ATHENS, Greece Of the 20 gold medals available at the Olympics on Friday, only one went to an American.
The last one.
What was easily the worst day of the Athens Games for the United States team also could be considered among the nation's worst at any Olympics.
The biggest disappointment was the men's basketball team losing in the semifinals. This will be the first time the NBA players won't be going home with a gold medal. And they might not even get bronze. Their foe in the consolation game Sunday will be Lithuania, a team that has already beaten them.
Marion Jones, who was the Michael Phelps of the 2000 Games, was shut out on the track, landing eight inches short of a medal in the bronze jump her lone individual event. She then was part of a botched handoff on the 400-meter relay, an event the United States has traditionally dominated.
The U.S. tradition in diving was even stronger, until Friday. With Caesar Garcia and Kyle Prandi not even making the finals in the 10-meter platform, Americans were shut out of any medals for the first time in 92 years.
The boxing team also is capping a miserable performance, their worst in 56 years. Andre Ward provided a bit of good news Friday by advancing to the light heavyweight finals. The bad news was that he was booed from the time he walked into the arena, getting cheers only when he slipped on the canvas.
That response was tame compared to what happened in downtown Athens, where more than 2,000 people lit fires, smashed windows and swung clubs to protest a visit by Secretary of State Colin Powell and he isn't due to arrive until Saturday.
"Unless we are playing in the USA, the crowd is against us. We are used to that," said William Priddy, whose U.S. volleyball team was swept by Brazil in the semifinals.
One bad day out of 14 so far won't overshadow a phenomenal performance by the overall squad. Americans remain on pace for their most medals ever although China did move within two of the lead for the most golds.
Still, on a Friday to forget, even the good news came with an asterisk.
The women's basketball team made the finals, but only by four in a game that was tight throughout. Next up is undefeated Australia, whose unofficial theme has been "bring on the Americans" as they hope to avenge a loss on their home turf in the 2000 finals.
A bronze in synchronized swimming was noteworthy mostly because one of the performers will be trading in a swimsuit for a jail jumpsuit. Tammy Crow will soon begin serving a three-month sentence for vehicular manslaughter stemming from a car crash that killed her boyfriend and a 12-year-old boy.
As for that lone gold medal, it came in pole vaulting.
Tim Mack earned it by clearing an Olympic record 19 feet, 6 1/4 inches. Boisterous, helmet-wearing teammate Toby Stevenson took silver.
The stadium was practically empty when they finished. As for their medal ceremony?
TRACK AND FIELD
Tatyana Lebedeva led a Russian medal sweep in the long jump, relegating Marion Jones to fifth place in her only individual event of the Olympics.
Liu Xiang of China tied the 110-meter hurdles world record and set a new Olympic mark, winning the gold medal in 12.91 seconds. Liu won the first gold medal in track for a male Chinese athlete. U.S. trials champion Terrence Trammell won silver in 13.18, while Anier Garcia of Cuba took bronze.
Germany's Birgit Fischer won her eighth gold medal, becoming the first woman to win Olympic medals 24 years apart. Fischer, 42, was part of the four-person kayak that rallied to win the 500-meter final, edging Hungary by two-tenths of a second. Ukraine took bronze. Fischer won her first gold at 18 in Moscow, becoming the youngest women ever to win an Olympic kayaking event. She now has 11 total medals and will be a strong contender for another on Saturday, when she races in the pairs kayak final.
Spain's David Cal surged ahead of Germany's Andreas Dittmer, the defending gold medalist and three-time defending world champion, to win the 1,000-meter single canoe event. Attila Vajda of Hungary ended up in third.
In the single kayak 1,000-meter race, two-time world champion Eirik Veraas Larsen of Norway won the gold, Ben Fouhy of New Zealand took the silver and Adam van Koeverden of Canada held on for bronze.
The Swedish kayak pair of Markus Oscarsson and Henrik Nilsson won their 1,000-meter event, improving on their silver in Sydney. Italy was second and Norway third, giving Larsen his second medal of the day.
The Germans took their second gold when the canoe pair of Christian Gille and Tomasz Wylenzek won their 1,000-meter final. Russia held off Hungary for second.
MEN'S WATER POLO
Sheryl Swoopes made three big plays in the final minutes to help the United States squeeze out a 66-62 semifinal victory over Russia. The Americans, who won gold at the past two Olympics, will face Australia in the final on Saturday.
With her team clinging to a 60-58 lead, Swoopes buried a jumper from the left wing with 3:54 remaining, just beating the shot clock. She deflected a Russian shot at the other end, then scored again, hitting a 10-footer from the left baseline to make it 64-58 with 3:15 left.
When Lisa Leslie fed Tina Thompson for a layup, it was 66-58 with 2:50 to go, enough of a cushion for the United States to hold on for its 24th straight victory in the Olympics.
Three-time world champion Zsuzsanna Voros of Hungary won the gold medal in the women's modern pentathlon. Voros had a 41-second head start on her nearest rival entering the final 3-kilometer run and had time at the end to grab a Hungarian flag from the stands and unfurl it while jogging down the home stretch.
Chris Kappler, of Pittstown, N.J., took bronze in show jumping and was relieved not just to win a medal but to learn his horse which broke down on the course was not seriously hurt. Kappler's horse, Royal Kaliber, was taken from the Olympic arena in a trailer and examined at the onsite veterinarian clinic. Officials said the horse, which strained a front leg tendon during a timed jumpoff, would be fine. Ireland's Cian O'Connor won the gold riding Waterford Crystal. Brazil's Rodrigo Pessoa won silver by default after Kappler pulled up. He had eight faults in the first round and jumped clean in the second.