Olympics ‘96

A capsule look at the 1996 Olympic events:


Medals - 4 (men’s team and individual, women’s team and individual).

Dates - July 28-Aug. 2.

Venue - Stone Mountain (Ga.) Archery Center.

Description - From 70 meters away, 64 competitors shoot and open round with the top 32 reaching the finals. Those go through a knock-out to the gold. Scores from the open round determine the team competition.

Outlook - Finland’s Jari Lipponen and Norway’s Martinus Grov are among the top contenders for the men’s individual medal. The U.S. has a strong chance for a team medal, led by Justin Huish and Rod White. For the women, South Korea is favored.


Medals - 5 (men’s singles and doubles, women’s singles and doubles, mixed doubles).

Dates - July 24-Aug. 1.

Venue - Georgia State University.

Description - Don’t look for a grill or a cooler of beer at this event, which isn’t close to the backyard pasttime. The shuttlecock moves at speeds of 200 mph. Matches are 2-out-of-3; first to 15 points wins. The exception is women’s singles, where 11 points takes the match.

Outlook - Indonesia, where badminton is considered the national sport, has six of the top 10 ranked men’s players. Teammates Joko Surparianto, Heryanto Arbi and Barcelona champ Budi Kunsuma will try for an Indonesian sweep. Thomas Stuer-Lauridsen of Denmark was the only non-Asian to medal four years ago. Ye Zhaoying of China is the top woman. America’s best hope is with Kevin Han, who emigrated from China seven years ago.


Medal - 1.

Dates - July 20-25, July 27-30, Aug. 1-2.

Venue - Atlanta Fulton County Stadium.

Description - No changes in the sport Americans have worshiped for years.

Outlook - Cuba is again favored to take the gold. Even though the team has lost players like pitcher Livan Hernandez to defection, there’s enough there to win gold. The U.S., which swept four games from the Cubans last year, should medal. Japan, South Korea, Nicaragua and Australia will contend for the bronze.


Medal - 2 (men’s and women’s).

Dates - July 20-Aug. 4.

Venues - Georgia Dome and Morehouse College.

Description - International rules call for two 20-minute halves, with a wider paint area under the basket and a 3-point line at 20 feet, closer than the NBA’s 22-foot arc.

Outlook - Start and finish with Dream Team III. NBA center Vlade Divac, playing for Yugoslavia, will battle Croatia, which features NBAers Toni Kukoc and Dino Radja, and Lithuania, which has Portland’s Arvydas Sabonis and Sarunas Marciulionis. … The U.S. women have played together since May 1995 and ran up a 51-0 mark in tuneup matches. They feature Lisa Leslie and Teresa Edwards, playing in her fourth Olympics. Russia, which won the 1992 gold as the Unified Team, will compete strongly, especially after losing to the U.S. 80-79 June 15.


Medals - 12. Classes from light flyweight (106 pounds) to super heavyweight (201 pounds and up).

Dates - July 20-28 and July 30-Aug. 4.

Venue - Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

Description - Amateur bouts run three 3-minute rounds with scoring determined by the quality blows landed by the white-faced boxing gloves used. Boxers cannot be saved by the bell, except in the gold-medal matches.

Outlook - Cuba has been boxing’s Olympic bully for many years and should again take most of the medals. Heavyweight Felix Savon is unbeaten since 1986. America’s best hope may be light heavyweight Antonio Tarver, who won the 1995 world championship. Russia is led by super heavyweight Alexei Lezin, and Germany’s strong team features flyweight Zoltan Lunka.


Events - Slalom, sprints.

Medals - 16 (3 men’s, 1 women’s slalom; 9 men’s, 3 women’s sprint).

Dates - Slalom, July 26-28. … Sprints, July 30-Aug. 4.

Venue - Slalom, Ocoee Whitewater Center, Ocoee River, Tenn. … Sprints, Lake Lanier, Gainesville, Ga.

Description - In slalom, racers run the course twice and count the best attempt. The course is 415 meters and competitors have to swirl through 25 upstream and downstream gates. They get penalties of 5 seconds for touching a gate and 50 seconds for missing one. … In sprints, fastest through the water wins.

Outlook - Russia, Hungary and Germany should keep their dominance in the canoe-kayak. Oliver Fix in single kayak and Birgit Schmidt, who has won 24 world championships in several events, lead the German team. … Americans have a few medal shots. David Hearn won the 1995 world title in single canoe. His sister, Cathy, is a medal contender in kayak. Jon Lugbill lost a 1992 Olympic canoe gold by nicking a gate.


