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Original Issue

THE S.I. OLYMPIC HANDBOOK

WHO will win
WHY they'll win
WHAT to watch for
WHEN to watch it

INCLUDING,

Fräulein Doktor V's lead-pipe-cinch, bet-the-house-and-the-farm, you-gotta-believe (though you've never heard of this woman, who in only mild overstatement has been called the Brigitte Bardot of her sport) special gold medal selection:

AND THE WINNER IS....

SI's redoubtable Olympic prognosticator picks the Summer Games medalists two ways: who will excel in L.A. (listed, gold medalist first, under the name of each event), and who would have shone had Soviet bloc nations not boycotted. Absentees who figured to medal are denoted by (G) for gold, (S) for silver and (B) for bronze. Note: Two bronzes are awarded in boxing and judo events.

ARCHERY Men

DARRELL PACE (U.S.A.)
RICK McKINNEY (U.S.A.)
TOMI POIKOLAINEN (Finland)

Watch for Pace, the 76 Olympic champ, to get a jump on McKinney and try to stay ahead—as he did in the U.S. trials—because he shoots better when pushed from behind. McKinney, though, thrives on playing catch-up. Dark horse: Glenn Meyers of the U.S.

ARCHERY Women

KIM JIN HO (S. Korea)
KIM MI YOUNG (S. Korea)
RUTH ROWE (U.S.A.)

Absentee: Natalya Butuzova, U.S.S.R. (S). In a sport in which tall and thin is ideal, the stocky Korean women make up for the ballistic advantage other archers have with an exceptionally fluid style and superb concentration. Still, Rowe could do better than bronze.

BASKETBALL Men

U.S.A.
ITALY
YUGOSLAVIA

Absentee: U.S.S.R. (S). The U.S. hopes to get blocked shots from Patrick Ewing and steals from the likes of Michael Jordan—in short, offense from its defense. If that doesn't happen, especially against Italy, Yugoslavia and dark horse Spain, America could be upset.

BASKETBALL Women

U.S.A.
CHINA
CANADA

Absentees: U.S.S.R. (G), Bulgaria (B). China has 6'9" Chen Yuefang and 6'7" Zheng Haixia, but after years of facing 7'2" Uliana Semenova of the U.S.S.R., the U.S. won't be fazed. In fact, America's star forward, Cheryl Miller, et al., might have upset the Soviets.

BOXING 106 pounds

PAUL GONZALES (U.S.A.)
KIM KWANG SUN (S. Korea)
HECTOR DIAZ (Dominican Rep.)
SAL TODISCO (Italy)

Absentees: Rafael Sainz, Cuba (S), Ismael Mustafov, Bulgaria (B). Gonzales, who has a 28-5 record in major fights, is rangy and sharp—his most impressive weapon is his right hand—and the gold medal should be his, if he will box and not put on his macho-man act.

BOXING 112 pounds

STEVE McCRORY (U.S.A.)
LAUREANO RAMIREZ (Dominican Rep.)
KAZUHIKO ABE (Japan)
CONSTANTIN TITOIU (Romania)

Absentees: Pedro Reyes, Cuba (S), Peter Lessov, Bulgaria (B), Janos Varadi, Hungary (B). McCrory, brother of WBC welterweight champ Milton, is a clever boxer who moves quickly in and out, rather than just wading in and whaling away. He's a hard hitter, too.

BOXING 119 pounds

ROBERT SHANNON (U.S.A.)
MAURIZIO STECCA (Italy)
SAMI BUZOLI (Yugoslavia)
MANUEL VILCHEZ (Venezuela)

Shannon, 21, is the only U.S. boxer who was a member of the 1980 Olympic team, at 106 pounds. He's an undisciplined fighter, but he has power in both hands. He made this year's team by knocking out world champ Floyd Favors, which was no small accomplishment.

