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Florida's Wagner is silver

Published Sep. 16, 2005

In the first night of swimming competition, the United States won three medals in four events _ two silvers and a bronze _ the biggest haul of the night by any nation.

Gainesville's Allison Wagner swam to silver in the 400-meter individual medley. Wagner, who turns 19 today, still has her best event, the 200 IM, to come on Wednesday.

Powerhouse China's only medalist was Le Jingy in the 100 freestyle.

Angel Martino, 29, of Americus, Ga., the oldest U.S. Olympic female swimmer in 72 years, won bronze in the 100 freestyle as hometown fans cheered her on. She waved as she received the medal that she kept for only a few minutes before giving it to Trisha Henry, a swimmer from Marietta, Ga., who recently had surgery for cancer.

"I think she's a hero," Martino said.

Teammate Amy Van Dyken, in pain after a gallant sprint that left her in fourth place, was helped from the pool deck, not with an asthma attack that so often fells her, but with severe cramps.

Jeremy Linn of Harrisburg, Pa., won the men's first medal, a silver in the 100 breaststroke.

The United States was shut out only in the men's 200 freestyle.

It was a night of firsts for three other nations:

Belgium's Fred Deburghgraeve set a world record of 1:00.60 in the 100 breaststroke qualifying heats Saturday morning and won the gold at night in 1:00.65. It was his nation's first swimming gold.

New Zealand's Danyon Loader also won his nation's first swimming gold medal, in the 200 freestyle.

The gold in the 400 IM went to Michelle Smith of Ireland, which had never won a swimming medal.