Sport-by-sport capsules (J-W)

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Judo
Where: Ano Liossia Olympic Hall.
When: Aug. 14-20.
Top U.S. performers: Alex Ottiano, Jimmy Pedro, Brian Olson, Ronda Rousey, Celita Schutz.
U.S. chances: The U.S. has never won a gold medal in judo. U.S. competitors have won 10 medals, four silver and six bronze. The last medal, a bronze, came in 1996 from four-time Olympian Jimmy Pedro. He will be a medal favorite in Athens, as will two-time Olympian Alex Ottiano in 66 kg and rookie Ronda Rousey at 63 kg.
Little-known fact: Former U.S. Olympian Ben Nighthorse Campbell ('64) is a three-term U.S. senator from Colorado.
You'll remember: Japan's Ryoko Tani. If she medals, she will have stood on the podium every year that women have been competing for Olympic medals.

Modern Pentathlon
Where: Goudi Olympic Complex.
When: Aug. 26-27.
Top U.S. performers: Chad Senior, Mary Beth Iagorashvili.
U.S. chances: Though the U.S. is one of only three countries with four competitors, it is not favored for a medal. Americans have not fared well in recent international competition. At the world championships, Iagorashvili placed 29th, and Senior finished 13th.
Little-known fact: Szuszanna Voros of Hungary has a strong following. She has appeared in a bikini in a popular men's magazine. Her attention lately has moved to her border collie, Juice.
You'll remember: Iagorashvili's husband, Vaho, who is competing in his third Olympics for a third country. Now 40, he competed for the Soviet Union in 1988 and his native Georgia in 1996.

Rowing
Where: Schinias Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Center.
When: Aug. 14-22.
Top U.S. performers: Bryan Volpenhein, Jason Read, Mike Wherley, Lianne Nelson.
U.S. chances: The men hope to challenge in the eights and fours, the women in the eights. The U.S. qualified in 12 of the 14 events, missing in men's single sculls and women's double sculls. The Americans won three medals in 2000. The U.S. men's eights were the prerace favorite in Sydney but finished fifth. The Americans' last medal was a bronze in 1988.
Little-known fact: Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympics, was a rower.
You'll remember: The U.S. men and women eights.

Sailing
Where: Aghios Kosmas Olympic Sailing Center.
When: Aug. 14-28.
Top U.S. performers: Paul Cayard, Mark Mendelblatt, Meg Gaillard.
U.S. chances: Cayard and Phil Trinter could medal in the Star, which contains the greatest depth of talent and ability of all the Olympic classes. Mendelblatt was second in the Laser worlds. Paul Foerster and Kevin Burnham have a chance in the men's 470. Tim Wadlow and Pete Spaulding could challenge in the 49er. Gaillard could win a medal in the Europe.
Little-known fact: Sailing was called yachting until a name change in Sydney in 2000.
You'll remember: Cayard, the former America's Cup skipper and a superstar in the sport, who seeks to complete his sailing resume with a gold medal.

Synchronised swimming
Where: Olympic Aquatic Center.
When: Aug. 23-27.
Top U.S. performers: Anna Kozlova and Alison Bartosik.
U.S. chances: The U.S. consistently has finished among the top three.
Little-known fact: Synchronized swimming received mainstream media exposure at the 1939 World's Fair in New York, where showman Billy Rose paired Olympic swimmers Eleanor Holm and Johnny Weissmuller, a future Tarzan, in an exhibition called Aquacade.
You'll remember: The parents of Brett Slinger and Cody Tatro, who hope it will be their children, who were killed in a one-car accident last year. The car was driven by U.S. team member Tammy Crow, who pleaded no contest to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and will serve a 90-day sentence after the Olympics.

Shooting
Where: Markopoulo Olympic Shooting Center.
When: Aug. 14-22.
Top U.S. athletes: Matt Emmons, Todd Graves, Kim Rhode.
U.S. chances: Emmons, a three-time NCAA rifle champion, will compete in three events, a first in U.S. shooting. Graves, 41, will compete in his fourth Olympics. Rhode already has a gold and a bronze.
Little-known fact: At 64 years 258 days old, Oscar Swahn is the oldest athlete to win a gold medal. He was a member of the winning Running Deer shooting team at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. He returned to the 1920 Olympics and won silver at 72.
You'll remember: Alabama trap shooter Collyn Loper, 17, a natural right-hander who was born blind in her right eye and had to train her body to shoot left.

