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Olympic Athletic Competition Concludes

The final events have been held at the Beijing Olympics to close 16 full days of competition. VOA's Jim Stevenson has the highlights from the Chinese capital.

The final day of the Beijing Olympics opened with the men's marathon. Samuel Kamau Wansiru covered the 42-kilometer course in 2:06.32 minutes to win Kenya's first gold medal in the event.

The U.S. men's basketball team won the gold medal and the international stature it has been seeking to regain since 2000. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski says his players rose to the challenge against Spain in the 118-107 win.

"Spain was fabulous. Everything we did, we tried to stop them. We could not stop them completely. It was a great basketball game, where everybody involved played at the highest level. And I think it brought out the best in us, said Krzyzewski.

China won it's first two boxing gold medals ever. Zou Shiming won the light-flyweight class, while Zhang Xiaoping pounded to gold in the light-heavyweight class. Other nations winning boxing gold were Mongolia, Italy, Russia and Kazakhstan.

The United States claimed its third Olympic Men's Volleyball gold medal and first since 1988 by defeating 2004 champion Brazil, 3-1 (20-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-23) to complete the tournament with a perfect record. Coach Hugh McCutcheon says his team successfully adapted as the match progressed.

"Obviously, we started a little bit slow. I think Brazil has more experience playing for gold medals than we do. So, they seemed a little more comfortable at the beginning of the match. But after the first set, you could tell they were upset with what was going on. And, we came about changing things in the second set," said McCutcheon. "And then, after that, I thought it was just two good teams battling hard. It was a tough match."

The U.S. surge to the title came after coach Hugh McCutcheon's father-in-law was fatally stabbed the day before competition started. McCutcheon missed the team's first three games.

Hungary defeated the U.S. men's water polo team in the gold medal match, 14-10. France crushed Iceland, 28-23, to win their first Olympic gold medal in men's handball.

China finished with the most gold medals at 51. The host nation had 100 total. The United States had 110 medals, the most the Americans have collected at a non-boycotted games in 104 years. The U.S. total included 36 gold, 38 silver and 36 bronze. Russia was third with 23 gold medals and 72 overall.