SATURDAY'S SPORTS ROUNDUP
XArgentina won its first Olympic gold medal in soccer, beating Paraguay 1-0 on Carlos Tevez's eighth goal of the tournament.
Despite the loss, Paraguay captured its first medal in any sport. Italy won the bronze Friday, beating Iraq 1-0.
In a game the Argentines controlled from the beginning, Mauro Rosales helped set up the winning goal in the 18th minute with a cross from the right side. Tevez ran between Paraguay defenders Julio Manzur and Carlos Gamarra and shot the ball into the net from about 20 feet out.
Already an underdog, Paraguay finished the game with just nine men. Emilio Martinez was ejected for elbowing Andrea D'Alessandro in the face in the 67th minute, and Diego Figueredo received his second yellow card with six minutes left.
XBirgit Fischer settled for silver, leaving the 42-year-old Olympian with two medals in two days. The two-woman crew from Hungary overtook Fischer and her German partner in the second half of the 500-meter kayak race, ending her quest for a ninth gold medal. Natasa Janics and Katalin Kovacs won the gold. Poland got the bronze.
It was a remarkable performance by Janics, who won the 500-meter single kayak race only 70 minutes earlier. Janics, 22, wasn't even born when Fischer won the first of her eight gold medals in Moscow in 1980. Fischer got her fourth silver since she started competing.
In single kayak, Janics beat Josefa Idem of Italy, who finished second, and Caroline Brunet of Canada, who finished third.
Germany's Andreas Dittmer beat Spaniard David Cal by .34 seconds to win the 500-meter canoe event, while Russia's Maxim Opalev took bronze.
Canadian single kayaker Adam van Koeverden took his second medal of the game -- this one a gold in the 500-meter final. He beat Australia's Nathan Baggaley by .55 seconds, with Britain's Ian Wynne taking bronze.
In the 500-meter pairs kayak, Germany's Ronald Rauhe and Tim Wieskoetter won handily. Australia ended up with the silver, .07 seconds ahead of Belarus, which took the bronze.
The Chinese canoe pair of Guanliang Meng and Wenjun Yang delivered a surprise victory in a race where five canoes crossed the line in a photo finish.
XJulien Absalon, whose focus had been on Athens since failing to make France's Olympic team four years ago, pulled away in the second half of the mountain bike race and eased to victory in 2 hours, 15 minutes, 2 seconds.
Jose Antonio Hermida of Spain finished second, exactly a minute behind Absalon. Bart Brentjens of the Netherlands, the world's top-ranked rider and 1996 Olympic champion, took the bronze.
It was the final cycling event of the Athens Games. Australia, with 10 medals, dominated the overall standings; Germany, with six medals, finished second; the United States won three medals, all in the road time trials on Aug. 18.
Women's Team Handball
XUkraine beat 2003 world champion France 21-18 to win the bronze medal. Maryna Vergelyuk six goals on seven shots for Ukraine, while goalkeeper Nataliya Borysenko made 15 saves.
Denmark faces South Korea for the gold today.
XRussian goalkeeper Andrei Lavrov, playing in his fifth and final Olympics, earned a bronze medal when Russia beat Hungary 28-26.
Lavrov made 15 saves and Eduard Kokcharov scored eight goals to lead Russia.
Germany faces Croatia in the men's final today.
XRussia, the defending Olympic champion, won another gold in group rhythmic gymnastics, scoring 51.100 points to edge Italy and Bulgaria.
Eight teams of five women each vied for the championship. Each had two turns on the mat -- one with five ribbons, the other with three hoops and two balls.
The Russians also won a bronze in 1996, the year group rhythmic was added to the games. Italy won its first Olympic medal in the sport. Bulgaria, which won silver at the Atlanta Olympics, returned to the medal stand after being shut out in 2000.
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