Ivan Lee and Keeth Smart, two former St. John's University fencers who both won two individual NCAA Championships in the saber, won opening-round bouts but faltered in the second round, ending what was considered a good bet for the United States to strike gold. Lee, ranked No. 19 in the world entering the games and seeded No. 16 in the men's saber competition, defeated Gianpiero Pastore of Italy, 15-9, in the opening round. But in the Round of 16, Lee bowed to Stanislav Pozdniakov of Russia, a former world champion and an idol of his when he was growing up, 15-9, to finish 12th overall."I'm disappointed, but I'm proud at the same time," Lee said. "I knew I was going up against a guy who is one of the best in the world right now, but Like a true New Yorker, I gave it everything I had until the last second."Smart, for his part, entered the Olympics ranked No. 25 in the world and was the 21st seed in the field when he defeated France's Gael Touya, 15-9, in the first round before losing in the Round of 16 to eventual gold medalist Aldo Montano of Italy, 15-7, to finish in 15th place.Princeton student Kamara James, a silver medalist in the 2003 U.S. Fencing Championships and a resident of Jamaica, lost to Russia's Tatiana Logounova, 15-11, in the first round.Pan American Games silver medalist Jon Tiomkin, a 2002 St. John's graduate and a 2003 National Champion in fencing, lost in the the round of 32. Kevin Han, a Queens resident, beat South Africa's Dorian James and Stewart Carson, 15-4, 15-1, with Howard Bach as his partner to get to the Round of 16 Monday in badminton, but lost to Jens Eriksen and Marti Lundgaard Hansen, 15-16, 15-4 in the round of 16.Former Christ the King star Lamar Odom, who was recently traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, scored 13 points in the men's basketball 92-73 loss to Puerto Rico. Sue Bird, who also played for Christ the King, scored six points in a 99-47 victory over New Zealand in an opening-game win on Saturday, and seven points in a victory over the Czech Republic, 80-61 on Monday.Reach reporter Mitch Abramson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300 Ext. 130.
©2004 Community News Group
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