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ATHENS 2004 | ROUNDUP

American Loses Lead and More With Misfire

August 23, 2004|From Times Wire Services

American shooter Matt Emmons fired at the wrong target on his final shot Sunday, blowing a commanding lead and his chance at a medal in the Olympic 50-meter three-position rifle event.

Jia Zhanbo of China won the gold with 1,264.5 points. Michael Anti of Winterville, N.C., moved into second because of Emmons' mistake with 1,263.1 points. Christian Planer of Austria took the bronze at 1,262.8.

Emmons, far in front after nine shots in the final, aimed and fired at the target in Lane 3 while he was shooting in Lane 2. When no score appeared on the electronic scoring device for his lane, he turned to officials and gestured that there was some sort of error.

"I shot," he appeared to say as three officials in red blazers approached.

The officials went back and huddled briefly before announcing that Emmons, of Browns Mills, N.J., had cross-fired and had a score of zero for the last shot, which dropped him into eighth position with a score of 1,257.4 points.

"I'll live to shoot another day," said the 23-year-old Emmons. "I didn't look at the number above the target before the last shot. I usually always look at the number first and then drop down to the target.

"I was just working on calming myself down and getting a good shot off. I should have looked."

Andrea Benelli of Italy won the gold medal in skeet shooting later Sunday, beating Marko Kemppainen of Finland in a tiebreaker after they each finished at 149. Kemppainen had set a world record with a perfect 125 in qualifying.

Juan Miguel Rodriguez of Cuba won a three-way tiebreaker with Nasser Al-Attiya of Qatar and Shawn Dulohery of the U.S. for the bronze medal. The three had finished with 147 points.

BASEBALL

Japan Earns Top Seeding

Japan defeated Greece, 6-1, on Sunday to earn the top seeding into the medal rounds of the baseball tournament.

Cuba shut out Italy, 5-0, and will be seeded second when the semifinals are played Wednesday. The Cubans will play third-seeded Canada, which completed pool play with an 11-0 victory over Australia, which will be seeded fourth and will play Japan in the other semifinal.

Taiwan defeated the Netherlands, 5-1, on Sunday to finish fifth after pool play.

CYCLING

Ulmer Overhauls Field

World champion Sarah Ulmer of New Zealand continued her dominance in the 3,000-meter pursuit, breaking her world record to win the gold medal.

Ulmer finished in 3:24.537, nearly two seconds faster than the world record she set in Friday's qualifying. Australia's Kate Mactier won silver and retiring Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel of the Netherlands got bronze -- her sixth Olympic medal.

DIVING

Newbery Tops Platform

Chantelle Newbery won Australia's first gold medal in diving since 1924, easily holding off China's Lao Lishi and teammate Loudy Tourky in women's 10-meter platform competition.

Newbery finished first with 590.31 points. Lao earned silver with 576.30 points, while Tourky took bronze with 561.66.

Emilie Heymans of Canada, the current world champion, was fourth with 555.03. American Laura Wilkinson, the defending Olympic champion, finished fifth with 549.72. Sara Hildebrand of St. Paul, Minn., never moved out of 10th place, ending up with 484.77 points.

FENCING

French Earn Third Gold

French fencers earned their third gold medal in Athens, defeating Hungary, 43-32, in the men's team epee final. The U.S. placed sixth.

France's Brice Guyart won the individual foil gold earlier during competition, as did the French men's sabre team. France has won six fencing medals.

Germany beat Russia to take the men's team epee bronze on the last day of competition.

SAILING

Americans Make Move

John Lovell and Charlie Ogletree finished first and sixth to take first overall in the Tornado catamaran class. They are two points ahead of defending gold medalists Roman Hagra and Hans Peter Steinacher of Austria with four of 11 races sailed.

The U.S. 49er crew, Tim Wadlow of Boston and Pete Spaulding of Miami, dropped from third to sixth with finishes of 13th and eighth. There are five races left in the 16-race series.

U.S. skipper Paul Cayard lost his lead in the Star class with a bad afternoon, finishing 15th and 10th, to tumble to seventh place.

Two more gold medals were awarded Sunday. Brazil's Robert Scheidt won the Laser class, giving him three consecutive Olympic medals to go along with an unprecedented seven world championships. He won the gold in 1996 and the silver in 2000. Norway's Siren Sundby won the women's Europe class for her first gold medal.

TABLE TENNIS

Clean Sweep for Zhang

China's Zhang Yining won her second gold medal of the Athens Games, beating surprise finalist Kim Hyang Mi of North Korea, 4-0, in the women's singles final.

Top-seeded Zhang dominated for an 11-8, 11-7, 11-2, 11-2 victory. South Korea's Kim Kyung Ah won bronze with a 9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8 win over Jia Wei Li of Singapore.

VOLLEYBALL

U.S. Able to Advance

Logan Tom finished with 19 kills to lead the U.S. to a surprisingly easy 25-22, 25-12, 25-19 victory over Cuba, earning the U.S. a spot in the quarterfinals.

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