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Argentina Wins Gold Medals in Men's Basketball and Men's Soccer - 2004-08-29


It was a successful day for Argentina on Saturday at the Athens Olympics with gold medals in Men's Basketball and Men's Soccer. Cuba had victories in boxing, China won gold in men's diving and women's volleyball, and the United States has a huge lead in the number of medals won. Argentina had not won an Olympic Gold Medal of any kind since the Helsinki games of 1952 but on Saturday Argentina defeated Paraguay in men's soccer 1-0 for the gold medal. Argentina, then, won a second gold medal defeating Italy in men's basketball, 84-69. Luis Scola had 25 points to lead Argentina.

Italy gets the silver medal in men's basketball and the United States won the bronze medal with a 104 to 96 win over Lithuania. It was the first time the United States men had not won the gold medal in basketball since National Basketball Association (professional) players were allowed to take part in the Olympics.

In women's basketball the United States won its third straight Olympic gold medal by beating Australia 74- 63. The United States team was led by Tina Thompson who had 18 points and Dawn Staley who had 14. Australia got its second straight silver medal in women's basketball and Russia won the bronze medal.

In Track and Field on Saturday, Kelly Holmes of Britain became only the third female runner in Olympic history to win a middle-distance double. She won gold in the 1,500 meters after winning the 800 meters earlier this week. Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj also doubled, winning the 5,000 meters to add to his 1,500 meter gold. The United States took gold medals in both men and women's 4x400 track relay but Britain's men pulled off a surprise win in the 4x100 meter relay.

Russia's Yelena Slesarenko took the women's high jump gold medal. Norway's Andreas Thorkildsen won the men's javelin gold. Russia's Yuriy Borzkovskiy won the gold medal in the men's 800 meter run.

China won the women's volleyball gold medal match, defeating Russia. Russia also won the silver medal at the Sydney Olympics. On Saturday Russia took the first two sets before China stormed back to win three sets in a row and the gold medal. Zhang Ping was the top scorer for China with 25 points.

Chinese diver Hu Jia gave China its sixth gold medal in men's diving winning the gold in the ten-meter platform-diving event. Mathew Helm of Australia won the silver medal and defending Olympic champion Tian Liang of China won the bronze.

In freestyle wrestling, Mavlet Batirov of Russia won in the 55 kilogram class, while Ukraine's Elbrus Tedeyev led the 66 kilogram division. U.S. wrestler Cael Sanderson won the 84 kilogram class and Uzbekistan's Artur Taymazov won the gold medal for the 120 kilogram division.

Cuban boxer Yuriorkis Gamboa has won the gold medal in the flyweight division with a 38-23 point victory over France's Jerome Thomas on Saturday. Also Saturday, Russia's Alexi Tichtchenko won the gold medal in the featherweight division. Thailand's Manus Boonjumnong won the gold in the light welterweight (64-kilogram) division, while Russia's Gaydarbek Gaydarbekov won the gold in the middleweight (75 kilogram) division. Cuban heavyweight boxer Odlanier Solis won the gold medal defeating Viktar Zuyev of Belarus.

In men's taekwondo, Stephen Lopez took home a gold medal for the United States by winning the under 80 kilogram division. Luo Wei of China won the gold medal Saturday in the women's 67-kilogram taekwondo, beating Elisavet Mystakidou of Greece. Hwang Kyung-sun of South Korea won the bronze.

Hungary's Natasa Janics took home two gold medals in the women's individual 500-meters and two-person 500-meters kayak races.

In canoeing, China's Meng Guanliang and Yang Wenjun won the two-man 500-meter canoe sprint. German Andreas Dittmer won the men's solo 500-meter (C-1) race. Germany finished the Olympic canoe-kayak events with the best performance - taking home nine medals including four golds.

Medals were also awarded in the last day of sailing competition with Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher of Austria winning the gold medal in the Tornado class. John Lovell and Charlie Ogeltree of the United States took silver and Santiago Lange and Carlos Espinosa of Argentina got bronze.

In sailing's Star class, Torben Grael and Marcelo Ferreira of Brazil clinched the gold Thursday but Ross McDonald and Mike Wolfs of Canada won the silver medal Saturday. Xavier Rohart and Pascal Rambeau of France won the bronze.

French cyclist Julien Absalon won the gold in the men's cross-country mountain biking gold medal, finishing in two hours, 15 minutes, two seconds.

Russia won the group rhythmic gymnastics crown at the Athens Olympics scoring a total of 51 points while Italy took silver and Bulgaria the bronze.

The Ukrainian women's handball team upset world champion France 21-18 to win the bronze medal Saturday. It is the first medal for Ukraine in women's handball. Denmark plays South Korea on Sunday for the gold medal.

Two more Olympic athletes have been expelled from the 2004 games because of doping. The International Olympic Committee says Puerto Rican wrestler Mabel Fonseca and Hungarian weightlifter Ferenc Gyurkovics both tested positive for banned steroids.

Gyurkovics will be stripped of his silver medal in the 105 kilogram class. Fonseca finished fifth in the women's 55 kilogram category. In addition to being expelled from the 2004 games, both athletes face a possible two year ban from their international federations.

This brings to 22 the number of Olympians who have been disqualified from this year's games because of drug violations.

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