BOXING 125 pounds

MELDRICK TAYLOR (U.S.A.)
GIUSEPPE FERRACUTI (Italy)
CELSO ESPINOZA (Argentina)
ABRAHAM MIESES (Dominican Rep.)

Absentees: Adolfo Horta, Cuba (G), Serik Nurkazov, U.S.S.R. (S). The 17-year-old Taylor, who has a 95-4 record and is ranked seventh in the world, is a tough Philadelphia fighter, a nonstop puncher who spars with his brother Myron, a pro featherweight.

BOXING 132 pounds

PERNELL WHITAKER (U.S.A.)
JUN CHIL SUNG (S. Korea)
ANGEL BELTRES (Dominican Rep.)
HERNAN GITIERREZ (Colombia)

Absentee: Ramon Goire, Cuba (S). The lefthanded Whitaker was, aside from 147-pounder Mark Breland, the most impressive boxer in the U.S. trials. He's most effective as a counterpuncher, a style that's often a liability in amateur boxing. Still, he thrives on it.

BOXING 139 pounds

JERRY PAGE (U.S.A.)
KIM DONG KIL (S. Korea)
SHADRACH ODIAMBO (Sweden)
TAWEE UMPORMANA (Thailand)

Absentees: Carlos Garcia, Cuba (G), Vasily Shishkov, U.S.S.R. (B). Page had left knee surgery in December. He has had only five fights this year and lost one to Tim Rabon at the U.S. trials, but he came back to beat Rabon twice. The question: Will his knee hold up?

BOXING 147 pounds

MARK BRELAND (U.S.A.)
LUCIANO BRUNO (Italy)
CHUNG YONG BEON (S. Korea)
ROLAND OMORUYI (Nigeria)

Absentees: Serik Konakbaev, U.S.S.R. (S), Candelario Duvergel, Cuba (B). Breland is so loose and willowy that it's all but impossible to hit him solidly. Like a puma, he only moves when he has to, but when he does, he's lightning fast. Watch for his vaunted right hand.

BOXING 156 pounds

SHAWN O'SULLIVAN (Canada)
FRANK TATE (U.S.A.)
ROMOLO CASAMONICA (Italy)
HECTOR ORTIZ (Puerto Rico)

Absentee: Valery Laptev, U.S.S.R. (B). Tate beat O'Sullivan earlier this year, but the Canadian had the flu then. O'Sullivan should triumph this time. His biggest failing is that he fights too hard and gets hit too much. He may wear himself down before the Olympic final.

BOXING 165 pounds

SHIN JOON SUP (S. Korea)
PEDRO VAN RAAMSDONK (Neth.)
DORU MARICESCU (Romania)
VIRGIL HILL (U.S.A.)

Absentees: Bernardo Comas, Cuba (G), Vladimir Melnyk, U.S.S.R. (B). Shin has beaten everybody in the world except the peerless Comas and is stronger than the tall and rangy southpaw, Van Raamsdonk, who's the smoother boxer. Shin's flaw: He's too cautious.

BOXING 178 pounds

EVANDER HOLYFIELD (U.S.A.)
PERO TADIĆ (Yugoslavia)
KHALIL ISMAIL (Iraq)
MIGUEL MOSNA (Argentina)

Absentees: Pablo Romero, Cuba (S), Vitaly Kotchanovsky, U.S.S.R. (B). Holyfield is 6'1" and rangy. His style is a lot like that of the legendary Ezzard Charles—he's very smooth, but not afraid to move in and slug. He has a good jab and can hit with either hand.

BOXING 201 pounds

WILLIE deWIT (Canada)
HENRY TILLMAN (U.S.A.)
LUIS CASTILLO (Ecuador)
ANGELO MUSONE (Italy)

Absentees: Aleksandr Yagubkin, U.S.S.R. (S), Aurelio Toyo, Cuba (B). DeWit always comes to fight. He relies heavily on the power of his right hand—but also keep an eye out for his left hook—and knocked out Toyo and outpointed Yagubkin last year.

