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Ethiopian Runner Adds 5,000 Meters to List of Records

June 14, 1998|From Staff and Wire Reports

Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia set his 14th world record Saturday, clocking 12 minutes 39.36 seconds for 5,000 meters at the Helsinki Grand Prix meet in Finland.

Daniel Komen of Kenya set the previous record of 12:39.74 last year.

Only 10 days earlier, Gebrselassie established the 10,000-meter world record of 26:22.75 at Hengelo, Netherlands.

"I went home after that to do light training and recovered quickly," he said.

"I am not 100% satisfied with this run, but it was OK. The beginning was a bit slow, and after that I tried to do better."

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Theresia Kiesl, the European indoor champion in the women's 1,500 meters, retired because of recurring Achilles' tendon problems in her left leg. Kiesl, 34, won a gold medal in the European Indoor Championships in February. She also was third at the Atlanta Olympics.

Auto Racing

A break in the weather helped Morgan Shepherd become the fastest qualifier for today's Miller Lite 400 at Brooklyn, Mich.

Under hot and humid conditions Friday, Shepherd registered a lap of 177.668 mph, which was 41st among the 47 drivers who tried to qualify in the first round. On Saturday, in cloudy, cool weather, Shepherd blazed a lap of of 182.927 at Michigan Speedway. That was faster than Ward Burton's pole-qualifying 181.561 from Friday.

The practice was marred by an incident that sent Rusty Wallace and Dale Earnhardt careening into the second-turn wall. Both were able to drive their damaged cars back to the garage area.

The two were close together when Wallace's Ford slid sideways, slapping Earnhardt's Chevrolet.

After some repairs, Wallace returned to the track in the same car, and Earnhardt's team immediately began preparing his backup. Because he can't drive the car he qualified 25th in for today's race, the seven-time Winston Cup champion will have to move to the rear of the 43-car field. Wallace will start third in the repaired car.

After the wreck, witnesses said Earnhardt walked up to Wallace in the garage area, grabbed him by the front of his driving uniform and made some strong remarks.

"I'll take the blame for the whole deal," Wallace said. "The rear end got out from under me. It was my fault for trying to be too aggressive. It was the wrong time to try that."

Jeff Burton won the 50-lap International Race of Champions at Michigan Speedway, beating Mark Martin to the finish line by 0.229 seconds, about 1 1/2 car-lengths. Martin held off Tony Stewart, the defending Indy Racing League champion and also a competitor in NASCAR's Busch Series, for the runner-up spot by about two feet.

The victory moved Burton into second place in the IROC standings behind Martin, the only three-time IROC champion. Going into the 1998 IROC finale July 31 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Martin leads Burton, 62-54, with Jeff Gordon another nine points back.

Frank Kimmel charged past Andy Hillenburg on the final lap and held on to win the Michigan ARCA 100 at Michigan Speedway. It was Kimmel's third victory of the year in the ARCA Bondo-Mar-Hyde Series.

Joe Amato celebrated his 54th birthday by pacing top-fuel qualifying in the 34th NHRA Pontiac Excitement Nationals at Kirkersville, Ohio.

Cruz Pedregon (funny car) and Kurt Johnson (pro stock) were other leaders on a day when rain halted action four times.

Tennis

Defending champion Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia and Magnus Larsson of Sweden won semifinal matches at the Gerry Weber Open at Halle, Germany.

Kafelnikov, getting help from a controversial call, outlasted Thomas Johansson of Sweden, 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, in a hard-fought match in which Johansson suffered leg cramps, but powered in 17 aces to six for the Russian.

Larsson overcame Paul Haarhuis of the Netherlands, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, in only 55 minutes.

Scott Draper of Australia and Byron Black of Zimbabwe were leading their rain-delayed semifinal matches when rain ended play at the Queen's Club grass-court tournament in London. Organizers hope to complete the matches today and then hold the finals.

After a four-hour wait in starting his match, Draper took a 6-3, 5-2 lead over countryman Mark Woodforde before showers ended play after 50 minutes.

In the other semifinal, Black was leading Laurence Tieleman of Italy, 6-3, 1-2, when play was stopped.

Rain washed out both semifinal matches in the DFS Classic grass-court tournament at Birmingham, England, in which Steffi Graf is making her latest comeback bid.

Organizers will try playing both the semifinals and finals today.

Baseball

Ryan Ludwick of Nevada Las Vegas singled in the winning run in the eighth inning and Ben Birk of Minnesota pitched four scoreless innings of relief as the United States beat Canada, 4-3, at Tucson.

The United States, 2-1 in its five-game series against Canada, tied the score in the seventh on a run-scoring double by Brad Cresse of Louisiana State and a run-scoring single from John Gall of Stanford.

Boxing

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