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SYDNEY 2000 / SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES | WATER POLO

Group Leader Russia in Quarterfinals

September 26, 2000|From Associated Press

Russia clinched a spot in the quarterfinals with an 8-5 victory Monday over defending-gold medalist Spain.

Revaz Tchomakhidze scored on all three of his shots to lead Russia (3-0-1), the first-place team in Group A.

Four teams from each of two six-nation pools advance to Thursday's quarterfinals.

Spain (2-2-0), still a solid bet to reach the next round, will take on Australia in its final round-robin game Wednesday.

Netherlands 10, Greece 7--The Netherlands kept its medal chances alive, now the Dutch (1-3) will root like mad for winless Greece, which faces the United States in the final round-robin contest Wednesday.

A win or a tie by the Americans would send them to the quarterfinals and eliminate the Dutch.

Harry van Der Meer scored three goals for the Netherlands. Arno Havenga, Eelco Uri and Gerben Silvis each had two goals.

Uri's first goal, a backhander in front of the net, put the Netherlands ahead for good, 3-2, with under a minute to play in the first quarter.

The closest Greece came after that was 6-5 on Ioannis Thomakos' third-quarter goal.

Australia 11, Slovakia 6--Playing in his third Olympics with as many countries, Andrei Kovalenko scored three goals Sunday to lead Australia.

Kovalenko won bronze with the Unified Team in 1992 and finished last with Ukraine four years later. The 29-year-old moved to Australia soon after.

Kovalenko and Sean Boyd had first-quarter goals to get Australia (1-1-1) going against Slovakia (0-3-0).

Kovalenko's breakaway goal seven seconds before halftime put Australia ahead 7-2. And the hometown crowd of almost 4,000 at Ryde Aquatic Center loved it.

But the loudest shouts came for Cathy Freeman's winning 400 run as people swarmed around venue monitors to watch.

The victory left Australia in fourth place in Group A. The Aussies have games remaining with Italy and Spain, the two most recent gold medalists.

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