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ATHENS 2004 | Up Next

Australia Is Latest U.S. Foe

August 19, 2004|Steve Springer; Diane Pucin; Dave Morgan

Men's Basketball

The U.S. hasn't lost to Australia, its opponent in a preliminary-round game today, in four previous Olympic meetings. But after losing to Puerto Rico and struggling to defeat Greece, this year's U.S. Olympic team can take little solace in the accomplishments of the past. Australia, led by 33-year-old guard Shane Heals, is also 1-1, having lost to Greece and defeated Angola.

-- Steve Springer

Women's Gymnastics

Carly Patterson, 16, of Allen, Texas, qualified first for the 24-woman all-around final, but during Tuesday's team competition Patterson had an uncharacteristic mistake on the uneven bars as the favored U.S. team won a team silver.

America's second all-around competitor, Courtney Kupets, 18, of Gaithersburg, Md., was a late scratch Tuesday from the balance beam because of a sore right hamstring. Kupets practiced Wednesday and is expected to compete.

The main challengers to Patterson's attempt to become the second U.S. woman to win the all-around title will be Daniela Sofronie and Oana Ban of team champion Romania and 25-year-old Russian Svetlana Khorkina.

-- Diane Pucin

Beach Volleyball

The pressure is on the American men's team of Dax Holdren and Stein Metzger on the last day of pool play. They are 1-1 and need a victory against the top-ranked Brazilian team of Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos to advance to the elimination rounds.

Dain Blanton and Jeff Nygaard were eliminated Wednesday, meaning the streak of American gold medals in the sport is tenuous at best. Karch Kiraly and Kent Steffes won the first gold in the sport at Atlanta in 1996, and Blanton and Eric Fonoimoana won at Sydney in 2000.

On the women's side, Misty May and Kerri Walsh are undefeated and will advance, win or lose, after completing pool play today. The other American team of Holly McPeak and Elaine Youngs is undefeated and also advanced.

-- Dave Morgan

Men's Water Polo

The only two unbeaten teams, the United States and Hungary, both 2-0, meet today. Hungary, the defending Olympic champion, has defeated Serbia and Montenegro and Croatia. The U.S. also has defeated Croatia and is coming off a 9-6 victory over Kazakhstan in which captain Wolf Wigo scored four goals.

-- Steve Springer

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