Wednesday, August 20, 2008

From combined dispatches

BEIJING | Sylvia Fowles and the U.S. women’s basketball team were too big for South Korea to handle.

Fowles scored 26 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the United States to a 104-60 rout of South Korea on Tuesday night and advance to the semifinals.

“I just wanted to come out and make a statement that I’m back and let my teammates know,” Fowles said. “I haven’t played well since the first two games, and I’ve been down on myself not contributing as much as I’d like.”

It’s the sixth straight Olympics that the Americans have advanced to the medal round. The only time they didn’t qualify for the semis in the history of women’s basketball was 1980, when the United States boycotted the Moscow Games.



The Americans will face either Russia or Spain in the semifinals Thursday night. China plays Australia in the other semifinal.

The United States has won 31 straight games. The Americans were 5-0 in their pool, winning by an average of 43 points.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL

Americans Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser will play for the gold medal in beach volleyball.

The reigning world champions beat Georgia 21-11, 21-13 in the semifinal Wednesday in one of the quickest matches of the Olympics. The U.S. pair will play Friday against the winner of the other final-four game, an all-Brazil matchup.

BASEBALL

Despite losing its opener, losing one key player to a gruesome injury and seeing another key player get hurt, the United States is headed to the medal round.

The Americans advanced with a 4-2 victory over Taiwan, powered by John Gall’s go-ahead homer and a solid outing by pitcher Brandon Knight. The final prelim test comes Wednesday night against medal favorite Japan. The semifinals start Friday.

South Korea beat Cuba 7-4, and both teams advanced to the medal round.

WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL

After a slow start, the United States beat Italy in five sets to advance to a semifinal matchup with undefeated Cuba.

Afterward, the team celebrated with abandon. Ogonna Nnamani was joined by her teammate in a dance. They chanted “U-U-U-U-U-S-A!”

Brazil plays defending champion China in the other semifinal Thursday.

MEN’S SOCCER

The final is set: Argentina vs. Nigeria.

Sergio Aguero scored goals six minutes apart in the second half and later set up another to lead Argentina past Brazil 3-0. Nigeria advanced with a 4-1 victory over Belgium that included two scores from long distances.

SWIMMING

BEIXIAOYING TOWN, China | Larisa Ilchenko of Russia won the gold medal in the women’s 10-kilometer marathon swim, an event making its Olympic debut.

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