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There Won't Be Any Wheelies--or Fiery Explosions, Either

July 09, 1994|SHAV GLICK

In the Wiener Dog Summer Nationals, the contestants' bellies nearly scrape the ground, but a larger problem is coaxing dachshunds to run all the way down a 100-yard straightaway.

"We hope to have one of his favorite females at the end of the finish line to keep him going," said Kathleen Ayres, whose Otto will be among the entries today at the Multnomah Greyhound Park in suburban Portland, Ore. First prize is a year's supply of dog food.

The dogs are trained to chase a plastic bag hooked to a wire on the ground.

Add Wiener Dog: "The crowd will go wild," predicted Larry Sorenson, president of the Dachshund Club of America. "The dogs put so much heart into it. They're kind of comical when they run, but they're dead serious about it. They have that long back and they coil it like an inchworm."

More than 15,000 spectators are expected for the annual affair.

"A lot of people think a dachshund is more or less a couch potato," one owner said. "That's not really true. They love to run their little hearts out."

Trivia time: Who was the first American golfer to win the British Open?

Top priority: Folks who went to the Six Flags Over Mid-America amusement park in St. Louis this week were out of luck if they wanted to ride the Thunder River attraction. It was used as the whitewater course for the Olympic Festival's canoe-kayak competition.

Believe it or not: According to the National Safety Council's 1993 study of outdoor recreation-related injuries, a badminton player is more than four times as likely to suffer an injury requiring medical treatment as a hunter.

Badminton players suffered 33.4 injuries per 100,000 participants, hunters only 7.4 per 100,000.

Goodby, Pooh: From Shaun Powell, in the Sporting News: "Pooh Richardson knew his days with the Pacers were numbered when his teammates voted him only a one-third share of playoff money. There weren't many tears being shed when Richardson was sent to the Clippers.

" 'Some of the guys felt he could've played (Richardson had a shoulder injury) and felt he was letting us down by not playing,' veteran Vern Fleming says."

One man's view: From David Letterman: "I'm really starting to get caught up in the World Cup. I just imagine millions of people watching all those games, yawning in a hundred different languages."

Add Letterman: "I can't believe how desperate ESPN has gotten for programming. Every time I've turned it on this week, they've been showing kickball."

Great start: Former figure skating champion Tonya Harding made her debut in pro wrestling as a guest manager of Al Barr in a match in Vancouver, Wash.

Barr wrestles under the name "American Love Machine."

Trivia answer: Walter Hagen in 1922.

Quotebook: Buck Leonard, 86, who helped the Homestead Grays win nine consecutive titles in one of the old Negro leagues, on throwing out the first pitch before Tuesday night's All-Star game in Pittsburgh: "I hope I can throw it halfway to home plate."

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