Japan's Shibata takes 800 free

Updated: August 20, 2004, 3:58 PM ET
Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece -- Ai Shibata of Japan won Olympic gold in the 800-meter freestyle Friday night, ending the United States' dominance of the event.

Shibata finished in 8 minutes, 25.54 seconds to earn her first major international medal. She was fifth in the 400 freestyle in Athens.

Laure Manaudou of France earned silver in 8:24.96 for her third medal of these games. She won gold in the 400 freestyle and bronze in the 100 backstroke.

Diana Munz of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, won bronze in 8:26.61, overtaking teammate Kalyn Keller of Phoenix in the closing meters. Keller was fourth in 8:26.97.

Americans had won the event in five consecutive Olympics, including back-to-back titles by Janet Evans in 1988 and 1992 and Brooke Bennett in 1996 and 2000. Tiffany Cohen started the streak at the boycotted 1984 Los Angeles Games.

Coventry wins 200 backstroke
Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe won the Olympic gold medal in the 200-meter backstroke Friday night.

Coventry led all the way and finished in 2 minutes, 9.19 seconds.

Stanislava Komarova of Russia, an 18-year-old who was the fastest qualifier, earned silver in 2:09.72. Reiko Nakamura of Japan took bronze in 2:09.88.

Coventry swims at Auburn University, although her family lives in the Zimbabwe capital of Harare. She already won a silver in the 100 back and a bronze in the 200 individual medley in Athens.

Margaret Hoelzer of Huntsville, Ala., finished fifth in 2:10.70.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press