Sports Headlines from the Summer Olympics
By The Source
Aug 12, 2004
Dawn Staley, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in women's basketball, has been elected as flag bearer to lead Team USA's delegation into Friday's Opening Ceremony. Staley, who resides in Philadelphia, PA, is currently the head women's basketball coach at Temple University. She was a member of the 1996 and 2000 Olympic winning teams and a three-time gold medalist in the World Championships. Staley is also playing for the WNBA's Charlotte Sting.
The best story in Greece on Thursday will play out more than three hours away from Athens in the western city of Patras. That's where the Iraqi soccer team begins its quest for Olympic glory with an opening round Group D match against a heavily-favored Portugese team at Pampeloponnisiako Stadium. Iraq hasn't fielded an Olympic team of any kind since the 1988 games, and it will face the star power of a Portugal squad led by Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo, VFB Stuttgart's Fernando Meira and Fulham's Luis Boa Morte. In other soccer action, Paraguay will face Japan and Ghana will meet Italy in Group B action, and Costa Rica will play Morocco in a Group D match.
Men's top seed Roger Federer will take on Russian Nikolay Davydenko in a first- round match at the Olympic tennis tournament, which begins on Sunday. The draw was announced on Thursday. Davydenko faced Federer in the second round of the NASDAQ 100 Open in late March and lost in straight sets. Federer, who will carry the flag for Switzerland in the Opening Ceremony Friday night, has captured five events this year, including the Australian Open and Wimbledon. He is currently ranked No. 1 in the world. American Andy Roddick, who lost to Federer in the Wimbledon final and is the reigning U.S. Open champion, is seeded second and will play Brazil's Flavio Saretta in the opening round. Spaniard Carlos Moya is seeded third and will battle Swede Thomas Enqvist, while fourth seed Tim Henman of Great Britain will go against Jirk Novak of the Czech Republic. American Taylor Dent, who is not seeded, will take on sixth- seed David Nalbandian of Argentina. Another unseeded American, Vincent Spadea, will play Austria's Jurgen Melzer, while Mardy Fish of the U.S. plays Swede Jonas Bjorkman.
Women's top seed Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium is matched up with Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic. Henin-Hardenne, a winner of three tournaments this year, including the Australian Open, hasn't been in an event since the French Open in late May. According to her coach, Carlos Rodriguez, Henin- Hardenne has been out of action for about three months due to a viral infection. France's Amelie Mauresmo is seeded second among the women, followed by three Russians, Anastasia Myskina, Elena Dementieva and Svetlana Kuznetsova. Mauresmo will be matched up against Spain's Conchita Martinez, Myskina plays Spaniard Magui Serna, Dementieva battles Australia's Alicia Molik, and Kuznetsova matches up with Argentina's Mariana Diaz-Oliva. Sixth seed Venus Williams of the U.S. will play Melinda Czink of Hungary. It was Wednesday that Williams' sister, Serena, pulled out of the Olympics due to a knee problem.
American beach volleyball standout Misty May, whose participation for the 2004 Olympics was in doubt due to an abdominal strain, arrived in Athens Wednesday night and is apparently ready to compete. May and partner Kerri Walsh are the top seeds for the Olympic beach volleyball tournament. The American tandem were 2000 Olympians, but on different teams until they joined forces in 2001 and since then they've been the most dominant duo on the pro beach volleyball circuit. They had an overall 90-match winning streak broken in early June. The duo had also won 15 tournaments in a row. On Wednesday night, May and Walsh trained on an outside court under the floodlights, where the matches will be played. The beach volleyball tournament is scheduled to begin Saturday at the Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre.
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