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WORTH CHECKING OUT

WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS: Of the 10 most sought-after tickets, three of the first four and five of the top 10 are for gymnastics. More than 30,000 showed up at the Georgia Dome to watch the U.S. women's team practice.

The compelling elements of the sport will not be displayed fully until the optional competition Tuesday, but tonight's compulsories will be just as important to the team and individual medal hopes.

The biggest question is the health of Dominique Moceanu and Shannon Miller, the two U.S. stalwarts who skipped the trials because of injury. Miller has a sore wrist and Moceanu a stress fracture in her leg.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: The first game for the U.S. team will be part of NBC's daytime broadcast (noon-6 p.m.). It's an interesting matchup when you consider the United States had to defeat Cuba in the 1992 Olympics to win the bronze medal. The women pulled off an 88-74 victory despite leading by only six points with 5{ minutes remaining.

This, of course, is a much better team. The United States is 52-0 in its yearlong tour and is touted as a team that has it all: size, speed, experience and youth.

BOXING: Fans, as well as U.S. fighters, are disappointed the sport is not playing a more prominent role in NBC's coverage. The network will air only a select number of matches and few will be seen in prime time.

Boxing enthusiasts will have to peruse the day and night broadcasts today to catch a match. Antonio Tarver, the top medal hopeful, is one of the few who will get prime attention when he fights Wednesday.

"I think it's a shame because of the guys' stories, the character they have, the way the guys got here," said Tarver, a light heavyweight world champion from Orlando. "No one was born with a gold spoon in his mouth. We'd like to win back the fans we've lost the women."

MEN'S VOLLEYBALL: Bob Ctvrtlik and 6-foot-8 setter Lloy Ball lead the United States, which faces Poland in pool play today. The match will be shown at night.

_ ERNEST HOOPER

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