ICE HOCKEY: International. A record-equaling 39 nations, divided into four pools, contested the 60th world ice hockey championships at Vienna in May. The winner, for the first time since the breakup of the old Czechoslovakia, was the Czech Republic, which defeated Canada 4-2 in a nail-biting final. Relying heavily on National Hockey League players not engaged in the Stanley Cup play-offs, Canada gained an early lead in the final with a goal by Steve Thomas of the New Jersey Devils. Robert Lang, a player for the Los Angeles Kings, then scored for the Czechs in the eighth minute of the game. In the second period Lang put the Czechs ahead, but Thomas's second goal quickly tied the score. Thanks to sterling net minding by Curtis Joseph for Canada and Roman Turek for the Czechs, there were no additional goals until, with 19 seconds left and overtime looming, Martin Prochaska caught the Canadian defense napping. Jiri Kucera then added an empty-net power-play goal. The Czechs had a more comfortable passage in the semifinals, defeating the U.S. 5-0, while Canada overcame Russia 3-2 on penalty shots following a fruitless overtime. Within three minutes of the start of the first semifinal, the Americans were humiliated by yielding two goals to the Czechs, who had one player in the penalty box. The Czechs added a power-play goal in the 14th minute and scored twice more at even strength in the final period. The second semifinal was a classic confrontation. At the end of the first period, Russia led 2-0. Canada then gained control to tie the score in the second period. Joseph needed to be at his brilliant best in a goalless third period and in the 10-minute "sudden death" overtime that followed. In the tense penalty shoot-out, Sergey Berezin put Russia ahead. Ray Ferraro then scored for Canada, but Berezin buried his second shot before Paul Kariya and Yanic Perreault came to Canada's rescue in a 3-2 triumph. Overtime was also required in the play-off for third place. Brian Rolston of the New Jersey Devils scored the last goal to gain a 4-3 victory for the U.S. against Russia, which earned the Americans their first medal of any colour since 1962. Next best of the 12-nation elite Pool A teams were Sweden, Italy, Finland, Germany, Norway, and Slovakia, with France beating Austria in the relegation play-off. Heading the tournament scorers was Perreault, with six goals and three assists, followed by Lang and two Russians, Berezin and Aleksey Yashin. The selected all-star team comprised four Czechs--Turek, defender Michal Sykora, and forwards Robert Reichel and Otakar Vejvoda--plus the Russian defender Aleksey Zhitnik and the Canadian forward Kariya. Replacing the demoted Austria in Pool A was Latvia, which won the eight-team Pool B tournament at Eindhoven, Neth., by edging Switzerland in the final. Belarus finished one point ahead of the fourth-place U.K. Poland placed fifth, and the bottom three finished even on points and needed to be separated by the results of the games between them, leaving Denmark and The Netherlands as survivors and Japan relegated to Pool C. Kazakstan, winner of the eight-nation Pool C, moved up to Pool B. Croatia finished last in Pool C and exchanged places with Lithuania, the host-nation winner of Pool D, which also contained eight teams after three others had failed to qualify. Jokerit Helsinki of Finland retained its title in the 19th European Cup, open to national club champions, beating Cologne of Germany in the final by penalty shots after a scoreless overtime. HV-71 from Jnkoping, Swed., took the bronze medal. The expansion of the International Ice Hockey Federation continued with the approval of Singapore as its 52nd member. The IIHF announced an ambitious new European League to begin in the 1996-97 season, contested by 20 clubs from 12 nations. A new English rink at Manchester, with a national record crowd capacity of 17,000, enabled the nomination of its local team, Manchester Storm, to represent the U.K. (HOWARD BASS) JUDO During the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga., in July 1996, David Douillet (France) won the over-95-kg championship and Djamel Bouras (France) the 78-kg title (1 kg = 2.2 lb). Kenzo Nakamura (Japan) captured gold in the 71-kg competition, and Tadahiro Nomura (Japan) finished first in the 60-kg class. Other gold medals were awarded to Pawel Nastula of Poland (95-kg), Jeon Ki Young of South Korea (86-kg), and Udo Quellmalz of Germany (65-kg). In the women's competition, gold medals were won by Sun Fuming of China (over-72-kg), Ulla Werbrouck of Belgium (72-kg), Cho Min Sun of South Korea (66-kg), Yuko Emoto of Japan (61-kg), Driulis Gonzlez of Cuba (56-kg), Marie-Claire Restoux of France (52-kg), and Kye Sun Hi of North Korea (48-kg). Japanese judoka dominated the Jigoro Kano Cup tournament in Tokyo in November. Winners included Yoshiharu Makishi (over-95-kg), Yoshio Nakamura (95-kg), Kazunori Kubota (78-kg), Yukimasa Nakamura (65-kg), Tadahiro Nomura (60-kg), and Shinichi Shinohara (open-weight). Kim Dae Wook of South Korea won the 71-kg competition and Vincenzo Carabetta of France was victorious in the 86-kg final. During the international women's championships in December, Ryoko Tamura (Japan) won the 48-kg title for the seventh consecutive time. Olympic champions Sun, Werbrouck, and Cho were also victorious. Other winners included Yuan Hua of China (over-72-kg), and two Japanese: Eiko Sugimura (56 kg) and Kazue Nagai (52 kg). (ANDY ADAMS) LAWN BOWLS The World Bowls Board, representing the interests of 35 countries, joined with the World Indoor Bowls Council and the newly formed Professional Bowls Association to launch the World Bowls Tour on Jan. 1, 1997. Its goal was to secure increased television coverage and sponsorship in order to produce more benefits for the game. In 1996 the world championships--contested every four years--were held. The men's events took place at Adelaide, Australia, in March, and the women's were held at Leamington Spa, Eng., in August. England's Tony Allcock retained his 1992 world singles title, defeating Jeff Rabkin (Israel) 25-15. The other men's gold medals were won by Ireland in the pairs, Scotland in the triples and England in the fours. Scotland won the team title. South Seas (Norfolk Island) competitor Carmen Anderson captured the women's singles, trouncing England's Wendy Line 25-9. The pairs was won by Ireland's Phillis Nolan and Margaret Johnston for a record third successive time. South Africa beat Australia in the triples, but this result was reversed in the fours. Scottish dominance was apparent at the world indoor championships at Preston, Eng., in February as David Gourlay, Jr., overcame fellow Scot Hugh Duff in the final. The pairs title went to Kelvin Kerkow and Ian Schuback of Australia, who defeated England's Gary Smith and Andy Thomson in a thrilling five-set encounter. (DONALD J. NEWBY) RODEO Bull riding competitions continued to have a huge impact on rodeo in 1996. Professional Bull Riders, an organization based in Colorado Springs, Colo., held its finals at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev., October 11-13, with a prize purse of $1 million. The winner was Ronny Kitchens of Kemp, Texas. The PBR's rival organization, Bull Riders Only, also planned to put on a $1 million finals event, in April 1997, slated to be televised live on the Fox television network. At the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association's (PRCA's) season-ending National Finals Rodeo (NFR), held Dec. 6-15, 1996, in Las Vegas, Joe Beaver of Huntsville, Texas, successfully defended his world champion all-around-cowboy title, earning a combined $166,103 in team roping and calf roping during the 1995-96 season. (World titles in rodeo are determined by season earnings.) Bareback rider Mark Garrett of Spearfish, S.D., scored an upset in the final round of the NFR when three riders (including his brother, four-time world champion Marvin Garrett) failed to qualify their last rides. He earned an NFR record of 786 points on 10 broncs to win the competition. Garrett also gained the world championship with $139,868 in season earnings, including $78,517 at the NFR. In steer wrestling, Chad Bedell of Jensen, Utah, captured his first world championship, earning $40,727 at the NFR to finish the season with $120,784. Billy Etbauer of Edmond, Okla., one of three saddle bronc riding brothers competing at the NFR, captured his second world title in his specialty event with $190,257. At the NFR he placed first overall, riding 10 broncs for a combined 805 points. His earnings at the rodeo were $66,304. Calf roper Fred Whitfield of Hockley, Texas, maintained his late-season lead in the world standings through the NFR to capture his third world championship. The defending titleholder going into the 10-round competition, Whitfield won two early rounds to ensure his championship victory. His total earnings for the year were $155,336. Bull rider Terry West of Henryetta, Okla., became the first world champion in two professional rodeo associations. The former two-time International Professional Rodeo Association Bull Rider of