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Youngster’s cape is no match for crusaders

Times Staff Writer

As bullfighters go, Michel Lagravere Peniche has done pretty well so far.

He has fought 56 bulls, slicing off 106 ears and seven tails as trophies. He has fought in Mexico and in several South American countries, but over the weekend he was banned from fighting in France.

“It’s like if someone asks a kid who plays football not to play,” said a disappointed Peniche, better known as Michelito.

But French authorities bowed to anti-bullfighting protesters who argued that even taking part in a “becerrada,” in which the young bulls are fought but not killed, would endanger his safety and, in any case, was against child labor laws.

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Michelito is 10.

Trivia time

Which three-time Olympian, a winner of four swimming gold medals, plans to make a comeback at age 71?

Stylish exit

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Sweden’s Annika Sorenstam went out in style Sunday, sinking a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole at the Women’s British Open at Sunningdale, England, in her last major tournament before retiring.

Said Sorenstam, who won 10 majors in 14 years: “To finish with a birdie was special. There didn’t seem to be any doubt it was going in.”

Eight is not enough

The Chinese consider eight to be a lucky number, which is perhaps one reason they opted to open the Beijing Olympics on the eighth day of the eighth month in 2008.

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But the weather is not cooperating. The Beijing Meteorological Bureau has predicted torrential rain for Friday, which would put a sizable dampener on the opening ceremony and turn National Stadium, a.k.a. the Bird’s Nest, as soggy as a bowl of noodles.

And no umbrellas are allowed.

Something fishy

Welsh swimmer David Davies explained to BBC Sport why he refuses to swim in open water.

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“If I saw a big fish, I’d be scared,” he said. “They’re not human. They don’t walk around. They’re different.”

Trivia answer

Australia’s Dawn Fraser, who will swim competitively for the first time in 20 years in the 50-meter freestyle at the Alice Springs Masters Games in October.

And finally

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Noting that the trades of Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers and Ken Griffey Jr. to the White Sox represented more than 1,100 home runs switching teams, Greg Cote of the Miami Herald said: “America won’t see another transfer of power that big until Nov. 4.”

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grahame.jones@latimes.com


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