Newport Harbor High alum Aaron Peirsol grabbed his first gold medal
of the Athens Olympics in the 100-meter backstroke Monday, one of
three swimming events he will compete in. Peirsol finished in 54.06
seconds for the victory while Markus Rogan of Austria (54.35) and
Japan's Tomomi Morita (54.36) battled for the silver and bronze
Lenny Krayzelburg, who holds the Olympic and world records in the
event, finished fourth in 54.38. Krayzelburg won the gold in the 100
and 200 back in the 2000 Olympics in Syndey, Australia.
Peirsol's next event will be the 200 back, the event in which he
won silver at the Sydney Olympics and set a world record at the
recent Olympic trials in Long Beach. His preliminary race will be
Wednesday at 12:30 a.m. Pacific time. The semifinals follow Wednesday
at 9:50 a.m. with the finals Thursday also at 9:50 a.m.
Peirsol's final event is the 400 medley relay, which starts Friday
at 2 a.m. The finals are Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
In other Olympic competition:
Corona del Mar High product Taylor Dent beat Canada's Fred
Niemeyer, 6-2- 3-6, 6-4, in the first round of the tennis tournament.
Dent, ranked No. 59 in the Association of Tennis Professionals, faced
Slovakia's Dominki Hrbaty late Monday night. Hrbaty, No. 16 on the
ATP, beat Morocco's Younes El Aynaoui, 6-3, 6-4, to advance to the
UC Irvine products Peter Wells and Lanee Butler-Beashel completed
their first windsurfing races. Wells finished 20th out of 32
finishers in the first men's race. There are 11 races contested by
each entrant and winners are determined by overall point standings
based on placement in each race.
His time of 39 minutes, 34 seconds was 3:58 behind Poland's
Przemyslaw, who finished first.
Butler-Beashel, who finished fourth at the Sydney Games, sailed
two races and is currently in 16th place out of 26. The three-time
U.S. Sailing Female Athlete of the Year finished her first race in
13th place and her second in 16th. Butler-Beashel has 29 points after
Italy's Alessandra Sensini leads the women with eight points after
finishing seventh and first in the two races.
Both men's and women's windsurfing is scheduled to continue
Wednesday at 3 a.m.
While Wells and Butler-Beashel were just beginning their Olympic
competition, another Anteater concluded hers. Lara Bjargdottir, a
swimmer who will be a junior in the fall, finished fourth in her
preliminary heat of the women's individual medley. Bjargdottir, who
swam for Iceland, finished in 2:22.00. The slowest qualifying time
for the semifinals was 2:17.27.
The U.S. men's water polo team, including former Anteaters Genai
Kazakhstan today at 6:30 a.m. Coming off a dramatic last-second goal
to beat Croatia, the U.S. (1-0) will face a physical Kazakhstan team
(0-1) that lost it's opening game to Russia, 5-2.
The game is scheduled to be aired on MSNBC at 4:25 PST, but times
and channels are subject to change.
Newport Harbor product Misty May and her beach volleyball partner
Kerri Walsh played Marrit Leenstra and Rebekka Kadijk from the
Netherlands earlier today at 3 a.m.
May-Walsh defeated Japan's Ryoko Tokuno and Chiaki Kusuhara, 21-9,
21-16, in their first match of pool play.
Leenstra-Kadijk lost, 21-19, 21-16, to Eva Celbova and Sona
Novakova of the Czech Republic.