too hard,'' one reporter said. Other said they didn't notice anything.

Venues including the Olympic Village and the 9,000-seat Ano Liossia Olympic Hall for wrestling and judo were built near the fault line and designed to withstand a potentially massive quake. "

Read more at Earthquake Rattles Olympic Venues

Posted by Darren at 03:57 AM

Ryan Bayley wins Men's Sprint Gold Medal - Cycling

The winner of the Gold Medal: Ryan Bayley from Australia

The winner of the Silver Medal: Theo Bos from Netherlands

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Rene Wolff from Germany

Lori-Ann Muenzer wins Women's Sprint Gold Medal - Cycling

The winner of the Gold Medal: Lori-Ann Muenzer from Canada

The winner of the Silver Medal: Tamilla Abassova from Russia

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Anna Meares from Australia

Mikhail Ingatyev wins Men's Point Race Gold Medal - Cycling

The winner of the Gold Medal: Mikhail Ingatyev from Russia

The winner of the Silver Medal: Joan Llaneras from Spain

The winner of the Bronze Medal: Guido Fulst from Germany

Athens Olympics Closing Ceremony

' Leading Greek singer Marinella will open the Athens Olympic Games closing ceremony, according to information.

Music composer and singer Dionisis Savvopoulos will allegedly be responsible for the coordination of the Athens Olympic Games closing ceremony. Among the singers to appear on the stage will be Alkistis Protopsalti, Anna Vissi and Eleftheria Arvanitaki, while Sakis Rouvas will be a guest star.

Dimitris Papaioannou will be the production manager and the goal is to make the Olympic Games' closing ceremony a great celebration.'
Source - THE OLYMPIC GAMES CLOSING CEREMONY

'The closing ceremony of the Athens Olympics will include traditional Greek dances and a wedding, along with light-carrying performers dressed in black to symbolize the galaxy, The Associated Press has learned.

Organizers always refuse to give details of opening and closing ceremonies at the Olympics. But a source close to the Aug. 29 closing ceremony, speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity, provided details.

Participants will begin the ceremony at the main Olympic stadium with clapping and then perform traditional Greek dances before holding at least one symbolic wedding, when they will lay tablecloths and bring out wine, the source said.

At various points throughout the ceremony, performers will walk into the stadium dressed in black, carrying lights to reflect the galaxy, the source said.'
Read more at Athens' closting ceremony: traditional dances and the galaxy

' US Secretary of State Colin Powell intends to visit Athens, according to the Athens newspaper TO VIMA, to attend the Olympic Games closing ceremony.'
Source -

Also read Olympic Closing Ceremony Protocol and Athens' Closing Ceremony to Be Traditional.

Posted by Darren at 03:07 AM

Muenzer wins cycling gold

CBC Sports: Canada's Muenzer wins cycling gold

Muenzer won 2-0 over Tamilla Abassova of Russia in the finals of the event at the Athens Olympic Velodrome.

In the first race, 38-year-old Muenzer trailed early but overtook Abassova in the final straightaway with an impressive push to take the 1-0 lead.

Posted by at 02:45 AM

Australia plays for baseball gold

This could easily mess up Canada's chance at a baseball medal!

Australia defeats Japan 1-0 in baseball semifinal, plays for gold

Brendan Kingman's sixth-inning single sent Australia to a 1-0 victory over stunned Japan on Tuesday, putting the Aussies in the gold medal game.

A bunch of career minor leaguers led the Aussies to their biggest victory in international play. Australia failed to reach the medal round during the 2000 Sydney Games. "It's very important for the program in Australia," said manager Jon Deeble. "We were very disappointed after the Sydney Olympics. The day after the Sydney Olympics, we put a plan in place to win the gold medal in Athens."

Posted by at 01:25 AM

Canada's Brunet in kayak finals

Brunet qualifies for kayak finals

Two-time Olympic silver medallist Caroline Brunet qualified first in her women's K-1 500-metre heat, advancing her directly to Saturday's final.

"I'm very happy with the result, because the wind made things difficult for me. It is important to qualify directly for the final, because pressure is very strong. I want to do the best I can in the final," she said in a statement.

Posted by at 01:20 AM

Another Canadian medal opportunity

Muenzer will ride for gold

Edmonton cyclist Lori-Ann Muenzer will race for gold later this morning after eliminating world champion Anna Meares of Australia in the Olympic women's sprint semifinal.

Meares held off a challenge from Muenzer to claim the first race. But Muenzer rallied with wins in the last two races in the best-of-three event. Muenzer took the lead after the first lap and fought off Meares to win race two. The Canadian rider was in control of race three from the outset, cruising to victory.

Posted by at 01:18 AM

Australia reaches baseball gold medal game

"Chris Oxspring tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings Tuesday in helping carry Australia to a 1-0 win over Japan and into the Olympic baseball gold medal game.

Brendan Kingman singled home the game's only run in the sixth.

Oxspring (2-0) struck out five batters and gave up five hits in the semifinals. Australia will play either Canada or Cuba in Wednesday's championship contest.

Australia is assured its first Olympic baseball medal."

Read more at Australia reaches baseball gold medal game

Posted by Darren at 12:50 AM

Olympic Discus Champion Thrown Out of Games

"Hungarian Olympic discus champion Robert Fazekas will lose his gold medal and be expelled from the Games after being caught trying to tamper with a urine sample, an International Olympic Committee source said Tuesday.

The source also said Belarussian high jumper Aleksey Lesnichiy, who was last in the qualifying round, had tested positive for the anabolic agent clenbuterol.

Fazekas was spotted by officials trying to tamper with his sample after Monday's final.

Lithuanian Virgilijus Alekna will now be awarded the gold, Zoltan Kovago (Hungary) and Aleksander Tammert (Estonia) the bronze.

Hungarian Olympic Committee spokesman Dezso Vad said he was unaware of the IOC decision.

"We have heard that he could not give enough urine and he was there (at the doping control) until 0300 in the morning and he just could not give enough. That's the only thing we know and that the IOC was meeting to discuss this," he said.

"We have not received any official notification.""

Read more at Olympic Discus Champion Thrown Out of Games

Posted by Darren at 12:47 AM

NBC has sucked fun out of the Olympics

"If Roone Arledge invented the modern TV Olympics, Dick Ebersol has imploded it. Everyone wants to watch the Olympics, but they're just too unwatchable too much, too fragmented, too staged, too jingoistic, too hyped, too commercialized, too long, too everything.

The Olympics no longer feel Olympian. They feel like a sweeps-week sports reality show.

(Excuse me, but how am I supposed to watch all these hours of Olympics anyway? I never realized NBC had so many networks with so much programming to fill no wonder they put John McEnroe in prime time. Heck, if NBC buys any more networks, Patrick McEnroe will have his own show.)

(Still, doing due diligence as Couch Slouch, I tried to record it all. But by Day 3 of the Games, my TiVo filed a workman's comp complaint, and a local court, siding with TiVo, barred me from tuning in to MSNBC or Bravo again until Sept. 1.)

Here's all I'll say about the announcers, and then we'll move on to more important matters:

The studio hosts Bob Costas, Jim Lampley, et al. are very, very competent. On the other hand, if Rowdy Gaines ever leaves swimming behind, I think his voice could help induce labor among expectant mothers.

Ebersol, the NBC Sports chairman, uses a simple, cynical formula to broadcast the Olympics:

1. It's all about America.
2. It's all about overcoming adversity.
3. It's all about keeping us waiting to watch what we want to watch."

Read more at NBC has sucked fun out of the Olympics

Posted by Darren at 12:45 AM

August 24, 2004

Greek judo champ dies two weeks after balcony fall

"A member of the Greek judo team who fell from her third-floor apartment balcony following a quarrel with her boyfriend has died. Eleni Ioannou had been hospitalized in critical condition for more than for two weeks.

The Red Cross hospital said Ioannou, 20, died Tuesday in the intensive care unit where she had been treated since Aug. 7 for multiple fractures to her head and body.

Ioannou, a competitor in the 172-pound-plus class, fell from the balcony after an argument with her boyfriend, 24-year-old Giorgos Chrisostomides.

Police questioned Chrisostomides and released him. Relatives and neighbors said he was inconsolable, and jumped from the same balcony two days later. He remains hospitalized in critical condition at Athens' Evangelismos hospital."

Read more at Greek judo champ dies two weeks after balcony fall

Posted by Darren at 10:26 PM

Caroline Brunet advances to two kayak finals

"It was another windy morning on the water in Athens on Tuesday, but that didn't faze Montreal kayaker Caroline Brunet one bit.

Brunet, competing in her fifth Olympic Games, earned passes to the finals of both her events with a first-place finish in the K1 500 and third-place showing in the K2 500 with new paddling partner Mylanie Barre of Lac Beauport, Que.

In conditions that were an eerie reminder of the nerve-wracking weather at the Sydney Olympics four years ago, Brunet beat arch-rival Josefa Idem of Italy in a time of one minute, 50.366 seconds in the women's K1 500."

Read more at Caroline Brunet advances to two kayak finals

Posted by Darren at 10:23 PM

Russia to appeal gymnastic results

"Russia is planning a protest to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over the results of the Olympic gymnastic competition, a team spokesman said on Tuesday.

On Monday spectators held up the horizontal bars event in protest at low marks for Russia's Alexei Nemov.

Russian Olympic Committee spokesman Gennady Shvets told Reuters the organization believed a protest was for the good of the sport.

"The public's reaction to the judges' actions (on Nemov) clearly supports our position," Shvets said.

"There will be an official protest and our lawyers are studying the grounds for giving it a legal character.

"This is in the interests of the Olympic movement and the whole sporting community.""

Read more at Russia to appeal gymnastic results

Posted by Darren at 10:22 PM

Frankie Fredericks to retire after final 200m

"Veteran sprinter Frankie Fredericks said he would retire from athletics after this week's Olympic 200 meters event in Athens.

The Namibian 36-year-old, who has won four Olympic silver medals in a 20-year sprinting career, was fastest in his first round heat on Tuesday in a time of 20.54 seconds.

"This is it; the end of the 200 is the end of my career," said Fredericks, who failed to qualify for Sunday's 100 meters final.

"I will go home and spend time with my family."

Fredericks, Namibia's only Olympic medallist, finished second at both 100 and 200 meters in Barcelona in 1992 and in Atlanta in 1996, where Donovan Baily and Michael Johnson both set world records in the events.

He missed the Sydney Games in 2000 due to injury."

Read more at Fredericks to quit after final 200

Posted by Darren at 10:21 PM

Nigeria Snaps African Women's Hoops Skid

"Players ran to midcourt and jumped into each other's arms. The hugging and screaming lasted several minutes. No Olympic medal at stake, just a winless streak. For the first time, a team representing Africa won a game in women's basketball when Nigeria beat South Korea 68-64 on Tuesday and broke an 0-18 mark.

"This was a major, major win. We came here with one goal and that was to win one game," said former NBA player Sam Vincent, whose team grabbed 11th place in the 12-team tournament. "We won one game. Maybe next time we'll win three games. You have to start somewhere."

Africa began participating in women's basketball in 1996. Zaire went 0-7 in Atlanta. Senegal was 0-6 in 2000.

Nigeria lost its five preliminary-round games in Athens by an average of 17.4 points. The closest was a six-point loss to Japan, the worst a 35-point blowout to Russia.

"The ladies hung in there, dug down, showed a lot of courage and a lot of heart," Vincent said."

Read more at Nigeria Snaps African Women's Hoops Skid

Posted by Darren at 10:17 PM

Comaneci speaks out on judging blunders

"Nadia Comaneci wants gymnastics officials to get their act together to ensure athletes do not pay the price for the judging blunders that have blighted the Athens Olympics. "The judges need to re-evaluate the whole situation and make sure something like this doesn't happen again," Comaneci said.

"The judges need to re-evaluate and make sure something like this doesn't happen again," Comaneci said.

"The gymnast shouldn't be paying the price for things like this."

"People power" brought gymnastics judges to their knees on Monday during the horizontal bar final at the end of more than a week of Olympic action in which scoring irregularities left several gymnasts disgruntled.

The governing body of gymnastics ruled last week Paul Hamm had been awarded the all-round crown in error after South Korea's Yang Tae-young had been incorrectly docked a 10th of a point from his parallel bars routine."

Read more at Comaneci speaks out on judging blunders

Posted by Darren at 10:12 PM

Kelly Holmes hunts golden double

"Newly-crowned Olympic 800m champion Kelly Holmes is aiming for a historic second gold when the 1500m heats get under way on Tuesday evening.

British middle-distance legends Seb Coe and Steve Ovett both failed to win the two events at the same Olympics.

But Holmes, riding high after storming to a sensational 800m win on Monday night, is in confident mood.

She said: "I still can't believe it. But hopefully I can get some sleep and be awake enough to run at my best."

Holmes' 1500m challenge begins with her first-round heat at 1838 BST.

If she qualifies safely, she then has the advantage of a clear rest day before Thursday's semi-final, which begins at 1830 BST."

Read more at Holmes hunts golden double

Posted by Darren at 10:11 PM

Australia's Women's Eight Kiss and Make up

"AUSTRALIA'S women's eight rowing crew today assured Olympics team boss John Coates they will stop publicly criticising Sally Robbins.

Robbins has been at the centre of a furore after she stopped rowing with 500m to go in the Olympic final of the women's eight two days ago.

She later dropped her oar with about 100m to go as the Australian boat came in a distant last.

Coates summoned the crew after several members breached team guidelines by publicly criticising Robbins.

He said the meeting this morning went well and the crew displayed great maturity.

"They certainly understand as a group that there have been breaches of our team guidelines which you know say that team members shouldn't talk disparagingly about other team members," Coates told reporters.

"There are certainly assurances that won't happen again."

In a media conference, Robbins said she has broken down during a race before and blamed the problem on anxiety."

  • No more, vow rowers
  • Posted by Darren at 09:33 PM

    Ethiopia takes gold in women's 5,000

    "Ethiopia's Meseret Defar pulled away from Kenya's Isabella Ochichi in the final half-lap Monday to win the Olympic 5,000 meters in 14 minutes, 45.65 seconds.

    Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba, the 2003 outdoor world champion at just 18 years old, took the bronze.

    "Coming here, I knew I had a chance to win, but I had my doubts," Defar said. "I feel sorry for Dibaba not getting a silver, as we planned, but gold and bronze feels good, too."

    With a little more than 1,000 meters left, Defar and Ochichi began distancing themselves comfortably from the pack, the Kenyan leading by about a stride."

    Read more at Ethiopia takes gold in women's 5,000

    Posted by Darren at 06:12 PM

    China's Liu Xiang Hopes for Good Showing in Olympic 110-Meter Hurdles

    "China's Liu Xiang is a rising star in the men's 110-meter hurdles. At the Olympics, he will face his idol, American Allen Johnson, the four-time world champion and 1996 Olympic gold medalist.

    Liu Xiang burst on the track scene in 2002 when he set an Asian and world junior record in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.12 seconds. Last year, Chinese sports journalists voted him Male Athlete of the Year. Many consider him China's second most popular athlete after basketball star Yao Ming, who plays for the NBA's Houston Rockets.

    This is the first Olympics for Liu and he said he hopes he has a good showing."

    Read more at China's Liu Xiang Hopes for Good Showing in Olympic 110-Meter Hurdles

    Posted by Darren at 06:09 PM

    Jerremy Wariner Leads U.S. Sweep in 400

    "Jerremy Wariner is just 20 years old. He just led a U.S. sweep in the 400 meters at the Olympic Games.

    So c'mon kid, get excited!

    Cool, calm and with a fluid running style all his own, the lean Baylor University student raced to the gold medal Monday night wearing sunglasses, two earrings and a jingling necklace. After crossing the line, he waved a U.S. flag and embraced the teammates who finished right behind him. But there was no massive show of emotion.

    That's not his style.

    "It hasn't sunk in yet," he said. "I have a four-by-four relay I've got to concentrate on. It's going to hit me in a couple of days but I've got to get focused right now."

    So it was left to others to marvel at the talent exhibited by Wariner, who outsprinted teammate Otis Harris down the stretch to win in a personal-best 44 seconds flat, the fastest time in the world this year.

    "I've never seen a white man run that fast," said Grenada's Alleyne Francique, who was supposed to be Wariner's biggest threat but finished fourth. "It was a blazing race, man. The kid is good.""

    Read more at Wariner Leads U.S. Sweep in 400

    Posted by Darren at 06:07 PM

    Booing fans shut down Olympic horizontal bar final - Judging Controversy Continues

    "Booing spectators halted the Olympic horizontal bar final for nearly 10 minutes here, expressing their frustration at what turned into the latest of several Games gymnastics judging controversies.

    In a surreal scene unlike anything gymnastics veterans had ever encountered, jeers and whistles of disgust cascaded upon judges after 2000 Olympic bar champion Alexei Nemov of Russia got a 9.725, putting him third after three men.

    As Olympic all-around champion Paul Hamm waited to follow, boos continued. Officials pleaded for silence with no avail and finally judges Teh Kin Kin of Malaysia and Chris Grabowecky of Canada changed scores so Nemov had a 9.762.

    Nemov was still last. The crowd was still upset. The noise continued.

    The Russian rose to quiet the crowd with little effect. Only when American Hamm approached the bar and began did the roar dwindle to a murmur. When Hamm received a 9.812 to grab the lead, the boos returned.

    "I was trying to block it out and get into a zone," Hamm said. "It shows our sport is a subjective sport. People are going to have different opinions."

    More jeers followed when Italy's Igor Cassina was given the same score but ranked ahead of Hamm on tie-breakers. Cassina won with Hamm second. Nemov finished fifth."

    Read more at Booing fans shut down Olympic horizontal bar final

    Get more information at Judging controversy swirls around gymnastics

    Posted by Darren at 01:24 PM

    Dobrev of Bulgaria wins gold in men's 94kg weightlifting class

    "Milen Dobrev of Bulgaria won the gold medal in the men's 94kg weightlifting class with a total mark of 407.5kg.

    Khadjimourad Akkaev of Russia was second with a total weight of 405kg, while fellow countryman Eduard Tjukin was third with a total of 397.5kg.

    "I was well prepared for these Olympic Games and I believed I would be a medallist. I am very happy because my dreams came true," said Dobrev, the current world and European champion.

    Akakios Kakiasvilis of Greece, who was attempting to become the first athlete in history to win four straight Olympic weightlifting titles, didn't finish the event. He missed on all three of his clean and jerk attempts."

    Read more at Dobrev of Bulgaria wins gold in men's 94kg weightlifting class

    Posted by Darren at 01:14 PM

    We're the new wave, claims American teenage star - Allyson Felix

    "America's Allyson Felix eased into the semi-finals of the Olympic Games 200 metres here and declared that her generation is about to drag United States sprinting out of its recent gloom.

    The 18-year-old had a comfortable day in the burning sun winning both her races easily with teammate Muna Lee also comfortably through although La Shauntea Moore, who replaced the banned Torri Edwards, struggled in both her heats.

    Felix was barely stretched for the second successive race as she rolled off the bend in the lead and was visibly relaxing towards the final 10 metres in front of British rival Abiodun Oyepitan.

    The teenager said that she hoped to open up a new chapter for American sprinting which has been mired in recent drug controveries with Kelli White and Torri Edwards both banned and with Marion Jones battling suspicion."

    Read more at We're the new wave, claims American teenage star

    Posted by Darren at 01:09 PM

    Kelly Holmes Wins Sensational Gold Medal

    "Britain's Kelly Holmes became Great Britain's first gold medal winner in track and field in Athens when she ran the race of her life to win a dramatic 800m at the Olympic Stadium.

    Holmes ran the perfect tactical race, sitting way off the strong pace set by American Jearl Miles Clark, before coming through with reigning champion Maria Mutola at the top of the straight.

    The 34-year-old, a bronze medallist in Sydney four years ago, would not be denied gold this time as she finally got the better of training partner Mutola with the line in sight.

    However, Moroccan Hasna Benhassie and Jolanda Ceplak of Slovenia were putting in renewed efforts on the outside and as Holmes' effort began to take its toll, the line came just in time to give her gold in one minute, 56.38 with five hundredths of a second to spare."

    Read more at SENSATIONAL GOLD MEDAL FOR HOLMES

    Posted by Darren at 01:08 PM

    Ethiopia takes gold, bronze in women's 5,000

    "Ethiopia's Meseret Defar pulled away from Kenya's Isabella Ochichi in the final half-lap Monday to win the Olympic 5,000 meters in 14 minutes, 45.65 seconds.

    Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba, the 2003 outdoor world champion at just 18 years old, took the bronze.

    ``Coming here, I knew I had a chance to win, but I had my doubts,'' Defar said. ``I feel sorry for Dibaba not getting a silver, as we planned, but gold and bronze feels good, too.''

    With a little more than 1,000 meters left, Defar and Ochichi began distancing themselves comfortably from the pack, the Kenyan leading by about a stride.

    Defar, the 2004 world indoor champion in the 3,000, stayed just off Ochichi's right shoulder until unleashing a strong kick with about 200 meters left. Defar steadily stretched her lead to about 15 meters by the end.

    ``When I attacked,'' Defar said, ``I was sure I was going to win.''"

    Read more at Ethiopia takes gold, bronze in women's 5,000

    Posted by Darren at 01:07 PM

    Carly Patterson takes silver in beam

    "All-around champion Carly Patterson from Allen, Texas, won her third medal of these Olympics and the sixth for the U.S. women's gymnastics team Monday, taking silver behind Catalina Ponor of Romania in the balance beam finals.

    Alexandra Eremia of Romania took bronze. The Romanian women have four medals at these Olympics, including the gold in team competition.

    The six medals for the United States surpasses the total of five won by the women in 1992 and makes this the most successful team in a non-boycotted Olympics. Led by all-around champion Mary Lou Retton, the Americans won eight in 1984.

    In the floor exercise, Romania picked up two more medals in the finals Monday, with Ponor winning her second gold of the night and teammate Nicoleta Sofronie taking silver."

    Read more at Patterson takes silver in beam

    Posted by Darren at 01:06 PM

    Volleyball: U.S. Beats Brazil

    "The United States men's volleyball team, already guaranteed a spot in the Olympic quarterfinals, posted a convincing four-set victory over previously undefeated Brazil on Monday night.

    The Americans carried a 2-2 record into play, good enough to assure them every tiebreaker advantage and a berth in the quarterfinals. They opened up a two- sets-to-none lead over Brazil (4-1) on the way to a 25-22, 25-23, 18-25, 25-22 victory.

    "We were really focused today. We all played very well," said USA captain Lloy Ball. "Brazil played really embarrassing. I hope they lose the rest of their matches. Greece will do great. All teams are quite equal."

    Reid Priddy and Brook Billings shared team honors with 10 points apiece."

    Read more at Volleyball: U.S. Beats Brazil

    Posted by Darren at 01:05 PM

    Overtime goal lifts U.S. women into soccer title game

    "Now the story can end with the chance of a golden goodbye.

    With the U.S. women's soccer team's 2-1 win vs. rival Germany in overtime Monday, the retiring U.S. stars have the chance to end their Olympic careers as they began them as champions. The USA will play in the gold-medal game Thursday against Brazil, which upset Sweden 1-0 in the late game.

    In a game that was dominated by the USA until Germany tied the score in the 92nd minute, the USA was saved by the youngest player on the team, 19-year-old Heather O'Reilly, a sophomore-to-be at North Carolina who grew up with Mia Hamm posters on her bedroom wall in East Brunswick, N.J."

    Read more at Overtime goal lifts U.S. women into soccer title game

    Posted by Darren at 01:04 PM

    Canada protesting vault result

    Angry Canadian gymnastics officials say judging irregularities cost Kyle Shewfelt an Olympic bronze medal in the vault Monday night, an injustice exacerbated by the fact that their appeal has seemingly been ignored. Shewfelt, the Calgary gymnast who won Canada's first gold medal of the Games in Sunday's floor exercise, finished fourth in the vault. He was edged off the podium by Marian Dragulescu despite the fact the Romanian muffed his landing. more @ canada.com
    Posted by at 12:36 PM

    Population and GDP Adjusted Athens Olympic Medal Table

    Athens 2004 olympic medal tally by population is as the name suggests an alternative way of looking at the medal table in athens - this time taking into consideration population. They have tables listed by:
    - Gold medals per million population
    - Total medals per million population
    - Weighted medal score per million population

    Population Adjusted Olympic Medal Table is a similar tool.

    The ABS has another medal table by population based on similar figures as at 23/8/04.

    Athens 2004 olympic medal tally by gross domestic product (GDP) is another interesting way to view the medal results based on nation's economies. They have medal tables arranged by:
    - Gold medals per GDP
    - Total medals per GDP
    - Weighted medal score per GDP

    Also of interest is this 2000 Sydney Games Medal Table by Population that sees the Bahamas, Barbados, Iceland, Australia and Cuba at the top of the tally.

    Lastly on an Aussie TV show (The Dream) tonight they made the observation that if Australia had a population of 294million people (as do the US) instead of their current 20million that it would currently have 168 Gold Medals, 112 Silvers and 182 Bronze. Quite an amusing thought.

    Posted by Darren at 06:15 AM

    Why the Olympics are making us cry

    "Why are the Olympics prompting so many tears?

    Crying is cathartic. When tears are shed by the lacrimal gland alongside the eyeball, it is a release for the emotions which have built up inside us.

    Letting those feelings out when they get too much is good for us, allowing us to deal with them....

    Paula Radcliffe's tears stemmed from her disappointment at having to pull out of such an important race, feeling the nation's hopes were resting on her.

    Professor Dryden said: "It was partly her interpretation of the nation's expectations on here. She probably feels she has let herself down and the nation....

    And why do we cry when we're watching the athletes? It's because we can relate to the highs and lows the athletes are experiencing.

    "We can see how the extremes of pride or disappointment are affecting them - and we feel it too," says Professor Dryden.

    "Watching at home, we get emotional because of empathy - it's something that is built into the human system."

    With another week of the Olympics to go, it may be worth keeping a box of tissues next to the television."

    Why the Olympics are making us cry

    Posted by Darren at 06:10 AM

    Ponor lands third gold of Games

    "Romania's Catalina Ponor captured her third gold medal of the Olympics when she tumbled her way to victory in the women's floor exercise on Monday. The 17-year-old thrilled the crowd with her energetic choreography and the equally impressed judges awarded her 9.750 as she led a Romanian one-two.

    Ponor's eye-catching combinations were enough to edge out compatriot Daniela Sofronie, a late replacement in the competition for injured team-mate Oana Ban.

    Such was the class of the Romanian duo they easily outscored bronze medallist Patricia Moreno of Spain.

    Catalina Ponor showed off her sublime balancing skills on the beam to win her second gold medal of the Athens Olympics on Monday.

    Having guided Romania to the team title last week, Ponor was rewarded for her precision and artistry with a winning score of 9.787."

    Read more at Ponor lands third gold of Games

    Posted by Darren at 06:00 AM

    New devices help track winners, losers at Games

    "From microchips on marathon runners' shoes to ultrasensitive touch pads in the pool, there's a 007 trove of gadgetry behind the Games to help separate the Olympic medal-winners from the also-rans.

    "Most people have no idea how we get the times," said Peter Huerzeler, who has been timing the Olympics for the past 36 years. He's working in Athens for Swatch, the watchmaker, keeping score at every venue.

    He's the nondescript guy with the Swiss accent who once dreamed of being an Olympic hockey player, but now moves through Athens, on a first-name basis with the megastars, in a bright blue polo shirt that says Team Timing on the back.

    As vice president of Swiss Timing, he swallowed hard when he had to disqualify the Swiss swimming team a week ago after his equipment proved one of their freestyle relay swimmers jumped off the starting block a tenth of a second before his teammate touched the wall."

    Read more at New devices help track winners, losers at Games

    Posted by Darren at 05:59 AM

    Instant news cycle undermines Olympic coverage

    "Thanks to NBC's mostly tape-delayed coverage of the Olympics, viewers across the nation are lunging for their television remote controls in order to avoid hearing the results of Olympic competitions before NBC gets around to televising them. Svetlana Khorkinacouldn't bend over backwards any farther than American viewers have in order to avoid news of events that haven't yet been televised. I'm pretty sure I did a reverse two-and-a-half somersault as I jumped over the sofa and grabbed the clicker in time to change the channel before ESPN could tell me who won the men's 4 x 200 swimming relay the other day, because I didn't want to know the result before I could watch it that night.

    This isn't the first time that NBC has dealt with the difference in time zones by saving the most popular events for prime time, but if you want to pretend the events are live by avoiding news of the results ahead of time, you're probably finding it more difficult than ever, thanks to the constant flow of information that surrounds us. A few news shows, especially the ones on NBC cable affiliates, are thoughtful enough to give viewers fair warning before they report Olympic news, allowing us to switch the channel, turn off the TV or stick our fingers in our ears and hum Le Marseillaise in order to avoid unwanted information. But even if you dodge that bullet, you're likely to stumble into Olympic scores and results on those ubiquitous tickers at the bottom of your TV screen or by doing something innocent, like checking your e-mail. This very Web site, crack news organization that it is, spoiled the men's 100-meter dash for me by trumpeting the news of Justin Gatlin's win before I could avert my eyes."

    Read more at SI.com - Instant news cycle undermines Olympic coverage

    Posted by Darren at 05:56 AM

    Catalina Pono wins Women's Floor Exercises Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Catalina Ponor from Romania

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Nicoleta Daniela Sofronie from Romania

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Patricia Moreno from Spain

    Meseret Defar wins Women's 5000m Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Meseret Defar from Ethiopia

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Isabella Ochichi from Kenya

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Tirunesh Dibaba from Ethiopia

    South Africa strives for more black athletes

    "South Africa's Olympics chief is a conflicted man, proud of all his athletes yet openly disappointed the team doesn't fully reflect the dramatic changes in his country.

    Even as he celebrates the four medals won thus far -- by white swimmers and rowers -- Sam Ramsamy yearns for the day when he is no longer asked, "Why does your team have so few blacks?"

    "We can't change the demographics overnight," Ramsamy said. "But it's important that we try."

    During the apartheid era, when South Africa's white minority wielded power with an array of repressive laws, Ramsamy was an activist in exile, helping coordinate an effective international sports boycott."

    Read more at South Africa strives for more black athletes

    Posted by Darren at 05:20 AM

    Anabolic steroids found in Greek coachs warehouse

    "A search of a warehouse used by the coach at the center of a doping scandal involving the countrys star sprinters uncovered small amounts of anabolic steroids, Greeces National Organization of Medicines said Monday.

    The search coach Christos Tsekos facilities last week was part of an investigation into whether 2000 Olympic medalists Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou tried to avoid a doping test on the eve of the Athens Games by staging a motorcycle accident.

    A prosecutor and two inspectors from the agency, the Greek equivalent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, confiscated 641 boxes of food supplements and found that more than 1,000 of the supplements listed ephedrine as the main ingredient."

    Read more at Anabolic steroids found in Greek coachs warehouse

    Posted by Darren at 05:17 AM

    Milen Dobrev wins Men's 94kg Weightlifting Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Milen Dobrev from Bulgaria

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Khadjimourad Akkaev from Russia

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Eduard Tjukin from Russia

    Russias Irina Korzhanenko stripped of Shot Put gold medal

    "Russias Irina Korzhanenko was stripped of her shot put gold medal Monday, the first athlete of theAthens Games to lose an Olympic title because of doping.

    Korzhanenko, the first woman to win a gold medal at the sacred site of Ancient Olympia, tested positive for the steroid stanozolol after Wednesdays competition. The backup sample confirmed the initial finding.

    The International Olympic Committee executive board expelled Korzhanenko from the games and ordered the Russian Olympic Committee to return the medal.

    The gold goes to Cubas Yumileidi Cumba Jay. Germanys Nadine Kleinert moves up to silver, and Russias Svetlana Krivelyova to bronze.

    I am surprised because we did everything to avoid such circumstances, said Nikolai Durmanov, head of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency."

    Read more at C strips gold medal from Russian shot putter

    Posted by Darren at 05:07 AM

    Robert Fazekas wins Men's Discus

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Robert Fazekas from Hungary

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Virgilijus Alekna from Lithuania

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Zoltan Kovago from Hungary

    Yao almost in tears after upset of Serbia-Montenegro

    "Yao Ming nearly broke into tears talking about China's 67-66 victory Monday over Serbia-Montenegro.

    China coach Del Harris, a veteran of 45 years on the sidelines including 14 seasons as an NBA head coach, called it the best win he's ever had.

    The emotional win put China into the quarterfinals, matching its best Olympic finish ever. It also meant no chance at a medal for the two-time defending world champions.

    Yao scored 27 points and made the decisive free throws with 28 seconds to play, leading a Chinese team that had lost three games by at least 25 points.

    "Today is indeed a day of great joy for us," said the 7-foot-6 Yao, who plays for the Houston Rockets. "Coach Harris has taught us the lesson of life. You should never give up no matter the circumstances."

    Harris took over the Chinese national program in May. It's important for China to improve toward medal contention - it hosts the next Summer Games in four years."

    Read more at Yao almost in tears after upset of Serbia-Montenegro

    Posted by Darren at 05:03 AM

    Iraqi soccer team carries nation's hopes

    "Argentina-Italy may look like a premier soccer matchup - but most eyes are on a team in Tuesday's other Olympic semifinal. Iraq has overcome unprecedented problems to get within one game of the gold-medal match. It has to beat another outsider, Paraguay, to reach the final and doesn't care who it meets when it gets there.

    "This success is very important for our people in Iraq," coach Adnan Hamad told reporters on the eve of the semifinal in Thessaloniki. "Every day we have one more win, they have more celebration. They are with us here.

    "We have to try our best to win and give our people some hope to be happy, to be smiling and to celebrate like other people.""

    Read more at Iraqi soccer team carries nation's hopes

    Posted by Darren at 05:01 AM

    USA softball wins gold vs. Aussies USA softball wins gold vs. Aussies

    "Team USA captured the gold today by beating Australia 5-1, capping one of the most dominant team performances in Olympic history.

    The team's 79th win in a row was golden for the Tucson connection - the first gold medal for coach Mike Candrea of the University of Arizona, ex-Wildcats Jennie Finch and Lovie Jung and Tucson native Tairia Mims-Flowers. Former UA outfielder Leah O'Brien-Amico, meanwhile, won her third gold.

    Crystal Bustos was the big slugger today, hitting a two-run homer in the first inning, scoring O'Brien-Amico."

    Read more at USA softball wins gold vs. Aussies

    Posted by Darren at 05:00 AM

    Valeri Goncharov wins Men's Parallel Bars Gold Medal - Gymnastics

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Valeri Goncharov from Ukraine

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Hiroyuki Tomita from Japan

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Xiaopeng Li from China

    Matt Emmons loses gold medal after aiming at wrong target

    "With one bullet left to shoot, all Matt Emmons needed was a score of 7.2 to win his second gold medal of the Olympic Games. On his first nine shots in the finals, Emmons' lowest score was a 9.3. He took careful aim, fired ... bull's eye.

    Only Emmons' shot pierced the wrong target known as a crossfire resulting in a score of 0.

    Instead of gold, Emmons, 23, of Browns Hill, N.J., was left trying to explain the rare mistake that left him in eighth place.

    "Stuff happens," he said. "That's the Games, that's just sports. In all honesty, I was the best guy on the line. I can go away with that and be happy. I had a gold-medal performance, and that's all that matters. I don't know if I can make up for this, but I'm looking forward to Beijing. I'll live to shoot another day.""

    Read more at Emmons loses gold medal after aiming at wrong target

    Posted by Darren at 04:39 AM

    'Russian roulette' Olympics death

    "There is a huge security operation at the Olympics
    A Greek policeman is being questioned after a soldier providing Olympic security was shot dead, apparently after playing Russian roulette.

    The shooting took place before dawn on Monday, at the gates of an Olympic village at Mount Parnitha in Athens.

    A 25-year-old soldier was shot in the forehead by a revolver that had held a single bullet, security sources said.

    A 20-year-old policeman, described as a new recruit, was being questioned over the incident.

    The policeman's partner on foot patrol at the time was also being questioned."

    Read more at 'Russian roulette' Olympics death.

    Posted by Darren at 04:37 AM

    Francoise Mbango Etone wins Women's Triple Jump

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Francoise Mbango Etone from Cameroon

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Hrysopiyi Devetzi from Greece

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Tatyana Lebedeva from Russia

    Catalina Ponor wins Women's Beam Gold Medal - Gymnastics

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Catalina Ponor from Romania

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Carly Patterson from United States

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Alexandra Georgiana Eremia from Romania

    Kelly Holmes wins Women's 800m Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Kelly Holmes from United Kingdom (Great Britain)

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Hasna Benhassi from Morocco

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Jolanda Ceplak from Slovenia

    Jeremy Warimer wins Men's 400m Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Jeremy Warimer from United States

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Otis Harris from United States

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Derrick Dres from United States

    Holmes Gets Gold in 800m

    Great Britain's Kelly Holmes stormed to a sensational Olympic gold with a perfect piece of 800m running.

    Holmes fought past reigning champion Maria Mutola in an epic duel over the last 80 metres to take Britain's first track gold of these Games.

