SPORTS

Phelps’s seventh medal places him among greats

American teenager Michael Phelps, one of the superstars of the 2004 Athens Games, added a seventh medal last night to his collection of Olympic keepsakes. The 19-year-old Phelps won the men’s 100-meter butterfly by one stroke to collect his fifth gold medal That, with two bronzes, allowed him to join American Mark Spitz’s as the only swimmer to win seven medals at an Olympics – although all of Spitz’s were gold. Now, with one swimming event left for him at the Games, Phelps could go into the record books with Soviet gymnast Alexander Dityatin in 1980 as the only athletes to win eight medals at a single Olympics. Phelps beat American teammate Ian Crocker on the final stroke to win gold in 51.25 seconds. Crocker clocked 51.29. «The things I am doing right now I have dreamt about my whole life,» Phelps said, adding, «I am tired, I have one more race to go and it is the big one, the medley relay.» South Korea’s all-conquering women archers won their 11th straight Olympic gold medal yesterday but it took a «divine» bullseye on the final arrow to beat China in the team event final. In a 27-arrow shootout, individual gold medalist Park Sung-hyun fired a maximum 10-point score with the last shot to clinch the title 241-240. As the Games went into top gear with the launch of the athletics, Italian Ivano Brugnetti walked his way to Olympic glory. «This is what we call Super Friday,» said Games spokesman Serafim Kotrotsos. «We have 29 Olympic events running at the same time today and we are expecting 200,000 spectators.» Kirsty Coventry won the women’s 200 meter backstroke to become the first Zimbabwean to win an Olympic swimming gold medal. The 20-year-old led all the way to finish first in a time of two minutes 09.19 seconds, breaking the African record she set in Thursday’s semifinal. Meanwhile, Iraqi footballers were furious when told their country was being used in a campaign ad and called on President George W. Bush to stop using them to win votes. «Iraq as a team does not want Mr Bush to use us for the presidential campaign,» midfielder Salih Sadir was quoted as saying by Sports Illustrated magazine. «He can find another way to advertise himself.» Yukiko Ueno pitched the first perfect game in Olympic softball history, leading Japan to a 2-0 win over China and a spot in the tournament semifinals. The 22-year-old Ueno overpowered the Chinese in a game the defending silver medalists had to win. A loss would have dropped Japan (4-3) into a tie with Canada, which would have won the tiebreaker and the No. 4 spot in the semis because it beat Japan in the preliminary round on Tuesday. (Reuters, AP)