Greek sprinters injured in accident

Friday, August 13, 2004

ATHENS, Greece -- Greek sprinters Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou were taken to a hospital early Friday after being involved in a traffic accident a few hours before they were to face an International Olympic Committee disciplinary board for failing to attend a doping test.

Police said the pair were on a motorcycle when the accident occurred -- on the day of the Olympics opening ceremony -- and that they had not been seriously hurt.

"Fortunately their condition is not a cause for concern," said Vassilis Sevastis, head of the Greek Amateur Athletics Association, who visited the sprinters in the hospital. "Costas was driving and the bike slipped ... This accident occurred because they were in a bad psychological state."

Hospital officials could not immediately reached for comment.

Kenteris, who could not be located for a doping test in the athletes' village on Thursday, is Greece's best hope for a gold medal on the track at the Athens Games. He's considered a favorite to light the cauldron at Friday's opening ceremony.

Kenteris was one of the biggest surprises of the 2000 Sydney Games, winning the 200 to become the first Greek man to win an Olympic medal in a running event since 1896. Thanou was the 100 silver medalist in Sydney.

Kenteris, who also won the world title in 2001, has competed in few international events since his Olympic victory. He dropped out of the 2003 world championships, citing a lingering thigh injury.

His rare appearances have frustrated fans and the Greek track federation, and led to rumors that he's trying to avoid drug tests.

Korean archers set records

South Korean archers broke three world records Thursday in men's and women's events in the ranking rounds of the Olympic competition.

Park Sung-hyun set a record of 682 points in the 72-arrow women's competition, breaking the mark of 679 set in May by Italian Natalia Valeeva.

The team of Park, Lee Sung-jin and Yun Mi-jin also set a record of 2,030 for the 216-arrow event. Yun also was a member of the team that set the previous mark of 1,994 at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Lee was second in the 72-arrow competition with 675, and Yun was third with 673.

In the men's competition, Im Dong-hyun set a 72-arrow record with a score of 687, breaking the mark of 685 set by countryman Shim Young-sung in 1995.

Jennifer Nichols of Cheyenne, Wyo., was the top American woman, finishing 19th with 638.

Iraq wins soccer game

In its first Olympic competition since its country was shattered by war, Iraq upset Portugal in a gritty, come-from-behind victory as about 200 chanting fans cheered and jumped wildly. In other men's soccer games, Ghana and Italy tied 2-2, Paraguay defeated Japan 4-3, and Costa Rica and Morocco battled to a 0-0 draw.

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