Sun | Jan 21, 2018

It happened this week in 2004

Published:Friday | August 19, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Kelly Holmes
Debbie-Ann Parris-Thymes
Novlene Williams
Trecia Smith
Yuliya Nesterenko
Kenenisa Bekele celebrates with compatriot Haile Gebrselassie.
Christine Arron
Merlene Ottey
Veronica Campbell
Veronica Campbell
Sherone Simpson
Aleen Bailey
George Bovell
Ian Thorpe
Michael Phelps
Janelle Atkinson
Alia Atkinson



Sunday, August 15


Janelle Atkinson placed fourth in the women's 400m freestyle to become the first Jamaican female swimmer to reach an Olympic swimming final. She failed to reach the 400m freestyle final, but promised to give a grand farewell in her next event, the 200m freestyle.

Teenage swimmer Alia Atkinson set a personal best 1:12.53 in the 100m breaststroke, but finished 32nd of 48 overall in the event. Only the top 16 advanced to the semi-finals, with the fastest qualifying time belonging to Australia's Brooke Hanson with 1:07.35.

In an upset as historic as it was inevitable, Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson and the rest of the United States basketball team lost 92-73 to Puerto Rico, only the third Olympic defeat for the Americans. It was also the most lopsided loss in the Games for the US team, alarming not only for its significance, but also for its decisiveness.

Little-known South Africa 4x100m freestyle relay team pulled off one of the most shocking results of the Olympics, beating every major swimming powerhouse and setting a world record in the process. The winning time was 3:13.17 seconds. The Netherlands took silver in 3:14.36, while Michael Phelps and his American teammates got bronze in 3:14.62.


Monday, August 16


Janelle Atkinson placed sixth in the 200m freestyle at the Athens Aquatic Centre in her last Olympic swim. Competing in heat three of the preliminaries, Atkinson clocked 2:04.06 to be ranked 30th of the 41 swimmers who entered the event. The best time in the heats was returned by American Dana Vollmer with 1:59.49, with Costa Rica's Claudia Poll second best on 1:59.50.

Michael Phelps' quest for seven gold medals ended after just three events, when he had to settle for another bronze in the most anticipated race at the Olympic pool - the head-to-head showdown with Australia's Ian Thorpe in the 200-metre freestyle.

Venus Williams and Chanda Rubin lost 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 to eighth-seeded Li Ting and Sun Tian Tian of China in the first round of the Olympic doubles tournament.


Tuesday, August 17


United States sprinter Torri Edwards lost her appeal to overturn a two-year suspension for taking the banned stimulant nikethamide. Edwards had her two-year drug upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Michael Phelps claimed his second and third gold medals of the Athens Games, winning the 200m butterfly and returned an hour later to lead off the United States' thrilling victory over Australia in the 800 freestyle relay. Phelps showed more emotion than he had the entire Olympics, punching his fists in the air and letting out a ferocious yell. With the quest to surpass Mark Spitz out of the way, Phelps could savour one of the greatest races in swimming history


Wednesday, August 18


Trinidad and Tobago's George Bovell became the first swimming finalist for the English-speaking Caribbean at the 2004 Athens Olympics, when he placed third in his semi-final of the men's 200m individual medley at the Aquatic Centre. Bovell battled to a time of 2:00.31 seconds to advance to the final as the fifth-fastest qualifier.

National shot put record holder Kimberli Barrett and swimmer Angela Chuck both failed to get past the preliminary rounds of their events. In the shot put, Barrett had a best throw of 16.45m on her second attempt, well below 18.28m her national record. Swimmer Angela Chuck performed below her best effort placing seventh in heat three of the women's 100m freestyle. Chuck clocked 58.33, much slower than her personal best 57.59.


Thursday, August 19


Michael Phelps won his fourth swimming gold medal on the sixth day of the Olympic Games. Phelps took the 200-metre individual medley in Olympic-record time on a golden night for the United States at the pool. Phelps also has two bronze medals, giving him the largest personal haul so far of any athlete in Athens.


Friday, August 20


Sherone Simpson was the happiest Jamaican in Greece, when she placed first in her heat, ahead of Aleen Bailey (11.12) and Jamaican-turned-Slovenian Merlene Ottey (11.24), to lead three Jamaicans into the 100m semi-finals. National champion Veronica Campbell (11.18) was second in her heat, which was won in 11.10 by Christine Arron of France.

Kenenisa Bekele seized the 10,000m crown and the Olympic record from Haile Gebrselassie with an emphatic finish to win the gold medal at the Athens Games. Gebrselassie lost the title and the record, but he did not lose his famous smile as he crossed the line in fifth place. Bekele clocked 27:5.10 seconds after accelerating powerfully with just over a lap left.

Davian Clarke, Brandon Simpson and Michael Blackwood advanced to the semi-finals of the men's 400 metres. Clarke placed second in 45.54 seconds behind Grenada's Alleyne Francique (45.33). Simpson (45.61) was second to American Derrick Brew (45.41). Blackwood had little difficulty winning his heat in 45.23. Hot-favourite American James Warmer won in 45.56.

Michelle Ballentine advanced to her First Olympic 800 metres semi-final with a third-place finish in last night's heats. Better known as a relentless front runner, Ballentine kept behind the pace in heat three and ran on strongly in the final 50 metres to clock 2:01.52 behind winner Kelly Holmes (2:00.81) and Jearl Miles Clarke (2:01.33).




National Women's sprint champion Veronica Campbell captured Jamaica's first medal of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Campbell, the World Junior champion from 2000, took third in the women's 100m final behind Belarus' Yuliya Nesterenko (10.93), and American Lauryn Williams (10.96). Aleen Bailey and Sherone Simpson were fifth and sixth, respectively, in 11.05 and 11.07.

Asafa Powell cruised into the semi-finals with a 9.99-second clocking behind defending Olympic champion Maurice Greene (9.93). Powell was joined in the final 16 by teammates Dwight Thomas, who was second in 10:12, and Michael Frater, third in 10.11, in their separate heats.

Triple-jumper Trecia Smith made the final of the women's triple jump, the first Jamaican to do so at this level. The Commonwealth Games record holder at 15.16m did 14.65 metres for third spot in qualifying.

Novlene Williams ran a personal-best 50.59 seconds to advance to the women's 400 metres semi-finals at the Games. Jamaica's other two women, Nadia Davey and Allison Beckford, performed below their best and didn't make the semi-finals.

Debbie Ann Parris clocked 55.21 for fourth in her 400m hurdles heat to advance as one of the six fastest losers, the only Jamaican woman in the semi-finals.

Michelle Ballentine finished eighth in the women's 800 metres semi-final, clocking 2:00.94. Britain's Kelly Holmes won in 1:57.98.

American Michael Phelps made Olympic history, winning six gold and two bronze medals. He won his sixth gold as the Americans took the 400-metre medley relay. Phelps gave up his spot on the relay to Ian Crocker, but was still eligible to collect a gold because he helped the American team qualify in the heats.