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Blair Skates to Two Victories

From Staff and Wire Reports

Bonnie Blair, the most successful American female Olympian ever, won the 500-meter and 1,000-meter speedskating races Saturday on the opening program of the U.S. Long Track Sprint Championships at Milwaukee.

Blair, who has six Olympic medals including five golds, won the 500 in 40.15 seconds and the 1,000 at 1:20.95. Chris Witty, a 19-year-old from West Allis, Wis., finished second in both races at 40.79 and 1:21.69.

Casey FitzRandolph of Verona, Wis., won the men’s 500 at 37.58 and Brendan Eppert of St. Louis took the 1,000 at 1:15.92.

Hockey

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Officials of the NHL and the players’ association did not resume talks Saturday, as expected, but they are scheduled to meet today for the first time in more than two weeks.

As in the last series of meetings, each side will be represented by a two-man delegation. Commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday the season must start by Jan. 16 in order to schedule 50 games, the minimum set by the league’s Board of Governors for a meaningful season.

Baseball

Dodger pitcher Tom Candiotti and free-agent outfielder Candy Maldonado were granted reductions in family support payments after claiming that the baseball strike limited their incomes.

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Contra Costa Superior Court Judge Peter Spinetta temporarily suspended Candiotti’s $80,000-per-month payments to his ex-wife and their two children.

Maldonado’s child support payments were cut from $7,500 a month to $900.

Pro Basketball

Isaiah Rider, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ leading scorer, spent part of New Year’s Eve performing janitorial and secretarial chores at a detoxification center to fulfill a court sentence.

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Rider was sentenced Sept. 7 to perform 35 hours of community service for fifth-degree assault and disorderly conduct. Before Saturday, he had worked off only seven hours of his obligation and would face jail time if he doesn’t fulfill the sentence by the end of the first week of January.

Sacramento King center Duane Causwell has been charged with five misdemeanor counts, including spousal abuse, stemming from an argument with his wife.

Sailing

An Australian navy helicopter carried French sailor Isabelle Autissier to safety after she spent more than four days stranded in her stricken yacht in the Southern Ocean.

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Autissier, 38, who was competing in the BOC Round the World race, was rescued 750 nautical miles south of Adelaide in South Australia.

Miscellany

George Foreman will defend his World Boxing Assn. and International Boxing Federation heavyweight titles against Alex Schulz in April at the Superdome, the New York Daily News reported. . . . Chinese track coach Ma Junren and his wife, Zhao Suqing, were hospitalized after a traffic accident in Beijing Thursday.


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