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ATHENS 2004 | Up Next

Jones Leaps Into Action

August 25, 2004|Helene Elliott;Dave Morgan;Steve Springer;Lisa Dillman

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

Track and Field

Marion Jones will finally begin her Olympics in the first round of the long jump. Jones won a bronze medal in the long jump at Sydney, one of two bronze medals and three gold she won there. However, she didn't make the Athens team in the 100 meters and withdrew from the 200 to concentrate on the long jump and on a possible relay slot.

Finals will be held in three events: the women's 400-meter hurdles, women's hammer throw and women's 200. The top U.S. contender in the hurdles is UCLA's Sheena Johnson; in the women's 200, Allyson Felix of Los Angeles will be vying for a medal in her first Olympics.

Also of note are the first round of the men's pole vault, semifinal of the men's 5,000, first round of the men's 800, quarterfinal of the men's 110-meter hurdles and semifinal of the men's 200.

Helene Elliott

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Beach Volleyball

The third time could be the charm for Emanuel Rego. The Brazilian star was a gold-medal favorite in each of the previous two Olympics but came up empty. In 1996 at Atlanta, he and Ze Marco Melo finished ninth. In 2000 at Sydney, he and Jose Loiola were the world's top-ranked team but also finished ninth.

Rego and partner Ricardo Santos came to Athens as the world's top-ranked team and have yet to lose a match. They play Spain's Javier Bosma and Pablo Herrera, the 15th-seeded team that also has yet to lose in the tournament. The Spaniards have won both meetings between the teams this year.

Brazil hasn't won a gold medal in men's beach volleyball. Santos and Melo took silver in Sydney, losing to Americans Eric Fonoimoana and Dain Blanton.

Dave Morgan

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Women's Basketball

The unbeaten U.S. (5-0) faces Greece (2-3) in the quarterfinals today at the Olympic Indoor Hall. Should the U.S., winner of 39 consecutive games, win its 40th in a row, it would then face the Russia-Czechoslovakia winner in the semifinals. The only other unbeaten team heading into the medal round is Australia (5-0).

Steve Springer

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Women's Triathlon

With temperatures expected to be in the 90-degree range by the time the field hits the running portion of this event, the second Olympic triathlon will certainly be challenging. The triathlon will take place in the Athens suburb of Vouliagmeni. Defending Olympic champion Brigitte McMahon, 37, of Zug, Switzerland, returns but is ranked 26th in the world. Among the favorites are Americans Barbara Lidquist and Sheila Taormina.

Taormina's name is a familiar one. In 1996, she won a gold medal in swimming as a member of the 800-meter relay team. She finished sixth in the triathlon in the 2000 Games.

-- Lisa Dillman

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