BOXING Over 201 pounds

TYRELL BIGGS (U.S.A.)
FRANCESCO DAMIANI (Italy)
LENNOX LEWIS (Canada)
ISAAC BARINTO (Puerto Rico)

Absentee: Teofilo Stevenson, Cuba (B). Damiani is a strong, 230-pounder, but he doesn't have the speed and grace of the 6'5", 220-pound Biggs. Biggs doesn't have a big punch, but he has a terrific jab when he uses it—and he will have to if he wants to win.

KAYAK Men's 500

LARS-ERIK MOBERG (Sweden)
REINER SCHOLL (W. Ger.)
DANIELE SCARPA (Italy)

Absentees: Vladimir Parfenovich, U.S.S.R. (G), Andreas Stall, East Germany (B). Moberg has been injured of late, but he's expected to be ready for the Games in Los Angeles. He "hits" the water very hard by rotating his upper body more than other paddlers do.

KAYAK Men's 1,000

GREG BARTON (U.S.A.)
MILAN JANIĆ (Yugoslavia)
ALAN THOMPSON (N. Zealand)

Absentees: Rüdiger Helm, East Germany (G), Arturas Veta, U.S.S.R. (S). Barton, a 1980 Olympian who had to drop out of international competition for two years because of illness, is now hale. He's a very efficient paddler, who's especially strong over the last 500 meters.

KAYAK Men's pairs 500

FISHER/MORRIS (Canada)
FERGUSON/McDONALD (N. Zealand)
WEST/SHERIFF (Gr. Britain)

Absentees: Fischer/Wohllebe, East Germany (G), Parfenovich/Superata, U.S.S.R. (S). In this sprint, speed is all—technique be damned. No wonder neither Canada's nor Britain's pair cares much about style. Indeed, the British often lapse into an all-out thrash.

KAYAK Men's pairs 1,000

BIRLADEANU/GEANTA (Romania)
SUNDQUIST/ANDERSSON (Sweden)
HERVIEU/LEGRAS (France)

Absentees: Fischer/Wohllebe, East Germany (G), Parfenovich/Superata, U.S.S.R. (B). The Romanians will be ready after spending this year sequestered in a high altitude camp. The Swedes are slow starters who sprint very hard for the last 200 meters.

KAYAK Men's fours 1,000

ROMANIA
NEW ZEALAND
SWEDEN

Absentees: East Germany (S), U.S.S.R. (B). The Romanians will most likely enter the same finely trained unit that beat everybody at the world championships last year. Dark horse: Italy, which could get the bronze medal if the race is held in windless conditions.

KAYAK Women's 500

MARIA STEFAN (Romania)
ELIZABETH BLENCOWE (Australia)
AGNETHA ANDERSSON (Sweden)

Absentees: Birgit Fischer, East Germany (G), Vanja Gescheva, Bulgaria (S). Stefan has been trailing Fischer and Gescheva since '80 and won't let this chance slip away. Blencowe is an ex-swimmer whose coaches often wonder if she's going as fast as she could.

KAYAK Women's pairs 500

ANDERSSON/OLSSON (Sweden)
BORSANEA/BUHAEV (Romania)
SCH√úTTPELZ/IDEM (W. Ger.)

Absentees: Fischer/Kühn, East Germany (G). This should be tight between the Swedes and Romanians. Agnetha Andersson and Anna Olsson are fast starters and should beat Romania if they can hold on to their early lead. Dark horse: Turner/Dery of the U.S.

KAYAK Women's fours 500

ROMANIA
SWEDEN
WEST GERMANY

Absentees: East Germany (G), U.S.S.R. (S). Again the battle should be between Romania and Sweden. The Romanians have trained secretively—and no doubt well. Though the West Germans are powerful, they may be passed by the dark horse Americans.

CANADIAN SINGLES 500

COSTICA OLARU (Romania)
LARRY CAIN (Canada)
FRANK MANTHEY (W. Ger.)

