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Halard Works Hard to Win Paris Open

February 19, 1996|From Staff and Wire Reports

Julie Halard of France upset top-seeded Iva Majoli, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4), in the final of the Paris Open at Paris on Sunday to stop the Croatian's bid for a second consecutive tournament victory.

Halard won her sixth career title, her second this year.

The unseeded Halard was playing her sixth match in less than three days; she also is competing in doubles with Nathalie Tauziat.

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Goran Ivanisevic of Croatia overpowered Alberto Costa of Spain, 6-4, 6-3, to win the Dubai Open at Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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Guy Forget extended Cedric Pioline's losing streak in finals, beating his fellow Frenchman 7-5, 6-4, in the Marseille Open at Marseille, France. Pioline is winless in nine finals since 1992.

Winter Sports

Irina Slutskaya completed a sweep of titles for Russian skaters with a victory in the women's competition at the Centennial on Ice at St. Petersburg, Russia.

Tied for the lead with fellow Russian Maria Butyrskaya after the short program, Slutskaya maintained the form which took her to the European title three weeks ago. Michelle Kwan of the United States finished third.

Kwan, fourth after the short, attempted five triples and landed four successfully. But the American skater, bothered by sickness all week, turned a planned triple lutz into a double and put a hand down on her final triple toe loop.

Ilya Kulik won the men's event, Oksana Gritschuk and Yevgeny Platov the ice dance and Yevgeniya Shishkova and Vadim Naumov the pairs.

Christine Witty became women's champion at the 27th World Sprint Speedskating Championships at Heerenveen, Netherlands, setting a track record of 1 minute, 19.97 seconds in her second 1,000-meter victory.

Edel Theres Hoiseth of Norway was second overall and Franziska Schenk of Germany was third.

Sergei Klevchenja of Russia won the men's title after winning his second 1,000-meter race. Hiroyasu Shimizu of Japan was second overall.

Austrian Mario Stecher got his second World Cup victory in a Nordic combined event at Murau, Austria.

Stecher, 18, was second behind Japan's Koji Takazawa going into the cross country run after Sunday's jumps. But he made up the difference and finished 21.9 seconds ahead of Finland's Jari Mantila in the overall standings. Takazawa finished third.

Miscellany

Frankie Fredericks of Namibia became the first man to run 200 meters under 20 seconds indoors, finishing in 19.92 seconds at the Lievin International meet at Lievin, France.

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed Pittsburgh Steeler offensive tackle Leon Searcy to a five-year contract that makes him the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL.

The signing of Searcy, who has started every game for the Steelers the past three years, gives them championship experience on an offensive line that already features Tony Boselli, their No. 1 draft pick last year, and Brian DeMarco.

Yugoslavia's return to the international water polo scene ended triumphantly with a 7-2 victory over Greece in the final of the men's Olympic qualifying tournament at Berlin.

Following the final, officials conducted the draw for the Olympic tournament. Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain and Yugoslavia will be in Group A. Croatia, Greece, Italy, Romania, Ukraine and the United States will be in Group B.

Two major rules changes involving the behavior of Olympic athletes--random drug testing and a code of conduct--received preliminary approval from the U.S. Olympic Committee.

The USOC's governing executive committee agreed to order all Olympic sports to stage out-of-competition drug tests on short notice and it also gave a tentative OK to changes in the code of conduct for U.S. Olympic athletes.

The revision would give the USOC control over America's Olympians up to 45 days before entry deadlines and would force all team members to accept the code without changes or be barred from the squad.

Carlos Queiroz, who last spring turned down a chance to coach the U.S. national soccer team, was fired by Sport Lisbon of the Portuguese League.

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