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Army's Hemmy Takes 5th in 5,000M Swim; Men's Soccer Team Loses

Special to American Forces Press Service

ZAGREB, Croatia, Aug. 10, 1999 – The closest the United States has come to winning a medal at the 2nd Military World Games here is a 5th place finish by 2nd Lt. Erica Hemmy in the women's 5,000-meter swim.

China's Liang Zhang won the gold in 1:03:07.74. China also won the silver. A Croatian swimmer took the bronze.

The games are sponsored by the 121-nation International Military Sports Council. More than 8,000 military athletes from 78 countries are competing in Zagreb. The United States is represented by nearly 400 men and women.

Hemmy, from Fort Lee, Va., finished in 1:07:50.38. A former West Point swimmer who now races in triathlons, Hemmy trained for the games by swimming in the Atlantic Ocean and the canals near Virginia Beach, Va. She said she enjoyed swimming in smooth, calm waters of Lake Jarun in Zagreb.

"I tried to keep an even pace, with the second half of the race as fast as the first half," Hemmy said after the swim. She said being new to the event is the kind of challenge she likes best.

Russia's Eugeniy Bezruchenko won the gold in the men's 5,000- meter event with a time of 57:02.32. Included in the field were the top three finishers from the European Championships last month in Istanbul, Turkey.

The swim was an upstream battle for Air Force Academy Cadet Stewart Parker and West Point Cadet Kyle Petrosky. The best the two Americans could muster were 11th and 12th place finishes. Though they clocked identical times of 1:03:18.88, officials awarded Parker the higher position.

The race was a triple first for Petrosky: first in open water, first race of over 1,650 yards and first international competition. The Plymouth, Mich., native is scheduled to swim in the 400-meter race Aug. 12 and the 1,500-meter event Aug. 15.

In other action:

  • Sgt. 1st Class Cheryl Stearns, a U.S. Army reservist from MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., and Monika Filipowska of Poland are tied for first place after the first day of women's parachuting competition. Stearns is a two-time world champion and won the gold medal at the 1st Military World Games in Rome.
  • In the freefall formation team parachuting competition, the U.S. and Russian women are tied for first with 12 points each after four rounds of competition. The U.S. men are tied for 8th after four jumps.
  • Germany handed the U.S. forces soccer team its second loss, 8- 1.
  • In cycling, Cpt. Lane Packwood finished 18th with a time of 40:45.14 in the 30-kilometer time trial.
  • Spc. Preston Hartzog, a member of the Army's World Class Athlete Program at Fort Carson, Colo., won his superheavyweight (201 pounds or more) bout 8-4 over Tanzania's Mashaka Kisumo.

[This report was compiled by members of the Army Reserve 358th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, 96th Regional Support Command, Fort Douglas, Utah, assigned to cover the Military World Games.]

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Related Sites:
1999 Military World Games

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