Greece reels in country’s first two medals at Olympic Games

Yesterday’s Olympic competition was marked by the end of Michael Phelps’s attempt to match or surpass Mark Spitz’s seven gold medals in a single Olympics. For Greeks, the event of the day was the first medal for the host country, a bronze earned by weightlifter Leonidas Sabanis and, late at night, an unexpected gold medal in the men’s synchronized 3m springboard diving by Nikos Sirandis and Thomas Bimis. ARCHERY: Defending Olympic champion Simon Fairweather of Australia was eliminated in the opening day of men’s archery. He was beaten by Anton Prylepav of Belarus 141-137 in the round of 32 in difficult, windy conditions. at the historic Panathenaic Stadium. It was a different story for the kingdom of Bhutan as Tashi Peljor defeated the 13th seed, Jocelyn de Grandis of France 161-136, to make himself a national hero. He emulated the performance of his compatriot Tshering Chooden, who put out the 11th seed in the women’s competition on Sunday. BADMINTON: Chinese second seed Chen Hong mustered all his powers of recovery to shake off Kenneth Jonassen and claim a place in the last 16 of the Olympic men’s singles. In the women’s competition China is aiming for a clean sweep of the medals after Gong Ruina, Zhou Mi and Zhang Ning reached the semifinals. Only Dutchwoman Mia Audina stands in the way. BASEBALL: Greece lost 5-4 to heavy favorite Cuba in a thrilling match. Other results: Canada-Italy 9-3; Japan-Netherlands 8-3; Taipei-Australia 3-0. BASKETBALL: With a dominating performance on the boards and two big scoring spurts, the United States’ women’s team overcame another slow start and beat the Czech Republic 80-61. In the other matches, all women’s: Japan 79 Nigeria 73; New Zealand 81 South Korea 73; Spain 75 China 67. FENCING: France’s Brice Guyart rallied from an early deficit in the final to defeat Italy’s Salvatore Sanzo 15-13 and win the gold medal in men’s foil. Andrea Cassara of Italy defeated Russia’s Renal Ganeev 15-12 to take the bronze. HOCKEY: Reigning world champion Argentina defeated Japan 3-1 in the second round of the women’s tournament. In the other morning match, Australia beat South Africa 3-0. JUDO: World champion Lee Won-hee of South Korea defeated American Jimmy Pedro in the third round and went on to claim the gold medal in the 73kg class, beating Vitaliy Makarov of Russia in the final. In the women’s 57kg final, Yvonne Boenisch of Germany beat North Korea’s Kye Sun Hui, the two-time world champion. Deborah Gravenstijn of the Netherlands and Yurieleidys Lupetey of Cuba shared the bronze. SHOOTING: Zhu Qinan of China set a world record, winning the gold medal in the 10-meter men’s air rifle. Zhu scored 702.7, topping the mark of 702.5 set by American Jason Parker in 2003. China’s Li Jie took the silver and Slovakia’s Jozef Gonci won the bronze. Suzanne Balogh of Australia won the gold medal in trap shooting. Maria Quintanal of Spain took the silver. SOFTBALL: Greece 2 Italy 1; United States 3 Japan 0; China 4 Canada 2; Australia 1 Taiwan 0. TENNIS: Venus Williams’s bid for a second successive Olympic doubles gold ended when she and stand-in US partner Chanda Rubin lost 7-5 1-6 6-3 to Chinese eighth seeds Li Ting and Sun Tian Tian in the first round. Venus was without her usual partner, younger sister Serena, who pulled out due to injury. In the men’s competition, world no 1 Roger Federer of Switzerland opened his tennis campaign with a surprisingly difficult three-set win over Nikolay Davydenko of Russia. Third seed Carlos Moya of Spain was forced to save three match points to beat Sweden’s Thomas Enqvist in a thriller. Gustavo Kuerten lost to Chile’s Nicolas Massu, the 10th seed, 3-6, 7-5, 4-6. Australian hope Mark Philippoussis, restricted by niggling tendonitis in his knee, disappointed his Greek fans when he crashed 6-3, 0-6, 1-6 to Belgium’s Olivier Rochus, who now plays Moya. In the women’s singles, French Open women’s champion Anastasia Myskina of Russia showed no discomfort from the sore ribs which forced her out of a tournament in Poland last week as she dropped only one game, in the second set, to beat Magui Serna of Spain. Second seed Amelie Mauresmo of France, 25, opened at a gallop against 32-year-old Conchita Martinez of Spain, wrapping up the first set in 18 minutes as she beat the 1994 Wimbledon champion 6-1, 6-4. Australia’s Alicia Molik knocked out French Open women’s finalist and fourth seed Elena Dementieva of Russia 4-6, 6-0, 6-3. WATER POLO: The women’s qualifiers began yesterday. The results: United States 7 Hungary 6; Australia 6 Italy 5; Russia 8 Canada 6; Greece 8 Kazakhstan 6. WEIGHTLIFTING: In the men’s 62-kg, Shi Zhiyong won with combined lifts of 325 kilos. Compatriot Le Maosheng lifted 312.5 kilos and Sabanis earned bronze with a total of 312.5. (Combined reports)

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