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Belgian, New Zealander grab golds for countries

New Zealand's Danyon Loader, a silver medalist at the 1992 Olympics, struck gold on Saturday with a powerful victory in the men's 200-meter freestyle.

Loader, who took the 200-meter butterfly silver in Barcelona, overhauled Swedish veteran Anders Holmertz in the second 100 and resisted a late challenge from Brazil's Gustavo Borges to win New Zealand's first Olympic swimming title in 1 minute 47.63 seconds.

Holmertz, who won the European 200 freestyle title in 1987, took off at his usual fierce pace. He had the fastest time in the morning's preliminaries. But he could not keep the challengers at bay and eventually had to settle for fifth.

Borges claimed the silver medal in 1:48.08 and Australia's Dan Kowalski the bronze in 1:48.25.

World champion Antti Kasvio of Finland failed to qualify for the final. The USA's Josh Davis, who advanced to the 200-meter freestyle finals with the third-best time, finished seventh in 1:48.54.