the Year claimed his first championship in the larger PRCA. West rose from 10th place in the world standings going into the NFR to first place on the strength of $70,807 won in Las Vegas. His season earnings were $125,425. Other world champions for 1996 were: Kristie Peterson, Elbert, Colo., barrel racing, $170,083; Steve Purcella, Hereford, Texas, and Steve Northcott, Odessa, Texas, team roping, $91,069 each; and Mike Matt, Billings, Mont., wrangler bullfighting, $46,018. (GAVIN FORBES EHRINGER) ROWING Rowing underwent a significant change in 1996, with alterations in the 14 events contested in the Olympic Games. Three of the heavyweight events that had been a traditional part of the Olympics for the previous 20 years--the men's coxed pairs and coxed fours and the women's fours--were replaced by lightweight classes, and for the first time all entrants had to qualify for the right to compete. The 10 non-Olympic events were included in the subsequent world championships in Strathclyde, Scot., where the International Rowing Federation announced plans to reduce the number of events in future championships by five. As a result, sculling events would outnumber rowing events 12-7. Ten nations shared the honours in the Olympic competition at Lake Lanier in Georgia. All but 2 of the 14 finals were won by less than three seconds. Australia (men's coxless fours), Germany (men's and women's quadruple sculls), and the United Kingdom (men's coxless pairs) retained their 1992 Olympic gold medals. In one of the closest races Australia won in coxless fours by 0.66 sec. Xeno Mller triumphed by only 0.45 sec to become the first men's single sculls winner from Switzerland. The British coxless pair led from the start to retain their title by 0.93 sec; the bowman, Steven Redgrave (see BIOGRAPHIES), thereby became the first oarsman to win four Olympic gold medals. The Netherlands won the eights for the first time, and Italy accomplished the same feat in double sculls. In the new lightweight classes, Denmark won the coxless fours by 0.55 sec, while Switzerland gained a second success in the double sculls. In the women's events Australia had the closest win, the coxless pairs by 0.39 sec. Romania gained gold medals in eights and the new lightweight double sculls, while Canada (double sculls) and Belarus (single sculls) won the other classes. In the world championships the three discarded Olympic classes and the seven remaining lightweight events were won by seven nations. Denmark, Romania, and the United States each won twice, while the remaining titles were taken by China, France, Germany, and Italy. In the world junior championships, also contested at Strathclyde, Germany won three titles; Australia, Romania, and Slovenia took two each; and Canada, Denmark, The Netherlands, Poland, and Russia each won one. At the Henley Royal Regatta in England, there were nine overseas winners. In eights, trophies went to the Neptune Rowing Club, Ireland (Thames Cup), Yale University (Temple Cup), and Brentwood College, Canada (Princess Elizabeth Cup). A second U.S. winner was the Potomac Boat Club (Double Sculls Cup), and Germany also won twice with the Berliner Rowing Club in coxed fours (Prince Philip Cup) and the Mainzer & Neusser Rowing Club in quadruple sculls (Queen Mother Cup). Wiking of Austria triumphed in coxless pairs (Silver Goblets), while The Netherlands was also a double winner with W.S.R. Argo in coxless fours (Visitor's Cup) and M.L.O. Vervoorn capturing the Diamond Challenge Sculls. In the 142nd University Boat Race, Cambridge won by 2 3/4 lengths to increase its lead over Oxford to 73-68 in the series. (K.L. OSBORNE) SAILING (YACHTING) As 1995 drew to a close, the classic Australian Sydney-Hobart ocean race ended. The winning boat was the ILC 41 Terra Firma, designed by Iain Murray and Associates and owned by Scott Carlile and Dean Wilson; they were also top scorers in the Southern Cross Cup series. Second place went to the Nelson/Marek 43 Quest, skippered by Bob Steel, and third was taken by Stewart Toyota, a Bashford/Howison 41 owned by Ray Roberts and Ian Bashford. The Southern Cross team series was won by the Australian yachts Ragamuffin, Sycorax, and AMP Wild Oats. The death of Bashford of Australia at the age of 37 was a loss to the yacht-racing world. He had gained considerable success in many different classes on the water and also ran one of Australia's most successful yacht-building yards, exporting his products to many parts of the world. The Europe 1 STAR single-handed race across the Atlantic was marked by both