Monday, August 18, 2008

From combined dispatches

BEIJING | In a sweep that will trigger another celebration in Jamaica, Shelly-Ann Fraser won the gold and Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart finished in a dead heat for the silver in the women’s 100-meter dash Sunday.

Counting Usain Bolt‘s world record win the night before, that makes it two golds and two silvers for a country that had never won gold in an Olympic 100 meters before this year.

Fraser pumped her fist as she finished in 10.78 seconds and her teammates finished 0.20 second back - the same margin Bolt won by the night before.

As impressive a tradition of stellar sprinting as Jamaica has, the Caribbean island of about 2.8 million people had never won an Olympic gold in the 100 until this weekend. Now it has two.



“It’s about time,” Stewart said when asked what the sweep meant. “We’ve been waiting on this. So many great athletes have come so close.”

In the men’s 1,500 meters, two-time Olympic medalist Bernard Lagat, U.S. team flagbearer Lopez Lomong and NCAA champion Leo Manzano - all naturalized citizens making their Olympic debuts for their new country - failed to reach the final.

“I gave everything I had,” said Lagat, who won a silver and bronze representing his native Kenya at the past two Summer Games.

Monday morning, reigning Olympic and world champion Jeremy Wariner and rival LaShawn Merritt easily qualified for the 400-meter semifinals.

Both built big leads and jogged home to win their respective heats. Wariner won the last of seven heats in 45.23 seconds, while Merritt led the fifth heat in 44.96.

Olympic 100-meter champion Usain Bolt has advanced to the second round of qualifying in the 200 meters.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Tina Thompson scored 10 of her 15 points during a 21-0 run in the second quarter as the United States beat New Zealand 96-60.

The United States will play South Korea in the quarterfinals Tuesday night.

VOLLEYBALL

Logan Tom had 25 points as the U.S. women’s volleyball team beat Poland in five sets on the final day of preliminary pool play.

The United States had already clinched a spot in the quarterfinals before the 18-25, 25-21 19-25, 25-19, 15-13 victory. The U.S. women finished 4-1 in their pool, with the lone loss coming to undefeated Cuba.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL

Americans Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser reached the semifinals after beating Germany 21-13, 25-23.

The reigning world champions and gold medal favorites beat Eric Koreng and David Klemperer. The Americans will play the winner of Spain and the Netherlands on Wednesday for a spot in the gold medal game.

SOFTBALL

Monica Abbott pitched five perfect innings and Crystl Bustos, Jessica Mendoza and Tairia Flowers homered as the U.S. softball team extended its winning streak to 20 with an 8-0 win over the Netherlands.

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