U.S. Softball Team

Is Almost Perfect

* The U.S. women's softball team won the gold medal yesterday, dominating the sport the way the United States used to rule men's basketball.

The American women defeated Australia, 5-1, in the final. The U.S. team has won three straight gold medals, but never so easily: The Americans won all nine games, outscored opponents 51-1, and went 542/3 innings without giving up a run.

Gymnastics: Last week Paul Hamm had an amazing comeback to claim the gold medal in the men's all-around competition, edging two South Korean gymnasts by the narrowest margin in Olympic history. But it turns out the judges scored third-place finisher Yang Tae-young 0.10 of a point too low. That difference would have given Yang the gold medal and Hamm the silver.

The rules say that any complaint about scoring needs to be made while the event is going on. The South Koreans didn't file a complaint until later. Still, there's talk among Olympic officials about possibly awarding a gold medal to Yang, too. There's no talk of taking away Hamm's gold.

Women's soccer: The U.S. team won a spot in Thursday's gold-medal game with a 2-1 win over Germany.

Men's basketball: The U.S. men's basketball team, which lost a close game to Lithuania over the weekend, rebounded yesterday to beat Angola, 89-53.

Track: American Justin Gatlin won the gold medal in the 100-meter dash with a time of 9.85 seconds. Four men ran the race in less than 9.9 seconds.

U.S. softball team celebrates gold.