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Witty Isn't Ready for All Seasons

September 17, 2000|From Associated Press

World cycling champion Felicia Ballanger of France didn't waste any time becoming the Olympic gold medalist in the women's 500-meter time trial Saturday at the Olympic velodrome in Sydney.

But fifth-place Chris Witty of Park City, Utah, walked away satisfied.

Witty, a two-time medalist at the Nagano Games, turned in a personal-best performance of 35.230 seconds that suited her fine--even if she failed in her bid to become the fourth person, and the first American since Eddie Eagan in 1932, to win medals at the Summer and Winter Olympics.

"I'm happy with it," Witty said, with a wide smile. "It's a personal best at the Olympics, and you can't ask for anything more than that."

It soon became apparent that Witty, who won a silver medal in the 1,000 meters and bronze in the 1,500 at Nagano, wouldn't stand on the podium at the Summer Games. Ballanger was more than a second faster in winning the gold in 34.140 seconds. Michelle Ferris of Australia got the silver in 34.696, and Jiang Cuihua of China the bronze at 34.768.

In the men's kilometer time trial, Jason Queally of Britain won the gold medal with an Olympic record of 1:01.609. Stefan Nimke of Germany won the silver in 1:02.487, and Australian Shane Kelly won bronze in 1:02.818.

EQUESTRIAN: Australia continued to dominate through the first two days of the dressage phase of the team three-day event.

Australia takes 112.6 penalty points into the demanding cross-country phase Monday, with stadium jumping to follow on Tuesday. Britain is second with 115.2 and the U.S. third with 125.4.

The Americans were led by Karen O'Connor of Middleburg, Va., who had a personal best of 32.6 on Prince Panache. It was the third-lowest score of the two days of dressage.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Americans Rob Heidger and Kevin Wong lost a five-point lead and failed to convert a half-dozen match points in losing, 17-15, to Canadians Jody Holden and Conrad Leinemann.

American supporters started a "USA" chant, and Heidger and Wong rallied with five consecutive points to take a 12-9 lead. Then extended it to 14-9 when Heidger scored points on successive blocks of Leinemann.

But the Canadians rallied to tie it, 15-15, and Leinemann provided defensive heroics late, running down balls to keep rallies going and then lobbing a deep kill to give Canada the lead at 16-15. His block of Heidger ended the game that lasted more than an hour.

The first major upset of the day was turned in by Mexico's Juan Ibarra and Joel Sotelo, who outlasted the top-seeded Australian team of Julien Prosser and Lee Zahner, 15-12.

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