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Olympic Results: Saturday, August 21 - 2004-08-21


Iraq's Football Team Reaches Olympic Semifinals

Iraq's football team has reached the semifinals of the Olympic tournament in Athens thanks to a 1-0 win over Australia.

Emad Mohammed's 64th minute goal was the only score of the game. The Iraqis will take on Paraguay or South Korea in the semifinals.

Iraq had to play catch-up to get a squad in Greece. Iraq's Olympic committee was reinstated by the IOC in February but had to cope with the resignation of its first coach, Bernd Stange of Germany, who quit after receiving death threats. Adnan Hamad replaced him.

Also Saturday, Italy defeated Mali, 1-0, and will play either Argentina or Costa Rica.

Nesterenko Surprise Winner of Women's 100 Meter Race

Yuliya Nesterenko of Belarus has won the gold in the women's 100-meter Olympic final, becoming the first non-American to win the event since 1980 when the United States boycotted the Moscow games.

Nesterenko, a relative unknown before this year, finished with a time of 10.93 seconds, just ahead of American Lauryn Williams and Jamaican Veronica Campbell. Defending champion Marion Jones failed to qualify for the race and two other top contenders (Americans Kelli White and Torri Edwards) failed drug tests.

Meanwhile, Carolina Kluft of Sweden won the women's Olympic heptathlon with a score of 6,952 points, narrowly missing Jackie Joyner-Kersee's world record of 7,291 set in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. The silver medal for the two-day competition went to Austra Skujyte of Lithuania, and the bronze to Britain's Kelly Sotherton.

And Natalya Sadova of Russia won the discus gold medal with a throw of 67.02 meters, followed by Anastasia Kelesidou of Greece with the silver and Irina Yatchenko of Belarus with the bronze.

Zimbabwe Olympic Swimming Champ Hopes Success will Inspire Nation

Zimbabwe's Olympic swimming star, Kirsty Coventry, says she is proud of the three medals she has won and hopes her achievements inspire her troubled nation.

Coventry won the gold medal in the 200-meters backstroke at the Athens games Friday. As the 20-year-old redhead puts it, she now has "a full package" of Olympic awards - gold, silver and bronze - and is "over the moon" with happiness. They also are the first three swimming medals Zimbabwe ever has won in Olympic competition.

Coventry's silver medal came in the 100 meters backstroke, and she earned bronze for finishing third in the 200 individual medley.

The African medalist says she hopes her success will inspire the people of Zimbabwe to follow their dreams. She attends Auburn university in the state of Alabama in the United States, but returns home to Harare each summer.

As a white athlete from a predominantly black nation that has been wracked by racial tensions, Coventry says "color doesn't matter" to her, and that she has been very proud to represent Zimbabwe.

Britain Wins Men's Coxless 4 Rowing

Britain's win in the men's coxless fours rowing has given Matthew Pinsent a gold medal in four consecutive Olympics -- every summer games dating back to Barcelona in 1992.

Saturday's race was a photo finish - one of the closest Olympic rowing finals ever seen. The British four beat Canada by just 0.08 seconds.

Canada had taken a lead late in the race, but the British rowers - Pinsent and teammates Ed Coode, Steve Williams and James Cracknell, a Sydney Olympics champion - battled a headwind to rally in the last 500 meters. The winning time was 6: 6.98 minutes.

Italy took the bronze medal in 6:10.41 minutes.

Pinsent also won gold medals at the Olympic games in 1992, 1996 and 2000.

France Scores Upset in Men's Double Sculls Rowing Competition

France has scored an upset win in men's double sculls rowing at the Athens games, dethroning the reigning Olympic champions from Slovenia in Saturday's final.

Sebastien Vieilledent and Adrien Hardy crossed the finish line in 6:29.0 minutes, nearly three seconds in front of Slovenia's Luka Spik and Iztok Cop (6:31.72).

Bronze medals went to Rossano Galtarossa and Alessio Sartori of Italy 6:32.93 minutes, who set the early pace.

In the women's double sculls, identical twins Georgina and Caroline Evers-Swindell of New Zealand 7:01.71 minutes, held off Germans Peggy Waleska and Britta Oppelt 7:02.78. Britain's Sarah Winckless and Elise Laverick won the bronze 7:07.58.