disasters and records. The victory went to Loick Peyron of France in his 18.3-m (60-ft) trimaran Fujicolor in a time of 10 days 10 hr 5 min. Earlier, however, the two leading trimarans had capsized as their crews strove to break the eight-year-old race record. Francis Joyon in Banque Populaire capsized almost in sight of the finish; if he had finished, he would have set a new record. He had said earlier, "The slightest error can prove fatal in such a race," and a moment of inattention was enough. Peter Crowther, competing for his fifth time in this event, had to take to his life raft when his yacht sank. He had just enough time to send out a Mayday call to alert the emergency services. A Royal Air Force aircraft spotted him in his raft and coordinated his rescue by bulk carrier, which picked him up and took him to Halifax, N.S. Other outstanding performances were by Gerry Roufs in his 18.3-m (60-ft) monohull Groupe LG2, who finished only 26 hours after the last 18.3-m trimaran, and Giovanni Soldini in his 15.2-m (50 ft) monohull Telecom Italia, who finished 3 1/2 hours after Roufs to set a new Class II record by 39 hr 22 min. Sailors at the Olympic Games, contested off the coast of Georgia, experienced much of the unpredictable weather that many had forecast as difficult light winds were intermingled with tropical storms of intense ferocity. For the most part, however, the medals were won by the prerace favourites, with the exception of the U.S. competitors, who were expected to be medal contenders in most classes but managed only two bronze medals. One of the most outstanding winners was Lee Lai Shan, who competed in the women's Mistral class and won Hong Kong's first sailing Olympic medal. (ADRIAN JARDINE) SPECIAL REPORT The CentennialOlympic Games BY MELINDA C. SHEPHERD From July 19 to Aug. 4, 1996, the city of Atlanta, Ga., welcomed the world to join it in celebrating the XXVI Olympiad, 100 years after the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. For the first time every invited National Olympic Committee (a total of 197) sent a team, including each of the former Soviet republics, Burundi, North Korea, Palestine, and Hong Kong, which won its first (and last) gold medal before its reunification with China in 1997. More than 10,700 accredited athletes (about one-third women) competed in 271 medal events (163 for men, 97 for women, and 11 mixed), and a record 79 teams won at least one medal, with 53 of them taking at least one gold (5 for the first time). New sports added to the schedule in Atlanta included women's association football (soccer), beach volleyball, lightweight rowing events, women's softball, and cross country cycling (mountain biking). As the first city to act as host of the Olympic Games without government financial backing, Atlanta faced special challenges. The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) was roundly criticized for the Games' problems, notably the inadequate transportation system, delays due to the tight security precautions, and computer glitches in the electronic transmission of scores. There were also questions about excessive commercialization and "chauvinism" among the U.S. spectators and the U.S. network television coverage. Although Billy Payne, head of ACOG and the chief force behind the city's successful bid, declared that the Games would break even or make a small profit, the experiment of a privately funded Olympics was unlikely to be repeated. These problems failed to dampen the city's Southern hospitality, however, or ruin more than one million visitors' fun. The revelry was temporarily halted on July 27, however, when an unknown person set off a pipe bomb in Centennial Olympic Park. (See LAW, CRIME, AND LAW ENFORCEMENT: Crime.) One bystander was killed in the explosion, and a photojournalist died of heart failure in the ensuing rush, but within days the park reopened in a memorial service attended by hundreds. Among the outstanding athletes at the Games were several former gold medal winners, notably Carl Lewis of the U.S., who won his ninth gold in track; British rower Steven Redgrave (see BIOGRAPHIES), who took his fourth gold in four consecutive Olympics; and 17-year-old Fu Mingxia (see BIOGRAPHIES) of China, winner of the platform diving competition in 1992 and both the platform and the springboard events in 1996. Although U.S. sprinter Michael Johnson's gold running shoes and bravura victories in the 200 m and 400 m captured the world's attention, his golden double was matched by two women runners, Marie-Jos Perec (see BIOGRAPHIES) of France