    Read more at Holmes takes brilliant gold

    Posted by at 04:15 AM

    Gervasio Deferr wins Men's Vault Gold Medal - Gymnastics

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Gervasio Deferr from Spain

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Evgeni Sapronenko from Latvia

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Marian Dragulescu from Romania

    Shewfelt falls short of second medal

    Kyle Shewfelt gave Canada its first gold medal of the 2004 Olympic Games - and first ever medal in artistic gymnastics - winning the men's floor exercise event final. Shewfelt finished fourth today in the vault final.

    canada.com

    Posted by at 03:56 AM

    Xu Wang wins Women's 72kg Freestyle Wrestling Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Xu Wang from China

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Gouzel Maniourova from Russia

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Kyoko Hamaguchi from Japan

    Another Silver for Canada

    Verbeek claims silver for Canada

    Canadian wrestler Tonya Verbeek won a silver medal in the 55-kilogram Olympic division Monday, beaten 6-0 by world champion Saori Yoshida of Japan in the final.

    Posted by at 03:53 AM

    Kaori Icho wins Women's 63kg Freestyle Wrestling Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Kaori Icho from Japan

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Sara McMann from United States

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Lise Legrand from France

    Saori Yoshida wins Women's 55kg Freestyle Wrestling Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Saori Yoshida from Japan

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Tonya Verbeek from Canada

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Anna Gomis from France

    Irini Merleni wins Women's 48kg Freestyle Wrestling Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Irini Merleni from Ukraine

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Chiharu Icho from Japan

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Patricia Miranda from United States

    Australia win Men's Team Pursuit - Cycling - Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Australia

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from United Kingdom (Great Britain)

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Spain

    United States wins Softball gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from United States

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Australia

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Japan

    GB cyclists miss out on Gold

    Britain's team pursuit quartet have been beaten in the gold medal race-off against Australia.

    Steve Cummings, Paul Manning, Rob Hayles and Bradley Wiggins were behind from the first lap.

    The formidable Australian quartet, who had broken the world record qualifying for the final, clocked a time of three minutes 58.233 seconds.

    Read More at Aussie cyclists defeat GB

    Posted by at 12:58 AM

    Another Canadian medal on the way

    Verbeek to wrestle for the gold

    Canada is guaranteed at least a silver medal in women's wrestling after Tonya Verbeek advanced to the final in the 55-kilogram division at the Summer Olympics on Monday.

    Posted by at 12:40 AM

    August 23, 2004

    South African 'heroes of the pool' in swimsuit drama

    "With the spectre of disciplinary action hanging over them from swimming officials back home, South Africa's medal-winning stars have been lauded at a dinner in Athens.

    The 4x100m freestyle relay team of Ryk Neethling, Darian Townsend, Roland Schoeman and Lyndon Ferns, along with Zimbabwe's triple medallist, Kirsty Coventry, were the stars at a dinner hosted last night by the National Olympic Committee of South Africa to celebrate the victories by the two southern African nations.

    Those celebrations were dimmed somewhat by the news that the four South Africans would be subject to a disciplinary hearing by Swimming SA. This was because they had not used the swimsuits made by the organisation's sponsor, Speedo, and did not swim in the events for which Swimming SA had entered them.

    'We have different opinions on certain things'
    The four apparently each used an Arena swimsuit, which they said was "faster" than the Speedo outfit Swimming SA wanted them to wear, in the relay.

    As Neethling pointed out: "We came to Athens and did our jobs. We swam fast and won.""

    Read more at 'Our 'heroes of the pool' in swimsuit drama

    Posted by Darren at 11:13 PM

    Doping scandals spoiling party for hosts

    "He swore on his children -- his "two little angels" -- that he's clean.

    In Greek terms, there's no more powerful oath. This is the Olympics, though, and the real authority rests with the anti-doping bloodhounds.

    Greece's top two sprinters bowed out of the games last week rather than face them. On Sunday, a sobbing and pleading Leonidas Sampanis returned his bronze weightlifting medal after tests showed twice the acceptable amount of testosterone.

    "I swear to God. I swear on my children, my two little angels, that I never took anything," he said on national television. "I want you all to stand by me."

    Sampanis was the first athlete at the Athens Games to lose a medal because of doping results. It took the coaxing of a teammate to persuade Sampanis to hand back the medal -- which carries the image of the winged Greek goddess Nike, or Victory.

    Losing that medal took Greece's tally down to six. Without sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou to rely on, hopes of surpassing the 13 medals won by Greeks in Sydney four years ago seemed unlikely."

    Read more at Doping scandals spoiling party for hosts

    Posted by Darren at 10:19 PM

    Canada guaranteed silver medal in women's wrestling after Verbeek advances

    "Canada is guaranteed at least a silver medal in women's wrestling after Tonya Verbeek advanced to the final in the 55-kilogram division at the Summer Olympics on Monday.

    Verbeek, a native of Beamsville, Ont., defeated Ida-Theeres Karlsson of Sweden 3-1 in the semifinals and will face Saori Yoshida of Japan, one of the best female wrestlers in the world, in the final later Monday.

    "This match I felt a little tighter just knowing that it makes such a huge difference in whether you're guaranteed a medal or you might still have to fight for one," said Verbeek, a silver medallist at the Pan Am Games last summer. "But if you get ahead of yourself it takes away from what you want to do out there.""

    Read more at Canada guaranteed silver medal in women's wrestling after Verbeek advances

    Posted by Darren at 10:14 PM

    BBC's Sharron Davies' nipples distracting viewers

    "BBC Olympics presenter Sharron Davies says she's bemused by a row centring on her nipples.

    It's reported that the BBC has ordered cameramen to shoot Davies her from the shoulders up during broadcasts from the Olympic pool.

    The Daily Mirror says the BBC received a handful of complaints from viewers who said the 41-year-old's prominent nipples had diverted attention from the action in the pool.

    But the former swimmer said: "If it means more people are watching the Olympics, then it's a positive thing.They might learn a lot about swimming, get drawn into the sport and actually find they enjoy it!

    "If it's detracting from the swimmers - who are most the real stars - then it's a different matter.""

    Read more at Ananova - Sharron's nipples distracting viewers

    Posted by Darren at 10:10 PM

    Holmes has no help!

    Kelly Holmes says there will be no repeat of the controversial team tactics she and Maria Mutola were widely believed to used to help her win a medal at the world championships in Paris last year.

    Angry rivals accused Holmes and Mutola, close friends and training partners who share a coach, of aiding each other to ensure the Briton won a silver medal in the 800 metres won by the Mozambican.

    Source Guardian Holmes flying solo

    Posted by at 10:09 PM

    Spain, Lithuania wrap up 5-0 record in group play; U.S. tries to bounce back against Angola

    "Spain could have tanked its game against New Zealand, thereby eliminating European rival Serbia-Montenegro from medal contention. Instead, the Spaniards came to play Monday and won 88-84, knocking New Zealand out and keeping the defending world champions in medal contention.

    Meanwhile, the United States plays Angola (0-4) at 7:30 a.m. EDT. The Americans (2-2) are trying to recover from Saturday's 94-90 loss to Lithuania.

    The game figures to be the easiest of the Olympics for the U.S. squad, though it'll be nowhere near as lopsided as the Angola-U.S. game in 1992, when the Dream Team opened the Barcelona Olympics with a 116-48 victory over players who had holes in their sneakers.

    Lithuania also closed out a perfect preliminary round Monday by defeating Australia 100-85. Lithuania became the first team in the tournament to reach 100 points."

    Read more at Spain, Lithuania wrap up 5-0 record in group play; U.S. tries to bounce back against Angola

    Posted by Darren at 10:06 PM

    Women's wrestling makes debut without the Jell-O

    "Women's wrestling made its Olympic debut Sunday. And for all those whose minds are in the gutter, there was no mud and no Jell-O involved.

    This was the straight stuff, complete with takedowns, escapes and reversals. That's exactly what the participants wanted everyone to notice.

    "The Olympic Games give us a platform where we can speak to other countries and to U.S. citizens," said Patricia Miranda, one of four U.S. women wrestlers here in Athens. "We get a medium where we are able to say: 'Hey look at us. Is this a sport?'"

    It sure looks like one, even though many of us have been conditioned to respond: "Women wrestling? Gross!" And then visions of wrestlers who look like Roseanne Barr right after an Oreo binge dance in our heads.

    These ladies have heard it all before. They have been insulted, put down and flat out told no along the way."

    Read more at Women's wrestling makes debut without the Jell-O

    Posted by Darren at 10:03 PM

    South African hockey men lose again - Hockey

    "The South Africans played well below par and got their lone goal from Emile Smith who latched on to a pass from top goal scorer Greg Nicol.

    For the New Zealanders Dave Kosoof opened the scoring in the ninth minute, followed by a pair of converted penalty corners from Haden Shaw (38th and 46th minute) and a master slap shot from Phillip Burrows in the last minute that rattled the back boards, behind 'keeper David Staniforth.

    Even though they lost all of their games, bar the single win against seventh ranked, Argentina, Craig Jackson's men can go home with their heads held high as they earned much respect from the hockey world.

    Every other team in their pool were ranked higher than them, yet they where not overawed by the occasion and refused to roll over. They led both sixth-ranked India and second-ranked and double defending Olympic champions Holland by two goals."

    Read more at South African hockey men lose again - Hockey

    Posted by Darren at 08:26 PM

    U.S. women's softball could be golden today

    "One win from gold. One shutout from perfection.

    Lisa Fernandez reacts after the final out of the team's semifinal game agaisnt Australia Sunday.
    Click photo for larger image.

    The U.S. softball team, unbeaten, unscored upon and almost unbelievable, rolled to its eighth consecutive shutout yesterday, 5-0, against Australia, and into the gold medal game.

    "We're here for one thing," pitcher Lisa Fernandez said, "and that's to win a gold medal."

    To take their third consecutive Olympic title, the Americans will have to beat the Australians -- the closest thing they have to an archrival -- again.

    After getting beat by the United States earlier yesterday in the heat, Australia took cold showers, ate sandwiches, reapplied sun block and qualified for today's championship game by beating Japan 3-0 behind Tanya Harding's fourth shutout.

    "We want another bite of the cherry," Australian coach Simon Roskvist said. "They're tough, but so are we. We're going to come right at them.""

    Read more at U.S. women's softball could be golden today

    Posted by Darren at 07:04 PM

    Decathletes' quest for gold starts today

    "They're staying just outside the Olympic sports complex, behind the train station where thousands of spectators have been arriving each day for the Summer Games.

    Harry Marra, director of the World's Greatest Athlete Decathlon Club, wanted to make life as comfortable as possible for his two U.S. Olympic medal hopefuls, world champion Tom Pappas and former Spartan Paul Terek.

    So the club rented a house that's a nine-minute walk from the Olympic Stadium, where the two athletes and teammate Bryan Clay will compete today in the decathlon.

    "Tom and Paul are ready to go," Marra said. "You're going to see a different Tom than you did at the Olympic trials, and Paul has been more focused than ever."

    Read more at Decathletes' quest for gold starts today

    Posted by Darren at 07:03 PM

    Athanasia Tsoumeleka wins Woman's 20km Road Walk Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Athanasia Tsoumeleka from Greece

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Olimpiada Ivanova from Russia

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Jane Saville from Australia

    Bush in strife over Olympic mention

    "US President George W. Bush's re-election campaign will continue to run a television advertisement that mentions the Olympics, despite questions about whether that violates the by-laws for the Games.

    US Olympic Committee officials had contacted the campaign about the ad and were awaiting a reply, USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel said in Athens today.

    But campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel said there were no plans to pull the ad.

    "We are on firm legal ground to mention the Olympics and make a factual point in a political advertisement," he said.

    The ad shows a swimmer and the flags of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    "In 1972, there were 40 democracies in the world. Today, 120," an announcer says. "Freedom is spreading throughout the world like a sunrise. And this Olympics there will be two more free nations. And two fewer terrorist regimes."

    Some of the players on the Iraqi Olympic soccer team have complained about the ad appearing as part of a political campaign.

    Anything relating to the Olympics belongs to the International Olympic Committee in general and to the USOC in the United States."

    Read more at Bush in strife over Olympic mention

    Posted by Darren at 05:32 PM

    Thomas Dvorak in trouble

    "Thomas Dvorak, three times world champion and former world record holder, limped across the line in the 100m, the first discipline of the Olympic decathlon on Monday, and looked unlikely to be able to complete the gruelling two-day test. The 32-year-old Czech managed only 11.53 in the first heat.

    His right knee was strapped but it appeared to be his right ankle causing the problems as he removed his shoe and limped heavily away from the arena."

    Read more at Thomas Dvorak in trouble

    Posted by Darren at 05:24 PM

    Moroccans lead field into 1,500 final

    "Moroccan duo Hicham El Guerrouj and Adil Kaouch led the way into the Olympic men's 1,500 metres final when they each won one of Saturday's semi-finals.

    El Guerrouj, world record holder and four times world champion, is running his way back to form after struggling all season with respiratory problems.

    In a steadily-run second semi-final he eased clear to win in three minutes 40.87 seconds with Rui Silva of Portugal, Tim Kiptanui of Kenya, Mulugeta Wendimu of Ethiopia and Kamal Boulahfane joining him in the final.

    Kaouch, who used to act as pacemaker for his illustrious compatriot, showed a strong finish to stay clear of Bernard Lagat, the fastest man in the world this year, in winning the first semi-final in 3:35.69."

    Read more at Moroccans lead field into 1,500 final

    Posted by Darren at 05:23 PM

    Paula Radcliffe 'devastated'

    "Paula Radcliffe would only say she was "devastated" as she left the Panathinaiko stadium in Athens after pulling out of the Olympic marathon.

    The pre-race favourite succumbed to the searing heat at the 36km mark and was later taken to a medical centre where she was put on a saline drip.

    A spokesman for the British Olympic Association described her as "emotionally and physically drained".

    Radcliffe is expected to hold a news conference later on Monday.

    There are suggestions she may yet decide to run in Friday's 10,000m following her defeat, but that is still thought to be unlikely given how drained she was after the race."

    Read more at Radcliffe 'devastated'

    Posted by Darren at 05:22 PM

    Rower too exhausted to carry on: team boss

    "The manager of Australia's women's rowing team has leapt to the defence of a member of the eights crew who stopped rowing during Sunday's Olympic final.

    Sally Robbins stopped rowing late in the race, leaving the Australian crew losing ground to cross the line in sixth place after going to the start line as one of the medal favourites.

    Team manager Wayne Diplock said Robbins was exhausted.

    "It basically gets to the end of the regatta and it's a combination I suppose of mental and physical exhaustion and just one of those things," he said.

    "I think we saw it in the men's eights race as well. The timing's a little bit wrong and if one rower gets exhausted a couple of hundred metres out, there's not a lot you can do.""

    Read more at Rower too exhausted to carry on: team boss

    Posted by Darren at 05:21 PM

    I was THG whistleblower, admits Gatlin coach

    "The coach of new Olympic 100 metres champion Justin Gatlin has admitted he was the man who sent a syringe of the designer steroid THG (tetrahydrogestrinone) to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

    The receipt of the syringe from an unknown source in June last year gave drug testers their first hint of the existence of the new substance and kicked off an ongoing international doping scandal.

    "I did it. As a coach it seemed the right thing to do at the time and it still does," Trevor Graham told Reuters after Gatlin won the sprint gold in Athens this morning.

    "Would I do it again? Yes.""

    Read more at I was THG whistleblower, admits Gatlin coach

    Posted by Darren at 05:20 PM

    Yelling consoles Radcliffe

    "Paula Radcliffe's worst fears came true in the searing Athens heat as her Olympic dream ended in tears.

    Radcliffe has promised to shed some light on the reasons why her bid for marathon gold went so disastrously wrong on Sunday night. In a way, she has already given the explanation, albeit in an interview a fortnight before the event.

    For it was then that she first gave an indication that running uphill on a sweltering Sunday in the middle of the Greek summer might not be to her advantage. She had said: "I am probably the fastest finisher in the field but I think you have to take into account the course and the heat. No game plan is ever set in stone, that can be dangerous if you don't feel right on the day. Hopefully the conditions will be better in the evening."

    If the conditions were playing on her mind, seeing the temperature gauge hit 35 degrees at the start of the race at Marathon itself will not have done much for her confidence and once she got under way, Radcliffe probably found the course even worse than she imagined."

    Read more at Yelling consoles Radcliffe

    Posted by Darren at 05:14 PM

    Gatlin Proves to Be Fastest of Them All

    "Justin Gatlin shoveled the snow off his track in North Carolina, braving the cold to keep practicing, keep working, keep chasing Olympic gold. He finally caught it Sunday night, outrunning the fastest field in Olympic history to become the youngest 100-meter champion in 36 years.

    Gatlin ran a personal best 9.85 seconds, barely holding off Portugal's Francis Obikwelu, defending gold medalist Maurice Greene, outspoken teammate Shawn Crawford and Jamaica's Asafa Powell.

    It was the first time in Olympic history that five men broke 10 seconds in a race. Four did it at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

    Obikwelu finished in 9.86 for silver. Greene took bronze in 9.87 and Crawford was fourth in 9.89.

    "I said it was going to be the most exciting race in the world, and it was," said Gatlin, a 22-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y. native who now lives in Raleigh, N.C. "This is what I train for, that's why I shoveled the snow off North Carolina tracks. That's why I'm here. I'm here to win the gold medal.""

    Read more at Gatlin Proves to Be Fastest of Them All

    Posted by Darren at 05:04 PM

    Anger as George W Bush bids to exploit Olympic games

    "United States President George Bush stood accused of appropriating the Olympic movement for political means on Sunday night, amid reports he was planning to visit Athens later this week to watch some sporting events, including a potential gold-medal winning bid by the Iraqi football team.

    According to unconfirmed reports in the US, the White House is examining the logistical and security implications of Bush travelling to the Greek capital in time for Saturday's football final. Iraq, whose progress to the semi-finals of the tournament has been one of the games' most captivating stories, will meet Paraguay on Tuesday night for a possible place in the finals.

    The Greek foreign ministry confirmed on Sunday night that the US secretary of state, Colin Powell, will be in Athens for the closing ceremony.

    But it is the potential presidential visit to the games that will fuel a dispute between the election campaign of Bush and his running mate, Dick Cheney, and the US Olympic Committee over an advert which links Iraq's and Afghanistan's participation in the games with the US administration's "war on terror"."

    Read more at Anger as Bush bids to exploit Olympic games

    Interestingly if Bush decides to visit to watch the Iraq team play for Gold the team itself is not likely to welcome him as they have made it clear that they do not think highly of him - branding Bush a criminal.

    'Members of the Iraqi Olympic soccer team branded US President George Bush a 'criminal' and called for American troops to pull out of the war-torn country.

    Speaking after winning their group stage at the Games in Greece, one player said he would take up arms against US troops in his country.

    And the team attacked Mr Bush for running re-election campaign adverts featuring the Iraqi team.

    "Iraq as a team does not want Mr Bush to use us for the presidential campaign," said midfielder Salih Sadir. "He can find another way to advertise himself."

    Sadir was angered at Mr Bush's adverts, which show pictures of the Afghan and Iraqi flags with the words: "At this Olympics there will be two more free nations and two fewer terrorist regimes."

    "We don't wish for the presence of Americans in our country. We want them to go away," said Sadir, aged 21, whose home town of Najaf has been battered by the war.

    Another star player, Ahmed Manajid, aged 22, said of Mr Bush: "How will he meet his god having slaughtered so many men and women? He has committed so many crimes."'

    In Related news - Powell to Attend Athens Closing Ceremony

    update - Bush squelched rumor of Games Attendance:

    'Mr. Bush also squelched a rumor that he would swoop into Athens on a secret flight to catch an Olympic event. Last Thanksgiving, Mr. Bush secretly flew overnight to Baghdad to visit the U.S. troops stationed there.
    ���
    �"You're not going to Athens this week, are you?" a reporter asked the president. "Athens, Texas?" Mr. Bush quipped. "The Olympics, Greece," the reporter clarified. "Oh, the Olympics. No, I'm not," Mr. Bush said.

    ����He did, however, say that he has been watching the games, noting that he liked the Iraqi soccer team and "seeing the Afghan woman carrying the flag, coming in." '

    Posted by Darren at 05:03 PM

    Olympic Swimmer - Tammy Crow - Heads to Jail

    "An Olympic Synchronized swimmer will head to jail after she competes in the summer games. Tammy Crow will serve 90 days for her role in a car accident that killed a man from Fairport.Shortly after Crow gets back from Athens, she will begin her sentence.Police say Crow lost control of her SUV in February of 2003,killingCody Tatro of Fairport. Tammy Crow pleaded "no contest" to vehicular manslaughter. She appealed the jail sentence, but last week, the appeal was rejected."

    Read more at Olympic Swimmer Heads to Jail

    Posted by Darren at 04:57 PM

    Olympians Pursue Marketing Gold

    "For millions of Americans, gymnast Paul Hamm's fame began only when the broad-shouldered Olympian shrugged off a fall in the vaulting competition last week and made an inspired comeback to win gold. So was credit card giant Visa U.S.A. just lucky that it's been featuring his face for months inside its customers' billing statements?

    Hardly. A new generation of Olympic athletes is just starting to enjoy its moment in the spotlight. But for the competitors -- and agents and marketers -- trying to capitalize on the short-lived glory achieved in Athens, it is increasingly about signing contracts months or even years before the games began.

    Visa signed swimmer Michael Phelps -- who won eight medals in this Olympics -- to a marketing and sponsorship contract 2 1/2 years ago, when he was just 16 and virtually unknown. Well before any medals were awarded, U.S. softball pitcher Jennie Finch had signed deals with Bank of America and Bolle sunglasses and gymnast Carly Patterson had agreed to endorsements for ATT Wireless and McDonald's. "

    Read more at Olympians Pursue Marketing Gold, Too

    Posted by Darren at 04:56 PM

    Nicolas Massu of Chile defeats Mardy Fish of the US - Men's Singles - Tennis

    "Mardy Fish, who came into the Olympics known more for being Andy Roddick's buddy and doubles partner than for his own merits as a player, walked away with the USA's only tennis medal Sunday, winning the silver.

    Fish was unseeded in the Olympic tournament but used his attacking style to overpower opponent after opponent until he ran into the hard-hitting Nicolas Massu of Chile, falling in five grueling sets 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4. The match lasted four hours.

    "I really wanted to hear the national anthem played after the match," Fish said. "That's what kept me going to try to do everything I could to win the match.""

    Read more at Fish foiled by Chilean

    Posted by Darren at 04:44 PM

    Traffic Troubles In Greece Turn Deadly

    "When Greek authorities officially switched on an elaborate security system this month for the 2004 Olympic Games, local crime went into freefall almost immediately.

    Overall crime is down 42%, including a 65% drop in major thefts, according to the Greek Ministry of Public Order.

    But there has been no antidote for what Greek officials are describing as an inexplicable surge in fatal traffic accidents.

    Since Aug. 1, at least 27 people have been killed in vehicle-related accidents throughout Athens, several of them near major Olympic venues.

    Three of the dead have been Greek police officers. And an Olympian, a Danish sailor, has been under investigation related to one incident involving the death of a British pedestrian.

    Although there are 290 surveillance cameras and microphones at venues and virtually every major choke point in the city, the network so far has been unable to deter the losses on the street."

    Read more at Traffic Troubles In Greece Turn Deadly

    Posted by Darren at 04:42 PM

    McDonald's strikes gold as US swimming star goes burger crazy

    "Not everyone will be happy about this, but these are turning into a golden games for the golden arches.

    As the "Official Restaurant" of the Olympic Games, McDonald's always expected to flip a few burgers in Athens.

    It estimates that its three Olympic food service venues - at the Olympic village, the main stadium complex and the media centre - will get through "2m meat patties, 404,469 lbs of potatoes and 26,455 lbs of lettuce" during the Games.

    As part of what McDonald's calls its "proud tradition of serving the athletes of the world", the company is also helping athletes to plan their meals at the Games with "nutritional information and suggestions for meal combinations".

    What the company cannot have bargained for - or indeed dreamed of - is that US swimmer Michael Phelps, the phenomenon who won six golds and two bronzes in the Olympic pool, would proclaim the end of his active participation at Athens with the words: "It's McDonald's time".

    After his first day off, a demob happy Phelps was delighted to provide more information.

    "I had a Big Mac and that's all I had. I had McDonald's for both meals today. Two meals so far... double cheeseburgers.""

    Read more at McDonald's strikes gold as US swimming star goes burger crazy

    Posted by Darren at 04:41 PM

    Olympic champ Stacy Dragila ousted in pole vault

    "In a stunning surprise in the pole vault, defending Olympic champion Stacy Dragila failed to make it out of qualifying. The American won when the vault debuted as a womens event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

    Dragila missed three attempts at 14 feet, 5 1/4 inches. After her third miss, she shook her head in dismay."

    Read more at Olympic champ Dragila ousted in pole vault

    Posted by Darren at 04:40 PM

    Lauryn Williams on fast track after streaking to silver

    "Just another day in Athens for the little runner from Rochester.

    Not long after sunrise yesterday, Lauryn Williams woke up and had some breakfast. And, with that, the normalcy ended.

    Before noon, she was at the Olympic complex working out with Marion Jones and the rest of her U.S. teammates on the 400-meter relay team.

    At 3:30 p.m., she appeared live on NBC's "Today" show.

    At 5:15 p.m., she was the subject of a news conference at the Main Press Center.

    At 9:35 p.m., she was standing before 70,000 spectators at Olympic Stadium to have a silver medal draped about her neck for her performance in the women's 100 meters the previous night."

    Read more at Williams on fast track after streaking to silver

    Posted by Darren at 04:38 PM

    Paul Hamm Men's All-Around Gymnastics controversy continues

    By far the most controversial story from the Athens Olympics in the past 48 hours has been the emerging story of Paul Hamm wins in the Men's Individual All Round Gymnastics competition. We've had many comments and emails over the issue with many calling for Hamm to either share or give up his Gold medal so that Yang Jae-young, the Korean Gymnast who would have received Gold had the judging in that competition been correct, would receive the Gold medal he deserves. Others have been adamant that Hamm deserves Gold and should not give it up.

    Get more news on this emerging story in our archives at:
    - American Paul Hamm takes men's all-around gymnastic gold in Athens
    - Gymnastics Judges Suspended for Error in Men's All-Around - Gold Medal Stands
    - Gymnastics protest just the latest
    - Paul Hamm: 'I shouldn't be dealing with this'

    Tell us what you think - should Hamm have his Gold medal given to Yang Jae-young? Should Hamm voluntarily give it up?

    Posted by Darren at 04:19 PM

    Paul Hamm: 'I shouldn't be dealing with this'

    "Tainted gold? Paul Hamm certainly doesn't think so.

    In fact, he's downright angry his Olympic all-around gymnastics title is being disputed at all.

    "I shouldn't even be dealing with this," Hamm said Sunday after not winning medals in event finals for pommel horse and floor exercise.

    Hamm won the gold medal Wednesday after judges incorrectly scored Yang Tae-young's parallel bars routine, failing to give him enough points for the level of difficulty, known as the start value. The South Korean ended up with the bronze, and his country's Olympic committee is appealing the results.

    U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Peter Ueberroth and chief executive Jim Scherr met with members of the South Korean delegation to discuss the dispute.

    "The Koreans requested a meeting and we listened to their point of view," USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel said. "No decision was reached."

    A person briefed on the conversation said that officials from the U.S. and South Korean delegations would meet with International Olympic Committee members today. The most likely resolution appears to be that Hamm would share the gold medal, the person said.

    "I guess it's up to them if I share the gold, but I don't feel like that would be the right thing," Hamm said."

    Read more at Hamm: 'I shouldn't be dealing with this'

    Posted by Darren at 03:23 PM

    Matt Hemingway

    This story was submitted by reader Scott Nowlin:

    Here's a good news story from Athens that hasn't received much press: Matt Hemingway, the high jump silver medalist. Matt grew up in Colorado, where his mom and dad were serving at a small Christian camp in the Rockies.

    His father, Tom, left a successful career as an officer in the US Marine Corps to follow God's call to minister. Matt was expected to make the 2000 Olympic Team and compete in Sidney, but didn't qualify at the US Team Trials earlier that summer. The day his Olympic competition would have begun -- 4 years and a day before his silver medal jump -- his dad unexpectedly died at their home of a massive heart attack. Matt was home where he needed to be to help his mom and siblings, when his father was called Home to be with the Son of our Most High God. As one of the oldest high jumpers at the Games, Matt continues to honor Christ in his life, marriage, and with his athletic gifts. Check him out.

    Posted by Darren at 01:18 PM

    Canada in baseball semifinal

    Canada's bats come alive

    After posting back-to-back losses to Japan and Cuba, Canada wrapped up preliminary Olympic men's baseball play with an 11-0 thrashing of Australia on Sunday.

    Pitcher PhiL Devey got the start and the win for Canada, allowing just two hits in six shutout innings on the mound with a walk and one strikeout.

    Posted by at 06:47 AM

    Canada's first gold

    Canadian gymnast golden

    Kyle Shewfelt won Canada's first gold medal in Athens, finishing on top in the men's floor exercise in artistic gymnastics on Sunday.

    It was the fulfilment of a lifelong dream for the 22-year-old Calgary native and also represented Canada's first-ever Olympic gold in artistic gymnastics.

    Posted by at 06:44 AM

    Aussie wins women's diving

    "Chantelle Newbery won Australia's first gold medal in diving since 1924 Sunday night, easily holding off China's Lao Lishi and Aussie teammate Loudy Tourky in women's 10-meter platform. American Laura Wilkinson, the defending Olympic champion, was fifth.

    Newbery finished first with 590.31 points, prompting cheering Aussies to wave flags and plastic kangaroos at the indoor pool.

    "I'm just rapt," she said. "I just can't believe the way it all turned out."

    Lao earned silver with 576.30 points, while Tourky took bronze with 561.66. Emilie Heymans of Canada, the current world champion, was fourth with 555.03. Wilkinson scored 549.72 points."

    Read more at Aussie wins women's diving; Wilkinson 5th

    Posted by Darren at 06:34 AM

    Dimosthenis Tampakos wins Men's Rings - Gymnastics Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Dimosthenis Tampakos from Greece

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Jordan Jovtchev from Bulgaria

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Yuri Chechi from Italy

    Medal Contenders:

    Posted by Darren at 06:18 AM

    Christian Olsson wins Men's Triple Jump

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Christian Olsson from Sweden

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Marian Oprea from Romania

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Danila Burkenya from Russia


    Medal Contenders:

    Posted by Darren at 06:17 AM

    Justin Gatlin wins Men's 100m Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Justin Gatlin from United States

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Francis Obikwelu from Portugal

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Maurice Greene from United States

    Chantelle Newbery wins Women's 10m Platform Diving Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Chantelle Newbery from Australia

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Lishi Lao from China

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Loudy Tourky from Australia

    Haibin Teng wins Men's Pommel Horse gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Haibin Teng from China

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Marius Daniel Urzica from Romania

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Takehiro Kashima from Japan

    Monica Rosu wins Women's Vault - Gymnastics - Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Monica Rosu from Romania

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Annia Hatch from United States

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Anna Pavlova from Russia

    Kyle Shewfelt wins men's Floor Exercises Gold medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Kyle Shewfelt from Canada

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Marian Dragulescu from Romania

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Jordan Jovtchev from Bulgaria

    France win Men's Epee Team Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from France

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Hungary

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Germany

    Paula Radcliffe's Olympic dream ends

    "Paula Radcliffe's golden dream ended in tears as she dramatically dropped out of the Olympic marathon.

    The heroine of British athletics had battled to stay in touch with the leaders during the gruelling heat and uphill sections of the course in Athens.

    She faltered just yards short of the 36 kilometre mark, struggled to get her rhythm back, then collapsed in tears at the roadside.

    The running ace was more than two hours into the event, and was in fourth place when she suddenly stopped.

    She was losing ground in the blistering heat after completing around 23 miles of the 26.2 mile event.

    Radcliffe was among the front runners from the start of the race with the Briton pounding the tarmac with her familiar "bobbing head" running style."

    Read more at Paula Radcliffe's Olympic dream ends

    Posted by Darren at 04:12 AM

    Aussies surge into beach volleyball semis

    "The Australian team of Julien Prosser and Mark Williams has advanced to the semi-finals of the men's beach volleyball tournament at the Athens Olympics.

    The duo came from behind to beat Germany's Christoph Dieckmann and Andreas Scheuerpflug 16-21, 21-19, 15-10.

    It is the first time since the sport was introduced in 1996 that an Australian men's team has made the semi-finals.

    In other results, Switzerland's Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel defeated Daxton Holdren and Stein Metzger of the United States 21-16, 21-19.

    The Americans said the heat and the burning sand hurt their game."

    Read more at Aussies surge into beach volleyball semis

    Posted by Darren at 04:04 AM

    100m Semifinal Results

    Qualifiers from the first Semi final are:
    - Shane Crawford
    - Justin Gatlin
    - Aziz Zakari
    - Obadele Thompson

    US runners Crawford and Gatlin were winning so convincingly that they arrogantly egged each other on over the last 15 meters of this semifinal.

    Qualifiers from the Second Semi Final are:
    - Asafa Powell
    - Francis Obikwelu
    - Maurice Greene
    - Kim Collins

    All is set for an amazing race later this evening.

    Posted by Darren at 04:03 AM

    Mizuki Noguchi wins Women's Marathon

    "Mizuki Noguchi (mih-ZOO'-kee noh-GOO'-chee) of Japan won the marathon Sunday in 2 hours, 26 minutes, 20 seconds.

    Catherine Ndereba (dur-AY'-bah)of Kenya won the silver medal in 2 hours, 26 minutes, 31 seconds. American Deena Kastor got the bronze in 2 hours, 27 minutes, 19 seconds."

    Source - Olympics Marathon Update

    Posted by Darren at 03:58 AM

    Fencing referee suspended

    "A Hungarian fencing referee has been expelled from the Olympics and suspended for two years. Officials say referee Joszef Hidasi made several errors during Saturday night's gold-medal match in men's team foil, all of them in favor of Italy.

    The Italians beat China 45-42 to win the gold medal."

    Read more at Fencing referee suspended

    Posted by Darren at 03:57 AM

    American Gail Devers fails again in 100-meter hurdles; unable to finish because of injury

    "Gail Devers, the most talented yet star-crossed hurdler of her generation, failed once again in the Olympics as she was struck by injury before the first hurdle. Devers, 37, who has three world championships in the 100-meter hurdles, pulled up short and screamed as she slid under the first hurdle. She sat on the track for about two minutes, rubbing her left leg and grimacing.

    Devers hurt her leg in practice a week ago and wore a heavy bandage during three rounds of the 100 meters on Friday and Saturday before being eliminated in the semifinals. She has refused to discuss the injury in detail.

    Sunday's shocking development may lead to second guessing about Devers' decision to run in the 100. She took the third U.S. spot in that event when Torri Edwards was suspended for two years for accidentally ingesting a banned stimulant."

    Read more at American Gail Devers fails again in 100-meter hurdles; unable to finish because of injury

    Posted by Darren at 03:56 AM

    Mizuki Nogochi wins Women's Marathon Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Mizuki Nogochi from Japan

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Catherine Ndereba from Kenya

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Deena Kastor from United States

    Australia defeats Japan in Softball - Will play US in Final

    "Kerry Wyborn hit a three-run double and Tanya Harding pitched another shutout as Australia beat Japan 3-0 on Sunday, setting up a rematch with the United States in the gold medal game.

    Harding, who didn't start when the Aussies lost 5-0 to the U.S. team in the semifinals earlier on Sunday, blanked Japan on three hits. She's 4-0 and hasn't given up a run in 33 innings in the tournament.

    Australia has been outscored 15-0 in its two losses in these games against the Americans, whose eight wins have all been shutouts.

    Harding has beaten the U.S. team twice before in Olympic play - the only pitcher ever to do so. She'll likely start the gold medal game, too. With the win over Japan, the Aussies are guaranteed at least a silver medal after winning bronze in the past two Olympics."

    Read more at Aussies Win, Will Play for Softball Gold

    Posted by Darren at 02:36 AM

    Britain's Khan punching above his weight

    "Already the revelation of the Olympic boxing tournament, Britain's teenage hope Amir Khan is great news to a sport tired of just gifted Cubans and tough Russians.

    Comparisons with the all-time greats might be a bit premature but the fresh-faced 17-year-old lightweight has done enough to signal he is a unique talent.

    "He's an absolute breath of fresh air," British boxing coach Terry Edwards said of his one-man team. "He makes me feel 20 years younger, just watching him train and fight."

    While rejuvenating Edwards, Khan has also displayed maturity beyond his years with shrewd tactics inside the ropes and a cool head in and out of the ring."

    Read more at Britain's Khan punching above his weight

    Posted by Darren at 02:34 AM

    Siren Sundby wins Women's Single Handed Dinghy - Women's Europe - Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Siren Sundby from Norway

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Lenka Smidova from Czech Republic

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Signe Livbjerg from Denmark

    Robert Scheidt wins Open Single Handed Dinghy - Women's Laser

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Robert Scheidt from Brazil

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Andreas Geritzer from Austria

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Vasilij Zbogar from Slovenia

    China win Women's Doubles Gold Medal - Tennis

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from China

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Spain

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Argentina

    World record possible in men's 100 final

    "A series of unusually quick times in the men's 100 meters heats have sparked expectations of a possible world record in Sunday's Olympic final.

    "It's a very fast track; we're going to have a party tomorrow," defending champion Maurice Greene said after Saturday's second round.

    Greene won his heat in 9.93 seconds, an impressive time. But Asafa Powell, the young Jamaican student who has beaten him twice in successive races this year, appeared to concede the race after drawing level with the American at 70 meters.

    Powell looked to his left as if to confirm he had Greene's measure, then eased up to let Greene win."

