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Olympic Highlights

Basketball

  • Lithuania 78, Angola 73
  • Italy 71, New Zealand 69
  • Spain 83, China 58

    Pau Gasol and Spain won this Olympics' first matchup of NBA stars with an easy win over Yao Ming and China.

    Gasol, who plays for the Memphis Grizzlies, had 21 points and 10 rebounds despite missing 6 minutes in the first quarter after having his nose bloodied in a collision. It wasn't long after he returned that Spain went on a 9-0 run to go up 35-23 and the rout was on with the lead reaching as many as 27 points.

    Yao, the 7-foot-5 center for the Houston Rockets, had 12 points and eight rebounds. He fouled out with 4:02 to play when he was called for a blocking foul as Gasol tried to dunk over him. Earlier in the game, the 7-1 Gasol drew two charging fouls on Yao.

    Gianluca Basile scored 16 points and Italy, which led by as many as 17 points, held on despite failing to score over the final 2½ minutes. Kirk Penney, who played in college at Wisconsin, led New Zealand with 20 points.

    Lithuania beat African qualifier Angola. The Lithuanians attempted 50 free throws, making 32 of them, as Angola committed 37 fouls.



    Tennis
    David Nalbandian withdrew from the Olympics on Sunday because of a strained left thigh, the third Argentine tennis player to pull out of the tournament.

    Nalbandian's spot in the draw will be taken by Frederick Niemeyer of Canada, who faces Taylor Dent of the United States on Monday.

    Nalbandian, the 2002 Wimbledon runner-up, has played just one match since reaching the French Open semifinals in June. His skipped Wimbledon this year because of a torn abdominal muscle.



    Archery
    An American and a Ukrainian on Sunday won the first Olympic competitions in Panathinaiko Stadium since the marble facility hosted the first modern games in 1896.

    Jennifer Nichols defeated Rina Dewi Puspitasari of Indonesia and Tetyana Berezhna beat Greece's Fotini Vavatsi in the opening matches in the round of 32.

    Bhutan's Tshering Chhoden, seeded 54th, upset No. 11 seed Lin Sang of China 159-156.



    Water Polo
  • Australia 14, Egypt 3
  • Russia 5, Kazakhstan 2

    Russian captain Dmitry Gorshkov scored twice as the Sydney 2000 silver medalist opened the men's Olympic water polo tournament with a win over Kazakhstan. The 37-year-old driver scored in the second and third periods as Russia took a 3-0 lead before Kazakhstan replied via Yuriy Smolovvy.

    Revas Chomakhidze also scored twice for Russia in a surprisingly tight match against the Asian qualifiers, the lowest-ranked team in the bracket.

    Australia thrashed African qualifier Egypt the first match of the competition, with Craig Miller scoring three goals.



    Softball
  • Italy 7, China 5
  • Japan 6, Taiwan 0

    Jennifer Spediacci pitched a shutout into the fifth inning, and Italy hung on to stun one of the medal favorites.

    Staked to a 6-0 lead in the second inning, Spediacci allowed just two hits through four innings before China, silver medal winners in 1996, rallied with a five-run fifth.

    In another game, Hiroko Sakai pitched a two-hitter, Noriko Yamaji had three hits and Japan bounced back from a shaky debut by beating Taiwan. The Japanese scored four runs in the second inning - three with two outs - when Taiwan made three errors.



    Field Hockey
  • Australia 4, New Zealand 1
  • South Africa 2, Argentina 1

    Jamie Dwyer scored three goals, leading Australia's men to a win in their opening match. Darren Smith scored for New Zealand.

    Greg Nicol scored twice in the second half to help South Africa rally from an early deficit.



    Shooting
    Alexei Alipov of Russia won the gold medal in trap shooting with a perfect final round. Alipov shot all 25 targets in the final to finish with an overall score of 149, tying the Olympic record. In qualifying, Alipov also matched an Olympic record, scoring 124 out of a possible 125.

