Cuba's Quirot Is Back After Burns

From Staff and Wire Reports

Still recovering from burns that threatened her life, Cuban Olympic medalist Ana Quirot returned to international competition Saturday and finished second in the 800 meters at the Central American and Caribbean Games at Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Suriname's Letitia Vriesde won the gold medal in 2 minutes 4.28 seconds. Quirot was timed in 2:05.22.

Quirot, 29, was near death in January after a bottle of alcohol exploded in her home in Havana, burning her arms, chest and neck. Doctors tried unsuccessfully to save her unborn child.

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Nine members of the Cuban delegation at the Central American and Caribbean Games, including two triple gold medalists, have defected and will seek political asylum in the United States, a Cuban exiles group confirmed.

Lino Elias Ocana and Emilio Lara Rodriguez, both winners of three gold medals in weightlifting, defected Saturday, according to the Rescue Legion, a group of Cuban exiles that has been helping Cuban athletes and officials defect and seek asylum.

Since the Games started on Nov. 19, 32 Cubans have defected.

Baseball

The New York Yankees acquired right-handed reliever Xavier Hernandez from the Houston Astros for pitcher Domingo Jean and infielder Andy Stankiewicz.

Hernandez, 28, was 4-5 with nine saves and a 2.61 earned-run average in 72 relief appearances.

Soccer

Mark Vaught's first-half goal gave Cal State Fullerton a 1-0 victory over San Francisco and a berth in college soccer's final four next weekend in Davidson, N.C.

Jurisprudence

Before Charles Barkley will be cleared of a second assault allegation, police in Scottsdale, Ariz., will complete their investigation because the man who said Barkley hit him initially threatened to sue the NBA's most valuable player.

Keith Stimson of Hermosa Beach said he suffered a chipped tooth early Friday when Barkley allegedly punched him at a trendy pool hall and lounge.

Names in the News

Jacco Eltingh and Paul Haarhuis defeated Grant Connell and Patrick Galbraith, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5, in the semifinals of the World Doubles Championships at Johannesburg, South Africa. Eltingh and Haarhuis will play Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde, who defeated David Adams and Andrei Olhovskiy, 6-2, 7-5. . . . Guard Alvin Robertson of the Denver Nuggets is expected to remain hospitalized in Denver through Monday for treatment of high-altitude pulmonary edema. . . . Dan Jansen won the men's 500 and 1,000 meters and Bonnie Blair won the women's 1,000 at a World Cup speedskating competition at Berlin. . . . Ulrike Maier of Austria earned her second World Cup giant slalom victory at Santa Caterina Valfurva, Italy.

Mexico's Miguel Gonzalez stopped Wilfrido Rocha of Colombia after 10 rounds in Mexico City to retain the World Boxing Council lightweight crown. . . . Lynn Jennings won her seventh consecutive national title and Todd Williams won his second in three years at the USA Track and Field cross-country championships in Missoula, Mont. . . . Emory Bellard, 65, inventor of the wishbone offense, walked the sidelines for the last time as his Spring Westfield High team lost to Plano, 20-0, in the Texas Class 5A Division I quarterfinals. Bellard will retire.

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