Soccer
Where: Karaiskaki Stadium, Panthessaliko Stadium, Pankritio Stadium, Kaftanzoglio Stadium, Pampeloponnisiako Stadium.
When: Aug. 11-28.
Top U.S. performers: Briana Scurry, Abby Wambach.
U.S. chances: Having won the gold medal in Atlanta and the silver in Sydney, the women's main challengers are world champion Germany, China and Sweden. A medal is virtually certain. The U.S. men did not qualify.
Little-known fact: Shannon Boxx is the starting defensive midfielder for the U.S. Her sister, Gillian, won a gold medal with the U.S. softball team at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
You'll remember: The retiring U.S. veterans. Also, German striker Birgit Prinz, who has scored 73 goals in 118 games for her country.

Softball
Where: Olympic Softball Stadium.
When: Aug. 14-23.
Top U.S. performers: Pitcher/third baseman Lisa Fernandez, pitcher Jennie Finch, shortstop Natasha Watley.
U.S. chances: The U.S. is seeking its third consecutive gold medal. The competition has improved, but the U.S. remains favored.
Little-known fact: Mike Candrea will coach the U.S. while mourning wife Sue, 49, who died July 18 of a brain aneurysm.
You'll remember: Finch. Primed to become the sport's most popular player, she is the team's No. 2 starter behind Fernandez. Finch was named one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People" this year. She also gained attention in February by striking out baseball players Albert Pujols, Mike Piazza and Brian and Marcus Giles in a celebrity softball game.

Swimming
Where: Olympic Aquatic Center.
When: Aug. 14-21.
Top U.S. performers: Michael Phelps might be the most versatile swimmer ever, and Ian Crocker, Brendan Hansen and Aaron Peirsol are world record-holders too. Amanda Beard and Natalie Coughlin are only world record-holders on the women's squad, which ranges from four-time Olympian Jenny Thompson to 15-year-old Katie Hoff.
U.S. chances: The Americans took gold in 14 of the 32 events in 2000. Now the men are drawing comparisons to the landmark 1976 team, talking about winning 12 of their 16 events—13 individual and three relays. The women don't possess that star power as only Beard and Coughlin are clear favorites.
Men's outlook
50 freestyle: Gary Hall Jr. disdains Russia's Alexander Popov, who won gold in 1992 and '96, but wants to emulate him with his own repeat.
100 freestyle: Pieter van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands is the world record-holder and reigning Olympic champ, but the ageless Popov beat him at 2003 worlds. Jason Lezak of U.S. will be a factor.
200 freestyle: The "race of the century," as 2000 winner van den Hoogenband must deal with world record-holder Ian Thorpe of Australia and Phelps, the American record-holder in an underdog role.
400 freestyle: Thorpe owns the 8 fastest times in history, but he false-started at the Australian trials and is defending only because Craig Stevens bowed out.
1,500 freestyle: Australian Grant Hackett hasn't lost the metric mile since 1996. Larsen Jensen, 18, owns the American record at 14:56.71—22 seconds off Hackett's world record.
100 backstroke: Lenny Krayzelburg set a world record in 1999 and won gold in 2000, but Australian Matt Welsh is Peirsol's biggest obstacle.
200 backstroke: Peirsol hasn't lost since taking silver in 2000 and lowered his world mark to 1:54.74 at U.S. trials.
100 breaststroke: Japan's Kosuke Kitajima lowered the world record at the 2003 worlds, but Hansen bettered that by nearly a half second at the U.S. trials.
200 breaststroke: In order, Russia's Dimitri Komomikov, Kitajima and Hansen have lowered the world record since June 2003.
100 butterfly: On July 25, 2003, Andriy Serdinov of Ukraine posted a world record of 51.76. It lasted five minutes, as Crocker and Phelps have since split history's six fastest times.
200 butterfly: Phelps has the event's four fastest times.
200 individual medley: With history's eight fastest times, Phelps is a lock. His record is 1:55.94, and only two others have gone under 1:59.
400 individual medley: Laszlo Cseh, 18-year-old Hungarian, pushed world record-holder Phelps at the 2003 worlds but broke his foot July 21.
400 freestyle relay: Australia handed the U.S. its first Olympic loss in 2000. The Aussies and Russians won at the last two world championships, but those U.S. teams didn't have Hall and Phelps.
400 medley relay: With Crocker, Peirsol and Hansen training with his Longhorn Aquatics Club, American men's coach Eddie Reese has produced world record-holders in three of the four strokes.
800 freestyle relay: Australia is unbeaten since '97 Pan Pacific Championships, but the Americans are talking trash.
Women's outlook
50 freestyle: The sprints feature 30-year-old Inge de Bruijn of the Netherlands and Australia teen Libby Lenton. Both have gone 24.70 this year.
100 freestyle: Coughlin tackles defending champion de Bruijn, Lenton, who lowered world record to 53.66 in March.
200 freestyle: Germany's Franziska van Almsick has eight Olympic medals but no golds..
400 freestyle: American Kaitlin Sandeno chases German Hannah Stockbauer, who starred at the 2003 world championships, and Romania's Camelia Potec, who has the fastest time in the world this year.
800 freestyle: This looks like a dual meet between the U.S. and Japan, as Diana Munz and Kalyn Keller face Ai Shibata and Sachiko Yamada.
100 backstroke: A sure thing: Coughlin is the only woman ever under 1 minute.
200 backstroke: Japan's Reiko Nakamura leads the 2004 world list, but Britain's Katy Sexton dominated 2003 worlds.
100 breaststroke: Australian Leisel Jones won silver in 2000, a few weeks past her 15th birthday, then took ownership of the world record last year.
200 breaststroke: The women produced one world record at the U.S. trials, the 2:22.44 that Beard posted here.
100 butterfly: A veteran lineup includes de Bruijn, Australia's Petria Thomas, Slovakia's Martina Moravcova and Thompson, the reigning world champion.
200 butterfly: Poland's Otylia Jedrejczak got the world record in 2002.
200 individual medley: Yana Klochkova of Ukraine, who won gold in 2000, looms large. The Americans counter with Beard and Hoff.
400 individual medley: Klochkova, 22, was a two-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist before she turned 21. Hoff is No. 2 on the U.S. all-time list and moving up fast.
400 freestyle relay: The Americans last lost at the Olympics in 1956, but Australia and Germany can upset.
800 freestyle relay: Coughlin didn't swim the 200 freestyle at the trials, but the U.S. may need her to take the gold.
400 medley relay: Coughlin's illness helped China win at the 2003 worlds.

Little-known fact: Mark Spitz is the only man to win more than two individual events in a single Olympics. Phelps is favored in three.
You'll remember: Who else? Olympic swimming extends over eight nights, and Phelps might not get a day off in his quest to match Spitz's seven gold medals from 1972. His toughest challenges, the 200 freestyle and the 800 freestyle relay, come early, on swimming's third and fourth days, respectively.

Table tennis
Where: Galatsi Olympic Hall.
When: Aug. 14-23.
Top U.S. performers: Ilija Lupulesku (men); Gao Jun, Jasna Reed (women).
U.S. chances: Lupulesku is experienced, having won silver in doubles for Yugoslavia in 1988, but Austrian world champion Werner Schlager and the powerful Chinese are favored. Reed won a bronze for Yugoslavia in 1988, and Jun took silver for China in 1992. The Chinese are the favorites.
Little-known fact: No American has advanced beyond the second round in singles. There are six rounds.
You'll remember: Sweden's Jan-Ove Waldner, 38. Some consider him the sport's greatest player. He won Olympic gold in singles in 1992 and silver in 2000. An ankle injury has slowed him since.

Taekwondo
Where: Faliro Sports Pavilion.
When: Aug. 26-29.
Top U.S. performers: Steven Lopez and Nia Abdallah are the only qualifiers.
U.S. chances: Lopez, who won the gold in Sydney as a featherweight, is now a welterweight and the reigning world champion. He's the favorite in a tough class. Abdallah is a relative unknown, with only two international competitions.
Little-known fact: Lopez won his gold medal on an incorrect referee's decision. The referee was suspended for one year, but Lopez was allowed to keep his medal.
You'll remember: The powerful South Koreans. In Sydney their four athletes won three gold medals and one silver—the controversial loss to Lopez. Each of the country's four athletes in Athens should medal too.

