Originally created 09/01/01

Chakhoyan sets weightlifting world record at Goodwill Games



BRISBANE, Australia -- Weightlifter Sergo Chakhoyan set the first world record at the Goodwill Games on Friday, and Australia again dominated in the pool.

The American men's swim team, beaten by Australia in Wednesday's opening duel in the pool, will miss out on the gold medal matchup after an 80.5-68.5 loss Friday to the World All-Stars.

Chakhoyan, an Armenian-born Aussie, improved the mark in the snatch by a pound in the 187-pound division. He lifted a record 400 pounds with his second attempt in the snatch before returning to win the clean-and-jerk and the overall gold as well.

He broke the world mark set last year by George Asanidze of the former Soviet republic of Georgia at the European Championships.

"I am No. 1 now. I have to thank the Australian weightlifting federation and the Australian coaches," Chakhoyan said.

In swimming, the Aussies (2-0) downed Europe 113-35 and take on the World (2-0) in an inconsequential qualifier Sunday and then again in Monday's night's gold-medal face-off.

The United States (0-2) and Europe (0-2) will vie for the bronze on Monday, just 24 hours after going head-to-head in another meaningless qualifier in the dual meet, points-based program.

"I have no excuses," said Olympic 50 freestyle gold medalist Gary Hall Jr. after placing second behind South Africa's Roland Schoeman in the one-lap sprint. "I'm not swimming as fast I used to."

With one race left - the 400 freestyle relay - the United States trailed 73.5 to 68.5 and needed a seven-point win to clinch the round-robin. But the World team never trailed, sending the Americans a surprising double loss in the relays on the night.

Under the dual meet format, individual races offer five points for a win, three for second and one for third. Relays give seven points only to the winning team.

World and Olympic 1,500-meter freestyle champion Grant Hackett took up some slack for Ian Thorpe, who anchored the 400-meter medley relay in his only race of the night, set a meet record 3 minutes, 47.34 seconds in winning the 400 freestyle.

Hackett also won the 200 as Australia finished first in 15 of the 17 races - Poland's Bartosz Kizierowski's won the 50 freestyle and the 50 backstroke to provide Europe's only wins of the night.

The showdown between Ian Thorpe, the world record holder and world champion at the 200-, 400- and 800-meter freestyle, and Dutch Olympic 100- and 200-meter champion Pieter van den Hoogenband failed to materialize.

Coaches saved their star swimmers for races later in the meet. The pair went head-to-head only in the 400-meter medley relay, but by the time van den Hoogenband hit the water to anchor the European team, he was already six seconds behind Thorpe.

After six individual specialties for men and four for women in artistic gymnastics, China and Russia each had three golds. Australia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria had one each. Competition to decide the top all-around gymnasts comes Saturday and Sunday.

The Russians have swept the rhythmic gymnastics, with Alina Kavaeva taking gold in the ball, clubs and rope Friday and Irina Chashchina accounted for the hoops, adding to her win in the all-around on Thursday.

Australian gymnast Philippe Rizzo proved his win five days ago at the University Games was no fluke when he took gold in the horizontal bar.