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Sydney 2000 - Quick hits

Beaten after 13 years

Alexander Karelin went to Sydney looking for his fourth consecutive gold medal in the Greco-Roman wrestling in the 130kg category. America's Rulon Gardner deprived him of that honour by beating the Russian in the final and ending an unbeaten streak that dated back to 1987.

Perec flees

Just a few days before the women's 400m, which would pitch double Olympic champion Marie-José Pérec against Aussie favourite Cathy Freeman, the Frenchwoman quit Sydney and the Games claiming to have been hounded by fans and press alike. Freeman went on to win gold in the event while Perec has only recently emerged from self imposed isolation.

Korea, North and South

For the first time athletes from the two Koreas paraded at an opening ceremony together. They used a banner to represent the Korean peninsula.


British road cyclist Jason Queally set a new Olympic record with his gold medal winning performance in the 1km time trial. But he only took to the saddle seriously at the age of 25 after stints at water polo and the triathlon.


Legally blind American athlete Marla Runyan came eighth in the women's 1500m. She is the first athlete to have competed at both an Olympics and a Paralympics. She competed in the latter at both 1992 and 1996 editions picking up six medals along the way.

Lions share

Kings of world football Brazil may shake their stuff in the World Cup but at the Olympics it has been a different story. Having come third in 1996 they came a miserable seventh in Sydney where Cameroon's 'Indomnitable Lions' won their first football gold.

Great assets

To help finance their Olympic preparations 'the Matlidas', as Australia's soccer girls are known, posed nude for a calendar in November 1999.

Copyright 2008 Agence France-Presse.


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