Absentees: Ulrich Papke, East Germany (S), Anatoly Volkov, U.S.S.R. (B). Olaru, the world champ, is a stocky man with the ideal build for a sprinter, but he'll get some heat from Cain, a 6-footer who of late has worked as hard on the sprint as on the 1,000.

CANADIAN SINGLES 1,000

LARRY CAIN (Canada)
COSTICA OLARU (Romania)
ULRICH EICKE (W. Ger.)

Absentees: Vasily Beresa, U.S.S.R. (G), Jiri Vrdlovec, Czechoslovakia (B). The tireless Cain has applied himself diligently to his pacing, as well as his endurance. His long arms give him a strong stroke, but his biggest asset may be his head. He's a master tactician.

CANADIAN PAIRS 500

PATZAICHIN/SIMIONOV (Romania)
LJUBEK/NISOVIĆ (Yugoslavia)
FAUST/WIENAND (W. Ger.)

Absentees: Klementiev/Ossadtchiy, U.S.S.R. (B). This is the fifth Olympics for Ivan Patzaichin, who has won three golds and two silvers. The experts say he has great "boat sense" and, regardless of who his partner is, is a faster starter than anybody else.

CANADIAN PAIRS 1,000

LJUBEK/NISOVIĆ (Yugoslavia)
PATZAICHIN/SIMIONOV (Romania)
HOYER/RENAUD (France)

Another battle between Ivan Patzaichin and Matija Ljubek. Last September, the two played a tennis match during a regatta at the Olympic rowing venue. Says one observer, "They almost killed each other." Patzaichin's fast start is less significant here.

CYCLING 190-km road race

DAVIS PHINNEY (U.S.A.)
LARS WAHLQVIST (Sweden)
HANS DAAMS (Neth.)

Absentees: Olaf Ludwig, East Germany (G), Sergei Sukhoruchenkov, U.S.S.R. (S). There'll be 105 men at the start, and let's say there's a nine-man breakaway sprint at the end: If Phinney is one of those nine, he'll win because he's the best open-field sprinter alive.

CYCLING 79-km road race

CONNIE CARPENTER (U.S.A.)
MARIANNE BERGLUND (Sweden)
REBECCA TWIGG (U.S.A.)

Carpenter, who happens to be Mrs. Davis Phinney, should turn this first Olympic cycling event for women into the crowning victory of her illustrious career. Berglund typically closes fast, but the 1,400-meter downhill stretch leading to the finish may work against her.

CYCLING 1-km time trial

FREDY SCHMIDTKE (W. Ger.)
CRAIG ADAIR (New Zealand)
RORY O'REILLY (U.S.A.)

Absentees: Sergei Kopylov, U.S.S.R. (G), Lothar Thorns, East Germany (B). The world champ in 1982, Schmidtke has also won 22 national titles. His coach calls him "an athletic sunny boy" who loves a good party. After racing he prefers to recuperate in a disco.

CYCLING 4,000-meter individual pursuit

ROLF GÖLZ (W. Ger.)
ALEX STIEDA (Canada)
JURGEN PEDERSON (Denmark)

Absentee: Viktor Koupovets, U.S.S.R. (G). G√∂lz is nicknamed Turbo because he's so fast. He won his first national crown in 1981—while riding a borrowed bike. Dark horse: Steve Hegg of the U.S., who broke the American record in this event twice last fall.

CYCLING 4,000-meter team pursuit

WEST GERMANY
U.S.A.
ITALY

Absentees: East Germany (S), U.S.S.R. (B). The West Germans are the masters of this event, in which four teammates ride single file with the lead man changing every lap or half a lap. In the 1983 worlds, they clocked a near-record 4:16.62 in the preliminaries.

