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Atlanta 1996 Olympics

U.S. Strikes Gold

July 22, 1996|From a Times Staff Writer

Tom Dolan, who overcame exercise-induced asthma to become a world-class swimmer, on Sunday became the first American to win a gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics when he outreached teammate Eric Namesnik to claim victory in the men's 400-meter individual medley.

Dolan had experienced breathing problems in his preliminary race Sunday morning. However, the world-record holder in the 400 individual medley had no problems in the final, posting a time of 4 minutes 14:90 seconds.

Amanda Beard, 14, of Irvine made an impressive Olympic debut in the women's 100-meter breaststroke, charging from seventh place in the last 50 meters to win the silver.

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