Estonian Contingent Will Compete Without Permission From Moscow

Six Estonian athletes, originally denied permission by the Soviet Sports Federation to compete in the Mt. San Antonio College Relays, will participate anyway.

A party of 10, including Juri Tamm, arrived after a 20-hour flight from Moscow via Havana and Mexico City.

Tamm was the bronze medalist in the hammer throw at the 1980 and '88 Olympic Games.

Meet director Dan Shrum said that after delays in communication with the Estonian sports officials, contact was made with the Baltic republic through a private party in Helsinki, Finland. The invitation was then accepted.

Anatoli Bondarchuk, a hammer throw coach who was the Olympic gold medalist in the event while representing the Soviet Union in 1972, was asked Friday if there would be any reprisals from Soviet authorities against the Estonians for competing here.

"No problem," said Bondarchuk, who is a Ukrainian from Kiev.

Estonia is seeking independence from the Soviet Union through negotiations, but supports neighboring Lithuania, which has formally declared its independence and is now being pressured by the Soviet Union.

The Estonian athletes will compete this weekend at Mt. San Antonio, at the UC Irvine Invitational April 28 and at the Modesto Invitational May 5 before returning to Estonia May 12.

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