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Khan punches his way into history


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Khan catches his rival full in the face on his way to the semifinals

ATHENS, Greece (Reuters) -- British teenager Amir Khan became the youngest Olympic boxing medalist in over 50 years when he demolished South Korea's Baik Jong-sub in the first round on Tuesday to storm through to the semifinals.

The revelation of the competition, the 17-year-old lightweight produced another stunning performance, totally outclassing his opponent, who was stopped by the referee with 23 seconds remaining in the opening round.

The losers of the semifinals getting a bronze, Khan has already done enough to become the youngest medalist in the history of the Games since Floyd Patterson in 1952.

American Patterson went on to win the title and Khan's amazing displays so far have strongly suggested he could win a more precious metal than bronze.

"I'll take it one fight at a time but I'm confident," said Khan, who will meet Serik Yeleuov of Kazakhstan on Friday for a place in the final.

"I've got a fight first. Then, hopefully, I'll go for the gold."

Britain's only boxer in Athens, Khan, who had impressed in the previous round by teaching European champion Dimitar Stilianov of Bulgaria a lesson, did not waste any time on Tuesday.

Baik, who had been floored and received a standing count of eight, was helplessly facing a flurry of blows from the world junior champion when the referee saved him from further punishment by ending the contest.

"I didn't expect to finish that quickly but I knew I could beat him because he had slow feet and slow hands," Khan said. "He was made for me."

Khan certainly has the potential to reach the final, in which he would be likely to meet Cuba's Mario Kindelan, arguably the world's finest pound-for-pound amateur boxer, who also advanced to the last four on Tuesday.

Golden beach

Misty May and Kerri Walsh ended the Olympic beach volleyball with a perfect record and a gold medal for the U.S.after beating Brazil in straight sets in the final.

The Americans beat the veteran team of Shelda Bede and Adriana Behar 21-17 21-11 to become the first U.S. women to bag a gold on the sand.

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May and Walsh launch the American celebrations after striking gold

In a match marked by several long rallies in which each side made spectacular defensive plays to keep the ball alive, Walsh's domination at the net proved to be the difference.

Though Shelda -- the shortest player in the tournament but one of the most agile -- scampered from one side of the court to the other to keep the ball in play, Walsh was often soaring to spike down a winner or block a shot from the Brazilians.

May and Walsh, the only team in the tournament to finish without dropping a set, were dominant throughout and never let the 2000 silver medalists take more than a one-point lead.

Proud Peng

Peng Bo brought China their third successive Olympic men's three-metre springboard diving title with a magnificent display in the final on Tuesday.

Peng, silver medalist at the 2003 world championships, compiled an aggregate 787.38 points from his six final dives and five semifinal dives earlier in the day to make it three in a row for China after Xiong Ni's victories in 1996 and 2000.

Canada's Alexandre Despatie, the world platform champion, had dominated the preliminary round but the gold slipped away from him after his third final dive went uncharacteristically awry and he dropped into third position, 35 points behind Peng.

However, he pulled up to second with the final dive of the competition to take the silver with 755.97 points.

Russia's Dmitry Sautin, the 1996 Olympic highboard champion, showed undiminished appetite for the battle and took bronze in the event for the third time in four Olympics with an overall score of 753.27.


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