ATHENS, Greece -- Inge de Bruijn of the Netherlands won the
50-meter freestyle for the second consecutive Olympics on Saturday
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
Therese Alshammar of Sweden, the silver medalist in Sydney, was
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
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.