The sisters from New Zealand have led the world in women's double sculls since 2002.

Romania, Australia Win Coxless Pairs Rowing Competition

The reigning Olympic champions in the women's coxless pairs, Georgeta Damian and Viorica Susanu of Romania, defended their title with a gold medal performance Saturday, at the Athens Olympics.

The Romanians - also world champions in 2002 and 2003 - finished in 7:06.55 minutes, comfortably ahead of silver-medal winners Katherine Grainger and Cath Bishop of Britain 7:08.66.

Bronze medals went to Yuliya Bichyk and Natallia Helakh of Belarus, 7:09.86 minutes.

In the men's coxless pairs final, Australian world champions Drew Ginn and James Tomkins cruised to victory in 6:30.76, ahead of Croatian brothers Sinisia and Niksa Skelin (6:32.64).

Donovan Cech and Ramon De Clemente won bronze for South Africa (6:33.40).

Germany Takes Gold in Women's Single Sculls Rowing Competition

Germany has defeated the reigning Olympic and world champions to win gold in women's single sculls rowing at the Athens Olympics.

Katrin Rutschow-Stomporowski cruised to victory Saturday, with a time of 7:18.12 minutes, nearly four seconds ahead of two-time defending Olympic champion Ekaterina Karsten of Belarus (7:22.04).

Two-time world champion Rumyana Neykova of Bulgaria, the silver medalist in Sydney four years ago, took the bronze today (7:23.10).

In men's single sculls, reigning world champion Olaf Tufte of Norway came from behind to win gold. Five hundred meters into the race, Tufte rocketed from fourth place into the lead, and held on to win in 6:49.30. Silver medalist Jueri Jaanson of Estonia was two seconds back (6:51.42), and Ivo Yanakiev of Bulgaria placed third (6:52.80).

Germany Wins 6th Consecutive Olympic Title in Equestrian Team Dressage Event

Germany has won its sixth consecutive Olympic title in the equestrian team dressage event at the 28th Summer Games in Athens, Greece.

Top rider Ulla Salzgeber clinched the gold for the Germans in the final ride, Saturday.

Spain won the silver medal, and the United States won the bronze. Germany has dominated the team dressage event for the last 20 years -- wining every title at every Olympic games since then-West Germany won in Los Angeles in 1984.

Indonesia Wins Gold and Bronze in Men's Badminton

Indonesia's Taufik Hidayat has won the gold medal in men's singles badminton, defeating South Korean Shon Seung-mo 15-8, 15-7.

Taufik had trailed his opponent at the start of both games, but rallied for a decisive win.

Fellow Indonesian Soni Dwi Kuncoro took the bronze medal after beating Thailand's Boonsak Ponsana.

Georgia Upsets Greek Olympic Hero's Run at Four Golds

George Asanidze has won Georgia's first Olympic gold medal in weightlifting and shattered the chance for Greek hero Pyrros Dimas to win a gold in four consecutive Olympic Games.

Asanidze won the 85 kilogram class with a total lift of 382.5 kilograms. He was followed by Andrei Rybakou of Belarus, who took the silver despite coming into the competition with a low qualifying score.

Dimas settled for the bronze. At the end of the competition the 33-year-old left his shoes on the lifting platform, signifying his retirement, and exited to thunderous applause.

In women's competition earlier, China's veteran Tang Gonghong set a new world record of 305 kilograms in the women's super-heavyweight clean and jerk, besting South Korea's Jang Mi-Ran and Poland's Agata Wrobel.

Lithuania Defeats US Basketball Team in Athens

Lithuania defeated the United States, 94 to 90, in an Olympic men's basketball preliminary round game.

It was only the second loss for the U.S. team since National Basketball Association players joined the competition in 1992. Puerto Rico defeated the United States earlier in this year's competition.

Lithuania, last year's European champions and winners of three Olympic bronze medals, remains unbeaten in Athens.

The game turned with less than three minutes remaining when Lithuanian Sarunas Jasikevicius sank a three-point shot while being fouled by American Lamar Odom, to give Lithuania an 85-84 lead.

The American's next plays winless Angola, a game that will decide if the U.S. team reaches the quarterfinals.

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