Holden opened the penultimate day of Olympic competition

Associated Press Published:

Holden opened the penultimate day of Olympic competition with a silver medal Saturday (Friday night EDT) in the women's time trial. She covered the 18-mile course in 42 minutes flat.

The five-time national champion from Colorado Springs, Colo., bounced back after a rough trip in the Olympic road race earlier in the week. Mechanical problems and a crash knocked her out of the medal chase there.

Holden finished second to Leontien Zijlaard of the Netherlands, who won her third gold medal of the Sydney Games. Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli of France, soon to turn 42, won the bronze.

It was the second cycling medal for the United States, coming after Marty Nothstein's gold in match sprint.

After the first events Saturday, the Americans remained atop the medal table with 80 (33 gold, 20 silver, 27 bronze). Russia was next with 61 (20-19-22), followed by China's 56 (26-15-15).

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_ CANOE-KAYAK: After reaching the finals for the first time, the United States team finished sixth in the 1,000-meter four-man kayak Saturday (Friday night EDT). With one race to go for the Americans, they finished out of the medals in each attempt Down Under _ the second straight Olympics where they have failed to win anything.

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_ TRACK: Marion Jones sailed across the Sydney sky, hoping to land with her third gold medal. Before she ever touched down, it had turned to bronze.

Call it Olympic alchemy, the kind that happens when great athletes stumble.

Jones, already the winner of two Sydney golds, had her drive for an unprecedented five golds in a single Summer Games ended by her own foot in the long jump, her weakest event. In a half-dozen jumps Friday, her track shoe inched over the foul line four times.

"The dream for five is not alive any more," Jones said. "I don't regret at all saying I was going to go for five. I had a shot, and it just didn't pan out."

Jones finished third, behind 1992 Olympic champion Heike Drechsler of Germany and 1996 silver medalist Fiona May of Italy. Drechsler, 35, is more than a decade older than Jones.

Despite her bronze, Jones still has the 400-meter and 1,600-meter relays to run. Her chances for victory there were hamstrung by injuries that sidelined relay teammates Gail Devers and Inge Miller.

The Americans prevailed in the Olympic pole vault for the first time since 1968, with Nick Hysong taking the gold and Lawrence Johnson winning the silver.

In track's other story, Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj's three-year winning streak in the men's 1,500 meters ended when he finished second to Noah Ngeny of Kenya. Ngeny set an Olympic record to snap El Guerrouj's reign.

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_ MEN'S BASKETBALL: The shot by Sarunas Jasikevicius hung up in the air, headed toward the Lithuania hoop. If it fell, so would the gold-medal hopes of the 12 NBA stars playing for the United States.

It didn't. And the U.S. "Dream Team," headed into the gold-medal game for the third straight Olympics, narrowly avoided a defeat that would have made "Hoosiers" look hokey.

The final was the United States 85, Lithuania 83 _ and it was closer than that. It was the closest Olympic game ever involving the U.S. professionals, and would have been the first U.S. Olympic basketball loss since 1988.

Instead the Americans _ led by Vince Carter with 18 points and Alonzo Mourning with 16 _ advance to the championship game Sunday (Saturday night EDT) against France.

Before missing the last shot, Jasikevicius had drilled 5-of-10 3-pointers on his way to a team-high 27 points.

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_ SOCCER: The U.S. men's soccer team ran out of surprises.

After making the Olympic quarterfinals for the first time, then winning to make the semifinals for the first time, the Americans head home without a medal after a 2-0 defeat to Chile.

Still, the Americans demonstrated that they are slowly but surely gaining ground on the traditional soccer powers from around the world.

Chile took the bronze medal behind a pair of goals from Ivan Zamorano, the 33-year-old striker known as "Ivan the Terrible." Zamorano, the tournament's leading scorer with six goals, made a penalty kick in the 70th minute and scored again in the 84th.

The U.S. team finished the tournament with a 1-2-3 record, with a penalty kick victory over Japan officially counting as a tie.

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_ BOXING: The Americans came to Sydney intent on winning more than just a single gold medal _ their "haul" in each of the past two Olympics. With the finals this weekend, they still have a chance.

In a wild, high-scoring punchfest, U.S. 139-pounder Ricardo Williams defeated Cuban Diogenes Luna 42-41 to make the gold medal fight. And 125-pounder Rocky Juarez outpointed Kamil Dzamalutdinov of Russia for his own shot at Olympic gold.

Preventing a U.S. sweep of their three fights was 156-pounder Jermain Taylor, who was outclassed by Yermakhan Ibraimov of Kazakstan. The fight was stopped early in the fourth round on the 15-point rule, with Ibraimov leading 29-14.

Taylor, like teammate Clarence Vinson at 119 pounds, winds up with a

silver. The four medals are two fewer than American boxers got in 1996,

but one more than they earned in 1992.

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