Thursday, August 30th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) _ Olympic and world champion Svetlana Khorkina, making her flights from bar to bar look easy, won gold on the uneven bars in Goodwill Games gymnastics Thursday.
With Khorkina's victory, and Irina Chashchina's in all-around rhythmic gymnastics, Russia had five gymnastics golds in two days of competition.
Khorkina was awarded 9.712 points, beating Russian compatriot Natalya Ziganshina (9.425) and 13-year-old American Holly Vise, who took bronze with 9.212 in her first major international meet.
Another Olympic champion, Hungarian Szilveszter Csollany, was nearly flawless in winning on the rings with 9.775.
China's Lu Bin, whose second vault earned the highest score yet of the competition _ 9.837 _ won gold with an average 9.556 for two vaults.
``I'm very happy,'' the 22-year-old Khorkina said. ``This is three times at the Goodwill Games.''
She also won on the uneven bars in the 1997 and 1999 World Championships and the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, in addition to taking the 1999 all-around world title.
Vise said the evening was very exciting because ``now I was standing up there with'' Khorkina on the medal podium.
Vise, who spun cleanly through a difficult routine, said, ``I was happy with it. I did just about the best I can do.''
Khorkina took silver in the floor exercises, behind compatriot Elena Zamolodchikova, and was fourth in the vault.
In the men's vault, Lu finished just ahead of Olympic bronze medalist Leszek Blanik of Poland, who scored 9.525. Romania's Marian Dragulescu, who placed second in the floor exercises, won bronze in the vault with 9.387.
Csollany went last on the rings, and surpassed the 9.700 for Belarus gymnast Ivan Ivankov. Bulgaria's Jordan Jovtchev, winner the previous night in floor exercises, took bronze with 9.687.
``At my first Goodwill Games in 1991 I did not make the final,'' Csollany said. ``At my second attempt I came in fifth and I was very upset. ... But I never give up.''
In the rhythmic all-around, Chashchina outscored Russian compatriot Alina Kabaeva 113.550 to 112.600.
Kabaeva, the world champion and Olympic bronze medalist, was set back when she accidentally threw her hoop into an overhead light and then had to chase it across the floor before resuming her routine.
Officials said there was no penalty for hitting the light, but Kabaeva had to suffer the consequences of the bad bounce. They added that the light was at the correct height.
BEST BEHAVIOR: Coach Flip Saunders doesn't expect the U.S. men's basketball team at the Goodwill Games to resemble the highly criticized American teams at other international events.
``We have a group of players who are going to represent themselves, their teams and America and show the world what we're all about,'' said Sanders, coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. ``They go out and compete at a high level but they have a lot of respect for the competition they have to play against.''
Recent U.S. basketball teams have been criticized for their brashness and arrogance. At last year's Sydney Olympics, the Americans' behavior drew boos.
This U.S. team has three players who were on the gold medal-winning Goodwill team in 1998 _ Andre Miller of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Calvin Booth of the Seattle SuperSonics and Wally Szczerbiak of the Timberwolves.
``You want to go out there and represent yourself and your country to the best of your ability,'' Miller said. ``You have to keep it professional.''
WHAT JET LAG?: So much for adjusting to a foreign country and jet lag.
The American women's volleyball team of Lisa Arce and Holly McPeak played their first match at the Goodwill Games only 24 hours after arriving from California and beat the Bulgarian sister duo of Petia and Lina Yanchulova in straight sets.
Arce was the top women's volleyball player in the United States in 1998, and McPeak is the richest woman in the history of U.S. beach volleyball, earning more than $750,000 as a professional.