Saturday, September 23|
Thompson wins eighth gold medal
SYDNEY, Australia -- The United States left the pool with a
bang Saturday, setting world records in decisive relay victories
over host Australia on the final day of Olympic swimming.
Jenny Thompson won her eighth career relay gold -- her 10th medal
overall -- and Gary Hall Jr. overpowered Aussie Michael Klim on the
anchor leg as the Americans won the women's and men's 400-meter
In the men's 400 medley relay, the team of Lenny Krayzelburg, Ed
Moses, Ian Crocker and Hall won in 3 minutes, 33.73 seconds,
lowering the mark of 3:34.84 set by Americans at the 1996 Atlanta
"With those guys, it's so inspiring," said Crocker, a
18-year-old from Portland, Maine. "I always get nervous before I
swim. They calmed me down and told me to have fun."
It was Krayzelburg's third gold after victories in the 100 and
200 backstrokes. Hall picked up his second gold after tying
teammate Anthony Ervin in the 50 freestyle Friday. Moses had won
silver in the 100 breaststroke.
The United States won 33 medals, including 14 golds, during the
meet in which 15 world records were set or tied at the Sydney
International Aquatic Center. The host Australians claimed 18
medals and five golds.
After accepting their golds, the U.S. men unfurled a banner
reading: "Sydney 2000. In our hearts forever. Thanks Australia."
In the women's relay, B.J. Bedford, Megan Quann, Thompson and
Dara Torres won in 3:58.30, erasing the mark of 4:01.67 set by
China at the 1994 world championships.
"By the time Jenny got in the pool, I knew we had the world
record. I knew," said Quann, who won gold in the 100 breaststroke.
Australia's men and women settled for silver in both medley
relays. The American women went 3-0 against their Aussie
counterparts in the overall relays, while the U.S. men were 1-2.
The Aussie team of Matthew Welsh, Regan Harrison, Geoff Huegill
and Klim took silver in 3:35.27.
Ian Thorpe, the 17-year-old Aussie sensation, wound up with
three golds and a silver in his first Olympics. He set world
records in the 400 freestyle and the 400 freestyle relay, swimming
the anchor leg, and finished second in the 200 freestyle. Thorpe's
third gold was for swimming the 400 medley relay preliminaries.
With eight gold medals -- all in relays -- Thompson ended her
swimming career one short of gymnast Larissa Lathynina of the
former Soviet Union for most golds by a woman. She tied Torres for
bronze in the 100 freestyle in Sydney, and won silver in the 100
freestyle at the 1992 Olympics.
After finishing third in the 50 freestyle, Torres hurried with
her medal across the deck to prepare for the relay, which she
anchored. Thompson, a 27-year-old from Dover, N.H., swam the
"I'm really sad it's over," said Torres, in her fourth and
final Olympics at 33. "It's been an unbelievable experience, a
dream come true."
|The U.S. men's 400 medley relay team awaits anchor Gary Hall Jr. to touch the wall.|
De Bruijn wins 50-meter free for third gold