in the 200 m and 400 m and Svetlana Masterkova of Russia in the 800 m and 1,500 m. The highest individual medal total in Atlanta (6) went to Russian gymnast Aleksey Nemov. The focus poolside was mainly on Michelle Smith (see BIOGRAPHIES) of Ireland, who won three golds and a bronze in swimming, despite being compelled to leave Ireland to find adequate training facilities, questions over entry procedures, and strain caused by unsubstantiated rumours of illegal drug use. Melinda C. Shepherd is associate editor of Encyclopdia Britannica Yearbooks. SQUASH During 1996 the World Squash Federation and its 111 member nations saw their hopes that squash would be included in the Olympics Games in 2000 die. Expectations were high when Australia, a powerful squash nation, had won the right to serve as the host of the Games, but, despite its having fulfilled all the requirements of the International Olympic Committee, the sport was unable to gain a place. England's men's team caused an upset in November 1995 by winning the men's world team championships in Cairo. In July 1996 an English men's team won the world junior men's title, also held in Cairo, beating host team Egypt two matches to one in the final. In October the women's World Open and team championships were staged in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Michelle Martin (Australia) failed to gain her fourth consecutive World Open championship when she unexpectedly lost to fellow Australian Liz Irving three games to one in the quarterfinal round. Irving then was defeated three games to two in the semifinals by Cassie Jackman of England. Sarah Fitz-Gerald of Australia defeated Jackman three games to none in the final to win her first World Open championship. She became the first woman to win both the world junior and senior crowns. In the team event, the Australian trio of Fitz-Gerald, Martin, and Irving combined to beat England two matches to one in the final and thus win the title for the third time in a row, despite Martin's again losing her match--this time to Jackman. The competitive year concluded with the men's World Open in Karachi, Pak. Jansher Khan of Pakistan won the tournament again to bring his record-breaking World Open tally to eight. In the final he defeated his primary recent challenger, Rodney Eyles of Australia, three games to one. (ANDREW SHELLEY) SWIMMING For the first time in an Olympic year, no world records preceding the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga., were set by men in 50-m pools. One world mark was set in the women's 100-m breaststroke when Penelope Heyns of South Africa at Durban, S.Af., on March 4 bettered by 0.23 sec the previous world record of 1 min 7.69 sec set by Samantha Riley of Australia in Rome on Sept. 9, 1994. On July 21 at the Olympics, Heyns in the 100-m breaststroke preliminary further lowered her record to 1 min 7.02 sec. The Olympics broke all records in numbers of competitors at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center as 793 swimmers from 120 countries took part; 19 nations won medals, with 10 nations striking gold. In the total medal count the U.S. won 26 (13 gold, 11 silver, and 2 bronze), Russia 8 (4 gold, 2 silver, and 2 bronze), Hungary 6 (3 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze), Ireland 4 (3 gold and 1 bronze), Australia 12 (2 gold, 4 silver, and 6 bronze), and Germany 12 (5 silver and 7 bronze). On July 20 Frederik Deburghgraeve of Belgium gained his country's first swimming Olympic gold, winning the 100-m breaststroke in 1 min 0.65 sec after setting a world record of 1 min 0.60 sec in the morning preliminaries. The previous world record was 1 min 0.95 sec by Karoly Guttler of Hungary on Aug. 3, 1993. On July 24 Denis Pankratov of Russia was timed at 52.27 sec in the 100-m butterfly to better by 0.05 sec his world record of 52.32 sec set in Vienna on Aug. 23, 1995. Pankratov's technique was noteworthy; he took an insurmountable lead of almost a body length after he kicked underwater to the 35-m mark. On July 26 the U.S. men's 4 100-m medley relay team provided the U.S. with its only world-record victory. The team of Jeff Rouse of Fredericksburg, Va., Jeremy Linn of Harrisburg, Pa., Mark Henderson of Fort Washington, Md., and Gary Hall, Jr., of Paradise Valley, Ariz., was timed at 3 min 34.84 sec to better by 2.09 sec the previous mark, which was set at the 1988 Olympics and tied at the 1992 Games. The outstanding U.S. woman swimmer was Amy Van Dyken of Englewood, Colo. She won gold medals in the 50-m freestyle and the 100-m butterfly