Van den Hoogenband wins 100 free again

Updated: August 18, 2004, 2:16 PM ET
Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece -- Pieter van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands successfully defended his Olympic 100-meter freestyle title Wednesday night.

Van den Hoogenband won the gold medal in 48.17 seconds -- 13-hundredths of a second faster than his winning time at the Sydney Games four years ago.

Roland Schoeman of South Africa, who trains at the University of Arizona, took silver in 48.23. Australia's Ian Thorpe earned bronze in 48.56, despite swimming in a far outside lane because he had the slowest qualifying time.

The Dutchman, who holds the world record in the 100, earned his third medal in Athens. He already has won silvers in the 200 freestyle and the 400 freestyle relay.

Thorpe won his fourth medal of these games. He beat Van den Hoogenband for gold in the 200 freestyle, won the 400 freestyle and helped Australia to a silver medal in the 800 freestyle relay.

The United States failed to advance either of its two swimmers out of the preliminaries.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press