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Aussies Too Tough for U.S.

July 30, 2001|From Staff and Wire Reports

A year later and an ocean away, Australia finally defeated the United States at the World Swimming Championships.

A trademark finish by Ian Thorpe was the only thing missing when Australia clinched the title Sunday with a world record in the most grueling race in the pool and capped it with a relay victory. After six gold medals, including four world records, Thorpe had already done his share at Fukuoka, Japan.

He watched with his teammates from the bleachers as Grant Hackett got Australia's 12th gold medal and Petria Thomas led the women's 400-meter medley relay team to her third gold medal and Australia's 13th.

The U.S. team that dominated the last world championships in 1998 and led the Sydney Olympic standings with 33 medals, including 14 gold, finished with nine gold medals and 26 overall to finish behind Australia (13 gold, four silver, six bronze) and China (10-6-4).

"The Americans have been No. 1 for a long time and I'll make no bones about it. We want to beat them and we did just that," said Don Talbot, Australia's coach. "It's fabulous and it makes me feel great."

Still, it was against a young American team. Without Lenny Krayzelburg, Gary Hall Jr., Tom Dolan, Jenny Thompson, Dara Torres, Brook Bennett and Misty Hyman, the team was America's most inexperienced in years.

Tennis

Kim Clijsters of Belgium won the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, defeating an uncharacteristically sluggish Lindsay Davenport, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-1.

Clijsters, seeded third, broke the second-seeded Davenport, who overhit a forehand on match point, for her fourth career win and first of the year.

Clijsters, 18, known for her third-set battle with Jennifer Capriati in the French Open final, broke Davenport's serve to end it after 1 hour 50 minutes.

"I just felt like I wasn't 100% there," Davenport said. "My return was pretty awful through the whole match and I really couldn't get anything going."

Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador withstood courtside temperatures of 113 degrees to win the Generali Open at Kitzbuhel, Austria, defeating Albert Costa of Spain, 1-6, 6-4, 7-5, 7-5.

Lapentti, a wild-card entrant, was playing in his first final of the season. He won the $900,000 clay-court tournament on his ninth match point, completing a match that lasted more than four hours.

Tommy Robredo and Cristina Torrens-Valero won the men's and women's finals in the $570,000 clay-court Prokom Open at Sopot, Poland, in which the title matches featured four Spaniards.

Robredo won his first ATP title, defeating Albert Portas, 1-6, 7-5, 7-6 (2). Torrens-Valero defeated Gala Leon Garcia, 6-2, 6-2.

Soccer

Nigeria advanced to the 2002 World Cup, defeating Ghana, 3-0, at Port Harcourt, Nigeria, to win the fifth and final berth for Africa. Nigeria joins Cameroon, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia in the 32-nation event next summer in South Korea and Japan. Nigeria had not beaten Ghana since 1984, and the two nations tied earlier this year.

Jill Oakes scored in the 76th minute as the U.S. under-21 women's team tied Germany, 1-1, at Dokka, Norway, to advance to the Nordic Cup final.

The United States will play Sweden in the championship game Tuesday. The U.S. and Germany finished Group A play with seven points each, but the Americans won on goal differential.

Residents of Japan and South Korea, who already have been allocated half the tickets for the 2002 World Cup, will be barred from applying for any more "international" tickets until November so everybody else gets a chance, FIFA said.

Mark Santel scored in the 21st minute and Gary Glasgow added a goal in the 65th as the Kansas City Wizards improved to 9-9-2 with a 2-0 victory over the New England Revolution (5-10-5) before 6,071 at Kansas City.

Kim Clark got her first WUSA goal and assist in a span of eight minutes in the second half as the Bay Area CyberRays defeated the Carolina Courage, 2-1, before 5,041 at Chapel Hill, N.C. Bay Area (9-5-4) pulled into a tie for the WUSA lead with Atlanta. Carolina (6-10-2) had won three in a row.

Shannon MacMillan scored two goals as the San Diego Spirit (6-7-4) defeated the Atlanta Beat (8-3-7), 3-1, in a WUSA game before 6,155 at San Diego. . . . Dagny Mellgren scored both goals as the Boston Breakers (6-9-3) beat the Washington Freedom (6-10-2), 2-1, before 11,651 at Boston.

Miscellany

George Gervais of Mira Loma was critically injured in an accident during a Southern California Racing Assn. sprint car race Saturday night at Perris Auto Speedway.

Gervais was racing on the final lap of the featured race when he touched wheels with Jordan Hermansader of Long Beach. Gervais' car flipped over several times on the back straightaway.

Gervais remained in critical condition Sunday night at Riverside County Regional Medical Center in Moreno Valley. He was unconscious when he arrived.

San Bernardino County investigators hope to interview Mike Tyson this week about a woman's claim that the former heavyweight champion sexually assaulted her July 16 at a rental home in Big Bear City.

Ryoko Tamura of Japan overcame a knee injury to win a record fifth consecutive title at the judo world championships in Munich, Germany. She needed a referee's decision to edge North Korea's Kyong-Ok Ri in the under-106-pound division.

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