U.S. medal hopefuls continued to falter yesterday in track and field.
Having already failed to advance anyone to the finals of the long jump and discus throw, the U.S. men's team in Beijing was shut out in the 1,500 meters and the high jump.
The failures in the 1,500 stung particularly hard since one of the runners, Sudanese refugee Lopez Lomong, was the team's flag-bearer at the opening ceremonies, and another, Bernard Lagat, was the 2007 world champion.
Along with former NCAA champion Leonel Manzano, all three were naturalized U.S. citizens with compelling personal stories. Lagat finished sixth in his semifinal; the other two were last.
There was also a shutout in the high jump, where Andra Manson was 13th, one spot away from qualifying. Top U.S. hopeful Jesse Williams tied for 19th.
"The hardest thing at the Olympics in the high jump is just getting to the finals," said Williams after failing at 7 feet, 6 inches. "Once you're in the finals, you're carefree."
Sweden's Stefan Holm, the 2004 gold medalist, remains the favorite. He cleared 7-61/4.
In other events:
Men's 10,000. Kenenisa Bekele raced to an Olympic record 27 minutes, 1.17 seconds to win the fourth straight gold medal in this event for Ethiopia.
He was followed across the line by countryman Sileshi Sihine in a replay of the finish at Athens in 2004.
Ethiopian veteran Haile Gebrselassie, winner in 1996 and 2000, was sixth, while Galen Rupp, the top American finisher, was 13th.
Women's 3,000-meter steeplechase. A world record was set by Gulnara Galkina-Samitova of Russia, who won the gold in a time of 8:58.81. Kenya's Eunice Jepkorir was almost nine seconds back for the silver; Americans Jennifer Barringer and Anna Willard were ninth and 10th.
Men's hammer throw. Slovenia's Primoz Kozmus took the gold with a throw of 269-11/4. "Slovenia is a small country. It will be a big celebration, I'm sure," he said.
Women's triple jump. Francoise Mbango Etone of Cameroon won with a distance of 50-6. She also won in Athens.