Events - Road cycling, track cycling, mountain bike.

Medals - 14 (2 men’s, 2 women’s road; 5 men’s, 3 women’s track; men’s and women’s mountain).

Dates - Road cycling, July 21, July 31 and Aug. 3. … Track, July 24-28. … On mountain bikes, July 30.

Venue - Road cycling, Atlanta streets. … Track, Stone Mountain Velodrome. … Mountain bikes, Georgia International Horse Park.

Description - Road racing and mountain bikes, a first-time Olympic event, are flat out races to the finish. … Track cycling is a quirky sport on a highly banked wooden track. The match sprint is a 2-out-of-3 race. … The individual pursuit is when riders start on opposite ends of the track, hoping to pass the other or record a quicker time. … Team pursuit is when one team’s third rider passes another team’s third rider. … In the points race, racers earn points during lap sprints on every eighth lap. Two laps provide bonus points.

Outlook - For the first time, pros can ride in the Olympics, giving American Lance Armstrong a good opportunity. For the women, the road is clear for Jeannie Long of France. … In track cycling, American Rebecca Twigg, who won medals in 1984 and 1992, will return.


Events - 3-meter springboard, 10-meter platform.

Medals - 4 (2 men’s, 2 women’s).

Dates - July 26-Aug. 2.

Venue - Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.

Description - Competitors move through a preliminary round, top 12 advance to 10-dive finals.

Outlook - The Chinese have taken over a U.S.-dominated sport. Sun Shuwei won platform in Barcelona and will be pressed by countrymen Yuz Zxhuocheng and Wang Tianling. Mark Lenzi, who won the springboard four years ago, leads the U.S. Fu Mingxia won women’s platform title in 1992. She’ll dive springboard and platform.


Events - Three-day event, dressage, show jumping.

Medals - 6.

Dates - Three-day event, July 21-26 … Dressage, July 27-31 … Jumping, July 25, July 29, Aug. 1 and Aug. 4.

Venue - Georgia International Horse Park.

Description - Equestrian, like yachting, is an Olympic sport where men and women compete on the same teams. … Dressage is the elegant execution of movements through rider instructions. … In jumping, horses move through two timed runs over an obstacle course. Time is added for knocking over jumps. … The three-day event, run over five days, combines dressage and jumping with an endurance phase - a cross-country run and steeplechase session.

Outlook - The biggest problem has been a contentious debate about quarantining some European, Asian and Latin American horses who could spread a tick-borne equine disease - piroplasmosis - that’s been eradicated in the U.S. The first 20 horses arrived in Atlanta in late June and will remain quarantined until they pass tests. … Officials are also worried how the animals will contend with the heat. They have moved some event start times to 7 a.m. and reduced distances for cross-country events. U.S. rider Bruce Davidson is the favorite, along with his husband-and-wife teammates Karen and David O’Connor.


Medals - 10 (6 men’s, 4 women’s).

Dates - July 20-25.

Venue - Georgia World Congress Hall.

Description - Fencers duel until one scores 15 touches on the opponent or is ahead after 9 minutes. The foil is a rectangular blade, the epee a triangular blade and the sabre has a full cutting edge on one side and a blunt edge on the other.

Outlook - Most of the medalists from Barcelona will return and are expected to do well. … Foil world champ Dmitry Chevtchenko of Russia will battle Cuba’s Elvis Gregory Gil and Ukraine’s Sergei Goloubitski. Italy’s Giovanna Trillini, who won Barcelona gold, is ranked No. 1 in foil. Ann Marsh is America’s best hope for a fencing medal in foil. … Ereck Srecki of France is favored for the epee gold and should lead his country against Germany, Hungary, Russia and Italy in team competition. Women’s epee debuts with Laura Flessel of France and Hungary’s Timea Nagy and Gyongyi Szalay medal-favorites. … The Russian men, led by Grigory Kirienko and Stanislav Pozdniakov of Russia, are strongest in the sabre. Defending champ Bence Szabo of Hungary returns. … Masks have been changed to let the fencers’ faces be seen.


Events - Artistic, rhythmic.

Medals - 16 (8 men’s, 6 women’s artistic; 2 women’s rhythmic).

Dates - July 20-25, July 28-29, Aug. 1-4.

Venue - Artistic, Georgia Dome … Rhythmic, Stegeman Coliseum, University of Georgia.

