Day 8 in review: ATLANTA OLYMPICS

From staff and wire reports

How hot it was

Temperature: High 84, low 69

Humidity: 90 percent high, 55-70 most of the day

Heat index: 91

Going out with gold

Amy Van Dyken led the American swimmers to their greatest gold-medal rushsince the Los Angeles Games, becoming the first U.S. woman to win four goldsin a single Olympics.

Van Dyken won the 50-meter freestyle on the final night of swimming,adding to her earlier golds in the 100 butterfly and two relays. BradBridgewater won gold in the 200 backstroke as the American swimmers finishedwith 13 gold medals. They had 21 golds in Los Angeles in 1984 but just eightat Seoul and 11 at Barcelona.

"This was such a tremendous effort for the United States," Bridgewatersaid. "We had the ball rolling from the first day. We may have had a sessionor two where it didn't go like you'd like it to, but, for the most part, themeet has been rolling along very successfully for us."

U.S. surprise

After Becky Ruehl, 18, finished second after the preliminary round ofplatform diving, her roommate, 1992 bronze medalist Mary Ellen Clark, calledthe performance "incredibly awesome." Ruehl, from Lakeside Park, Ky., is only5.34 points behind Fu Mingxia of China.

U.S. disappointment

The Olympics ended quickly for Mary Slaney this time. Slaney, perhaps thebest female distance runner never to win an Olympic medal, was seventh in her5,000 heat (15: 41.30) and failed to advance to tomorrow's final.

Foreign surprise

Ecuador's Jefferson Perez captured his country's first Olympic medal,winning the 20-kilometer walk. "I felt it was what I needed to do for mycountry," he said. "I feel great about it. But I have wet shoes."

Foreign disappointment

Japan's Ryoko Tamura saw her 84-match victory streak broken in the finalof the women's extra-lightweight judo division. Tamura, 20, lost to16-year-old Kye Sun of North Korea. Tamura's last defeat had come in thegold-medal match at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

Local watch

Bill Carlucci (left, above), a 1989 Johns Hopkins graduate who competed onthe crew team there, is on the U.S. team that had the fastest semifinal timein the men's lightweight coxless fours. Carlucci, of Rye Brook, N.Y., teamedup with David Collins, Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Jeff Pfaendtner, Detroit; andMarcus Schneider, Everett, Wash., to finish in 6: 09.89. The finals aretomorrow.

Libby Callahan of Upper Marlboro finished 23rd in the preliminary round ofthe women's 25-meter sport pistol. The top eight shooters advanced to thefinals. China's Li Duihong won the gold. LTC Amy Feng (Wheaton) battled the world's No. 4 woman, Liu Wei of China.Feng won the first game before falling, 16-21, 21-8, 21-15, in women's singlesqualifying. Feng, 27, came to the United States in 1992 after she wasn'tpicked for the Chinese 1992 World Championships team. A decade ago, she wasChina's third best singles player.

End quote

"I feel better mentally knowing I'm getting on the fastest bike in theworld. If you have to go to a drag race, you wouldn't want to do it in aVolkswagen bug. You'd want to do it in a Ferrari."

-- Marty Nothstein, one of only two Americans still in contention for acycling track medal, who rides a modified version of the SuperBike.

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