    Read more at World record possible in men's 100 final

    Posted by Darren at 01:39 AM

    Gymnastics protest just the latest

    "The Koreans are really miffed and, it turns out, with just cause. Seems the judges failed to give gymnast Yang Jae-young the full amount of points for his parallel bars routine.

    Judges were supposed to subtract points from Yang's routine from a start value of 10, but instead started with a value of 9.9, unfairly decreasing his final score by .10.

    If they had given him the correct extra tenth of a point, he would have edged American Paul Hamm by .051 for the men's all-around gold medal.

    The International Gymnastics Federation ruled it a mistake Saturday and suspended three judges, but said Korea had waited too long to file its "inquiry' into the scoring and the medals would stand. Yang ended up with the bronze.

    Now wouldn't you just know it, but one of the judges suspended was an American. There were Spaniard and Columbian judges in charge of determining the start value, but American George Beckstead was the panel chairman with final say.

    Think the Koreans won't be focusing on that one? They're still upset Kim Dong-sung was disqualified in the 1,500-meter speedskating race at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. The race that American Apollo Anton Ohno happened to win.

    That time they flooded the International Olympic Committee with so many irate e-mails, the IOC had to shut down its system. Better upgrade those firewalls now."

    Read more at Gymnastics protest just the latest

    Posted by Darren at 01:33 AM

    U.S. sprinters are putting on a show

    "One guy raced a giraffe and a zebra and calls himself "Cheetah Man." He began his Athens Olympics by running with one black shoe and one white. While wearing a white baseball cap. Backward.

    Another designs prom dresses and almost went to art school rather than run track. He emerged from obscurity at the U.S. Olympic trials a month ago, and now is known as Cheetah Man's almost-as-fast training partner.

    The third has the letters G-O-A-T tattooed on his arm, which modestly stand for Greatest Of All Time. He preps for every race by making ugly faces, and he'll make another if one of his compatriots dethrones him as Olympic champion.

    Say hello to your American 100-meter sprint team. Shawn Crawford, Justin Gatlin, Maurice Greene, in that order. Safely through to today's semifinals after a day of sizzling times and loose talk Saturday at the Olympic Stadium.

    The trio won the six races they were in, and put up some eye-popping times in the process. Crawford went 9.89 seconds in the second round, Greene did 9.93 and Gatlin had a 9.96.

    Prompting Greene, the wise old (30) man of this trio to suggest, "We're gonna have a party tomorrow. Everybody invited."

    The American male sprinters are never dull. Whether they are preening, talking trash, or going out and backing up their words with very fast action, they are pure entertainment.

    Crawford and Gatlin seemed to get under Greene's skin, Saturday, and maybe some of the other veteran sprinters', as well, with their antics."

    Read more at U.S. sprinters are putting on a show

    Posted by Darren at 01:29 AM

    Yining Zhang wins the Women's single Table Tennis Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Yining Zhang from China

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Hyang Mi Kim from Korea, North (DPR of Korea)

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Kyung Ah Kim from Korea, South

    Korzhanenko fails dope test

    "Women's shot put gold medallist Irina Korzhaenko of Russia has failed a drugs test, according to reports.

    "I think it was steroids, but that will be announced later," Arne Ljungqvist, president of the IOC's medical commission, told the AFP news agency.

    "It's very sad and it tarnishes what was intended to be a very symbolic event," he added.

    Russian Olympic team spokesman Gennady Shvets would not confirm the reports but said there was a "problem".

    "We are looking into it at the moment," he said.

    The shot put competition was held at Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympics, and was meant to be a showpiece of the Games."

    Read more at Korzhanenko fails dope test

    Posted by Darren at 01:21 AM

    Gymnast Khorkina Says 'Judges Robbed Me'

    "Russia's Svetlana Khorkina, who was second to American Carly Patterson in the women's all-round gymnastics competition, has accused the judges of robbing her of the gold medal and said "everything was decided in advance."

    "I'm just furious," Khorkina, who had been favorite for the coveted title, was quoted as saying in the daily Izvestia. "I knew well in advance, even before I stepped on the stage for my first event, that I was going to lose."

    "Everything was decided in advance. I had no illusions about this when the judges gave me 9.462 for the vault after conferring with one another at length.

    "I practically did everything right, still they just set me up and fleeced me," she said in the interview published on Saturday.

    Asked why she felt she was marked down by the judges, Khorkina said: "You better ask them. I think it's because I'm from Russia, not from America!"

    When Khorkina won her silver medal on Thursday, she showed no outward signs of disappointment and said: "I think it's the best day of my life.""

    Read more at Gymnast Khorkina Says 'Judges Robbed Me'

    Posted by Darren at 01:20 AM

    Women Return to Marathon for Historic Race

    "The marathon is returning home to its namesake village northeast of Athens, the starting point of a race that ends in the capital at the same marble Panathinaiko Stadium where the first modern games were held 108 years ago. The rest of the 26.2-mile route is now unrecognizable.

    And yet one thing has remained unchanged: Greeks' love affair with the long-distance race, which began in 1896 when a farmer named Spyridon Louis pulled away from the 16 other runners to give Greece its first and only victory in the Olympic marathon.

    "All Greece is very happy that the Olympics are here, but especially about the marathon," said 87-year-old Yannis Politis, who bragged that he met Louis as a teenager.

    The women race at 11 a.m. Sunday; the men compete Aug. 29, finishing just before the closing ceremony.

    The marathon commemorates the path of the warrior Phidippides, who is said to have run from the battlefield in Marathon to Athens in 490 B.C. with word that the Greeks had defeated the Persians. According to legend, he cried out "We won!" and promptly dropped dead of exhaustion."

    Read more at Women Return to Marathon for Historic Race

    Posted by Darren at 01:19 AM

    Greek Weightlifter Stripped of Olympic Medal

    "The International Olympic Committee has stripped a Greek weightlifter of his bronze medal and expelled him from the Athens Games for a doping offense.

    Officials say Leonidas Sampanis tested positive for twice the allowed amount of the male hormone testosterone. Sampanis, who denies any wrongdoing, is the ninth weightlifter at the Games to fail a drug test, and the first to lose a medal as a result. The bronze he won in the men's 62-kilogram category will go to Venezuela's Israel Jose Rubio Rivero."

    Read more at Greek Weightlifter Stripped of Olympic Medal

    Posted by Darren at 01:03 AM

    Zhandbo Jia wins Men's 50m Rifle 3 Positions Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Zhanbo Jia from China

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Michael Anti from United States

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Christian Planer from Austria

    Sarah Ulmer wins Women's Individual Pursuit Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Sarah Ulmer from New Zealand

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Katie Mactier from Australia

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel from Netherlands

    Andrea Benelli wins Men's Skeet Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Andrea Benelli from Italy

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Marko Kemppainen from Finland

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Juan Miguel Rodriguez from Cuba

    August 22, 2004

    U.S. sign off with regatta triumph

    "The United States stormed to their first Olympic men's eights title in 40 years on Sunday.

    The final, the last race of the Olympic regatta, had been billed as a showdown between the Americans and fierce rivals Canada, the double world champions.

    But after challenging early on the Canadians faded and finished fifth, The Netherlands finishing second and Australia taking bronze."

    Read more at U.S. sign off with regatta triumph

    Posted by Darren at 11:58 PM

    Zhang gold brings up China's 100

    "Zhang Yining overwhelmed North Korean Kim Hyang-mi in the women's table tennis final on Sunday to give China their 100th gold medal since joining Olympic competition in 1984. Zhang's victory left China one win away from a clean sweep of all four gold medals for the third straight Olympics.

    The 22-year-old top seed beat her 40th-ranked opponent 11-8 11-7 11-2 11-2 to add the singles title to the doubles gold she won with Wang Nan on Friday.

    Wang Hao will attempt to give China another Olympic sweep when he takes on South Korea's Ryu Seung-min in the men's final on Monday.

    Earlier in the day, Kim Kyung-ah won the bronze medal grinding out a 4-1 win over Li Jiawei of Singapore."

    Read more at Zhang gold brings up China's 100

    Posted by Darren at 11:57 PM

    Race just practice for hurdles

    "Gail Devers crouches down in the starting blocks, takes off when the starting gun fires and crosses the finish line just like everyone else who runs the 100, but the 100 isn't Gail Devers' race. Not the way it's Marion Jones' race or will be Lauryn Williams' race someday.

    That's one of the reasons why Devers wasn't upset after failing to advance to the women's 100-meter finals at Olympic Stadium on Saturday. Devers, who is running in her fifth Olympics, hasn't trained continuously for the 100 meters in the last two years. She planned to after she accepted the spot offered to her after Torri Edwards' failed drug test, but a lingering leg injury stalled Devers' preparation.

    A 100-meter loss seems to be Devers' gain for the 100 hurdles.

    So why didn't she turn the spot over to -- ahem -- someone else?

    Because of the other reason: She needed the practice to make sure she's healthy enough to run the 100-meter hurdles."

    Read more at Race just practice for hurdles

    Posted by Darren at 11:56 PM

    Czech Rep eliminate New Zealand

    "In Group B, the Czech Republic eliminated New Zealand with a 74-57 win in the final day of the round robin phase of the women's tournament. in Group A, Nigeria completed their first trip to the Olympics with a fifth straight loss, 93-58 at the hands of Russia.

    Australia closed out preliminary round play with an 84-66 victory over Brazil at the women's Olympic basketball tournament on Sunday, clinching top spot in Group A with a perfect 5-0 record.

    Brazil (3-2) needed to win by at least 15 points to finish ahead of the Aussies in the standings, but instead place third as Russia (4-1) handed Nigeria a 93-58 drubbing. Greece (1-3) and Japan (1-3) play later on Sunday to determine the fourth and final quarter-final qualifiers from the group."

    Read more at Czech Rep eliminate New Zealand

    Posted by Darren at 11:53 PM

    One more for gold: U.S. beats Australia 5-0 in Softball

    "One more victory and the U.S. softball team will have its goal: a third Olympic gold.

    USA pitcher Lisa Fernandez lets out a yell after the American's win over Australia in the semi-finals.

    Right now, the Americans aren't just a Dream Team they're more like the Perfect Team.

    Lisa Fernandez pitched a three-hitter Sunday and Crystl Bustos drove in two runs as the Americans rolled to their eighth shutout in eight days, 5-0 over Australia, putting them into the gold medal game.

    On Monday, the United States will play the winner of Sunday's bronze medal matchup between the Aussies and Japan. At this point, the opponent might not matter."

    Read more at One more for gold: U.S. beats Australia 5-0

    Posted by Darren at 11:30 PM

    Olympic sportswomen reprimanded for promoting contraceptive patch

    "Norwegian Olympic Beach Volleyball Players Paid by Contraceptive Patch Maker Chastised for Promoting Product During Competition

    International Olympic Committee board member Gerhard Heiberg reprimanded two Norwegian beach volleyball players after learning that the women are sponsored by the maker of a contraceptive patch, TV2.no reports.

    Susanne Glesnes and Kathrine Maaseide, participants in the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad in Athens, Greece, have been visibly wearing contraceptive patches on their upper backs during competition.

    According to IOC rules, Olympians are not allowed to advertise for products during the Olympic Games. "

    Read more at Olympic sportswomen reprimanded for promoting contraceptive patch

    Posted by Darren at 11:29 PM

    Eights slump as Sally Robbins stops rowing

    "The Australian women's eight bid for Olympic gold ended in tears when a crew member stopped rowing before the finish.

    Team officials said coach Harald Jarhling was furious after Sally Robbins lay back with a quarter of the race to go and dropped her oar about 100m from the finish line.

    The crew were third at the 1000 metre mark but dropped back to fifth by 1500, crossing the line almost 10 seconds after the fifth place-getters, Germany.

    Robbins was exhausted, not ill or injured, and an Australian official quoted Jarhling as saying he had not seen anything like it in his 35-year coaching career.

    She had to be helped from the boat.

    "I just rowed my guts out in the first 1,500 and didn't have anything left and that's all I could have done for today," Robbins said.

    "I did whatever I could and my best was what I put out there today and I plan to keep rowing.

    "This experience only makes me stronger."

    Robbins said she had not had a chance to talk to her crew mates but she was sure they would be supportive.

    "I will just say (to them) that I did everything I could," she said.

    "This is what I could do today and I put 110 per cent in, and that's what everyone does.""

    Read more at Eights slump as Robbins stops rowing

    Posted by Darren at 10:26 PM

    Horror draw for Jana Pittman

    "THE luck of the draw hasn't gone Jana Pittman's way.

    The Australian is up against the two fastest women in the world this year plus the world record holder in her 400m hurdles Olympic semi-final.

    It is a horror draw compared with the second semi-final, where the only serious threat to Pittman - assuming her injured knee continues to hold under the pressure - would have been American Lashinda Demus, the fourth fastest woman in the event this year.

    It will be a true test for world champion Pittman, who easily won her heat but recorded only the ninth fastest qualifying time overall when she raced at the Olympics 13 days after undergoing knee surgery."

    Read more at Horror draw for Jana

    Posted by Darren at 10:23 PM

    Chile cheers Olympic first

    "Chile is celebrating its first ever Olympic gold after Nicolas Massu and Fernando Gonzalez won the final of the men's doubles competition in tennis.

    Olympic fever has gripped the nation after Gonzalez earlier won a bronze medal in the men's singles.

    And Massu will soon compete in the men's singles final against the unseeded American Mardy Fish.

    Moments after Chile won its first gold medal, people took the streets and drivers started honking their horns.

    Many households were watching their television all day as three local TV channels broadcast the Olympic tennis from Athens."
    Read more at Chile cheers Olympic first

    Posted by Darren at 09:52 PM

    Ryan Bayley and Anna Meares lead Australia sprint charge

    "Australians Ryan Bayley and Anna Meares have led the charge through the first round of the men's and women's cycling sprint heats at the Athens Olympics.

    Bayley, a junk food fanatic who lists deep fried chicken as his favourite meal, clocked 10.177 seconds in his 200-metre burst for the line, just 0.037 seconds ahead of Dutchman Theo Bos.

    The fastest qualifiers face the slowest in knock-out races from now until the final on Tuesday."

    Read more at Bayley, Meares lead sprint charge - Athens Olympics 2004 - ABC Sport.

    Posted by Darren at 09:49 PM

    Toccara Montgomery Loses First Wrestling Match

    "Toccara Montgomery's opening match in the first Olympic women's wrestling tournament couldn't have been much tougher. Now, one of the world's best wrestlers is likely to leave Athens without a medal.

    Montgomery, a former world wrestler of the year, drew five-time world champion Kyoko Hamaguchi of Japan in her opening pool match Sunday at 158 1/2 pounds (72kg)and lost 8-4, meaning there is almost no chance she can medal.

    The other three U.S. wrestlers all won, with 105 1/2-pounder (48kg) Patricia Miranda winning twice, and Sara McMann and Tela O'Donnell once each against tough opponents.

    Miranda, a 2003 world runner-up, is all but sure of making the medal round after rallying to beat former world champion Li Hui of China 8-5 and Larisa Oorzhak of Russia 7-3. Miranda needed only to beat Caripa Mayelis of Venezuela later Sunday to advance from her four-woman pool.

    Montgomery's loss was her third in her last four matches to Hamaguchi, a tough-looking and technically sound wrestler who is the daughter of longtime Japanese pro wrestling star Heigo "The Animal" Hamaguchi."

    Read more at Montgomery Loses First Wrestling Match

    Posted by Darren at 09:48 PM

    Tiny Iraqi fighter loses but leaves a big winner

    "The chant began in the fourth round and was familiar to any boxing fan: "Ali! Ali! Ali!"

    This story, however, was anything but familiar, one where the words "Iraq" and "fighting" could be linked without bad news following. The crowd urged on Najah Ali, an Iraqi Rocky looking to pull his second straight shocker in the light-flyweight division.

    The fairy tale ended as Ali lost to Armenia's Aleksan Nalbadyan 24-11 last night. But Ali's corner declared a bigger victory.

    "This is what freedom is all about," said his coach, Maurice "Termite" Watkins. "This is what the Olympics are all about."

    Iraq has found surprising success at these Games. The country's soccer team continued its improbable run by beating Australia 1-0 in the quarterfinals. But Ali, the littlest boxer in Athens, might have the tallest tale."

    Read more at Tiny Iraqi fighter loses but leaves a big winner

    Posted by Darren at 09:45 PM

    A taste of the Paralympic Games

    "Today, 16 of the best athletes for the Paralympic Games will compete in two impressive events at the Olympic Stadium in Athens. Shortly before the mens 100m semi-finals, the athletes will demonstrate their extraordinary skills in the mens 1,500m wheelchair and the womens 800m wheelchair. The competition gives a taste of the Paralympic Games, which will take place in Athens from 17 to 28 September 2004.

    Fifteen sports shared with Olympic programme
    Fifteen sports on the Paralympic programme are shared with the Olympic Games: archery, athletics, wheelchair basketball, cycling, equestrian, wheelchair fencing, 5-a-side football, 7-a-side football, judo, sailing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair tennis and volleyball."

    Read more at A taste of the Paralympic Games

    Posted by Darren at 09:43 PM

    U.S. men foiled in fencing medal round

    "After upsetting Germany in the quarterfinals, the United States men's foil fencing squad lost to China in the semifinals and then to Russia in the bronze-medal bout.

    Italy won the gold medal, fending off a late run by China to win 45-42.

    In their medal match, the Americans were tied with 10 points to go, then were down 41-38 when Dan Kellner and Youri Moltchan both recorded touches. The referee awarded the point to Russia and Moltchan went on to close it out.

    BEACH VOLLEYBALL: The two American women's pairs advanced to the quarterfinals with straight-set victories in their medal-round openers.

    Fourth-ranked Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs defeated 12th-seeded Czech pair Eva Celbova and Sona Novakova 21-16, 21-16. Misty May and Kerri Walsh, the No. 1 seeds, beat seventh-seeded Chinese duo Tian Jia and Wang Fei 21-11, 21-18."

    Read more at U.S. men foiled in fencing medal round

    Posted by Darren at 09:42 PM

    Japan beats China 1-0 in Olympic softball

    "Reika Utsugi hit an RBI double in the eighth inning and Yukiko Ueno pitched a shutout, giving Japan a 1-0 win over China and at least a bronze medal in softball.

    However, Japan's victory wasn't sealed until Li Chunxia was thrown out at the plate to end the game.

    Utsugi's liner to center off Lu Wei advanced the defending silver medalists to Sunday's bronze medal game. Japan (5-3) will face the loser of the second semifinal between the United States and Australia.

    The loser of that game gets the bronze, with the winner advancing to play for the gold on Monday."

    Read more at Japan beats China 1-0 in Olympic softball

    Posted by Darren at 09:41 PM

    Evers-Swindell twins win gold

    "Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell delivered New Zealand the Olympic gold medal they had promised for so long on the Schinias course here today.

    The Cambridge sisters had to hold off a frantic late burst from Germany but held on to win a final they were always expected to and handed New Zealand its first medal of the Games.

    Up by two lengths at halfway, the gold looked sealed but Germanys Britta Oppelt and Peggy Waleska charged home, finishing within 1.01 seconds of the twins, who seemed to tie up over the closing 250m.

    Winners of the last two world championships and unbeaten for nearly three years, the Evers-Swindells werent going to let their first shot at Olympic glory slip, slouching into their cockpit in relief after crossing the line.

    Their time of seven minutes 01.71 seconds was significantly slower than they have rowed previously but conditions were tricky.

    As well as hot temperatures, they had to counter fluctuating head and cross winds."

    Read more at Evers-Swindell twins win gold

    Posted by Darren at 06:01 PM

    Grant Hackett Sets Olympic Record in 1500m

    "For years they Aussies have dominated the distance events like they were a private fiefdom owned lock, stock and barrel by Australia, Inc. No foreigners permitted, thank you.

    The Aussie greats of the last 15 years - Perkins, Housman, Kowalski and Hackett -- more ofen than not would simply beat up on their foreign competitors, measuring their victories in pool-lengths, rather than seconds or tenths of a second.

    And the greatest of all these distance denizens has been one Grant Hackett -- world record-holder, current world champion, defending Olympic champion, undefeated in seven years. Unassailable. Invincible.

    Hackett won his pet event today, and he carved 8-hundredths of a second off Kieren Perkins' 1992 Olympic record in the process, touching in 14:43.40. But the days of Aussie dominance are gone, thanks to the efforts of two -- no, make that three -- teenagers separated by thousands of miles but sharing a determinataion to bring the Aussie distance dominance to a quick close. "

    Read more at Hackett Sets Olympic Record in 1500, Just Nips Jensen, Davies

    Posted by Darren at 05:57 PM

    Aussie swim team best since '56

    "THE Australian swimming team finished the Athens Olympics as the nation's most successful since the 1956 Melbourne Games.

    Australia won 7 gold, 5 silver and 3 bronze in the pool to once again finish second on the medal table behind the powerful Americans (12-9-7).

    "We've done very well here. After all the hype of Sydney ... it's a significant achievement for us," said Australian head coach, Leigh Nugent.

    Grant Hackett leaves Athens as only the third swimmer in history to win back-to-back Olympic 1500m freestyle titles behind American Michael Burton and fellow Queenslander Kieren Perkins.

    His victory tonight in 14 minutes 43.40 seconds was less than two seconds ahead of American Larsen Jensen. Nevertheless, the triumph allows Australia to truly claim the race as its own.

    Going into the Athens Games, Australia and the United States were equal with seven Olympic 1500m titles.

    But Hackett's win on the last night of the swimming program in Greece puts Australia ahead with eight."

    Read more at Aussie swim team best since '56

    Posted by Darren at 05:56 PM

    World's Fastest Men Take Center Stage at Games

    "For 10 pulsating seconds, the fastest men on earth take center stage on Sunday at the Olympics to run for the ultimate prize -- the 100 meters gold medal.

    "It's a very fast track. We're going to have a party," American defending champion Maurice Greene said after fast times in the heats sparked expectations of a new world record.

    In a women's 100 meters final shorn of many of its big names, dashing Belarussian Yuliya Nesterenko produced the race of her life to land the coveted title late on Saturday.

    "I believe in God and I believe God saw all my efforts and helped me," said the shell-shocked champion, after a disbelieving lap of honor following her 10.93 seconds of glory.

    It was the first time since the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games that an American had not landed the gold. "\

    Read more at World's Fastest Men Take Center Stage at Games

    Posted by Darren at 05:53 PM

    Lithuania defeats US in Men's Basketball

    "Fireworks thundered above Vilnius and other Lithuanian towns Saturday night as cheering crowds filled the streets, singing and waving flags in celebration of a men's basketball victory over the United States at the Olympics.

    Although no medal was at stake, the 94-90 victory over a team of NBA pros was a great reason for a party. Many considered it revenge for a loss to the Americans in the semifinals at the last Olympics, when a 3-pointer missed at the buzzer.

    "Everyone in Lithuania was waiting," said Jonas Prapiestis, a 37-year-old businessman. "We finally beat them."

    Most of the country's bars and cafes stayed open until early Sunday morning, offering drinks and replaying the game. It was shown live on a giant screen in the central Europa Square, as well as dozens of packed bars."

    Read more at AP Wire | 08/21/2004 | Lithuanians Delirious Over Basketball Win

    Posted by Darren at 05:52 PM

    USA win Men's Eight with Coxswain Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from United States

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Netherlands

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Australia

    Romania win Women's Eight with Coxswain Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Romania

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from United States

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Netherlands

    Russia wins Men's Quadruple Sculls Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Russia

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Czech Republic

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Ukraine

    Germany wins Women's Quadruple Sculls Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Germany

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from United Kingdom (Great Britain)

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Ukraine

    Denmark wins Men's Lightweight Four Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Denmark

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Australia

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Italy

    Poland win Men's Lightweight Double Sculls Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Poland

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from France

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Greece

    Posted by Darren at 04:20 PM

    Romania win Women's Lightweight Double Sculls Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Romania

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Germany

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Netherlands

    Posted by Darren at 04:19 PM

    Back to back losses for Canada

    Canada needs bats to come alive if baseball team hopes to win Olympic medal

    After suffering back-to-back losses Canada's baseball team needs to put some life back in its hitting if the squad hopes to challenge for an Olympic medal.

    Posted by at 09:55 AM

    Canadians fourth in women's pairs

    Darcy Marquardt of Richmond, B.C., and Buffy Williams of St. Catharines, Ont., led early but faded in the final 500 metres and finished fourth in the Olympic women's pairs rowing final Saturday.

    More | canada.com

    Posted by at 05:04 AM

    Macrozonaris, Browne advance in men's 100m

    Nicolas Macrozonaris and Pierre Browne both advanced to Saturday night's quarter-finals of the men's 100 metres.

    Posted by at 05:02 AM

    Silver medal win for Canadian men's four

    Rowers beaten by Great Britain in photo finish

    It was so close, even one of the world's most experienced and decorated rowers couldn't figure out who had won.

    In a thrilling race that is likely to be talked about for years to come, Matthew Pinsent and his veteran British crew came away with the gold medal in the men's four at the Summer Olympics on Saturday, edging world champion Canada by just 8-100ths of a second.

    Posted by at 05:00 AM

    August 21, 2004

    Gymnastics Judges Suspended for Error in Men's All-Around - Gold Medal Stands

    "The International Gymnastics Federation suspended three judges Saturday for a mistake in scoring the men's all-around final, but said results would not be changed and American Paul Hamm would keep his gold medal. The error in Wednesday's all-around cost bronze medalist Yang Tae-young of South Korea a tenth of a point that would have given him the gold.

    Yang received a start value of 9.9 on his parallel bars routine, a tenth lower than he received for the same set in team qualifying and finals. After reviewing a tape of the all-around, FIG officials determined he should have been awarded a start value of 10. He scored a 9.712 on the event. With the extra 0.10, he would have finished with 57.874 points and defeated Hamm by 0.051

    Hamm won the meet over Kim Dae-eun of South Korea by 0.012 in the closest men's all-around in Olympic history. Yang finished third, another 0.037 behind Kim."

    Read more at Gymnastics Judges Suspended for Error

    Posted by Darren at 10:53 PM

    Emmons proves point with gold

    "About a year and half ago when he was a senior at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Matt Emmons made a bold statement in an interview with the Associated Press.

    "Arguably, I am the best shooter in the world right now," Emmons said after winning his record third straight NCAA individual smallbore championship and leading the Nanooks to their fifth straight team title.

    Friday, Emmons proved his point once again when he performed almost flawlessly in winning the gold medal in the men's prone event at the Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.

    "There's no doubt about the fact that I'm excited and happy for him," said an elated former UAF rifle coach Randy Pitney, who recruited Emmons and coached him as a freshman."

    Read more at Emmons proves point with gold

    Posted by Darren at 10:52 PM

    Greene among three Americans advancing in 100 meters

    "Defending Olympic champion Maurice Greene was among three United States sprinters to move into the second round of the 100 meters after qualifying heats Saturday morning.

    Greene won heat eight with a time of 10.18 seconds. Teammates Justin Gatlin and Shawn Crawford also finished first in their heats, Gatlin winning heat three with a time of 10.07 seconds and Crawford following suit in heat four at 10.02 seconds.

    "It was about the easiest 100 meter run in my life," Gatlin said. "I've never competed here but, coming here, I had a strong feeling I have been here before. The track, the crowd, the stadium -- they all felt familiar."

    For his part, Greene is looking to become the first back-to-back 100-meter gold medalist since American Carl Lewis, who won in 1984 at Los Angeles and in 1988 at the Seoul Games when Canadian Ben Johnson was disqualified."

    Read more at Greene among three Americans advancing in 100

    Posted by Darren at 10:51 PM

    Briton Ainslie wins sailing gold

    "Briton Ben Ainslie has confirmed his status as the outstanding single-handed dinghy sailor of his generation by clinching his second successive Olympic gold.

    Ainslie, Laser champion in Sydney, held a 14-point cushion going into the final Finn race on Saturday and was able to repel Spaniard Rafael Trujillo who took silver.

    Poland's Mateusz Kusznierewicz, the Atlanta champion, won bronze."

    Read more at Briton Ainslie wins sailing gold

    Posted by Darren at 10:50 PM

    India's Olympic hockey protest rejected.

    "The International Hockey Federation (FIH) threw out India's protest against the umpiring during their 2-1 defeat by New Zealand which knocked the former champions out of the Olympics.

    Wiert Doyer of the Netherlands, the FIH's technical delegate at the competition, said he did not agree with India's assertion that the fourth penalty corner taken in succession after the final hooter was invalid.

    New Zealand's Hayden Shaw found the target with the fourth hit to leave India with their third defeat in four matches and out of the race for the semi-finals.

    The Indians argued that the match was over once the third penalty corner was taken and umpire Ray O'Connor of Ireland had signalled the end of the game."

    Read more at India's Olympic hockey protest rejected.

    Posted by Darren at 10:49 PM

    Ralf Schumann wins Men's 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Ralf Schumann from Germany

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Sergei Poliakov from Russia

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Sergei Alifirenko from Russia

    China win Men's Doubles Table Tennis Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from China

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Hong Kong

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Denmark

    Germany wins Team Dressage Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Germany

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Spain

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from United States

    Russian weightlifter pulls out of Olympics

    "A former world champion Russian weightlifter was pulled from the Olympics on Saturday because of a positive drug test, a team official said.

    Albina Khomich was barred from competing in Saturday's 165-pound (75-kg) heavyweight division by the international weightlifting federation, said Alexander Rattner, a Russian Olympic committee spokesman.

    Khomich tested positive in a pre-competition screening by the federation, Rattner said. A backup sample will be analyzed Sunday to verify the result, he said.

    Khomich, 23, was world champion in her weight class in 2001. She finished second at the world championships in 2002 and 2003.

    She's the ninth weightlifter to have failed a drug test in Athens."

    Read more at Russian weightlifter pulls out of Olympics

    Posted by Darren at 10:42 PM

    Female wrestling pioneers ready for debut

    " The four Americans competing in the first Olympic women's freestyle wrestling tournament want something bigger than gold medals.

    They want fans -- and even their fellow athletes -- to view what they do as legitimate.

    "There's a long way to go, even within our own sport, to gain respect. This is how it starts," said Stanford graduate Patricia Miranda, who begins competition in the 105-pound class Sunday. "We want people to look at us as more than a joke. To see more than mud wrestling. To see this as a legitimate sport.

    "We want it to be something where people might turn on the TV for more than two minutes, and see the pain and the joy we see in every sport."

    Getting past the snickers and into at least the Olympic mainstream has been a long, tough road for women's wrestling.

    Tela O'Donnell, a 121-pounder from Homer, Alaska, recalled that after being barred from competing in junior high school, she addressed the local school board and wrote letters. Eventually, she was allowed to wrestle in practice but never in competition."

    Read more at Female wrestling pioneers ready for debut

    Posted by Darren at 10:41 PM

    U.S. men's basketball team plays Lithuania

    CJOnline.com
    "Take heart, Larry Brown. Yours is not the sole face of frustration at an Olympic basketball tournament that's shaping up as the most compelling since 1988. The Americans are 2-1 entering Saturday's 1 p.m. EDT game against Lithuania, with a loss against Puerto Rico and tougher-than-expected wins over Greece and Australia. But they aren't the only ones struggling in Athens.

    The defending world champions from Serbia-Montenegro have lost three of their four three games, Yao Ming's teammates on the Chinese team are having trouble getting the ball past midcourt, and Angola's losing streak is at eight years and counting.

    Two of Serbia-Montenegro's losses came in the final seconds to New Zealand and Argentina, and a third happened Saturday 76-68 to Spain. The team sure could use NBA star Peja Stojakovic, who decided against coming to the Athens Games."

    Posted by Darren at 10:39 PM

    Gold for Pinsent's four - by eight-hundredths of a second

    "Matthew Pinsent joined the Olympic immortals this morning when he led the coxless four to gold for Britain after the tightest of photo finishes on an unforgettable morning at the Schinias rowing centre.

    The man from Eton, who had garnered three Olympic golds while racing in the shadow of Sir Steven Redgrave, made it four in a row to go within one of the record of his big pal and Britain's greatest Olympian.

    But the margin over Canada was the blink of an eye - just eight hundreths of a second.

    For James Cracknell it was his second gold to go with the one he won in Sydney, while for Ed Coode and Steve Williams it was their first taste of Olympic triumph."

    Read more at Gold for Pinsent's four - by eight-hundredths of a second

    Posted by Darren at 10:37 PM

    Thrown off track: Webb done; discus-thrower Hill also out

    "Some are prepared, some are not.

    Alan Webb, America's next great miler, got boxed and beat up in the first round of the 1,500 meters at the Olympic Stadium last night, bloody and banished when it was over.

    After his sensational win at the U.S. trials in Sacramento, Calif., Webb said that his first race in Athens would be like any other 1,500-meter race.

    Well, it was far from that. And he wasn't the only one to falter.

    As Aretha Hill readied herself for her first throw in the discus preliminary, flag-waving Ethiopians were pushing past security guards in a wild celebration that saw them actually roll 10,000-meter gold medalist Kenenisa Bekele up into the stands."

    Read more at The Seattle Times: Sports: Thrown off track: Webb done; discus-thrower Hill also out

    Posted by Darren at 10:36 PM

    Boomers sink to third defeat - Athens Olympics 2004

    "Daniel Santiago scored 20 points and Elias Ayuso added 18 to lead Puerto Rico past Australia 87-82, an Athens Olympics men's basketball preliminary victory that ensured Puerto Rico a quarter-final berth.

    In the day's other match, undefeated Spain pushed reigning world champions Serbia and Montenegro to the brink of Olympic elimination with a 76-68 triumph.

    Carlos Arroyo, second only to Chinese center Yao Ming among Olympic scorers, contributed 16 points as Puerto Rico, which opened with an epic upset of the United States, rose to 3-1 in Group B with its win over the Boomers.

    The Boomers meanwhile have sunk to 1-3 but still hold slim hopes of finishing in the top four of their six-team group to reach the medal play-offs.

    They close round-robin action against unbeaten group leader Lithuania, also assured a quarter-final spot thanks to the Aussie loss."

    Read more at Boomers sink to third defeat - Athens Olympics 2004 - ABC Sport.

    Posted by Darren at 10:35 PM

    Men's 100m Qualifiers

    The heats in the Men's 100m Sprint have now been run and those progressing to the next round are:

    Shawn Crawford - 10.02
    Asafa Powell - 10.06
    Justin Gatlin - 10.07
    Obadele Thompson - 10.08
    Fancis Obikwelu - 10.09
    Kim Collins - 10.11
    Frank Fredericks - 10.12
    Mark Lewis-Francis - 10.13
    Jason Gardener - 10.15
    Matic Osovnikar - 10.15
    Kareem Streete-Thompson - 10.15
    Maurice Greene 10.18
    Ronald Pognon - 10.18
    Aziz Zakari - 10.19
    Michael Frafer - 10.20
    Leonard Myles-Mills - 10.21
    Dwight Thomas - 10.21
    Nicconnor Alexander - 10.22
    Uchenna Emedolu - 10.22
    Churandy Martina - 10.23
    Joshua Ross - 10.24
    Jaysuma Saidy Ndure - 10.26
    Shingo Suetsugu - 10.27
    Roland Nemeth - 10.28

    Posted by Darren at 07:20 PM

    Darren Campbell Out Of 100m

    Darren Campbell the 200m Olympic Silver medalist has failed to get past the first roundof the Men's 100m but fellow Brits Mark Lewis-Francis and Jason Gardner have made it through combfortably.

    Campbell ran a time of 10.35 in the first heat but only finished fourth meaning he had to wait for the rest to finish before finding out his fate.

    In the end he didn't make it , but other 100m favourites Maurice Greene and Frankie Fredericks both won their heats comfortably.

    Posted by at 06:49 PM

    Haile Gebrselassie passes torch to Kenenisa Bekele in 10,000 meters

    "Kenenisa Bekele crossed the finish line, took a few deep breaths and then waited for his mentor. A pained Haile Gebrselassie arrived 22 seconds later and the two Ethiopians hugged -- the old champion giving way to the new.

    Sprinting the final lap, Bekele ended Gebrselassie's eight-year reign as Olympic 10,000-meter champion on Friday night, smashing his training partner's Olympic record by more than two seconds.

    The two then clasped hands and joined yet another countryman, silver medalist Sileshi Sihine, in a victory lap beneath their green, yellow and red flag.

    Bekele finished in 27 minutes, 5.10 seconds. Sihine, about 30 meters behind Bekele, clocked 27:09.39, followed by Zersenay Tadesse of Eritrea in 27:22.57. Gebrselassie, pained by a left Achilles injury in the final track appearance of his magnificent career, finished fifth in 27:27.70.

    Read more at Gebrselassie passes torch to Bekele in 10,000 meters

    Posted by Darren at 06:46 PM

    Iraq's Boxer - Najah Ali - is the Termit-ator!

    "Iraq's single boxing competitor carries the hopes of a country on his slight shoulders.

    Cheer on Iraq's 106-pound 'Termite-ator'

    TAKE ONE middle-aged, twice-broke ex-contender for a world title in the sweet science; one 106-pounds-soaking-wet amateur pugilist with just 30-odd fights under his garter-sized belt; one brutalized and bleeding country trying to reassemble itself amid madness and mayhem--then stir briskly in that peculiar rosin-spiced cauldron of magic known as a boxing ring and hope for a miracle.

