U.S. women's soccer seeks gold

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

ATHENS, Greece -- Minutes after missing a wide open net, Heather O'Reilly scored in the ninth minute of overtime to give the United States' women's soccer team a 2-1 victory over World Cup champion Germany and a place in Thursday's gold-medal game.

The Americans will face Brazil for the gold. Brazil defeated Sweden 1-0 in Patras in the other semifinal on a goal from Pretinha in the 64th minute. Germany will play Sweden for the bronze.

Mia Hamm set up the goal with a short cross from the right, pushing back the pass toward a cluster of three players about 6 yards from the net. O'Reilly, the only teenager on the team of U.S. veterans, got her foot on the ball, pushing a shot to the left of goalkeeper Silke Rottenberg.

The win gives the Fab Five -- long-standing U.S. stars Hamm, Julie Foudy, Joy Fawcett, Brandi Chastain and Kristine Lilly -- a chance to go out as champions in their final tournament together.

Men's Basketball

The United States routed overmatched Angola 89-53 in its final game of the preliminary round.

Tim Duncan finished with a team-high 15 points in limited minutes, and the Americans dominated with a 52-17 edge in rebounding. The Americans had to wait until Greece defeated Puerto Rico 78-58 in Monday's final game to find out their next opponent, Spain (5-0). China earned the final medal-round spot from Group A by upsetting Serbia-Montenegro 67-66 behind 29 points from Yao Ming.

The other quarterfinal matchups will be Greece-Argentina, Puerto Rico-Italy and China-Lithuania.

The United States finished the opening round 3-2, losing to Puerto Rico and Lithuania, and defeating Greece, Australia and Angola. Under point differential tiebreakers, the Americans finished fourth in their group behind Greece (3-2) and Puerto Rico (3-2).

Track and Field

The United States swept the medals in the men's 400 meters with Jeremy Wariner of Grand Prairie, Texas, leading the way in 44.00 seconds. Otis Harris of Columbia, S.C., was second in 44.16 while Derrick Brew, of Raleigh, N.C., took the bronze in 44.42.

After the first day in the decathlon, Dmitriy Karpov of Kazakhstan leads with 4,689 points, while Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic is second with 4,594. Bryan Clay of Azusa, Calif., is third, followed by Britain's Dean Macey and Tom Pappas of Knoxville, Tenn., the reigning world champion.

Gymnastics

Italy's Igor Cassina edged out American Paul Hamm in a tiebreaker to win the gold medal in the high bar finals, an event marred by a 10-minute delay while fans booed the score of Russian star Alexei Nemov. Cassina and Hamm, the all-around champion, each scored 9.812. Isao Yoneda of Japan won the bronze and Nemov finished fifth.

Hamm's routine was delayed by nonstop booing after Nemov's score of 9.762 was posted. Hamm and his coach, Miles Avery, finally had to motion Nemov, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, to the podium to ask the crowd for quiet.

All-around champion Carly Patterson won her third medal of these Olympics and the sixth for the U.S. women's team, taking silver behind

Ponor on the beam. Alexandra Eremia of Romania took bronze.

Doping

Russia's Irina Korzhanenko was stripped of her shot put gold medal, the first athlete of the Athens Games to lose an Olympic title because of doping. The 30-year-old Korzhanenko was the first woman to win a gold medal at the sacred site of Ancient Olympia but tested positive for the steroid stanozolol after Wednesday's competition. The backup B sample confirmed the initial finding.

Cycling

Three quick races, about 40 seconds of hard pedaling time, and it was all over for U.S track cyclist Jennie Reed, who was eliminated from the opening rounds of the sprint competition. She finished second in the consolation race, placing her 10th in a 12-woman field.

Equestrian

Debbie McDonald of Hailey, Idaho, moved into contention for an individual dressage medal with an energetic, fault-free round on Brentina that scored 74.840 percent. She moved to fourth overall, with a two-day average of 74.067 percent. The United States hasn't won a medal in individual dressage since 1932.

Sailing

American sailors John Lovell and Charlie Ogletree held onto their lead in the Tornado catamaran class and Paul Cayard jumped up three spots in the Star class.

Wrestling

Sara McMann couldn't hold an early lead in her 138 1/2 pounds (63kg) gold medal match with world champion Kaori Icho of Japan and lost 3-2, meaning the United States exited the debut of Olympic women's wrestling without any golds.

The Americans, who had four world silver medalists last year, came away with only two medals: McMann's silver and Patricia Miranda's bronze at 105 1/2 pounds (48kg).

orld champion Khadjimourad Akkaev, a 19-year-old from Russia, took silver with a total of 893 pounds (405 kg). Fellow Russian Eduard Tjukin got the bronze.

Boxing

American super heavyweight Jason Estrada gave perhaps the most lackluster performance yet by a U.S. boxer Monday night, losing a chance for an Olympic medal by dropping a 21-7 decision to Cuba's Michel Lopez Nunez.

Meanwhile, Russian featherweight Alexei Tichtchenko ousted world champion Galib Jafarov of Kazakhstan, winning 36-26 to advance to the semifinals.

Two world champions advanced with easy wins on the second day of quarterfinals at Peristeri Olympic Boxing Hall. Russian super heavyweight Alexander Povetkin and bantamweight Aghasi Mammadov both clinched a medal -- since bronzes are awarded to both semifinal losers.

Two more fighters from the powerful Cuban team advanced to the semis. Bantamweight Guillermo Rigondeaux and super heavyweight Michel Lopez Nunez encountered no problems, but featherweight Luis Franco was beaten by Germany's Vitali Tajbert.

-- From wire reports

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