Van den Hoogenband wins 100 free again


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.