CYCLING Sprint

MARK GORSKI (U.S.A.)
GERHARD SCHELLER (W. Ger.)
KATSUO NAKATAKE (Japan)

Absentees: Lutz Hesslich, East Germany (G), Sergei Kopylov, U.S.S.R. (B). Gorski, who emerged as an international star in 1983, got into top gear at the right time. He has beaten Kopylov three times in the past year, and only Hesslich could have stopped him in L.A.

CYCLING 50-km points race

MICHAEL MARCUSSEN (Denmark)
MARK WHITEHEAD (U.S.A.)
ALEX STIEDA (Canada)

Absentee: Hans-Joachim Pohl, East Germany (S). This new Olympic race goes on for 150 laps at the velodrome, with two-man teams sprinting for points every 10 laps. Individuals, not teams, are awarded the medals. The nonpareil Marcussen is the prohibitive favorite.

CYCLING 100-km road team time trial

SWITZERLAND
THE NETHERLANDS
U.S.A.

Absentees: U.S.S.R. (G), East Germany (B). The Swiss team of Daniel Heggli, Othmar Häfliger, Heinz Imboden and Benno Wiss, which won a silver medal at last year's world championships, behind the Soviet Union, is the decided favorite for top honors this time.

DIVING Men's springboard

GREG LOUGANIS (U.S.A.)
TAN LIANGDE (China)
RON MERRIOTT (U.S.A.)

Only Louganis and Merriott will do a reverse 3½ somersault tuck, a dive with the highest degree of difficulty (3.5). Louganis has also changed his program so that all his voluntary dives are 3.0s or more. He's aiming to surpass his record total of 755.49 points.

DIVING Men's platform

GREG LOUGANIS (U.S.A.)
BRUCE KIMBALL (U.S.A.)
LI KONGZHENG (China)

Louganis's most spectacular dive is a reverse 3½ somersault tuck. He'll also do a back 3½, which will make his program—and that of Li, who has the same list—the most difficult in history. Louganis can't afford to blow a dive, because Kimball hardly ever "misses" one.

DIVING Women's springboard

KELLY McCORMICK (U.S.A.)
LI YIHUA (China)
CHRIS SEUFERT (U.S.A.)

The daughter of Pat McCormick, who won four gold medals in 1952 and '56, has an extra incentive: Her mother has promised her a Porsche if she wins in L.A. She finishes her dives higher than anybody else, which gives her time to stretch for a cleaner entry.

DIVING Women's platform

CHEN XIAOXIA (China)
WENDY WYLAND (U.S.A.)
MICHELE MITCHELL (U.S.A.)

Absentee: Alla Lobankina, U.S.S.R. (B). Chen should get mostly 10s for her inward 2½ pike, inward 1½ pike and reverse dive pike. Wyland will excel on her reverse dive pike and a reverse 2½ tuck. Chen is smoother and has better entries and a difficulty advantage.

EQUESTRIAN Individual 3-day event

LUCINDA GREEN (Gr. Britain)
MERVYN BENNETT (Australia)
BRUCE DAVIDSON (U.S.A.)

In this event, which includes jumping, dressage and cross-country, Green is the world champion. Her forte is cross-country. Bennett, who performs well in dressage, could make things tough for her. Ironically, Green rides Regal Realm, a horse sold to her by Bennett.

EQUESTRIAN Team 3-day event

GREAT BRITAIN
U.S.A.
AUSTRALIA

With Lucinda Green, Virginia Holgate, Diana Clapham and Robert Lemieux, the British team has the best riders. Only the top three scores count. The American foursome is Bruce Davidson, Torrance Watkins Fleischmann, J. Michael Plumb and Karen Stives.

EQUESTRIAN Individual dressage

REINER KLIMKE (W. Ger.)
ANNE-GRETHE JENSEN (Denmark)
UWE SCHULTEN-BAUMER (W. Ger.)

Herr Doktor Klimke, a lawyer, has won them all—European, world and Olympic (team) titles, and this year he's riding an outstanding horse, Ahlerich. Jensen is the current European champion, but her mount, Marzog, hasn't been performing all that well of late.

