Michael Johnson thought he would break his world indoor record in the men's 400-meter dash at Saturday's USA-Mobil Indoor Championships--and he was absolutely right, clocking 44.63 seconds at Atlanta.
Johnson, unbeaten in the 400 since 1990, clipped a remarkable 0.34 seconds off the record of 44.97 he set last month at Reno.
Sheila Hudson-Strudwick shattered her U.S. indoor record in the triple jump (46-6) for the second time in a week, leaping 46-8 1/4, and Carlette Guidry-White broke Gwen Torrence's 200-meter record by 0.01 seconds with a 22.73.
Lance Deal broke his world indoor best in the 35-pound weight throw three times, raising the mark by nearly three feet to 84 feet 10 1/4 inches.
Rising 1,500-meter star Venuste Niyongabo of Burundi failed in a bid for an indoor world record while winning in 3:36.33 at Sindelfingen, Germany. Heike Drechsler of Germany equaled her season's world best of 23-3 1/4 in the long jump. Algeria's Noureddine Morceli holds the 1,500 record at 3:34.16.
Mihaela Melinte, 17, of Romania set a world record in the women's hammer with a throw of 219-4 at Bucharest, Romania. The previous record was 219-3, set by Russian Olga Kuzenkova in 1994.
Denver Bronco owner Pat Bowlen was hospitalized because of a bruised heart suffered when he hit a tree while skiing in the Strawberry Park area in the Vail-Beaver Creek ski complex, a Swedish Medical Center spokeswoman said. "He was skiing in Vail, ran into a tree, hit his chest and was brought via Air Life to Swedish Medical Center where he is listed in serious condition," hospital spokeswoman Deb Gillette said, though his condition is expected to be upgraded today.
Kenny Wallace continued his Busch Grand National domination at Richmond International Raceway by pulling away over the final 51 laps to win the Hardee's Frisco 250 in Richmond, Va. Jeff Gordon broke Ted Musgrave's six-month-old qualifying record of 124.052 m.p.h. with a 124.757 to win the pole for today's Pontiac Excitement 400.
Michael Andretti, making his first start in two years for the Newman-Haas team, used a lap at 104.892 m.p.h. to earn the 28th pole of his career for today's Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami.
Leading Australian driver Gregg Hansford died in a racing collision during the Super Touring Car Championship at Melbourne.
Australian Mark Philippoussis upset top-seeded Todd Martin, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, to become the first qualifier since 1988 to reach the final of the MassMutual tournament in Scottsdale, Ariz. Philippoussis is in his first year on the ATP Tour and ranked 272nd in the world. He will face Jim Courier, who defeated Stefan Edberg, 6-4, 6-7 (7-5), 6-4.
Paul Haarhuis of the Netherlands upset Russian Yevgeny Kafelnikov, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), and fifth-seeded Richard Krajicek defeated Italian qualifier Omar Camporese, 6-3, 7-5, in the semifinals of the ABN AMRO tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Defending champion Thomas Muster of Austria upset top-seeded Francisco Clavet of Spain, 7-6 (7-3), 1-6, 6-2, and Fernando Meligeni of Brazil eliminated Alex Corretja of Spain, 6-1, 6-0, in Mexican Open semifinals in Mexico City.
Europe's chance of remaining in the running for the America's Cup got slimmer off San Diego when Nippon scored a critical victory to take a 24-15 lead over France 3 for the fourth and final spot. An amateurish error before the start prevented Stars & Stripes from expanding its lead in the defender trials as it lost to Young America. Starting helmsman Paul Cayard wheeled Stars & Stripes into the starting area before the five-minute gun, drawing a penalty that required a 270-degree turn after the start.
Gunda Niemann of Germany won the 500 meters in 41 seconds and the 3,000 in 4:24.72 and took the overall lead with 85.120 points in the women's all-around World Speedskating Championships at Savalen, Norway. Olympic gold medalist Bonnie Blair is not competing. . . . FIFA, international soccer's governing body, decided to experiment with timeouts at one of its tournaments in the next 12 months, possibly the Olympics. . . . The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race will begin today in Alaska.