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Tomba, Returning to Form, Ends World Cup Drought

January 09, 1998|From Staff and Wire Reports

Italian superstar Alberto Tomba, rounding into top form just in time for the Olympics, glided flawlessly to his first World Cup win in a year Thursday in a night slalom at Schladming, Austria.

Tomba charged to the lead after the first round and then held off a challenge by Austrian Thomas Sykora for the 49th victory of his career.

Sykora had moved up from sixth place with a sparkling second run to hold the lead as the 31-year-old Italian started the final run of the night.

But Tomba left little doubt that he was back, turning in a near-perfect second run. He finished the two runs in 1 minute 34.12 seconds, 0.89 of a second ahead of Sykora. Norway's Hans-Petter Buraas was a surprising third in 1:35.29.

The grinning Sykora congratulated Tomba, saying, "He's back--what else can I say?"

*

Cammy Myler, headed to her fourth Olympics next month, rallied to win a seventh women's national luge crown at Park City, Utah.

The luger defeated Maryann Baribault by .07 of a second at Utah Winter Sports Park.

Myler was clocked in a two-run time of 1 minute 32.176 seconds down the track that will be used at the 2002 Olympics.

Baribault took second in 1:32.245 and will be an Olympic alternate.

Olympic rookie Larry Dolan won his first national title by winning the men's division in a time of 1:34.250.

Tony Benshoof claimed the silver and became an Olympic alternate as well.

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Consultants said organizers of Salt Lake City's 2002 Winter Games are at a critical juncture and need to begin executing plans for pulling off the event.

With four years to go, management must be put in place, assignments defined, contracts signed and budgets drafted that reflect the real cost of staging the event, said the Bechtel Corp., a giant engineering and consulting firm hired to advise the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee in staging the Olympics.

In other action, U.S. Olympic Committee officials announced the sponsorship of NationsBank, which will provide a $170-million line of credit for the 2002 Winter Games.

Baseball

Former Kansas City pitcher Dan Quisenberry underwent surgery for a walnut-sized brain tumor at Kansas City, Mo.

It was not immediately known whether the tumor was malignant, said Jonathan Chilton, a neurosurgeon who performed the surgery.

Up to 90% of the tumor was removed, and a sample sent to a pathologist for analysis. Results were expected in about a week.

Tim Worrell and the Detroit Tigers agreed to a a one-year, $1-million contract. Worrell struggled last season with the San Diego Padres, finishing 4-8 with three saves and a 5.16 earned-run average. He came to the Tigers in November as part of a five-player trade. . . . San Diego second baseman Quilvio Veras, who batted .265 and led the Padres with 33 stolen bases, avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $3.1 million contract. . . . Darryl Strawberry, 35, returned to the New York Yankees with a one-year contract that guarantees him $850,000.

Pitcher Orlando "Duke" Hernandez, who defected from Cuba last week, said that people in his native country live in a climate of constant "oppression, repression and fear" under Fidel Castro's communist regime.

"When I think of the Castro regime, they are not good things," Hernandez said in San Jose, Costa Rica. "In Cuba there is repression, oppression and fear they might put you in jail. The Cuban people live by a miracle."

Tennis

Andre Agassi advanced to the quarterfinals of the Australian Men's Hardcourt Championships at Adelaide, defeating Jan Siemerink of the Netherlands, 6-4, 6-3. Agassi will face New Zealand's Brett Steven, a 6-3, 6-3, winner over second-seeded Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil.

In the Australian Women's Hardcourt Championships at Gold Coast, top-seeded Brenda Schultz-McCarthy of the Netherlands retired from a quarterfinal match because of soreness in her right shoulder.

In the Hopman Cup at Perth, Australia, Mary Pierce beat Chanda Rubin, 6-0, 6-3, and Cedric Pioline defeated Jonathan Stark, 6-4, 6-3, as France swept the United States, 3-0.

In the New Zealand Classic at Auckland, Anne Miller, 20, a qualifier from Midland, Mich., advanced to the semifinals when second-seeded Lisa Raymond retired because of an injury. Miller will face third-seeded Dominique van Roost of Belgium, who beat Thailand's Tamarine Tanasugarn, 6-0, 6-3.

Miscellany

Reserve Kara Wolters scored 14 of her 20 points in the second half to lift the New England Blizzard to a 79-63 American Basketball League victory over the Portland Power before 4,086 at Portland, Ore.

Neil McCarthy finally will get a day in court in Las Cruces, N.M., on Jan. 28 in his attempt to reclaim the basketball coaching job at New Mexico State.

McCarthy was removed as coach by Athletic Director Jim Paul in October, two days before the start of practice, and reassigned to an assistant athletic director's position.

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