EQUESTRIAN Team dressage

WEST GERMANY
FRANCE
SWITZERLAND

The West Germans have such depth in dressage that they could field two gold medal teams. They have tradition, high standards and the most international judges in the sport. Dark horse: the U.S., with riders Robert Dover, Hilda Gurney and Sandy Pflueger-Clarke.

EQUESTRIAN Individual jumping

LESLIE BURR (U.S.A.)
PAUL SCHOCKEMÖHLE (W. Ger.)
MARIO DESLAURIERS (Canada)

Schockemöhle won the prestigious Grand Prix of Aachen in June and has the best record in recent years, but Burr won two U.S. trials events, which nobody else did, and she's tough. Last winter she won the AGA Rider of the Year competition despite a broken collarbone.

EQUESTRIAN Team jumping

U.S.A.
WEST GERMANY
CANADA

The U.S. has been one of the strongest countries in this event for 20 years. In addition, the Americans have a decided home court advantage: The Olympic courses at the Santa Anita venue will be laid out by a former U.S. team coach, Bertalan de Nemethy.

FENCING Men's foil

MAURO NUMA (Italy)
MATHIAS GEY (W. Ger.)
PHILIPPE OMNES (France)

Absentee: Aleksandr Romankov, U.S.S.R. (S). Numa, though only 22 in a sport in which experience is vital, has beaten everybody over the past few years. He's not only graceful and athletic but also has the stamina to withstand the rigors of the Olympic tournament.

FENCING Men's team foil

ITALY
WEST GERMANY
FRANCE

Absentees: East Germany (S), Cuba (B). The young Italians have greater depth than the West Germans. Note the favored teams' opposing styles: Italy gracefully darts in and out, while West Germany is very aggressive, moving to the attack and staying there.

FENCING Women's foil

DORINA VACCARONI (Italy)
CAROLA CICONETTI (Italy)
LUAN JUJIE (China)

Vaccaroni, 20, has attracted attention at tournaments since she was 14—first as a beauty and then as a hard-nosed competitor. Her fingers are adorned with rings, her hair is beribboned. Never mind. "She fences like a man," says one admirer. "She's not afraid to attack."

FENCING Women's team foil

ITALY
WEST GERMANY
CHINA

Absentee: Hungary (B). With archrivals Vaccaroni and Ciconetti on their team, the Italians are virtually unbeatable. The cornerstone of the West German squad is 32-year-old Cornelia Hanisch, a 1976 Olympian who combines experience with superb conditioning.

ÉPÉE

EMAR BORRMANN (W. Ger.)
PHILIPPE RIBOUD (France)
DANIEL GIGER (Switzerland)

World champion Borrmann is a brilliant—and patient—defender. He will wait long into a bout for his opponent to come to him, and then he'll unleash a parry riposte, which means he'll fend off his rival's blade, return the attack and touch, all in the blink of an eye.

ÉPÉE Team

WEST GERMANY
FRANCE
ITALY

West Germany seems overwhelming: In addition to Borrmann, it boasts 1976 individual gold medalist and two-time world champion Alexander Pusch. Still, the French, led by Philippe Riboud's 16-2 performance, pulled off an upset in Moscow and could stun again.

SABER

GIANFRANCO DALLA BARBA (Italy)
JEAN-FRANÇOIS LAMOUR (France)
GIOVANNI SZALZO (Italy)

Absentees: Vassil Etropolski, Bulgaria (G), Hristo Etropolski, Bulgaria (B). The experienced Dalla Barba, who was second to Vassil—the better of the terrific Etropolski twins—in the 1983 world championships, is very intelligent and an excellent parry riposter.

SABER Team

ITALY
FRANCE
ROMANIA

Absentees: U.S.S.R (G), Hungary (S). The Italians should win, but the French will be more interesting to watch. They've switched to the Hungarian style, which stresses scoring with the edge rather than the tip of the blade. Expect some Errol Flynn-style slashing.