    The simmering miracle whose chief ingredients are Olympic boxing coach Maurice "Termite" Watkins, 24-year-old light flyweight Najah Ali, and war-torn Iraq got off to a good start Wednesday in Athens when Mr. Ali won a convincing decision over North Korea's Kwak Hyok Ju. Iraq's only Olympic boxer, given a wildcard berth in the tournament, made the most of his chance, darting in and out on his taller opponent to fire quick combinations that piled up points. But the point that boxer, coach, and country want to score transcends any awarded a jab or uppercut."

    Read more at Fredericksburg.com - Comeback

    Posted by Darren at 06:44 PM

    Ginn and Tomkins rowing's golden boys

    "World champions Australia have won gold in the men's coxless pair at the Athens Olympics, to give 39-year-old James Tomkins his third Olympic gold and Drew Ginn, 29, his second.

    The Australians, renowned for their long, elegant style, beat Croatia' Skelin brothers by half a length. South Africa finished with the bronze medal.

    The popular Australians were given a rousing welcome onto the medal podium.

    "When we were on the finish line we were pretty emotional about it," Ginn said."

    Read more at Ginn and Tomkins rowing's golden boys

    Posted by Darren at 06:42 PM

    Mens Quarter Finals

    The Mens Football Quarter Finals take place later today with a number of interesting fixtures

    16:00

    Men's

    Quarterfinal match 1 Karaiskaki Stadium

    Mali vs Italy

    Quarterfinal match 2 Heraklio

    Iraq vs Australia

    19:00

    Men's

    Quarterfinal match 3 Patras

    Argentina vs Costa Rica

    Quarterfinal match 4 Thessaloniki

    Paraguay vs South Korea

    Posted by at 06:40 PM

    Appeals weighed in swimming, gymnastics

    "Paul Hamm's historic victory on Wednesday night in the men's gymnastics all-around competition came under scrutiny Friday because of an apparent judging error, although it does not appear he will lose his gold medal.

    That cannot be said for U.S. swimmer Aaron Peirsol, whose disqualification from the 200-meter backstroke Thursday night was overturned but might still be disputed.

    Neither case has reached the level of the scandal at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, when a French judge was determined by the international federation for the sport to have helped fix the pairs skating competition.

    But the incidents, along with another this week in the equestrian competition, re-emphasize the difficulty of remaining controversy-free in the Summer Olympics, which feature competition in 28 sports contested over a 17-day period and raise questions about the method of settling disputes."

    Read more at Appeals weighed in swimming, gymnastics

    Posted by Darren at 06:40 PM

    Golden years are kind to Slovenia sprinter Merlene Ottey

    "It's not just that Merlene Ottey is old at 44; it's that she's 44 and an Olympic sprinter.

    It's not just she's 44 and sprinting; she ran the second-fastest time yesterday in the first round of qualifying. It's not just that at 44 she has sprinted into the Olympic semifinals in the 100 meters; it's that she's running past women less than half her age, teenagers who were born after she had competed in her second Olympic Games.

    Ottey was pleading with reporters here earlier this week to not make age an issue.

    But of course, she made age an issue, by being the oldest track and field athlete in the Games, by redefining what's possible for a woman in her mid-40s. As Kim Gevaert, 28, a Belgian sprinter said of Ottey, "She could be, like, my mom. My mom is only a couple of years older, and I don't see my mom out here.""

    Read more at Golden years are kind to Slovenia sprinter Ottey

    Posted by Darren at 06:39 PM

    Pinsent makes it Four

    Matthew Pinsent has claimed his fourth Olympic Gold medal in four different Olympic games when the Men's Coxless fours narrowly pipped the Canadians by 0.08 seconds.

    Pinsent, and Sydney champion James Cracknell, Ed Coode and Steve Williams won by the narrowest of margins in a time of six minutes 6.98 seconds.

    The Canadian crew put the Britons under heavy pressure in the final stages.

    But the GB four dug deep to edge them out in a photo finish by 0.08 seconds, while Italy took bronze.

    Pinsent won his first gold with Steve Redgrave in 1992 and has never lost an Olympic race.

    Source BBC Fourth gold for Pinsent

    Posted by at 06:30 PM

    Britain wins Men's Coxless Fours - Rowing - Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from United Kingdom (Great Britain)

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Canada

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Italy

    Romania win Women's Pairs Gold Medal - Rowing

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Romania

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from United Kingdom (Great Britain)

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Belarus

    The Evers-Swindell Twins from New Zealand wins Women's Double Scullls Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: The Evers-Swindell Twins from New Zealand

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Germany

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from United Kingdom (Great Britain)

    Australia win Men's Double Sculls Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Australia

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Croatia

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from South Africa

    Drew Ginn and James Tomkins Win Men's Pairs Rowing Gold Medal

    Drew Ginn and James Tomkins from Australia have just won the Gold medal in the Men's Pairs Rowing. In second place was the Croatian team of Sinisa Skelin and Niksa Skelin and in third the team from South Africa, Donovan Cech and Ramon di Clemente.

    Posted by Darren at 04:38 PM

    Athens Olympic Games Blog - best of a disappointing lot

    It looks like our humble little site here is one of the best Athens Olympic sites - well its one of the best of a pretty disappointing lot according to this journalist...

    "I could have used a one-stop page with the day's developments at a glance, no matter how obscure the sport. The closest I got was an independent Web journal, at livingroom.org.au/olympics. I also like USA Today's Athens Watch, even if it is U.S.-centric."

    We'll take it as a compliment seeing as we're just a couple of guys with no resources except our free-to-air TV's and internet access, seeing what we could achieve from our lounge rooms on the other side of the world from where all the action is happening.

    Read more at Olympics Online Coverage Extensive but Disappointing

    Posted by Darren at 04:29 PM

    Olaf Tufte wins Men's Single Skulls (Rowing) Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Olaf Tufte from Norway

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Jueri Jaanson from Estonia

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Ivo Yanakiev from Bulgaria

    Jana Pittman about to Run

    After a saga of a lead up to Athens Jana Pittman is about to run in her first 400m hurdles heat. Will her injured knee hold up?

    Stay tuned for details of her race...

    The first start is a false start...

    Jana won her first heat - using a normal stride pattern (jumping off both legs).

    Her time was 54.83 which was not particularly fast in comparison to the first heat but she laid off in the last 20 meters.

    This must have been a real confidence boost to her but the real test will be in the Semi finals on Saturday night Athens time.

    Posted by Darren at 04:12 PM

    Curtain falls on Thorpe's Olympics

    "IAN Thorpe's Athens Olympics are over after the men's medley relay team failed to qualify for the final, finishing ninth fastest.

    Thorpe didn't get to swim the relay, Australia resting him for the final on the last day of the eight-day swimming program tomorrow.

    But the heat line-up of Matt Welsh, Jim Piper, Adam Pine and Michael Klim failed to get the Australians into the eight-lane final, clocking the ninth fastest time 3min 39.14sec.

    They were 0.29sec behind the eighth fastest qualifiers, of the Ukraine (3min 38.85sec).

    Nevertheless, Thorpe will fly home as Australia's greatest Olympian, ahead of Dawn Fraser, with a total of five gold, three silver and a bronze from two Olympics."

    Read more at Curtain falls on Thorpe's Olympics

    Posted by Darren at 04:03 PM

    Aussie Soccer Official fined, banned

    "OLYROOS fitness trainer Anthony Crea has been banned and fined for making an offensive gesture during the Australians' Olympic soccer match against Serbia and Montenegro.

    Crea was fined 8130 ($13,900) and suspended for five matches, meaning he will watch the rest of the tournament from the stands."

    Read more at Aussie official fined, banned

    Posted by Darren at 04:01 PM

    Amelie Mauresmo defeats Alicia Molik - Women's Tennis

    "Australia's Alicia Molik crashed out of the Olympic tennis tournament this morning with a 6-7, 3-6 semi-final loss to France's Amelie Mauresmo.

    Mauresmo's win saw her progress to a final date with Justine Henin-Hardenne, who staged one of the greatest comebacks of her career to fight back from 5-1 down in the final set and beat French Open champion Anastasia Myskina in her semi.

    Molik still has an opportunity to win a medal when she plays Myskina for the bronze.

    "I get a chance to redeem myself and back it up tomorrow," she said.

    "I play Myskina tomorrow and we've had some great matches, so I'll be looking to improve."

    For the purist it may have contained too many errors, but Henin-Hardenne's 7-5, 5-7, 8-6 victory over the Russian will go down as a classic."

    Read more at Molik falls as Henin sets gold standard

    Posted by Darren at 03:58 PM

    Meares in 500m time trial gold triumph

    "Australia's world champion Anna Meares produced a world record when it counted to stun her rivals and win the women's 500 metres time trial at the Athens Olympics overnight.

    The 20-year-old Meares, riding last in the 12-strong field, trumped China's Jiang Yonghua's Olympic record in the previous ride only minutes earlier to claim gold in 33.952 seconds.

    Not only did Meares get under that time but she even snatched Jiang's world record of 34:000 in the bargain."

    Read more at Meares in 500m time trial gold triumph

    Posted by Darren at 03:57 PM

    Katrin Rutschow-Stomporowski wins Women's Single Sculls (Rowing) Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Katrin Rutschow-Stomporowski from Germany

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Ekaterina Karsten from Belarus

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Rumyana Neykova from Bulgaria

    NZ rowers set for biggest night in their Olympic history

    "The Evers-Swindells and the rest of the New Zealand Olympic rowing team are counting down to what could be the country's most successful day for the sport.

    Five crews line up in finals later this evening in Athens, starting with Sonia Waddell at 5.30pm NZ time.

    For the twins it has been a long wait since last Saturdays heat.

    But Georgina says the double-scullers have been in this situation before, at the 2002 world championships, a race that they won.

    She says they will go through their regular routine, which includes having their last meal around three hours before the race."

    Read more at NZ rowers set for biggest night in their Olympic history

    Posted by Darren at 03:34 PM

    Alexander Popov set for his last Olympic race

    "Just after midday today in Athens one of the greatest swimmers of his generation will hit the pool for possibly his last Olympic race.

    At 32, Alexander Popov of Russia already has nine Olympic medals - four gold and five silver. He races today in the heats of the 4x100m medley relay, still trying to come to terms with his failure to qualify for tonight's 50m freestyle final.

    Having already missed out on the final of the 100m, this is surely the end for the swimmer who first won gold at the Barcelona games in 1992 in the 50m and 100m freestyle. He went on to dominate these sprints during the 1990s, retaining the titles he had won in 1992 and four years later at the Atlanta games.

    This is not the first time his swimming obituary has been written. He was stabbed shortly after the Atlanta games following a row with a roadside watermelon seller in Moscow, and some thought the injuries he suffered would end his career - he was, after all, a veteran at 24."

    Read more at Popov set for his last Olympic race

    Posted by Darren at 03:28 PM

    Team USA Not Only One Struggling at Olympics

    "The American hoopsters aren't the only ones struggling at the Olympics.

    The defending world champions from Serbia-Montenegro have lost two of their three games, Yao Ming's teammates on China are having trouble getting the ball past midcourt, and Angola's losing streak is at eight years and counting."

    Read more at Team USA Not Only One Struggling at Olympics

    Posted by Darren at 03:27 PM

    Lauryn Williams Fastest in 100M Preliminary Heat

    "A U.S. women's sprinting corps missing some of its biggest names got off to a strong start Friday on the first day of Olympic track competition, with three Americans - including 37-year-old Gail Devers - advancing from their preliminary heats in the 100 meters. Lauryn Williams, the 20-year-old NCAA champion from Miami, was fastest in her heat in 11.16 seconds.

    U.S. champion LaTasha Colander slowed at the end but still won her heat in 11.31. And Devers, who won this event at the 1992 and 1996 games, advanced by placing third in her heat in 11.29.

    "I feel good. I was just nervous. I shouldn't have watched the race right before mine," Williams said. "Those were fast times. Oh, my goodness! It's very fast and they're only running the first rounds."

    Gold-medal favorite Christine Arron of France eased to second place in her heat in 11.14, while Bulgaria's Ivet Lalova - fastest in the world this year at 10.77 - won her heat in 11.16. The best time of the first round was 10.94 by Yuliya Nesterenko of Belarus."

    Read more at Williams Fastest in 100M Preliminary Heat

    Posted by Darren at 03:25 PM

    Japan produces new king of judo

    "Japan produced a new king of judo and wrapped up the most successful Olympic campaign in the history of their beloved sport by sweeping the men's and women's heavyweight titles with knockouts.

    World open-weight champion Keiji Suzuki dumped Russian Tamerian Timenov in the men's over-100kg final, restoring Japan's national pride after compatriot and rival Kosei Inoue suffered a shock defeat in a lighter class on Thursday.

    World silver medallist Maki Tsukada immobilized Sydney Olympic silver medallist Dayma Beltran of Cuba in the women's over-78kg final.

    "I was stunned by Kosei's loss," Suzuki said after bringing the premier judo title back to Japan for the first time in 16 years. "I felt the responsibility to win for him and for Japan."

    "It's made me realise that it is difficult to keep on winning and, at the same time, it is possible for first-time challengers like me to win," the 24-year-old said."

    Read more at Japan produces new king of judo

    Posted by Darren at 03:22 PM

    Denise Lewis Eclipsed by Team-Mate - Kelly Sotherton

    "Kelly Sotherton heads into the decisive second day of the Olympic heptathlon ready to shove defending champion Denise Lewis off her pedestal.

    While Lewis hobbled out of the stadium nursing a sore calf and Achilles and dented pride at a ninth place as scant reward for a punishing first day, Sotherton headed off to prepare for more heroics after securing a sensational second spot behind brilliant world champion Carolina Kruft.

    With three events remaining, including her favourite long jump, 27-year-old Sotherton must stand an excellent chance of giving Britain the perfect start to their track and field campaign.

    I was a bit disappointed with my 200 metres at the end, said the Birchfield Harrier. But overall I cant complain.

    I am 140 points up above my personal best for day one and now we shall have to see whether it is good enough to get me a medal."

    Read more at Lewis Eclipsed by Team-Mate

    Posted by Darren at 03:21 PM

    Greek drugs drama dominates - Leonidas Sampanis test positive

    "Greece has been rocked by the threat of being stripped of an Athens Games medal and the host nation's team manager has offered to quit, as doping overshadows Michael Phelps' drive to be Olympic swimming's top medal winner.

    Weightlifter Leonidas Sampanis, a national hero days ago when he won his country's first medal at the Games, became the latest Greek athlete to be hit by drug woes that have plagued the Olympics throughout their first week.

    "I am stunned. I am going mad. We do not, and I stress this, do not, give our athletes testosterone," Sampanis's coach Christos Iakovou said on Friday after confirming the athlete had tested positive for a banned substance.

    If Sampanis' second sample tests positive he will be stripped of his bronze medal and expelled from the Games.

    Hours later Greek team manager Yiannis Papadoyiannakis offered to resign, but his bosses quickly tried to smooth over the new embarrassment in a saga that the Greek government has warned threatens the image of the birthplace of the Olympics."

    Read more at Greek drugs drama dominates

    Posted by Darren at 03:20 PM

    Paes-Bhupathi lose bronze medal match

    " India's dream of winning a second medal at the Athens Games were cruelly crushed after Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi lost their bronze medal match in a marathon near four-hour battle here last night.

    Paes and Bhupathi, who had provided a ray of hope for the beleaguered Indian camp, went down fighting to the young Croatian pair of Mario Ancic and Ivan Ljubicic 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 14-16 in three hours and 58 minutes.

    The final set alone lasted two hours and nine minutes as the contest stretched well past midnight.

    If it was a bitter pill to swallow for Paes who had hoped to add the doubles medal to his singles bronze he won in Atlanta eight years ago, it was more so for Bhupathi who was keen to add a Olympic medal to his already glittering cupboard.

    At 30, Bhupathi might have played his last Olympics and it will leave the seven-time Grand Slam champion with an unfulfilled wish."

    Read more at Paes-Bhupathi lose bronze medal match

    Posted by Darren at 03:18 PM

    Team GB Hopes for Hat Trick of Golds

    "Great Britain will be hoping for a hat-trick of golds today to add to the two won in successive days in Athens.

    And there are a host of chances to add to Team GBs tally after Chris Hoys exploits in the Velodrome yesterday.

    Hoy, 28, from Edinburgh, set a new Olympic time to add to the sailing gold already won for Team GB.

    And it is in the sailing where Britain stands poised to rake in more medals if all goes well today.

    The team continues to shine on the water with Joe Glanfield and Nick Rogers in with a shout of medals in the 470 class and Ben Ainslie hoping for gold in the Finn class.

    Matthew Pinsent will also be going for his fourth Olympic gold medal in the rowing, leading the team along with James Cracknell, Steve Williams and Ed Coode in the Mens four.

    Richard Dunn and Tonyt Garbett also go in the Mens Pair final."

    Read more at Team GB Hopes for Hat Trick of Golds

    Posted by Darren at 03:16 PM

    Michael Phelps pulls out of relay

    "Michael Phelps , who has won five gold medals in the Olympic pool, said Friday he was pulling out of Saturday's 4x100 meter medley relay final to give team mate Ian Crocker the chance to swim.

    Having swum in the relay heats, Phelps would still get a medal and so stay on course for an Olympic swimming record eight in one Games if the American team finishes in the top three on Saturday.

    Phelps, who beat Crocker in a desperately close 100 meter butterfly final Friday, said he wanted his team mate to have the spot because he had not been feeling well when he swam in the U.S. 4x100 freestyle relay squad, who were beaten into third place in the final last Sunday.

    "I wanted to give him another chance," Phelps said."

    Read more at Swimming: Phelps pulls out of relay

    Posted by Darren at 03:14 PM

    Playboy celebrates Olympic sex-ploits

    "The organisers of the Athens Olympics have vainly tried to remove the Greek edition of Playboy from the newspaper stands for offending the Games with a section on the Olympian traditions of sex, the magazine said on Friday.

    "The court turned down ATHOC's (the Athens organisers') request for a restraining order against the circulation of the issue," Greek Playboy's legal counsellor Stelios Michalopoulos told AFP.

    "Harder, deeper, longer," was how the magazine paraphrased the Olympic motto "faster, higher, stronger," in an Olympics special featuring photos of naked models throwing the discus, distance running or holding up Games' symbols such as the five rings and the Olympic torch.

    "(Playboy) humiliates and ridicules Olympic symbols, signs, mottos, terms and mascots... causing enormous economic damage to our sponsors, license holders and Olympic product manufacturers," ATHOC said in the text of their written request.

    The request from the organisers was submitted, and immediately turned down on Thursday, 20 days after the issue was on sale at the newspaper stands. "

    Read more at Playboy celebrates Olympic sex-ploits

    Posted by Darren at 03:13 PM

    Breaking Olympic Drug Scandal News

    News has just broken in New Zealand that a Kiwi Cyclist has just withdrawn from the Olympics because he took a banned substance months ago and traces are still showing up in his system.

    News is sketchy but we'll update this with more details as they come to hand.

    Also in related doping news a Greek Weightlifter is likely to have his bronze medal taken from him after being tested for drugs after competition.

    Posted by Darren at 03:10 PM

    Athens Olympic Merchandise Available

    The array of Athens Olympic merchandise available to Olympic fans can be quite overwhelming so we've decided to put together a page with a selection of some of the better options of Athens Olympic Games Pins and Merchandise. All are supplied by Amazon, a reliable and reputable dealer of virtually everything and anything you could think to buy.

    Also check out these links for:
    Athens Olympics Books
    Athens Olympics Apparel
    Athens Olympics CDs
    Olympic Games Pins
    Signed Olympic Memorabilia

    Posted by Darren at 11:45 AM

    Rowers Lose Appeal

    CTV.ca | Disqualified Canadian rowers lose final appeal

    Canadian rowers Dave Calder and Chris Jarvis have lost their final appeal of their disqualification in the men's pairs event in Athens.

    Posted by at 04:06 AM

    Cockburn bounces to Silver

    Cockburn wins silver in trampoline

    Toronto's Karen Cockburn won an Olympic silver medal in trampoline Friday.

    Cockburn's freestyle routine had the highest degree of difficulty in the competition. She achieved great height during her routine while for most the part, staying within the trampoline's centre box target area -- a key to high scoring -- to put up a score of 39.20.

    Posted by at 04:00 AM

    August 20, 2004

    Heptathlon Update

    Carolina Kluft leads the Hepathoon after 2 events with Denise Lewis Gold medalist in Sydney lurking far behind in 14th but fellow Brit Kelly Sotherton hold joint second with German Karin Ruckstuhl.

    Denise Lewis made a stuttering start to the defence of her Olympic heptathlon title to lie 14th after two events.
    The Briton clocked a season's best of 13.40 seconds in the 100m hurdles, but then had a below-par 1.73m in the high jump for a total of 1,923 points.

    That left her well adrift of Swedish favourite Caroline Kluft, who cleared 1.91m to lead overall on 2,212 points.

    Source BBC Lewis drops off pace

    Posted by at 09:28 PM

    Lioubov Galkina wins Women's 50m Rifle - 3 Positions - Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Lioubov Galkina from Russia

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Valentina Turisini from Italy

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Chengyi Wang from China

    Posted by Darren at 09:03 PM

    Benoit Peschier wins Men's Kayak Singles Slalom Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Benoit Peschier from France

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Campbell Walsh from United Kingdom (Great Britain)

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Fabien Lefevre from France

    Posted by Darren at 09:01 PM

    Ivano Brugnetti wins Men's 20km Walk Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Ivano Brugnetti from Italy

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Francisco Javier from Spain

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Nathan Deakes from Australia

    Posted by Darren at 08:28 PM

    Slovakia win Men's Canoe Doubles Slalom Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Team from Slovakia

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Team from Germany

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team from Czech Republic

    Posted by Darren at 08:27 PM

    Canadians shock USA in water polo

    ATHENS, Greece U.S. goalkeeper Jackie Frank dipped under water to think. She resurfaced wondering if the blur of the previous six minutes really happened.

    It did.

    Canada fired five unanswered goals past Frank in the last 5 1/2 minutes to edge the world champion Americans, 6-5, yesterday in an Olympic water polo shocker.

    Posted by at 11:19 AM

    Canada 4 and 0

    'Big Red Machine' keeps winning

    The Canadian men's baseball team picked up its fourth straight win Wednesday with a 2-0 victory over host Greece in front of a near-capacity crowd of 3,642 at the Olympic Baseball Centre. The buzz is starting to build around this Canadian team, being dubbed the 'Big Red Machine' by some after its impressive start. Canada is alone in first place at 4-0, with medal favourites Japan and Cuba next at 3-1.

    Posted by at 11:16 AM

    Flag-bearer Gill makes early exit

    ATHENS (CP) - Canadian flag-bearer Nicolas Gill made an early exit from men's judo, but a fight to keep two of the country's top rowers in the medal hunt continued.
    Posted by at 11:11 AM

    France wins gold in team fencing

    "France won the gold medal in the men's team sabre fencing competition Thursday at the Olympics, defeating Italy 45-42 in the final.

    Russia took the bronze with a 45-44 victory over the United States.

    Although the United States came in fourth, it was a great effort for the Americans, considering they upset third-seeded Hungary to advance to the semifinals before falling to France by a point, 45-44.

    The U.S. team of Ivan Lee, Jason Rogers and Keeth Smart shocked the fencing world Thursday with the 45-43 victory over Hungary. However, in the semifinal, neither Smart nor American coach Yury Gelman believed the referee made the proper call on the final touch.

    The semifinal also had to be stopped for about 10 minutes after Smart slashed the hand of his opponent, Gael Touya, with the score even at 44-44."

    Read more at France wins gold in team fencing

    Posted by Darren at 05:49 AM

    Carly Patterson wins Women's Individual All Round Gymnastics Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Carly Patterson from United States

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Svetlana Khorkina from Russia

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Tiantian Wang from China

    Posted by Darren at 05:46 AM

    Taner Sagir win Men's 77kg Weightlifting Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Taner Sagir from Turkey

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Sergey Filimonov from Kazakhstan

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Oleg Perepetchenov from Russia

    Posted by Darren at 04:55 AM

    Australia defeat Canada 1 - 0 in Softball - Medal Guaranteed

    Australia are guaranteed a medal in Softball competition after defeating Canada tonight 1 - 0. Even if they loose their next match the will still win at least a Bronze medal.

    Posted by Darren at 04:35 AM

    Chinese Teenager Rewrites Record Book in Weightlifting

    "Teenager Liu Chunhong of China set a world record in winning the women's 69kg weightlifting division on Thursday. Chunhong won the gold with maybe the best-ever performance in the sport, as a total of 18 World and Olympic records were broken in the event at the Nikaia Olympic Weightlifting Hall.

    Liu broke records with each of her five lifts and finished the event holding all six world and Olympic records in the light heavyweight class for snatch (122.5kg), clean and jerk (153kg) and total (275kg)."

    Read more at Chinese Teenager Rewrites Record Book in Weightlifting

    Posted by Darren at 04:30 AM

    Michael Phelps Wins Medley for Fourth Gold

    "Michael Phelps led from start to finish to win his fourth gold medal of the Athens Olympics with a comfortable victory in the 200 meters individual medley on Thursday.

    Phelps, who stayed on course for a record eight medals at Athens, took charge on the opening butterfly leg and was never seriously challenged as he swept home in an Olympic record one minute 57.14 seconds."

    Read more at Michael Phelps Wins Medley for Fourth Gold

    Posted by Darren at 04:29 AM

    Alicia Molik to face Amelie Mauresmo

    "AUSTRALIAN No.1 Alicia Molik earned herself a double crack at an Olympic tennis singles medal with an impressive quarter-final win over eighth-seeded Ai Sugiyama today.

    Molik played fearlessly to outclass her plucky Japanese opponent 6-3 6-4 to set up a semi-final tomorrow against second-seeded Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo.

    Molik is also still in contention for a doubles medal.

    The in-form South Australian will team with Rennae Stubbs later tonight against Chinese pair Tian Tian Sun and Ting Li for another spot in the semi-finals.

    Molik's eighth straight singles victory - including five en route to her second career title last week in Stockholm - guaranteed the 23-year-old at least a bronze-medal playoff, matching Jelena Dokic's effort for Australia at the Sydney Olympics."

    Read more at Molik to face Mauresmo

    Posted by Darren at 04:07 AM

    Leisel Jones takes silver

    "LEISEL Jones's bold challenge for an Olympic gold medal fell just short as she took silver in the 200m breaststroke overnight.

    The 18-year-old Australian took the race out hard but was overtaken in the final lap by American world recordholder Amanda Beard.

    Jones clocked 2m23.60sec to finish 0.33sec behind Beard.

    The Queenslander's best time of 2m22.96sec set during heavy training in Brisbane about six weeks ago would have been enough for the gold overnight.

    She was ahead of Beard by about a second at the final turn but wasn't able to hold off the American, who's known for her scorching last lap."

    Read more at Jones takes silver

    Posted by Darren at 04:06 AM

    Equestrian Team Eventing Appeal Update

    "The horses were grinding their grain and team officials their teeth at the Olympic equestrian venue Thursday.

    Riders and trainers waited for the next step in a rare drama for the polite sport after Germany's riders won the gold medal Wednesday in the three-day team event -- but not before losing it, and then winning it back, in a bizarre flurry of judging decisions and reversals.

    France, Britain and the United States -- the three teams caught in the middle of the judges' indecision -- said they would appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport here to reverse the turnabout that briefly gave the U.S. team the bronze in the equestrian equivalent of the decathlon.

    "All three teams have informed the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) of their decision to proceed," the committees said in a joint statement, adding that lawyers would file the appeal in a few days."

    Read more at As dressage riders wait to start, eventers await appeal

    Posted by Darren at 04:02 AM

    France wins Men's Team Sabre Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Team

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Team

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Team

    Posted by Darren at 03:55 AM

    Jodie Henry wins Women's 100m Freestyle Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Jodie Henry from Australia

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Inge de Bruijn from Netherlands

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Natalie Coughlin from United States

    Posted by Darren at 03:49 AM

    Prosecutors to check sprinters' injuries

    "A prosecutor looking into the suspicious motorcycle accident involving Greek sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou wants to take a closer look at the injuries sustained by the athletes, a judicial source said Thursday.

    Prosecutor Haralambos Lakafosis, overseeing the investigation into the accident, wants to question some of the doctors at Athens' KAT hospital, a senior source in the Athens prosecutor's office told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

    The medical condition of the two athletes is considered a key part of the investigation into the accident and could answer allegations that it may not have taken place or was staged."

    Read more at Prosecutors to check sprinters' injuries

    Posted by Darren at 03:46 AM

    Chinese pair Zhang and Gao edge thriller to claim gold

    "Chinese second seeds Zhang Jun and Gao Ling edged British number four seeds Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms in a nail-biting final to win the gold medal in the Olympic mixed doubles badminton.

    Robertson and Emms saved two match points but not the third on Thursday, as Zhang and Gao won a pulsating match 15-1, 12-15, 15-12 for their second successive Olympic gold.

    Unseeded Danish pair Jens Eriksen and Mette Schjoldager took bronze after beating compatriots and seventh seeds Jonas Rasmussen and Rikke Olsen."

    Read more at Chinese pair Zhang and Gao edge thriller to claim gold

    Posted by Darren at 03:42 AM

    Michael Phelps wins Men's 200m Individual Medley Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Michael Phelps from United States

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Ryan Lochte from United States

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: George Bovell from Trinidad and Tobago

    Posted by Darren at 03:35 AM

    Guide to watching The Olympics

    If you're as avid Olympic Watchers as we are you might want to head over to Engadget's guide to watching The Olympicsfor some good tips on using Tivo, mobile phones and the internet for following all the action.

    Posted by Darren at 03:30 AM

    Nathan Deakes talks the talk for walk

    "Nathan Deakes is quite open about his ambitions in the 20-kilometre road walk, the first event on the first full day of the Athens athletics program.

    Deakes wants a medal at minimum, a gold at best. He turned 27 on Tuesday and it would be a belated birthday present.

    "I'd love to medal and that means the gold as well. I'm going in with very high expectations and will be disappointed if I come away with no medal."

    Deakes' ambitions are based on his third place earlier this year in the World Walking Cup in Germany. Since then, he has had more than a month training at high altitude in St Moritz and then a final stint back at the World Cup venue of Naumburg.

    Even Deakes' dodgy hamstrings, which have persistently troubled him for over two years, are getting in tune with the rest of his physiology."

    Read more at Deakes talks the talk for walk - Athletics -

    Posted by Darren at 03:12 AM

    Greeks Win First Sailing Gold

    "A Greek crew won the first sailing gold medal of the Summer Games, and Americans Paul Foerster and Kevin Burnham were in position to take their first Olympic title.

    Sofia Bekatorou and Aimilia Tsoulfa clinched the 470 gold after building an insurmountable lead following 10 races.

    The silver and bronze medals will be determined Saturday.

    After they crossed the finish line, the duo capsized the boat, stood on the hull and waved the Greek flag to the delight of spectators and photographers.

    A few minutes earlier, Foerster and Burnham took the lead in the men's 470 with one race left in the 11-race series. "

    Read more at Greeks Win First Sailing Gold

    Posted by Darren at 03:08 AM

    Aaron Piersol wins Men's 200m Backstroke Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Aaron Peirsol from USA

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Markus Rogan from Austria

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Razvan Florea from Romania

    Aaron Peirsol was disqualified from the 200m Backstroke after finishing in first place. He was then reinstated into the Gold medal position after the judge who disqualified him did not give adequate information in the language of FINA to justify his disqualification.

    Posted by Darren at 03:04 AM

    Amanda Beard wins Women's 200m Breaststroke Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Amanda Beard from United States

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Leisel Jones from Australia

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Anne Poleska from Germany

    Posted by Darren at 02:48 AM

    U.S. Men's Hoops Team Rallies to Beat Aussie

    "It was another slow start for the U.S. men's basketball team on Thursday, but the Americans rallied to post an 89-79 win over Australia at the Olympics.

    Tim Duncan had 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Allen Iverson and Shawn Marion each totaled 16 points.

    The victory moved the United States to 2-1 and solidified its chances of making the quarterfinals. Only Lithuania is currently ahead of the Americans in Group B."

    Read more at U.S. Men's Hoops Team Rallies to Beat Aussie

    Posted by Darren at 02:28 AM

    Kenya Ready for Ethiopia Challenge

    "Excitement is building up towards to first day of the athletics track programme tomorrow and those in the Kenyan camp are already anxiously waiting for the 10,000m final which takes place at 10.55 pm.

    One of Kenya's representatives in the 10,000m Charles Kamathi said here yesterday that they were looking forward to taking the fight to the Ethiopians whose prodigy Kennisa Bekele is being touted at the favourite.

    But Kamathi said such talk was presumptuous as Kenya's other 10,000m runners, Moses Mosop and John Korir, stood an equal chance of winning the gold medal.

    One gold medal is already being branded Kenya's - the steeplechase.

    Since 1968, athletes from Kenya have struck Olympic gold in this event seven out of nine times.

    The only time Kenya did not win gold was 1976 and 1980 when the country boycotted the Olympic Games for political reasons.

    Kenya's steeplechase trio in Athens, Ezekiel Kemboi, Brimin Kipruto and Paul Koech are expected to arrive here over the next two days.

    The failure of 2000 gold medalist Reuben Kosgei to make the Kenyan team does not in any way diminish the country's chances to win the gold.

    There is plenty of talent to go round."

    Read more at Kenya Ready for Ethiopia Challenge

    Posted by Darren at 02:26 AM

    Barb Linquist Ready for Olympic Challenge

    "There could be big changes by this time next week in the life of Olympic triathlete Barb Lindquist of Teton Valley.

    After six day a week workouts, Lindquist has left training camp in Florida, destination --Athens. Prior to her departure, she took a break from her daily routine to talk with Olympic specialist Doug Andersen, about the challenging vouliagmeni (voo-lee-uh-men-ee) triathlon venue.

    Barb Lindquist: "The swim, it's in a protected cove, but when I was there last October it was flat. Swimming one day, the wind came up just a little bit and it was choppy the next, I mean very choppy, so the swim can be very challenging. The bike itself has a big hill in it, that's about 2 1/2 or three minutes long, that's really steep. I think there's some 15 to 18 percent grade in it and then the run itself, which is pretty flat, will be in the heat of the day.""

    Read more at LINDQUIST READY FOR OLYMPIC CHALLENGE

    Posted by Darren at 02:24 AM

    China win Mixed Doubles Badminton Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: China

    The winner of the Silver Medal: United Kingdom

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Denmark

    Posted by Darren at 01:37 AM

    Chunhong Liu wins Women's 69kg Weightlifting Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Chunhong Liu from China

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Eszter Krutzler from Hungary

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Zarema Kasaeva from Russia

    Posted by Darren at 01:35 AM

    Ihar Makarau wins Men's 100kg Judo Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Ihar Makarau from Belarus

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Jang Sung Ho from Korea, South

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Michael Jurack from Germany

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Ariel Zeevi from Israel

    Posted by Darren at 01:27 AM

    Noriko Anno wins Women's 78kg Judo Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Noriko Anno from Japan

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Liu Xia from China

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Yurisel Laborde from Cuba

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Lucia Morica from Italy

    Posted by Darren at 01:26 AM

    Summer Website OlympicsThe Speed Competition

    Blakems.com is holding a 'Summer Website Olympics.

    Their first event is 'Web page Speed'. It seems that the official site of the Olympics gets Gold - although we were not invited to qualify for the race. We might not have won this race - but we're pretty confident that we'd be in medal contention for speed of updating results on our Medal Table which we've noticed is quite often faster than all of the sites mentioned in the Website Olympics competition.

    Great idea though Blakems.com.

    Posted by Darren at 01:17 AM

    Marco Galiazzo wins Men's Individual Archery Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Marco Galiazzo from Italy

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Hiroshi Yamamoto from Japan

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Tim Cuddihy from Australia

    Posted by Darren at 12:56 AM

    Robertson crew clinch gold - Sailing

    "Shirley Robertson's Yngling crew have won Britain's first gold medal of the Athens Games on Thursday.

    The trio finished eighth in race 10 to clinch gold with a race to go on a medal-laden day for British sailing.

    Ben Ainslie is guaranteed at least a silver medal after his fourth win in 10 races in the Finn class.

    And Nick Rogers and Joe Glanfield have also clinched at least silver in the men's 470, despite losing their lead after Thursday's two races."

    Read more at Robertson crew clinch gold

    Posted by Darren at 12:28 AM

    Kim Collins 100m - Press Conference

    "On his restricted Grand Prix racing in the build-up to Athens 2004:
    "I'm fresh, I'm ready. I've raced 5 times this year, normally it is more like a dozen."
    "It was the same last year for the World Championships. Last year, Paris was the one that counted. This year, Athens is the one that counts. If you win Athens, you can lose every other race in the season before and after butit does not matter. I'm on a mission to win here in Athens."

    On the expected winning time required totake gold atAthens 2004:
    "Definitely this year it will take under 10 seconds tobe the Olympic champion. The question of who will do it, we do not know yet. Everyone has been running fast before the Games.I'm saying they are goingto have to do it here in Athens."

    On the competition:
    "I don't care about the field until they get to the final. Everyone in the final poses a threat, not before. As world champion, every competitor is looking to kill you, literally.There are a lot of games in the heats."

    On whether his rivals treat him a serious threat:
    "I don't think Maurice GREENE (USA) really does. And not just him, there are a lot of other people too,because they see the winning time in the world championships and think, 'that's not good enough'. But I say, on the day, that is all it took. It does not really matter if you run fast or not. The idea of a race is that you set off together to find a winner. If you take half an hour to win the 100m, hey, you are still the winner."

