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THE INSIDE TRACK | NEWSWIRE

Miles-Clark, Batten Record Impressive Track Victories

June 15, 1997|From Staff and Wire Reports

Jearl Miles-Clark and Kim Batten ran the fastest times in the world this year and among the fastest in history in winning their respective events Saturday at the USA Track and Field Championships in Bloomington, Ind.

Miles-Clark, the 1993 world outdoor champion and 1997 world indoor champion, took the women's 400 meters in a career-best 49.40 seconds. The time made Miles-Clark the No. 3 U.S. performer ever, with the fourth-fastest performance.

Batten, the world record-holder in the 400-meter hurdles, was timed in 52.97, the fifth-fastest ever by an American and the eighth-fastest in history.

Batten said she was trying to break her world mark of 52.61.

"I was on world record pace going into the seventh or eighth hurdle, but was just backing off," said Batten, the 1996 Olympic silver medalist and the 1995 world champion. "Right now, I think approaching 51 seconds is a possibility. When things are going well, I always think I'm capable of shaving another second off my best times."

The men's 400 final was also extraordinary, as the first six finishers cracked the 45-second barrier, led by 1991 world champion Antonio Pettigrew, who clocked a 44.65 and won his fourth national title. Butch Reynolds, the world record-holder at 43.29, faded down the stretch and finished sixth at 44.98.

Mark Everett won the men's 800, his sixth national title, at 1:44.37--the third-fastest in the world this year.

Tennis

Top-seeded Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia defeated Boris Becker in the semifinals of the $875,000 Gerry Weber Open at Halle, Germany. Kafelnikov will face eighth-seeded Petr Korda of Czechoslovakia, who defeated Paul Haarhuis of the Netherlands.

Gustavo Kuerten, the surprise winner of the French Open last week, breezed past Marzio Martelli to advance to the finals of the Carisbo International at Bologna, Italy. Kuerten will meet Felix Mantilla of Spain, who beat Karim Alami of Morocco.

Goran Ivanisevic outlasted Britain's Greg Rusdeski in a third-set tiebreaker to advance to the final of the Queen's Club grass-court tournament at London. In the other semifinal, Mark Philippoussis defeated Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman to become the first Australian to reach the Queen's final in 17 years.

Steffi Graf told a German newspaper that she would have "no problem" ending her stellar career after she underwent knee surgery last week.

"I'm completely open on the question," Graf told the weekly newspaper Welt am Sonntag. "I put hope in the skill of the doctors, but I have no problems ending my career."

Graf, who turned 28 Saturday, underwent a two-hour career-threatening operation Tuesday to repair cartilage and tendon damage and will be out at least 4-6 months, missing Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

Soccer

Ecuador stunned favored Paraguay, 2-0, at Cochabamba, Bolivia, to move into position to advance to the second round of the America Cup. Ecuador tied Argentina in its first game in Group A and now has four points. The top two teams in all three groups and the two best third-place teams will advance.

Real Madrid defeated cross-town rival Atletico de Madrid, 3-1, to win its 27th Spanish league championship.

Boxing

Gerry Penalosa of the Philippines defended his World Boxing Council super flyweight crown for the first time by knocking out South Korean challenger Lee Seung-Koo in the ninth round at Mactan, Philippines.

Pro Football

Unrestricted free agent tackle Ricky Siglar, who played with Kansas City last season, signed a two-year contract with New Orleans worth $1.9 million.

Miscellany

In a final tuneup, the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks will scrimmage the Phoenix Mercury today at 4 at Long Beach City College. The Sparks open the WNBA season Saturday at the Forum against New York.

Rasheed Wallace of the Portland Trail Blazers has won primary custody of his 22-month-old son and the mother of the child has been accused of intentionally keeping Wallace from seeing the boy in Durham, N.C.

Brian Voss won his second Pro Bowlers Assn. title of the year and 18th of his career, beating top-seeded Parker Bohn III, 226-201, in the championship match of the Wichita Open.

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