FIELD HOCKEY Men

AUSTRALIA
THE NETHERLANDS
PAKISTAN

Australia's captain, Dr. Rick Charlesworth, physician and member of Parliament, is one of the two best players in the world. The other is Holland's captain, center midfielder Ties Kruize. Charlesworth is an inside right who's noted for brilliant passing and deft stickwork.

FIELD HOCKEY Women

THE NETHERLANDS
CANADA
U.S.A.

The Dutch team's one flaw is that it plays only well enough to win. Canada is the narrowest of choices for the silver over the U.S. Players to watch: Fieke Boekhorst of Holland and Beth Anders of the U.S., who are considered the best penalty corner shooters in the world.

GYMNASTICS Men's all-around

LI NING (China)
TONG FEI (China)
MITCH GAYLORD (U.S.A.)

Absentee: Dimitri Bilozerchev, U.S.S.R. (G). The 21-year-old Li would have given Bilozerchev a run for his money. Li won an unprecedented six of seven golds at the World Cup two years ago. Since then, he has beefed up his routines. Dark horse: Xu Zhiqiang of China.

GYMNASTICS Men's team

CHINA
U.S.A.
JAPAN

Absentee: U.S.S.R. (S). With Li Ning, Tong Fei, Xu Zhiqiang and Lou Yun, the Chinese are, in a word, unbeatable. The U.S. has better depth than Japan, and American gymnasts do more difficult moves on the pommel horse and have better dismounts from the rings.

GYMNASTICS Men's floor exercise

LI NING (China)
TONG FEI (China)
JIM HARTUNG (U.S.A.)

Absentee: Dimitri Bilozerchev, U.S.S.R. (B). Li's best stunt is a double somersault with a double twist that few gymnasts can do; in fact, it's tough to do off a diving board. Hartung will dazzle with a twisting triple back somersault and a double twisting back somersault.

GYMNASTICS Pommel horse

LI XIAOPING (China)
TIM DAGGETT (U.S.A.)
PETER VIDMAR (U.S.A.)

Absentee: Dimitri Bilozerchev, U.S.S.R. (S). Watch for the favorites' strengths: Li's amplitude means he has an unusually wide swing; Daggett's power is evident in his dynamic style; Vidmar's elegance, which is maintained even while he executes his difficult routine.

GYMNASTICS Rings

LI NING (China)
KOJI GUSHIKEN (Japan)
MITCH GAYLORD (U.S.A.)

Absentee: Dimitri Bilozerchev, U.S.S.R. (B). Li is the only gymnast who does a full German giant, normally a horizontal bar stunt, on the rings. He also does a triple back somersault dismount and may need it to keep ahead of Gaylord, who does that dismount well.

GYMNASTICS Men's vault

LOU YUN (China)
LI NING (China)
KYOJI YAMAWAKI (Japan)

Absentee: Artur Akopian, U.S.S.R. (G). A small man with very stocky legs, Lou does a rare handspring front somersault with 1½ twists. He explodes off the horse, reaching unusual height and distance. No one, not even Akopian, can match the duration of his postflight.

GYMNASTICS Parallel bars

KOJI GUSHIKEN (Japan)
LOU YUN (China)
BART CONNER (U.S.A.)

Absentee: Vladimir Artemov, U.S.S.R. (S). Gushiken is exceptionally smooth as he executes his difficult and diverse routine. His most unusual move is a giant swing with one half turn, flipping over to an upper-arm position. His only significant weakness is his dismount.

GYMNASTICS Horizontal bar

MITCH GAYLORD (U.S.A.)
SHINJI MORISUE (Japan)
PETER VIDMAR (U.S.A.)

Absentees: Aleksandr Pogorelov, U.S.S.R. (G), Dimitri Bilozerchev, U.S.S.R. (S). Watch for Gaylord Flip II, a 1½ flip over the bar with a half twist. Gaylord also plans to end with a triple somersault dismount, which, if he gets it down pat, will be a sight to behold.