Tennis
Where: Olympic Tennis Center.
When: Aug. 15-22.
Top U.S. performers: The men's team comprises Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish, Vince Spadea, Taylor Dent and the Bryan twins, Bob and Mike. The women's team comprises Chanda Rubin, Martina Navratilova, Lisa Raymond and the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena.
U.S. chances: Roddick is among the top singles players in the world and should be in the medal chase, as should the Bryans in doubles. Venus Williams won gold in singles in Sydney and teamed with Serena to take the doubles.
Little-known fact: The last American brothers to play in the Olympic tennis tournament at the same time were Joseph and Arthur Wear, who played doubles with different partners in 1904. The Wears were great-great-uncles of President Bush.
You'll remember: Navratilova. It is conceivable that, upon winning a medal of any kind, she could end her long career right on the spot. This is her first Olympics, and a major part of her comeback was to make the Olympic team. In 1988 she had a spot on the U.S. team but turned it down, saying tennis didn't belong in the Olympics.

Track and field
Where: Olympic Stadium (men's and women's shot put at Ancient Olympic Stadium, and men's and women's marathons at Marathon Stadium.)
When: Aug. 18-29.
Top U.S. performers: Maurice Greene will defend his title of "world's fastest man" in the 100 meters. Marion Jones won't duplicate her three-gold, two-bronze performance at Sydney—she dropped out of the 200 at the U.S. trials and didn't make the top three in the 100—but she's likely to vie for a medal in the long jump. Jeremy Wariner has two of the fastest 400-meter times in the world this season and leads a contingent of collegiate standouts in many events. Also among them are Lauryn Williams in the women's 100, Allyson Felix in the women's 200, Sheena Johnson in the women's 400-meter hurdles, Sanya Richards in the 400 and Muna Lee in the 200. Stacy Dragila should be in the final mix again in the pole vault. Allen Johnson, who won four world titles in the 110-meter hurdles but was injured before the Sydney Games and finished fourth, is back in top shape. And Gail Devers will again try for the medal that has eluded her in the 100-meter hurdles.
U.S. chances: As always, good in the men's and women's 100, 200 and 400, the relays, hurdles and long jump, but remote in the middle and long distances. A sweep in the men's shot put is likely. The pole vaulters should contend for gold, and Olympic trials winner Bryan Clay could be in the decathlon picture with Tom Pappas. It will be tough to match the 20 medals track and field athletes won at Sydney.
Men's outlook
100: Greene has regained his Sydney championship form, but Shawn Crawford (world-best 9.88, plus 9.93 twice) and Justin Gatlin (9.92 and 9.96) will push him. So will Asafa Powell of Jamaica, who has run 9.91 twice this season and beat Greene last month in London. No one has repeated as 100-meter champion since Carl Lewis in 1984-88, the latter after Ben Johnson was disqualified for a positive drug test.
200: Jamaican sensation Usain Bolt reportedly had a hamstring injury that might keep him out of the Games. That's good news for the U.S. trio of Crawford, Gatlin and Bernard Williams. Sydney gold medalist Konstantinos Kenteris of Greece will be the crowd favorite.
400: U.S. runners have won gold in this event 17 of the 23 times the U.S. has competed in the Games. The top hope is Wariner, who ran a world-best 44.37 at the Olympic trials and 44.50 in May.
800: Kenyan-born world record-holder Wilson Kipketer, representing his adopted homeland of Denmark, was favored at Sydney but finished second in a close, slow race. He could prevail this time, based on his 1:43.88 in Rome in early July.
1,500: Alan Webb's resurgence has energized U.S. track fans, but his season-best 3:32.73 isn't among the top 20 in the world this year. After Kenyans took the top five places at a recent meet in Paris, led by Bernard Lagat's 3:29.21, world record-holder Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco responded with a world-leading 3:29.18. Mehdi Baala of France and Rachid Ramzi of Bahrain are also contenders.
3,000 steeplechase: Ken-yans have 12 of the top 13 times in the world this season, led by Paul Kipsiele Koech's 7:59.65. Saif Saaeed Shaheen of Qatar (8:01.97) has a chance to break the Kenyan monopoly.