    On being world champion, but not world-record holder:
    "Some people say that the world championship winning timewas slow, and that you have to break the world record in order to be considered the best, butI don't want to be the world-record holder, I want to win. I would rather be able to run comfortably and have a long career in track and field than run a ridiculously lowtime and then not be able to compete for the rest of my life."

    On why he started sprinting:
    "I was told, 'if you run fast, you get girls.' It worked.""

    Source - Men's 100m : Kim COLLINS (SKN) Press Conference

    Posted by Darren at 12:27 AM

    Greece wins Womens Double Handed Dinghy Gold Medal

    Greece has won the Gold Medal in Womens Double Handed Dinghy. The Bronze and Silver medals will not be decided today - as another race is needed to decide these places. Final results are expected on the 21st of August.

    The countries in contention for Silver and Bronze are Spain, Sweden, Slovenia and Denmark.

    Posted by Darren at 12:14 AM

    August 19, 2004

    Kosei Inoue - Japanese world champion Inoue crashes out of Olympics

    "Japan's Olympic and world judo champion Kosei Inoue suffered a shock defeat at the hands of unfancied Elco van Der Geest in the under-100kg light heavyweight quarter-finals at the Athens Games.

    The 25-year-old Dutchman, leading on points from two incomplete throws, dumped the heavily favoured three-time world champion with a "seoinage" shoulder throw that stopped the fight 12 seconds left in the five-minute final.

    The loss caused heartbreak among the 312-strong Japanese Olympic squad as 26-year-old Inoue served as their captain, although Japan had dominated the judo competition with five gold medals from the first five days."

    Read more at Japanese world champion Inoue crashes out of Olympics

    Posted by Darren at 11:24 PM

    French fencer fights through impaling

    "There was blood on the carpet in the Olympic fencing hall as Frenchman Damien Touya had his right hand sliced open during the climax of the men's sabre team semi-final against the United States.

    With the score level at 44-44, Touya and Keeth Smart lunged simultaneously. The American's sabre cut through the webbing around the knuckles of the Frenchman's glove.

    The blade emerged through his palm, leaving Touya in considerable pain. After a 10-minute time-out, he bravely pulled on his glove and after two further simultaneous attacks that kept the scores tied, he finally produced the hit that sent his team into the final against Italy.

    "It showed great courage for Damien to make that last play as he was in terrible pain," said French coach Christian Peeters who toyed with the idea of using the reserve Boris Sanson to complete the match."

    Read more at French fencer fights through impaling

    Posted by Darren at 11:22 PM

    Japanese sensation -Kosuke Kitajima - tells U.S.: 'Now keep quiet' after 2nd gold

    "History-maker Kosuke Kitajima got even, not mad at least, not too mad.

    After destroying arch-rival Brendan Hansen for the second time in four days to win his second gold of the Athens Olympics he told the Americans: Now keep quiet!

    Kitajima stormed to the 100 meters breaststroke title at the weekend but was angry at American accusations that he had used an illegal dolphin kick at the start of the final.

    That bottled-up frustration exploded on Wednesday when the 21-year-old stormed to victory in a grudge 200 final, winning in an Olympic record of 2:09.44 seconds.

    That talk about the kick just motivated me all the more to stick it to them, said Kitajima, who became the first Japanese swimmer to win two gold medals at a single Olympics.

    They can stop talking now."

    Read more at Japanese sensation tells U.S.: 'Now keep quiet' after 2nd gold

    Posted by Darren at 11:22 PM

    Injury Forces Kenya's Sammy Korir Out of Olympics Marathon

    "Kenyan distance runner Sammy Korir says a leg injury will prevent him from taking part in the Athens Olympics marathon scheduled for August 29.

    Korir, who has run the second fastest marathon ever, expressed his disappointment Thursday, when he announced in Nairobi he would not join his teammates in Athens.

    He arrived in Nairobi late Wednesday, after undergoing treatment in Italy."

    Read more at Injury Forces Kenya's Korir Out of Olympics Marathon

    Posted by Darren at 11:20 PM

    Jana Pittman Will Compete

    "World champion 400 metres hurdler Jana Pittman has declared she is ready to race at the Athens Olympics after making a has made a miraculous recovery from a knee injury.

    Pittman's Games were all but over when she damaged a knee ligament before a Golden League meet on August 6, but she underwent an operation, has received intensive physiotherapy and is now confident her knee is repaired enough to compete."

    Read more at Pittman set, Hawke, Huegill on song

    Posted by Darren at 11:19 PM

    U.S. men strong on whitewater in single kayak, pairs canoe

    "Former Olympic champion canoe racer Joe Jacobi and partner Matt Taylor easily clinched a semifinal berth Thursday in the whitewater slalom event.

    Single American kayakers Brett Heyl and Scott Parsons also advanced to Friday, when semifinals and finals will be held.

    Heyl, of Norwich, Vt., was fifth after both preliminary runs and Parsons, of Sylvania, Ohio, was 14th after a rough second run in which he took a 2-second penalty for touching a gate. Where they finished in the standings don't matter in the semis as all 20 competitors start with a clean slate."

    Read more at U.S. men strong on whitewater in single kayak, pairs canoe

    Posted by Darren at 11:18 PM

    Sport Court Could Resolve Riding Row

    "British Olympic officials are expected to launch their appeal against yesterdays three-day event result to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 24 hours.

    A response is currently awaited from the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) later today to see whether all normal channels of appeal have been exhausted following Bettina Hoys controversial victory at the Markopoulo Equestrian Centre.

    The British camp have already succeeded in overturning Hoys triumph and that of Germany in the team event once, but Leslie Laws hopes of landing gold were dashed within three hours as the appeal judges ruled in Hoys favour over the double-start row that clouded the second of her three show-jumping rounds."

    Read more at Sport Court Could Resolve Riding Row

    Posted by Darren at 11:17 PM

    Life inside the Olympic Village

    "The Olympic Village is a place of mythical legend where lifetime bonds are forged and the backstage drama of the games is played out. The experience of living there is different for every athlete and it's as much a part of training and strategy as any component of race preparation.

    The Olympic Village is where the athletes and coaching staff live before and during the games. It's a wholly self-contained city with its own mayor, a post office, music store, bank, souvenir shop, transportation network, cafes, and Internet cafe with over a hundred computers where athletes can get online and check e-mail."

    Read more at Life inside the Olympic Village

    Posted by Darren at 11:15 PM

    Greek sprinters' motorbike accident faked: legal source

    "Initial investigations have revealed that Greek sprinters Kostadinos Kenteris and Ekaterini Thanou faked a motorcycle accident after missing a drugs test, a high-ranking legal source said.

    Kenteris, the Olympic 200 metres champion from the 2000 Sydney Olympics (news - web sites), and Thanou, a women's 100m silver medallist in those Games, were said to have suffered minor injuries in the mysterious accident which occurred late last Thursday after they had failed to appear for a doping test at the Olympic village.

    Greek heroes Kenteris and Thanou withdrew from the games on Wednesday after appearing before an International Olympic Committee (news - web sites) disciplinary hearing.

    The probe by a Greek prosecutor had shown that either the accident did not take place at all, or that the athletes deliberately crashed the bike in order to give themselves injuries, the source, a high-ranking official, added."

    Read more at Greek sprinters' motorbike accident faked: legal source

    Posted by Darren at 11:03 PM

    Cubans Have Boxing Covered Like a Glove

    "Only at the coolest and most confusing of all the Olympic venues -- boxing -- can you find a U.S. coach temporarily wearing Iraqi colors, the two best amateur heavyweights in the world fighting each other in the preliminaries, a Greek competitor being coached by a Cuban, a Pakistani competitor being coached by a Cuban, and an Ethiopian competitor being coached by a Cuban.

    We're going to reach the point, perhaps by 2008 in Beijing, at which every medalist in the Olympic boxing competition will be a product of the Cuban system. It's pretty impressive that the U.S. basketball system is so highly regarded that the China men's team hired Del Harris to be its coach and the Nigerian women's team hired Sam Vincent. Throw in Team USA's Larry Brown and you've got three teams here being coached by Americans. But of the 72 countries that sent boxers to Athens, 13 are coached by Cuba."

    Read more at Cubans Have Boxing Covered Like a Glove

    Posted by Darren at 11:01 PM

    Hall, Lezak lead in 50 free; Popov, Hoogie crash out

    "American Gary Hall Jr., the defending Olympic champion, and teammate Jason Lezak qualified for the 50-meter freestyle semifinals Thursday, but two of their biggest rivals failed to advance.

    Two-time Olympic champion Alexander Popov of Russia and Pieter van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands, the 2000 bronze medalist, didn't make the 16-man evening semifinal.

    Americans Michael Phelps and Ian Crocker moved on to the evening 100 butterfly semifinal, while Diana Munz and Kalyn Keller made the 800 freestyle final, set for Friday.

    Van den Hoogenband, the 100 free gold medalist, was 17th in 22.56 -- just three-hundredths of a second out of the last berth. Popov, 32, tied for 18th with a time of 22.58 seconds -- well off the world record of 21.64 he set in June 2000."

    Read more at Hall, Lezak lead in 50 free; Popov, Hoogie crash out

    Posted by Darren at 11:00 PM

    IWF Suspends Five More Weightlifters

    "Five weightlifters were suspended Thursday for flunking drug tests they took before the Olympics, including two who were pulled out just before walking to the lifting stand.

    The International Weightlifting Federation said the suspended lifters were Wafa Ammouri of Morocco (website - news) , Zoltan Kecskes of Hungary, Viktor Chislean of Moldova, Pratima Kumari Na of India and Sule Sahbaz of Turkey - raising to 20 the number of world-class weightlifters suspended this year."

    Read more at IWF Suspends Five More Weightlifters

    Posted by Darren at 10:59 PM

    Dutch Snatch Hockey Win, Pakistan Stun Korea

    "Olympic champions the Netherlands snatched another last-minute victory on Thursday in the men's hockey tournament in Athens and Pakistan stunned Sydney silver medallists South Korea 3-0 with fast-paced, attacking hockey.

    The Netherlands are the only team not to have dropped a game so far but have kept their supporters on the edge of their seats in the last two by pulling ahead of South Africa only at the very end.

    Going for their third Olympic gold in a row, the Dutch squeezed past 3-2 in an agonizingly long finale where they had to save three penalties after the final hooter....

    Pakistan against South Korea was always going to be a fast match and the first half was a game of cat and mouse with both teams attacking hard.

    But Pakistan, delighting a raucous partisan crowd, returned to the field firing on all cylinders and picked apart the Korean defense to score two goals from the field and a screaming penalty from drag flicker Sohail Abbas."

    Read more at Dutch Snatch Hockey Win, Pakistan Stun Korea

    Posted by Darren at 10:58 PM

    US v Australia Men's Basketball Scores

    The half time score in the USA v Australia Men's Basketball is Australia 51 - USA 47.

    At one point during the second quarter Australia had a lead of up to 12 points.

    Update - At three quarter time Australia lead the US 67 - 65 after a quarter in which the US led by 3 points.

    Update - Final Score - US 89 - Australia 79

    Posted by Darren at 10:48 PM

    Possible Eighth Medal Chance for Phelps

    "Michael Phelps's chances of winning a record eight medals at the Athens Olympics were given a big boost on Thursday when U.S. team officials said he might swim the heats of the 4x100 medley relay.

    The 19-year-old American would have missed out on swimming the relay final if he finished behind team mate Ian Crocker in the 100 butterfly final on Friday night. The possible decision to swim him in the heats means he will share any medals the final foursome get.

    "We're standing on that side of the equation," U.S. head men's coach Eddie Reese said when asked if Phelps would swim in the qualifying heats."

    Read more at Possible Eighth Medal Chance for Phelps

    Posted by Darren at 10:47 PM

    U.S. softball team makes it six shutouts in six games with 7-0 victory over Greece

    "Lisa Fernandez won an Olympic softball game that looked more like a California reunion. Fernandez, one of 12 Californians on the U.S. team, pitched a one-hitter as the two-time defending gold medalists made it six shutouts in six games with a shortened 7-0 victory Thursday over a Greek team with a distinct American flavor.

    With 11 Californians now adopted "Hellas," Greece (2-4) did all it could to hang with the U.S. (6-0). But as they've done against their first five opponents, the Americans wore the Greeks down, winning for the fourth time in the tournament in five innings because they were too far ahead.

    Fernandez hit an RBI single in the third inning for the only run she would need. Leah O'Brien-Amico and Jessica Mendoza added two RBIs apiece as the Americans again demonstrated their superiority in every aspect of the game.

    The 33-year-old Fernandez, a three-time Olympian, only allowed two runners to reach base. She didn't give up her first hit until the fifth when Greece infielder Ginny Georgantas, a former South Florida standout, lined a single to left."

    Read more at
    U.S. softball team makes it six shutouts in six games with 7-0 victory over Greece

    Posted by Darren at 10:45 PM

    South Koreans dominate archery

    "South Korea's Park Sung-hyun defeated countrywoman Lee Sung-jin in the final of the archery competition at Panathinaiko stadium.

    Tied at 100 after 11 shots, Park scored a 10 with her final arrow. Lee was unable to answer, scoring an 8, to give Park the gold.

    Britain's Alison Williamson, competing in her fourth Olympics, defeated Taiwan's Yuan Shu Chi to win the bronze medal."

    Read more at South Koreans dominate archery

    Posted by Darren at 10:44 PM

    Diana Igaly wins Women's Skeet Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Diana Igaly from Hungary

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Ning Wei from China

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Zemfira Meftakhetdinova from Azerbaijan

    Posted by Darren at 10:36 PM

    Ning Zhang wins Women's Badminton Singles Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Ning Zhang from China

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Mia Audina from Netherlands

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Mi Zhou from China

    Posted by Darren at 10:14 PM

    No-Show Games lack buzz

    "Shhhh: Olympic Games in progress.

    So where's the buzz? Where's the hoopla? And where are all the people?

    In the brilliantly white Olympic agora yesterday ostensibly the central ventricle of the XXVIII Summer Games you could lob a bomb (a poor suggestion, that, under Fortress Athens circumstances) and probably not hit anybody.

    Young volunteers perched high above in lifeguard-style chairs bellowed venue directions via megaphone to the meandering throngs of... well, hundreds. But the traffic ushers might just as easily have clambered down and taken every spectator by the hand to his or her destination, such was the scarcity of people.

    Much has been made about sluggish ticket sales at these Games, foreigners staying away in droves and locals profoundly uninterested, it would seem, in the multi-billion-dollar spectacle for which they will be paying into the next generation."

    Read more at No-Show Games lack buzz

    Thanks to Bene for the tip.

    Posted by Darren at 09:55 PM

    Manfred Kurzer wins Men's 10m Running Target Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Manfred Kurzer from Germany

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Alexander Blinov from Russia

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Dimitri Lykin from Russia

    Posted by Darren at 08:01 PM

    Kim praises Korean fighting spirit

    "Delighted Korea Republic coach Kim Ho-kon praised his players for their spirit in fighting back from three goals down to draw 3-3 with Mali on Tuesday and reach the Olympic quarter-finals.

    Korea Republic looked like joining Japan on the sidelines after a Tenema Ndiaye hat-trick put Mali in the driving seat after 55 minutes but the Koreans roared back with three goals in seven minutes, two by striker Cho Jae-jin, to earn an invaluable point.

    "I want to thank my players for producing this surprise comeback and getting a draw," said Kim.

    "Our opponents scored two quick goals in the first half although my team were ready for the match, both mentally and physically."

    Read more at Kim praises Korean fighting spirit

    Posted by Darren at 03:44 PM

    'Cricket must fight for place in Olympics'

    "CRICKET must fight for its place at the Olympics. No game with international aspirations can afford to miss this party. All sorts of strange recreations have been accepted within the movement. Anyone turning on the television over the next fortnight is as likely to encounter beach volleyball, synchronised swimming, basketball, softbal and other horrors as one of the more traditional activities. Of course these sports appeal to the American market with its vast television audience and important sponsors. Cricket has no such hold. Nor does Kabaddi. Accordingly these worthy endeavours have been neglected."

    Read more at Khaleej Times Online: Cricket must fight for place in Olympics

    Posted by Darren at 03:43 PM

    Michael Phelps living up to the hype

    "With a pair of gold medals in the pool at the Athens Olympics Tuesday, American teen swimming sensation Michael Phelps has truly emerged from the shadow of Mark Spitz.

    Phelps now has three gold and two bronze in Athens, and still has a shot at tying gymnast Alexander Dityatin's Olympic record of eight medals in one Games.

    The 19-year-old from Baltimore started his golden day by taking the 200 metre butterfly in an Olympic record 1:54.04 seconds. Later, his strong lead swim helped the U.S. edge Australia in the 4x200 freestyle relay."

    Read more at Phelps living up to the hype

    Posted by Darren at 03:42 PM

    Equestrian: No word on retirement from BlythTait

    "Blyth Tait shunted Ready Teddy into retirement yesterday after the pair finished 18th at the Olympic Games, yet remained tightlipped about his own eventing plans.

    Tait, 43, has indicated he wants to move on to other projects without stating bluntly that meant the end of his sporting career.

    Ready Teddy, the only eventing horse to contest three consecutive Olympics, is headed for a south Auckland paddock and a life of leisure.

    "He has earned his retirement," Tait said of his old favourite."

    Read more at Equestrian: No word on retirement from Tait

    Posted by Darren at 03:41 PM

    Dream Team most unpopular athletes in Olympics

    "The U.S. men's basketball team is getting slammed from all sides.

    These Dream Team impostors are jeered in Athens bars by Americans, booed in the arena by Greeks and the rest of the world, despised back home by people fed up watching their selfish ways on TV.

    Complaining right in their faces is coach Larry Brown, who's beside himself between yelling at them, trying to cajole them into playing like a team, and ripping them for lack of effort.

    This is a collection of players who offend basketball purists by insisting on playing one-on-one, schoolyard-style. More than that, they've become a focal point for some of the attitudes that critics find most offensive about pro athletes.

    It's gotten so bad, after the lopsided loss to Puerto Rico and the squeaky victory over Greece, that angry U.S. basketball fans are hoping the Americans will get their comeuppance in these games by getting shut out of the medal round. Sports talk radio shows at WFAN in New York have been besieged by callers saying this team represents the NBA at its worst. It's the same 3,000 miles away at KNBR in San Francisco and at radio stations in between."

    Read more at Dream Team most unpopular athletes in Olympics

    Posted by Darren at 03:38 PM

    Olympic Clothing Supplier Apologizes For Sizing Mistake (Satire)

    "Athletic Uniforms R Us, the sports apparel outfitter for many teams in the Olympics, has been forced to publicly apologize for some of the teams' uniforms. It appears that most of the bikini-wearing athletes were mistakenly given swimsuits originally manufactured to fit ten-year-olds.

    It's an outrage, I tell you, said an Olympic Committee chairman who wished not to be identified. They look totally ridiculous out there. And you would think it would boost our low attendance, but it hasn't. That makes it even worse.

    The athletes have been complaining as well. Holly McPeak, the U.S. beach volleyball star, lamented, I'm a thirty-five-year-old woman with my sweaty body rolling around in the sand trying to keep the ball from hitting the ground. The last thing I need is an undersized gritty crotch wedging up my nether regions and distracting me. I have, however, received quite a few marriage proposals from teenage Athenians. That can sure boost an older woman's ego."

    Read more at Olympic Clothing Supplier Apologizes For Sizing Mistake (Satire)

    Posted by Darren at 03:37 PM

    US smashes 4x200m relay record, Australia 4th

    "Australia has narrowly missed a medal in the women's 4x200m freestyle relay at the Olympics in Athens as the United States broke a 17-year-old world record to take gold.

    The American team of Natalie Coughlin, Carly Piper, Kaitlin Sandeno and Dana Vollmer broke the oldest record in the book, setting a new mark of 7:53.42 minutes. China was second and Germany third.

    Petria Thomas swam an heroic final leg to take the Australians to within 0.05 seconds of a medal, just minutes after she was presented with the silver medal she won in the 200m butterfly.

    In finishing fourth, the Australian team of Alice Mills, Elka Graham, Shayne Reese and Thomas broke the Commonwealth record.

    The US quartet sliced more than two seconds off the previous record of 7:55.47 mins set by East Germany in 1987."

    Read more at US smashes 4x200m relay record, Australia 4th

    Posted by Darren at 03:36 PM

    U.S.-Style Entertainment Rocks Olympics

    "For all the talk of reaching back to the ancient roots of the games, some venues at these Olympics have all the reverence of a real-life beer commercial.

    Tanned, toned dancers in bright orange bikinis gyrate at beach volleyball. Laker Girl wannabes in flashy dresses shimmy at men's basketball. And the familiar guitar riffs of Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle" blare from the speakers at baseball.

    These may be your great-great-grandfather's games in terms of location, but some venues at the Athens games offer all the subtlety of Wrestlemania or the NBA, which helped coordinate entertainment during basketball games.

    "From the first to the last detail, they are responsible for that," basketball venue manager Dimitris Karydas said Wednesday. "It looks to you the same because it is the same.""

    Read more at U.S.-Style Entertainment Rocks Olympics

    Posted by Darren at 03:35 PM

    Recriminations start over Canada's medal total

    "After five days of competition at the Athens Summer Olympics, recriminations have already started over Canada's absence from the medal podium.

    As of Wednesday, Canada had captured one medal, a bronze in 10-metre synchronized diving. It sits in 38th place out of 202 countries. In comparison, the top five countries alone have taken home 88 medals.

    This could be the first time since 1964 Canada has not taken home a swimming medal, the Globe and Mail's Allan Maki wrote Wednesday.

    "We're not performing, that's the bottom line," said Blair Tucker, coach of Calgary's Go Fish swim club. "No bones about it, we're not performing."

    Some of his swimmers were softer in their criticisms. "The rest of the world's improving a lot faster than we are," said one. "A couple of swimmers have posted best times, which is good, but overall the performance hasn't been the best," said another."

    Read more at Recriminations start over Canada's medal total

    Posted by Darren at 03:34 PM

    Women's gymnastics: Silver's OK, but gold is U.S. goal

    "After winning the Olympic all-around title Wednesday night, gymnast Paul Hamm said he was inspired by the United States' second-place finish in the team competition. Carly Patterson wouldn't mind following his lead.

    The U.S. women's team also took silver. Hamm found motivation in the fact that his team fell short of its ultimate goal, and Patterson, whose team was expected to win, understands how that feels. Tonight, she tries for the women's all-around gold against some tough European competition."

    Read more at Women's gymnastics: Silver's OK, but gold is U.S. goal

    Posted by Darren at 03:33 PM

    Shaikh Hamdan Leads Country's Praise for Shaikh Ahmed Hasher Al Maktoum's Gold Medal

    "Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance and Industry, congratulated Shaikh Ahmed Hasher Al Maktoum, for winning the first ever Olympic gold medal for UAE in the mens double trap shooting event in Athens.

    Such an achievement is a real translation of the great support and attention both the President, His Highness Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and His Highness Shaikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, give to the sport and youth movement, said Shaikh Hamdan.

    Shaikh Hamdan said what had been achieved by Shaikh Ahmed marked a new era in the Olympic history of the UAE . It is a great honour and great achievement, which all Arab and UAE nationals are proud of, he added."

    Read more at Hamdan leads countrys lavish praise for gold medal winner

    Posted by Darren at 03:31 PM

    American Paul Hamm takes men's all-around gymnastic gold in Athens

    "Paul Hamm made the history on Wednesday when he clinched the Olympic men's gymnastic all-around title for the UnitedStates in one hundred years.

    From the records book, the last American all-around champion was Anton Heida in 1904.

    Hamm, 22, the all-around titlist at 2003 Anaheim Worlds on home turf, collected 57.823 points, edging South Korean dark horse Kim Dae Eun to the second place with 57.811.

    Hamm, who vowed to take his first Olympic gold in Athens and finished atop in the qualification, tumbled out of the mat and sat down after flying over the vault. The score of 9.137 made everybody think that his tour of the final was over.

    However, he rallied in the following apparatus and completed a strong routine on his specialty of horizontal bar. His solid landing earned him 9.837 points to seal his victory.

    The American gymnast confessed that when he commited the big error on vault, he talked with his coach about maybe only getting a bronze.

    However, his coach Miles Avery said firmly "No way.""

    Read more at American Paul Hamm takes men's all-around gymnastic gold in Athens

    Posted by Darren at 03:26 PM

    Team Great Britain Hoping for More Olympic Success

    "Team GB will be hoping for more of the same at the Olympics today after finally delivering on the big stage with a four-medal haul.

    Britain has a chance of medals in the badminton with potential gold, silvers and bronze medals up for grabs while Britains sailing team continues to shine in the pre-medal qualifying stages.

    Britains swimming team is also hoping to add to the single bronze medal in the final of the 200m backstroke.

    Team GB won one silver and three bronze yesterday, taking the medal tally to six in all.

    There was drama in the team three day eventing yesterday.

    The team of Pippa Funnell, Leslie Law, Mary King and Jeanette Brakewell finished in third place but were upgraded to silver after Germanys Stroud-based rider Bettina Hoy committed an elementary error by crossing the start-line twice."

    Read more at Team GB Hoping for More Olympic Success

    Posted by Darren at 03:24 PM

    Britain's Olympic medal total takes sudden turn for the better

    "Great Britain's performances in the Olympic Games made a dramatic and unexpected improvement yesterday as they won a silver and three bronze medals. They were also guaranteed at least a silver medal in badminton's mixed doubles.

    It was nearly better still - the three-day eventing team were briefly upgraded from bronze to silver-medal position after Germany's Bettina Hoy committed an elementary error. The Germans plummeted from gold to fourth place in the show-jumping after Hoy was penalised 12 points for crossing the start-line twice."

    Read more at Sport

    Posted by Darren at 03:23 PM

    How Olympic Torches Work

    How Olympic Torches Work is a feature on... you guess it "How Olympic Torches Work".

    We've had a few kids email us asking this very question for projects they're working on so we thought it might be a helpful link for some.

    Posted by Darren at 03:21 PM

    Tyler Hamilton wins time trial

    American Tyler Hamilton made up for his disappointing Tour de France by surging to victory in the Olympic time trial.

    Hamilton was only third after the first checkpoint but moved into the lead after 36km of the 48km course, coming home in 57 minutes and 31.74 seconds.

    Read more at Tyler Hamilton wins time trial

    Posted by Darren at 03:17 PM

    Ian Thorpe wins bronze in 100 metres freestyle

    "Ian Thorpe now has the full set of Olympic medals, winning bronze after coming surprisingly close in trying to win the Games treble that is the 100, 200 and 400 metres freestyle events. In winning bronze in the 100 metres final, Thorpe swam his best ever time. Also in the pool overnight, an amazing swim from Jodie Henry."

    Read more at Ian Thorpe wins bronze in 100 metres freestyle

    Posted by Darren at 03:16 PM

    Ian Thorpe wins bronze in 100 metres freestyle

    "Ian Thorpe now has the full set of Olympic medals, winning bronze after coming surprisingly close in trying to win the Games treble that is the 100, 200 and 400 metres freestyle events. In winning bronze in the 100 metres final, Thorpe swam his best ever time. Also in the pool overnight, an amazing swim from Jodie Henry."

    Read more at Ian Thorpe wins bronze in 100 metres freestyle

    Posted by Darren at 03:12 PM

    Olympian women escape the age barrier

    "The older the violin, the sweeter the music. And the Athens Olympics is proving the lyrics right as Martina Navratilova, Merlene Ottey and company are demonstrating the endurance of women with middle-aged ladies defying perceptions about age and competition in nearly every sport.

    Athletics sprinting great Ottey, a 44-year-old Jamaican now running for her adopted country Slovenia, denies she keeps on coming back for more punishment because she has no life outside the sport.

    "I have got my fashion line and the other company," said Ottey, who labels another veteran Gail Devers (news - web sites), 37, as her toughest rival as she 'always beat me in dead heats, she just stuck her chest out better!".

    Devers beat Ottey to gold medals in two Olympics.

    "However, I have a passion for the sport and can never stop running."

    The two-time world 200m champion has won 14 World Championship and eight Olympic medals in six Games."

    Read more at Olympian women escape the age barrier

    Posted by Darren at 03:11 PM

    Olympian women escape the age barrier

    "The older the violin, the sweeter the music. And the Athens Olympics is proving the lyrics right as Martina Navratilova, Merlene Ottey and company are demonstrating the endurance of women with middle-aged ladies defying perceptions about age and competition in nearly every sport.

    Athletics sprinting great Ottey, a 44-year-old Jamaican now running for her adopted country Slovenia, denies she keeps on coming back for more punishment because she has no life outside the sport.

    "I have got my fashion line and the other company," said Ottey, who labels another veteran Gail Devers (news - web sites), 37, as her toughest rival as she 'always beat me in dead heats, she just stuck her chest out better!".

    Devers beat Ottey to gold medals in two Olympics.

    "However, I have a passion for the sport and can never stop running."

    The two-time world 200m champion has won 14 World Championship and eight Olympic medals in six Games."

    Read more at Olympian women escape the age barrier

    Posted by Darren at 03:11 PM

    Crowd Inspires Greek Beach Volleyballers; U.S. Duo Ousted

    "A roaring crowd helped inspire Greece's top women's beach volleyball team to trounce China on Wednesday and reach the next round.

    To the delight of the chanting, flag-waving, sell-out crowd at the beach volleyball stadium, Effrosyni Sfyri and Vasiliki Karadassiou came out fighting to dominate China's Tian Jia and Wang Fei 21-14 21-17 throughout the match.

    "I'm really honored to play before this crowd. I felt lots of pressure -- we wanted to play good for them," Karadassiou said of the fans yelling "Hellas, Hellas."

    "But I'm spoiled now -- I don't want to play on an empty court again."

    Others did not have such a good day. Defending Olympic champion Dain Blanton's hopes of winning another beach volleyball medal were left buried in the sand as the American failed to get out of the preliminary round."

    Read more at Crowd Inspires Greek Beach Volleyballers; U.S. Duo Ousted

    Posted by Darren at 03:10 PM

    Mariel Zagunis Fencing touch is golden

    "The American who nearly didn't go to the Olympics won her nation's first fencing gold medal in a century.

    Mariel Zagunis won the first Olympic women's saber competition Tuesday night, beating former world champion Tan Xue of China 15-9 in the final. After she won the last point, Zagunis ripped off her mask, raised her arms and was mobbed by members of the U.S. team who rushed onto the strip and tossed her into the air.

    "There's no better feeling than being thrown up there after becoming champion of anything," she said. "I'm glad they could get on stage and celebrate with me like that."

    American Sada Jacobson, ranked No. 1 in the world, lost to Tan in the semifinals but bounced back to take the bronze."

    Read more at Fencer's touch is golden

    Posted by Darren at 03:09 PM

    IT Firms Meet Olympic Challenge

    "The 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens can be the test of a lifetime for IT companies tapped to provide support for the athletic competition. Among the numerous responsibilities they have include updating results and athlete information on the Athens 2004 Web site; supporting the 21,500 reporters covering the events; and linking up the 61 venues across the ancient city.

    French IT services company Atos Origin is the main IT contractor in Athens. It inherited the responsibility from Sema Group, which it acquired earlier this year from Schlumberger.

    The company has 400 IT workers monitoring infrastructure and systems around-the-clock from a technology operation center and has augmented its staff with 3,000 volunteers.

    Caroline Crouch, an Atos Origin spokeswoman, said the company has spent three-and-a-half years designing, building and testing the systems. On the first day of competition, the company supported 20 sports and 322 events at 24 venues."

    Read more at IT Firms Meet Olympic Challenge

    Posted by Darren at 03:08 PM

    Rebecca Giddens has Solid Gold Love for Kayaking

    "To see the look of excitement on her face, you'd have thought she was a little kid again and the family had just arrived at the world's coolest water park on the hottest day of the year.

    Except when Rebecca Giddens went home, she'd be wearing a silver medal from the Olympic Games.

    The grandeur around her at Olympic Canoe/Kayak Center was not lost on Giddens, 26, a San Diego resident who obviously did not feel as if she'd lost to gold-medalist Elena Kaliska, a good friend from Slovakia."

    Read more at San Diego's silver medalist, kayaker Giddens has solid-gold love for sport

    Posted by Darren at 03:07 PM

    Italians win gold, silver in fencing

    "Valentina Vezzali defeated fellow Italian Giovanna Trillini to win the gold medal in women's individual foil on Wednesday night.

    Vezzali earned a 15-11 victory to win her fourth overall Olympic fencing gold, which ties a record for women. Trillini, who also owns four golds, won her seventh fencing medal to equal an Olympic record for women. Both women are from the town of Jesi, Italy. "I'm so proud that my hometown has born two Olympic champions," Vezzali said. "The Italian youngsters adore fencing, and they have all the opportunities to increase their talent because Italians have a special kind of imagination." Added Trillini: "I am satisfied that I played against Valentina in such a high level of competition, and I think that we both had a a great performance.""

    Read more at Italians win gold, silver in fencing

    Posted by Darren at 03:06 PM

    Portugal Suffers Humiliating Athens Exit in Soccer

    "Portugal were bundled out of the men's soccer tournament at the Athens Olympics on Wednesday after a humiliating 4-2 defeat by Costa Rica.

    Morocco's 2-1 victory over Iraq in the other Group D match ensured co-favorites Portugal became the biggest casualty of the first round in Athens.

    Portugal, who were without suspended Manchester United midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo and Fulham's Luis Boa Morte, twice squandered the lead as they finished bottom of the group.

    "We are very disappointed not to reach the quarter-finals," said Portugal's coach Jose Romao. "We were poor. This team"

    Read more at Portugal Suffers Humiliating Athens Exit in Soccer

    Posted by Darren at 03:05 PM

    Being American makes me feel like such a LOSER

    "Theres that old saying about how the bully always gets his comeuppance. On our block, the jerk was Sabino Jayo, a horse-faced mongol who, by the third grade, had six inches, 40 pounds and three violent offender convictions on the second toughest kid around. And by the way, No. 2 was a beast who later played a month at linebacker for the Niners and he still ran from Jayo although it was slower than before on his new blown knee and crutches.

    Jayo is a solid example of Americas cocky lust for every Olympic medal. For years, we were the good athletes on the block. We espoused freedom, equal opportunity for sexes and race, and amnesty for persecuted sports persons from all over the world. We absorbed Chinese ping pong pros, embraced Cuban baseball pitchers and, most important, made multi-millionaires out of very poor, very marginal tennis players from the Ukraine, just as long as theyre blond.

    This was the land of opportunity, but now, that opportunity is little more than the chance for our kids to grow up as the worlds bullies."

    Read more at ESP Magazine: Being American makes me feel like such a LOSER

    Posted by Darren at 03:04 PM

    S. Korea's Park Sung-hyun Wins First Archery Gold

    "South Korea's Park Sung-hyun won the first Olympic gold medal at ancient Panathinaiko Stadium on Wednesday, beating countrywoman Lee Sung-jin in the final of the archery competition.

    The two Korean archers went down to the last shot to determine the individual champion. Tied at 100 after 11 shots, Park scored a 10 with her final arrow. Lee was unable to answer, scoring an 8, to give Park the gold. Still, Lee recognized the special history of her environs.

    "It is a huge privilege for me to be here," she said through an interpreter."

    Read more at S. Korea's Park Wins First Archery Gold

    Posted by Darren at 03:03 PM

    Iraqi boxer, Najah Ali, wins first-round match

    "Iraqi boxer Najah Ali won his preliminary-round match Wednesday, 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. But the 24-year-old won easily, delighting a handful of flag-waving Iraq fans and his American coach, Maurice "Termite" Watkins.

    Ali spent six weeks training with the U.S. team earlier this year, also making stops in Houston and Michigan's Upper Peninsula while preparing with his colorful coach, a former car salesman and lightweight boxer. He received a special invitation to compete in Athens.

    "I'm a symbol for a lot of people looking for a good life," Ali said. "I'm a symbol for freedom.""

    Read more at Iraqi boxer wins first-round match

    Posted by Darren at 03:02 PM

    Samsung network aims to keep Olympics on track

    "Samsung has distributed about 14,000 cell phones and created a special network at the Olympics this year to demonstrate how phones are often faster than feet.

    The Korean electronics giant, one of the corporate partners for the Games, set up what it calls the Wireless Olympic Works, or WOW, a cellular network that gives designated users information about event results, medal counts, event cancellations and the like. WOW-enabled phones were given to officials, some members of the press and some athletes.

    The phones and the network are designed to overcome one of the nagging problems in the Olympics: getting from one place to another. Crowds, traffic and rapidly changing schedules periodically cause athletes or spectators to miss events."

    Read more at Samsung network aims to keep Olympics on track

    Posted by Darren at 02:59 PM

    Nicole Cooke Vows to Learn Athens Lesson

    "Nicole Cooke could ride in four or more Olympics but the pain of her first will always be with her.

    After finishing just outside the medal placings in Sundays road race, the Welsh cyclist put herself through another half-hour of sun-baked agony in the time-trial today.

    She finished a long way outside the medal placings and it was evident that the effort from Sunday had taken its toll on legs which only returned to competition in June after six months battling a knee injury.

    While she came in 19th in the today, her fifth-place finish in the road race was a fine performance, especially for someone just two years into their professional career."

    Read more at Cooke Vows to Learn Athens Lesson

    Posted by Darren at 02:58 PM

    Showjumpers lead UK medal rush

    "WHILE it wasnt quite a feast to follow the famine, yesterdays haul of one silver and three bronze medals added a layer of respectability to Great Britains Olympic challenge.

