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The Inside Track | NEWSWIRE

Thorpe's Fall Proves Costly at Australian Swim Trials

March 27, 2004|From Staff and Wire Reports

World-record holder Ian Thorpe lost a chance to defend his 400-meter freestyle title in the Athens Olympics after being disqualified in the Australian trials.

Thorpe fell off the starting blocks today on the first day of the eight-day Australian trials. He said he heard a noise, disrupting his concentration.

But Thorpe's appeal to Australian Swimming officials was later dismissed. Under Australia's strict qualification policy, only the two fastest swimmers in each race final qualify for the Olympics.

There was no immediate comment from the 21-year-old Thorpe on whether he might appeal the case to a higher jurisdiction. Thorpe appeared to overbalance on the blocks and fell into the water before the official start of his heat. He then got out of the pool and returned to the blocks.

But meet referee John Keppie walked to Thorpe's No. 4 block and disqualified him. Thorpe appeared stunned as he walked off the pool deck.


Texas' Ian Crocker set a world record in the 100-meter butterfly, winning in 49.07 seconds at the NCAA men's Division I swimming and diving championships in East Meadow, N.Y. Peter Marshall of Stanford lowered the world record in the 100 backstroke to 50.32.

Motor Racing

Ryan Newman won his third pole of the season in qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway

The top starting position for the Food City 500 was the 21st of his career. He led the series last year with 11 poles. He turned a lap at 128.313 mph, just shy of his year-old track record of 128.709. His fast lap took only 14.954 seconds on the .533-mile oval in Bristol, Tenn.

Jeff Gordon made it close with a lap of 128.288. The time difference between Newman's Dodge and Gordon's Chevrolet was 0.003 of a second.


Greg Biffle set a NASCAR Busch Series track record in qualifying for today's Sharpie Professional 250 at Bristol. Biffle, driving a Ford, turned a lap of 127.132 mph, beating the record of 126.495, set last March by David Green.

Pro Football

Green Bay Packer Coach Mike Sherman, New York Giant Coach Tom Coughlin and scouts or assistant coaches from most of the 32 NFL teams showed up for the workout of Ben Roethlisberger, rated one of the top quarterbacks available in the NFL draft next month.


The Washington Redskins have given middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter permission to seek a trade. Trotter, who was absent from the first day of mini-camp in Ashburn, Va., was already a prime candidate to be cut after June 1 to save money under the salary cap. He is starting the third year of a seven-year, $36-million deal.

College Baseball

Jon Brewster hit a grand slam in a six-run first inning for USC, and the Trojans went on to a 11-4 victory over UCLA in the opener of a nonconference series in front of 1,107 at Dedeaux Field.

Brewster hit an 0-2 fastball from Bruin starter Casey Janssen over the left-field fence to give the Trojans (11-13) a 6-0 lead. Janssen entered the game with a 5-0 record and 1.35 earned-run average. UCLA (13-9) lost for the sixth time in their last seven games.


South Korea defeated the United States, 4-0, today in Auckland, New Zealand, for the fifth and final spot in the women's field hockey competition in the Athens Olympics.

Japan, Spain, Germany and New Zealand claimed four places in Athens when they won their five-team pools. Argentina, Australia, China, the Netherlands and South Africa already qualified for the 10-team field.


A former high school basketball player who said she developed an eating disorder after her coach asked her to lose 10 pounds was awarded $1.5 million by a jury in Trenton, N.J. Jurors must still decide whether to award punitive damages to Jennifer Besler.

Besler, 25, and her father, Philip Besler, contended that Daniel Hussong verbally abused her during the 1995-96 season at West Windsor-Plainsboro High. She testified that she had resisted treatment for her disorder and continued to take diet pills and exercise excessively. The jury also awarded $100,000 to Philip Besler, finding he was unfairly barred from speaking at a 1997 school board meeting.


The Los Angeles Triathlon will finish at Staples Center instead of El Pueblo de Los Angeles when the fifth edition of the race is held Sept. 12. The change was made to ease congestion in the finish-line area.

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