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Pole makes history; US team wins relay heat

Paced by Crawford and Greene, the US cruised into the the 4x100 relay finals whereas Robert Korzeniowski of Poland increased his collection of golds with a third consecutive Olympic win in the 50-km walk.
PTI | By Nesha Starcevic (AP), Athens
UPDATED ON AUG 28, 2004 01:11 AM IST

Paced by Shawn Crawford and Maurice Greene, the United States cruised into the final of the 4x100 Olympic relay on Friday.

Crawford, the 200 champion, ran the opening leg. Greene, the former 100 champion who took the bronze this time, ran the final leg. The Americans clocked 38.02 seconds to win their heat half a second ahead of Britain.

It was the second-best time in the world this year although the US squad didn't even include 100 winner Justin Gatlin, who will join the team for Saturday's final.

The Americans also breezed into the final of the 4x400 with a time of 2:59.30, although the 400 champion Jeremy Wariner sat out the heat.

In the morning, Robert Korzeniowski of Poland increased his record collection of gold medals with an unprecedented third consecutive Olympic victory in the 50-kilometer walk. It was the last medal for the Pole who has said he will retire after the Olympics.

With the Polish flag clenched between his teeth, Korzeniowski crossed the finish line in the virtually empty Olympic Stadium in 3 hours, 38 minutes and four seconds _ more than four minutes ahead of silver medallist Denis Nizhegorodov of Russia.

Nizhegorodov, moving slowly and seeming disoriented over the final few hundred meters, finished in 3:42.50, then lay face-down on the track in exhaustion.

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