    The successes came from some of the Games more peripheral sports but were welcome nonetheless after a tough first four days produced just two medals for Team GB.

    Showjumping led the way with an individual silver for Leslie Law in the three-day event and a bronze for Britain in the team competition. Helen Reeves, in canoeing, also struck bronze, as did Alison Williamson in archery."

    Read more at Showjumpers lead UK medal rush

    Posted by Darren at 02:58 PM

    Showjumpers lead UK medal rush

    "WHILE it wasnt quite a feast to follow the famine, yesterdays haul of one silver and three bronze medals added a layer of respectability to Great Britains Olympic challenge.

    The successes came from some of the Games more peripheral sports but were welcome nonetheless after a tough first four days produced just two medals for Team GB.

    Showjumping led the way with an individual silver for Leslie Law in the three-day event and a bronze for Britain in the team competition. Helen Reeves, in canoeing, also struck bronze, as did Alison Williamson in archery."

    Read more at Showjumpers lead UK medal rush

    Posted by Darren at 02:57 PM

    Australia eyes softball medal

    "AUSTRALIA'S softball team has gold in its sights after almost guaranteeing itself a berth in the Olympic medal playoffs with a 5-0 extra innings win over China overnight.

    Australia joined the mighty US team as the only countries with four wins to their name, while Canada, China, Greece and Taipei each have two victories.

    The win should guarantee Australia a top four spot and could be enough to secure it first or second place after the preliminary round.

    Once again Australia's success was built around pitcher Tanya Harding who has been in great form and kept China scoreless."

    Read more at Australia eyes softball medal

    Posted by Darren at 02:55 PM

    Australia eyes softball medal

    "AUSTRALIA'S softball team has gold in its sights after almost guaranteeing itself a berth in the Olympic medal playoffs with a 5-0 extra innings win over China overnight.

    Australia joined the mighty US team as the only countries with four wins to their name, while Canada, China, Greece and Taipei each have two victories.

    The win should guarantee Australia a top four spot and could be enough to secure it first or second place after the preliminary round.

    Once again Australia's success was built around pitcher Tanya Harding who has been in great form and kept China scoreless."

    Read more at Australia eyes softball medal

    Posted by Darren at 02:54 PM

    Dramatic bronze for British woman Reeves in K1 after penalty for France

    "Four years to the day since she lay in a hospital bed wondering if she would ever make it to the Olympic Games, Britain's Helen Reeves took her place on the podium to receive a bronze medal here yesterday.

    Never mind the drama of controlling a kayak through barriers down a course of unpredictable waves at the Helliniko Olympic Complex; her emotions were taken for an even rougher journey once her event had been completed.

    Reeves' performance had put her into the lead in the final of the K1 slalom but she had slipped out of the medal positions to fourth as her quicker opponents followed. Only when she was conducting a television interview afterwards did she learn she was Britain's third medallist in Athens."

    Read more at Dramatic bronze for British woman Reeves in K1 after penalty for France

    Posted by Darren at 02:53 PM

    Dramatic bronze for British woman Reeves in K1 after penalty for France

    "Four years to the day since she lay in a hospital bed wondering if she would ever make it to the Olympic Games, Britain's Helen Reeves took her place on the podium to receive a bronze medal here yesterday.

    Never mind the drama of controlling a kayak through barriers down a course of unpredictable waves at the Helliniko Olympic Complex; her emotions were taken for an even rougher journey once her event had been completed.

    Reeves' performance had put her into the lead in the final of the K1 slalom but she had slipped out of the medal positions to fourth as her quicker opponents followed. Only when she was conducting a television interview afterwards did she learn she was Britain's third medallist in Athens."

    Read more at Dramatic bronze for British woman Reeves in K1 after penalty for France

    Posted by Darren at 02:52 PM

    Eventers go to court in search of gold - Equestrian

    "Britain's three-day eventers will this morning petition the Court of Arbitration for Sport in an attempt to get the individual silver and team bronze medals they won yesterday upgraded to gold and silver.

    The final day of eventing turned to rancorous farce last night after Leslie Law had added silver to the team's bronze. Earlier the British team - comprising Law, Pippa Funnell, Jeanette Brakewell and Mary King - having looked to have bagged bronze, found themselves upgraded to silver when the winning German team were penalised for Bettina Hoy crossing the start line twice. They then reverted to bronze after a successful German appeal.

    But the three countries affected - Britain, the US and France - will today take their case to have the German appeal overturned to the CAS, which is sitting in a special session in Athens during the games. If successful, Law will find himself promoted to the gold medal position and the team to silver."

    Read more at Eventers go to court in search of gold

    Posted by Darren at 02:51 PM

    Forty-two seconds that put Afghan women on the map

    "Friba Razayee went out in the first round of the women's judo 70kg division yesterday, losing to Spain's Cecilia Blanco in 42 seconds. Perhaps the teenager should have entered for the hurdles. After all, as the first Afghan woman in history to take part in an Olympic event, she has had plenty of practice surmounting them.

    "I am proud I was in the Olympic Games, although the world knows we are not as strong as other athletes. I tried my best but I couldn't do any thing," she said afterwards, through floods of tears. "Next time I'll win the competition."

    This is probably unrealistic, given that Razayee has only a brown belt in judo. That the 17-year-old wore a black belt was down to the preferences of the International Judo Federation, which does not like to see any fighter on the mat who has not attained the sport's highest ranking. She competed by courtesy of a special invitation from the IOC."

    Read more at Forty-two seconds that put Afghan women on the map

    Posted by Darren at 02:50 PM

    Iraq claim top spot despite loss - Men's Football/Soccer

    "Iraq suffered their first defeat at the Mens Olympic Football Tournament 2004, going down 2-1 to Morocco but still progressed to the quarter-finals as Group D winners following Portugals 4-2 loss to Costa Rica.

    The West Asian side had appeared on course for their third consecutive win at the Olympics after taking the lead through Salih Sadir at the Pampeloponnisiako Stadium, but the North African side fought back with goals by Bouabid Bouden and Salaheddine Aqqal giving them victory."

    Read more at Iraq claim top spot despite loss

    Posted by Darren at 02:49 PM

    Ana Guevara

    Country - Mexico
    Sport - Track Field
    Event(s) - 400m
    Birthdate - March 4, 1977
    Birthplace - Nogales, Mexico
    Height - 5'8" / 173 cm
    Weight - 134 lbs / 60.8 kgs
    Residence - Hermosillo, Mexico

    "Having dominated the event since the Sydney Games, Mexico's Ana Guevara is the overwhelming favorite to win the 400m in Athens and could become her country's first female medalist in Olympic track and field. Guevara won the 2003 world title in commanding fashion and prior to her second place finish at the Golden Gala meet in Rome on July 2, 2004, hadn't lost since placing third at Worlds in 2001."

    Read more at NBCOlympics.com - Athlete Bios - Ana Guevara

    Posted by Darren at 02:47 PM

    Liu Xiang

    Country - China
    Sport - Track Field
    Event(s) - 110m Hurdles
    Birthdate - July 13, 1982
    Birthplace - Shanghai, China
    Height - 6'2" / 188 cm
    Weight - 165 lbs / 74.8 kgs

    "Named China's top male athlete in 2003, 22-year-old hurdler Liu Xiang may be China's greatest men's track and field athlete. Going into Athens, Liu, a bronze medalist at the 2003 World Championships, is a medal contender in the 110m hurdles. No Chinese man has won an Olympic track and field medal since Zhu Jianhua earned China's first, a high jump bronze, at the 1984 Los Angeles Games."

    Read more at NBCOlympics.com - Athlete Bios - Liu Xiang

    Posted by Darren at 02:46 PM

    Tom Pappas

    Country - United States
    Sport - Track Field
    Event(s) - Decathlon
    Birthdate - September 6, 1976
    Birthplace - Azalea, Oregon
    Height - 6'5" / 196 cm
    Weight - 210 lbs / 95.3 kgs
    Residence - Knoxville, Tennessee

    "With his victory at the 2003 World Championships, Tom Pappas not only became the only American besides Dan 0'Brien to win a decathlon world title, but also established himself as a leading contender for the gold in Athens. He finished fifth in Sydney. With his Greek heritage, Pappas figures to be a crowd favorite in Athens. Surprisingly, Pappas took second at the 2004 U.S. "

    Read more at NBCOlympics.com - Athlete Bios - Tom Pappas

    Posted by Darren at 02:45 PM

    Equestrian causes major problems

    There has been all sorts of problems with the final day of the Equestrian competition with points deducted, added back on again and medals swapped around, there is sure to be more discusion regarding this.

    Britain's three-day eventers emerged from a dramatic final day brandishing a team bronze and individual silver.
    Leslie Law came second, while the team were given third place after a brief upgrade to silver.

    But a possible appeal from several teams to the Court of Arbitration for Sport could see Law take gold, GB land silver and Pippa Funnell win bronze.

    Source BBC GB eventers bag two medals

    Posted by at 07:01 AM

    Athens Olympic Games Blog Statistics

    It has been a big first 5 days of competition at the Athens Olympics. 71 events have been decided with China heading up the Gold Medal Winner's list and the US having accumulated the most total Medals.

    We've been busy here at the Athens Olympic Games Blog and now have over 3600 pages of Athens Olympic news, results and information.

    Over 525,000 visitors have viewed just a few pages under 1 million pages in the last few weeks making the site in the top 7000 most visited sites on the internet according to Alexa and ranking it as Truth Laid Bear's 5th most visited blog (only includes blogs with Site meter stats). Between 3000-5000 people view pages on this blog every hour - so if you're reading this you're not alone! We feel very honored that so many of you have chosen to share the Athens Olympic Journey with us.

    We are running at about 13 gigabytes bandwidth per day which is almost as much as the copious amounts of coffee we consume each night while we sit in our living room's in Australia and New Zealand all night updating the site.

    We're proud of the fact that we are one of the fastest sites to update Olympic results on the web - often beating some of the biggest sites with our updated medal table and results page.

    Thanks to Ande, Ian, Kit, Rachel and Steve for their contributions to the site so far and those the many others who have emailed tips for articles, questions, corrections and words of encouragement. We also thank the many bloggers and webmasters who have supported us by linking up.

    We look forward to the next 11 days of competition and hope that you'll continue to drop by to get some of the most up to date Olympic information on the web.

    Darren and Regan

    Posted by Darren at 06:07 AM

    August 18 Results

    Today we've seen 21 Gold medals awarded in some great competition in Athens. Get all the results through the following links:

    Men's Canoe Singles Slalom
    Women's Kayak Singles Slalom
    Women's Double Trap
    Women's Individual Time Trial
    Women's 25m Pistol
    Women's Shot Put
    Women's Individual Archery
    Men's -90kg (Judo)
    Women's -70kg (Judo)
    Women's 63kg (Weight lifting)
    Men's Individual Time Trial
    Team Eventing
    Men's Shot Put
    Men's 200m Breaststroke
    Women's Foil
    Women's 200m Butterfly
    Men's 100m Freestyle
    Women's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay
    Men's 69kg (Weight lifting)
    Individual Eventing
    Men's Individual All-Round

    Posted by Darren at 06:00 AM

    Paul Hamm wins Men's Individual All Round Gold Medal - Gymnastics

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Paul Hamm from United States

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Dae Eun Kim from Korea, South

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Yang Tae Young from Korea, South

    The results of this event have caused a lot of controversy with it being found after the event that judging was incorrect. A mistake was made that meant Korean Gymnast, Yang Jae-Young, would have won Gold. The Korean's missed their opportunity to protest and so the Gold medal stands.

    Get more news on this emerging story in our archives at:
    - American Paul Hamm takes men's all-around gymnastic gold in Athens
    - Gymnastics Judges Suspended for Error in Men's All-Around - Gold Medal Stands
    - Gymnastics protest just the latest

    Posted by Darren at 05:57 AM

    Bettina Hoy wins Individual Eventing Gold Medal - Equestrian

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Bettina Hoy from Germany

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Leslie Law from United Kingdom (Great Britain)

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Kimberly Severson from United States

    Posted by Darren at 05:03 AM

    Guozheng Zhang wins Men's 69kg Weightlifting Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Guozheng Zhang from China

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Bae Young Lee from Korea, South

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Nokolay Pechalov from Croatia

    Posted by Darren at 05:01 AM

    Thrilling end in shot put

    "Adam Nelson came so close.
    But the American settled for his second silver medal in the men's shot put.

    Ukraine's Yuriy Bilonog (YOOR'-ee BEL'-ih-nawg) got to take the flag-draped victory lap that Nelson thought was his. Nelson took the lead with a throw of 69 feet, five and a-quarter inches on his first throw, then fouled on his last five tosses.

    Bilonog matched Nelson's longest toss on his last throw, then Nelson unleashed a mammoth toss. But Nelson fouled, a toe edging outside the circle. He protested, but replays clearly showed the foul."

    Read more at Thrilling end in shot put

    Posted by Darren at 04:48 AM

    US win 4x 200m Freestyle Relay Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: United States

    The winner of the Silver Medal: China

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Germany

    Posted by Darren at 04:23 AM

    Pieter Van Den Hoogenband wins Men's 100m Freestyle Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Pieter Van Den Hoogenband from Netherlands

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Roland Mark Schoeman from South Africa

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Ian Thorpe from Australia

    Posted by Darren at 04:21 AM

    US defeat Canada in Women's Softball

    "Jennie Finch pitched a one-hitter with eight strikeouts and Lisa Fernandez went 3-for-4 with a homer as the U.S. softball team posted their fifth straight shutout, beating Canada 7-0 on Thursday in five innings to clinch a spot in this weekend's semifinals.

    Crystl Bustos and Lisa Fernandez homered for the two-time defending gold medal-winning U.S. squad, which has outscored its opponents 31-0 and appears to be in a class by themselves in the eight-team field.

    Consider this: the Americans have three "mercy rule" wins in the tourney; they've won 75 straight games; four of the five American victories have been one-hitters; and Canada (2-3) was just the second team to get a runner to third base."

    Read more at Finch Pitches U.S. Past Canada in Softball

    Posted by Darren at 04:08 AM

    Roddick and Williams out of Tennis Competition

    "Andy Roddick hit one last errant shot into the net and hung his head, his medal hopes over. A short while later, Venus Williams was gone, too. In back-to-back stunners at the Olympic tennis tournament, Roddick was upset by No. 16 Fernando Gonzalez of Chile 6-4, 6-4, and defending gold medalist Williams lost to Mary Pierce of France 6-4, 6-4. Both were third-round matches.

    "I'm gutted right now. It's not every day we get to play this," Roddick said. "You can't say, 'Next year.'"

    It was bad day for the U.S. team. No. 16 Chanda Rubin lost to No. 2 Amelie Mauresmo of France 6-3, 6-1, and Lisa Raymond was eliminated by Alicia Molik of Australia 6-4, 6-4. Only Taylor Dent won, beating Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia 6-4, 6-4."

    Read more at Andy Roddick and defending gold medalist Venus Williams both upset in Olympic tennis

    Posted by Darren at 04:07 AM

    Kosuke Kitajima wins more Gold

    "Japan's Kosuke Kitajima (koh-SOO'-kee kit-uh-JEE'-mah) has his second gold medal of the Olympics. He won the 200-meter breaststroke, completing a sweep of the Olympic breaststroke events.
    His winning time was an Olympic-record two minutes, nine-point-44 seconds.

    The old mark of two-ten-point-16 was set by American Mike Barrowman at the Barcelona Games."

    Read more at Kitajima wins more gold

    Posted by Darren at 04:04 AM

    U.S. Cycling Captures Three Medals

    "Dede Barry showed the Americans the way to the medal stand Wednesday _ and that was just the start of an unprecedented cycling medal haul.

    Tyler Hamilton won the men's time trial gold medal and teammate Bobby Julich took the bronze, hours after Barry won the women's time trial silver Wednesday. No other nation in the Olympics won more than two medals in the four road competitions.

    "I believe we are one of the best cycling countries in the world, with Lance Armstrong winning the last six Tour de Frances and great results here today," Hamilton said. "It says a lot about U.S. cycling."

    Hamilton edged defending men's time trial gold medalist Viatcheslav Ekimov of Russia by about 19 seconds, taking home the first American road gold since 1984 _ when Alexi Grewal won the road race in Los Angeles."

    Read more at U.S. Cycling Captures Three Medals

    Posted by Darren at 04:03 AM

    Van den Hoogenband golden again

    "Pieter van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands defended his Olympic title in men's 100-meter freestyle Wednesday night, winning the gold medal against a talented field.

    American Brendan Hansen won bronze in the men's 200-meter breaststroke earlier in the evening.

    Van den Hoogenband, who won gold at the 2000 Sydney Games, bested silver medalist Russian Roland Mark Schoeman and Aussie Ian Thorpe, who won bronze. Schoeman was on a world-record pace after the first 50 meters, but van den Hoogenband sprinted ahead of him in the final 50 to finish with a time of 48.17 seconds, .06 seconds ahead of the Russian."

    Read more at Van den Hoogenband golden again; Hansen wins bronze

    Posted by Darren at 03:58 AM

    Greece's loss a win for all drug-free competitors

    "When Ben Johnson was stripped of his gold medal and evicted from the Seoul Olympics in 1988, there was a sense that this was a lucky strike for the movement against drugs in sport. His had been a random test, and he and his handlers had been ham-fisted in the management of his regime.

    The withdrawal yesterday of Kostas Kederis and Katerina Thanou from the 2004 Games in their homeland is the biggest Olympics drugs story since, but this time it is different. The only honourable way out now is to take the fifth amendment and the first bus home.

    Against a background of the much increased power and stringency of the World Anti-Doping Authority, ground-breaking developments in drug testing and the United States' belated but welcome campaign to toughen up on drugs, it seems that cheating is the exception. Suspicions will not be aroused if, as expected, few or no world records are set at these Games."

    Read more at Greece's loss a win for all drug-free competitors

    Posted by Darren at 03:57 AM

    Brits blame their Aussie coach

    "Australia may have got off to a pulsating start to the Games but not so poor old Great Britain whose athletes' performances so far - at last count they had three medals, none of them gold - have been so disastrous that if you pick up the English newspapers you need to turn about six pages in before you even learn that the Olympics are being held.

    The swimmers have been particularly disappointing, with Stephen Parry the only one to make the podium so far, having won bronze in the 200-metre butterfly, and other big hopes such as Darren Mew, James Gibson and Katy Sexton falling by the wayside. And guess who's got the blame for the dearth of medals? Yep, Australia. Well, not the country as such, but Great Britain's highly paid swimming supremo, Aussie Bill Sweetenam who copped one for his corner this week when Mark Foster, the world silver medallist, who missed out on an Athens trip after falling out with him, blamed the Aussie totally for what has happened. According to Foster, Sweetenham's disciplined coaching style has backfired, that it has "scared the crap out of them all". "All we've been hearing is how this unrelenting, disciplined approach will reap rewards in Athens," Foster told London's Sun. "Well it's not looking good at the moment." Foster claims he is "in the shape of my life at the moment" and would have won a medal had he been picked. "Bill wanted us to peak for the trials in April. And that's no good for Olympics in August," said Foster. "Questions need to be asked and you have to look at Bill's position." There is, however, a footnote. As dreadful as a one-bronze swimming haul sounds it's not as bad as how the Brits fared in Sydney. Their medal tally then was 0-0-0."

    Read more at Brits blame their Aussie coach

    Posted by Darren at 03:56 AM

    Canadian Tutu Man Gets 5 Months For Olympic Plunge

    "A Canadian who jumped into an Olympic swimming pool was convicted Wednesday of interrupting the games.

    Ron Bensimhon was sentenced to five months in jail. He is free pending appeal.

    A tutu-clad man who jumped into the Olympic diving pool is sentenced to five months in jail. He is released pending an appeal. Do you think he should go to jail?
    Yes, he interrupted the games.
    No, he was just having fun.

    Bensimhon was wearing a blue tutu and white tights with polka dots when he took the plunge following the synchronized diving competition Monday night.

    He had what looked like an advertisement for an Internet casino written across his chest but denied staging the stunt for money."

    Read more at Canadian Tutu Man Gets 5 Months For Olympic Plunge

    Posted by Darren at 03:54 AM

    Britain win Silver - Equestrian - Pending Appeal

    Great Britain have won silver in the three-day eventing team event, after Germany were docked 12 points.

    Team GB originally finished third, but judges have since spotted a foul from Bettina Hoy. Germany can appeal.

    Olympics day five

    Posted by Darren at 03:42 AM

    Valentina Vezzali wins Women's Foil Gold Medal - Fencing

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Valentina Vezzali from Italy

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Giovanni Tillini from Italy

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Sylwia Gruchala from Poland

    Posted by Darren at 03:39 AM

    Otylia Jedrzejczak wins Men's 200m Butterfly Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Otylia Jedrzejczak from Poland

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Petria Thomas from Australia

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Yuko Nakanishi from Japan

    Posted by Darren at 03:20 AM

    Jodie Henry Breaks 100m Freestyle World Record

    Jodie Henry from Australia has just broken the World Record in the 100m Freestyle in her Semi Final for the event.

    Posted by Darren at 02:45 AM

    Kosuke Kitajima wins Men's 200m Breaststroke Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Kosuke Kitajima from Japan

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Daniel Gyurta from Hungary

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Brendan Hansen from United States

    Posted by Darren at 02:40 AM

    Germany win Team Eventing Gold Medal - Equestrian

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Germany

    The winner of the Silver Medal: France

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: United Kingdom (GB)

    Originally Germany was in the Gold medal position but judges changed this result shortly after the end of competition by penalizing German rider Bettina Hoy 14 points for crossing the finish line twice. This relegated them to fourth position.

    Germany appealed this position and after deliberation were reinstated to the Gold Medal position.

    Posted by Darren at 02:38 AM

    Canada scores key wins amid controversy on Day 5

    "Canada scored a number of key victories in Athens, but was also embroiled in controversy as the men's pairs rowing crew was disqualified during Day 5 of the Olympics.

    It was a bitter-sweet day for Canada on the water Wednesday. The good news is that three of Canada's five remaining crews advanced to the finals.

    The men's four, the men's eight and the women's pairs for Canada all advanced after finishing first in their respective repechages.

    The bad news is that the men's pairs team of Dave Calder of Victoria and Chris Jarvis of St. Catherines were disqualified. And the women's eight team finished fifth in their repechage and failed to advance.

    Calder and Jarvis ran into trouble when they left their lane just before the finish line. The South African team next to them lodged a complaint claiming a Canadian oar hit theirs causing them to take a bad stroke."

    Read more at Canada scores key wins amid controversy on Day 5

    Thanks to Bene for the link.

    Posted by Darren at 02:34 AM

    Felix Sanchez

    Country - Dominican Republic
    Sport - Track Field
    Event(s) - 400m Hurdles
    Birthdate - August 30, 1977
    Birthplace - New York, New York
    Height - 5'10" / 178 cm
    Weight - 161 lbs / 73 kgs

    Home away from home
    A New Yorker by birth who grew up in Southern California, two-time 400m hurdles world champion Felix Sanchez is the favorite to take home the gold medal in Athens. But "home" will not be the United States but the Dominican Republic, where his parents were born and for which he has competed since 1999. If he succeeds, it will be the Dominican Republic's first gold medal. Pedro J. Nolasco won the Caribbean country's only medal, a bronze in boxing, in 1984."

    Read more at NBCOlympics.com - Athlete Bios - Felix Sanchez

    Read more about Felix Sanchez at:
    - Felix Sanchez - Inspiring a Nation

    - Felix Sanchez - IAAF - 'Felix Sanchez (DOM), the double World 400m Hurdles champion and one of the five remaining contenders for the TDK Golden League Jackpot, isone of the big draws for tomorrow nights Meeting Gaz de France Paris Saint-Denis. '

    - Dominican runner Felix Sanchez aims at Olympic gold in Athens - 'Dominican runner Felix Sanchez willseek in Athens the gold medal in the 400-meters hurdle race, trying to remain keep his unbeaten record in the 39 past competitions. Sanchez, who trains and lives in the United States, is Dominican Republic's main Olympic medal hope. The world champion in 2001 and 2003 remains unbeaten in the past three years and, in Athens, he looks forward at winning his 40th race.'

    - Felix Sanchez - 'A two-time world champion, and unbeaten since July 2 2001, Felix Sanchez will be the hot favourite to win the 400m hurdles title when the race for gold heats up in Athens. He became the 2001 world champion in Edmonton, and followed up by winning the Golden League crown the next year, winning every race he entered.'

    Posted by Darren at 02:30 AM

    Marion Jones

    Country -United States
    Sport - Track Field
    Event(s) - Long Jump
    Birthdate - October 12, 1975
    Birthplace - Los Angeles, California
    Height - 5'9" / 175 cm
    Weight - 145 lbs / 65.8 kgs
    Residence - Chapel Hill, North Carolina"

    "Four years ago, American Marion Jones sprinted and jumped her way into Olympic history by winning a record five medals, including three golds, at the 2000 Games in Sydney. Much has changed for the world's most famous female track star since those golden days, including the end of her marriage to shot putter C.J. Hunter, the start of a new relationship with 100m world record-holder Tim Montgomery, and the birth of their son, Tim Montgomery, Jr. In Athens, Jones won't defend her titles in the 100m or 200m. She failed to qualify in the 100m, finishing a surprising fifth at the U.S. Trials. Jones pulled out of the 200m final citing fatigue. Jones did qualify for Athens in the long jump, winning the Trials with her longest jump since 1998, 7.11m (23 feet, 4 inches)"

    Source - NBC Athlete Bios - Marion Jones

    Get more information on Marion Jones at:
    - Marion Jones Time Line - a timeline of Marion Jones' life.

    - Marion Jones - Olympics 2004 - 'Jones made history at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. She landed three gold medals, winning the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and the 1,600-meter relay, and two bronze medals, in the long jump and the 400-meter relay. She became the first woman to win five medals at one Olympics.'

    - Marion Jones - pictures, photos, wallpapers, posters and desktop themes.

    - Marion Jones Pictures

    - Marion Jones Profile - USA Track and Field - 'Career Highlights - 2004 Olympic Trials long jump champion; 2000 Olympic 100m, 200m 4x400m champ, bronze medal in LJ and 4x100m; 2-time World 100m champion (97, 99); 2-time World 4x100m champion (97, 01); 2001 World 200m gold medalist; 13-time U.S. Outdoor Champion (4 in LJ, 4 in 100, 5 in 200); 2002 U.S. Champion (100m & 200m); 1999 World LJ bronze medalist; 2002 World Cup 100m gold medalist.'

    - Marion Jones Photogallery

    Posted by Darren at 02:11 AM

    Yuriy Bilonong wins Men's Shot Put

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Yuriy Bilonog from Ukraine

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Adam Nelson from United States

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Joachim Olsen from Denmark

    Posted by Darren at 01:55 AM

    Masae Ueno wins Women's 70kg Judo Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Masae Ueno from Japan

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Edith Bosch from Netherlands

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Dongya Qin from China

    Posted by Darren at 01:47 AM

    Zurab Zviadauri wins Men's 90kg Judo Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Zurab Zviadauri from Georgia

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Hiroshi Izumi from Japan

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Khasanbi Taov from Russia

    Posted by Darren at 01:46 AM

    Greek Sprinters Pull out of Olympic Games

    "Greece's two top sprinters pulled out of the Athens Games on Wednesday and apologized over a drugs drama that besmirched the spiritual homeland of the Olympics.

    It was the biggest drugs scandal to hit the Olympic movement since 100 meter gold medallist Ben Johnsons's ignominious exit from the Seoul Games in 1988 over a positive test for steroids.

    Greek Olympic 200 meters champion Costas Kenteris, a national hero dubbed "Greece Lightning," said he was withdrawing "out of a sense of responsibility."

    "I am adamant, I was never notified to go to the Olympic Village to take the test."

    "Over the last years, I have gone through over 30 tests with no problems," he added, referring to his missed eve-of-Games test last Thursday."

    Read more at Greek Sprinters Pull Out of Games

    Also read about this story at Kenteris quits Olympics

    Posted by Darren at 01:44 AM

    US defeat South Korea - Women's Basketball

    "Looking for an answer to an offense that seemed out of synch, the United States finally found it: Get the ball to Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson and get out of the way. The duo dominated inside against shorter, slower opponents and the United States blew open the game at the start of the second half to beat South Korea (news - web sites) 80-57 on Wednesday.

    With the U.S. men's players and coaches watching, the women completed the blowout for their third consecutive victory in Athens and 20th straight overall in the Olympics.

    Leslie made 11 of 13 shots and scored 25 points despite sitting out most of the fourth quarter. Many times, all the 6-foot-5 center had to do was turn and shoot as her defenders stretched vainly for the ball.

    Thompson added 18, and well into the third quarter she and Leslie were outscoring the entire South Korean squad. They also led the 19-2 run at the start of the second half that broke the game open."

    Read more at U.S. Women Beat S. Korea in Basketball

    Posted by Darren at 01:38 AM

    Devin Vargas Advances and Rau'Shee Warren is Defeated in Boxing

    "Moments after the American boxing team's winning streak ended, Devin Vargas started a new one.

    Light flyweight Rau'Shee Warren became the first U.S. boxer eliminated from the Olympics, losing a frustrating 22-9 decision Wednesday to China's Zou Shiming.

    But Vargas joined six teammates in the second round with a 27-7 victory over Morocco heavyweight Rachid El Haddak in the afternoon session. In the evening, American super heavyweight Jason Estrada was scheduled to fight Tonga's Ma'afu Hawke in the final bout of the preliminaries.

    Vargas, a 22-year-old from a boxing-crazy family in Toledo, Ohio, impressed the crowd at Peristeri Olympic Boxing Hall with his dominance of El Haddak. Moving nimbly and surprising the Moroccan with even the simplest jabs, Vargas showed that his work on skill and strategy over the past six months has turned him into much more than a brawler."

    Read more at Devin Vargas advances, but Rau'Shee Warren takes Americans' first boxing defeat at Olympics

    Posted by Darren at 01:36 AM

    Russia's Korzhanenko becomes first woman to win gold medal at ancient site that birthed Olympics

    "Russia's Irina Korzhanenko became the first woman to win a gold medal at the ancient site that birthed the Olympics, recording the three longest throws of the competition.

    Thousands of spectators sitting on grass knolls surrounding the pit watched Korzhanenko's winning toss of 69 feet, 1 1/4 inches (21.06 meters). The longest in the world this year, it came on the third of her six attempts.

    Yumileidi Cumba of Cuba won the silver with a throw of 64-3 1/4 (19.59) on her last attempt, and Nadine Kleinert of Germany took the bronze."

    Read more at Russia's Korzhanenko becomes first woman to win gold medal at ancient site that birthed Olympics

    Posted by Darren at 01:35 AM

    Natalya Skakun wins Women's 63kg Weightlifting Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Natalya Skakun from Ukraine

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Hanna Batsiushka from Belarus

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Tatsiana Stukalava from Belarus

    Posted by Darren at 01:32 AM

    Park Sung Hyun wins Women's Individual Archery Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Park Sung Hyun from Korea, South

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Lee Sung Jin from Korea, South

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Alison Williamson from United Kingdom (Great Britain)

    Posted by Darren at 01:27 AM

    Tyler Hamilton wins Men's Time Trial - Cycling - Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Tyler Hamilton from United States

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Vlatcheslav Ekimvov from Russia

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Bobby Julich from United States

    Posted by Darren at 01:24 AM

    Ming dunks New Zealand, Chinese press

    "The influence of Yao Ming on a basketball game can be overwhelming, just as it was yesterday when the 7-5 Chinese center scored 39 points in a 69-62 win over New Zealand.

    But Yao's strength isn't just measured in what he does on the court. Sometimes what he says can send an entire nation into a state of panic.

    After a frustrating opening-round loss to Spain on Sunday, Yao became annoyed over questions posed by the Chinese media and the Houston Rockets All-Star responded by making a flippant comment about possibly retiring from the national team. The Chinese took the threat seriously."

    Read more at Ming dunks New Zealand, Chinese press

    Posted by Darren at 01:22 AM

    Kim Severson Third After Olympic Cross-Country

    "The U.S. eventing team may be a question mark in the medal department, but its star, Kim Severson, seems headed for glory.

    The squad's anchor rider, who put in the American contingent's best dressage test, rode fault-free cross-country on Winsome Adante this afternoon to move up from fourth to third in the individual standings.

    Notice I said a fault-free trip, not a perfect trip.

    Kim was taken aback by Dan's attitude as she took off on the obstacle-studded carpet of grass that snaked through the Markopoulo Equestrian Center, about an hour outside of Athens."

    Read more at Severson Third After Olympic Cross-Country

    Posted by Darren at 01:21 AM

    Monique Hennagan - Women's 400m

    "While most of the U.S. track and field team trained in Crete, Monique Hennagan came straight to Athens and is living alone in the Olympic Village in a suite that eventually will house 10 athletes.

    The 1998 North Carolina graduate would like to finish these Olympics with another place all by herself -- at the top of the women's 400-meter award stand.

    Hennagan, 28, picked up a gold medal in the 2000 Sydney Games, but she had to share the stand with her three teammates in the winning 4x400 relay.

    After a fourth-place finish at the 2000 U.S. trials, she went to Sydney just hoping to fulfill her relay responsibilities. Now she is aiming to win outright.

    "Coming in here, I feel a lot more confident than I did before," she said. "In Sydney, I really didn't have much of a chance. Now I feel like I'm one of the best, and I can compete with the best.""

    Read more at Monique Hennagan on track for individual gold

    MONIQUE HENNAGAN Profile
    EVENT: women's 400 meters
    BORN: May 26, 1976
    BIRTHPLACE: Columbia, S.C.
    HIGH SCHOOL: Spring Valley (1994)
    COLLEGE: North Carolina (1998)
    CURRENT RESIDENCE: Stockbridge, Ga.
    PERSONAL BEST: 49.56 seconds (2004)
    HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 5-8 1/2, 130
    CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: 2004 U.S. Olympic trials 400 champion; 2002, '03 U.S. indoor 400 champion; 2000 Olympic 4-by-400 relay gold medalist; 1996 NCAA indoor 400 and outdoor 800 champion

    Get more information on Monique Hennagan at:
    - Monique Hennagan - 'A national champion while in high school and college, Hennagan earned her first USA senior title at 400m at the 2002 USA Indoor Championships, and she successfully defended her title in 2003 before going on to win a bronze medal in the 4x400m relay at the World Indoor Championshipsstarted running in elementary school because of all the encouragement she got when she regularly beat her boy schoolmates and cousins in footraces...was twice ranked the top high school 400m runner in the nation, and as a senior, clocked the nine fastest times in the nationshe was also an all-state volleyball player and played basketball in high schoolshe won 12 state titles in high school, despite not being able to compete in the state meet as a 9th-grader because she went to a private school...Hennagan was the first North Carolina woman to win an NCAA titleshe earned her degree in psychology and African American studies...has applied with Lutheran Services to be a mentor for children in the foster care system and would eventually like to be more involved in community youth programs...works part-time for UPS, who provides her with health benefits and a steady income as a part of its Athlete Training Assistance Program (ATAP)she is a part-time Human Resources Supervisor and recruiter for hub operations.'

    - Monique Hennagan - NBC Bio - 'Monique Hennagan, a 2000 Olympic gold medalist in the 4x400m relay, returns for her second Games in the 400m. Hennagan will attempt to improve her Olympic performance in her individual event; she failed to advance past the second round in Sydney.'

    - Monique Hennagan - USC Sports Profile - 'Olympic gold medalist Monique Hennagan returned home to Columbia and is a third year volunteer coach with the South Carolina track and field program. Her primary responsibilities include working with the men's and women's sprinters and middle distance runners.'

    Posted by Darren at 01:17 AM

    U.S. softball more than Jennie Finch

    That Jennie Finch. No one can get enough of her.

    Finch is not quite the star of the U.S. Olympic softball team, but she is definitely the celebrity most wanted by the media, even when she isn't playing.

    There she was, makeup perfectly applied, walking off the field after sitting in the dugout for two hours without ever throwing a pitch.

    Lori Harrigan fired a one-hitter in the 90-degree heat of the early Greek sun, a scant kilometer from the blue Aegean Sea.

    But the clamor wasn't around Harrigan. The reporters made sure to stop Finch, who had nothing to do with the 4-0 win over perennial U.S. pest China.

    Media members wanted to make sure that got a ponder of the 6-1 Finch, who was recognized by ESPN.com as one of the ''hottest'' female athletes, ahead of Anna Kournikova, and by People magazine as one of its 50 most beautiful people.

    Read more at U.S. softball more than Jennie Finch

    Posted by Darren at 01:08 AM

    USA gets silver in kayak singles

    "American Rebecca Giddens captured the silver medal today in the Women's K1 kayak singles competition at the Summer Olympics in Athens. "

    Read more at USA gets silver in kayak singles

    Posted by Darren at 01:06 AM

    Track and Field Preview

    "The Summer Olympic Games get on track today when the track and field competition gets under way in Athens. We've heard about the cloud hanging over these events because of performance enhancing drug use, but there should be an ample supply of highlights.

    Here are just a few of some of the things you can watch for:


    Local link: Bryan Clay is a serious medal contender is one of America's many rising stars and a gold medal contender in the decathlon on Monday and Tuesday. He also happens to be coached by Kevin Reid, a 1983 Carson High School graduate who has been the head men's track and field coach at Azusa Pacific University the last nine years. Clay has a legitimate shot at taking the gold, although the favorites are reigning world champion Tom Pappas of the U.S. and world record holder Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic. This could turn out to be one of the best competitions in Athens.