5,000: Kenenisa Bekele, a 22-year-old Ethiopian, set the world record of 12:37.35 on May 31, a warmup to his record-breaking run in the 10K eight days later. His 5K record is more than nine seconds faster than the second-best time this year, which belongs to Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya in 12:46.53. This is a contest for silver and bronze.
10,000: Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia set the world record of 26:21 in June and is the prohibitive favorite. U.S. trials winner Meb Keflezighi chose not to compete in the Olympic 10,000, leaving runner-up Abdi Abdirahman (27:55) as the top U.S. hope.
Marathon: Paul Tergat, Eric Wainaina and Sammy Korir could make this a Kenyan sweep.
110 hurdles: Allen Johnson of the U.S., the 1996 gold medalist who was injured at Sydney and finished fourth, barely grabbed third at the U.S. trials. However, he won at Paris the following weekend in 13.07 and again at Stockholm a week later, in 13.13. U.S. trials champion Terrence Trammell ran a winning time of 13.09, which was the fifth best in the world this season.
400 hurdles: New York-born and USC-trained Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic has dominated the last few years, but James Carter of the U.S. recorded a world-leading 47.68 in winning the Olympic trials.
4x100 relay: With Greene, Gatlin and Crawford available, as well as John Capel, Darvis Parron and Coby Miller, the U.S. should win easily. .
4x400 relay: Wariner, Otis Harris, Darold Williamson and Derrick Brew give the U.S. depth. If they don't drop the baton, the gold is theirs.
20K walk: Three Russian Vladimirs—Stankin, Parvatkin and Andreyev—own four of the top six times this season and should dominate. Stankin's world-leading time is 1 hour 17 minutes 23 seconds. Tim Seaman won the U.S. trials in 1:25:40.
50K walk: Denis Nizhegorodov of Russia set the world record of 3:35:29 in June. Russian and Chinese athletes have the top 15 times in the world this season.
High jump: Stefan Holm of Sweden, fourth at Sydney, is the favorite with a world-best 2.36 meters (7-83/4). Jamie Nieto won the U.S. trials at 2.33 (7-73/4) and has a chance at a medal.
Long jump: Dwight Phillips of the U.S., the 2003 world champion, has the four best leaps this season, topped by a world-leading 8.44 meters (27-81/4).
Triple jump: Melvin Lister had given up on the event before returning this season to win the U.S. trials with a leap of 17.78 meters (58-4), tops in the world this year and better than the jump that won gold at Sydney in 2000. Lister, Walter Davis and Kenta Bell give the U.S. hope for a medal.
Pole vault: Tough to predict, because much depends on weather and luck. Helmet-wearing Toby Stevenson cleared 6 meters (19-81/4) early this season but has been inconsistent. Timothy Mack won the U.S. trials at 5.90 (19-4 1/4) and is expected to contend for a medal.
Shot put: John Godina could easily be part of a sweep with Adam Nelson and Reese Hoffa. Those three have dominated the world list this year.
Discus: Virgilijus Alekna of Lithuania seems to have a lock on this event, which he won at Sydney. He has five of the top six distances this season.
Hammer throw: The only American who met the Olympic "A" standard of 78.65 meters (258 feet) is James Parker, who reached only 254-6 at the Olympic trials.
Javelin: Three-time Olympic champion Jan Zelezny of the Czech Republic finished fourth at last year's world championships and has had a quiet season. Alexander Ivanov of Russia, Breaux Greer of the U.S. and Peter Esenwein and Boris Henry of Germany could end Zelezny's reign.
Decathlon: American Tom Pappas is of Greek descent and will be claimed as family by half of Greece if he duplicates the effort that brought him the 2003 world title. Sydney silver medalist Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic and Clay of the U.S. figure to be in the medal hunt too.
Women's outlook
100: U.S. trials winner LaTasha Colander, a 400-meter runner-turned-sprinter, and NCAA champion Lauryn Williams have each run 10.97, tied for third in the world this year.
200: Allyson Felix won the Olympic trials in 22.28, ahead of Muna Lee (22.36) and Torri Edwards (22.38). Veronica Campbell of Jamaica and the University of Arkansas has the top time this season, 22.18, and will be a factor.
400: Tonique Williams-Darling of the Bahamas has run three sub-50 times. Mexico's Ana Guevara, who has nearly owned the event, has struggled with an injury. U.S. collegian Sanya Richards has the speed and smarts to make the top three.
800: Jearl-Miles Clark qualified for her fifth Olympic team by winning the U.S trials (she was in the relay pool in 1988 but didn't compete), while sister-in-law Hazel Clark was third. They and fellow qualifier Nicole Teter are well behind the season-best 1:57.68 by Jolanda Ceplak of Slovenia.
