Roundup Barcelona '92

July 27, 1992


Americans Owen, Clark gain platform final

BARCELONA, Spain -- World champion Fu Mingxia of China never wavered in her march to the finals of the women's 10-meter platform finals.

The steady performance by the 13-year-old contrasted with the uneven efforts of a pair of Americans who chased her.

Fu was rarely flashy, but her methodical precision showed in the results. She finished first on two dives, grabbed a second and a third in other rounds, and saved her best stuff for the more challenging optional dives.

The Chinese teen, the favorite to win this event, scored 361.770 points to lead 11 other divers into today's final.

Also qualifying for the final were Mary Ellen Clark and another American, Ellen Owen. Clark finished second, with 329.850 points. Owen rallied from 24th place after four rounds to finish fifth with 299.520.

Owen stumbled in the fourth round when her inward 2 1/2 -somersault in the pike position drew a score of 43.680, the lowest of the round.

"I had to do something solid, or I would be out of it," Owen recalled thinking after the dive. "I said a lot of things to myself, some of them repeatable and some of them not, and I just basically talked myself into being the kind of diver I know I am."

Her forward 3 1/2 -somersault in the tuck position in the fifth round gave her 64.800 points, the third-highest total of that round. She scored 63.840 with her forward 3 1/2 -somersault pike in the sixth round to lock up fifth place.


Bulgarian sets record, wins flyweight gold


BARCELONA, Spain -- Now Ivan Ivanov can start eating again.

Forced to squeeze his power-packed body into a 114-pound weight limit, the muscular Bulgarian tied a record to win a weightlifting gold medal.

"In the last few days I have had almost nothing to eat," Ivanov said after adding an Olympic triumph to his world and European titles.

He danced around the stage in delight after a 330 1/2 -pound (150 kilogram) clean and jerk tied an Olympic record and gave him the title.

China's Lin Qisheng was in first place with a total of 578 1/2 pounds (262.5 kgs) before Ivanov returned to the stage.

The Bulgarian lifted the bar to his shoulder and forced himself to a standing position. When he lifted the bar above his head, he staggered slightly and took a couple of steps. But he knew the gold medal was his and he let out a loud shout in celebration.

Lin finished in second place, ahead of Romanian Traian Ciharean, who took the bronze.

No Americans competed in the flyweight division.


Korean earns gold in women's air rifle


MOLLET DEL VALLES, Spain -- An 18-year-old South Korean shooter won the first gold medal of the Barcelona Olympics, and a shooter from sanctions-hit Yugoslavia won the bronze.

As a consequence of those sanctions, the Olympic banner was raised in place of the Yugoslav flag during the medal ceremony.

Yeo Kab-soon, little known outside Korea, relaxed with deep-breathing techniques and won the eight-woman air rifle final round with 498.2. Bulgaria's favored Vesela Letcheva finished second with 495.3, just ahead of Yugoslavia's Aranka Binder with 495.1.

The two Americans, Launi Meili, 29, of Cheney, Wash., whose career best is 395, and Debbie Sinclair, 23, of Tigard, Ore., tied for 11th with 391.

Binder is part of a squad of Yugoslav athletes who are officially competing here only as individuals. Their flag and anthem will not be used, and their entries in team events were ordered to stay home as part of the U.N.-approved sanctions that stemmed from the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.


Ghana tops Australia Denmark, Mexico tie


BARCELONA, Spain -- Kwame Ayew scored two second-half goals, his first on a fluke, to lead Ghana past Australia, 3-1, in the opening round of the Olympic soccer.

Ghana led from the 12th minute and didn't give up a goal until a minute and a half into injury time, that by Anthony Vidmar.

Ghana's first two goals came via Australia bad bounces.

Denmark and Mexico tied 1-1 in the other Group D match.

At Zaragoza, Spain, Claus Thomsen headed in a long free kick from Lars Nielsen from 10 yards with four minutes remaining, lifting Denmark to a draw.

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