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Sydney Games 2000: U.S. Bests Cuba for Baseball Gold; Venus Williams Nabs Top Singles Medal; Lance Armstrong Finishes 13th in Road Cycling

Aired September 27, 2000 - 1:21 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR; At the Sydney Olympics, baseball's gold medal is heading home to where baseball was born. The U.S. team bested arch rival Cuba in the summer games.

And Nick Charles of CNN Sports Illustrated has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK CHARLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tommy Lasorda added another honor to his storied career when the United States baseball team he manages found redemption at the perfect time, avenging their only loss at the Olympics by shutting out Cuba in the gold medal game.

TOMMY LASORDA, U.S. BASEBALL MANAGER: When you win a World Series like we have, the Dodger fans are happy, the Cincinnati fans aren't, the San Francisco Giants fans aren't. But winning this thing, all of America is happy. The entire United States will be dancing in the streets.

MIKE NEAL, U.S. BASEBALL TEAM: It's unbelievable. It really is. It's awesome. A lot of people didn't think we had a chance, but, I'll tell you, the 24 guys in the room thought we could compete with them, and they've been beating up on the college guys long enough and we got some professionals in there and we took it from them.

CHARLES: The majestic run of Venus Williams continued here in Sydney. Wimbledon champion, Queen of the U.S. Open, and now, after a straight-set victory over Elena Dementieva, Williams has a gold medal and the experience is unique.

VENUS WILLIAMS, U.S. TENNIS GOLD MEDALIST: I've planned all my life to win Grand Slams, but I've never really dreamed about winning an Olympic medal. So this was really just what dreams are made of.

CHARLES: Looking ahead to Thursday's doubles, Venus can add a second gold medal. And she'd be delighted to share it with her playing partner and sister, Serena.

WILLIAMS: Just to be able to win a gold medal together, that's pretty fantastic. We've won some Grand Slam titles together in doubles and that was expected. But this, it'll be really super. CHARLES: The latest chapter in the Marion Jones story played out in places she prefers: on the track and in the field. Jones scored a double victory of sorts, qualifying with ease with some dominating performances, first in her pair of 200-meter heats, and then closing out her show by qualifying for the long jump on her first attempt.

Finally, Jan Ullrich of Germany won the road cycling gold medal while American Lance Armstrong finished 13th. Armstrong waited too long to make his move. Then when he thought he had caught the leaders, he was shocked to look up at a large-screen monitor and see that the breakaway, winning group was ahead of them.

(on camera): Armstrong said afterwards radio communication with his coaches had failed throughout the race. This failure to communicate, then, may have cost Lance Armstrong the medal he has yet to win in three Olympics. He gets one final chance in Saturday's time trial.

In Sydney, Australia, I'm Nick Charles.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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