1,500: Elvan Abeylegesse, the 5,000-meter record-holder, has a season-best of 3:58.28 in the 1,500 and might double.
5,000: Elvan Abeylegesse, who left her Ethiopian homeland for better training conditions in Turkey, created a sensation when she set a world record of 14:24.68 in June. Otherwise, Ethiopian women dominate the top 15, led by 2003 world champion Tirunesh Dibaba's 14:30.88.
10,000: World leader Radcliffe skipped this to run the marathon, leaving no clear favorite. Lydiya Grigoryeva of Russia has the next-best time at 31:01.15.
Marathon: World record-holder Paula Radcliffe of Britain (2:15:25 in 2003) is the favorite, but Margaret Okayo of Kenya ran 2:22:35 at this year's London Marathon, and 2003 world champion Catherine Ndereba of Kenya has a season-best of 2:24:27.
100 hurdles: World indoor and outdoor champion Perdita Felicien of Canada, who attended the University of Illinois, has a world-leading 12.46 to her credit and is the favorite. But five-time Olympian Devers and first-time Olympian Joanna Hayes of the U.S. could edge her out.
400 hurdles: Sheena Johnson ran a world-leading 52.95 to win the Olympic trials and become the instant favorite. Behind her were Brenda Taylor (53.36) and Lashinda Demus (53.43).
4x100 relay: Three of the four U.S. women who combined for a world-leading 42.33 in April didn't make the team, and the fourth—Edwards—faces a possible drug ban. Jones might be excluded while she's still being investigated for possible drug use. France should be strong, led by Muriel Hurtis and Christine Arron.
4x400 relay: With collegiate runners Richards, Dee Dee Trotter, Monique Henderson and 400-meter hurdlers Johnson and Demus available, this could be a very young and very successful U.S. quartet.
20K walk: Hongjuan Song of China has the world-leading time this year, 1:26:46, but the aptly named Olimpiada Ivanova of Russia could earn a place on the medals stand.
High jump: Yelena Slesarenko of Russia has three of the top four jumps this season, including a world-leading 2.04 (6-81/4). But Hestrie Cloete of South Africa won the silver at Sydney and is close at 2.03 (6-8).
Long jump: This could be Marion Jones' only individual event, and she might not win. Tatyana Lebedeva of Russia, the favorite in the triple jump, could prevail here too. Another Russian, Irina Simagina, has two wind-legal jumps beyond 7 meters—7.07 (23-21/2) and 7.01 (23-0) to Jones' lone 7.11 (23-4) at the Olympic trials.
Triple jump: Tatyana Lebedeva of Russia, the 2003 world champion, has the four longest jumps this year and is favored.
Pole vault: Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia raised the world record to 16-03/4 (4.90 meters) last month, the fourth time in five weeks the record had fallen. She defeated fellow Russian Svetlana Feofanova and Amerian Stacy Dragila in Stockholm the previous week. Those three should be on the medal stand.
Shot put: Russian teammates Irina Korzhanenko and Svetlana Krivelyova have been tops in the world this season. Americans Laura Gerraughty and Kristin Heaston, 1-2 at the Olympic trials, are well behind the world leaders.
Discus: Ekaterini Voggoli and Anastasia Kelesidou of Greece have two of the top four distances this season and will have the home-field advantage.
Hammer throw: No one is ever sure to win at the Olympics, but Cuba's Yipsi Moreno is close, having recorded nine of the top 13 throws this season.
Javelin: World record-holder Osleidys Menendez of Cuba, the Sydney bronze medalist, is the class of the field. Only Nikola Brejchova of the Czech Republic has come anywhere near her this season.
Heptathlon: Carolina Kluft of Sweden has the top two totals in the world this season, 6,820 and 6,769.
Little-known fact: A dozen track and field athletes with ties to UCLA, plus U.S. men's distance coach Bob Larsen, will represent four countries at Athens. Besides U.S. team members Amy Acuff, Shelia Burrell, Gail Devers, Joanna Hayes, Monique Henderson, Sheena Johnson, Meb Keflezighi, Michelle Perry and Seilala Sua, Ato Boldon will represent Trinidad and Tobago, Malachi Davis will run for Britain and Yoo Kim will pole-vault for South Korea.
You'll remember: Bekele, for his remarkable distance double. Stevenson, for his helmet and his wild exultation after he clears the bar in the pole vault. The female pole vaulters, who are advancing the sport in its second Olympics. The shot putters, competing against the backdrop of the ancient Games. And the marathoners, whose race will begin in Marathon.

