Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

U.S. Boxer Gets Surprise Gold; Folkl Shines in Volleyball Win

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

U.S. Boxer Gets Surprise Gold; Folkl Shines in Volleyball Win

Article excerpt

It was "Showtime" for the U.S. boxing team at the Goodwill Games.

Benjamin "Showtime" McDowell, a 24-year-old U.S. Army enlistee at Fort Bragg, N.C., broke the Cuban-Russian domination in boxing by winning the only gold medal for the Americans on Saturday.

McDowell, a light-heavyweight, scored a surprising 9-7 decision over Cuban Dihosvany Vega.

In preliminary-round volleyball action, St. Louisan Kristin Folkl helped the United States defeat the Netherlands 3-0 (15-10, 15-8, 16-14).

Folkl had 10 kills, one ace and two stuffs in the match, the third-best marks on the squad.

McDowell, the 1994 U.S. champion, said: "This is my biggest international win. I was the underdog, and I like being the underdog.

"Maybe I can realistically think about the Olympics now, but first I want to take a vacation. I don't want to get burned out on boxing."

While McDowell saved the U.S. team from a shutout, three Americans lost - two by shutouts.

Flyweight Carlos Navarro of Los Angeles was outpointed by Waldemar Font of Cuba 18-14. Middleweight Shane Swartz of Fort Collins, Colo., was beaten by Olympic gold medalist and world champion Ariel Hernandez of Cuba 8-0. And 6-foot-8 super-heavyweight Lance Whitaker of Northridge, Calif., who has boxed for only a year, lost 17-0 to Alexi Lezin of Russia.

Overall, the powerful Cuban boxing team finished with six gold medals and the Russians had five in the 12-division boxing competition.

The United States picked up a gold and silver in wrestling. Townsend Saunders, a 149 1/2-pounder from Phoenix, took the gold, rallying to beat Vadim Bogeev of Russia 6-5. World champion Melvin Douglas, a 198-pounder from Mesa, Ariz., got the silver. He lost to two-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time world champion Makharbek Khadartsev of Russia 1-0 in a referee's overtime decision in the final.

In the other wrestling final, Magomed Azizov of Russia pinned Carlos Castillo of Cuba at 4 minutes 5 seconds in the 136.5-pound class.

Meanwhile, gymnastics began, with Russia winning the gold medal in women's team competition with 117.375 points, followed by Romania with 116.000, Ukraine with 115.630 and the United States with 115. …

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