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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | CANOE-KAYAK

American Paddlers Fall by the Wayside

August 03, 1996|Times Wire Services

Even America's best paddlers weren't good enough to win a canoe-kayak medal.

The United States sent five boats into the semifinals, and all five failed to advance. The same thing had happened Thursday.

Italy, meanwhile, sent five boats to the flatwater events and each will race in the finals.

Not even John Mooney and Stein Jorgensen, world champions in the 200-meter kayak, could break the U.S. drought and make the 500-meter finals, finishing ninth overall in the semifinals, losing to defending world champions Beniamino Bonomi and Daniele Scarpa of Italy.

Jim Terrell was treated for dehydration after finishing fourth in the 500-meter canoe semifinal. In another semifinal, two-time Olympian Mike Herbert was eighth in the 500-meter kayak.

The Americans' last chance failed when Lia Rousset of Newport Beach and DeAnne Hemmens of Costa Mesa came in eighth out of nine boats. Three-time Olympian Traci Phillips finished last in her 500-meter kayak semifinal.

Hungary's Rita Koban gave herself a chance at two medals by winning her 500-meter heat and coming back an hour later to win the 500-meter two-woman kayak semifinal with Szilvia Mednyanszki.

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