    High altitude trained: Watch for Mammoth Lakes resident Deena (Drossin) Kastor in the women's marathon on Sunday. Though Kastor was second behind Colleen De Reuck at the U.S. Trials in St. Louis in April, she set the American record of 2 hours, 21 minutes and 16 seconds in 2003. She easily won the women's 10,000 at the Trials last month (31:09.65), but gave up her spot in the event in order to concentrate on the marathon in Athens. She will not come in as one of the favorites, that distinction falls to Great Britain's Paula Radcliffe, but look for Kastor to run with the lead pack.

    American star: Don't look for Marion Jones to make a big impact in Athens, although she could add to her haul of three gold medals taken from Sydney in 2000 by winning the long jump. The 4x100 relay is another possibility, although the U.S. coaches may not want to risk using her because of the threat of a drug suspension.

    Still flying high: Stacy Dragila, a product of Auburn, Calif., is the defending Olympic women's pole vault champion, but she will be hard pressed to win another gold medal against Russians Yelena Isinbayeva and Svetlana Feofanova. The three have taken turns holding the world record in 2004. Dragila went 15-10 on June 8, then Isinbayeva cleared 15-11 3/4 and Feofanova became the first woman to clear 16 feet on July 4 in a meet in Athens. Isinbayeva took the record again with a 16-0 3/4 clearance in London (and says she has cleared 16-4 3/4 in practice). The record could fall again Tuesday night. Don't count Dragila out, after all, she is still the defending Olympic champion. In the men's pole vault, Americans Toby Stevenson and Tim Mack are gold medal favorites, along with Dmitri Markov, a native of Belarus who now competes for Australia.

    Another veteran star: Gail Devers has won two gold medals in the 100 meters, now she is trying to pick up her first gold in the 100 hurdles. At age 37, that would be a tremendous achievement that should cement her place as one of America's all-time greats in the sport. She survived a serious bout with Graves' Disease in 1988 - doctors considered amputating both legs - and came back to win the Olympic 100 in 1992 and '96.

    Great race: Alan Webb made a name for himself when he broke Jim Ryun's high school mile record in 2001 and is now looking to take his stardom to a new level in Athens. Look for Webb to make it to the final late Tuesday night. Olympic distance races are normally tactical and won by the runner with the best kick, but look for Webb to break from that tradition. Look for him to make a move with 700 meters to go, just as he did at the Trials. Look for him to still be in the lead with one lap to go - and a pack of stronger kickers in hot pursuit that should include Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco, Kenya's Bernard Lagat (formerly of Washington State) and Isaac Songok, Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain and Mehdi Baala of France. Can the 21-year-old Virginian hold on? El Guerrouj has four world titles and three world records, but has yet to win Olympic gold. Lagat recently beat El Guerrouj on Aug. 6 with a world best time of 3 minutes, 27.4 seconds in Zurich, Switzerland. Webb ran a personal record 3:32.73 to beat Lagat in Ostrava, Czech Republic, earlier this summer. Webb probably isn't ready to win Olympic gold just yet, but stay tuned, this could be a great race.

    Young guns from Texas: Sanya Richards, 19, has all the makings to be a star of Marion Jones-like status in the future, and that could be as soon as the women's 400 meters final on Tuesday. Richards finished second at the Trials and won NCAA indoor title in the 400 this year for Texas. Baylor's Jeremy Wariner, 20, has run the fastest 400 in the world in 2004 (44.37 at the Trials) and now figures to contend for gold. Like Richards, this has been a long year for Wariner, who became the first runner ever to finish as a winner the 400 meters and 4x400 relay at the NCAA indoor and outdoor championships in the same year. On the upside, he runs for Baylor's Clyde Hart, who coached world record holder and two-time Olympic champion Michael Johnson.

    World's fastest human: There has always been special recognition for the 100-meter champion and America is looking for a sweep of the medals with its trio of Maurice Greene, Shawn Crawford and Justin Gatlin. Asafa Powell of Jamaica beat Greene in back-to-back races leading up to the Olympics, Crawford has clocked the fastest time in the world this year (9.88) and the smooth Gatlin always looks like has plenty left in the tank. All four could hit the wire together in a photo finish Sunday night. Greene is the defending Olympic champion."

    Source View of Olympic track and field

    Posted by Darren at 01:06 AM

    Asafa Powell

    "Whisper it quietly if you are within earshot of Maurice Greene, but there is a new favourite for the men's 100m title.

    Asafa Powell might be just 21 years old - the same age as British sprint hope Mark Lewis-Francis - but he shows every sign of continuing Jamaica's incredible run of success in Olympic sprints.

    Prior to Greene's triumph in Sydney, the last three Olympic 100m finals had been won by men born in Jamaica.

    Canada's Donovan Bailey, who took gold in 1996, was born in Manchester, Jamaica; Linford Christie, champion in 1992, in St Andrews, and Ben Johnson, first across the line in 1988, in Falmouth.

    The difference, of course, is that Powell still runs for the country of his birth.

    Very fast, too...."

    Read more at Power to the Powell

    Get more Asafa Powell at:
    - Asafa Powell does it again! - 6 August 2004 'After his win at tonights Weltklasse meeting in Zurich, the fourth leg of the TDK Golden League series, Powell has not only become interested in the sport but he has now taken over as one of the hottest favourites to succeed Greene as the next 100m Olympic champion.'

    - Asafa Powell Bio - NBC's profile of Asafa Powell.

    Country - Jamaica
    Sport - Track Field
    Event(s) - 100m, 200m, 4x100m Relay, 4x400m Relay
    Birthdate - November 11, 1982
    Birthplace - Linstead, Jamaica
    Height - 6'2" / 188 cm
    Weight - 192 lbs / 87.1 kgs
    Residence -Evarton, Jamaica

    - Asafa Powell - Olympics 2004 - Hindustan Times profile of Powell - 'Powell remains undefeated this season, clocked 9.91 seconds -- the fastest time ever on British soil -- to win the 100m at the London Grand Prix meet in July.'

    - Asafa Powell - Pictures and biography of Asafa Powell.

    - Asafa Powell - 'This Year I'm Feeling A Lot More Confident - 'Powell opened his season on June 12 with a personal best 9.99 at a meeting in Spanish Town, but came to the fore two weeks later with his 9.91 win at the Jamaican national championships, breaking Olympian Ray Stewarts 13-year-old national record of 9.96. His effort is the second fastest time in the world this year, But Powell firmly believes that theres plenty left in the tank. It felt fast, he said. I knew it was a nine-something. But I can go faster.'

    - Asafa Powell clocks 9.99

    - Asafa Powell Pictures

    Posted by Darren at 01:01 AM

    Australia defeats Japan in Women's Basketball

    "The Australian Opals have maintained their unbeaten record in the women's Olympic basketball tournament win a 97-78 win over Japan in Athens.

    Lauren Jackson top-scored with 31 points for the Opals, who were always in charge and led 56-35 at half-time.

    Trish Fallon chipped in with 12 points while Laura Summerton, Penny Taylor and Suzy Batkovic each added 11."

    Read more at Jackson inspires Opals to easy win

    Posted by Darren at 12:45 AM

    South Korean Sets 36-Arrow Archery Record

    "Defending women's archery champion Yun Mi-jin of South Korea set a new Olympic record for 36 arrows Wednesday on her way to qualification for the quarterfinals.

    Yun's combined score of 341 for the 1/16 and 1/8 elimination rounds was six points better than the record she set in Sydney four years ago.

    Yun's score of 173 in the 1/16 round also equaled her own 18-arrow Olympic record."AP Wire | 08/18/2004 | South Korean Sets 36-Arrow Archery Record

    Read more at South Korean Sets 36-Arrow Archery Record

    Posted by Darren at 12:44 AM

    Greece Takes Gold Medal for Baggage-Handling

    "Britons still due to fly to the Olympics in Athens can take heart from lost-luggage figures out today.

    For Greek baggage handlers have the second-best record in Europe, research from Prudential Travel Insurance found.

    According to travel experiences of more than 58,000 people, only Denmark lost fewer bags than Greece last year.

    Danish baggage handlers managed to mislay only 0.6% of bags and the Greeks only 1%.

    At the bottom of the list, as many as 3.9% of luggage went astray in the Czech Republic and 3.4% got lost in Romania.

    Phil Southgate, of Prudential Travel Insurance, said: Losing your luggage is the last thing you need when youre on holiday."

    Read more at Greece Takes Gold Medal for Baggage-Handling

    Posted by Darren at 12:41 AM

    Endurance swimmers short-changed at Olympics: Hackett

    "Australia's Olympic 1,500 metres champion Grant Hackett says long-distance swimmers are being robbed of their chance to shine at the Athens Games.

    Hackett said the Olympic program was unfair to endurance swimmers who were given only one event to showcase their talents, while the sprinters and middle-distance swimmers could pick and choose as many as they liked.

    American teenager Michael Phelps has been the leading light in the pool in Athens after entering eight events and already has five medals after just four days, but the 1,500m is on the last day of the swimming competition.

    "It's a bit unfair," Hackett said. "The sprinters have the 50 and the 100 and the middle-distance guys have the 200 and the 400.

    "We only have the 1,500 but we should have the 800 as well.""

    Read more at Endurance swimmers short-changed at Olympics: Hackett

    Posted by Darren at 12:40 AM

    Bronze for Britain - K1 Kyaking

    "Team GB clinched their third medal of the Athens Games today when Helen Reeves won bronze in the K1 kayak canoeing.

    The 23-year-old from Nottingham had originally been placed fourth in the final standings.

    But a two-second penalty for third-placed Peggy Dickens of France announced after the initial results came out saw the pair swap places.

    The 23-year-old was watched by her parents, John and Mary, brother Andrew and sister Jo as she received her medal.

    She said: Its really awesome. Ive just seen my family and loads of friends, familiar faces I didnt even realise were here.

    But Stuart McIntosh missed out on a medal in the mens C1 class after a brave final run on the demanding course."

    Read more at Bronze for Britain:

    Posted by Darren at 12:38 AM

    Romania beat US and Russia for Gold - Women's Gymnastics

    "The mistakes were so minor. The kind of errors only judges see.

    Carly Patterson's foot grazing the lower of the uneven bars. Courtney Kupets' twirl ending here instead of there. Mohini Bhardwaj's itty-bitty wobble on the beam.

    Courtney McCool (right) hugs teammate Mohini Bhardwaj after Bhardwaj competed on the vault.
    Little things, but added together they cost the U.S. gymnastics team valuable fractions of points and, ultimately, an Olympics gold medal.

    Done in as much by their own sloppiness as Romania's sheer superiority, the Americans settled for silver last night.

    "Things happen," Kupets said. "It's disappointing. But what are you going to do?"

    Romania finished with 114.283 points, beating the Americans by more than a half-point for its second straight Olympic gold. Russia, never a factor even with diva Svetlana Khorkina prancing and preening, won the bronze.

    Silver is hardly anything to be ashamed of, of course. The U.S. men won one Monday night and were positively giddy. And it's far better than leaving empty-handed, which the U.S. women did in Sydney for the first time since 1976."

    Read more at U.S. women settle for second place as Romania capitalizes on sloppy mistakes to capture gold

    Posted by Darren at 12:36 AM

    Two U.S. men qualify at Olympia; history for Heaston

    "Two U.S. men advanced to the final of the shot put Wednesday, hoping to make even more history at the ancient site that gave birth to the Olympics 2,780 years ago.

    Adam Nelson had the best qualifying throw of 69 feet, 4 3/4 inches and John Godina threw 67-4 1/4. Teammate Reese Hoffa failed to qualify for the final, ending U.S. hopes of a medal sweep.

    The shot put is being held at this former religious sanctuary, about 200 miles southwest of Athens, two days before the rest of the track and field competition begins Friday at the Olympic stadium in the nation's capital.

    "It's a privilege and honor to compete here," Nelson said. "There's something special about this place. It's a reminder of where it all began.""

    Read more at Two U.S. men qualify at Olympia; history for Heaston

    Posted by Darren at 12:34 AM

    Irina Korzhanenko wins Women's Shot Put

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Irina Korzhanenko from Russia

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Yumileidi Cumba from Cuba

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Nadine Kleinert from Germany

    Posted by Darren at 12:15 AM

    August 18, 2004

    Maria Grozdeva wins Women's 25m Pistol Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Maria Grozdeva from Bulgaria

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Lenka Hykova from Czech Republic

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Irada Ashumova from Azerbaijan

    Posted by Darren at 11:09 PM

    CBC cites family vacation to explain decrease in TV audience

    "Fewer North Americans are spending their evenings watching the Olympics, but it's too early to declare Athens a ruin.

    The CBC's prime-time viewership is down 18 per cent from Sydney in 2000. However, counting morning, afternoon and evening telecasts, the network's audiences are up 17 per cent.

    In the United States, NBC's telecasts are showing a slight decrease: 3 per cent. The network has earned a 14.1 prime-time rating (about 15 million households) for the first three days of its telecasts from Athens, compared with a 14.6 at Sydney.

    NBC is spinning its marginal decrease by pointing out that the total number of Americans watching the Games has increased because NBC's suite of cable channels is also airing Olympic content."

    Read more at CBC cites family vacation to explain decrease in TV audience

    Thanks to Bene for the tip about this story.

    Posted by Darren at 11:05 PM

    Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel wins Women's Individual Time Trial - Cycling - Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel from Netherlands

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Deidre Demet-Barray from United States

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Karin Thuerig from Switzerland

    Posted by Darren at 11:01 PM

    Kimberly Rhode wins Women's Double Trap Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Kimberly Rhode from United States

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Lee Bo Na from Korea, South

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: E Gao from China

    Posted by Darren at 11:00 PM

    Elena Kaliska wins Women's Kayak Singles Slalom Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Elena Kaliska from Slovakia

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Rebecca Giddens from United States

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Helen Reeves from United Kingdom (Great Britain)

    Posted by Darren at 10:59 PM

    Tony Estanguet wins Men's Canoe Singles Slalom Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Tony Estanguet from France

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Michal Martikan from Slovakia

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Stefan Pfannmoeller from Germany

    Posted by Darren at 10:58 PM

    German Olympic Champions Get Undressed for Playboy

    "Before the Olympics in Athens, 3 female athletes from Germany got undressed to be photographed for the German edition of Playboy magazine.

    Hockey player Fanny Rinne, master of fencing Britta Heidemann and volleyball player Kathy Radzuweit decided to pose naked for their fans, and boast not only with their achievements in sports, but also with their bodies."

    Female Olympic champions got undressed for Playboy

    Posted by Darren at 01:41 PM

    Sexiest Olympians

    Women.com is running a 12 Sexiest Olympians feature and write:

    "Some will tell you the Olympic Games are a chance for all nations to come together in the spirit of peace and goodwill. Others would call them a prime opportunity for checking out babes from across the globe. Guess which side we're on? Take a look at these 12 Athens-bound hotties andthen tell us what Olympian you're carrying a torch for!"

    Posted by Darren at 01:22 PM

    USA Back On Target

    The US "Dream Team" saw off a spirited display by Greece to seal a 77-71 win in the men's basketball competition.
    The Americans, humbled by Puerto Rico on Sunday, showed more fight against the hosts in front of a hostile crowd.

    But they did not have things all their own way as the Greek players drained a succession of three-pointers to keep the contest close in the second half.

    Source BBC USA survive Greece scare

    Posted by at 07:16 AM

    August 17 Results and Medals

    All of the Medals have been awarded in today's competition. Results can be found through the following links.

    Men's 50m Pistol

    Men's Double Trap

    Men's -81kg Judo

    Women's -63kg Judo


    Women's 200m Freestyle

    Men's 200m Butterfly

    Women's 200m Individual Medley

    Men's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay

    Women's Sabre

    Men's Epee

    Women's Team Competition

    Posted by Darren at 06:47 AM

    Romania wins Women's Gymnastics Team Competition Gold Medal

    Romania have just won the Women's Gymnastics Team Competition Gold medal.

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Romania

    The winner of the Silver Medal: United States

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Russia

    Posted by Darren at 06:43 AM

    Romania wins Women's Gymnastics Team Competition Gold Medal

    Romania have just won the Women's Gymnastics Team Competition Gold medal.

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Romania from Romania

    The winner of the Silver Medal: United States from United States

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Russia from Russia

    Posted by Darren at 06:42 AM

    Games security scares off Athens thieves

    "Athens's billion-euro Olympic security operation is putting a stop to some of the city's favourite summer sports: scaling the fence, climbing the balcony and running away with the loot.

    Crime has dropped dramatically in the Greek capital since July, when a tight security plan was put in place with police officers on every corner, cameras watching the streets and even a surveillance blimp patrolling in the Athens sky.

    "As a result of the security measures, crime, especially petty crime has decreased significantly, about 40 percent," police spokesman Lefteris Economou said on Tuesday.

    "All measures help but mainly it's the physical presence of policemen in squares and on the streets," he added."

    Read more at Games security scares off Athens thieves

    Posted by Darren at 06:19 AM

    Olympics-Fencing-U.S. and Swiss End Gold Drought

    "Mariel Zagunis won the first fencing gold for the United States for 100 years when she beat Xue Tan of China 15-9 in the inaugural Olympic women's sabre final on Tuesday.

    Marcel Fischer also made history -- and completed a disappointing night for China -- when he claimed Switzerland's first-ever win in the sport by beating Lei Wang 15-9 to take the men's epee title.

    The 19-year-old Zagunis, who only made it to the Games as the third-ranked American when the Nigerian Olympic Committee declined to send Jacqueline Esimaye, raced to an 8-2 lead with an aggressive approach.

    In spite of a spirited comeback that briefly took Tan to within three points, she held on to win comfortably."

    Read more at Olympics-Fencing-U.S. and Swiss End Gold Drought

    Posted by Darren at 06:15 AM

    Athens Olympics Track and Field Events and Results

    Athens Olympics Track and Field

    athletics.gifTrack and Field events at the Athens Olympics will be held between 18 August and 29th August mainly at the Athens Olympic Stadium.

    In Track and Field there is a total of 46 Gold, Silver and Bronze medals up for grabs - 24 of each in men's competition and 22 in women's competition.

    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.

    Track and Field results will be added to this site as they happen - you will find links to each event's results page below as they are added to the site. In the mean time get all the latest Track and Field news in our Track and Field News Archives.

    Men's Track and Field Results and Medals

    Men's 100m
    Men's 200m
    Men's 400m
    Men's 800m
    Men's 1500m
    Men's 5000m
    Men's 10000m
    Men's 110m Hurdles
    Men's 400m Hurdles
    Men's 3,000m Steeplechase
    Men's 4 x 100m Relay
    Men's 4 x 400m Relay
    Men's High Jump
    Men's Pole Vault
    Men's Long Jump
    Men's Triple Jump
    Men's Shot Put
    Men's Discus
    Men's Hammer
    Men's Javelin
    Men's Decathlon
    Men's Marathon
    Men's 20km Walk
    Men's 50km Road Walk

    Women's Athletics Results and Medals

    Women's 100m
    Women's 200m
    Women's 400m
    Women's 800m
    Women's 1,500m
    Women's 5,000m
    Women's 10,000m
    Women's 100m Hurdles
    Women's 400m Hurdles
    Women's 4 x 100m Relay
    Women's 4 x 400m Relay
    Women's High Jump
    Women's Pole Vault
    Women's Long Jump
    Women's Triple Jump
    Women's Shot Put
    Women's Discus
    Women's Hammer
    Women's Javelin
    Women's Heptathlon
    Womans Marathon Womans 20km Road Walk

    Related Olympic Athletics (Track and Field) Links

    BBC: Athletics NBC: Track and Field Athens News Agency: Athletics CBC: Athletics Fox Sports: Athletics Athletics Stars to Watch USA Track and Field Olympic Track and Field Links American Track and Field MSNBC - Athens Olympic Track and Frield USA Today - Track and Field American Track and Field World Track and Field - Athens Olympics
    Posted by Darren at 06:05 AM

    Marcel Fischer wins Men's Epee Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Marcel Fischer from Switzerland

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Lei Wang from China

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Pavel Kolobkov from Russia

    Posted by Darren at 04:57 AM

    Mariel Zagunis wins Women's Sabre Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Mariel Zagunis from United States

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Xue Tan from China

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Sada Jacobson from United States

    Posted by Darren at 04:43 AM

    USA Men Remain Unbeaten in Water Polo

    "Using a strong second half, the United States men's Olympic water polo team won its second straight game Tuesday, 9-6 over Kazahkstan.

    The Americans all but wrapped up a spot in the quarterfinals, having opened the Olympics earlier this week with a dramatic 7-6 decision over Croatia.

    Wolf Wigo scored twice during a two-minute span of the second period to give the United States a 5-4 halftime lead.

    "He is the heart of the team," said American Coach Ratko Rudic. "He is experienced and has a positive attitude.""

    Read more at USA Men Remain Unbeaten in Water Polo

    Posted by Darren at 04:42 AM

    Hockey: India defeat South Africa 4-2

    "India came from behind to record a remarkable 4-2 win against South Africa and keep their Olympic medal hopes alive in the men's hockey competition on Tuesday.

    Trailing 0-2 at one stage, the eight-time gold medallists showed their class to emerge victorious in the thrilling contest, which they needed to win to remain on track for a semifinal berth from Pool B.

    India, who had lost their opening encounter to Australia, were greatly served by their three most senior players -- Dhanraj Pillay, Baljit Singh Dhillon and Dilip Tirkey, all of whom scored a goal apiece before Gagan Ajit Singh's last minute goal brought the emphatic win for the side."

    Read more at Hockey: India defeat SA 4-2

    Posted by Darren at 04:39 AM

    Torri Edwards out of Games, suspension upheld

    "U.S. sprinter Torri Edwards was knocked out of the Olympics for good Tuesday when an arbitration panel upheld her two-year drug suspension.

    Edwards had been considered a medal contender in the 100 and 200 meters at the Athens Games. She inherited the world championship in the 100 when Kelli White forfeited that crown because of drug use.

    Edwards tested positive for the banned stimulant nikethamide at a meet in Martinique on April 24, but blamed the result on a glucose supplement she took because she wasn't feeling well. She said her physician bought the glucose at a store on the Caribbean island, and that she was unaware it contained the banned substance."

    Read more at Edwards out of Games, suspension upheld

    Posted by Darren at 04:37 AM

    In Race for Olympic Gold, Populous India and Pakistan Lag Far Behind

    "India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are home to more than a fifth of the global population, yet when it comes to Olympic glory, no region feels more left out. Never has an athlete from the Asian subcontinent won an individual gold medal - a streak that may well continue in Greece.

    The reasons are many - sparse training facilities, too few competent coaches, a dearth of youth programs and, in the case of India and Pakistan, world-class cricket teams that monopolize fan interest and corporate sponsorships.

    "It's a vicious circle," said Norris Pritman, sports writer for the Indian Express of New Delhi. "We don't do well because we don't have stars; we don't have stars because we don't do well.""

    Read more at In Race for Olympic Gold, Populous India and Pakistan Lag Far Behind

    Posted by Darren at 04:18 AM

    Empty Olympics stands lead to lack of excitement andlousy television

    "The Blog swears it heard one hand clapping as it tuned into the women's Olympic volleyball competition. Breathtaking as the action has been, it was impossible not to notice the backdrop: vast pastures of empty seats and ushers, as idle as Maytag repairmen, with their backs to the court. When play stopped, you could hear the unique sound of a smattering of applause echoing through an empty arena. Say this about the 14,000-seat Peace and Friendship Stadium whichcould not have been more than 10 percent filled for the competition: They sure got the "peace" part down. "It was eerie," a journalist friend on site reported. "There was all this intensity on the floor and absolutely none in the stands."


    We're trying to imagine this from the perspective of an Olympic volleyball star. You devote four years of your life and invest huge amounts of psychic energy to competing in the Olympics. For years, you envision reaching the Acropolis of your sport. And when you finally get there, it plays out in front of fewer people than watch John McEnroe's newshow."

    Read more at Seats available - Empty Olympics stands lead to lack of excitement andlousy television

    Posted by Darren at 04:13 AM

    Pippa Funnell puts horse before glory

    "Pippa Funnell put the safety of her horse before personal glory in Athens - and kissed goodbye to an Olympic gold medal.

    After completing an unprecedented 'Grand Slam' of major three-day event victories last year, Funnell was viewed as one of Great Britain's major medal chances in Greece and was on track to fulfil the expectation after finishing second in the opening dressage section. But the 35-year-old's worst fears were realised at the Markopoulo Equestrian Centre as a combination of a shortened course and a long, downhill finish proved too much for her big-striding gelding Primmore's Pride to deal with."

    Read more at Funnell puts horse before glory

    Posted by Darren at 04:12 AM

    Even at Olympics, U.S. wrestler leans on incarcerated father for support

    "Toccara Montgomery is neither ashamed nor embarrassed about the imprisoned father who will be an ocean away when she becomes one of the first women to wrestle in the Olympics.

    "I always was a daddy's girl and I always will be a daddy's girl," Montgomery said, her voice filled with emotion. "He's always been a driving force in my life."

    Paul Montgomery of Cleveland was sentenced to 33 years to life for a 1998 double murder and is not eligible for parole until 2032 - the year his daughter will turn 50.

    Toccara occasionally visits her father at an Ohio prison, not all that far from where she attends classes and wrestles at Cumberland (Ky.) College. But she insists she doesn't need her father's physical presence to know he is with her."

    Read more at Even at Olympics, U.S. wrestler leans on incarcerated father for support

    Posted by Darren at 04:11 AM

    US win Men's 4x 200m Freestyle Gold Medal

    The US team has just won the Men's 4x 200m Freestyle Gold Medal in a close race from Australia.

    The winner of the Gold Medal: United States

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Australia

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Italy \

    Posted by Darren at 04:04 AM

    Yana Klochkova wins 200m Individual Medley Gold Medal

    Yana Klochkova has just won the 200m Individual Medley Gold Medal.

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Yana Klochkova from Ukraine

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Amanda Beard from United States

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Kirsty Coventry from Zimbabwe

    Posted by Darren at 03:50 AM

    Ian Thorpe just makes final

    "IAN Thorpe has only just scraped into tomorrow's Olympic 100m freestyle final in Athens, denying freestyle god Alex Popov a spot in the race.

    Thorpe, who's already won the 200-400m freestyle double at the Games, clocked a sluggish 49.21s to take the last place in the eight-man final - just 0.02s ahead of Popov.

    Popov has more Olympic freestyle gold medals than any other man with four, after victories in the 50m and 100m freestyle at both the 1992 and '96 Olympics.

    The 32-year-old Russian was by far the oldest man in the semi-final lineup - 14 years older than the youngest."

    Read more at Thorpe just makes final

    Posted by Darren at 03:23 AM

    Divers Heymans, Hartley capture Canada's first medal

    "Emilie Heymans and Blythe Hartley won a bronze medal in the 10-metre synchronized platform diving event at the Athens Olympics on Monday.

    The Chinese duo of Lao Lishi and Li Ting finished first, followed by silver medallists Natalia Goncharova and Yulia Koltunova of Russia.

    The bronze medal is the first medal Canada has won at the Games.

    Hartley said she hoped the performance would provide some inspiration for the Canadian team.

    "I know all the athletes feel a lot of pressure and they want to perform to the best of their abilities," Hartley said. "The key is just to kind of just relax and believe in yourself."

    Read more at Divers Heymans, Hartley capture Canada's first medal

    Posted by Darren at 03:21 AM

    Stephen Parry wins butterfly bronze

    "Stephen Parry dug deep to win Britain's first Olympic swimming medal for eight years in the men's 200m butterfly.

    The 27-year-old broke the Commonwealth record to take bronze, while Michael Phelps won his second Athens gold.

    Phelps shrugged off the disappointment of losing to Ian Thorpe in the 200m freestyle by setting a new Olympic mark of one minute 54.04 seconds."

    Read more at Parry wins butterfly bronze

    Posted by Darren at 03:18 AM

    Beach Volleyball: Brazilians Aim for Podium Again

    "Brazil have had two women's teams on the beach volleyball podium at the last two Olympics and moved a step closer to a hat-trick Tuesday.

    Brazilian fans chanted as first Shelda Bede and Adriana Behar and then Ana Paula Connelly and Sandra Pires won victories that assured them places in the 16-team elimination round.

    Bede and Behar, who have been playing together since 1995, showed their traditional tenacity and overcame a strong challenge to beat Italy's Daniela Gattelli and Lucilla Perrotta 21-17, 21-17.

    The 2000 silver medallists, who had already won their first preliminary-round match, hope for an all-Brazil final.

    "We would like it to happen," said Bede, known as "the cat" for her quick movements."

    Read more at Beach Volleyball: Brazilians Aim for Podium Again

    Posted by Darren at 03:10 AM

    Shot Put Goes Back to the Cradle

    "The Stadium of Ancient Olympia will once again be the stage for sporting excellence 1,600 years after it last hosted an Olympic sporting event. The mens and womens shot put for the Games in Athens will be held in the cradle of the Olympic Games situated some 320 kilometres southwest of Athens.

    Mai site of the Games - The stadium was the main site of the Games when they were first held in 776 BC right up to 393 AD when the Games were abolished by decree of Emporer Theodosius. Dating from the 4th century BC, it has a length of 213 metres and a width of 28.5 metres and could hold more than 40,000 people."

    Shot Put Goes Back to the Cradle

    Posted by Darren at 03:09 AM

    Puerto Rico falls back to earth

    "No wild celebrations for Puerto Rico this time.

    Two days after a stunning victory over the United States, Puerto Rico returned to Olympic basketball reality in a 98-90 loss to Lithuania on Tuesday.

    "It's not a letdown," Puerto Rico centre Jose Ortiz said. "As I said the other night, basketball is not consistent always."

    Neither was Puerto Rico's offence - and that cost the team against Lithuania.

    Puerto Rico's 56 per cent shooting in the 92-73 victory over the United States dropped to 39 per cent (25-for-64) against Lithuania, which put more pressure on its shooters - although the backcourt of Carlos Arroyo and Elias Ayuso each had 25 points."Read more at Puerto Rico falls back to earth

    Posted by Darren at 03:03 AM

    Michael Phelps wins Men's 200m Butterfly Gold Medal

    Michael Phelps has just won the Men's 200m Butterfly Gold Medal.

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Michael Phelps from United States

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Takashi Yamamoto from Japan

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Stephen Parry from United Kingdom (Great Britain)

    Posted by Darren at 02:55 AM

    Camellia Potec wins Women's 200m Freestyle Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Camellia Potec from Romania

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Federica Pellegrini from Italy

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Solenne Figues from France

    Posted by Darren at 02:49 AM

    India wins First Medal

    "An Indian soldier has won his country's first ever individual silver medal at the Olympic Games.

    Major Rajyavardhan Rathore came second in the men's double trap shooting event in Athens.

    He scored 44 in the final round - behind Ahmed Almaktoum of the United Arab Emirates who won gold. China's Zheng Wang collected bronze.

    Rathore's medal is India's first success in Athens since the competition began last weekend."

    Read more at India makes Olympic breakthrough

    Posted by Darren at 02:29 AM

    Water polo team opens with thriller

    "The last time Brenda Villa netted the penultimate, game-leveling goal of an Olympic match, the United States came agonizingly close to a gold medal.

    That was the final of the 2000 Games, when Australia responded to Villa's goal -- made inside the last 30 seconds -- with a snap shot from Yvette Higgins 1.7 seconds from time to capture a 4-3 win and the first Olympic women's water polo title.

    Villa was back in top Olympic form in Monday's 7-6 win over Hungary, scoring the first two points in the opening three minutes of the tournament to help lift the Americans to a 4-1 lead in the first quarter.

    Her four-goal haul included the equalizer at 6-6 in the last quarter, after Hungary had rallied from 4-1 down to a 6-5 lead.

    This time attacker Kelly Rulon followed Villa's lead and -- to mark her 20th birthday and Olympic debut -- scored the winning goal."

    Read more at Water polo team opens with thriller

    Posted by Darren at 02:27 AM

    Canada Remains Unbeaten In Baseball

    "Peter Orr belted a three-run homer and finished with four RBI, leading North American representative Canada to a 7-0 rout of the Netherlands in Olympic baseball action Tuesday.

    Shawn Hill (1-0) gave up just three hits in five scoreless innings, and four relievers held the Dutch hitless after that, as Canada improved to 3-0 so far at these Games.

    "We're really confident," catcher Pierre-Luc LaForest said. "We've accomplished what we want to do so far. We're in the groove now."

    Orr's homer in the second inning accounted for Canada's first three runs, and his team would score four more over the next two innings to put the game away. LaForest added a solo homer leading off the third, and Stubby Clapp belted a solo shot during a three-run fourth.

    Hill was relieved after the fifth, and Mike Kusiewicz, John Ogiltree, Chris Mears and Aaron Myette closed out the game with an of work apiece."

    Read more at Canada Remains Unbeaten In Baseball

    Posted by Darren at 02:25 AM

    Allen Iverson has broken right thumb, but will play

    "Allen Iverson broke his right thumb but plans to play anyway Tuesday night for the U.S. Olympic basketball team, which is coming off an embarrassing loss to Puerto Rico in its opener.

    Iverson originally injured the thumb on his shooting hand during the team's 92-73 loss Sunday, then aggravated it during practice Monday.

    X-rays revealed the fracture, USA Basketball spokesman Craig Miller said."

    Read more at Allen Iverson has broken right thumb, but plans to play against Greece as U.S. men try to rebound

    Posted by Darren at 02:24 AM

    Wearable computer which can remotely monitor the performance of athletes

    "As Greece is in full swing with Olympic fever, engineers at the University of Birmingham, England, have teamed up with researchers in Athens to design a wearable computer which can remotely monitor the performance of athletes.

    Dr Chris Baber from the University's department of Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering has collaborated with researchers at the National Technical University of Athens to make an 'on-body' computer which will track the acceleration, pace and body temperature of the wearer.

    The computer, which is strapped to an athlete's chest and wrists, sends signals to a receiver via a radio link. In the case of a volleyball game, there is a corresponding data collector in the ball which, when hit by the player, also sends information back to the receiver. The data is collected on a laptop and a graph produced which shows detailed information about the forces from the hand of the player and the forces applied to the ball."

    Read more at Wearable computer which can remotely monitor the performance of athletes

    Posted by Darren at 02:13 AM

    Bikini-Clad Dance Team Stirs Up Beach Volleyball Venue

    K081720AU"A team of bikini-clad dancers from the Canary Islands is entertaining fans but offending some female players at Olympic beach volleyball. Wearing bright orange outfits during the day and shiny silver ones at night, the sun-bronzed babes race onto the sand between points and matches, gyrating to blaring techno-pop. Fans join in, wiggling hips and clicking cameras.

    At least one women's team isn't amused.

    "It's kind of disrespectful to the female players," said Nicole Sanderson, an Australian. "I'm sure the male spectators love it, but I find it a little bit offensive."

    Kerri Pottharst, Sanderson's partner, said mixing in some male dancers would've made it OK. "Equality, equality!" said Pottharst, a 2000 gold medalist."

    Dance Team Stirs Up Beach Volleyball Venue

    Posted by Darren at 02:11 AM

    Olympic organizers boost security after Canadian fan leaps into Diving pool

    spectator_diving_afp0817"Olympics organizers have increased security at all sports venues after an unidentified Canadian spectator plunged into a swimming pool during a diving competition.

    The man, bare-chested and sporting a blue tutu, scampered onto the pool deck and climbed to an adjoining diving board during the men's synchronized three-metre springboard event on Monday.

    He jumped into the pool after about a minute atop his perch and was immediately apprehended by security officials at the Olympic Aquatic Centre.

    The man, who was not identified by police, was arrested and booked on a charge on "interrupting the Games," according to a Ministry of Public Order spokesperson.

    It was not yet known what penalties or fines the Canadian might face."

    Read more at Olympic organizers boost security after Canadian fan leaps into pool

    Posted by Darren at 02:10 AM

    Men's 800m Preview

    "In the last four decades, few pre-race favourites have actually gone to win the Olympic 800 metres title. With nine runners under 1:44 thus far in 2004, and several winning major races, no Athens entrant can claim the leading role and with it, its accompanying jinx.

    2003 World leader Wilfred Bungei of Kenya - IAAF World Ranked number one for the event - arrives in Athens as the year's fastest, and after missing last year's World Championships, is aiming to make his mark.While he posted solid wins in Zurich (1:43.06), Madrid (1:44.72) and the strenuous Kenyan Trials, he was soundly beaten in Rome, showing he is vulnerable.

    The winner at the Golden Gala was World record holder Wilson Kipketer, with a then-world leading 1:43.88. The only title missing from the Dane's resume is that of Olympic champion, and with the perfectly executed kick he displayed in Rome, it is a title that is certainly within the 33-year-old's grasp."

    Read more at Men's 800m PREVIEW

    Posted by Darren at 02:02 AM

    Womens Javelin Preview

    "It is only possible to preview this event by first offering up a major question mark about the fitness of the reigning World and European champion Mirela Manjani, who so far has only thrown 58.92m this year.

    But Manjani has a knack of timing her seasons to perfection, and the Greek (formerly Albanian) thrower is bound to gain inspiration from the home crowd. As such the two-time World gold medallist, who also took the silver in 2001, and the Sydney Olympic runner-up spot, should never be discounted.

    With this important Greek caveat out the way, Cubas World record holder Osleidis Menndez must be seen as the clear favourite for gold. The 24 year-old who is the IAAF World Ranked number one for this event, has had an impressive year with a best of 68.23m.

