Thompson fails in bid for first individual gold
ATHENS, Greece -- Inge de Bruijn of the Netherlands won the 50-meter freestyle for the second consecutive Olympics on Saturday night.
De Bruijn's time of 24.58 seconds was 26-hundredths of a second slower than her winning time at the Sydney Games. Malia Metella of France earned silver in 24.89 and Lisbeth Lenton of Australia took bronze in 24.91.
De Bruijn became the first woman to win consecutive sprint titles since the event was added to the Olympic program in 1988.
"This is just the best birthday present I could hope for," the Dutchwoman said. "A gold in the last day of the program -- what a climax."
Therese Alshammar of Sweden, the silver medalist in Sydney, was fourth.
Kara Lynn Joyce of Ann Arbor, Mich., was fifth in 25 seconds.
American Jenny Thompson's bid to win the first individual gold medal of her career ended in a seventh-place finish. Her time of 25.11 was more than half a second slower than de Bruijn.
Thompson has 11 career medals, nine of them on relays.
Grant Hackett successfully defended his Olympic 1,500-meter freestyle title, continuing Australia's domination of the grueling race.
Hackett won gold in an Olympic record of 14 minutes, 43.40 seconds -- nearly five seconds faster than his winning time at the Sydney Games.
Larsen Jensen of Bakersfield, Calif., earned the silver in 14:45.29 -- lowering his own American record by more than 11½ seconds. David Davies of Britain took bronze in 14:45.95.
Jensen's medal was the best showing by the United States since Mike O'Brien and George DiCarlo finished 1-2 at the boycotted 1984 Los Angeles Games.
Hackett became the fifth man in Olympic history to win two titles in the 1,500. Fellow Aussie Kieren Perkins won in 1992 and 1996, and Hackett defeated him four years ago in Sydney.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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