GYMNASTICS Women's all-around

ECATERINA SZABO (Romania)
MARY LOU RETTON (U.S.A.)
LAVINIA AGACHE (Romania)

Absentees: Natalya Yurchenko, U.S.S.R. (G), Olga Mostepanova, U.S.S.R. (S). The Romanians used to be coached by Bela Karolyi; Retton is now guided by him. And Szabo and Retton are remarkably similar; both are stocky, powerful, exciting and excitable.

GYMNASTICS Women's team

ROMANIA
U.S.A.
CHINA

Absentees: U.S.S.R. (G), East Germany (B). The Chinese finished ahead of the U.S. in the 1983 world championships (5th place to 7th), but the American contingent was without Mary Lou Retton and Dianne Durham, and Julianne McNamara wasn't her peppy self.

GYMNASTICS Women's vault

MARY LOU RETTON (U.S.A.)
ECATERINA SZABO (Romania)
LAVINIA AGACHE (Romania)

Absentee: Natalya Yurchenko, U.S.S.R. (S). Retton's version of the compulsory vault, a handspring with a full twist in the postflight, is the longest extant. Her clincher in the optionals is a back somersault in the layout position with a full twist (see diagram, page 466).

GYMNASTICS Uneven bars

JULIANNE McNAMARA (U.S.A.)
MA YANHONG (China)
ECATERINA SZABO (Romania)

Absentee: Maxi Gnauck, East Germany (G). McNamara's spectacular opener, the McNamara Mount, involves a free-hip circle with a half turn in the handstand portion of the circle, followed by a downswing with a reverse grip and then a reverse Hecht. Dynamite!

GYMNASTICS Balance beam

MA YANHONG (China)
LAVINIA AGACHE (Romania)
PAM BILECK (U.S.A)

Absentee: Olga Mostepanova, U.S.S.R. (G). This event is difficult to predict because nobody has dominated it since Nadia Comaneci left the scene. The nod goes to Ma, because nobody will do risky moves in L.A., and she's the most graceful at executing standard stuff.

GYMNASTICS Women's floor exercise

MARY LOU RETTON (U.S.A.)
ECATERINA SZABO (Romania)
LAVINIA AGACHE (Romania)

Absentee: Olga Mostepanova, U.S.S.R. (B). Szabo is the world champion, but Retton will surpass her with her unbelievably difficult tumbling. Here's her first pass: a double layout with a back somersault and a full twist. This is followed by another double layout.

GYMNASTICS Rhythmic

REGINA WEBER (W. Ger.)
DOINA STAICULESCU (Romania)
MARTA BOBO (Spain)

Absentees: Diliana Gueorguieva, Bulgaria (G), Anelia Ralenkova, Bulgaria (S), Galina Beloglazova, U.S.S.R. (B). Weber is the most elegant. She's noted for her speed, dancing, flexibility and very difficult moves—not to mention her green eyes and long legs.

HANDBALL Men

ROMANIA
DENMARK
YUGOSLAVIA

Absentees: U.S.S.R. (G), East Germany (S). The most exciting game will be during the Group A preliminaries, when Romania's Vasile Stinga goes against Yugoslavia's Veselin Vujović. They're the best left backs in the tournament and their teams' leading scorers.

HANDBALL Women

YUGOSLAVIA
SOUTH KOREA
CHINA

Absentees: U.S.S.R. (G), East Germany (S). Yugoslavia has a perfect combination in the backcourt: fleet and elegant Yasna Merdan, nicknamed The Gazelle, and dynamic Svetlana Kitić, who has lost none of her power despite recently having been on maternity leave.

JUDO 132 pounds

KIM JAE YUP (S. Korea)
SHINJI HOSOKAWA (Japan)
GUY DELVINGT (France)
FELICI MARIANI (Italy)