    Italy's Giovanni Pellielo won the silver and Adam Vella of Australia took the bronze.

    Olena Kostevych of Ukraine won the gold in women's 10-meter air pistol after a shoot-off. After 10 shots in the final round, and 40 shots in qualifying, Kostevych and Jasna Sekaric of Serbia-Montenegro were tied at 483.3. In the one-shot tiebreaker, Kostevych shot a 10.2 to Sekaric's 9.4 to win.

    In the bronze-medal shoot-off, Bulgaria's Maria Grozdeva shot a 10.4, while China's Ren Jie shot a 9.7. They had been tied at 482.3, one point behind Kostevych and Sekaric.



    Baseball
  • Cuba 4, Australia 1
  • Japan 12, Italy 0, 7 innings

    Cuba, one of the favorites in the Olympic baseball tournament, defeated Australia. Adiel Palma pitched eight shutout innings to pick up the win, giving up just two hits. Michael Enriquez, batting second for Cuba, hit a solo homer in his first at-bat. Australia committed three errors and two of Cuba's four runs were unearned.

    Japan's rout of Italy was halted after seven inning because of the mercy rule. Starting pitcher Koji Uehara, a star with Yomiuri Giants in Japan's Central League, threw six scoreless innings for the win, giving up four hits and one walk, while striking out four.



    Rowing
    The U.S. women's and men's eights teams both set world bests in rowing along with Australian pair Sally Newmarch and Amber Halliday.

    In the women's eights competition, the American crew set a time of 5:56.55, beating the previous best time set by Romania in 1999 by 0.47 seconds.

    The American team consisted of Kate Johnson, Samantha Magee, Megan Dirkmaat, Alison Cox, Caryn Davies, Laurel Korholz, Anna Mickelson, Lianne Nelson and coxswain Mary Whipple.

    The men's eights also set a world best time in their heat, completing the course in a time of 5:19.85.

    The U.S. men's team consisted of Jason Read, Wyatt Allen, Chris Ahrens, Joseph Hansen, Matt Deakin, Dan Beery, Beau Hoopman, Bryan Volpenhein and coxswain Pete Cipollone.

    Competing in the women's lightweight double sculls heats, the Australians completed the 2,000-meter course in 6 minutes, 49.9 seconds to break a mark that had stood for nine years.

    A 20-mph tail wind pushed the boats but also made waters choppy. Organizers ended Sunday's races before noon and said second-chance races wouldn't be held Monday because of forecasts calling for gusts to pick up to more than 30 mph.



    Badminton
    Britain's Tracey Hallam defeated former world champion and Sydney silver medalist Camilla Martin of Denmark 11-2, 5-11, 13-10, in the second round of the women's badminton tournament.

    Martin, who was No. 7, wasn't the only seed to lose. Sixth-seeded Jun Jae-youn of South Korea fell to Cheng Shao-Chieh of Taiwan 3-11, 11-6, 11-4.

    In mixed doubles, South Koreans Kim Dong-moon and Ra Kyung-min, who are the reigning world champions and haven't lost in more than a year, beat Dutch husband-and-wife team Chris and Lotte Bruil 15-4, 15-6.



    SATURDAY

    Swimming
    Michael Phelps won his first Olympic gold medal and broke his own world record in the 400-meter individual medley on Saturday, an impressive start to his quest to eclipse Mark Spitz's 1972 record of seven gold medals.

    Phelps won with a time of 4 minutes, 8.26 seconds, breaking the record of 4:08.41 that he set last month at the U.S. Olympic trials.

    Ian Thorpe of Australia won a gold medal in the 400-meter freestyle.

    Jenny Thompson lost out on a record-tying ninth Olympic gold medal, giving up the lead on the final lap as Australia won the women's 400-meter freestyle relay with a world record of 3:35.94.

    Yana Klochkova of Ukraine won her second straight women's 400-meter individual medley.



