Olympics 2000 Notebook

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Lenny Krayzelburg of the United States won the 100-meter backstroke Monday in an Olympic record 53.72 seconds. In other swimming finals, 17-year-old American Megan Quann beat defending champion Penny Heyns of South Africa in the 100-meter breaststroke, winning in 1:07.05.

US swimmer Tom Malchow broke the Olympic record in the 200-meter butterfly by finishing his preliminary in 1 minute, 56.25 seconds. He broke the mark of 1:56.26, previously held by American Melvin Stewart. Pieter van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands upset Australian teen sensation Ian Thorpe in the 200 freestyle to win the gold and tie his own world record of 1:45.35 seconds.

Crystl Bustos homered twice to give the US a 3-0 victory over Cuba Monday, a day after the US softball team opened with the first Olympic solo no-hitter. The team is now 2-0.

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The US and Olympic host Australia shared the lead in the medal count with 13 each at the end of competition Monday. The Americans had 6 gold, 5 silver, and 2 bronze medals. The Aussies had 3 gold, 5 silver, and 5 bronze. France was close behind with 12 (4-6-2) and China had 10 (4-1-5).

China is supposed to win weightlifting gold medals. So is North Korea. But Mexico? Soraya Jimenez, backed by frenzied fans seemingly transplanted from a soccer match, pulled off a huge upset Monday, winning the 127-1/2 pound Olympic women's weightlifting gold medal for Mexico on her final lift. But not without considerable drama - and controversy.

Ri Song Hui, the prohibitive favorite from North Korea, was leading when the clock inexplicably ran out before she could make the second of her three lifts in the clean and jerk. The missed lift, which the North Koreans said resulted from a marshal improperly blocking her way to the podium, gave Jimenez the edge she needed to overtake Ri with her third and final lift.

North Korea's protest was disallowed by the International Weightlifting Federation, whose officials left the arena without commenting, as did Ri.

Mexico had never before won an Olympic weightlifting medal - gold, silver, or bronze.

One of the most anticipated dramas here is how US track and field superstar Marion Jones will do in her quest for five gold medals, starting later this week. Much of the buzz is generated by Jones, who is a mixture of common sense, confidence, and hope. Examples:

On common sense: Asked if she was worried should the weather be cold and windy, she says, "I'd only be worried about it if it was going to be only in my lane."

On confidence: "I think when I step on that track for the 100-meter final and the 200-meter final, wonderful things are bound to happen."

On hope: Asked how often she thinks about winning five golds, she says, "Every time I take a nap. Every time I sit down and relax. Every time I look out the window and see the Olympic rings."

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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