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U.S. Golden On Track, In Pool

Maurice Greene won the men's 100-meter dash and finally achieved his Olympic goal. Marion Jones won the women's 100, but took just the first step toward fulfilling hers.

In the time it takes to say "sprinting to glory," Jones and Greene roared down the Olympic Stadium track in back-to-back finals Saturday and captured their first gold medals.

Their victories came hours after the U.S. swim team wrapped up a dominating performance in its eight-day meet with golds in the men's and women's 400-meter medley relays.

For other U.S. teams, Saturday held one big win—the men's soccer team beat Japan on penalty kicks in a quarterfinal match—and a couple of emotional losses: Australia beat the women's water polo squad in the gold medal game and Cuba knocked off the U.S. baseball team.

Trying for an unprecedented five track and field golds by a woman in one Games, Jones made the rest of the field look like joggers in her strongest event.

"It's nice to have the first one done. I don't know if it's going to be harder or easier (from now on)," she said.

Jones unleashed a burst of speed about halfway down the track, leaving everyone else behind and finishing in 10.75 seconds. She extended her arms at the finish as a giant smile swept across her face, then played with the crowd afterward.

Greene's sprint ended four long years of waiting since he watched the 100 final in Atlanta and wept inconsolably because he'd failed to make the U.S. team.

Greene had a tougher race, but outlegged his training partner, Ato Boldon of Trinidad and Tobago, with whom he has been sharing a house in Sydney. Greene ran 9.87 seconds, .08 second over his 100 world record.

"I remember crying in Atlanta," Greene said. "I'm glad it's all over."

The United States hit the 50-medal mark (20 gold, 12 silver, 18 bronze) on Saturday. China finished the day with 39 (17-11-11) and Australia had 37 (10-16-11).

  • SWIMMING: The U.S. swimmers worried they wouldn't catch much when they went fishing for gold in Sydney. But they emerged from the water Down Under with their biggest medal haul since 1984.

    The United States finished a stellar Olympic swim meet by setting world records in the men's and women's 400 medleys, earning more gold for Lenny Krayzelburg, Gary Hall Jr. and Jenny Thompson.

    The races at the Olympic aquatic center were billed as a chance for Australia to challenge American supremacy in the pool.

    In the end, however, the United States won 33 medals, tying its highest total since countries were limited to two entrants per event in 1984. The Aussies wound up with 18.

    "I'm really sad it's over," said American Dara Torres, who won a bronze Saturday in the 50 freestyle and then swam on the women's medley squad.

    Krayzelburg, who won the 100 and 200 backstroke, led off the men's medley team in style, and the Yanks were well ahead by the time 50-freestyle gold medalist Hall finished the relay The foursome set a new 400 medley mark of 3 minutes, 33.73 seconds, breaking the old world record by more than a second.

    Thompson was part of a team that swam 3:58.30, cutting an amazing three seconds from the previous world mark and gave her an eighth relay gold, her 10th medal overall.

    Thompson never managed the individual gold that drove her to train for a third and final Olympics, but she's still the most decorated female swimmer ever.

    Among the women in Sydney, the individual glory went to Inge de Bruijn of the Netherlands. She captured a third gold Saturday in the 50 free.

  • BEACH VOLLEYBALL: A day at the beach, but a bad one, for two U.S. women's volleyball duos. Both American pairs lost their quarterfinal matches and missed out on medals.

    Jenny Johnson Jordan and Annett Davis couldn't find a way to return the precision shots of Japan's Yukiko Takahashi and Teru Saiki in their 15-9 defeat. In the match pitting Holly McPeak and Misty May against Brazil's Adriana Samuel and Sandra Pires, the lead changed hands four times before the Americans fell 16-14.

  • ROWING: A British rower won gold in his fifth straight Olympics, something only two other Olympians have ever done.

    Steven Redgrave led the British to victory in the men's coxless fours, making him a champion in every Olympics since Los Angeles in 1984. Only Hungarian fencers Aladar Gerevich and Pal Kovacs also won five golds in a row.

    The Olympic story for 2,000 meter-pair Missy Ryan and Karen Kraft had a sadder ending. The gold that eluded the duo in Atlanta stayed out of their reach again. The U.S. rowers missed out on first place by 0.3 seconds in 1996, and reunited to try one more time in 2000. They wound up with a bronze, finishing behind Romania and Australia.

  • DIVING: If there's one thing tougher than bouncing off a board, twisting, tumbling and finally knifing into the water, it's doing it in tandem. That's the idea behind synchronized diving, an event making its Olympic debut. Vera Ilina and Yulia Pakhalina of Russia became the first synchronized diving winners, taking the gold in the women's 3-meter springboard. American divers failed to qualify for the competition.
  • TENNIS: The Williams sisters stayed on a roll Saturday. Venus and Serena Williams lost their first doubles set to Russians Elena Likhovtseva and Anastasia Myskina but came back to win the match 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 and advance to the quarterfinals. The sisters won for the 30th time in their last 31 matches.
  • BASKETBALL: No more fooling around. Shrugging off a scare two days from Lithuania in its last game, the U.S. men shot 88 percent from the field and routed New Zealand 102-56.
  • SOFTBALL: Starter Lisa Fernandez homered and picked up the win as the thrice-beaten United States scraped into the softball medal round with a 6-0 victory over Italy.
  • BASEBALL: U.S. manager Tom Lasorda said he wanted to win this one for th Cuban exiles in the United States. The Cubans still living in Cuba had other ideas.

    Jose Ibar struck out eight, helping the Cubans thump the United States 6-1. Benches cleared in the fourth when Ernie Young was hit by a pitch and got into it with the Cuban catcher. Tempers flared again when first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz dove and took down a Cuban runner in the bottom of the inning.

  • WATER POLO: Yvette Higgins' goal with 1.3 seconds left lifted Australia to a 4-3 win over the United States and the gold medal in the first women's water polo tournament.
  • SOCCER: Brandi Chastain, meet Sasha Victorine.

    Victorine's penalty kick won a sudden death shootout 5-4 for the U.S. men's soccer team over Japan, and sent the Americans into the semifinals against Spain. The game was tied 2-2 at the end of regulation and neither side could manage a goal in overtime.

    With the shootout tied at 3, Japanese midfielder Hidetoshi Nakata hit the left post with a right-footed kick. Victorine's blast clinched the win for the United States, which now plays Spain.