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Two Women Share Downhill Victory

January 25, 1997|From Staff and Wire Reports

For the first time in 30 years, two women, Heidi Zurbriggen of Switzerland and Isolde Kostner of Italy, shared victory Friday in a World Cup downhill ski race.

The rarity occurred at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, where another first-place tie had occurred in a women's super-giant slalom in 1994.

Zurbriggen and Kostner each completed the Olimpia delle Tofane course in 1 minute 30.81 seconds. Olympic downhill champion Katja Seizinger of Germany was third, .02 of a second behind the winners.

It was the second consecutive victory and the third of her career for Zurbriggen, the younger sister of retired star Pirmin Zurbriggen.

Zurbriggen leads the downhill standings with 269 points, three more than Seizinger. Kostner, the world super-G champion, also earned the third victory of her career and first this season.

Hilary Lindh of Juneau, Alaska, was the top U.S. finisher in ninth place, .61 of a second behind the co-winners.

Megan Gerety of Anchorage, Alaska, had a spectacular spill in the bottom part of the course. She lost her balance at a jump and crashed against safety nets after losing her skis. She suffered a concussion.

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Luc Alphand of France posted the best time in both heats to win a World Cup men's downhill at Kitzbuehel, Austria, and establish himself as the favorite for next month's World Alpine Championships.

Alphand had heat times of 1 minute 6.26 seconds and 1:06.29 for a total of 2:12.55 and his third victory at Kitzbuehel. Austrian Werner Franz was second, .4 of a second behind.

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Oskana Gritschuk and Yevgeny Platov of Russia topped off a performance that resembled Arabian fairy tales in the final free dance to win the ice dance title at the European Figure Skating Championships in Paris.

It was the third victory of the competition for Russia, in line for a title sweep. Defending champion Irina Slutskaya is the leader in the women's event.

Baseball

Japanese pitcher Hideki Irabu says he wants to play in the major leagues, but not for the San Diego Padres.

"I have absolutely no desire to conclude a contract with San Diego," Irabu said in Tokyo.

Earlier this month, the Padres acquired negotiating rights to the 27-year-old pitcher from the Chiba Lotte Marines. Irabu, 12-6 with a 2.40 earned-run average last season, said he still hopes to play for the New York Yankees.

The Angels have designated right-handed pitcher Shad Williams for assignment to make room for right-hander Shigetoshi Hasegawa on their 40-man roster.

Williams, 25, was 0-2 with an 8.89 ERA in 13 games for the Angels last season, two of them starts. The Angels also sent infielder Robert Eenhoorn to their Vancouver farm club of the Pacific Coast League.

Pedro Martinez, the ace of the Montreal Expos' pitching staff, avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $3.5-million, one-year contract, more than 10 times his $315,000 salary last season. Martinez, 48-31 in five major league seasons, had asked for $3.9 million in arbitration. The Expos had offered $3.1 million. . . . Shane Reynolds, one of four Houston players eligible for salary arbitration, agreed to a three-year contract. Terms were not disclosed. Reynolds had asked for $2.7 million. The Astros had offered $1.7 million. . . . The Boston Red Sox and outfielder Troy O'Leary have reached agreement on a $1.1-million, one-year contract. . . . The Minnesota Twins agreed to terms on a minor league contract with first baseman Greg Colbrunn and invited him to spring training.

Jurisprudence

A former University of Nebraska football player subpoenaed to testify in an attempted murder case has been charged with possessing marijuana with intent to deliver.

Abdul Muhammad, 23, was subpoenaed by the defense to testify in the attempted second-degree murder trial of his former roommate and teammate Riley Washington in Lincoln.

San Diego police have sent the case of New York Yankee left-hander David Wells to the district attorney's office, meaning he could face felony charges for a street fight on Jan. 12. A decision on whether Wells will be charged is expected by next week.

Wells broke his pitching hand in the fight.

Names in the News

Former heavyweight boxing champion Larry Holmes, 47, lost a 12-round split decision to Brian Nielsen of Denmark at Copenhagen. Nielsen, a silver medalist in the 1992 Olympics, retained his International Boxing Organization heavyweight title. . . . Carl Lewis was far from competitive in his first race of the year, finishing seventh in the 100 meters in a meet at Auckland, New Zealand. Lewis, 35, finished in 10.76, nearly half a second behind the winning time of 10.28 of fellow American David Oaks. . . . Warren Gaer, who coached Pepperdine's first football teams from 1946-49, died of cancer in his hometown of Atlantic, Iowa. He was 84. . . . In international soccer, CONCACAF president Jack Warner was picked to fill the FIFA vice president's spot left vacant by the death of Guillermo Canedo.

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