DAILY REPORT : BARCELONA ’92 OLYMPICS / DAY 14 : SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING : Josephson Twins of U.S. Top Canadian Counterparts
In fitting symmetry, one set of identical twins beat another set Friday to win the gold medal in duet competition.
Americans Karen and Sarah Josephson, sisters from Bristol, Conn., gained their first Olympic title and stretched their unbeaten streak to 16 meets.
They beat Canadians Penny and Vicky Vilagos by 2 1/2 points to complete a U.S. sweep of the synchro golds.
The Josephsons earned four 10s for technical merit and another four perfect marks for artistic impression, giving them 99.600 points for their optional routine. They scored 92.575 in the compulsory figures.
The bronze went to Fumiko Okuno and Aki Takayama of Japan.
The Josephsons, 28, had retired for one year after winning the silver medal in Seoul. They returned to win the 1991 world championships.
“Our goal the last three years was to equal or better our performance in Seoul, and I think we did that today,” Karen said.
The Josephsons stroked and kicked to an All-American medley of “An American Salute nGould,” the theme from “City Slickers,” “Appalachian Spring” and a pair of Gershwin tunes, “Rhapsody in Blue” and “Allegro Agetato.”
Swimming ahead of the Canadians and Japanese, the Josephsons needed 91.508 points to clinch the gold. They far surpassed that total, yet won with fewer points than the 197.284 they scored for a silver medal in the 1988 Olympics.
Their victory maintained U.S. dominance of the duet event in the Olympics. In 1984, Tracie Ruiz-Conforto and Candy Costie won the first synchronized swimming gold medal.
CIS Upsets Hungary in Sabre
The Commonwealth of Independent States defeated pre-Olympic favorite Hungary, 9-5, to win the gold medal in men’s team sabre.
The CIS’ gold-medal team of Grigorij Kirienko, Alexandre Chirchov, Gueorgui Pogossov, Vadim Gouttsait and Stanislav Pozdniakov defeated Romania, 9-6, in the semifinals to advance to the gold-medal round.
Hungary had defeated France, 9-1, in the semifinals. France defeated Romania, 9-5, to win the bronze.
Germany, considered a medal contender, lost to Hungary in the quarterfinals and finished fifth after defeating Poland, 9-6.
Ghana Shuts Out Australia
Isaac Asare scored in the 19th minute to give Ghana a 1-0 victory over Australia in the bronze-medal match.
Australia wasted a penalty kick shortly before Asare scored at Nou Camp Stadium.
Neither team exhibited cohesive play. But Ghana showed superior ball control and denied a flurry of Australian chances in the second half.
Australian playmaker Ned Zelic, who has been signed by Germany’s first-division Borussia Dortmund, gave his team a chance to take an early lead when he was awarded a penalty kick in the 16th minute.
But Ghana goalkeeper Ibrahim Dossey fisted away Paul Okon’s rising shot.
Asare put Ghana ahead less than three minutes later with a right-footed, curving free kick from 25 meters.
Yaw Preko’s falling shot from inside the penalty area glanced off the Australian goal post shortly before halftime.
Spanish Women Take Gold
Elisabeth Maragall tipped in a pass from close range 13 minutes into overtime to give Spain a 2-1 victory over Germany for the gold medal in women’s play.
Spain took the lead in the eighth minute when Maria Barea’s shot deflected off a defender.
Franziska Hentschel tied the score four minutes later, connecting on a long-range shot between the Spanish goalie’s legs after a corner.
It was the first gold medal for Spain in women’s field hockey, which was added to the Olympic program for the 1980 Moscow Games.
Germany tied Spain, 2-2, in round-robin play and beat out the host in winning Group A.
Britain finished third, beating Group B winner South Korea, 4-3, in overtime in the bronze medal-match.
Jane Sixsmith scored the game-winner, her second goal in the match, with three minutes left in the first overtime period.
* SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING
GOLD: Karen Josephson and Sarah Josephson (U.S.)
SILVER: Penny Vilagos and Vicky Vilagos (Canada)
BRONZE: Fumiko Okuno and Aki Takayama (Japan)
(Men’s team sabre)
* FIELD HOCKEY
* ROLLER HOCKEY (Demonstration)