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Sunday, September 17
Dolan, Munz overcome ailments to win

SYDNEY, Australia -- American Tom Dolan broke his own six-year-old world record in the 400-meter individual medley Sunday, winning his second consecutive Olympic gold in the event with a dominating performance.

Brooke Bennett
Brooke Bennett, left with Diana Munz, gave the United States its first gold in the 400 free since Janet Evans won in 1988.

Dolan had the Australian crowd of 17,500 on its feet as he won in 4 minutes, 11.76 seconds, lowering his old mark of 4:12.30 set at the 1994 world championships in Rome.

"It was a tough swim," he said. "I was feeling it coming home, but I knew if I got out ahead no one could beat me."

Dolan's mark was the eighth world record in two days of swimming competition at the Sydney International Aquatic Centre.

Erik Vendt of North Easton, Mass., held on for silver in 4:14.23. Curtis Myden of Canada won bronze in 4:15.33.

"At 200 (meters), I saw how far ahead Tom was," said Vendt, who peeked at Dolan from Lane 2. "I knew it was going to be a world record."

An intense Dolan slapped the water and raised his arms in victory. He made his way over three lanes to Vendt and they slapped hands. Dolan, of Arlington, Va., then sat on the lane marker and yelled while urging on the raucous crowd.

"I apologize for that, but there was so much emotion," said Dolan, who was determined to make up for the Americans' narrow loss to the Australians in the 400 free relay Saturday.

"That was a big win for them. We know how serious they're taking it," Dolan said. "To be able to go 1-2 back-to-back was a huge boost for us."

A severe asthmatic, Dolan has been bothered by a viral infection the past month. He hustled back to the athletes' village after the morning preliminaries to spend some time with an oxygen tank before the evening final.

"I've been struggling a while with my breathing," he said. "But for me, it's all about guts at the end. That's what was able to pull me through."

Dolan and Vendt pulled off the second gold-silver double of the night by the United States.

Brooke Bennett and Diana Munz extended the United States' distance swimming legacy by winning gold and silver in the 400 freestyle.

Bennett, of Plant City, Fla., led all the way while being pressed by Claudia Poll of Costa Rica to win in 4 minutes, 05.80 seconds, giving the United States its first gold in the event since Janet Evans won in 1988.

"I noticed I was pulling away from the field and I was just trying to maintain it," said Bennett, the defending Olympic 800 free champion who failed to earn an Olympic berth in the 400 free in 1996.

"I wanted it so bad. All I could think about was missing out in '96 and how much I wanted to be in the 400 and the 800 at the Olympics," she said. "I feel so good, I can't wait for the 800."

Munz, an 18-year-old from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, was fourth most of the way before overtaking Poll and Janelle Atkinson of Jamaica in the final 100 meters to finish second in 4:07.07.

"It's who wants it the most in the last 100," Munz said. "The last 100 is usually my strongest."

An amazed Bennett clapped her hand to her mouth and sobbed uncontrollably. Munz swam over and the two shared a joyous embrace.

Poll took bronze in 4:07.83.


Swimming results

De Bruijn breaks own world record in 100 butterfly

'Thorpedo' wins two golds, helps sink U.S. relay team Help | Advertiser Info | Contact Us | Tools | Site Map | Jobs at
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