Description - Men compete in rings, pommel horse, floor exercise, vault, parallel bars and horizontal bar. Women compete in uneven parallel bars, vault, floor exercise and balance beam. Judges start with a base score of 9.000 and can award or deduct depending on performance. The team and individual medals are awarded in full competition, with top performers qualifying for individual apparatus medals. … Rhythmic gymnasts use rope, hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon. The group event, with five-member teams, is new this Olympics.

Outlook - Vitaly Scherbo, who won six golds for the Unified Team in 1992, is back for Belarus this time. However, he’s second in the world to Li Xiaoshuang of China. Four-time national champ John Roethlisberger is America’s hope for a medal. … Women’s gymnasts seem to make headlines at most Olympics. America’s Dominique Moceanu, battling injury, will have to fight off Romania’s Alexandra Marinescu and China’s Mo Huilan for top honors. World champ Lilia Podkopayeva of the Ukraine and world runner-up Svetlana Khorkina are very strong, along with Shannon Miller, who won five medals for the U.S. in 1992.


Medals - 2 (men’s and women’s).

Dates - July 24-Aug. 4.

Venue - Georgia World Congress Center; Georgia Dome.

Description - Teams of seven players try to throw a smaller-sized soccer ball into a net. There are 30-minutes halves for men, 20-minute halves for women. Players other than the goalie cannot enter the goal area, making the shortest shooting distance from 19 feet, 5 inches.

Outlook - France, Croatia and Sweden are the top men’s seeds in the 12-team pool. Scorer Jackson Richardson leads the French team, while Croatia is fueled by Irfan Smajlagic. Sweden counts on goalie Tomas Svensson and scorer Magnus Wislander. The U.S., which has never won a handball medal, won’t get one from the men. … American women are expected to push favorites Hungary, Denmark and China for a medal. The U.S., which won the 1995 Pan American games, features twins Tami and Toni Jameson. Denmark’s star is Anja Anderson.

Field hockey

Medals - 2 (men’s and women’s).

Dates - July 20-Aug. 2.

Venue - Clark Atlanta University; Morris Brown College.

Description - Players, 11 per side, swing curved wooden sticks at a small hard ball that can travel 100 mph. Games are made up of two 35-minute halves.

Outlook - India, the most decorated hockey nation with six golds, is going to be strong again with Gavin Ferreira and Dharraj Pillay. Germany, Pakistan and Australia, featuring Mark Hager (nicknamed “Hager the Horrible”) will also field medal-contending teams. Germany is the defending champ and Pakistan won the 1994 World Cup. … The U.S. women, third at the 1994 World Cup, have a decent shot at a medal. American goalkeeper Patty Shea has had 13 operations on her right knee and Barb Marois is the team’s top scorer. Argentina, which won the Pan America games, is a big-time medal favorite, led by Karina Masotta, known as the Michael Jordan of field hockey. Spain, the 1992 Olympic champ, also returns.


Medals - 14 (7 men’s, 7 women’s). Men’s classes from extra lightweight (132 pounds) to heavyweight (209 pounds and over); women’s classes from extra lightweight (106 pounds) to heavyweight (158 pounds and over).

Dates - July 20-26.

Venue - Georgia World Congress Center.

Description - Men’s bouts are 5 minutes, women’s 4. Competitors try to throw an opponent to his back (an ippon) or force an opponent into submission with a 30-second pin, a choke or a lock to the elbow. Two half ippons (awasete ippon) can win a match. In a tie, judges pick the winner.

Outlook - About 400 competitors will take part. In Barcelona, fighters from Japan, France, South Korea and the Unified Team were the big winners. Japan’s Toshihiko Koga came out of retirement this year and should be the favorite at half-middleweight (172 pounds). Other Japanese favorites include Ryoka Tamura in women’s lightweight (123 pounds). Tamura won 73 straight losing the Olympic final in 1992. Among women, Israel’s Yael Arad won her country’s first Olympic medal in 1992. … America’s best chance for a judo medal is at lightweight, where James Pedro won the World Judo Masters title.

Modern pentathlon

Medal - 1 (men’s individual).

Date - July 30.

Venues - Georgia World Congress Center, Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Georgia International Horse Park.

Description - Athletes compete in shooting, fencing, swimming, riding and running. They shoot 20 shots at a 10-meter target, fence with epee in single-elimination bouts, swim 300 meters, ride a 12-obstacle course, and run 4,000 meters cross country. Scoring is based on tables similar to the decathlon.

