Russia Pulls Off Handball Upset

From Staff and Wire Reports

Russia won the men’s handball title for the fourth time Saturday, beating Sweden, 28-26, in the gold-medal match.

The Russians, who won gold in 1976 and 1988 as the Soviet Union and in 1992 as the Unified Team, upset the world and European champions to win their third Olympic crown in 12 years and leave the Swedes clutching silver for the third time in a row.

Goalkeeper Andrei Lavrov, the 38-year-old captain who carried the Russian flag at the opening ceremony, pulled off 17 saves in all to became the first man to win three Olympic golds in handball.


FIELD HOCKEY: The Netherlands retained the men’s title, defeating first-time finalist South Korea, 8-7, in a match decided on penalty strokes.

Netherlands prevailed, 5-4, in the tiebreaker, required to break the deadlock for the first time in Olympic hockey’s history, after the two teams were tied 3-3 during the regulation and extra time periods.

The Dutch became the first team in four decades to retain the men’s Olympic crown since India’s six-gold sequence finished after the 1956 Games in Melbourne.

Earlier, Australia rode Troy Elder’s hat trick to beat three-time champion Pakistan, 6-3, in the bronze-medal game.

EQUESTRIAN: Jeroen Dubbeldam of the Netherlands won the gold medal for show jumping, emerging victorious in a three-way jump-off from his compatriot Albert Voorn and Khaled Al Eid of Saudi Arabia.

Dubbeldam knocked no rails down in the jump-off, while Voorn and Al Eid both knocked one. Voorn secured silver with a better time.

TAEKWONDO: South Korea captured its third gold in the sport by winning the men’s heavyweight division.

Kim Kyong-hun, in Sydney because national champion Kim Jae-kyung was injured, defeated Australian Daniel Trenton, 6-2, in the over 176.3-pound competition.

Pascal Gentil of France defeated Khaleed Al-Dosri of Saudi Arabia for the bronze.

In the women’s over 147.7-pound event, China’s Chen Zhong beat Natalia Ivanova of Russia, 8-3.

The bronze went to Dominique Bosshart of Canada, who beat Croatian Natasa Vezmar, 11-8.

MODERN PENTATHLON: Americans Velizar Iliev and Chad Senior watched from a distance as Dmitry Svatkovsky of Russia crossed the finish line of the 3-kilometer run to win the gold medal. Gabor Balogh of Hungary won the silver, and Pavel Dovgal of Belarus took the bronze.

Senior finished sixth, and Iliev, who emigrated to the U.S. from Bulgaria in 1991, was ninth.

CANOE-KAYAK SPRINT FINALS: The Hungarian pair of Zoltan Kammerer and Botond Storcz won the gold medal in the 500-meter two-man kayak sprint after competition was delayed for several hours by heavy winds in Penrith.

Australia won the silver and Germany the bronze.

Angel Perez of Miami and Peter Newton of Seattle finished sixth.

Petar Merkov of Bulgaria won his second silver medal in as many days despite reports he tested positive for a banned substance earlier this summer.

RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS: Russia won a tiebreaker over Belarus to claim the team gold medal on a night punctuated with boos, whistles and puzzling scoring.

Yulia Barsukova of Russia also won the individual all-around.

Yulia Raskina of Belarus won the silver and Alina Kabaeva of Russia won the bronze.

Russia, which won the bronze in Atlanta where the team event made its Olympic debut, finished level with Belarus on 39.500 points.

But the world champions were awarded the gold having obtained a higher mark in qualifying.

Greece took the bronze with 39.283.

Some puzzling scoring prompted an almost steady stream of jeers and whistles from a sold-out crowd, which seemed confused about what constituted a good performance.

The sport arrived in Sydney still reeling from a major judging scandal at last year’s European championships that resulted in eight judges being banned from working the Sydney Olympics and six others receiving one year suspensions.