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SCOOP Olympic Update, Tuesday, 26 Sept, 2000

Published: Tue 26 Sep 2000 03:14 AM
SCOOP Olympic Update, Tuesday, 26 Sept, 2000
Article: Mathew Loh
THE dreams of Olympic medal glory for New Zealand's women's hockey team depend on a win against Argentina tonight after the Kylie Foy led Kiwis suffered a disappointing 2-2 draw against Spain on Monday night.
However New Zealand's chances of medal success are in good hands given the immense effort and never-say-die attitude of this remarkable hockey team.
Last night they again revealed their tremendous character to earn a draw after trailing by one early in the first half and then seeing what appeared to be a perfectly legitimate equalising goal disallowed.
Despite being down about the rejected goal New Zealand simply went harder - an attitude that bodes well for future medal success - and went to take a 2-1 lead only see the Spanish snatch a draw in the last minutes of play.
This means New Zealand has to win against Argentina later tonight in what should be an extremely intriging and exciting clash between two highly skilled and very fit teams.
Other New Zealanders to feature on day 10 of 27th Olympiad included former world champion discus thrower and one of NZ's most popular athletes - Beatrice Faumina who qualified ninth for the next rounds of the discus competition.
But the 10th day of the Sydney 2000 belonged to 400 metre star and Australia's most popular athtlete the phenomenal Cathy Freeman who after appearing to be under pressure early cruised away with the power of a Formula 1 Ferrari to blitz the field to win what surely is the most famous and expected gold of the 27th Olympiad.
The only other athlete to come close to Freeman's sprinting class was the awe-inspiring Michael Johnson of the USA who added Sydney 400 metres gold to his Atlanta gold; world record and bevy of other world and major championship titles.
While Freeman and Johnson impressed as sprinters extraordinaire long distance runners Haile Gebraselasie of Ethiopia and Gabriela Szabo of Romania also underlined their world-beating endurance by winning gold medals in the men's 10,000 metres and the women's 5,000 metres respectively.
In races where both world champions were pressured all the way they both revealed sensational stamina and speed to leave their rivals in their wake, when it counted, on the final dash, for gold, down the back straight in front of a multitude of delirious and admiring athletics fans.

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