    Air Rifle
    Li Du of China won the Summer Games' first gold medal Saturday, setting an Olympic record in the women's 10-meter air rifle.

    Li scored 10.6 on her final shot, surpassing Lioubov Galkina of Russia. Galkina had led throughout the round, but got only 9.7 on her final shot - her lowest mark. Katerina Kurkova from the Czech Republic won the bronze.

    Li's overall score of 502 points set an Olympic record. Galkina, who set an Olympic record in the qualifying round, finished at 501.5 points.

    Wang Yifu got China's second gold medal, winning the men's 10-meter air pistol on the final shot. Russians Mikhail Nestruev and Vladimir Isakov took the silver and bronze.

    Wang finished with an Olympic-record 690 points. Nestruev's 689.8 was the second-highest total in the games' history.



    Saturday medal count
    China leads the medal count after day one with six, four of them gold. Australia has five with two gold, and the U.S. swim team produced five in all, one of them gold. Russians won four medals on day one.


    Greeks Suspended
    Host Greece's most celebrated athlete is suspended. Kostas Kenteris and fellow sprinter Katerina Thanou missed drug tests earlier this week. Their coach also is suspended.

    A Greek Olympic Committee board member says the decision is contingent on a final ruling by the International Olympic Committee.

    Kenteris won the 200-meter in Sydney. Thanou was the 100-meter silver medalist four years ago.



    TV RatingsNBC has bet billions of dollars that Americans will get hooked on the Athens Games. Friday's opening ceremony averaged 25.1 million viewers, down from the 27.3 million who watched opening night in Sydney four years ago, according to Nielsen Media Research. The 56 million who tuned in to at least part of the ceremony was identical to 2000's figure.


    Women's Basketball
    The U.S. women's basketball team routed New Zealand in its Olympic opener. Five Americans scored in double figures, turning it on after a slow start.

    Favored to win its third straight gold medal, the United States extended its Olympic winning streak to 18. Swin Cash, playing her first game in the Olympics, led with 19 points. Angela Marino led New Zealand with 13 points.

    The U.S. team won without starting guard Katie Smith, who was sidelined by a bruised right knee. She hasn't practiced since the WNBA season ended July 31 and it's uncertain when she'll play.

    Brazil set the women's Olympic basketball record for points and tied the mark for margin of victory with its 128-62 win over Japan.



    Women's Baseball
    Jennie Finch didn't allow a hit in three innings, and the Americans began their run toward a third straight gold medal with a shortened victory over Italy.

    Natasha Watley went 4-for-4, hitting a two-run triple in the fifth inning to put the United States up by seven runs, invoking the mercy rule that ended the game. Three-time Olympian Lisa Fernandez had an RBI single as the U.S. team extended its winning streak to 71 straight games since July 2003.



    Women's Soccer
    Abby Wambach scored her 16th goal in 17 games to help the United States beat Brazil in women's soccer. Wambach made a brilliant run in the 77th minute after Mia Hamm opened the scoring in the 58th minute on a penalty kick.

    The U.S. team became the first side to earn a berth in the quarterfinals. The Americans can clinch their group with a win or a tie against Australia in their final first-round match Tuesday.



    BoxingMiddleweight Andre Dirrell started the American boxing schedule by beating China's Ha Dabateer on points, 25-to-18. Two-time U-S champion Andre Ward, who hasn't lost since 1998, drew a first-round bye through today's opening round in the light-heavyweight class.


    Women's Volleyball
    Two of the best teams in the world met on the opening day of women's volleyball, and the third-ranked squad beat the top-ranked unit. China beat the U-S 3-to-1, winning 25-21, 23-25, 25-22, 25-18. That was the first of five opening-round matches for the two teams.


    Gymnastics
    In gymnastics, eight teams advanced to the finals after men's preliminaries, including the United States, Japan and reigning world and Olympic champion China.
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