Triathlon
Where: Vouliagmeni and Oceanida.
When: Aug. 25-26.
Top U.S. performers: Hunter Kemper is ranked No. 1 in the U.S. and No. 5 in the world. Barb Lindquist has been the top-ranked female since May 2003.
U.S. chances: U.S. women could win both gold and silver. The U.S. has the two top-ranked females in Lindquist and Sheila Taormina.
Little-known fact: Taormina will try to become the first female to win a gold medal in different sports at different Summer Games. She swam on the U.S. 800-meter freestyle relay team that won gold at the 1996 Games.
You'll remember: Dmitiriy Gaag of Kazakstan, who is notorious for arriving the night before competition begins. This often means lost equipment: He has won some events using borrowed bicycles.

Volleyball
Where: Peace and Friendship Stadium, Faliro.
When: Aug. 14-29.
Top U.S. performers: Lloy Ball, Reid Priddy, Kevin Barnett, Tom Hoff, Logan Tom, Tayyiba Haneef, Danielle Scott, Heather Bown.
U.S. chances: The men should reach at least the quarterfinals. The women could challenge for the gold—or fail to make the medal round.
Little-known fact: Opposite hitter Clay Stanley and his father, Jon, are the first father-son Olympians in U.S. volleyball history. Jon was a starter on the 1968 team that finished seventh and is in the Volleyball Hall of Fame.
You'll remember: Tom. With her looks and a powerful game to match, the 6-foot-1-inch former NCAA player of the year at Stanford figures to get plenty of face time.

Water polo
Where: Olympic Aquatic Center, Olympic Sports Complex.
When: Aug. 15-29.
Top U.S. performers: Wolf Wigo, Tony Azevedo; Brenda Villa, Ellen Estes, Jackie Frank, Nicolle Payne.
U.S. chances: The men have a very slim chance for a medal. However, the women are decided favorites after winning the last world championships.
Little-known fact: It took 94 years from when the first women's water polo game was played in 1906 to the game's inclusion in the Olympics.
You'll remember: Villa. The former Stanford star is super competitive. She crafted her skill playing against boys in high school. When asked which former Stanford athlete she'd most like to face, Villa once told the school's Web site: "John Elway—in a water polo shootout."

Weightlifting
Where: Nikaia Olympic Weightlifting Hall.
When: Aug. 14-25.
Top U.S. performers: Shane Hamman, Oscar Chaplin III, Chad Vaughn, Cheryl Haworth, Tara Cunningham.
U.S. chances: Haworth won a bronze and Cunningham won a gold in 2000. But the women's field should be dominated by the Chinese. Hamman has an outside shot at a podium finish. But U.S. men have not won a medal in 20 years.
Little-known fact: Turkey's legendary Naim Suleymanoglu stood 5 feet tall and was dubbed "Pocket Hercules." His successor, Halil Mutlu, is even shorter at 4-11.
You'll remember: Pyrros Dimas and Kakhi Kakiasvilis. Weightlifting is a Greek passion, and Dimas and Kakiasvilis will go for their record-setting fourth consecutive golds.

Wrestling
Where: Ano Liossia Olympic Hall.
When: Women's freestyle, Aug. 22-23; men's Greco-Roman, Aug. 24-26; men's freestyle, Aug. 27-29.
Top U.S. performers: Rulon Gardner, Cael Sanderson, Kerry McCoy, Toccara Montgomery, Patricia Miranda.
U.S. chances: The U.S. will be hard-pressed to match the seven medals it won in 2000, even with the debut of women's freestyle wrestling in the Olympics.
Little-known fact: Montgomery, who won a silver medal at the 2003 worlds, beat reigning world champion Kristie Marano of the U.S. in the Olympic trials after Marano's weight class was eliminated for the Athens Olympics.
You'll remember: Gard-ner. His comeback gets the sentimental nod. After suffering damaged toes due to frostbite, he came back to win the U.S. trials.

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