    There are two blemishes on the Cubans season record. The first, not so serious was her 53.25m to 61.51 third place loss to compatriot Norida Bicet in Havana in June (Bicet has a best in 2004 of 63.32). However, the second flaw, in Linz on 2 August when she lost 65.68 to the 65.91 national record of Czech Nikola Brejchova, is perhaps more significant in terms of the possible distribution of Olympic medals."

    Read more at Womens Javelin PREVIEW

    Posted by Darren at 02:01 AM

    Men's Javelin Preview

    "This is the most wide open athletics discipline of 2004. You could throw a blanket over worlds top eight this season, who have thrown distances ranging between 87.73 and 86.12.

    The days of 90m throwing are a distant memory. World champion Sergey Makarov of Russia, 31, the last man beyond that line (90.11 on 30 May 2003), is currently the IAAF World Rankings number one athlete for the event but his seasons best of 86.19 shows he is way off his usual form (PB 92.61 - 2002).

    The event is in the midst of generational change. All the worlds 90m throwers (new spear) on the all-time list are now over 30 years of age (Aki Parviainen the third longest thrower in history with 93.09m and the youngest, will turn 30 on October this year), are either already retired, or injured or well below par this year.

    The big question is whether Czech Jan Zelezny, 38, the worlds greatest ever thrower (World record 98.48 set in 1996), can take an unprecedented fourth successive Olympic title (1992/1996/2000). He was also second in 1988, only losing in the last round!

    Zelezny, who is also a former three-time World gold medallist, stands eighth on the world list with 86.12 but in such an open competition, the gold medal is certainty not a long shot."

    Read more at Mens Javelin Preview

    Posted by Darren at 02:00 AM

    Womens Hammer Preview

    "With eleven of the top 20 of this seasons furthest throws belonging to the double World champion Yipsi Moreno, there is no one to match or who even approaches the consistency in this event of the 23 year-old from Cuba.

    Moreno who is the IAAF World Ranked number one in the Event is the outstanding favourite for gold in Athens, and her Area record of 75.18 (25 April) gives a sign that even the World record (76.07 1999, Mihaela Melinte, ROM, not selected) might be threatened given the added motivation of an Olympic final. Moreno currently has a winning streak of 18 competitions (finals only). She was fourth in Sydney 2000.

    Standing nearest to the Cuban on the world seasons performance list is the Belarussian Olga Tsander with the 74.72 national record heave (9 July) with which she won her national championships. However, other than her qualification (71.76) the day before, the 28 year-old has not had any other competitions over 70m this season, and this will surely count against her when the pressure is on in Athens."

    Read more at Womens Hammer PREVIEW

    Posted by Darren at 02:00 AM

    Mens Hammer Preview

    "The IAAF World Rankings number one athlete of the event is Ivan Tikhon of Belarus. The 28 year-old reigning World champion has had a largely faultless year with his six competitions, five of them victories, that have provided four of the top eight marks on the world seasons list.

    Tikhon leads the standings with an 84.46 mark set in Minsk on 7 May but do not be misled by the age of that early season effort,t as in the same city on 10 July he threw 83.97, the worlds second longest performance of the year, to win the national championships and confirm his continued good form. His 83.36 (Stayki 26 June) is the fourth best in the world, and his latest win, 82.87 in Stayki on 31 July, shows he remains firmly in the gold medal groove.

    So is the gold medal all but decided?

    No! As well as two other Belarussian athletes over 82 metres this summer Vadim Devyatovskiy (82.91), and two time Olympic medallist (1992 silver, 200 bronze) Igor Astapkovich (82.23) backing up their countries medal hopes, three other throwers, a Hungarian, a Finn and a Japanese could still cause a shock in Athens."

    Read more at Mens Hammer PREVIEW

    Posted by Darren at 01:59 AM

    Womens Discus Preview

    "The top-six women in last years World Championships final are also currently the six longest throwers of this summer.

    Though the Belarussian Irina Yatchenko, the 2003 World champion, is only 4th in the IAAF World Rankings for the womens Discus, she threw the current world seasons lead of 69.13m in Stayki, Belarus on 31 July. Even at 38 years of age she must be seen as the favourite for Olympic gold on the basis of this competition considering that her series also included 66.55 and 67.32m releases. Only two other throwers this season have launched the Discus past her second best effort.

    There have also been just three blemishes to Yatchenkos Olympic credentials in 2004.

    Five athletes, comprising the glittering elite of the event beat the Belarussian in an early season meet in Halle, Germany (22 May).

    Best on that day was the Greek Anastasia Kelesidou, the 2003 World silver medallist, who threw 67.03m, ahead of Russias 2001 World champion Natalya Sadova (65.71), 1997 World champion Beatrice Faumuina of New Zealand (65.13), Vera Pospisilova-Cechlov (64.71), and Germanys Franka Dietzsch, the 1999 World and 1998 European winner (64.13). Yatchenko was sixth, 61.53."

    Read more at Womens Discus PREVIEW.

    Posted by Darren at 01:58 AM

    Men's Discus Preview

    "The impending battle between World and Olympic champion Virgilijus Alekna of Lithuania and European champion Robert Fazekas of Hungary the top two ranked throwers in the IAAF World Ranking for the event is set to be one of the greatest confrontations of the entire Games of the XXVIII Olympiad , let alone the Athletics events.

    Until just over a week ago, the 32 year-old Alekna had held his Hungarian rival in a year long spell which had been first cast when he returned to top form to win the World title in Paris last summer. Alekna had last lost to the 28 years-old Fazekas on 15 August 2003 in Zurich on the eve of the Paris championships, and had kept a perfect score card against his arch-rival this year until they met again last week in Zurich (6 Aug), where Fazekas snatched a surprise 69.77 to 69.22 victory.

    The two men are the only 70m throwers of the year and their present form towers above their opponents. If the Athens competition approaches the quality of their 70m tussle that took place in Rthimno, Greece on 23 June (Alekna won 70.97 to 70.83), we could see possibly the greatest battle royal ever in Olympic history. The Olympic final has never seen a throw over 70 metres, and surely that is what it will take to separate these two nimble spinning giants."

    Read more at Mens Discus PREVIEW

    Posted by Darren at 01:57 AM

    Women's Shot Put Preview

    "It is a dangerous statement to make, especially with the competitivetemperament of Germanys 1996 Olympic champion Astrid Kumbernuss waiting to confound the form book but it is nearly certain that the women's Shot medals will be divided solely between Russia or Belarus in Olympia.

    Only three women have so far put beyond 20 metres this summer. Topping the world list in 2004 are the Russians Irina Korzhanenko (20.79m) and Svetlana Krivelyova (20.69), and the Belarussian, Natalya Kharaneko (20.04).

    The Russians also top the IAAF World Rankings for the Event - Krivelyova (1st) and Korzhanenko (2nd).

    Yumileidi Cumb of Cuba with a 19.97 PB win at the recent IberoAmerican Championships is the fourth best thrower of this summer on the performance list. Former three-time World champion Kumbernuss, who was the bronze medallist in Sydney is the next furthest (19.60), while Nadezhda Ostapchuk of Belarus, stands sixth on the lists with a 19.37 performance from back in May.

    Reigning Olympic champion, and 2001 World gold medal winner Yanina Korolchik, who is also from Belarus, has not competed since winning the 2003 national title, while Russias Larisa Peleshenko, who took the silver in Sydney 2000 has retired.

    Germanys Nadine Kleinert (19.27), and Olga Rybinkina of Russia (19.12) are the only other athletes in the world this year over 19 metres, such is the sudden and dramatic drop-off from the very top of the worlds elite to those of more moderate international standard."

    Mens and Women's Shot Put PREVIEWS - Olympia

    Posted by Darren at 01:55 AM

    Men's Shot Put Preview

    "With the top four competitions of the year 22.54m, 22.35, 22.25 and 21.74 it was one of the greatest upsets when the 23 year-old World Indoor champion Christian Cantwell IAAF World Rankings number one at the event - flopped badly in the Trials (4th 20.56) and failed to make the US Olympic team.

    However, such is the strength of American shot putting that it would not be dangerous to wager on a US podium sweep for the first time at the Games since Rome in 1960! In all, the US have won 17 gold, 18 silver and 11 bronze medals at this event in Olympic history, and it looks like nothing will stop them adding to these totals in Athens.

    Represented by three-time World champion (bronze medallist Sydney 2000) John Godina (21.71), Adam Nelson, the reigning World and Olympic silver medallist (21.68), and Reese Hoffa (21.67), the US are blessed with the three furthest throwers in the starting line-up.

    Yet 28 year-old Andrey Mikhnevich of Belarus is not one to be intimidated by mere statistics. The reigning World champion who had a disappointing World Indoor campaign in Budapest where he finished sixth, continued at a low ebb early this summer with just one competition (20.19 5 June) above 20 metres. Then BANG, on 31 July he unleashed a mighty 21.23 seasons best on home turf in Stayki, Belarus.

    The Belarussian, whose personal best is the 21.69 with which he won the World crown last summer in the Stade de France, might just have peaked at the right moment."

    Read more at Mens and Women's Shot Put PREVIEWS

    Posted by Darren at 01:54 AM

    U.S. sprinter Muna Lee nursing calf strain

    "U.S. sprinter Muna Lee has not been working out in Crete because of a strained right calf.

    She downplayed the injury and said she'll resume training Monday for the Athens Games. "It's fine,'' she said.

    Lee, a former LSU star, is entered in the 200 meters at the games. Preliminaries in the event aren't until Aug. 23, and Lee said she expects to be healthy in time.

    The injury apparently occurred during warmups for the 100 meters last Friday in Zurich, Switzerland. Lee did not run in the race, and she has been receiving constant treatment since arriving in Crete, U.S. women's coach Sue Humphrey said."

    Read more at U.S. sprinter Lee nursing calf strain

    Posted by Darren at 01:51 AM

    Ana Guavara - 400m

    "In the recent years, Guavara has established herself as the one to beat in the 400m and will be hot favourite for the Olympic title in Athens.

    The Mexican superstar had to settle for fifth at Sydney 2000, but hinted at her potential with a bronze medal at the World Championships in Edmonton a year later.

    A string of impressive wins followed and, by 2003, Guavara finally earned the world title she craved with a spectacular performance in Paris.

    She ran 48.90sec to claim gold in the eighth fastest time in history.

    Although her Olympic preparations have been hampered by injury, the 27-year-old is now aiming to quench her thirst for success with glory in Athens."

    Athletics: Stars to Watch

    Posted by Darren at 01:48 AM

    'Pieter van den Hoogenband can break record'

    "Pieter van den Hoogenband's coach thinks the Dutch sprinter could lower his own world record to win the 100 metres freestyle gold medal at the Athens Olympics this week. Follow Day 4 in the pool "

    Read more at VDH Coach: 'Pieter can break record'

    Posted by Darren at 01:37 AM

    Yao leads China past Tall Blacks

    "Houston Rockets center Yao Ming scored 39 points and led China to a 69-62 win over New Zealand on Tuesday. China made up for their opening match loss to Spain by grabbing the provisional lead in Group A ahead of Serbia's clash against Italy."

    Read more at Yao leads China past Tall Blacks

    Posted by Darren at 01:36 AM

    Paula Radcliffe injury denied

    "British athletics chief Max Jones has moved quickly to deny injury rumours surrounding Paula Radcliffe.

    Radcliffe, favourite to take marathon gold on Sunday, reportedly made a visit to the Munich clinic of Dr Hans Muller-Wolfhardt last weekend.

    But Jones said: "She certainly does not have a calf injury."

    Radcliffe herself said previously: "Everything has gone really well in training. My preparations have gone very successfully."

    Radcliffe's agent Sian Masterton said the 30-year-old had been to see the famed doctor a month ago to check on a hernia operation she had last March."

    Read more at Radcliffe injury denied

    Posted by Darren at 01:34 AM

    Stuart McIntosh into slalom semis

    "Britain's Stuart McIntosh insists he is in "good shape" for his C1 canoeing slalom semi-final after finishing fifth in qualification on Tuesday.

    "I had a solid first run but made mistakes in my second," he said.

    "But to finish only a second-and-a-half behind the leader having performed an eskimo roll down that second run shows that I'm in good shape."

    Britain's Helen Reeves was the third best of the 15 qualifiers for the kayak singles semi-finals, also on Wednesday."

    Read more at McIntosh into slalom semis

    Posted by Darren at 01:33 AM

    Ayumi Tanimoto wins Women's 63kg Judo Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Ayumi Tanimoto from Japan

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Claudia Heill from Austria

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Urska Zolnir from Slovenia
    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Driulys Gonzalez from Cuba


    Medal Contenders:

    Posted by Darren at 01:19 AM

    Ilias Iliadis wins Men's 81kg Judo Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Ilias Iliadis from Greece

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Roman Gontyuk from Ukraine

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Dmitri Nossov from Russia
    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Flavio Canto from Brazil

    Posted by Darren at 01:11 AM

    Let's compare Phelps, Spitz after Beijing

    "Michael Phelps has not failed. He has merely miscalculated.

    He is not a disappointment. He is a teenager.

    He has chosen to give chase to swimming's greatest achievement and, predictably, he has fallen short. He will not match Mark Spitz's seven gold medals at these Summer Olympics, but he should not be chided for trying.

    Water notwithstanding, swimming can be pretty dry. To the extent that Phelps has enlivened this monotonous sport, he deserves our gratitude. To the extent that he echoes Robert Browning's philosophy on striving, Phelps should be commended."

    Read more at Let's compare Phelps, Spitz after Beijing

    Posted by Darren at 01:09 AM

    Stacy Dragila - Women's Pole Vault

    "Stacy Dragila can remember her blood pressure rising as swiftly as the ever-changing world-record heights in her event, the women's pole vault. Dragila would attend vaulting clinics and quietly stew as fellow vaulters and coaches denounced her fundamentals.

    "They would tear my technique apart," Dragila says. "Sometimes it could be pretty harsh out there. And I'd think, 'You're saying you're doing it perfect. But if your way is so perfect, how come I'm the one with the world records and the gold medal?'"

    Dragila, 33, arrived at her indignation justifiably. Dragila is to women's vaulting what Michael Flatley is to Irish dancing. She won gold when the women's vault made its debut in Sydney four years ago. She set seven world records between February 2000 and June 2001. And now she was hearing that her technique was flawed"

    Read more at Stepping back to move forward

    Posted by Darren at 01:05 AM

    Mark Philippoussis Defeated by Olivier Rochus - Men's Tennis

    "Mark Philippoussis, restricted by tendonitis in his knee, crashed out of the Athens Olympic tennis tournament when his game disintegrated after winning the first set against Belgium's Olivier Rochus this morning.

    The 27-year-old Australian, losing finalist at the 1998 US Open and 2003 Wimbledon, lost 6-3, 0-6, 1-6, and Rochus now plays third seed Carlos Moya of Spain.

    The 23-year-old Rochus, who beat Philippoussis in Dubai in March in their only other match, kept battling away as the Scud exploded.

    He was at a loss to explain what went wrong."

    Read more at Scud lost for words at Greek defeat

    Posted by Darren at 01:01 AM

    Australia defeats Angola - Men's Basketball

    "Australia defeated Angola 83-59 in the men's Olympic basketball competition in Athens on Tuesday.

    The win evened Australia's record to 1-1 after its opening defeat to hosts Greece on Monday.

    Shane Heal top-scored for the Boomers with 18 points while hot young prospect Andrew Bogut put 16 points on the board.

    Bogut was 7-of-7 from the field for the game and also finished with a game-high 11 rebounds."

    Read more at Boomers down Angola

    Posted by Darren at 12:59 AM

    Darren Campbell Is 200m Medal Threat - Maurice Greene

    "Darren Campbell, the Olympic 200 metres silver medallist in Sydney, can medal again in Athens according to US sprint ace Maurice Greene.

    Campbell, along with the other top British sprinters, has failed to produce anything like his best form in the run-up to his third Olympic appearance.

    The lowest point came in last months Norwich Union London Grand Prix when himself, Jason Gardener and Mark Lewis-Francis all failed to make the 100 metres final.

    Their poor performances at Crystal Palace left fans wondering whether their lack of form would see no British sprinter in the Olympic 100m final for the first time since 1976."

    Read more at Campbell Is Medal Threat - Greene

    Posted by Darren at 12:58 AM

    Kim Severson rides into medal contention, and U.S. within reach of silver in three-day equestrian

    "American Kim Severson rode into medal contention and the U.S. team moved within reach of silver Tuesday in the three-day equestrian event, horsemanship's equivalent of the triathlon. The three-day event, which is to conclude Wednesday, is a demanding test of skill and stamina that originally was devised as the test of a cavalry horse.

    Severson was third with 36.2 penalty points after a lightening fast cross-country round. The rider from Keene, Va., on Winsome Adante, added no jumping or time penalty points to her dressage score and moved up from fourth."

    Read more at Kim Severson rides into medal contention, and U.S. within reach of silver in three-day equestrian

    Posted by Darren at 12:57 AM

    Beach vollyballers go flat, may miss medal

    "American beach volleyball pair Dain Blanton and Jeff Nygaard have until Wednesday to figure out why they've played two lethargic matches at the Olympics. It's probably too late to think about winning a medal. Flat and out of synch for the second time in pool play, Blanton and Nygaard lost to Canadians John Child and Mark Heese 21-16, 21-10 on Monday.

    The eighth-seeded Americans must upset the fifth-seeded Swiss pair of Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel on Wednesday to have any chance of reaching the single-elimination medal round of 16.

    ``We just deserve to lose,'' said the 6-foot-8 Nygaard, a two-time Olympian with the indoor team."

    Read more at Beach vollyballers go flat, may miss medal

    Posted by Darren at 12:56 AM

    Ukraine defeat China - Women's Handball

    The Ukraine have just defeated China in the Women's Handball competition in Athens. The final score was:

    Ukraine 26 vs. China 21

    Posted by Darren at 12:54 AM

    Baseball Results Day 4

    These two results are just in in preliminary matches in Baseball

    Greece 1 vs. Taiwan 7
    Canada 7 vs. Netherlands 0

    Posted by Darren at 12:53 AM

    Mardy Fish defeats Juan Carlos Ferrero

    "Mardy Fish was down and out Tuesday, three points from defeat against former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero. And then, with some help, Fish turned things around for the biggest victory of his career, a 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 comeback against the fifth-seeded Spaniard to reach the third round of the Olympics.

    Ferrero, the French Open champion and U.S. Open runner-up last year, double-faulted twice while serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set. That gave the 22nd-ranked Fish an opening, and he took control."

    Read more at Fish, Henin-Hardenne ease into third round.

    Posted by Darren at 12:47 AM

    Double blow for Irish

    "Irish race walker Jamie Costin is out of the Olympics after being injured in a car accident near Athens.

    50K walker Costin was travelling in a car that was involved in a head-on collision with a lorry at Porto Helios about an hour's drive from Athens.

    He suffered a broken bone in his back and a broken toe in the accident.

    And in a further blow for the Irish team, medal hopeful Gillian O'Sullivan has pulled out of the Games after failing to shake off a knee injury."

    Read more at Double blow for Irish

    Posted by Darren at 12:45 AM

    Aussies' hopes going under

    "Australia's baseball team came into the Olympic tournament with high hopes for a medal.

    But, as they spell in Down Under, the "offence" is going to have to get a little more offensive.

    For the second day in a row, the Aussies struggled to string together hits, this time falling to Taiwan 3-0 at the Olympic Baseball Complex on Monday.

    Australia fell to Cuba 4-1 in its opener"

    Read more at Aussies' hopes going under

    Posted by Darren at 12:36 AM

    U.S. Assured of Rare Fencing Medal

    "The United States was assured of winning its first fencing medal in 20 years Tuesday after Sada Jacobson and Mariel Zagunis advanced to the semifinals in saber competition.

    In the quarterfinals, Jacobson beat Leonore Perrus of France 15-11. Perrus knocked out Sada's sister, Emily, 15-13 in the round of 16, preventing the sisters from playing each other.

    ``I honestly, really expected Emily to make the (final) eight. I had really thought she was going to do it. I had really prepared myself to fence her,'' Sada Jacobson said. ``I'm sorry she didn't win her bout, but when it comes down to it, it was only going to be one of us, anyway.''"

    Read more at U.S. Assured of Rare Fencing Medal

    Posted by Darren at 12:35 AM

    Sam Rukundo Triumphs

    "Light weight Sam Rukundo brightened Uganda's medal hopes in the 2004 Olympics in Athens with a 30-22 win over Morocco's Tamsamani Tahar later last night.

    Uganda's medal hopes had earlier continued to slimmer after a controversial win by Jafarov Galib over Brian Mayanja. The Kazakhstan featherweight champion was surprised at the result of 37-17 points that clearly did not reflect what was going on in the squared ring. Mayanja throw jab after jab but the score against his name stayed static while the recipient's score augmented at lightening speed. He clearly should have won the first round but the judges thought otherwise.

    Tahar Tamsamani (R) of Morocco covers up against Sam Rukundo (L) of during their Olympic Games preliminary 60 kg Lightweight bout at the Peristeri Boxing Hall in Athens. (AFP Photo.)"

    Read more at Rukundo Triumphs

    Posted by Darren at 12:34 AM

    Venus Loses First Doubles Match With Rubin

    "Venus Williams slapped palms with Chanda Rubin after winning points, and wrapped a consoling arm around her shoulders after miscues.

    Just the way she does with younger sister Serena, the only doubles partner Venus had ever played with until Monday night. There was one big difference, though: Williams-Rubin wasn't nearly as effective as Williams-Williams.

    In a sudden end to Venus' bid for a second straight doubles gold medal, she and Rubin lost to eighth-seeded Li Ting and Sun Tian Tian of China 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 in the first round of the Athens Olympics."

    Read more at Venus Loses First Doubles Match With Rubin

    Posted by Darren at 12:32 AM

    "No Decision" on Iranian Hate Stance

    "Judos governing body failed to reach a decision on Monday about punishing Iran for its refusal to compete against Israel at the Athens Olympics.

    Israels top judo official had said Iran should be penalized but Tehran remained defiant in the face of accusations that its political boycott was a challenge to Olympic ideals.

    International Judo Federation spokesman Michel Brousse said an emergency IJF executive board meeting, following an inconclusive session on Sunday, had been postponed because some executive committee members were unable to attend.

    He could not say when it might now take place. "

    Read more at "No Decision" on Iranian Hate Stance

    Posted by Darren at 12:21 AM

    Olympic Babes Images Among Most Emailed from Yahoo

    6 of the 10 most emailed images from Yahoo are of Female Olympic Athlete's Butts. Seems that the Beach Volleyball is pretty popular amongst some this year!

    Posted by Darren at 12:17 AM

    Athens Games chief in hot water over fireworks

    "Olympics Games chief Gianna Angelopoulos could be sued and also faces a Greek prosecutor's investigation after her fireworks party for foreign dignitaries sparked off a fire in a nearby park.

    The mayor of the posh Filothei district has filed a suit against anyone responsible for Saturday's blaze and prosecutor Spyros Mouzakitis has launched an investigation into whether all precautions had been taken for the fireworks display, the semi-official Athens News Agency reported on Monday.

    Greek newspapers had a field day with the fire that threatened homes and razed one hectare of pine trees before it was controlled by firefighters. The fire brigade issued a statement blaming Angelopoulos's fireworks."

    Read more at Athens Games chief in hot water over fireworks

    Posted by Darren at 12:13 AM

    Thorpe, Not Phelps, Has Chance to Win Eight Olympic Gold Medals

    "Only one swimmer can leave Athens with eight Olympic gold medals, and it's not Michael Phelps.

    While much of the pre-Games publicity focused on Phelps's bid to break Mark Spitz's record of seven victories at one Olympics, Ian Thorpe is the one with a chance for eight career gold medals before the Games are over.

    The 21-year-old Australian captured his fifth Olympic title last night with a victory in the 200-meter freestyle, where he passed defending champion Pieter van den Hoogenband in the final 50 meters before a boisterous crowd of 11,000 at the Aquatic Center. Phelps finished third, ending the American's quest to match or break Spitz's mark from the 1972 Munich Games.

    `` (Thorpe) was on top of his game,'' Phelps told reporters. ``He's one of the greatest swimmers of all time. He has a perfect stroke. It's unbelievable how he moves through the water.''

    Thorpe won the most anticipated swimming matchup in Athens in an Olympic-record 1 minute, 44.71 seconds, breaking the mark of 1:45.35 that Van den Hoogenband set in Sydney four years ago. The 26-year-old Dutchman was second in 1:45.23, while Phelps swam a personal-best 1:45.32.

    ``It was a final that excited a lot of people on three continents, but I wasn't focusing too much on that,'' Thorpe said at a press conference. ``I wanted to concentrate on what I wanted to do in the race, and I did that.''"

    Read more at Thorpe, Not Phelps, Has Chance to Win Eight Olympic Gold Medals

    Posted by Darren at 12:10 AM

    August 17, 2004

    Ahmed Almaktoum wins Men's Double Trap Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Ahmed Almaktoum from United Arab Emirates

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Rajyavardhan S. Rathore from India

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Zheng Wang from China

    Posted by Darren at 10:42 PM

    Justine Henin-Hardenne advances to third round

    "Healthy at last, Justine Henin-Hardenne looks ready to challenge for an Olympic medal and put up a strong defense of her U.S. Open title.

    The top-seeded Belgian reached the third round in Athens by beating Maria Vento-Kabchi of Venezuela 6-2, 6-1 Tuesday. She's dropped just 10 games so far after being out since May because of a viral infection.

    "I'm feeling good here. My energy is good even after four months off," the three-time Grand Slam champion said. "Mentally, it's going to be tougher, because I need to be focused on every point. In the next few weeks, that's going to be hardest of all."

    She'll face Nicole Pratt of Australia next. Pratt was a 1-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 winner over Tathiana Garbin of Italy, who upset defending champion Henin-Hardenne in the second round of the French Open."

    Read more at Top-seeded Belgian advances to third round

    Posted by Darren at 10:39 PM

    Scots to get in synch with a new team after medal glory

    "SCOTLAND are set to form its first synchronised diving team in the wake of Britains silver medal glory in Athens.

    Edinburgh-born teenagers Tom Chambers and Niki Bennett are in talks with senior coaches.

    And its hoped that the pair can team up to start preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006.

    The move was revealed yesterday as the Bank of Scotland pledged to invest more than 65,000 into Scottish swimming over the next year. "

    Read more at Scots to get in synch with a new team after medal glory

    Posted by Darren at 10:37 PM

    Flyweight boxer withdraws from Games

    "Flyweight George Jouvin Rakotoarimbelo of Madagascar was forced to withdraw from the Olympics Tuesday morning because of a fractured cheekbone."

    Read more at Flyweight boxer withdraws from Games

    Posted by Darren at 10:23 PM

    Jamie Dwyer helps Aussies hold Argentina - Hockey

    "Jamie Dwyer drew level four minutes from the end as Australia forced Argentina to a 2-2 draw in the men's field hockey tournament at the Athens Olympics.

    Australia, looking for their first Olympic gold despite making the semi-finals in five consecutive Games, faced an embarrassing defeat when Mario Almada's two goals put the Argentines ahead.

    But Dwyer, the 25-year-old Queenslander, saved the Kookaburras the blushes with his second equaliser of the match."

    Read more at Dwyer helps Aussies hold Argentina

    Posted by Darren at 10:20 PM

    Organisers happy with sales

    "Olympic officials insisted today they were happy with ticket sales despite masses of empty seats at many venues.

    However, they said they could not control corporate sponsors who may have bought tickets and distributed them only for recipients not to turn up.

    Marton Simitsek, Olympic chief of operations, said: "We have reached our goal. We are going to have 3.5m tickets sold by the end of the Games.

    "We're very happy. In many sports we have sold 100% of our capacity."

    According to Simitsek, 3,285,000 tickets have been sold, eclipsing the 2.7m sold for the Games in Seoul in 1988 and the 3.21m sold for Barcelona in 1992."

    Read more at Organisers happy with sales

    Posted by Darren at 10:16 PM

    Richard Faulds - British shooting champ fails to qualify

    "Briton Richard Faulds, the Olympic double trap shooting champion, has failed to qualify for the final of the event.

    Faulds on Tuesday managed to score only the 13th equal best tally in the qualifying session at the hilltop Markopoulo shooting centre, with the top six going through for a shot at the medals on a windy afternoon."

    Read more at British shooting champ fails to qualify

    Posted by Darren at 10:12 PM

    South Africa's Lewis shoots her way into last 16

    "There are few sports in the Athens Olympic Games with more of an historic background and few venues in the world steeped in history more than the 2 300-year-old Panathinaiko Stadium, situated at the foot of the Ardittou Hill, near the National Gardens. This is the home of the archery competition.

    The ancient history and the pure white marble of the open ended stadium make it a hot, intimidating venue, possibly more so than any other venue in the Greek capital.

    And it is here that Manchester-based but Roodepoort-born and Cape Town-raised, South African archer, 53rd-ranked Kirsten Lewis caused an upset and moved into the last sixteen of the five-day long competition, with a 157 to 153 victory over 20th-ranked Sumangala Sharma from India."

    Read more at SA's Lewis shoots her way into last 16

    Posted by Darren at 10:09 PM

    Openly gay athletes remain rare at Olympics

    "U.S. equestrian Robert Dover is among the rarest of all 10,500 athletes in Athens, not only for his six Olympic appearances but because he is one of a tiny handful of competitors who publicly identifies himself as gay.

    Dover -- along with some prominent ex-Olympians who came out after retiring -- believe there are scores of other gay and lesbian athletes in an array of sports at these Summer Games, either fully in the closet or confiding only to a small circle of people.

    Gays and lesbians may be able to marry in a few European countries, and now the U.S. state of Massachusetts, but it's another era on the Olympic field of play.

    Dover, a three-time bronze medalist who is captain of the dressage team, said many gay athletes simply want to stay focused on their performance and worry that publicizing their sexual orientation could lead to distractions."

    Read more at Openly gay athletes remain rare at Olympics

    Posted by Darren at 09:32 PM

    Phelps May Get $510,000 as Olympic Payments Multiply

    "Michael Phelps, the U.S. swimmer who set five world records at last year's world championships, may still take home as much as $510,000 in bonuses after failing in his bid to win a record-tying seven Olympic gold medals.

    The 19-year-old will get $135,000 from U.S. Olympic and swimming groups for winning a gold and two bronzes in his first three events in Athens, and will receive $75,000 for each victory in his remaining five races. Swimwear maker Speedo International Ltd. had offered a $1 million bonus for matching Mark Spitz's record for gold medals in a single Olympics.

    Two decades after the International Olympic Committee allowed athletes to be paid, the number of sponsors and sporting groups offering cash incentives is growing. Olympic teams from Albania to Zimbabwe plan to reward medalists, with the Singapore National Olympic Council pledging S$1 million ($583,000) for a gold medal."

    Read more at Phelps May Get $510,000 as Olympic Payments Multiply

    Posted by Darren at 09:30 PM

    Japan lifts men's gymnastics team gold

    "World championships third-placers Japan took a sweet revenge on Monday to claim the men's gymnastics team title at the Athens Olympics with a total score of 173.821 points.

    It was Japan's first men's team gold since 1976.

    Japan, who placed first in the qualification, continued their momentum in the final.

    Hiroyuki Tomita, whose solid landing from high bar sealed Japan's victory, told a press conference that he knew they won when he nailed the landing.

    "Before that, I did not think too much about win or loss. Instead, I concentrated on my performance, so did my teammates," said Tomita, the bronze medalist of individual all-round in the 2003 Anaheim world championships.

    Starting gymnastics at eight, Tomita, now 24, often dreamed of an Olympic win."

    Read more at Japan lifts men's gymnastics team gold

    Posted by Darren at 09:28 PM

    Olympics: China Halfway to Completing Medals Plan

    "China led the Olympic medal race going into the fourth day of competition on Tuesday with 10 golds.

    The hosts of the next Olympics in Beijing in 2008, China are already halfway to their stated goal of 20 gold medals after just three of the 16 days of competition.

    Australia were lying second with six golds, ahead of Japan with five and the United States with three.

    With more than a dozen golds still up for grabs in events where they are traditionally strong, such as table tennis, badminton and weightlifting, China's athletes could match the 28-gold haul gathered in at the 2000 Sydney Olympics."

    Read more at Olympics: China Halfway to Completing Medals Plan

    Posted by Darren at 09:27 PM

    France move ahead in three-day equestrian event

    "France have moved ahead of Germany and Britain in the Olympic three-day event team competition with a powerful performance on the cross-country leg.

    France's top three riders had a combined score of 113.40 penalty points after both the opening dressage round and the tortuous 5.57-km cross-country course. The show-jumping competition is on Wednesday."

    Read more at France move ahead in three-day event

    Posted by Darren at 09:26 PM

    Swimmers Boost British Medal Hopes

    "Team GB enjoyed a successful morning in the Olympic pool to boost their chances of a first swimming medal for eight years.

    Georgina Lee, Ian Edmond and Chris Cook all qualified for the semi-finals of their respective events, while the mens 4x200m freestyle relay team advanced to tonights final in impressive fashion.

    With Stephen Parry also going for glory in the final of the 200m butterfly after setting a British record in the semi-finals, the long wait for a second Team GB medal of these Games could soon be over.

    Lee, who was unable to celebrate her 23rd birthday on Saturday by advancing to the latter stages of the 100m butterfly, fared much better over her preferred distance this morning."

    Read more at Swimmers Boost British Medal Hopes

    Posted by Darren at 09:25 PM

    Pippa Funnell's Gold Hopes Dashed

    "British three-day event golden girl Pippa Funnell saw her dreams of an Olympic gold shattered at the Markopoulo equestrian centre in Athens today.

    Funnell went into the second discipline in the silver medal position following the dressage but on a short cross-country course that clearly did not suit her hulking mount Primmores Pride, she slipped out of contention by missing the optimum cross country time by almost half a minute.

    It was a devastating, if not unexpected, blow for Funnell, who feared her horse, who has swept all before him this year would not handle the track.
    art from leaving her 13.2 points behind leader Nicolas Touzaint, her poor round also saw Britain fall from first to third position behind France in the team event with just tomorrows show-jumping section still to come."

    Read more at Funnell Gold Hopes Dashed

    Posted by Darren at 09:23 PM

    Softball: U.S. beats China 4-0

    Softball: U.S. beats China 4-0
    "The zeros are beginning to line up like Olympic rings for the U.S. softball team. Lori Harrigan allowed only a first-inning bunt single and Crystl Bustos homered Tuesday as the Americans posted their fourth straight shutout of the games, 4-0 over China.

    Harrigan, a security supervisor at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas when she's not whipping fastballs past hitters, struck out eight as the U.S. (4-0) coasted past another of the tournament's medal contenders.

    "She was awesome," said catcher Jenny Topping, who added two hits. "She had her full arsenal.""

    Posted by Darren at 09:22 PM

    U.S. Misses Cut in Olympic 100 Free

    "Top American sprinters Jason Lezak and Ian Crocker missed the cut in the Olympic 100-meter freestyle preliminaries Tuesday, a stunning blow for a country that had always done well in the event.

    Pieter van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands and Australian Ian Thorpe advanced to the evening semifinal a day after dueling teenager Michael Phelps in the 200 freestyle, won by Thorpe. The Dutchman was second and Phelps third."

    Read more at U.S. Misses Cut in Olympic 100 Free

    Posted by Darren at 09:18 PM

    Mikhail Nestruev wins Men's 50m Pistol Gold Medal

    The winner of the Gold Medal: Mikhail Nestruev from Russia

    The winner of the Silver Medal: Jong Oh Jin from Korea, South

    The winner of the Bronze Medal: Jong Su Kim from Korea, North (DPR of Korea)

    Posted by Darren at 09:17 PM

    Baseball: Taiwan can blame loss to Canada on wind

    "Swirling wind at the Helliniko Olympic Baseball Center in Athens cost Team Taiwan dearly in its 7-0 opening loss to Canada on Sunday. The unpredictable wind pattern not only led to two of Team Taiwan's four uncharacteristic errors, it also "pulled" two long balls hit by Taiwanese bat-ters that would have easily been home runs in other ball parks: One ended up being fouled and the other only good for a double.

    The stadium's close proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, which is less than a kilometer away, had been the center of attention in terms of the adjustments that Team Taiwan had to make in fielding fly balls that could be affected by the unusual wind patterns. But no one expected the widely publicized "killer wind" to have the dreadful impact that it did on the outcome of Sunday's contest."

    Read more at Baseball: Taiwan can blame loss to Canada on wind

    Posted by Darren at 09:01 PM

    Greece Table Tennis Hope Out

    Greece's dream for its first ever Olympic gold in table tennis was shattered as its top medal hopeful Kalinikos Kreanga crashed out of the men's singles last 16despite the enthusiastic support of a home crowd.

    In a third round encounter staged in the Galatsi Olympic Hall in northwest Athens Tuesday morning, Kreanga, currently ranked 9thin the world, suffered a straight-set loss to Swedish veteran JorgPersson 4-0.

    Source Chinaview Greece's table tennis gold quest ends as Kreanga crashes out

    Posted by at 08:29 PM

    Greek sprint duo to leave hospital

    "Greece's suspect sprint duo Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou will check out of hospital in Athens at midday local time (10 a.m. British time) today, their coach has told Reuters."

    Greek sprint duo to leave hospital

    Posted by Darren at 06:50 PM