Outlook - Team competition has been eliminated for the first time at these Olympics. It is also the first time all five events have been run in one day. … World champ Dmitri Svatkovsky of Russia is the class of the 32-competitor field. Mike Gostigan, America’s four-time national champ, could also be in the mix.


Medals - 14 (8 men’s, 6 women’s).

Dates - July 21-28.

Venue - Lake Lanier, Gainesville, Ga.

Description - Competitors row a straight, flat course through qualifying heats and then to the finals. Those who miss qualifying in the first heat get a second chance in the repechage. Sometimes four boats can reach the finals from a repechage heat.

Outlook - Americans should be favored in several events, including the eights with coxswain event. The American team won the 1994 World Championships, while Germany came back for to win the 1995 title. The Americans are also strong in the women’s eights, taking the 1995 World Championships with identical twins Betsy and Mary McCagg on board. … In other events, Great Britain’s Steven Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent, defending Olympic champs, lead coxless pairs. Canadian Silken Laumann is the favorite for women’s single sculls. And Thomas Lange of Germany, two-time world champ, and Estonia’s Juri Jaanson lead the way in men’s single sculls.


Events - Pistol, rifle, trap, skeet, running target.

Medals - 15 (9 men’s, 6 women’s).

Dates - July 20-27.

Venue - Wolf Creek Shooting Complex, Fulton County, Ga.

Description - In pistol and rifle shooting, shooters fire at a 10-ring target with the bullseye as 10 points. In running target, they aim for a target moving across a track. In skeet and trap, they fire shotguns trying to break clay targets.

Outlook - The first two medals of the games will be awarded in shooting, the men’s 10-meter air pistol and the women’s 10-meter air rifle on July 20. … China has the strongest team. In 1992, China’s Zhang Shan became the first woman to win an open shooting gold medal, beating 54 men in the skeet. China’s Yifu Wang is favored in pistol events. … New medals at the games are men’s and women’s double trap. Americans Lance Bade and Kim Rhode should be strong in the first-time event.


Medals - 2 (men’s and women’s).

Dates - July 20-25, July 27-28, July 30-Aug. 3.

Venues - Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Fla.; Legion Field, Birmingham, Ala.; Orange Bowl, Miami; RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.; Sanford Stadium, Athens, Ga.

Description - Two 45-minute halves with the team scoring the most goals the winner. Ties go to two 15-minute, non-sudden-death, periods, and in medal contests, may be decided by penalty kicks.

Outlook - The most far-flung of the Olympic sports, with preliminary games in Florida, the nation’s capital and Alabama. … The tournament is reserved for 23-and-under players, although each team is permitted three older “wild card” selections for its team, which are likely to be World Cup stars. … Alexi Lalas and Claudio Reyna, both stars of the U.S. World Cup team, got wild-card berths. The Americans have not won a soccer medal since 1904. Brazil, led by Romario, should be favored with Argentina. Spain’s team will be competitive, led by Raul Gonzalez Blanco and Ivan De la Pena. Ghana and Nigeria should also standout in the 16-team tournament. … American chances for a women’s medal are strong, despite losing 1995 World Cup title to Norway. The U.S. team features Kristine Lilly, Carin Gabarra and Michelle Akers. Kristin Ann Aaroene leads Norway.


Medal - 1.

Dates - July 21-27, July 29-30.

Venue - Golden Park, Columbus, Ga.

Description - Games last seven innings, and if tied through nine, the next team’s at-bat starts with a runner on second base.

Outlook - Softball’s first Olympic appearance could be its only one. The International Olympic Committee must decide if it will continue past Atlanta. … The U.S. is the team to beat, losing one game in a decade while winning 110. The Americans fell to China this year to end a 106-game winning streak. They later came back to beat the Chinese 8-0 to win the Superball Tournament held at the Olympic venue. Michelle Smith pitched the U.S. to victory at the 1995 Pan Am games and led the team in homers. She’s followed by pitchers Michelle Granger, Christa Williams, Lisa Fernandez and Lori Harrigan. Dot Richardson, an orthopedic surgeon, is the team’s shortstop and leader.


Medals - 32 (16 men’s, 16 women’s).

Dates - July 20-26.

Venue - Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.

Description - Competitors swim qualifying heats in the mornings with eight fastest qualifying for the evening’s finals.