and on two winning relays. Van Dyken's efforts helped the U.S. women win seven gold medals. Michelle Smith (see BIOGRAPHIES) became the first woman to win an Olympic swimming medal for Ireland. Smith won golds in the 400-m freestyle and the 200-m and 400-m individual medleys and took a bronze in the 200-m butterfly. Athletes winning their countries' first-ever Olympic swimming gold medals were, in addition to Deburghgraeve (Belgium), Claudia Poll of Costa Rica in the 200-m freestyle and Danyon Loader of New Zealand in the 200-m and 400-m freestyle. Krisztina Egerszegi of Hungary became the most decorated female swimmer in Olympic history by earning seven individual medals, of which five were gold, and by winning the 200-m backstroke in three successive Olympic Games starting in 1988. The 1996 victory equaled the feat of Dawn Fraser of Australia, who was the first to win the same event in three successive Games (100-m freestyle, 1956-64). Aleksandr Popov of Russia successfully defended his 50-m and 100-m freestyle Olympic titles. On his return to Moscow in September, Popov was stabbed in the abdomen during a street brawl. He recovered, however, and planned to train for the 2000 Olympic Games. World records in 25-m pools were achieved on five occasions. On January 7 in Hong Kong, Han Xue of China lowered the record in the 50-m breaststroke with a time of 31.11 sec. On January 11 in Beijing, she further lowered her world mark to 30.98 sec. On February 17 in Bostogne, Belg., Deburghgraeve was timed at 59.02 sec, lowering by 0.05 sec the 100-m breaststroke record set by Philip Rogers of Australia on Aug. 27, 1993. A world record of 23.45 sec for the 50-m butterfly set at Sheffield by Mark Foster of the U.K. on Dec. 15, 1995, was finally ratified by FINA (Fdration Internationale de Natation Amateur) on March 12. On January 30 Jan Sievinen of Finland was timed at 53.10 sec for the 100-m individual medley, erasing his previous world record of 53.78 sec set in Espoo, Fin., on Nov. 21, 1992. Also during the year Sievinen was timed at 4 min 6.03 sec, lowering by 1.07 sec his previous world record in the 400-m individual medley, set at Malm, Swed., on Feb. 9, 1992. TABLE TENNIS The Chinese continued their domination of table tennis in 1996, collecting all the gold medals at the 1996 Olympic Games. Liu Guoliang, the men's singles runner-up in 1995, won men's singles by besting Wang Tao of China. Deng Yaping, the women's world singles champion in 1991 and 1995, successfully defended her 1992 Olympic singles title by beating Chen Jing of Chinese Taipei (Taiwan). Liu joined the 1995 world men's singles champion, Kong Linghui, to win the men's doubles, while Deng and 1993 world champion Qiao Hong retained their 1992 Olympic doubles title. According to the International Table Tennis Federation world rankings that immediately preceded the Olympics, 18 of the top 19 women players playing in the federation's newly formed "Pro Tour" were Asian. The sole exception was the European and German national champion, Nicole Struse. Though the European men were not as outclassed, defending Olympic, 1989 world, and current European men's singles champion Jan-Ove Waldner of Sweden was upset in the Olympics by Johnny Huang of Canada, the 1996 North American champion. Sweden's 1991 world champion, Jorgen Persson, and France's 1993 world champion, Jean-Philippe Gatien, did not qualify for the round of 16 at the Olympics, while the top European seed, Jean-Michel Saive of Belgium, was ousted in the quarterfinals. None of the U.S. men and women made it through the preliminary rounds. (TIM BOGGAN) TENNIS Celebrating a season of intrigue and fluctuating fortunes, Pete Sampras and Steffi Graf were the sport's preeminent players in 1996, each for the fourth consecutive year. Sampras sealed his bid for continued supremacy with a triumph at the United States Open, while Graf replicated her astounding 1995 feat of sweeping the French, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open singles titles. Two men won their first Grand Slam tournaments; Richard Krajicek of The Netherlands and Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia finished first at Wimbledon and the French Open, respectively. Monica Seles, meanwhile, garnered her first major crown in three years when she opened her campaign by capturing the Australian Open, and the men's victor at Melbourne alongside Seles was Boris Becker, with his first Grand Slam triumph in five years. TRACK AND FIELD SPORTS (ATHLETICS) As the year of the Centennial Olympic Games, 1996 featured fierce track