Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

WORLD SPORTS SCENE : Goteborg Athletes Save Record Effort for Lucrative Swiss Meet

August 15, 1995|RANDY HARVEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Nine days of track and field's World Championships ended Sunday at Goteborg, Sweden, but many in the sport considered that no more than a warm-up act for the world's most prestigious invitational meet, at Zurich, Switzerland.

Because of the lucrative world-record bonuses offered by promoter Andreas Bruegger at Zurich, there was more than a suggestion at Goteborg that some athletes were saving their best performances for Wednesday night.

It also is easier to set a world record in a non-championship meet because there are no qualifying rounds in most events. Athletes who figure to challenge world records at Zurich include Michael Johnson in the 400 meters, Wilson Kipketer in the 800, Moses Kiptanui in the steeplechase, Ivan Pedroso in the long jump, Sergei Bubka in the pole vault and Noureddine Morceli in whichever event he asks to be placed on the program for him.

If all of those records fall, Bruegger could be out a considerable number of Swiss francs, but he can afford it. Whereas the recent Grand Prix meet in San Jose had a budget of $250,000, Bruegger's is more than $4 million.

*

Juan Antonio Samaranch, International Olympic Committee president, said last week that he does not expect Beijing to bid for the 2004 Summer Olympics. The vote is scheduled for 1997, the same year that the government there will be preoccupied with the transition of Hong Kong from British to Chinese rule.

*

Great Britain's Linford Christie, the 1992 Olympic champion and 1993 world champion in the 100 meters, was more seriously injured than initially believed after finishing sixth at Goteborg. He has a torn hamstring and torn cartilage in his knee, ending not only his season but perhaps his career.

Even before suffering the injury, Christie, 35, repeated an earlier announcement that he would not compete in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

*

How obscure is Kim Batten of Rochester, N.Y., the new world-record holder in the women's 400-meter intermediate hurdles? Before catching the error, an international wire service almost moved a story calling her Kim Basinger.

*

The only two world all-around gymnastics champions that the United States has ever produced, Shannon Miller and Kim Zmeskal, will compete in the U.S. championship meet beginning Wednesday at New Orleans, but it will not necessarily be an upset if neither wins.

In fact, it would be an upset if Zmeskal even contends for a medal. Having not competed at the international level since the 1992 Summer Olympics at Barcelona, she was allowed to enter only after petitioning the U.S. Gymnastics Federation.

Miller is definitely a contender, but she must overcome challenges from a couple of Dominiques, Dawes and Moceanu, as well as Amy Chow, Kristy Powell and Amanda Borden.

Defending men's champion Scott Keswick, formerly of UCLA, recently underwent back surgery and will not compete, but he expects to begin training again in January for an attempt to make the Olympic team.

Also missing from the all-around competition will be Trent Dimas, a gold medalist in the high bar at Barcelona, who did not qualify. The top 14 men and 16 women will advance to the qualifying meet, Sept. 8-9 at Austin, Tex., for the World Championships.

*

Swimmer Amy Van Dyken, U.S. record-holder in the 50-meter freestyle, said she was stunned by rumors that she had failed a drug test last winter at a meet in France.

Because Van Dyken, 22, a member of the U.S. resident national team at Colorado Springs, Colo., suffers from asthma, she takes medication through an inhaler that usually is approved when authorities are notified. But she said French officials failed to review the medical forms she submitted before the meet.

Speaking at the Pan Pacific Championships at Atlanta last week, she said, "Here I am, taking this medication that only helps me breathe only 50% of normal, and I'm swimming against Chinese women who are taking performance-enhancing drugs that make them swim 150% of normal."

*

To drill Monica Seles back into shape, her father hired a track and field coach, Bob Kersee, who is best known as the coach and husband of two-time Olympic and world heptathlon champion Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

Karolj Seles was a triple jumper while growing up in Hungary.

"It was such an honor to train with Jackie," Monica said. "I mean, she's unbelievable. Her body is unbelievable."

Times staff writers Maryann Hudson, Elliott Almond and Julie Cart contributed to this report.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|