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Godina Turns Second Shot Into Bronze Medal

September 23, 2000|From Staff and Wire Reports

For a guy who initially didn't qualify in the men's shotput for the Sydney Olympics, John Godina's bronze medal on Friday is the best kind of consolation prize.

Godina, who finished a nonqualifying fourth at the U.S. trials in July, took the bronze medal with a put of 69-6 3/4. Finland's Arsi Harju won the gold with a put of 69-10 1/4, followed by American Adam Nelson at 69-7.

Godina, 28, silver medalist in the 1996 Olympics, replaced C.J. Hunter on the U.S. team when Hunter withdrew from the Games earlier this month after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

"I was very lucky just to get here," Godina said. "I would have liked to win. I could have. I should have. But you have to give all the credit in the world to the winner."

Godina, the 1995 and 1997 world champion, fouled on his first and last throws, and uncorked his best throw on his fifth try.

American Andy Bloom was fourth with a best of 68-5 3/4 from the first round. He was in third place until Godina overtook him in the next-to-last round.

Godina, a Northridge resident, will compete in the qualifying round of the discus throw on Sunday. The finals will be held the following day.


Jordan and Davis lost, 15-9, in the quarterfinals to Japan's Yukiko Takahashi and Teru Saiki. The Tarzana pair seemed off-balance from the start, unable to cope with the serving and accuracy of the Japanese.

Johnson Jordan's father, Olympic gold-medalist decathlete Rafer Johnson, said watching his daughter play was much harder than competing himself in Melbourne, Australia, in 1956, where he won a silver medal, and in Rome four years later.

"I was the most nervous today," he said after hugging Jordan outside the stadium. "It started with the first match and doesn't dissipate. With each win, there's just more of it."

Johnson said he told his daughter she should be proud of all she accomplished.

"Being here in the Olympics, they represented their country well," he said. "A lot of that process of being here, making the team, is as important as what happens on the court."

Johnson said the chance to see his daughter compete in the Olympics was like a dream.

"I was hoping the dream would keep going," he said. "We're saddened by the end result, but they had a really great year, a great two years. We're pleased for all the good things that happened."

Johnson Jordan expressed a similar sentiment, saying the loss was disappointing but was only part of the experience.

"Medal or not wasn't going to make or break the experience for me," she said. "It's what we played for, but it's not the most important thing."


Fuller will join her teammates in the women's eights in a bid to win a medal. The U.S. crew qualified for the final earlier this week by winning the repechage, a last-chance qualifier.

The Westlake High graduate and crew finished in 6:17.36, followed by Canada in 6:17.62 and Australia in 6:17.72. Canada and Australia also qualified for the final. The U.S. has ground to make up for the gold medal. Romania qualified with a 6:06.66, followed by the Netherlands in 6:11.29.

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