Outlook - China’s Le Jingyi in the 50 and 100 freestyle and Liu Limin in the 100 and 200 butterfly are defending world champs. Angel Martino will compete in three events and Janet Evans, swimming in the 400 and 800 meters, could become America’s all-time female gold medalist with six. Russia’s Alexander Popov is favored to defend his gold in 50 and 100 freestyle and triple world record-holder Kieren Perkins of Australia will swim the 800 and 1,500. Gary Hall Jr. is America’s sprinting hope; Tom Dolan runs 200 free and 200 and 400 individual medley.

Synchronized swimming

Medals - 1.

Dates - July 30 and Aug. 2.

Venue - Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.

Description - Eight-member team is judged on technical program and free program (65 percent of scoring).

Outlook - The single and duet events are replaced by an eight-women team. The U.S. is the overwhelming favorite and features Becky Dyroen-Lancer and her sister Suzannah Bianco. Canada, Japan and France vie for medals.

Table tennis

Medals - 4 (2 men’s, 2 women’s).

Dates - July 23-Aug. 1.

Venue - Georgia World Congress Center.

Description - First to 21 points wins. Singles matches are best-of-3 or best-of-5. Doubles matches are best-of-3.

Outlook - The Chinese teams are expected to dominate men’s and women’s competition. Kong Linghui is the world champ, Wang Tao is a doubles specialist, and Ma Wenge won the bronze medal in Barcelona. China’s Deng Yaping, ranked No. 1 in the world for four years, is the defending Olympic champ in singles and doubles and a clear favorite for gold. … Other men to contend are Sweden’s Jan-Ove Waldner, who won gold four years ago, Jean-Michel Saive of Belgium and Jean-Phillippe Gatien of France. For the women, Lily Yip and Amy Feng, Americans who were born in China, should contend.


Medals - 4 (2 men’s, 2 women’s).

Dates - July 23-Aug. 3.

Venue - Stone Mountain (Ga.) Tennis Center.

Description - It is tennis like at Roland Garros, Flushing Meadow and the grass courts of Wimbledon. Each singles draw is 64 players. Matches will be best-of-3 sets, except for the men’s finals, which in Grand Slam style will go best-of-5. The surface is a hardcourt Plexipave, favoring big servers.

Outlook - Since tennis returned to the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, some of the biggest names have taken part. Steffi Graf won gold in 1988 and Jennifer Capriati took the title four years later. Graf should be back, along with Monica Seles, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and Conchita Martinez. Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Boris Becker highlight the men’s side, along with French Open champ Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia. Barcelona champ Marc Rosset of Switzerland is also expected to return.

Track and field

Medals - 44 (24 men’s, 20 women’s).

Dates - July 26-Aug. 4.

Venue - Olympic Stadium.

Description - Track competitors qualify for the finals through a series of heats. Field competitors have a round of qualifying for the finals with top 12 and ties advancing.

Outlook - More than 2,000 athletes will compete for medals in 44 events. … Michael Johnson figures to be the headliner with his unprecedented try at gold in the 200 and 400. His world record of 19.66 in the 200 at the U.S. trials only raised expectations. World champ Donovan Bailey of Canada, Olympic champ Linford Christie of Britain, Olymmpic silver medalist Frankie Fredericks of Namibia and U.S. champ Dennis Mitchell will duel in the 100 meters. Gwen Torrence is favored in the women’s 100. … Other stars are Mozambique’s Maria Mutola in the women’s 800 and Algeria’s Noureddine Morceli in the men’s 1,500. Ethiopia’s Haile Gebreslassie, world record-holder in the men’s 5,000 and 10,000, is favored in both events, but should get strong opposition from Kenyans and Moroccans. … The Americans are favored in the relays, but Canada’s men’s team could present a problem. Dan O’Brien, in the Olympic decathlon this time, is a strong favorite. … Carl Lewis, a five-time Olympian, tries for his fourth long jump gold. World record-holder Mike Powell also will battle for a long jump medal. Jackie Joyner-Kersee finished second in the U.S. trials heptathlon, but still is favored. … Javier Sotomayor of Cuba is the only man to clear 8 feet in the men’s high jump. Pole vault world record-holder Sergei Bubka of Ukraine will try and forget his no-height debacle at Barcelona and win his second Olympic gold. World champ John Godina and world record-holder Randy Barnes lead the men’s shot putters, while Germany’s Astrid Kumbernuss is the top women’s shot putter. World record-holder Jan Zelezny of the Czech Republic is tops in the men’s javelin. Marathon favorites are world champs Martin Fiz of Spain for the men and Manuela Machado of Portugal for the women.


