Goodwill Games Roundup
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) _ The loss to Germany was painful. This time, the defeat was downright embarrassing.
A team of World All-Stars used six 1-2 sweeps in individual events Friday night to hand the U.S. men swimmers a 78-43 loss in a Goodwill Games’ dual meet.
The Americans, who narrowly lost to Germany when they were defeated in the 400-meter freestyle relay _ an event they’ve won at every Olympics _ started OK against the World team by winning the 400 medley relay for a 7-0 lead.
But the World team then went 1-2 in five of the next seven events for a 46-24 lead that the Americans never challenged. Among the sweeps was in the 50 freestyle, where world champion Bill Pilczuk of Auburn, Ala., finished third behind Lorenzo Vismara of Italy and Ricardo Busquets of Puerto Rico.
U.S. men traditionally have had a wealth of speedy freestylers, but the embarrassment in the sprints continued with another sweep by the World All-Stars in the 100.
Fernando Scherer of Brazil became the fourth man in history to break 49 seconds in the event, joining Americans Matt Biondi and Gary Hall Jr., and Russian Aleksandr Popov, the world record-holder at 48.21 seconds. Scherer was timed in 48.91, and Pieter van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands was second in 49.61.
The final indignity came in the 400 freestyle relay, as the World team, anchored by Scherer, won in 3:22.42 _ 2.73 seconds ahead of the Americans.
There were a few U.S. highlights. World champion Lenny Krayzelburg of Los Angeles won the 200 backstroke in 1:58.17, a Goodwill record and the ninth-fastest time in history. Josh Davis of San Antonio captured the 200 freestyle and Kurt Grote of San Diego, Calif., won the 100 breaststroke.
World champions Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze of Russia won the gold medal for pairs figure skating, beating archrivals Artur Dmitriev and Oksana Kazakova.
The bronze medal went to Dorota Zagorska and Mariusz Siudek of Poland, who overtook Xue Shen and Hongo Zhao of China.
There will be a new champion in women’s beach volleyball. Defending gold medalists Karolyn Kirby and Liz Masakayan of San Diego lost to Brazil’s top-seeded Shelda Bede and Adriana Behar 15-9.
Bede and Behar scored nine straight points for a 10-1 lead, then four of the last five points to wrap it up. In between, the U.S. pair scored seven of eight points with play that brought back visions of their days at the top: an ace, three kills and a block by Kirby, and pressure behind Masakayan’s serve.
``Once we started getting points, it was really the old Liz and Karolyn started coming back, where we started gaining some confidence and we had something we could work with,″ the 37-year-old Kirby said. ``It’s just too bad we didn’t think of that a little bit earlier.″
Masakayan and Kirby’s last chance of advancing to Saturday’s semifinals ended when Pauline Manser and Kerri Pottharst of Australia beat winless Kristine Drakich and Guylaine Dumont of Canada 15-8.
Also reaching the final four were Americans Holly McPeak and Lisa Arce, who beat Maike Friedrichsen and Danja Musch of Germany 15-11, and Italy’s Laura Bruschini and Annamaria Solazzi.
As boxing prepared to crown its first champions, four referees and judges accused of bias against Russian boxers were suspended by AIBA, the international amateur boxing federation.
AIBA said it took the action after evaluating the Russian Boxing Federation’s protest ``that judgments made by the officials were biased and led to the elimination of their boxers.″
Suspended for the rest of the games were referee-judges Macario Sosa of Guatemala and Alfredo Toledo of Cuba; referee Per-Olaf Larsson of Sweden; and judge Dieter Mika of Germany.
The bouts involved were not identified, but Russia’s boxers had two tough nights in the semifinals, with only four of 14 advancing.
Meanwhile, the Chinese gymnast paralyzed in a Goodwill Games accident began rehabilitation at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan.
Doctors and therapists will try to return 17-year-old Sang Lan to as normal a life as possible. But Dr. Kristjan T. Ragnarsson said Sang has been told she likely never will walk again, much less compete.