US swimmer sinks 'Madame Butterfly'

Olympics 2000 notebook

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Misty Hyman of the United States stunned defending champion Susie O'Neill of Australia (known as "Madame Butterfly") to win the 200-meter butterfly at the Olympic pool yesterday. "I had to look three times, I really did," Hyman said. "Then I started screaming and shaking."

Jenny Thompson won a record seventh gold medal by anchoring the United States to victory in the 800 freestyle relay over the Aussies, led by O'Neill. Thompson snapped a tie with Germany's Kristin Otto in career golds by a woman swimmer, and tied gymnast Vera Caslavska of the Czech Republic for the second-most Olympic golds by a woman.

In men's swimming, Pieter Van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands won his second gold of the games in the 100 freestyle in 48.30 seconds, denying Russian rocket Alexander Popov an unprecedented third straight Olympic title in the event.

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A positive drug test cost a Bulgarian weightlifter his silver medal. Ivan Ivanov took second place in the 123-pound class, but tested positive for furosemide, a diuretic, and yesterday the International Olympic Committee stripped him of his medal. Athletes sometimes use diuretics to lose weight. Diuretics can mask the presence of performance-enhancing drugs. The IOC also disqualified a hammer thrower from Belarus, Vadim Devyatovsky, who tested positive for steroids.

The world's best male gymnast is Russian Alexei Nemov. Nemov took the men's all-around title yesterday, while China's Yang Wei won the silver and Ukrainian Oleksandr Beresh got the bronze. Five-time US champion Blaine Wilson finished sixth. He originally placed eighth, but protested a low start value on his pommel horse routine and was moved up.

The Netherlands got strong pitching from Ken Brauckmiller to upset Cuba 4-2 on Wednesday and end the double gold medalist's run of 21 Olympic baseball games without a loss. Cuba had not lost in Olympic baseball since it became an official sport at the Barcelona Games in 1992. The Netherlands, considered one of the weaker teams in the tournament, was not expected to change that. The victory evened the Netherlands' record in the round-robin tournament to 2-2; Cuba dropped to 3-1.

The US women's soccer team locked up a spot in the Olympic semifinals with a 3-1 win over Nigeria. Brandi Chastain, Kristine Lilly, and Shannon MacMillan scored for the US, which took control of the game in the first half. The Americans' toughest rival, Norway, also advanced with a 2-1 victory over China.

Lance Armstrong isn't the only US cycling star. Marty Nothstein won America's first gold medal in the sport since 1984, beating Florian Rousseau of France in the finals of the men's match sprint.

Always exuberant Tommy Lasorda, manager of the US Olympic baseball team and former boss of the L.A. Dodgers, is over the top these days when he talks about his American team: "This is bigger than the World Series. This is bigger than the Dodgers. It's bigger than major league baseball."

Are we sure the Internet is really growing or do people with vested interests just keep saying that it is? Consider that the official Olympic Games Web site (www.olympics.com) is expected to received more than 6 billion hits over the fortnight. This is more than 10 times as many as recorded less than three years ago at the Nagano Winter Olympics. But for those who still don't understand the Internet and its scope, comfort can be taken in the fact that it will be just 1 percent the size of the global audience on something most understand better: TV.

A day after the US women's softball team had a 112-game winning streak snapped, China gave the Americans a two-game losing streak. The US team followed up a 2-1, 11-inning loss to Japan with a 2-0 defeat in 14 innings.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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