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In brief

Defending champ pulls out of Australian Open

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 5, 2003

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Defending champion Thomas Johansson withdrew from the Australian Open with a knee injury.

He had hoped to recover before the tennis tournament, "but it turned out he needs more time," Johansson's agent, Magnus Wistam, said Saturday.

The Grand Slam event starts Jan. 13 in Melbourne.

The 27-year-old Swede has been plagued by injuries since winning the Australian Open last year. He beat Marat Safin for his first Grand Slam title.

"The knee is better but not well enough that I can train," Johansson told the newspaper Expressen.

UNCLE TOBYS HARDCOURTS: Martina Navratilova won her 167th doubles title, teaming with Svetlana Kuznetsova in Gold Coast, Australia to beat Nathalie Dechy and Emilie Loit 6-4, 6-4. At 46 years, 2 months, 17 days, Navratilova was the oldest WTA winner.

Commodore extends lead

Vanderbilt senior Brant Snedeker made eagle on the 490-yard, par-5 16th hole in the New Year's Invitational at St. Petersburg Country Club and padded his lead going into the final round.

Snedeker shot par 72 for 210 to lead South Pasadena's Kyle McCarthy and John Holmes of Kentucky by three. In the senior division Brian Jeffery of Ottawa shot 75 to increase his 54-hole lead to eight over Lee Robinson (78).

Marathon winner DQ'd

PITTSBURGH -- A Polish runner who had the fastest women's time in more than a decade in the Pittsburgh Marathon was disqualified for failing a drug test.

Violetta Kryza, 34, will not receive $10,000 in prize money, which race organizers held since the May 5 race. She was suspended from competition for two years. Officials didn't say which drugs were used.

Magdalena Lewy, 29, was declared winner in 2 hours, 36 minutes, 48 seconds. Kryza's time was 2:31.45.

American leads standings

KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia -- Bode Miller is the first American man in 20 years to lead the World Cup overall standings.

The skier from Franconia, N.H., won his second straight giant slalom, overtaking defending champion Stephan Eberharter for the overall lead. Not since Phil Mahre in 1983 has an American occupied that spot.

Miller also took over first in the giant slalom standings.

U.S. men start practice

BRADENTON -- The U.S. national team worked out for the first time this year, preparing for exhibitions against Canada and Argentina.

Coach Bruce Arena's men face Canada on Jan. 18 in Fort Lauderdale and Argentina on Feb. 8 in Miami. Qualifying play for the 2006 World Cup in Germany begins in 2004.

The roster for the Canada game could include 15 players with three games or fewer of international experience.

"One thing is for certain: We need to inject some new blood into our program," Arena said.

Twenty-six players attended the workouts, which continue through Jan. 16 at IMG Academy.

* * *

COLLEGES: Eighteen Alaska Anchorage athletes were suspended and will miss a combined 60 competitions for abusing textbook allowances. The athletes broke NCAA rules by improperly acquiring $2,500 worth of books at the school bookstore.

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Tulane-bound quarterback Richard Irvin of Pasadena Muir completed 12 of 17 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns to lead California to a 26-15 victory over Florida in the CaliFlorida Bowl at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, Calif. The victory for the California all-stars ends Florida's two-game winning streak in the fourth annual contest. North Florida Christian High's Ernie Sims, touted as the nation's top player by several publications, was Florida's MVP after rushing for 94 yards.

HORSES: Congaree ran away with the San Pasqual Handicap in Arcadia, Calif., beating Kudos by 6 lengths in the Santa Anita feature for older horses. Congaree was ridden by Jerry Bailey. The $90,000 win pushed Congaree's earnings to $1,723,400. ... Point Prince won the $150,000 Appleton Handicap and Baileys Edge won the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Handicap at Gulfstream in Hallandale Beach.

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