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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | Spotlight : Basketball

Oliver Stonovich?

A look at the day that was and at what lies ahead at the Summer Games

August 02, 1996|MARK HEISLER

The U.S. women won't get a chance to avenge their 1992 defeat in basketball to the Unified Team, which was made up mostly of Russians and Ukrainians.

Wednesday the Russians were upset, 74-70, by Australia. For the first time since women's competition started in 1976, the Russians won't medal.

Perhaps deranged by their grief, the Russians blamed the referees ("There were 23 fouls called against us and only 14 against Australia," noted Coach Vadim Kapranov) and hatched a conspiracy theory.

"I am disappointed," forward Yelena Baranova said. "I think that perhaps the United States became intimidated by our play [in a June exhibition in Chicago, won by the U.S.] and pitted us against Australia to get us out of the running."

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