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World Cycling Championships : Three-Rider Crash in Keiren Sends Two to Hospital

Associated Press

Belgium’s Michel Vaarten won the gold medal in the keiren Saturday night at the World Cycling Championships in a race marred by a three-rider crash that sent two cyclists to the hospital.

West Germany’s Dieter Giebken came in second, while the defending world champion, Urs Freuler of Switzerland, was third in the nine-rider field.

The crash occured with two laps to go in the five-lap event, when Italy’s Octavio Dazzan went down, taking two Japanese riders, Kenji Takahashi and Masamitsu Takizawa, with him.

Dazzan and Takahashi walked away, but Takizawa was taken off the velodrome track on a stretcher.

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Trackside medical officials said Takizawa injured his right hip and Takahashi had a shoulder injury. Both were taken to a Colorado Springs hospital for X-rays.

Dazzan suffered only scrapes from the pileup on the concrete track.

Mark Whitehead, of Whittier, said he believed one of the three riders caught their front wheel in his rear wheel.

The keirin has up to 10 riders on the track at the same time for five laps, with a free-for-all dash over the final 200 meters. The sport originated in Japan, where keirin riders are among the most respected and highly paid athletes.

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The medal races in the amateur men’s 200-meter match sprints featured an all-East German field, with Michael Huebner edging out defending champion Lutz Hesslich for the gold medal in a photo finish in the third and deciding match.

Ralf-Gudo Kuschy downed teammate Bill Huck in two straight rides in the best-of-three event to win the bronze.

In the semifinals, Hesslich beat Kuschy, 2-0, and Huebner downed Huck 2-0.

East Germany’s Christa Rothenburger, who had never won a medal at the world championship, beat Soviet Erika Salumiaee in two straight rides to win the gold medal in the women’s 200-meter match sprint.

American Connie Paraskevin, a three-time world champion and last year’s silver medalist, earned the bronze medal, outdueling Natalia Kruchelnitskaya, of the Soviet Union, 2-0.

Paraskevin beat the defending world champion, France’s Isabelle Nicoloso--who spoiled her bid for a fourth straight world title last year--in two rides earlier Saturday to move into the semifinals.

Kruchelnitskaya and Salumiaee, also gained the semifinals with 2-0 victories. Kruchelnitskaya eliminated Italy’s Elisabeth Fanton, and Salumiaee beat American Pamela Deem. Rothenburger moved into the semifinals with a 2-0 triumph over Isabelle Gautheron, of France.

The Czechoslovakian team of Pavel Soukup, Theodor Cerny, Scatopluk Buchta, and Ales Treka posted the fastest time--4 minutes, 17.71 seconds--in qualifying for the team pursuit.

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The Soviets eliminated the American team of Steve Hegg, Leonard Nitz, David Lettieri, and Carl Sundquist, with a time of 4:17.56 to the U.S. showing of 4:22.17.

In the quarterfinals of the 5,000-meter professional individual pursuit, West Germany’s Gregor Braun beat Alain Bondue, of France, and the defending world champion, Hans-Henrik Oersted, of Denmark, lapped American Chris Huber.


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