BEIJING, China — Aaron Peirsol, the former Newport Harbor High star, began his quest today to become the second swimmer in history to sweep the backstroke events at consecutive Olympic Games.

Peirsol competed in the 200-meter backstroke preliminary at 4:09 a.m., Pacific Standard time. The semifinal is set for 9:23 Thursday morning (PST) and the final later in the evening at 7:16. The final is scheduled to air on NBC 8-9 p.m.

The 25-year-old captured his fifth gold medal Monday, when he lowered his world record to win the 100 backstroke in 52.52 seconds. He set the previous record (52.89) last month at the U.S. Olympic Trials.


BEIJING, China — The U.S. men’s water polo team, which includes former UC Irvine All-Americans Ryan Bailey, Jeff Powers, Tim Hutten and Rick Merlo, will square off against Serbia in its toughest match to date tonight at 7:50 (PST).

Powers scored three goals to lead Team USA to a 12-11 victory over Italy and kept the Americans undefeated at 2-0, as they beat China, 8-4, to open the Olympics.

The U.S. men’s water polo team last played Serbia in the title match of the FINA World League Super Final in June, when Serbia won, 7-3.


BEIJING, China — The U.S. men’s volleyball team, which includes former Corona del Mar High standout Kevin Hansen as a setter and UC Irvine Coach John Speraw as an assistant, leads its pool.

The Americans beat Italy, 24-26, 25-22, 25-15, 25-21, to improve to 2-0.

— From staff reports

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