As a result, Marion Jones and Michael Johnson will have a little more hardware to pack as they prepare to depart the Sydney Games.
Both Jones and Johnson, joined by their teammates, won gold in the 1,600-meter relays. And there was more gold for the United States: The U.S. women's basketball team successfully defended its Olympic gold, and the men's 400-meter relay team finished first.
For the U.S. track team, it started and finished with Jones, who thrived in the Sydney spotlight. She leaves Australia with three golds and two bronzes falling short of her goal of five golds but still becoming the first woman to capture five medals in a single Olympics.
She also became the first woman since Florence Griffith Joyner in 1988 to win three track golds in one games. And she did most of it while shrugging off allegations that her husband, shot putter C.J. Hunter, had used steroids.
Jones won the 100- and 200-meter sprints, took a bronze in the long jump and a bronze in the 400-meter relay, then closed out Saturday with a gold in the 1,600 relay.
Jones ran a spectacular third leg, moving from second place into a comfortable 15-meter lead before handing off to anchor Latasha Colander-Richardson. Though not usually a 400-meter runner- and with no desire to be one - Jones shared with individual 400 champion Cathy Freeman the distinction of having the fastest leg of any runner in the relay final.
"In a couple of days, when I look back, I'll probably feel these were successful games," Jones said. "I wanted to win them all, without a doubt, and I still think it's possible. But I didn't, so I'm not going to dwell on that."
Johnson, in his farewell Olympic appearance, anchored the men's 1,600 relay team to capture his fifth gold medal over three Summer Games. Across an amazing career, Johnson has won nothing but gold - five Olympic and nine world championship medals.
He earlier won the 400 in Sydney.
Led by 100-meter champion Maurice Greene on the anchor leg, the Americans won the men's 400-meter relay - but the four-man team drew more attention with their-post race antics, an assortment of poses and muscle-flexing.
In the 1,500 meters, Suzy Favor Hamilton's bid to become the first American medalist in the event ended when she collapsed about 75 meters from the finish line and finished last. Suffering from dehydration, she was taken off the track in a wheelchair.
Marla Runyan, the first legally blind athlete to compete in the Olympics, took the lead early in the race because she was frustrated with the pace but wound up eighth "which the first time around is not bad," she said.
"And, I'm going to be back."
- WOMENS BASKETBALL: Talk about winning on the road.
The U.S. hoopsters faced host Australia befora rabid crowd eager to see the gold medal come home and sent the locals home disappointed. The Americans, winners of the Atlanta Games, took their second straight gold with a 76-54 thrashing of Australia.
"We played hard, we played great," U.S. center Lisa Leslie said. "We knew we could do it, but it's still an amazing feeling to do it on someone else's homecourt."
The Americans won with rebounding and defense, holding Australia to 31 percent shooting while winning the battle of the boards 48-27. Leslie and Natalie Williams led the Americans with 15 points each, while Yolanda Griffith added 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The U.S. women led by 13 at halftime, and quickly answered Australia's one second-half run to put the game away. The U.S. team has now won the last two Olympics and the 1998 world championships.
Australia's silver medal marked the nation's highest finish ever in women's basketball.
- WRESTLING: The Americans took a pair of silver medals as two wrestlers were defeated in their gold medal matches. Brandon Slay, in his first major international meet, lost 4-0 to Alexander Leipold of Germany at 167 1/2 pounds.
U.S. veteran Sammie Henson lost 4-3 to Namig Abdullayev of Azerbaijan at 119 pounds.
Gold medalist Rulon Gardner, who ended the 13-year undefeated streak of Russian super heavyweight Alexander Karelin, will carry the U.S. flag during the Olympic closing ceremony Sunday.
- SAILING: Skipper Mark Reynolds and crewman Magnus Liljedahl of the U.S. were assured of at least a bronze medal in the Star class at the start Saturday (Friday night EDT), but they refused to settle for that. Reynolds, a four-time Olympian, emerged from the 16-boat fleet and took advantage of a wind shift on the course - one that his competitors had not anticipated.
"We got a little bit of a shift, and as soon as we got that, bang, we tacked back and we knew we were in the pack, we knew we had a chance," Reynolds said.
He then held off British skipper Ian Walker, who wound up with silver.
- SOCCER: Cameroon's Indomitable Lions lived up to the name, taking the Olympic gold with a shootout victory over Spain. After tying 2-2 through regulation and overtime, Cameroon's 5-3 edge in penalty shots gave them the Sydney title.
Spain's Ivan Amaya, who scored an own goal, was also the only player to miss in the shootout. As a result, Africa keeps the Olympic title after Nigeria's historic victory at Atlanta '96.
- CANOE-KAYAK: After reaching the finals for the first time, the United States team finished sixth in the 1,000-meter four-man kayak Saturday (Friday night EDT). With one race to go for the Americans, they finished out of the medals in each attempt Down Under - the second straight Olympics where they have failed to win anything.
- WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL: Playing for the bronze medal, the Americans were ovematched against Brazil in a straight-set loss, 25-18, 25-22, 25-21 on Saturday. The U.S. fourth-place finish was still cause for some celebration, since the team which had only two players with Olympic experience was ranked 10th in the world and not expected to challenge for a medal until Athens in 2004.
- MEN'S BASKETBALL: The shot by Sarunas Jasikevicius hung up in the air, headed toward the Lithuania hoop. If it fell, so would the gold-medal hopes of the 12 NBA stars playing for the United States.
It didn't. And the U.S. "Dream Team," headed into the gold-medal game for the third straight Olympics, narrowly avoided a defeat that would have made "Hoosiers" look hokey.
The final was the United States 85, Lithuania 83 and it was closer than that. It was the closest Olympic game ever involving the U.S. professionals, and would have been the first U.S. Olympic basketball loss since 1988.
Instead the Americans - led by Vince Carter with 18 points and Alonzo Mourning with 16 advance to the championship game Sunday (Saturday night EDT) against France.
Before missing the last shot, Jasikevicius had drilled 5-of-10 3-pointers on his way to a team-high 27 points.
- BOXING: Cuban heavyweight Felix Savon now stands alongside famed countryman Teofilo Stevenson as a winner of three Olympic boxing gold medals.
The 6-foot-6 Savon, blood streaming down his face from a cut suffered in a semifinal bout, outpointed Sultanahmed Ibzagimov of Russia 21-13 at 201 pounds Saturday. Savon, 33, became only the third boxer to win three Olympic golds.
The Americans will wind up their Sydney stay with four medals.
U.S. 139-pounder Ricardo Williams and 125-pounder Rocky Juarez will fight Sunday (Saturday night EDT) for gold medals. Teammates Jermain Taylor at 156 pounds and Clarence Vinson at 119 pounds captured bronze medals.
In the past two Olympics, the Americans have won just a single gold medal each time. The four medals are two fewer than American boxers got in 1996, but one more than they earned in 1992.