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MEEKS TAKES CHARGE FOR CANADA IN UPSET OF GAZE'S AUSTRALIANS

Canada put an early crimp into Australia's Olympic basketball party, thanks to a former Canisius College player.

Micheal Meeks scored 27 points and Steve Nash added 15 points and 15 assists as Canada beat the host country, 101-90, Sunday, in a loss that surprised the sellout crowd of 8,353 at The Dome.

"We're very disappointed," said Australia's Andrew Gaze, the former Seton Hall standout who is playing in his fifth Olympics. "Canada played an outstanding game and shot the ball well and beat us at our own game, running up and down the court."

Canada opened the second half with a 13-4 run that included two three-pointers by Meeks and five points by Nash.

"That was a great stretch," said Meeks, who played at Canisius from 1992 to '96. We stopped them the first couple of possessions and we fed off our defense. Then Steve gets so much attention he just finds you."

North Tonawanda rower Don Smith finished third in his heat Sunday in the men's single sculls, dropping him into the "repechage" race Tuesday morning at the Regatta Centre in Penrith.

Smith, a graduate of St. Joe's and a product of the West Side Rowing club, crossed the line in 7:10.34, which was roughly 13 seconds slower than Switzerland's Xeno Mueller and nearly five seconds slower than Gerard Egelmeers of the Netherlands.

"I raced all right. Certainly I can race a little better, be sharper and be more aggressive," Smith said. "I need to stay in contention better in the first half of the race.

"I've only been in the single for four months, and I've made a lot of improvements over the past three weeks. I want to go through the Games like I did at the Olympic trials and that is to get faster with each race."

New Zealand's Rob Waddell, who set the world record of 6:36.68 at the world championships in St. Catharines, Ont., last summer, had the fastest preliminary time -- 6:54.20.

The winner in each of the four preliminaries automatically moved on to the semifinals. The top two finishers in the four repechage -- or "second chance" -- races will also move on to one of the semis.
Two Romanian weightlifters who tested positive for drugs have been kicked out of the Olympics, but the rest of the team can stay because Romania's Olympic committee paid a $50,000 fine.

The International Weightlifting Federation today overturned its initial decision to ban the entire Romanian weightlifting team after two lifters tested positive in out-of-competition sampling.

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