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Devers Wins National Title

<i> From Staff and Wire Reports</i>

Gail Devers, inactive from last May until this month because of an Achilles’ tendon injury, won her fourth race in a row with a victory in the women’s 60-meter dash Saturday at the USA Track and Field indoor championships at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

Devers, a two-time world indoor champion in the 60, had a winning time of 7.04 seconds.

It was mostly a day of surprises as sprinter Maurice Greene, high jumper Charles Austin and shotputter John Godina were upset victims.

Greene, the world’s top-ranked sprinter, finished second in the 60-meter dash. Austin, the 1996 Olympic gold medalist, and Godina, the world’s No. 1 shotputter, were third in their specialties.

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Tim Harden upset Greene in the 60 in 6.44 seconds. Greene was timed in 6.49.

In the high jump, Austin, who cleared only 7 feet 3 inches, finished behind Henry Patterson and Stephen Smith, who both cleared 7-6 1/2, with Patterson winning on fewer misses.

Godina, with a heave of only 67-6 3/4 in the shot, finished behind Andy Bloom (68-3 3/4) and C.J. Hunter (67-7 1/2).

Jeff Hartwig broke his American indoor record in the pole vault, soaring 19-5 to erase the mark of 19-4 3/4 he set last month at Reno.

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Rohsaan Griffin, the 1996 NCAA champion from Louisiana State, set an American record in winning the men’s 200 meters in 20.32 seconds. He lowered the mark of 20.40 shared by 1997 world champion Kevin Little and Jeff Williams. Little finished second in 20.41.

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Led by jumpers Jimmy Devine and Eric Boykin and middle-distance runner Ricky Etheridge, Cal Baptist won the men’s NAIA indoor title at Lincoln, Neb.

Olympics

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An International Olympic Committee panel began a two-day meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, to debate the fate of 13 members embroiled in the Salt Lake City scandal.

The ad hoc committee has been assigned to review evidence and hear from IOC members wanting to defend themselves. It will then recommend expulsion or other action to the IOC executive board.

Nine IOC members resigned or were expelled last month in the first phase of an IOC investigation, and another was given a warning.

Tennis

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Serena Williams, 17, made it to a singles final for the first time in her pro career by defeating France’s Nathalie Dechy, 6-1, 6-4, in the semifinals of the Gaz de France tournament at Paris. Williams will meet Amelie Mauresmo of France, who scored a 6-0, 7-6 (7-5) victory over third-seeded Dominique van Roost of Belgium.

Venus Williams, 18, Serena’s sister, also reached a final, defeating qualifier Lilia Osterloh, 6-2, 6-3, in the IGA SuperThrift Tennis Classic at Oklahoma City. Williams, the defending champion who is ranked No. 5 in the world, needed 61 minutes to advance opposite Amanda Coetzer of South Africa, who beat flu-ridden Anna Kournikova of Russia, 6-4.

Richard Krajicek and Greg Rusedski had easy two-set victories to reach the final of the Guardian Direct indoor tournament at London. The Canadian-born Rusedski, who lives near the arena, cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 semifinal victory over unseeded Moroccan Hicham Arazi, and Dutchman Krajicek defeated Thomas Johansson of Sweden, 6-2, 6-4.

Winter Sports

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Canada’s Jeremy Wotherspoon and Germany’s Monique Garbrecht followed up world speedskating championship victories by setting track records in a World Cup meet at Roseville, Minn.

Wotherspoon won his seventh consecutive World Cup 500-meter race by shattering his own record with a time of 35.85 seconds. He set the world record of 34.76 seconds on Feb. 20 in the sprint championships at Calgary. Garbrecht won the women’s 1,000-meter race with a time of 1:18.61. She also set the world record at Calgary with a time of 1:14.61.

Austria’s Hermann Maier, with a fourth-place finish in the men’s giant slalom in a World Cup competition at Ofterschwang, Germany, moved into the overall World Cup lead.

Fellow Austrian Stephan Eberharter won the race, finishing .27 of a second ahead of countryman Has Knauss. Switzerland’s Michael Von Gruenigen was third, preventing an Austrian sweep of the top six places.

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Maier took advantage of the absence of Norway’s Lasse Kjus, out because of flu, to take the lead for the overall title. Maier, the defending champion, has 1,103 points to Kjus’ 1,089 with only two weeks left.

Miscellany

Mia Hamm scored her 104th goal in international play as the U.S. women’s national soccer team defeated Finland, 2-0, in an exhibition at Tampa, Fla.

The UCLA softball team improved to 16-0 with a doubleheader sweep of Cal State Sacramento.

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Despite being knocked down in the last round, Reggie Johnson defended his International Boxing Federation light-heavyweight title with a unanimous decision over Will Taylor at Miami. . . . Germany’s Sven Ottke retained his IBF super-middleweight title with a third-round knockout of Italy’s Giovanne Nardiello that ended a one-sided fight at Berlin.

The Chicago Bears agreed to terms with former Carolina Panther offensive tackle Blake Brockermeyer on a four-year contract worth $17 million.

Tim Criss defeated Dave Arnold, 238-161, at Toledo, Ohio, to win the PBA National Championship.


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