Events - Indoor, beach.

Medals - 4 (men’s and women’s indoor; men’s and women’s beach).

Dates - Indoor, July 20-Aug. 4. … Beach, July 23-28.

Venues - Indoor, Omni Coliseum and University of Georgia … Beach, Atlanta Beach, Jonesboro, Ga.

Description - Indoor volleyball is played six on a side with first to 15 points the winner. Matches are best-of-5 sets. Only serving teams can score points until the fifth game, when the defensive team can score. … Beach volleyball makes its Olympic debut. Teams of two dig it out on sand for first-to-15 matches. The finals is best 2-out-of-3.

Outlook - With all the talk of beach volleyball, indoor volleyball has taken a back seat. There are 12 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams competing for the gold. The Italians, led by 6-foot-9 Andrea Zorzi, are the team to beat and will be pushed by Brazil and Netherlands. The U.S. could sneak in. The team features three-time Olympian Bob Cvrtlik and 6-9 Lloy Ball, who gave up an Indiana basketball scholarship. On the women’s side, Cuba is the clear favorite, followed by Brazil and Russia. … On the beach, Brazilians Roberto Costa and Franco Neto are world champs. Other contenders are Americans Karch Kiraly and Kent Steffes and their U.S. teammates Mike Dodd and Mike Whitmarsh. For the women, Brazilians Jacqueline Silva and Sandra Pires will be the top seeds, followed by Americans Nancy Reno and Holly McPeak.

Water polo

Medals - 1 (men’s team).

Dates - July 20-24 and July 26-28.

Venue - Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.

Description - Teams of seven players play four 7-minute periods. Teams have 35 seconds to take a shot.

Outlook - Defending gold medalist Italy will mix with six-time gold winner Hungary for the title. Back in the Olympics after a ban in ‘92, Yugoslavia is looking to reclaim the gold it won in ‘88 and ‘84.


Medals - 10. Classes from 119 pounds to 238 pounds plus.

Dates - July 20-24 and July 26-30.

Venue - Georgia World Congress Center.

Description - The athlete who can lift the most weight in the snatch and the clean-and-jerk is the winner. In case of ties, the gold goes to the competitor who weighs less.

Outlook - The competition will again focus on a small man - 141-pound Naim Suleymanoglu of Turkey, “Pocket Hercules” - and a large one - superheavyweight Aleksandr Kurlovich of Belarus. Both try to win their third straight golds, an uprecedented feat in Olympic weightlifting.


Events - Greco-Roman, freestyle.

Medals - 20. Classes from 105.5 pounds to 286 pounds.

Dates - Greco-Roman, July 20-23. … Freestyle, July 30-Aug. 2.

Venue - Georgia World Congress Center.

Description - Greco-Roman wrestling limits holds to the upper body and does not let a competitor use his legs to score points. … Freestyle wrestling is similar to American collegiate wrestling. A match ends when an opponent is pinned with his shoulders against the mat. A wrestler ahead by 10 points earns a technical victory. A competitor can also win on points at the end of the 5-minute match or in OT.

Outlook - The Greco-Roman categories should be dominated by Russia, which has won three straight world titles. Other strong teams should be Germany, Cuba and Ukraine. The most dominant athlete in the sport could be Russia’s Alexander Karelin, the two-time 286-pound Olympic champ. American Dennis Hall is the world champ at 125.5 pounds. … In freestyle, American Bruce Baumgartner is looking for his fourth Olympic medal at 286. He won golds in 1984 and 1992 and a silver in 1988. The American team should be strong, despite the shooting death of Dave Schultz, the top contender at 163.


Events - Sailboard, dinghy, multihull, keelboat.

Medals - 10 (3 men’s, 3 women’s, 4 open).

Dates - July 22-Aug. 2.

Venue - Wassaw Sound, Savannah, Ga.

Description - Yachts maneuver around buoys, cross the finish line and are awarded points starting with zero for first place. Most classes have 11 races, but yachts can drop their two worst finishes. The Laser, a centerboard dinghy, is making its debut in Savannah, replacing the Flying Dutchman.

Outlook - The U.S. figures to be strong teams. Mark Reynolds and Hal Haenel, winners of the Star-class gold medal in Barcelona, are among the top Americans returning.

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