Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Final Run: Ethiopian Wins Marathon

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Final Run: Ethiopian Wins Marathon

Article excerpt

SYDNEY, Australia -- Gezahgne Abera of Ethiopia arrived first at the Olympic Stadium, then circled the track as he headed for the finish line yesterday -- the end of the marathon and the end of competition at the Sydney Games.

Abera, 22, the runner-up this year in the closest Boston Marathon ever, captured the gold in the final event of the Summer Games. Eric Wainaina of Kenya took the silver, while Tesfaye Tola of Ethiopia won the bronze.

It marked the first marathon medal for Ethiopia since a bronze in 1972.

MEN'S BASKETBALL -- The U.S. "Dream Team" reasserted its Olympic superiority in a gold medal-winning 85-75 performance.

After staggering off with a two-point semifinal victory against Lithuania, the NBA all-stars sprinted to an early lead in the final against France. The Americans faltered in the second half, when the lead was cut to four, but Vince Carter's double-pump dunk with 1:40 left sparked a closing 9-3 U.S. run.

"It wasn't a cakewalk," said U.S. center Alonzo Mourning. "I think that will make us appreciate it even more."

While nowhere near as imposing as in the past, the U.S. team still went undefeated and brought home a gold for the third consecutive Olympics. Carter and Ray Allen led the Americans with 13 points apiece.

"Now we have the ultimate championship," Allen said. "We won a gold medal with the whole world watching."

Lithuania, a two-point semifinal loser to the Americans, won its third consecutive bronze by beating host Australia 89-71.

BOXING -- The U.S. boxing team, which arrived in Sydney hoping to reverse its recent Olympic fortunes, wound up without a single gold medal for the first time since London in 1948.

U.S. boxer Ricardo Juarez lost yesterday to 125-pounder Bekzat Sattarkhanov of Kazakstan, 22-14, giving him a silver medal and leaving the American team with one last shot at winning its only gold in Australia.

Ricardo Williams wasn't up to the task. He was defeated 27-20 by Mahamadkadyz Abdullaev of Uzbekistan in his gold medal bout at 139 pounds. …

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