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Americans Win Track Golds in China

August 29, 2001

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BEIJING (AP) _ Andrew Pierce and Demetria Washington gave the United States a winning double in the 400-meters, but Anthony Famiglletti’s storming finish in Wednesday’s last track final captured the crowd’s imagination at the University Games.

The Americans reeled off successive golds to open the afternoon session, with Washington taking the women’s 400 in 51.22 seconds and Pierce winning the men’s one-lap sprint in 45.34.

The diminutive Famiglletti led for most of the 3,000-meter steeplechase, surrendered the lead to Jakub Cazaja about 600 meters from the finish, then passed the Polish champion going over the last barrier to win in eight minutes, 21.97 seconds.

Miguel Pate won the long jump with a leap of 8.07 meters, edging Namibian Stephan Louw and Botswana’s Gable Garenamotse, to give the U.S. four gold in 11 athletics finals on Day 8.

Pierce said he expected Wednesday’s golds to spark a revival for the U.S. squad, which has failed to dominate in Beijing like American teams have at the previous five Universiades.

China is approaching 40 gold medals and is a clear No. 1 at these games, while the Americans have 14 gold so far.

``No we haven’t performed up to expectations and yes, I think this will give us a boost,″ Pierce said. ``We’re going OK considering we didn’t field teams in all sports here.

``As far as College track athletes are concerned, it’s kind of hard to keep people performing late in the summer and doing times that they were trying to get four or five months ago.″

Washington, who beat Romania’s Otilia Silvia Ruicu and American teammate Mikele Barber, said she expected the United States to top the medal standings in athletics.

``We’ve got strong relays, we’re looking good in the triple jump and the pole vault _ I think we’ll win a lot more gold,″ she said.

With his Mohawk-style haircut, which sticks up along the center of his head from his forehead to the back of his neck, Famiglletti was a hit with the Chinese crowd.

``With 200 to go I thought I was running for silver, but then (Czaja) stumbled at the last water jump,″ the 22-year-old from Knoxville, Tennessee said. ``I knew I had a good kick over the last 100 but it took the slip by him for me to pick up and go.″

Czaja won silver in 8:23.00 and Switzerland’s Christian Belz was third in 8:24.46.

Sereyya Ayhan did a lap of honor with her coach after winning the women’s 1,500 to secure Turkey’s first track gold at a University Games.

Ayhan won in 4:06.91, sprinting clear of Maria Grosu of Romania, who was second in 4:08.84, and Switzerland’s Sabine Fischer, who took third in 4:08.93, in the final stretch.

``This is a first _ I think the whole of Turkey will celebrate,″ she said.

In the men’s discus, Aleksander Tammert earned Estonia’s first gold when he threw 65.19 to push two Belorussians into second and third. Leanid Charuko placed second with 63.15.

Spaniard Pedro Esteso won the men’s 1,500 in 3:43.98, with Gareth Turnbull of Ireland placing second in 3:44.21 and Alexis Abraham of France in third.

Russia’s Alexei Krovtsov got the high jump gold on a countback from Henadzi Maroz of Belarus with a best leap of 2.28 meters, while American Tora Harris was third in 2.26.

In earlier race walking finals, Italy’s Lorenzo Cavillero won the 20-kilometer race in 1:24.42, with Spain’s Juan Manuel Molina taking silver and He Xiaodong of China winning bronze.

China’s Gao Hongmiao won the women’s 10-km walk in a meet record of 43.20 minutes with Portugal’s Susana Feitor placing second in 43.40 and Wang Liping third in 44:01.

In tennis finals, Mexican pair Carlos Lozano and Juan Arredondo won gold in the men’s doubles with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over Pavel Kudrnak and Tomas Macharacek of the Czech Republic.

China’s Li Ting and Li Na beat Kim Eun-ha and Kim Mi-ok of South Korea 6-4, 6-4 in the women’s doubles.

Team epee gold went to France, with Italy taking silver and Switzerland in bronze-medal position.

Women’s basketball qualifiers continue Wednesday with the United States against Brazil. In other games its: China vs. Russia, Lithuania vs. Canada, Sweden vs. Taiwan, Japan vs. Yugoslavia, and the Netherlands vs. the Czech Republic.

China is expected to complete a clean sweep of diving medals with the women’s synchronized springboard and the men’s synchronized platform rounding off the program.

There are six swimming finals scheduled later Wednesday.

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