U.S. swims to relay win; Phelps ties record

Sunday, August 22, 2004

The United States won the men's 400-meter medley relay in world-record time on the final day of swimming competition at the Athens Olympics.

The victory gave Michael Phelps his record-tying eighth medal of the Games without him getting into the pool.

Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen, Ian Crocker and Jason Lezak won in 3 minutes, 30.68 seconds, lowering the mark of 3:31.54 set by the Americans at last year's world championships in Barcelona, Spain.

He earned a gold for swimming in the preliminaries, giving him six golds and two bronzes in the eight-day swimming competition. That ties Soviet gymnast Aleksandr Dityatin's record of eight medals in one Olympics, set at the boycotted 1980 Moscow Games.

Petria Thomas overtook Jenny Thompson on the third leg of the Olympic women's 400-meter medley relay, helping Australia upset the United States in a world-record time of 3:57.32.

Americans Natalie Coughlin, Amanda Beard, Thompson and Kara Lynn Joyce got silver in 3:59.12.

Thompson became the most decorated American athlete in the Olympics with her record 12th career medal, including 10 from relays. She broke a tie with swimmers Mark Spitz and Matt Biondi and shooter Carl Osburn.

Men's basketballA late three-point play by Carlos Arroyo gave Puerto Rico a lead over Australia, and the Puerto Ricans qualified for the quarterfinals with an 87-82 win.

Spain clinched first place in its group with a 76-68 victory against Serbia-Montenegro.

Track and fieldYuliya Nesterenko broke a 20-year American lock on the Olympic 100 meters, edging a 20-year-old who may be the next great U.S. sprinter.

Nesterenko, a Belarusian who had never broken 11 seconds before the Olympics but did it in all four rounds here, won gold in 10.93 seconds.

Lauryn Williams, the NCAA champion from the University of Miami, was second in a personal-best 10.96.

In the pole vault, defending Olympic champion Stacy Dragila of the United States failed to make it out of qualifying.

Men's soccerEmad Mohammed's 12-yard bicycle kick in the 64th minute gave Iraq a 1-0 victory over Australia in the quarterfinals, putting the war-torn country in position to compete for only the second Olympic medal in the nation's history.

Iraq will play either Paraguay or South Korea in the semifinals Tuesday.

Beach volleyballThe two American women's pairs --fourth-ranked Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs and top-seeded Misty May and Kerri Walsh --advanced to the quarterfinals with victories in their medal-round openers.

BoxingAndre Dirrell advanced into the boxing quarterfinals, needing just two rounds to beat Algeria's Nabil Kassel 27-7 in a middleweight bout.

Earlier, flyweight Ron Siler was the fifth American to be eliminated.

Three other U.S. fighters also reached the quarterfinals: light heavyweight Andre Ward, heavyweight Devin Vargas and super heavyweight Jason Estrada.

EquestrianFrance was awarded the gold medal in the three-day equestrian team event and Britain's Leslie Law got the individual gold after three countries won a joint appeal against an earlier decision that gave both victories to Germany.

The ruling Saturday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport means Germany drops to fourth in the team event while Britain gets silver and the United States takes the bronze.

Since the team event was also a qualifier for the individual medals, the decision stripped Bettina Hoy of her gold medal, giving it to Law. American Kim Severson moved up to silver from bronze.

FencingAfter 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.

Men's volleyballRyan Millar scored 17 points for the United States, which grabbed the fourth and final spot in the quarterfinals from Pool B by beating Australia 25-19, 23-25, 25-13, 25-19.

SailingAmericans Paul Foerster and Kevin Burnham won the first Olympic titles of their long careers, dominating their British rivals in the 470 class.

TennisJustine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium won the singles gold medal, beating Amelie Mauresmo of France 6-3, 6-3 in the final.

Men's water poloAlexander Eryshov and Revaz Chomakhidze each scored three goals for Russia in a 9-7 victory against the United States, forcing the Americans into a make-or-break match Monday against Serbia-Montenegro.

-- From wire reports

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