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U.S. Shot Putter Slips in the Final

Nelson Settles for Silver After 5 Fouls

Associated Press
Thursday, August 19, 2004; Page D10

ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece, Aug. 18 -- Congratulations turned to condolences for Adam Nelson on Wednesday as his foul-filled finish handed the shot put gold medal to Ukraine's Yuriy Bilonog, capping an underachieving day for the American favorites at the site that birthed the Olympics 28 centuries ago.

Nelson led the entire competition, but Bilonog's final throw tied Nelson for the best of the day at 69 feet 5 1/4 inches. Nelson had one last chance to win and unleashed a golden toss -- but was called for his fifth consecutive foul and had to settle for silver.

With one last chance to win gold, Adam Nelson is called for his fifth consecutive foul, leaving him with a silver medal. (Julie Jacobson - AP)

_____ Day 6 _____
Paul Hamm wins the men's gymnastics individual all-around.
The U.S. women's relay team breaks a 17-year-old record.
Shot putters compete on the site of the original Games.
Venus Williams and Andy Roddick both lose in the third round of the tennis tournament.
American cyclist Tyler Hamilton wins the gold medal, while Dede Barry takes silver in the road time trials.
U.S. boxers triumph in six of their first seven bouts.
The U.S. softball team posts its fifth straight shutout with a 7-0 win over Canada.
U.S. shot putter Adam Nelson settles for silver after five fouls.
Japan's Kosuke Kitajima completes a sweep of Olympic breastsroke events by winning the 200.
The Canadian water polo team pulls off a stunning comeback to beat the United States.
American shooter Kim Rhode rallies to win the gold medal in double trap.
The U.S. double scull of Aquil Abdullah and Henry Nuzum advances in a photo finish.
Greek sprinters withdraw from Games after missing a drug test.
Phelps, Coughlin and Peirsol advance in swimming heats.

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_____ On Our Site _____
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___ Wednesday's Medals Results ___
Women's individual
Men's shot put
Women's shot put
Cycling (Road)
Women's time trial
Men's time trial
Men's single slalom
Women's single slalom
Individual eventing
Team eventing
Women's individual foil
Gymnastics (Artistic)
Men's individual all-around
Men's 90kg
Women's 70kg
Women's double trap
Men's 100 freestyle
Men's 200 breaststroke
Women's 200 butterfly
Women's 4 x 200 freestyle relay
Women's 63kg
Men's 69kg

_____ Multimedia _____
Audio: U.S. women break record.
Audio: The journey to Olympia.

_____ Photos _____
Day 6
Photo galleries page

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Bilonog was declared the champion because his next-best throw was better. Denmark's Joachim Olsen took the bronze with a throw of 69-1 1/2.

After the foul was called, Nelson remained helplessly in the shot put ring for three minutes, pointing and pleading with officials, even as Bilonog took the flag-draped victory lap that the former Dartmouth defensive tackle thought was his.

Nelson later sobbed on his wife's shoulder and covered his face with an American flag, his shirt caked with dust from the ancient grounds.

"When you compete at the level that I aspire to compete at, there's nothing but the best you shoot for. The silver medal is a great piece of hardware, but it keeps me around for another four years," said Nelson, 29, a laurel wreath resting uncomfortably on his head.

Replays showed Nelson's foot clearly out of the ring, and he apologized to officials after being told of the obvious foul.

Nelson's medal saved a wipeout for an American trio that had hoped for a sweep. U.S. men have the top 17 tosses in the world this year -- all of them farther than Wednesday's gold standard.

But two-time Olympic medalist John Godina fouled twice and failed to reach the final rounds. Reese Hoffa couldn't advance past the morning qualifying session. And Chris Cantwell, who has the longest throw in the world this year, didn't make it past the U.S. Olympic trials.

Earlier Wednesday, Russia's Irina Korzhanenko became the first woman to win a gold medal at the ancient venue. The original Olympics were for men only.

Korzhanenko, who slapped her face with both hands before throws, recorded the three longest heaves of the day -- including the winning toss of 69-1 1/4, the best in the world this year. Yumileidi Cumba of Cuba won the silver with a throw of 64-3 1/4 on her last attempt, and Nadine Kleinert of Germany took the bronze.

Americans Kristin Heaston, the first woman to compete at the site when she opened the historic qualifying round, and Laura Gerraughty failed to advance to the final. So did Astrid Kumbernuss of Germany, the 1996 Olympic gold medalist.

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