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US Continues to Lead Olympic Medal Count - 2004-08-24

Olympic action continued Tuesday with another strong list of medal events. The United States tops the medal count with 71, including 25 gold. China has 24 gold and 51 overall medals while Japan is next with 15 gold and 32 total.

Athletics again took the spotlight at the Athens Games as Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia soared to new heights. She won the women's pole vault gold medal and then easily cleared the bar to set a new world record of 4.91 meters. Isinbayeva held the previous world best at one centimeter lower. Svetlana Feofanova of Russia took the silver (4.75) and Anna Rogowska of Poland got bronze (4.70).

Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic became the decathlon champion with an Olympic-record score of 8893 points. American Bryan Clay got the silver medal (8820). Dmitriy Karpov of Kazakhstan won the bronze (8725). Reigning world decathlon champion Tom Pappas of the United States pulled out of the Games because of a foot injury suffered during the pole vault segment.

Joanna Hayes added to the U.S. gold medal count with a win in the 100-meter hurdles. Hayes set an Olympic-record time of 12.37 seconds. Olena Krasovska of Ukraine got the silver medal (12.45). American Melissa Morrison won the bronze (12.56).

Tonique Williams-Darling of the Bahamas was the fastest in the women's 400-meter run with a time of 49.41 seconds. Ana Guevara of Mexico got the silver medal (49.56). Natalya Antyukh of Russia won the bronze (49.89).

Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco broke the tape in the 1500-meter race with a time of 3:34.18. Bernard Lagat of Kenya followed for silver (3:34.30). Rui Silva of Portugal ran away with bronze (3:34.68).

Kenyan runners swept the 3000-meter steeplechase with Ezekiel Kemboi winning gold in a time of 8:05.81. Brimin Kipruto got the silver medal (8:06.11). Paul Kipsiele Koech won the bronze (8:06.64).

At Faliro Beach, Kerri Walsh and Misty May of the United States won the gold medal in beach volleyball, beating Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede of Brazil, 21-17, 21-11. Americans Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs won the bronze.

Cyclist Mikhail Ignatyev of Russia won the gold medal in the points race with 93. Spaniard Joan Llaneras got the silver medal (82). Guido Fulst of Germany took the bronze (79).

Australian Ryan Bayley upset Dutch world champion Theo Bos, 2-1, in the track sprint final. German Rene Wolff took bronze. In the women's race, Canadian veteran Lori-Ann Muenzer beat Russian Tamilla Abassova to take the women's race. The win was Canada's first ever cycling gold and capped Muenzer's injury-marred career with her first major title. Australian Anna Meares took the bronze.

Chinese diver Peng Bo won the gold medal off the 3-meter springboard with a score of 787.38. Alexandre Despatie of Canada won the silver (755.97). Russian Dmitri Saoutine got the bronze (753.27).

Russian weightlifter Dmitry Berestov won the gold medal in the 105-kilogram class with a total lift of 425 kilos. Also at the Nikaia weightlifting Centre, Ferenc Gyurkovics of Hungary won the silver (420.00) after setting and Olympic record of 195 kilos in the snatch portion. Igor Razoronov of Ukraine got the bronze (420.00 - same as silver). Germany won the final of equestrian team show-jumping at the Markopoulo Equestrian Centre. The silver went to the United States and Sweden took the bronze.

In other action, Paraguay defeated Iraq, 3-1, to reach the championship game of the men's Olympic football tournament. Argentina beat Italy, 3-0, to reach the final to be held on Saturday. The amazing run of Iraq ends in the bronze medal game Friday against Italy. Tuesday's victory guarantees Paraguay its first Olympic medal of any kind while Argentina will be playing for its first Olympic football gold medal.

Australia stunned Olympic baseball favorites Japan, pulling off a 1-0 victory to eliminate the all-professional Japanese team in the semifinals. Cuba beat Canada, 8-5, in the other men's semifinal. The gold medal match is Wednesday.

The Netherlands upset world champion Argentina, 4-2, in penalty shots after a 2-2 draw in the Olympic women's field hockey semifinals. In the gold medal match Thursday, the Dutch will face Germany, a 4-3 tiebreak winner over China after the two teams finished scoreless in regulation play and extra time.

Italy advanced to the gold medal match in women's water polo thanks to a 6-5 win over the United States. Host Greece beat Australia, 6-2, in the other semifinal. The title game is Thursday.

Elsewhere, International Olympic Committee officials began an investigation of men's discus champion Robert Fazekas of Hungary after he was accused of tampering with his urine sample during a dope test. Fazekas would be stripped of the gold medal and expelled from the Games if found guilty. He would be the second track and field athlete to lose a gold medal if he is stripped. Russian shot putter Irina Korzhanenko lost her shot put gold medal and was expelled from the games for doping.

A minor earthquake shook the Olympics Tuesday, but its reverberations were smaller than those from the men's gymnastics competition where judging controversies continue.