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Olympics roundup

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 25, 2000


Abernathy spurs baseball team

SYDNEY, Australia -- The United States found a perfect way to finish a nearly perfect tournament.

Recharged by a bitter loss to Cuba -- their only one of the round-robin portion -- the Americans headed into medal play Sunday with their offense retooled and their confidence restored.

A 12-1 win over Australia left the Americans, fueled by four hits by Devil Rays prospect Brent Abernathy, feeling good about themselves heading into their semifinal game Tuesday against South Korea (4-3).

Cuba, which finished 6-1 with the United States, plays Japan (4-3) in the other semifinal. The winners play for the gold medal Wednesday.

"I'm happy about the way we came out and functioned as we should," manager Tom Lasorda said. "We scored runs. That's something we needed desperately."

BOXING: With his father and older brother cheering him on, American Jose Navarro scored half of his 12 points in the fourth round for a 12-9 decision over Hicham Mesbahi of Morocco at 112 pounds.

Ricardo Williams also won, stopping Olusegon Ajose of Nigeria on the 15-point rule (21-6) in the fourth round at 139 pounds to give the United States seven boxers in the quarterfinals. Eight Cubans have reached the quarters.

Another American was eliminated. Army Sgt. Olanda Anderson, who drew a first-round bye, was beaten 13-12 at 178 pounds when Rudolf Kraj of the Czech Republic landed a scoring blow with three seconds left.

FENCING: Russia ended the competition by beating France in the men's team sabre 45-32. FIELD HOCKEY: Argentina upset the Netherlands -- the 2000 women's Championship Trophy winner -- 3-1, forging a three-way tie for fourth place.

MOUNTAIN BIKING: Miguel Martinez of France added an Olympic gold medal to the gold he claimed three months ago at the world championships.

ROWING: The U.S. men's eight crew finished eighth. It was a huge failure for a boat that won the past three world championships, one that was supposed to revive a U.S. tradition in racing's most glamorous event. The women's eight was almost as big of a flop, finishing last by more than 10 seconds. The lone saving grace was a bronze medal in the lightweight women's double sculls. SAILING: The strongest winds yet blew U.S. Soling skipper Jeff Madrigali right out of the regatta. Madrigali, the 1996 bronze medalist and reigning world champion, won one of five match races and was eliminated. Christoph Sieber of Austria won the gold medal in men's windsurfing.

SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING: Anna Kozlova, in her first major international competition since becoming an American citizen, was fourth with Tuesday Middaugh after the technical routine in duet.

TEAM HANDBALL: Sweden waited until the very end to keep its perfect record intact. Andreas Larsson snapped a 27-all tie with 23 seconds left to give Sweden a victory over Spain (3-2). The Swedes, the world's top-ranked men's team, improved to 5-0.

VOLLEYBALL: The U.S. women's team stole one game from Brazil, and that was enough -- even in the Americans' first loss. The United States gained valuable confidence in a 25-17, 20-25, 25-15, 25-15 defeat and still exceeded expectations by finishing second in Group A. The U.S. team enters the quarterfinals with a 4-1 record.

WATER POLO: Yugoslavia, the team that made the United States men settle for silver medals in the 1984 and '88 Olympics, has again left the Americans in hot water after an 8-5 loss, the United States' second straight defeat.

The Americans must deal with gold-medal favorite Hungary and improved Greece to advance out of its six-team pool. The top four teams move on.

WEIGHTLIFTING: Kakhi Kakiasvilis of Greece, forced to set world records on his final lift to win in the past two Olympics, needed only one attempt in the clean and jerk to win the 207-pound class.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Booed and jeered throughout the second half, the U.S. team rolled past Poland 76-57 to remain unbeaten and claim first place in its preliminary group.

WRESTLING: Greco-Roman wrestler Matt Lindland, who spent two months fighting in the legal system for the right to wrestle, won his first match.

Three of the four U.S. wrestlers competing Sunday won their opening matches. Kevin Bracken and Garrett Lowney also were victorious. Steven Mays of Pensacola lost at 119 pounds.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Australians Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst defeated Brazil's Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede 12-11, 12-10 to win the gold medal. Sandra Pires and Adriana Samuel of Brazil won the bronze.

TENNIS: Venus Williams clinched at least a silver medal and extended her winning streak to 31 matches by beating Monica Seles 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 in an all-American semifinal. The second-seeded Williams will meet No. 10 Elena Dementieva of Russia, who beat unseeded Australian Jelena Dokic 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. The third-seeded Seles will play Dokic for the bronze.

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