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Day 9: China over 100-gold mark as Gatlin crowned fastest man
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2004-08-23 09:21
World top-ranked Zhang Yining claimed China's 100th gold medal in summer Olympic Games as she overcame a fast-hitting DPR Korean in the women's table tennis singles final Sunday afternoon.

Justin Gatlin

American Justin Gatlin was crowned the fastest human being Sunday night, but a high-profile doping case ruined an otherwise perfect day, with Olympic shot put champion Irina Korzhanenko of Russia set to lose her gold medal after testing positive for a banned steroid.

Gatlin upset more fancied rivals to win the men's 100m final ina personal best time of 9.85 seconds.

The 22-year-old accelerated at halfway and beat Francis Obikwelu of Portugal at the finish by one hundredth of a second.

Defending champion Maurice Greene of the United States took bronze a further 0.01 second back in 9.87.

China's historic 100-gold mark was reached after a timely helping hand by American shooter Matthew Emmons, who misfired the last shot to give the men's 50m rifle 3 positions gold to Chinese Jia Zhanbo.

Jia Zhanbo

Jia's gold was China's 99th since the world's most populous nation ended its Olympic title drought in 1984.

Fittingly the landmark 100th gold came on the table tennis court, where China has won 16 golds out of a possible 19 since thesport's Olympic debut in 1988, and where Rong Guotuan claimed China's first world championship of any sports in 1959.

Possessing a fierce topspin backhand, DPR Korean Kim Kyung Ah stormed into the final by brushing aside Chinese world No. 3 Niu Jianfeng and Singapore's Li Jia Wei, the winner over China's 2000 Olympic dual winner Wang Nan.

Zhang Yining

But Zhang, cheered on by a vocal crowd of Chinese supporters waving national flags, disposed of the 24-year-old Kim 4-0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-2, 11-2) in just 25 minutes, sending China closer to a sweep of Olympic table tennis titles.

Wang Hao will try to complete China's third straight clean-sweep when he meets South Korea's Ryu Seung-min in the men's finalon Monday.

It was the second gold after doubles for Zhang, who had long been under the shadow of Wang Nan, a "grand slam" winner of Olympic, world championships and World Cup crowns.

The 22-year-old from Beijing knew she would win even before the championship duel took place.

    "When I shook hands with my rival before the start, I felt her hand was ice cold. So I thought she must be very nervous and I felt more sure about the match," Zhang said.

Virtually unknown Jia Zhanbo turned out the luckiest guy in this Olympics.

With a shaky start in the final that cost him a two-point lead won in the qualification, the Chinese trailed American Emmons by three points going into the last shot.

Then something rarely seen in shooting ranges happened.

Emmons scored a "no-hit" in his last shot and fell to eighth while the Chinese hit a 10.1 for a winning total of 1,264.5 points.

"His shot hit other shooter's target," Vassilis Delios, chief range officer, told Xinhua.

U.S. coach David Johnson acknowledged the referee's ruling.

"It rarely happened in international competition," he said.

The sheet of Austrian Christian Planer was later found to have an extra shot - 8.1 points - by Emmons.

American Michael Anti took the silver on 1,263.1, while Planer won bronze 1,262.8.

Li Ting and Sun Tiantian

Li Ting and Sun Tiantian won what China had never dreamt of - atennis gold.

The top Chinese pair upset Spanish veterans Conchita Martinez and Virginia Ruano Pascual 6-3, 6-3 in the women's doubles final.

Teng Haibin

Teng Haibin, who flopped in China's failed bid to regain the men's team gymnastics championship, made up with a pommel horse gold Sunday night, China's 102nd in summer Olympic history.

Korzhanenko, 30, won the first athletics gold of the Athens Games on Wednesday at Ancient Olympia and flunked a doping test immediately after the competition there. Cuban silver medalist Yumileidi Cumba is to take gold.

A Russian delegation source said the thrower tested for stanozolol, the anabolic steroid used by Canadian Ben Johnson in 1988.

In another doping scandal, Greek weightlifting bronze winner Leonidas Sampanis was stripped of his medal and thrown out of the games after testing positive.

"I want you to believe me, I don't want you to desert me," he said before breaking down in tears.

Sampanis' bitter tears contrasted sharply with happy tears in the Olympic gymnasium, where Greek Dimosthenis Tampakos clinched the men's rings gold.

Canada's Kyle Shewfelt won the men's floor exercise and Romania's Monica Rosu triumphed in the women's vault final.

France's Emillie Lepennec claimed the women's uneven bars crownwith defending champion Svetlana Khorkina of Russia finishing a disappointing eighth following a fall from the higher bar.

Back to athletics, Sweden picked two golds while Japanese Mizuki Noguchi kicked off to win the women's marathon in 2:26.20.

Swedish men's high jumper Stefan Holm cleared 2:36 meters for the top honor while his compatriot Christian Olsson landed the men's triple jump gold with a leap of 17.79 meters.

Hungary's Adrian Annus was victorious in the men's hammer throwwith 83.19 meters.

Romania struck two golds in rowing, where Poland, Denmark, Germany, Russia and the United States each won one.

In sailing, Brazil snatched the Laser title and Norway won the women's Europe event.

New Zealand's Sarah Ulmer clocked a world record of 3:24.537 towin the women's individual pursuit cycling event, while its cross-sea neighbor Australia grabbed a gold from China as Chantelle Newberry triumphed in the women's 10m platform diving.

The last shooting gold of the Athens Games went to Italian Andrea Benelli, who beat Finland's Marko Kemppainen in skeet shoot-out after the two scored 149 hits.

In fencing, France downed Hungary in a championship clash of the men's team epee.

After winning a marathon men's tennis doubles final which lasted until 2:50 Sunday morning, Nicolas Massu of Chile won the singles gold 20 hours later when he beat American Mardy Fish 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

China, which fell to second after topping the medal tally for the first six days, snatched the lead back from the United States,totaling 22 golds against the U.S. 21.

Japan is a distant third with 13 golds, followed by Australia on 12 and Germany on 10.

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