Peirsol adds second gold medal

Former Newport Harbor High swimming standout Aaron Peirsol had a

rollercoaster of a day Thursday at the Olympic Games in Athens,

Greece, winning gold in the men's 200-meter backstroke, then being

disqualified, and finally being reinstated as the winner.

Peirsol was getting ready to conduct interviews after he beat

Markus Rogan of Austria by more than two seconds when he found out he

had been disqualified for violating rule 6.4 for propelling himself

while on his stomach going into his last turn.

The U.S. filed a protest and, 20 minutes later, FINA, the

international swimming governing body, overturned the

disqualification, giving the gold back the former Sailor.

Peirsol's victory was also noteworthy since his time of 1 minute,

54.95 seconds broke the Olympic record of 1:55.14 he set the night

before in the semifinals. The current world record holder in the 200

back, Peirsol won a silver medal in the event in the 2000 Sydney


Rogan (1:57.35) earned the silver and Romania's Razvan Florea

(1:57.56) claimed bronze. Great Britain's James Goddard (1:57.76) was

denied a spot on the podium following Peirsol's reinstatement.

Peirsol also became the fifth swimmer in Olympic history to grab

the gold in the 100 and 200 back at the same Olympics. Peirsol joins

Americans Lenny Krazelburg (2000 in Sydney), Rick Carey (1984 in Los

Angeles), John Naber (1976 in Montreal) and East German Roland

Matthes (1968 in Mexico City and 1972 in Munich).

Peirsol will try for his third gold medal of these Games as a

member of the 400 medley relay team that swam its preliminary race

earlier this morning. The finals will take place Saturday at 10:30

a.m. Pacific time.

* In other Olympic action:

Former Corona del Mar High tennis star Taylor Dent advanced to the

semifinals of the men's tournament by defeating Tomas Berdych from

the Czech Republic, 6-4, 6-1, Thursday. Dent, ranked No. 59 in the

Association of Tennis Professionals, will face Nicolas Massu of Chile

today at 7 a.m. Massu, ranked No. 27 in the world, beat Spain's

Carlos Moya, 6-2, 7-5, to advance.

The other semifinal match will also involve an American and a

Chilean when Mardy Fish from Florida takes on Fernando Gonzalez. The

gold medal match is scheduled for Sunday at 7 a.m.

Dent's cousin and former Newport Harbor High sensation Misty May

teamed with Kerri Walsh to complete an unbeaten record in beach

volleyball pool play.

May and Walsh beat the Czech Republic's Eva Celbova and Sona

Novakova, 21-17, 21-17, Thursday. May-Walsh, who were named the

Association of Volleyball Professionals Team of the Year in 2003,

will face Jia Tian and Fei Wang from China Saturday at 10 a.m. in the

round of 16.

UC Irvine product Lanee Butler-Beashel placed 17th in her women's

windsurfing race Thursday. The effort gave Butler-Beashel, a two-time

Pan American Games gold medal winner, 73 points after five legs with

six remaining. She dropped two spots in the overall standings to 18th

place. Faustine Merret of France is currently in first with nine


Fellow windsurfer and former Anteater Peter Wells improved his

overall standing one position to 24th, finishing 16th in Thursday's

men's race. Wells has 81 points after four races. Brazil's Ricardo

Santos leads the men with 13 points.

The U.S. men's water polo team (2-1), featuring five former UCI

players, lost, 7-5, to gold medal favorite Hungary (3-0) Thursday.

UCI product Ryan Bailey gave Team USA a 1-0 lead with 3:12 remaining

in the first quarter. Former Anteater Jeff Powers had two shots on

goal, Dan Klatt had a shot on goal, and Omar Amr won the only sprint

he swam. Goaltender Genai Kerr has not played in any of the three

U.S. matches. The U.S. faces Russia (2-1) Saturday at 2:15 p.m.

Orange Coast College student and Newport Beach resident Jennifer

Parilla will compete in trampoline gymnastics today. The event is

scheduled to be televised on NBC4 at 8 p.m.

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