|HOME | SPORTS | OLYMPICS | NEWS|
September 22, 2000
Popov gets last stab at gloryDerek Parr
Alexander Popov, who has lost one Olympic title to Pieter van den Hoogenband, takes his last shot at an historic treble when he defends his 50 metres freestyle crown on Friday.
The 28-year-old Russian, who won the 50 and 100 metres freestyle titles at the 1992 and 1996 Games, had to settle for the silver medal behind his Dutch rival in the 100 freestyle final on Wednesday.
But he is still well in the running to retain his 50 freestyle title and become the first male swimmer to win the same individual event at three different Olympics.
Gary Hall, bronze medallist in the 100, posted the fastest semifinal time of 22.07 seconds, with Popov fourth fastest overall in 22.17 after finishing second in his semifinal behind Van den Hoogenband (22.11).
"It will take 22 to win, it will be nice to get another medal but I have already got two golds," van den Hoogenband said.
Hall's American team mate Anthony Ervin was third fastest overall in 22.13.
Commonwealth champion Geoff Huegill threatens to upstage world champion Michael Klim in the men's 100 metres butterfly final after obliterating the Olympic record in the semifinals.
Huegill clocked 51.96 to eclipse the 52.27 of 1996 Olympic champion Denis Pankratov and get within nudging distance of fellow Australian Klim's 51.81 world mark.
Klim, who has won two relay golds in a hectic Sydney schedule, won his semifinal in the appreciably slower time of 52.63.
American Brooke Bennett, the women's 400 freestyle gold medallist, is in pole position to retain the 800 metres freestyle crown.
Her toughest opposition could well come from Ukraine's Yana Klochkova, who is chasing a Sydney treble after winning the 200 and 400 individual medleys.
Romania's Diana Mocanu, newly-crowned women's 100 backstroke champion, is strong favourite to complete a golden double in the 200 final.
Athletics, for many what the Olympics is all about, begins on Friday with two golds to be won -- in the men's 20 km walk and the men's shot.
There will be 100 metres heats for both men and women and Michael Johnson will be in the 400 heats.
The Sydney Games will stage the first Olympic trampolining event and the diving gets under way.
Eighteen golds will be waiting to be won.
TRAVEL | NEWSLINKS
ROMANCE | WEDDING | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | FREE MESSENGER | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK