Ah, to be working poolside at the Sydney Aquatic Center for the swimming competition at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games What a sweet gig, right?
Not if youre in charge of updating the record books.
Tom Malchow squeezed .01 second off the Olympic record in the 200-meter butterfly Monday and kept the U.S. team rolling at a swim meet where eight world records fell on the first two days of competition.
With his own cheering section holding signs and wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the words "Fly, Malchow, Fly," the American swam 1 minute, 56.25 seconds in the prelims of the 200 fly.
Going into Day 3 at the aquatic center, the United States had won nine swimming medals - more than any other country.
"Whatever we can do to keep the momentum going," Malchow said.
He and 15-year-old Michael Phelps, the youngest U.S. Olympic swimmer since 1932, advanced to Monday's semifinals of the 200 fly.
In the ring, while they arent handing out any medals just yet, U.S. boxers continued to enjoy comparable success Monday.
Ricardo Rocky Juarez, a 125-pounder, won his first bout Monday and so did 165-pound boxer Jeff Lacy to keep the American unbeaten streak alive at the Sydney Games. Both fights were stopped in the third round under the mercy rule because the Americans were up 15 points.
Six fights, six wins for the United States.
On the softball diamond, there was no no-hitter for the U.S. women in their second game of the Olympic tournament, but they did record another shutout, topping Cuba 3-0. Crystl Bustos homered twice.
"Crystl Bustos is a hitting machine," U.S. pitcher and third baseman Lisa Fernandez said. "The gifts that she has, I've never seen someone like that before."
Lori Harrigan pitched a solo no-hitter in the Americans' first game, a 6-0 win over Canada.
The U.S. womens basketball team also improved to 2-0 in their tournament as Katie Smith sank three 3-pointers on the way to scoring 15 points as the U.S. posted a 90-61 win over Cuba.
The U.S. team was sluggish to start, as it had been in its opening win over South Korea, but took the lead midway through the first half and never trailed after that.
After upsetting China in the opening match of the Olympic tournament, the U.S. women's volleyball team beat overmatched Kenya 25-16, 25-6, 25-16 on Monday. Next up for the United States is Croatia, which also is unbeaten.
"The game with Croatia is going to be a donnybrook," U.S. coach Mick Haley said. "No way we beat those girls easy. They're very good. But so are we."
Veteran Olympic cyclist Erin Hartwell won't be making a trip to the medal podium this time around.
Hartwell was part of a U.S. squad that finished 10th out of 12 in the prelims of the men's 4,000-meter team pursuit. That wasnt good enough to advance. Derek Bouchard-Hall, Mariano Friedick and Tommy Mulkey were the other riders. A team from Bitain had the fastest qualifying time, an Olympic record of 4 minutes, 4.030 seconds.
Hartwell won a cycling bronze in Barcelona and a silver medal in Atlanta.
The specter of performance-enhancing drug use continues to be prevalent at the Games.
A weightlifter from the drug-tainted Romanian team competed Monday over the objections of the IOC.
Olympic officials threw the Romanian team out of the Sydney Games on Sunday because two male lifters tested positive for drugs.
But the squad got a reprieve. The International Weightlifting Federation decided to fine the Romanian Olympic Committee and let four "clean" lifters compete.
That gave Marioara Munteanu a chance to lift. She finished seventh in the women's 116 1/2-pound class.
Away from the competition, about 350 mourners turned out for a Mass to honor Maria Teresa Samaranch, wife of IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch.
Mrs. Samaranch, 67, died shortly after the Sydney Games opened, while her husband was flying home to Spain to be at her side. She had reportedly been ill with cancer for several months.
Australian swimming icon Dawn Fraser, who sat with Samaranch at the opening ceremonies, was among those who attended the Mass at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in downtown Sydney.
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