The old order fell at the Summer Games on Sunday. Mary Slaney didn't fall, she just fell apart in what certainly was her last chance to end a series of Olympic failures.
Florence Griffith Joyner ended Evelyn Ashford's reign as the Olympics' fastest woman, and age put an end to gold medal hopes of Edwin Moses and Chris Evert.Daniela Silivas, an 18-year-old Romanian, won three gold medals to close out the Games' gymnastics competition, matching Nadia Comaneci's feat of seven perfect 10s.
In 1984, Slaney tripped and fell in tears on the infield as her vaunted 3,000-meter duel with Zola Budd fell apart. This time, she took the lead from the start and looked like a winner until about three laps from the end of the 71/2-lap race.
At age 30 and fading from the status that made her Aemrica's best middle-distance runner, she began to tire. She faded into the middle of the lead pack, then back of it, obviously unable to match speed and endurance with the younger runners.
Tatyana Samolenko of the Soviet Union won the race in 8 minutes, 22.63 seconds, and Paula Ivan of Romania was second in 8:27.15. Yvonne Murray of Britain won the bronze in 8:29.02.
Griffith Joyner won the women's 100 meters in a wind-aided 10.54 seconds.
Ashford, 1984 gold medalist, won the silver in 10.83, and Heike Drechsler of East Germany took the bronze.
Andre Phillips, in his first Olympics, won the 400-meter hurdles in 47.19, beat Moses' Olympic mark of 47.64 in 1976 at Montreal. Amadou Dia Ba of Senegal won the silver in 47.23 as Moses faded at the end to third in 47.56.
Just starting her career was 18-year-old Daniela Silivas of Romania, who won three gold medals in the women's gymnastics apparatus. She won the balance beam, uneven parallel bars and floor exercise. Phoebe Mills, 15, of Northfield, Ill., prevented an American shutout when she tied for bronze in the balance beam.
The medal standings looked like this: Soviet Union 58 total, 26 gold; East Germany 54 total, 23 gold, and the United States 33 total, 11 gold.
On Saturday, Ben Johnson led Carl Lewis to the wire in the fastest 100 meters ever run, winning in a world record 9.79 seconds.
Records fell left and right, first at the track, then at the swimming pool, where America had its best day yet in the water on Saturday. Matt Biondi broke a world record in winning his fourth gold medal and sixth of the Games, while Janet Evans won her third gold medal in Olympic record time.
It was not a perfect day at the pool, though. The U.S. Olympic Committee said Sunday that it was sending two relay gold medalists back to the States and throwing them off the team for their part in some downtown mischief during the weekend.
Lewis finished the 100 in 9.92, three strides behind Johnson in the 100 meters. The shouting was over, the duel was done, and it wasn't even close.
"The most important thing is to beat Carl Lewis," said Canada's "Big Ben," who has beaten Lewis in six of their last seven meetings.
The bronze medalist was Linford Christie of Great Britain in 9.97. Another American, Calvin Smith, was fourth in 9.99.
"He ran a great race, obviously, because it was a great time," Lewis said of Johnson
While Lewis no longer may hunt the same four gold medals he won four years ago in Los Angeles, he still could become the first gold medalist to repeat in any of the sprints. He has the 200 meters coming up next Wednesday in addition to the long jump and 400-meter relay.
In Saturday's heptathlon _ which generally confers upon its winner the title of world's greatest woman athlete _ Jackie Joyner-Kersee needed her best time ever in the 800 meters to break her own world mark.
Joyner-Kersee, Griffith Joyner's sister-in-law, finished in 2 minutes, 8.51 seconds, .41 seconds better than her previous career best, and won the gold medal with 7,291 points, beating the world mark of 7,215 she set earlier this year. She launched the event with a heptathlon long-jump world record of 23 feet, 101/4 inches.
The U.S. women's basketball team clinched a spot in the medal round, running its record to 3-0 with a 94-79 victory over China. Katrina McClain scored 27 points as the Americans withstood a 32-point performance by China's 6-foot-8 center, Zheng Haixia.
The United States plays in the semifinals on Tuesday with the final Thursday.
Diver Kelly McCormick of Long Beach, Calif., earned a bronze in the women's springboard Sunday behind Chinese Gao Min and Li Qing.
The United States also got two more silvers and a bronze in rowing Sunday. The silvers came from Anne Marden of Concord, Maine, in the women's single sculls and the men's coxless fours. The men's eights teams won a bronze.
Michael Carbajal of Phoenix and Romallis Ellis of Ellenwood, Ga., became the first American fighters to reach the quarterfinals and ran the U.S. boxing team's winning streak to 10 bouts.
Carbajal scored a first-round knockout of Hien Dang Hieu of Vietnam in their 106-pound bout Sunday, and Ellis stopped Kassim Traore of Mali in the second round of their 132-pound bout.
The United States won two gold and three silver in six swimming finals Saturday night, failing to medal in only two events, while East German Kristin Otto won her fifth swimming gold medal.> Biondi, of Moraga, Calif., needs one more medal in Sunday night's 400-meter medley relay to become the second man to win seven swimming medals in one Games. The other was Mark Spitz in 1972, who won seven golds.
Biondi covered the 50 meters in 22.14, taking the world record and gold medal away from Tom Jager of Topanga, Calif. Jager, whose world mark was 22.23, won the silver in 22.36, and the bronze went to Soviet Gennadi Prigoda.
Evans, of Placentia, Calif., claimed her third gold with an Olympic record time of 8:20.20 in the 800-meter freestyle, breaking the mark of 8:24.95 by America's Tiffany Cohen in 1984. Astrid Strauss of East Germany won the silver, and Julie McDonald of Australia the bronze.