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Agonizing Loss for Cormier

August 30, 2004|Lisa Dillman; | From Times Staff and Wire Reports

U.S. freestyle wrestler Daniel Cormier remained almost frozen, kneeling on the mat after his near miss at a bronze medal, losing in overtime in the 96-kilogram (212-pound) weight class Sunday at Ano Liossia Olympic Hall.

He lost, 3-2, to Alireza Heidari of Iran after having led, 2-0. Earlier in the day, Cormier lost, 5-0, in the semifinals to gold medalist Khadjimourat Gatsalov of Russia.

"I can't explain how I feel right now," Cormier said, bowing his head. "Because lifelong dreams came to an end and didn't end the way I wanted or I prepared for it to end. It was a big match for me. I needed to get that win against a guy that was a former champion."

He was still trying to figure out how the lead got away.

"I just know I stopped wrestling and allowed him to get back in the match and should have just kept on doing what I was doing," Cormier said.

The other American wrestling on the final day at the Olympics did not get as close as Cormier to a medal.

Gennadiy Laliyev of Kazakhstan defeated Joe Williams, 3-2, in overtime in the quarterfinals of the 74-kilogram (163-pound) weight class.

-- Lisa Dillman


A mass brawl erupted among spectators, officials, police and competitors at the wrestling venue Sunday after a bitterly fought quarterfinal bout between gold medalist Buvaysa Saytiev of Russia and Murat Gaidarov of Belarus at 163 pounds.

Both wrestlers faced possible disciplinary action and their federations a minimum $10,000 fine. After the pair left the mat they appeared to exchange heated words and punches, triggering a melee that delayed the competition for several minutes.

Saytiev won his second Olympic title, easily defeating Laliyev, 7-0, in the final.


Cubans Pile Up Gold

Cuba won three more gold medals to complete the tournament with five golds, two more than Russia. Defending Olympic champion Guillermo Rigondeaux Ortiz (120 pounds), Mario Cesar Kindelan Mesa (132) and Yan Bhartelemy (106) each won.

The Cuban total didn't match the seven golds of the 1992 Barcelona Games, but was better than the four in each of the last two Games.

In perhaps the most anticipated final, Kindelan defeated 17-year-old Amir Khan of Britain for the lightweight gold. Kindelan was too wily and experienced for Khan, who had won four consecutive fights impressively. The Cuban piled up points counterpunching, then got out of the way when Khan tried to press the fight.

"You stick around and you'll be the next gold medalist and next world champion," Kindelan told Khan after the fight.

Russian super-heavyweight (over 212 pounds) Alexander Povetkin won when Mohamed Aly of Egypt failed the morning medical exam. Bakhtiyar Artayev of Kazakhstan won the other gold, defeating Lorenzo Aragon Armenteros of Cuba at 153 pounds.



Russian a Big Winner

Four years after watching her medal hopes end when she lost control of her hoop, two-time world champion Alina Kabaeva of Russia won the rhythmic gymnastics all-around in a rout.

Kabaeva finished with 108.400 points, more than a point ahead of silver medalist Irina Tchachina of Russia. Anna Bessonova of Ukraine took the bronze.


Korean Wins by KO

Moon Dae Sung of South Korea won the gold medal in men's over-80-kilogram (176-pound) weight class by knocking out Alexandros Nikolaidis of Greece. Pascal Gentil of France won the bronze.

Chen Zhong of China won the gold medal in the women's over-67-kilogram (148-pound) class, beating Myriam Baverel of France. Adriana Carmona of Venezuela won the bronze.


Croatia Muscles Up

Croatia, the reigning world champion, won the gold medal in a physical match with Germany, 26-24.

Mirza Dzomba scored nine goals on 10 shots for Croatia, including the last one with 31 seconds left.

Denmark won its third consecutive Olympic title in women's team handball, defeating South Korea, 4-2, in a penalty shootout after playing to a 34-34 tie at the end of two overtimes.

Ukraine defeated France, 21-18, for the bronze.


Hungary Rallies for Win

Hungary won its eighth water polo gold medal, scoring three unanswered goals in the last quarter to edge Serbia and Montenegro in the final, 8-7.

Revaz Chomakhidze scored four goals and Russia defeated Greece, 6-5, to claim the bronze.

Tony Azevedo and Jesse Smith scored three goals apiece as the United States upset world championship silver medalist Italy, 9-8, for seventh place.

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