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Olympics notes

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 25, 2000


Officials at fault for vault get reprimand

SYDNEY, Australia -- Gymnastics' governing body has reprimanded officials who didn't notice the vault horse was almost 2 inches shorter than it should have been during the women's all-around final.

The shortened vault could have cost favored Svetlana Khorkina the gold medal. Khorkina crashed on her first vault Thursday and then, thinking her chances at gold were gone, dropped off the uneven bars.

"It is very unfortunate that this situation occurred during the Olympic Games, and FIG regrets the duress that the situation placed on some gymnasts," the International Gymnastics Federation said in a statement Sunday.

The federation didn't release details of the officials' punishment.

The Women's Technical Committee and the Superior Jury were responsible for supervising the competition equipment and have been reprimanded for "lack ofcontrol," the federation said.

Steps also were taken to make sure it doesn't happen again.

DANTZSCHER'S FATHER: The father of the American gymnast Jamie Dantzscher remained in critical condition with head injuries in a hospital Sunday after surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.

On Friday afternoon, John Dantzscher was riding in a cab with his 21-year-old daughter, Jennifer, when the taxi collided with a bus in downtown Sydney. Jennifer, one of Jamie's seven siblings, was released from the hospital Sunday. John Dantzscher was expected to remain in the hospital one to two weeks.

AKERS ON HAND: While the U.S. women's soccer team played a brutal match against Brazil on Sunday, the toughest player in team history, Michelle Akers, sat in the stands wearing a warmup jacket, jeans and sneakers.

"I kept thinking, "Oh, I could make that play' or "I could make that tackle,' " Akers joked.

But she couldn't.

Akers, 34, also wore a sling to keep her right arm stationary so the shoulder can heal. She had surgery on it three weeks ago and had to give up her place on the team.

SIR STEVEN: Just call him Sir Steven Redgrave.

British newspapers began a campaign Sunday to win knighthood for the 38-year-old British rower who won a fifth consecutive gold medal Saturday in the coxless fours.

"Arise Sir Hero," said the Sunday People tabloid.

Of Sunday's dozen nationwide papers, every one had Redgrave on the cover.

The Independent wants Redgrave to oversee British sports.

"Put him in the House of Lords as a sports supremo with the power to propel us in the right direction," the paper said. "Now that he has stopped rowing the boat, he may relish the chance to start rocking it on behalf of sport."

LENNY'S FUTURE: Three gold medals aren't enough for Lenny Krayzelburg.

The U.S. swimming star said he has no plans to retire after winning the 100- and 200-meter backstroke, as well as taking part in the world record-setting 400 medley relay team.

Krayzelburg, 25, has his eyes on the 2004 Athens Games.

"The key is staying healthy," he said. "But I'm going to keep going."

Krayzelburg is ready to reap some of the benefits of his performance. He is waiting to hear about endorsement deals.

MC MASS CONFUSION: When Tom Dolan's cell phone rings, a classical tune plays. So what happened to "MC Mass Confusion"?

"I'm getting too old for that," said the 25-year-old, who swam to his second straight gold medal in the 400 individual medley and added silver in the 200 IM.

Dolan, a rap music fan, still does a little of his own record scratching. But his DJ name, MC Mass Confusion, seems a thing of the past.

Now, it's classical -- at least when it comes to his cell phone.

"It's big with the ladies," Dolan joked.

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