Dutch swimmer Inge de Bruijn, just starting to collect Olympic gold, was feeling no weight at all.
"I feel like a gold butterfly," she said after breaking her own world record Sunday in the 100-meter butterfly. "I was flying through the water."
The weight of doping problems continued to hang over the games, meanwhile. The entire Romanian weightlifting team and an Iranian boxer were kicked out of the Sydney Olympics for doping violations.
On the bright side, three more world records fell in swimming, bringing the total to eight in two days. The Dutch accounted for two in races by de Bruijn and Pieter van den Hoogenband.
American Tom Dolan broke the other and helped his nation gain a slight edge in the medals race after two days of competition.
The United States had four golds and 11 medals in all. Australia and France each had three golds, and Japan and Turkey two each - despite the failure of weightlifter Naim Suleymanoglu.
Since 1983, Suleymanoglu had been a loser only once before. But he failed this time in all three attempts to lift 145 kilograms (319 1-2 pounds) in the snatch, and thus did not move on to the clean and jerk.
He had promised gold to the Turkish people, and Senan Erdam, president of the Turkish Olympic Committee, said there had been pressure on him to compete from leaders including IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch.
"It is wonderful that he competed. It's not a disappointment. He had the courage to compete, to face the pressure from the world to return," Erdam said.
Nikolai Peshalov, like Suleymanoglu a former Bulgarian weightlifter who emigrated to another country, won the gold for Croatia with a total lift of 325 kilograms (716 1-4 pounds).
De Bruijn's victory came against a talent-laden field. Jenny Thompson, who has six Olympic gold medals from relays, managed only fifth.
Van den Hoogenband's came in the 200-meter freestyle semifinals, but it was an impressive world mark he beat one set by Australia's Ian Thorpe, who won two gold medals on Saturday.
Thorpe has a chance to regain the upper hand in Monday night's final.
In the 400-meter individual medley, American Tom Dolan broke his own 6-year-old world record and won his second consecutive Olympic gold in the event. Teammate Erik Vendt won silver.
In another American 1-2 finish, Brooke Bennett and Diana Munz won gold and silver in the 400-meter freestyle.
Domenico Fioravanti won Italy's first-ever Olympic gold in swimming in the 100 breaststroke.
De Bruijn's meteoric rise at age 26 has sparked the familiar suspicions about performance-enhancing drugs. She has rejected them.
But the Sydney Games have had their share of expulsions for doping, including our lifters kicked out before the Romanians.
Testing before the games caught two Romanian weightlifters. The entire six-member Romanian team was kicked out under an International Weightlifting Federation rule banning a country from international competition for 12 months if it has three positive cases within a year. A third Romanian lifter tested positive earlier this year.
Iranian boxer Anoushirvan Nourian was expelled after an out-of-competition test, the International Amateur Boxing Federation said.
The World Anti-Doping Agency said another unidentified athlete faced possible expulsion from the Olympic Village for a positive test.
In the men's triathlon, a 15-rider crash on the final lap of the bicycle portion didn't stop Canadian Simon Whitfield from going on to victory. He sprinted past Germany's Stephan Vuckovic in the final 200 meters of the running portion.
Making up for its weightlifting loss, Turkey gained a gold when Huseyin Ozkan of Turkey avenged his world championships defeat by beating France's Larbi Benboudaoud in the 66-kilogram division of men's judo.
Cuba's Legna Verdecia won in the women's 52-kilogram class, defeating Noriko Narazaki of Japan in the championship match.
As women's weightlifting joined the Olympics, Bulgaria's Izabela Dragneva won the first gold with a total of 190 kilograms (418 3-4 pounds).
Germany and France won cycling golds.
Germany's Robert Bartko broke his own Olympic record, set a day earlier, in winning the 4,000-meter individual pursuit final, five seconds ahead of countryman Jens Lehmann.
France's Laurent Gane, Florian Rousseau and Arnaud Tournant won the Olympic sprint.
Dutch rider Leontien Zijlaard of the Netherlands broke the world mark in the semifinals of the women's 3,000-meter individual pursuit.
Australia's Michael Diamond won his second consecutive Olympic trap shooting gold medal and broke down in tears, saying, "This was for dad."
His father, Con, also a shooter, died earlier in the year while Michael was coming back from a World Cup event in Europe. His father financed his career and was an inspiration to his son.
China's Tao Luna won gold in the women's 10-meter air pistol.
Adding to her five team world championships, Hungary's Timea Nagy won gold in women's epee fencing, beating Switzerland's Gianna Hadluetzel-Buerki in the final.
On the Olympic ball diamonds, there were two no-hitters.
As the U.S. team started defense of its softball gold medal, Lori Harrigan pitched the first solo no-hitter in Olympic softball history in a 6-0 victory over Canada.
Three Cuban pitchers combined for a no-hitter as the two-time defending baseball gold medalist started out with a 16-0 rout of South Africa.
© 2000 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed