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O'Brien's Decathlon Record Broken by Czech at Prague

July 05, 1999|From Staff and Wire Reports

Tomas Dvorak of the Czech Republic broke Dan O'Brien's world record in the decathlon and could have broken the "magical barrier" of 9,000 points if not for a mistake in the 1,500 meters, the final event.

In smashing O'Brien's mark by 103 points Sunday with 8,994 points in a European Cup event at Prague, Czech Republic, Dvorak had a legitimate shot at becoming the first decathlete to accumulate 9,000 points.

He needed to run the 1,500 in 4 minutes 36.34 seconds, more than six seconds slower than his best of 4:29.69. To tie O'Brien's record, Dvorak needed to run a comfortable 4:53.87.

He finished in 4:37.20, after making a mistake in the second lap. "We slowed down a bit and we got punished," Dvorak said. "I had enough power in the last lap, but it was too late."

O'Brien set the previous record of 8,891 in 1992 at Talence, France, after failing to qualify for the U.S. team for the Barcelona Olympics.

Dvorak, 27, the 1997 world champion and 1996 Olympic bronze medalist, had a previous best of 8,837 points in winning the 1997 World Championships at Athens, Greece.

Auto Racing

Casey Atwood, 18, passed Jeff Green on the final lap to win the DieHard 250 at The Milwaukee Mile. Atwood is the youngest driver to win a race in the NASCAR Busch Series.

Atwood, who won the third pole of his career Saturday, trailed Green from laps 173 to 249. He then slightly bumped Green from behind and passed him along the inside on the final lap.

Atwood averaged 121.421 mph and earned $44,825.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who suffered a shoulder injury in a crash in practice Saturday and had to have his car qualified by Ron Hornaday, rallied from the back of the field to finish third and increase his lead in the driver standings over Matt Kenseth to 139 points.

In other DieHard 250 news, Jeff Krogh was listed in critical but stable condition following a crash in practice Saturday. Krogh, 27, a third-year NASCAR Busch Series driver, was unconscious and on a ventilator to help his breathing but had no fractures or visible signs of injury.

University Games

Mark Warkentin of Santa Barbara won one of five medals the United States earned in the first day of the swimming competition at Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands.

Competing in the 200-meter freestyle at an international event for the first time, Warkentin won the gold medal after replacing Trevor Runberg, who withdrew from the U.S. team for personal reasons.

"It came as a shock I was swimming, and then I won," said Warkentin, who was timed at 1:51.30 in becoming the first U.S. swimmer since Matt Biondi in 1985 to win the 200 freestyle at the University Games. "They raised the flag. That's never happened to me before. You dream about moments like that."

The U.S. team of Rada Owen, Kimberly Black, Caroline Kilian and Kathryn Zambone took gold in the 800 freestyle relay with a time of 8:13.41. Other U.S. swimmers to medal were Cara Lane, with an 800-freestyle victory, while Julie Varozza finished with a bronze in the same race, and Corrie Murphy, who earned a bronze in the women's 400-meter individual medley.

Miscellany

The top-seeded team of Karch Kiraly and Adam Johnson defeated No. 5-seeded Roberto Lopes and Franco Neto of Brazil, 15-7, in the final of the Association of Volleyball Professionals Paul Mitchell U.S. Open at Chicago. Kiraly, 38, passed Sinjin Smith as the leader in professional beach volleyball victories at 140. The top-seeded women's team of Liz Masakayan and Elaine Youngs defeated the No. 3-seeded Annett Buckner-Davis and Jenny Johnson-Jordan, 15-9.

The Augusta (Ga.) Sculling Center won the Double Sculls Challenge, giving the United States its only victory at the 150th Henley Regatta. The U.S. national team of Ian McGowan and Nick Peterson, representing Augusta, beat the lightweight pair of Conal Groom and Steve Tucker, also representing Augusta.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

How Record Was Set

Tomas Dvorak's event results in the world record-breaking decathlon performance (race distances in meters):

SATURDAY

100: 10.54 seconds, 966 points

Long jump: 25 feet 11 inches, 1,035 points

Shot put: 55 feet, 899 points

High jump: 6 feet 8 1/4 inches, 840 points

400: 48.08 seconds, 905 points

SUNDAY

110 hurdles: 13.73 seconds, 1,010 points

Discus: 158 feet 7 inches, 836 points

Pole vault: 16 feet 3/4 inch, 880 points

Javelin: 237 feet 3 inches, 925 points

1,500: 4 minutes 37.20 seconds, 698 points

Total: 8,994 points

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