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Getting around is getting some athletes down

The toughest part of some competition has been getting to the venues.

For the second straight day, an athlete was disqualified Sunday in judo after going to the wrong site for a weigh-in. And the defending gold medalists in sculling resorted to borrowing a car to reach rowing events at Lake Lanier.

"From our perspective the organization here is diabolical," said Britain's Steven Redgrave, who has not lost a sculling race with partner Matthew Pinsent since the 1992 Games.

Pinsent and Redgrave beat a Croatian duo easily to secure a spot in Thursday's semifinals but had to borrow a car from the British Olympic Association to be sure they'd get to the event, 50 miles from the Olympic Village in Atlanta.

"The last bus ride we took was over two hours" for an advertised one-hour trip, Redgrave said. "The driver got lost. On race day, we can't risk that."

A group of British journalists shared his frustration.

"We took the 6:40 (a.m.) bus from Atlanta to be sure we were in time," said Penny Dain, a magazine writer. "We all promptly fell asleep and woke up 45 minutes later _ right back in Atlanta."

The bus driver "said she was scared of the freeway and didn't know the route well, so she turned around," Dain said. "Then they put us on another bus and that driver got lost. We arrived at 9:20 after the race we came to see was over."

Jordan's Walid Al Awazen said he was misinformed about the site of Sunday's judo weigh-in by staff at the Olympic Village information desk.

On Saturday, the bus carrying Canadian fencer James Ransom got lost, and he reached the World Congress Center only 10 minutes before his match, which he lost. Georgian David Khakhaleichvili, the defending judo champion, lost his Olympic title while sitting on a bus. A team official sent him to the wrong site for his weigh-in. Khakhaleichvili realized the mistake and headed for the correct site but arrived five minutes late and was disqualified.

Weigh-in sites were named at the draw, but the Georgian team arrived late. "They took us to the wrong gates," coach Omari Merabishvili said. "It took them 15 minutes to get us to the right gate and when we got into the draw, it was half over."

The International Olympic Committee has demanded that the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games correct the problems immediately. "Nobody ever believes it will be as difficult as it is." said Dick Pound, a vice president of the IOC. "Now they believe it."

RESULTS? WHAT RESULTS?: Glitches in the ACOG-IBM computer caused delays in getting results of competition to news organizations throughout the weekend.

While they tried to fix the problems, officials resorted to having a messenger deliver the results by hand to news agencies, which then typed in the information. IBM spokesman Fred McNeese said the company was working around the clock to correct the problems.

"It is disappointing to know that what was billed as a state-of-the-art results service can't even produce bare scores in some cases," said AP sports editor Terry Taylor.

MISCELLANY: Pope John Paul II invoked God's protection for the Olympic Games. "I hope that the Centennial Games will forcefully relaunch the ideal of sport as a promotion of mankind and of a peaceful and brotherly meeting among peoples," he told a crowd in Pieve di Cadore, Italy, where he is vacationing. Chelsea Clinton, George Steinbrenner and Magic Johnson were at Morehouse College to see the United States' women's 101-84 victory over Cuba. China's Wang Yifu, who collapsed after a last-shot error cost him the air-pistol gold medal Saturday, is being monitored and is scheduled to compete Tuesday in the 50-meter free pistol event. Olympics spokeswoman Laura Olsen offered this reason for the absence of Izzy, the official mascot of the Games, from the Opening Ceremonies: "There really wasn't a moment in that ceremony when we were trying to create a lighthearted, entertaining moment that would appeal to small children." He won't be at the Closing Ceremonies either.

_ TIMES WIRES

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