and field competition both at the Games in Atlanta, Ga., and in invitational meetings before and after the quadrennial championships event. VOLLEYBALL Cuba in 1996 captured its second consecutive Olympic gold medal in women's volleyball at the Centennial Games in Atlanta, Ga., and The Netherlands improved upon its runner-up finish at the 1992 Olympics to claim its first Olympic men's volleyball gold medal. Both U.S. indoor teams were disappointing after having posted impressive performances in 1995. Considered one of the gold medal favourites, along with Cuba and China, the U.S. women lost to the eventual champions in the quarterfinals and placed seventh overall. They improved somewhat later in 1996, with a fifth-place finish at the $1.5 million World Grand Prix. Brazil upset Cuba to capture the Grand Prix crown. The U.S. men placed ninth in the 12-team field, its worst Olympic finish since failing to qualify at the 1976 Games. In the Olympic debut of beach volleyball, Karch Kiraly (see BIOGRAPHIES) and Kent Steffes defeated fellow Americans Mike Dodd and Mike Whitmarsh. As a result, Kiraly became the first Olympic volleyball player to capture three Olympic gold medals (1984 and 1988 indoors). Jackie Silva and Sandra Pires defeated Monica Rodrigues and Adriana Samuel Ramos in the all-Brazil women's beach volleyball gold medal match. In the college competition UCLA won the 1996 NCAA men's volleyball championships, and Stanford made it a California sweep by collecting the national collegiate women's title. (RICHARD S. WANNINGER) WEIGHT LIFTING Because of revisions of weight classifications instituted by the International Weightlifting Federation in 1992, all total lift performances for the winning lifters were Olympic records in the 1996 Olympic Games at Atlanta, Ga. Though Bulgaria and the republics of the former Soviet Union had dominated the previous Olympics, China, Turkey, Russia, and Greece each won two gold medals in 1996. Greece also added three silver medals, and China gained one silver and one bronze; Russia won one silver medal. The most prominent Olympic champion in 1996 was Naim Suleymanoglu of Turkey. He won his third Olympic gold to go with his seven world titles. Kilogram for kilogram, the 64-kg (141-lb) class champion was regarded by many as the finest lifter in the sport's history. Although there was no Olympic competition for women, a separate world championship was held in Warsaw in May. The Chinese women dominated the competition, winning all nine of the weight classes. In the 83-kg class, Wei Xiangying set a new world record of 242.5 kg for the combination of snatch and clean and jerk. (CHARLES ROBERT PAUL, JR.) WRESTLING At the Centennial Olympic Games July 30-August 2 in Atlanta, Ga., the U.S. captured the most freestyle medals (five), followed by Russia with four. Iran and South Korea each earned three. No team scoring is kept in the Olympics, but the Russians unofficially finished first with 66 points to 63 for the U.S. By winning a bronze medal, heavyweight Bruce Baumgartner of the U.S. made Olympic history, becoming the first freestyle wrestler from any country to medal in four Olympic Games. In the European championships at Budapest, Russia won in the 62-kg and 74-kg weight classes. Ukraine triumphed in the 52-kg class, and winners in the 90-kg and 130-kg competitions were from Georgia and Turkey, respectively. Poland was the big winner in the Greco-Roman competition at the Olympics, picking up three gold medals and five overall to lead all nations in both categories. Poland and Russia tied for the unofficial team scoring title with 50 points each. The Americans captured three silver medals. Russian superheavyweight Aleksandr Karelin (see BIOGRAPHIES) became the first Greco-Roman wrestler to win three Olympic gold medals. Russia dominated the European Greco-Roman championships at Budapest with victories in the 62-kg, 90-kg, and 130-kg competitions. Ukraine won the 52-kg class, and Turkey was victorious at 74 kg. The 66th U.S. collegiate championships were held in Minneapolis, Minn., on March 21-23. Defending champion University of Iowa won its 16th title with 122.5 points over runner-up Iowa State University at 78.5 points. Ranked 17th in the Amateur Wrestling News pretournament poll, California State University at Bakersfield stunned the experts with a third-place showing, edging fourth-place Penn State 66-65. Oregon State's two-time champion, 80-kg (177-lb) Les Gutches, was named the meet's outstanding competitor. (JOHN HOKE)

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