Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

ATHENS 2004 | Up Next

Returning to Ancient Venue

August 18, 2004|Alan Abrahamson;Dave Morgan

Here, in capsule form, are the events that will be highlighted today in Athens:

Track and Field

Far from Athens, in a pine-shaded valley tucked into a remote corner of Peloponnesus, an "endless mass of people," as the 2nd-century author Lucian put it, would gather every four years to celebrate the Olympic Games.

Today, 2,780 years after the first olive wreaths were awarded the victors, the Games return to the ancient grounds at Olympia, where the men's and women's shotput will be contested. Just as in olden days, spectators will watch from grassy slopes around the field.

The women's event marks the first time females will have competed at the site.

The U.S. men's team -- Adam Nelson, John Godina and Reese Hoffa -- stands a reasonable chance of going 1-2-3, according to track and field experts.

Alan Abrahamson

*

Soccer

When the Games began, the inclusion of Iraq was a political story more than a sports story. But the Iraqis, with victories over Portugal and Costa Rica, have become the story of the soccer tournament, if not the Olympics themselves. They will play Morocco in Patras in their final preliminary, then will meet either Argentina or Australia in the quarterfinals Saturday.

And suddenly, a medal is not just a dream but a possibility. Said Iraq's Coach Adnan Hamed Majeed: "I believe in this team and think we can reach further stages."

*

Gymnastics

Paul Hamm will try to become the first American man to win the all-around title. His chief rivals will be Yang Wei of China, European all-round champion Marian Dragulescu of Romania and Hiroyuki Tomita of Japan. Hamm beat each of them in winning the world championship last year, overtaking Yang on his final horizontal bar rotation to win the title. Hamm helped the U.S. men win their first medal in gymnastics in 20 years in Monday's team finals.

*

Swimming

The gold rush continues for Michael Phelps, even though his bid to break Mark Spitz's record has vanished. Phelps will race in the 200-meter individual medley as he goes for his sixth medal of the Athens Games. The other marquee final will be the men's 100 meters, where the Netherlands' Pieter van den Hoogenband and Australia's Ian Thorpe will go head to head.

*

-- Dave Morgan

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|