SPORTS

Phelps lands his fourth gold in 200m medley

Michael Phelps led from start to finish to win his fourth gold medal of the Athens Olympics with a comfortable victory in the 200 meters individual medley yesterday. Phelps, who stayed on course for a record eight medals at Athens, took charge on the opening butterfly leg and was never seriously challenged as he swept home in an Olympic record one minute 57.14 seconds. Ryan Lochte came through on the concluding freestyle leg to complete an American one-two, surging through from fifth place at the-breaststroke-to-freestyle turn to snatch the silver from Trinidad’s George Bovell by just 0.02 seconds. World recordholder Aaron Peirsol claimed his second gold medal of the Athens Olympics when his disqualification from the 200m backstroke final was overturned. Peirsol touched the wall in 1 minute 54.95 seconds, 2.40 seconds in front of Markus Rogan of Austria, but was disqualified for an illegal turn at the 150m mark. But a US appeal was upheld, and Peirsol added the 200m backstroke gold to the 100m back title he won on Monday. «No one told me anything. I don’t know what I did,» said Peirsol, who was climbing out of the pool with a smile on his face when the disqualification flashed up on the screen. The upsets kept coming in men’s tennis with No. 3 Carlos Moya joining Roger Federer and Andy Roddick on the sideline yesterday after a 6-2, 7-5 quarterfinal loss to Nicolas Massu of Chile. Chile is guaranteed a tennis medal for the first time after Massu’s teammate, No. 16 Fernando Gonzalez, followed up his surprise victory over Roddick by beating No. 8 Sebastien Grosjean of France 6-2, 2-6, 6-4. No. 10 Massu is the highest-seeded player left. In judo, Japan’s four-time world champion Noriko Anno finally struck gold in Olympic competition but her compatriot Kosei Inoue failed to retain his men’s title from the Sydney Games. World bronze medalist Ihar Makarau beat South Korean Jang Sung-Ho on points in the men’s under-100kg light heavyweight final to lift the first ever Olympic judo gold medal for Belarus. With one more day to go in the weeklong Athens Games judo competition, Japan stood with six gold medals, against one each for Belarus, China, Georgia, Germany, Greece and South Korea. In archery, Italy’s Marco Galiazzo won the Olympic Games gold medal in men’s archery here with a 111-109 win over Japan’s Hiroshi Yamamoto. The 21-year-old Galiazzo defeated his 41-year-old opponent, who was a bronze medalist at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984, 111-109. Australia’s Tim Cuddihy took bronze ahead of Britain’s Laurence Godfrey 113-112. Liu Chunhong of China broke her own 152-pound (69kg) weightlifting world record in the snatch, raising 122.5kg. Ester Krutzler of Hungary twice missed attempts to tie the record. The 19-year-old Chunhong set the previous record of 120kg during the world championships in Vancouver on Nov. 19, 2003. (AFP, AP, Reuters)