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Wednesday August 13, 2008Gators in the Olympics - Aug. 13 Report


Swimmer Caroline Burckle (U.S.) led UF athletes in Olympic swimming with a bronze-medal finish in the 800-meter free relay Wednesday. Athletes with ties to the University of Florida were in Summer Olympic swimming, women’s basketball and baseball action Wednesday, Aug. 13.




Korea scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to rally and defeat Team USA, 8-7, in the Olympic opener on Wednesday evening at Wukesong Field. In his Olympic debut, former Gator Matt LaPorta was 0-for-4 and reached on a throwing error in the second inning.


Team USA had fought back with three runs of its own in the top of the ninth inning to take a one-run lead but the Koreans mounted their own comeback, highlighted by a sacrifice fly from Jongwook Lee to earn the victory. The U.S. returns to action on Thursday morning to face the Netherlands with first pitch set for 10:30 a.m. local time (10:30 p.m. on Wednesday night, EDT).



Women's Basketball

Former Gator DeLisha Milton-Jones and the 2008 U.S. Women's Olympic Basketball Team (3-0) needed just 10 minutes to build a double-digit lead and went on to secure a 97-41 win against overmatched Mali (0-3) Wednesday night at Wukesong Arena in Beijing, China.


The USA offense was clicking on all cylinders, and the red, white and blue shot 62.0 percent overall (41-66 FGs), 43.0 percent from behind the arc (6-14 3pt FGs) and tallied 29 assists, including seven dimes from Kara Lawson (Sacramento Monarchs). Defensively, the Americans forced 29 turnovers and held Mali to just 25.0 percent shooting (14-56 FGs). Milton-Jones played 10 minutes during the one-sided affair, as all 12 members hit double-figure minutes.


Next up for the American women is Spain (2-1) on Aug. 15 at 8 a.m. EDT, which will be televised live on USA and USA HD.


For additional details on the win versus Mail, click HERE.




Caroline Burckle (U.S.) illuminated the swimming and diving field for UF athletes, reeling in her first ever Olympic medal, earning bronze as a member of the women’s 800-meter free relay.  


Burckle and U.S. teammates Christine Marshall, Kim Vandenberg and Julia Smit collaboratively established a 7:52.43 prelim mark in the women’s 800-meter free relay for a second-place seed heading into finals of the relay. Burckle swam a lifetime best 1:57.86 200-meter free split as the first leg of the prelim bunch.


Following her stellar preliminary split, Burckle secured a spot on the Wednesday evening relay final team alongside U.S. standouts Allison Schmitt, Natalie Coughlin and Katie Hoff. The quartet raced to a third-place, bronze medal finish, tapping in at 7:46.33 behind second place China (7:45.93) and gold medalist Australia (7:44.31 WR). Burckle swam the third leg of the relay in the final showdown, again lowering her 200 free split to a lifetime best 1:56.70 and recording the second-fastest split on the U.S. team behind Hoff’s 1:54.73.  


In other Wednesday swimming action, following a gold-medal, World Record performance Tuesday evening in the men’s 800-meter free relay, Gator great Ryan Lochte (U.S.) started Aug. 13 men’s swimming action with first-place finishes in both the 200 IM and 200-meter backstroke preliminaries Wednesday morning. Lochte clocked in at 1:58.15 in the IM event while recording a quick 1:56.29 mark in prelims of the 200 back.


Lochte took to the water Wednesday evening in semifinals of both the 200 back and 200 IM. In the backstroke semi, Lochte lowered his prelims score to 1:55.40, achieving a second-place seed heading into the medal heat Thursday evening behind first-place seed, and U.S. teammate, Aaron Peirsol (1:55.26).  Peirsol and Lochte both finished first in their respective eight-man semifinal heats.


Lochte returned in the 200 IM semifinal only an hour after his 200 back semifinal to contend for the first-place position in the IM for Thursday finals. Lochte amazingly enough also improved upon his 1:58.15 IM prelims swim to go a 1:57.69, maintaining his No. 1 seed ahead of friend and U.S. counterpart Michael Phelps, who clocked in at 1:57.70.


Lochte reeled in a silver medal 200 IM performance in Athens in 2004 and will begin the quest for two additional 2008 Olympic medals to compliment his gold (800 FR) and bronze (400 IM) medals achieved in the first four days of action in Beijing.


Gator Bradley Ally (Barbados) joined Lochte in the second heat of the 200 IM semifinal following a career-best 1:58.57 (fifth-place) prelim time. Ally returned in semis with a 1:59.53, ninth-place finish overall, narrowly missing the eight-man medal heat.


Finals of the men’s 200-meter back are scheduled to begin at 10:19 p.m. (EDT) Thursday evening, while the 200-meter IM kicks off at 10:48 p.m.



Other Gator Olympian Wednesday Preliminary Swims:




800-meter free relay

8:00.90 (split 2:00.92, 1st leg)

7th in heat

Brett Fraser

Cayman Islands

200-meter back



Omar Pinzon


200-meter back

200-meter IM





Roland Rudolph


200-meter back





To view results from Wednesday’s swimming action from the Water Cube in Beijing, click HERE.


2008 Gator Medal Count: 4   (1 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze) 







Caroline Burckle



800-meter free relay



Ryan Lochte



800-meter free relay



Ryan Lochte



400-meter IM



Dara Torres



400-meter free relay





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